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The challenge of narcissism


Some men in anger management are classic narcissists. Beyond their immediate needs they have no idea  how the world functions. They are difficult men to live with, with  enough dysfunctional characteristics, including grandiosity to ensure that relationships are unpleasant for their partners. Very often narcissists posess  an undercurrent of rage which breeds further impatience and abusiveness.

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This is still viewed as a moral problem,  but recent research has indicated there are biological malfunctions  in their brains.

We are wired with  mirror neurons, where the brain automatically picks up cues from others and we then mirror their behavior. Someone yawns and soon others follow, another stretches and others stretch. We catch on automatically. This contributes to our awareness of the other and if we want to get along this is an essential component of relationships. Research indicates narcissists do not have these neurons. So there is an automatic lack of empathy. Presumably the wiring in the brain got fowled up early on with some attachment malfunction  (often occurring in the first year), which  lead to poor brain functioning , no different say than ADD.

Having this knowledge could make empathy training more meaningful for a narcissist  of course but he has to be motivated. Realizing  his brain handicap might lead to some serious personal reflection. To be challenged where his relationships don’t work and why cannot be dismissed lightly, however inconvenient.

Narcissists are comfortable walking over people, the truth is they are not as smart as they think.

Source: National Post

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