Narcissists surround us every day---in our homes, at work, at social events, in the media that rewards and echos them. There are exceptions---individuals who are rare, empathic, compassionate, unmaterialistic, unselfish. They don't make judgements about how you look--how fat, trim or round you figure, the tightness of your jaw, whether your eyes are crinkled in laugh lines of decades of living, what you are wearing--Is it new and expensive? Where are you traveling next? Did your children get into a top university--If not they are failures as are you.
I see homes that are impeccable. There is no sign of habitation. The people who live in these housese are not truly alive. I look into their faces and I see a bleak vacancy, blank eyes without feeling, a frightfully pasted on smile (with perfect white teeth). God help you if you age naturally. There are parts of this country where aging is not allowed. You must get a face lift, be regularly botoxed, fractionally laserized, etc.
The narcissistic style has taken over much of this country. No one talks about it openly but it is omnipresent.
I had a woman ask me if I thought she lived in the right zip code. Inwardly, I gasped. She had purchased a home in a very fine neighborhood but this wasn't good enough for her. I asked myself---What the hell is going on here???? How is it that the material, the surface, the veneer is now passing for reality and meaning.
There are tremendous exceptions---people who do not make judgments based on someone's age, looks, quality of clothing or lack thereof, schools attended or not attended, proper family backgrounds, social circles, etc.
Those who strut the narcissistic style are oblivious to everyone but those in their tight circles. They are dizzy with their worldly power and the thrill that it gives them to acquire things---the obsession with getting more and more. An endless addiction to Having that cannot be quelled. Deep inside these people are so psychologically empty, they cannot be with themselves. They project their self hatred on to others. They look down upon those who have not succeeded as inferior. "They have been foolish, made stupid mistakes. it is all their fault." Did anyone hear about tragedy striking a person, a family, brothers, sisters----everything getting wiped out. Those who have a crumb of care left about those who can barely hold their head above water need to tune in to the suffering that is all around us and reach out their hands. A dear friend of mine was recently leaving a party. As she went to her car, she saw a stranger picking over garbage. She asked: "Are you hungry?" The man said "yes". She gave him a large bag of delicious ribs and fixings. He said "thank you.". This is typical of my friend's behavior in all areas of her life. She has a different style---a loving all encompassing way of including others in her life, friends and strangers, knowing when they need help and providing comfort and sustenance to them. I have found a growing number of people who are proceeding with their lives in this way. They don't put themselves above others; they do not declare themselves superior. Their natural inclination is to give and share---That is the real human force within us. I have met so many of you with open hands and hearts. My greatest thanks!
Visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life