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Relationships, Passion, Sex and Narcissism...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

 

I was delighted to be interviewed recently on "Passion" with Laurie Betito on my new book, Rethinking Narcissism. In this interview we talk relationships, social media and living with Narcissism - listen to the audio or read the transcript! I'd love to read your comments!


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Broadcaster:

Relationships, sex, passion with Dr. Laurie Betito. Hear the show live weeknights 10:00 to 11:00 on CJAD 800.

Dr. Betito:

Welcome to Passion, it’s all about love, sex and relationships. I’m Dr. Laurie Betito your host, clinical psychologist with a speciality in sexuality. Tonight we are talking about an important topic, a very important topic. We’ve talked about it on and off on the program but it just seems that we are hearing the word everywhere and it makes you kind of think mmh, are we living in a narcissistic epidemic? We’re going to find out a whole lot about narcissism, a brand new book out and I have to tell you I read it, read most of it, loved it, I think you will too. And the book is Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad and Surprising Good about Feeling Special. The author is with us, Dr. Craig Malkin is on the line. Dr. Craig, welcome to the show.

Dr. Malkin:

Hi, thanks for having me on.

Dr. Betito:

It’s wonderful that you took the time to be with us tonight. Now, can we talk about this narcissistic epidemic? Is it in fact just – we’re just hearing about it so much more or are we now in a society that is just so much more narcissistic than ever before?

Dr. Malkin:

I think it’s easier to see narcissism because we have all kinds of tools for people to express it. Social media is a media outlet for people to call attention to themselves and post pictures, post selfies.

Dr. Betito:

But we all do that.

Dr. Malkin:

Yeah, absolutely and social media makes it easier. And what we’re finding in the research is that people express their personality through social media so that introverts are more introverted in social media, extroverts are more extroverted and narcissists are more narcissistic. I am not convinced that there’s a narcissism epidemic. I think it’s just easier to see narcissism now. The majority of the evidence is based on very young people taking tests that are not meant to diagnose anyone. 

"Narcissist isn’t even a diagnosis." via @drcraigmalkin author of #RethinkingNarcissism
CLICK TO TWEET


Narcissist isn’t even a diagnosis. Let’s make that clear to all the viewers out there. A narcissist may or may not even have a disorder. So we’re talking about people generally in their 20s who are captive audiences taking these tests and not a large population around the world. And a two point difference between generations, I mean that’s one of the arguments. It’s not everyone in the field of psychology at this point, it’s not consensus, it’s a big controversy to say that.

Dr. Betito:

Right, and I think the media has taken – when we hear a study like that you can see that it’s a media bandwagon, “Oh, they’ve got an epidemic.” It’s a little bit like saying we have an epidemic of ADHD or an epidemic of autism and we just never had the words to describe it before, we couldn’t recognise it as such, but now just because we have the words does not mean that there’s suddenly an epidemic.

Dr. Malkin:

No. And another problem is that there are other researchers out there who are showing that there are pieces of these measures that happen to be healthy. Answering a question like I am assertive and agreeing with that or I am a born leader, those questions tend to relate to really healthy things; healthy relationships and they turn out to be people who look quite fine in other ways. And it just might be that those are the questions that the new generation are answering yes to. There’s a few studies that suggest that.

Dr. Betito:

And this goes to the title of your book, Rethinking Narcissism. What you’re just talking about now is the healthy part that some of us who may have some of these traits that you talk about that would have in a study say said, “Oh, you fit the narcissist label,” can be really healthy traits. And I think tonight what’s really important if we could get the message across is really looking at the difference between what’s healthy, what can be really good for us in terms of some narcissism and when do you have to get away from somebody who is on the other end of the spectrum. And what I love about the book, and I have to tell you, is that you offer a spectrum and you see where you can fit and every single person can identify with something in there.

Dr. Malkin:

Absolutely. The chief rethink of rethinking narcissism--it’s nice we’re starting with the surprising good because there’s about 40 years of research at this point that show that people see themselves through slightly rose-coloured glasses.

Dr. Betito:

Right.

Dr. Malkin:

They feel more resilient, they feel more happy or more optimistic, they have great and wonderful relationships, they’re empathic, they often recover from loss more quickly. That’s the healthy piece but then it comes from feeling a little bit special.

Dr. Betito:

Which is a good thing.

Dr. Malkin:

When you’re talking about narcissists – say it again?

Dr. Betito:

It’s a good thing. I mean that this is what we want all our children…

Dr. Malkin:

Yes. When we’re talking about narcissists they’re addicted to feeling special. It becomes their sole means of feeling good about themselves. That’s the bad, where they turn to feeling special all the time. Instead of turning to love, instead of turning to people, instead of depending on people they depend on feeling special, much like an addict soothes themselves with drugs, they soothe themselves with the feeling that they’re special or better than other people.

Dr. Betito:

My guest tonight is Dr. Craig Malkin. He is the author of a brand new book Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad and Surprising Good about Feeling Special. We’ll talk about the difference between knowing you’re with a narcissist - the traits are okay, when are they bad and how does it affect us? So if you have thoughts on this or you maybe think you’re with a narcissist, you might want to talk to us tonight. 514-800 if you would like to text in your thoughts as one person did, “More than five selfies a week and you’re a little narcissistic,” from one texter. I don’t know if we can quantify it but we can always try. And if you’d like to call in and if you have a question or tell us about your situation you can; 514-790-0800 and you have a website I believe where people can look…

Dr. Malkin:

I do, www.drcraigmalkin.com

Dr. Betito:

Wonderful. So people can look for your book there too and a description of it.

Dr. Malkin:

Absolutely. And if they want to take the test I have a research validated test that we’re working up to get to publication. There’s a brief version of that on my site that many people have taken, at this point 21,000.

Dr. Betito:

Wow!

Dr. Malkin:

It’s at www.thenarcissismtest.com and it will actually give you results to show you if you have healthy narcissism, if you don’t have enough, or if you’re in the extreme end.

Dr. Betito:

So I am daring my listeners right now, go take the test and give us your results, thenarcissismtest.com. More with Dr. Craig Malkin coming up next here on Passion on CJAD.

Broadcaster:

You’re listening to Passion with Dr. Laurie Betito, the podcast. Hear the show live weeknights 10:00 to 11:00 on CJAD 800.

Dr. Betito:

Tonight I’m very excited to have Dr. Craig Malkin on the program with us. Rethinking Narcissism is the book, The Bad and Surprising Good about Feeling Special. There’s nothing wrong with feeling special, there’s nothing wrong with feeling confident. Those are all good qualities, however we often look at the really ugly side and we’ll talk about that ugly side or the bad side. You can take the test, I just did it. It takes two seconds, thenarcissismtest.com. I’m happy to report - I’m not sure I would have reported it if I was on the other end of the spectrum however, I have to tell you, but I scored high on healthy narcissism so I’m happy to hear that.

Dr. Malkin:

Fantastic.

Dr. Betito:

That was fun. I was scared. I was like, “Oh, what if I…” anyway, whatever. So a texter wrote, “I post lots of selfies about four a week with beautiful quotes of poetry. The more they trend the more I get excited. So I don’t know if…”

Dr. Malkin:

With poetry did you say?

Dr. Betito:

Yeah, they say with quotes of poetry.

Dr. Malkin:

Yeah, wonderful. So let’s talk about selfies.  I mean when you think about social media one of the points that I make another rethink in Rethinking Narcissism in a chapter on social media I look at all the research-- and now that this has since been confirmed-- not surprisingly it all depends on how you use social media. And really the rule of thumb here is share don’t compare. If you’re just posting selfies to draw attention to yourself, intention is everything here. If you’re posting selfies to tell a story or share quotes that inspire people or help build some sense of community then how can that not be good?

So this is an example of how we can use social media in healthy ways, I call it SoWe because the abbreviation for social media is often #SoMe. The hash tag SoWe movement I’m trying to launch here is all about how can we start using it in ways that bring people closer together, sharing instead of comparing. The number of selfies doesn’t matter; it’s what you do with them.

Dr. Betito:

That’s right, not the size, it’s what you do with it. So now I see in my practise, I do marriage counselling so I do see a lot of relationships that are falling apart and many times people come in to see me who are in really bad relationships and it’s just one person in the relationship and where it really looks like they are married to a narcissist or with a narcissist in a very bad way. So how do you know whether it’s a bad relationship or you’re in a relationship with a narcissist?

Dr. Malkin:

A lot of people make the mistake here I want to say of looking to the more obvious signs the vain, primping, braggart you think of when you think of reality TV and then they miss all the red flags because the reality is a lot of narcissists are quiet and they don’t care about looks or money or fame. That makes them harder to spot. But what all narcissists have in common, all people who are high in narcissism--that’s what we’re using narcissist as a shorthand for--is that they don’t trust they can turn to people and depend on them and expect that they’ll comfort them and help them feel good. They’re not securely attached is the term in the research. They’re not capable of feeling safe depending on others. So again instead of depending on people they depend on feeling special and that leads to all kinds of predictable strategies. What they all have in common is their ways of avoiding vulnerable feelings, which we need to get into to depend on people. Feelings like loneliness, sadness, shame, fear.

So one that you see a lot of if you’re trying to decide am I with somebody who is more narcissistic, we all do this from time to time but narcissist use it frequently and always to feel superior in some way. A good example is playing what I call emotional hot potato. It really is like playing hot potato with feelings. Usually feelings of smallness or insecurity. So I had an example one of my clients was applying for jobs and her boyfriend who was unemployed at the time kept asking her, “Are you sure you got the qualifications for that one? Maybe that one is beyond you or maybe you’re reaching too much there.” So he felt insecure and small and unsure but instead of saying that about how he’s feeling about unemployed, he said and did things to make her feel insecure and help him feel a little more superior like he was the wise one guiding her in some way.

Dr. Betito:

Right, I hear that a lot from partners who feel like their partner treats them like they’re just dumb or they’re very condescending to them and patronising is often the word that I hear. We’re going to take a short break and come back with Dr. Craig Malkin the author of Rethinking Narcissism. If there’s anything our listeners want to add to this or take the test, thenarcissismtest.com and let me know; are you a healthy narcissist or maybe you won’t tell me if you don’t fit the healthy one, I don’t know, but you can. You’re listening to Passion on CJAD 800.

Broadcaster:

You’re listening to Passion with Dr. Laurie Betito, the podcast. Hear the show live weeknights 10:00 to 11:00 on CJAD 800.

Dr. Betito:

There is just so much to say about this topic and that is narcissism and Dr. Craig Malkin wrote a fantastic book on the topic. Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad and Surprising Good about Feeling Special. He developed a test too that you can take, it only takes a minute or two, thenarcissismtest.com. We have Brian on the line. Hi Brian.

Brian:

Yes, hi good evening.

Dr. Malkin:

Hi Brian.

Brian:

Hi. I got a question about Donald Trump. Now this guy rather fits the textbook…

Dr. Betito:

Donald Trump, you think he’s a textbook narcissist. Is he a textbook narcissist Dr. Craig?

Dr. Malkin:

Well, as a fellow clinical psychologist you know I can’t ethically diagnose someone I haven’t been in the room with.

Dr. Betito:

Oh off the record, come on.

Dr. Malkin:

But since narcissist is not a diagnosis the classic extroverted or grandiose narcissist  brag, they take up a lot of room, they tend to exploit others to get their needs met, they tend to be highly entitled, they tend to not be particularly self-aware when they’re doing those things. That’s the more classic…

Dr. Betito:

That’s him.

Dr. Malkin:

Yeah.

Dr. Betito:

It’s okay, he’s not going to hear us. It’s fine. Actually…

Dr. Malkin:

But we’re safe because it’s not a diagnosis. It remains to be seen whether or not he would meet criteria for disorder.

Dr. Betito:

Right, that’s quite true but he does exhibit all that especially when faced with criticism and he will – I have not seen that man take responsibility for things that he has said, stupidities but nonetheless. So yup, there is a good example.

Dr. Malkin:

Inability to apologise is really the hallmark because again remember if your sole drive is to maintain a special image, a sense of you being special in some way then the image of perfection-- what a way to do it, I’m always right.

Dr. Betito:

Right, I’m never wrong and that is…

Dr. Malkin:

I’m infallible.

Dr. Betito:

Yeah, I see that so often. I hear people say that, “Oh, he’s never wrong or she’s never wrong.” They always have to be right and the question is do you want to be right or do you want to be married? On the other side the news we…

Dr. Malkin:

Precisely.

Dr. Betito:

That’s right. We will continue with Dr. Craig Malkin, the author of Rethinking Narcissism. And during our news break thenarcissismtest.com go do the test. You’re listening to Passion on CJAD 800.

Broadcaster:

You’re listening to Passion with Dr. Laurie Betito, the podcast. Hear the show live weeknights 10:00 to 11:00 on CJAD 800.

Dr. Betito:

Tonight on the program not talking so much about sex but relationships and sometimes very troubled relationships especially if you are with a narcissist. Tonight on the program Dr. Craig Malkin. He is the author of Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad and Surprising Good about Feeling Special. His website drcraigmalkin.com but you can also go to thenarcissismtest.com, take that little test and find out if you fit on the spectrum of healthy narcissism. As Liam just sent us a text on 514-800, “I scored average/average high. Is there a more comprehensive test for diagnosis or must I visit a health care professional?” The reality is most narcissistic personality disorders never end up seeing somebody anyway.

Dr. Malkin:

That’s true. And this is not a diagnostic test, this is the brief informal version of the official narcissism spectrum scale that we’ve developed. There’s a longer version in the book and what I found just from all the 21,000 people who’ve taken it, a few people here and there test false positive, I mean that’s going to happen with any test. And then they take the longer test and they look a little bit healthier. But what it tends to mean when somebody scores high with a profile like the average/average extreme is that they might – this is what you were referring to earlier Dr. Laurie – they might put being right first over being connected or for staying married. They might get argumentative at times and dig in their heels.

Dr. Betito:

Can we talk about anger? Because I hear this a lot too from people who are married to narcissists that there is a lot of anger in the relationship and they spend a lot of time trying to avoid that anger.

Dr. Malkin:

That the narcissists spend a lot of time?

Dr. Betito:

No, the person married to the narcissist is always walking on eggshells trying to stay away from the outburst.

Dr. Malkin:

Yeah. So at this point this is when I make sure we talk about some of what I call the stop signs. Because the topic here is whether to stay or go, there are deal breakers, stop signs. And when we’re talking about anger or getting to the point of rage and threats, not all narcissists even with NPD based on the research are physically or emotionally abusive, many are just aloof or insensitive, emotionally numb. But if you see abuse, if the rage gets to be too much, if there’s put down, if there’s constant criticism – criticism happens in marriages all the time and it’s one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse of marriage according to John Gottman who has done a lot of research on this – so that doesn’t distinguish it, but if it’s all the time, and if you’re actually physically afraid it’s time to find help leaving. If the person you’re with is in a lot of denial or they can’t even admit that they’re in trouble, there’s a little something wrong…

Dr. Betito:

With them.

Dr. Malkin:


Yeah, that’s a reason to get help leaving. Obviously we’re not talking about the kind of people who come to your practice or mine, they’re not in denial, they can at least admit to something…

Dr. Betito:

Then you can maybe get some change there, not always but you can try anyhow.

Dr. Malkin:

Not always.

Dr. Betito:

If you don’t mind we’ll speak to Rachel on the line who’s here. Hi Rachel, you’re on with Dr. Craig Malkin.

Rachel:

Hi.

Dr. Betito:

Hi.

Rachel:

I finally escaped a narcissist. After 25 years I finally left.

Dr. Betito:

Was it difficult to leave after so many years? Like what do you think kept you there that it was so difficult to leave? I think that’s a really good topic actually to think about is why is it so difficult to leave?

Rachel:

Well living with a narcissist is like you’re always on a rollercoaster. It’s always up or down or up and down and every – we did five years of therapy and that made him angry. He refused to see that anything was his fault, that he was possibly doing anything. It really took my kids telling me to leave to really get me to leave. Because my daughter is coming up to me going, “Why are you with him? He treats you horribly.” And I finally took that and then just how many chances does a person give? And I just got fed up and I have to tell you I have never been happier. It’s been two months and I’m so happy. I’m free.

Dr. Betito:

I’m free, yeah.

Rachel:

I’m just free from that control freak, from the person who wanted…

Dr. Malkin:

I’m so glad you found the strength and I’m guessing support to get out. It sounds like it was a very toxic relationship.

Rachel:

I had tremendous support who really were there with me and really helped me through this but I finally was brave enough to do it and I wish I had done it so many years ago.

Dr. Betito:

Right. I’m sure a lot of people feel the exact same way you do Rachel. You’re talking for many.

Rachel:

Exactly. It was so hard and because you don’t want to hear the explosion because you tell them you want to leave and then they’re going to scream at you for three hours or they have a lecture or they want to talk and it’s a six hour rant from them and you just get so used to just not rocking the boat because it is exhausting.

Dr. Betito:

It’s exhausting, right.

Rachel:

It is exhausting so you just muddle through and I was miserable for so many years.

Dr. Malkin:

And I’m guessing because this is a common dynamic that happens to people who are in that situation, after a while you feel like the only control when you’re walking on eggshells it becomes somehow all about your approach. And you wind up tipping into self-blame or maybe I shouldn’t have brought that up then or maybe I brought it up the wrong way or…

Rachel:

Exactly. He was very good at telling me that it was all my fault and it’s the way I did things and he’d yell because I did this or I didn’t do this and it was all my fault and after a while you just don’t want to hear it. But you end up just in this bubble of depression and misery. I used to never go out, I used to just go to work, come back, have to hear him yell and I just…

Dr. Malkin:

Oh gosh.

Dr. Betito:

Well, we’re very proud of you Rachel.

Rachel:

Thank you.

Dr. Malkin:

Good for you.

Rachel:

Others can do it. There’s freedom and there’s happiness afterwards.

Dr. Betito:

Inspiration. Thank you very much for calling.

Rachel:

Okay, bye-bye.

Dr. Betito:

So that’s typical, right Dr. Craig?

Dr. Malkin:

Absolutely. When it comes to extreme narcissism remember it doesn’t always have to be overt, in her case this was very abusive but they don’t like to ask for things, they don’t like to depend because again remember it makes them very uncomfortable to be vulnerable in that way. So they control with threats, they control with anger, they control often with rage in the extreme. In subtler versions of it they might simply sort of leave you out of decisions. Malignant narcissists often even sort of sweep you off your feet doing all kinds of things. I worked with somebody who would always show up with concert tickets, her boyfriend would always show up with concert tickets in the last minute but anytime she wanted to do something he was like, “Neh, I don’t want to do it.” So it can be that or it can be just controlling the person.

Dr. Betito:

Right.

Dr. Malkin:

Malignant narcissism which is a combination of psychopathy called remorseless approach to life and to people often involves lies and deceit.

Dr. Betito:

And zero compassion and zero empathy.

Dr. Malkin:

Yeah. Malignant narcissists have been known to do what’s called gas-lighting where they go to elaborate lengths to make the other person feel like they are the ones who are crazy, that they are the ones whose reality is off in some way.

Dr. Betito:


And then over time what ends up happening to the other person is they really do start to wonder if they’re crazy.

Dr. Malkin:

Exactly. It’s insidious, it’s awful. I wrote a piece recently on the Huffington Post called Can Abuse Be Invisible? And it’s really all about this kind of problem where people don’t even realise what’s happening to them. With her it was really out there, but it beat her down. I mean, it erodes your self-esteem.

Dr. Betito:

Exactly. It beats you down, that’s exactly the words that I hear a lot. You just wrote a piece which I want to get to on the other side of our break is Why It’s Hard to Leave Narcissists and it’s actually what prompted me to get in touch with you. So I want to talk about that, why it’s hard for a lot of people. And then another texter brought up the whole issue of echoism, that’s what they scored on.

Dr. Malkin:

Echoism?

Dr. Betito:


Echoism, so I want to talk about that as well. So lots to talk about, I hope we can get through it and if not you’re just going to have to come back, that’s it.

Dr. Malkin:


I’d be delighted.

Dr. Betito:

You’re listening to Passion right here on CJAD 800.

Broadcaster:

You’re listening to Passion with Dr. Laurie Betito, the podcast. Hear the show live weeknights 10:00 to 11:00 on CJAD 800.

Dr. Betito:

My guest tonight, Rethinking Narcissism, that’s the book. The author Dr. Craig Malkin on the line with us. What an interesting discussion. I think I could talk for hours about this topic. There’s so much to say. We’re just kind of skimming the surface here, but you can go to his website drcraigmalkin.com and you can also take the test, thenarcissismtest.com, you could read the book it’s all there. So much information and surprisingly really so easy to read, it just puts everything in its right place and it just all makes a lot of sense when you read that book. So I just want to…

Dr. Malkin:

One thing I will say because we probably won’t get to it is that a lot of books ask you to do so much, almost bend over backwards to understand and talk to a narcissistic partner and in Rethinking Narcissism I only ask you to test things out. As long as you’re not seeing those signs of danger, in very simple - like two steps and I basically say give it three weeks and if this just doesn’t work without professional help, move on. So I make it easy on you too.

Dr. Betito:

Right, which is good.

Dr. Malkin:

So you wanted to talk about echoism?

Dr. Betito:

Well, first I want to get Hannah who’s on the line so I want to hear what Hannah has to say. Hi Hannah, welcome to the show.

Hannah:

Hi, thank you for taking my call.

Dr. Betito:

Pleasure.

Hannah:

I wanted to say that you really struck a cord when you said malignant narcissism, about turning the tables and actually making you think that you’re the crazy one. They have some kind of ability to key in on your soft spots and make you think that you’re – even when they can tell you the sky is blue when it’s full of clouds and it’s white and they’ll convince you that it’s blue. It’s just they have some type of ability to be able to make you think that you’re the crazy one.

Dr. Betito:

Is that why Dr. Craig that it’s so hard to leave?

Dr. Malkin:

Oh yeah. I mean, once you start doubting yourself at that level, once you start doubting your own perceptions, it’s very easy to get mired in a bad relationship and malignant…

Hannah:

It’s as if they have control over what you think of yourself and how you view the world. What the world is and what you’re looking at is not the same because what they’re telling you what you’re looking at and how you’re reacting to things is how they want you to react and it’s very confusing. I left a narcissist as well after 25, 27 years and I’m looking back and I’m saying I’m a smart woman, I’m an intelligent woman, how did I get caught up in that? It’s like you’re blind, it’s like you’re in a trance.

Dr. Betito:

Good point. I think that that resonates with a lot of people. You can be a smart woman, you can be a strong woman but yet how do you get stuck in that kind of situation? Good question.

Dr. Malkin:

All walks of life, it doesn’t matter the background, absolutely. One reason people get stuck as well is there’s plenty of evidence in our research and in other research that the good and the bad often co-exist. That is even extremely narcissistic people their empathy fluctuates. Contrary to what we used to think even in the old diagnosis that there was a lack of empathy, it’s impaired.

Hannah:


Yes.

Dr. Malkin:

Either a lack of motivation to be empathic at the time but where say they need to be at work they can do it or if they’re in love in the beginning they can do it or they’re blocked by their own preoccupation, by their own needs. So that makes it very confusing because you see these genuine moments of caring and connection and that’s what you want to hold on to, but the problem is the good and the bad co-exist so part of being able to get out of a bad relationship is like it’s a package deal.

Dr. Betito:

Right, Jekyll and Hyde.

Hannah:


Yes, like a light switch. They can turn the empathy on and off but really the on empathy is all a facade. They make you think they’re empathetic but they have no connection to another human being. It’s creepy.

Dr. Malkin:

In the extreme when somebody is extremely psychopathic that’s definitely the case. It gets even more confusing when people can feel that the empathy is actually there and then it’s not. Like who is this person? Because that can happen…

Dr. Betito:

Right. There’s a tendency also for a lot of people to really see the good and only the good in others and I think a lot of people who get stuck with narcissists are those kinds of people. They have huge hearts and they don’t expect the bad. They just want to see and focus on the good and so there’s a lot of ignoring of all those red flags. Thanks so much for calling in Hannah, very much appreciate it.

Hannah:

Thank you.

Dr. Malkin:

Thank you.

Dr. Betito:

All right. We’ll take a short break and come back with Dr. Craig Malkin with some last words and like I said just the tip of the iceberg tonight so we’ll continue this hopefully at another time. Rethinking Narcissism is the book, Dr. Craig Malkin is the author. The website drcraigmalkin.com or go to thenarcissismtest.com and test yourself. You’re listening to Passion on CJAD 800.

Broadcaster:

You’re listening to Passion with Dr. Laurie Betito, the podcast. Hear the show live weeknights 10:00 to 11:00 on CJAD 800.

Dr. Betito:


I only wish we had more time with Dr. Craig Malkin, the author of Rethinking Narcissism. A bunch of text messages. One said, “One can only truly understand what Rachel and Hannah have expressed if one has experienced such a relationship.” I guess it is difficult to truly understand. Someone else wrote, “People with narcissists tend to have huge hearts and tend to live in fantasy. I believe the living in a fantasy reality reinforces and enables the narcissists as well.” And then Dave, I think this is his attempt at a joke says, “I’d do the test but I have better things to do.” That was kind of cute.

Dr. Malkin:

Better than the test.

Dr. Betito:

And then another texter who did the test said he scored echoism high, healthy narcissism average, extreme narcissism low. So in one minute or less, can you describe echoism?

Dr. Malkin:


Where narcissists are addicted to feeling special, echoists are afraid of special attention. They’re uncomfortable with compliments, they’re more likely to agree with statements like I’m not sure what I want or need. Their approach is really if I don’t take up too much room maybe you’ll stick around, especially on the extreme end. On the milder version these are the people with the big heart, they’re the caretakers, they set their needs aside for other people. And they’re not to be blamed for the fact that narcissists are drawn to that and often exploited, especially extreme narcissists, they have big hearts. They just have to be careful who they open them up to.

Dr. Betito:

That’s right. Makes a lot of sense. Dr. Craig Malkin, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to be with us. I hope you will come back so that we can talk about change and how narcissists can change and if they can’t change how the hell do you avoid them altogether. So there’s so much more to talk about but we have run out of time sadly. Thank you so much.

Dr. Malkin:

My pleasure. Thank you for having me on.

Dr. Betito:

All right, great. If you want to share this with your friends the podcast will be up. Just go to cjad.com and find the Passion page and just look up Rethinking Narcissism and it will be right there and your friends can listen to it. Thanks to all our listeners, to everyone one who called in, texted in. Thanks to Dave Simon in master control. You can reach me passion@cjad.com by email, you can go to my website drlaurie.com, you can also find me on Twitter at Dr. Laurie Betito, same with Instagram and you can like my Facebook page Dr. Laurie Betito. Next up on CJAD news followed by Joey Elias and The Comedy Show.

Have a wonderful rest of the night and please remember life is short so do take the time to smell the flowers and indulge your passions.

Broadcaster:

Listen to Passion with Dr. Laurie Betito live weeknights 10:00 to 11:00 on CJAD and cjad.com

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After teaching at local universities, Dr. Malkin became a Chief Psychologist at Harvard Medical School’s Cambridge Hospital, in Cambridge Massachusetts, where he instructed interns, residents, and fellows in the theory and practice of psychotherapy. In 2003, he left this position to expand his private practice and continued to supervise and teach for Harvard Medical School’s training program. Read More...


Top 10 Psychology Clinics in Cambridge, MA 2015
A Cambridge Psychologist winner of the 2015 Patients' Choice Awards.
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