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I've increasingly become interested in the rise of narcissism / narcissistic personalities in all levels of power, discount zebeta and in our own communities, discount zebeta even families at large. Discount zebeta   Of course we all need a good healthy self image, discount zebeta however the level of self-consumption, discount zebeta deceitful practices and entitlement are disturbingly becoming a trend.  Just taking a look at Goldman Sachs and the rest of the corporate banking structures as prime examples. Discount zebeta     I've been curious how (and why) narcissism/sociopathy have become more prominent in our perceptions and even definitions of  "success", discount zebeta and how they more importantly play a primary part in  the declination and erosion in our society overall.   I came across this article below -an insightful, discount zebeta interesting piece by Avigail Abarbanel. Narcissism and the world of "success" and smoke and mirrors, discount zebeta are more intertwined than most people probably realize.  The politics of Narcissism (and how image is more important than reality)

Avigail Abarbanel

 I have always believed that my profession has a lot to offer to the understanding of politics. One important contribution we can make is to highlight the relationship between narcissism, discount zebeta in particular Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NDP), discount zebeta and politics.

A person has to have only five of the following DSM-IV criteria to be diagnosed with NPD. Discount zebeta He or she: (1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance;
(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, discount zebeta power, discount zebeta brilliance, discount zebeta beauty, discount zebeta or ideal love; (3) believes that he or she is ‘special’ and unique and can only be understood by, discount zebeta or should associate with, discount zebeta other special or high status people (or institutions); (4) requires excessive admiration; (5) has a sense of entitlement i.e., discount zebeta unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations; (6) is interpersonally exploitative, discount zebeta i.e., discount zebeta takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends; (7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recongise or identify with the feelings and needs of others; (8) is often envious of otherso r believes that others are envious of him or her; (9) shows arrogant, discount zebeta haughty behaviours or attitudes. Discount zebeta (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM IV. Discount zebeta American Psychiatric Association. Discount zebeta P.661)

People with NPD are everywhere but can be found in particular in areas where there are visible signs of success, discount zebeta status and power, discount zebeta and where admiration can be obtained relatively easily for example: high level sports, discount zebeta entertainment, discount zebeta all branches of academia, discount zebeta medicine, discount zebeta military and law enforcement, discount zebeta high level corporate and public service jobs and in politics.

The emotional maturity of people with NPD is that of a 3-5 year old child.
They generate chaos, discount zebeta confusion and fear around them. They are divisive, discount zebeta and are incredibly harmful (emotionally and otherwise) to anyone under their influence. The closer you are to them, discount zebeta the worse it is.

I have worked with many clients over the years who are children of narcissists.
It’s a terrible hidden injury to have to live with. As parents, discount zebeta narcissists are not necessarily violent or abusive in any obvious sense. In fact they are more likely to be seen as ‘perfect’ devoted parents. They would often spend a lot of time with their chosen children pushing them to succeed in an area that they happen to value and so that they can put them on display. They might get involved in the child’s activity in some capacity, discount zebeta to be seen as selfless and helpful and to be admired by others as devoted parents. Discount zebeta Ask the child of a narcissist and he or she would tell you that ‘Dad got involved but he did it for himself. Discount zebeta It was never about me’.

I said ‘chosen children’ because if narcissists have two or more children, discount zebeta they will often divide them into two groups: the successful versus the unsuccessful, discount zebeta the bright and ‘not so bright’, discount zebeta those who could do well and those who ‘wouldn’t amount to anything’.
Many children of narcissists live a miserable life either as sad underachievers or as successful perfectionists who never feel they are good enough. Many end up killing themselves, discount zebeta or living with depression or substance abuse, discount zebeta and no one, discount zebeta least of all them, discount zebeta understands why. When they come to therapy they don’t feel that they have a right to have problems, discount zebeta because their family was not only ‘normal’ but even ‘perfect’. And this is important because image is everything for narcissists, discount zebeta and children (and partners) learn to collude early on with the task of making the family and the narcissistic parent look good. The French film Look at Me shows a good example of a successful author who has NPD and the devastating effect he has on his daughter.

Narcissists vary in the degree of 'success' they achieve. Discount zebeta
It depends a lot on their particular talents, discount zebeta their time in history, discount zebeta social class and other circumstances. Discount zebeta For example, discount zebeta many female narcissists could not have become successful at anything much two hundred years ago, discount zebeta when women’s status in society was so low. Discount zebeta Unsuccessful narcissists often spend their entire lives feeling bitter and disappointed about a world that they believe has failed to recognise their ‘specialness’, discount zebeta their beauty or genius. Discount zebeta They can get quite depressed and self-tormented, discount zebeta feeling deprived of what they need the most, discount zebeta and believe they deserve: recognition and admiration. Discount zebeta Narcissists in general tend to have a victim mentality and an unhealthy sense of entitlement. Discount zebeta They are incapable of self-awareness and do not own up or take responsibility for their actions. Discount zebeta Everything is always someone else’s fault.

Narcissists, discount zebeta particularly the successful ones, discount zebeta can be extremely well presented. Discount zebeta
People who are not too close to them tend to admire them but those who are unfortunate enough to live with them or work closely with them know better.

Less successful narcissists are attracted to more successful ones so that they can bask in their reflected glory. Discount zebeta
Behind the unrestrained admiration of celebrity in all varieites lies narcissism. Discount zebeta We even have parasitical industries that feed on it and promote it, discount zebeta such as glossy magazines (complete with paparazzi), discount zebeta and certain television shows whose entire focus is on creating overnight celebrities and feeding them to an audience of narcissists.

The damage narcissists do in the work environment is aptly described by the gifted Australian psychologist John Clarke in his book Working with Monsters. Discount zebeta NPD fits well with Clarke’s description of the ‘workplace psychopath’.

But what happens when narcissists run entire countries?
What happens when their decisions and actions affect millions of people, discount zebeta especially considering their lack of capacity for empathy or responsibility? Imagine what would happen if you gave a small child all the armies and money they want and enough power to do whatever they want with them, discount zebeta and you get the idea.

Politics, discount zebeta as it has been practiced throughout human history, discount zebeta is a magnet for narcissists because it offers so many advantages: power, discount zebeta money, discount zebeta privilege of all kinds, discount zebeta and most of all status and admiration. Discount zebeta
Narcissistic dictators are pretty obvious but even in Western democracies, discount zebeta politics includes too many elements, discount zebeta privileges and benefits that are all too attractive to narcissists.

If like me you are infuriated, discount zebeta frustrated and outright worried about policies that are short-sighted, discount zebeta that ignore facts and evidence (e.g. Discount zebeta Howard’s response to climate change); policies that promote divisiveness over unity and cooperation, discount zebeta suspicion and mistrust over compassion, discount zebeta and destructiveness over healing and dialogue, discount zebeta look for the narcissist. Discount zebeta
If you are shocked and disgusted by white collar crime or corruption, discount zebeta look for the narcissist. Discount zebeta If you are puzzled by why politics has been practiced with such cynicism and lack of compassion, discount zebeta with such shallowness, discount zebeta dishonesty and nastiness, discount zebeta look for the narcissists.

Big egos, discount zebeta resistance to change, discount zebeta ruthlessness and dishonesty are not just the foibles of high achievers, discount zebeta neither are they the admirable qualities of ‘go getters’. Discount zebeta
They are the symptom of a serious pathology. Discount zebeta It is important for the public to be able to understand and name what it sees rather than feel dismayed and puzzled by it.

Narcissistic leaders can give a whole society a narcissistic ‘flavour’ by promoting and advancing those who are like them. Discount zebeta
The most obvious signs of a narcissistic society are a strong focus on ‘grandness’, discount zebeta appearances and spectacles, discount zebeta disregard for rules and laws, discount zebeta and an empty confusing rhetoric at the expense of real substance. Discount zebeta A narcissistic government would spend a lot of money and effort publicising its achievements, discount zebeta real or imaginary. Discount zebeta Under narcissistic rulers reality begins to mix with fiction and real data about what is going on are covered up.

If we want to live in a compassionate, discount zebeta benevolent and rational society, discount zebeta based on dialogue and inclusiveness rather than fear and divisiveness, discount zebeta and if we want to have a long-term view of problem-solving we must ensure that we never again elect narcissistic leaders. Discount zebeta
A good way to prevent narcissists from being attracted to politics in the first place, discount zebeta is to reform the way politics is done. Discount zebeta A humbler political system that only offers to politicians what they really need in order to do their job, discount zebeta that is caring, discount zebeta transparent and truly accountable and that is run in the true spirit of service to the people, discount zebeta is unlikely to attract narcissists because they will not find in it the commodities they so covet. Avivigail Abarbanel's original article can be found at: