Therapist Uncensored Podcast

Two Austin therapists and their world-recognized guest experts break down modern attachment, relational neuroscience and trauma in a challenging but entertaining format designed to keep you off unconscious autopilot and moving towards closer connections. Find us at


episode 133: Holding Your Own 2: Grandiose Narcissism has Met it's Match

Holding Your Own with Challenging Personalities - staying secure in relationship with those high in narcissistic, borderline or anti-social traits. Session 2 - Staying secure in connection with one kind of narcissism:  grandiose narcissism Co-hosts Ann Kelley and Sue Marriott have launched a new series titled “Holding Your Own with Challenging Personalities.” Together, they’ll unpack how to navigate strained relationships during and after this pandemic. The goal of this series is to bring you the skills and practices that you can use right now to get to secure relating and if not that, helping you ground and stay in your secure self no matter what is swirling around you. If you want to start at the beginning, listen to the first in the series:  TU132 HYO Session 1:  Messy But Secure Relating Grandiose Narcissism Today's episode breaks down one of 3 types of narcissism, and later in the series they will address the other kinds. There’s always a judgement, even if the verdict is positive, there is an evaluation happening.  Difference between self-aggrandizing moment and more problematic self-oriented relating - one is environmentally influenced, the other is just the way it is, always. You value people for what they can do for you, it's a transaction noi a real relationship. Trouble with: Apologies Gratitude Greek version of the myth: Narcissus, was the son of River God Cephisus and nymph Lyriope. He was known for his beauty and he was loved by God Apollo due to his extraordinary physique. Narcissus was once walking by a lake or river and decided to drink some water; he saw his reflection in the water and was surprised by the beauty he saw; he became entranced by the reflection of himself. He could not obtain the object of his desire though, and he died at the banks of the river or lake from his sorrow. According to the myth Narcissus is still admiring himself in the Underworld, looking at the waters of the Styx. Narcissistic Extension This is when we have learned to support the other person’s ego by giving them what we know that they want. As kids we get highly skilled at reading a scene, knowing the unspoken and responding as wished. This is part of what causes the injury to the self, because in the midst of all that, where the heck are You? If a child turns to their own needs and that parent feels that as a Break and is activated by it, it’s suddenly unsafe to tune in to their disapproval or distance. So we’d rather give ourselves up than lose our connection. Defenses in Grandiose Narcissism Idealization and devaluation - to be close you tend to be in one of these spots, and they can flip really fast.  It's an outward expression of assumptions they may be making about themselves and their own value. Shame core but not conscious. Narcissistic supply - people are used to fill you up but then are expendable. They may report high self-esteem and low neuroticism because they don't carry a lot of conscious internal conflict. The conflict - if any - is interpersonal which is WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO HOLD ON TO YOUR SECURE SELF. Holding on to Secure Self Take a deep breath, and whatever you do... Don't project relationality into someone non-relational, it's bad for both. See them as they actually are, and that can be painful.  It's courageous though, and the beginning of taking your evaluation of what you are getting from this person and what you need. Don't put up with demeaning, devaluing or abusing you. Standing up to them can be dangerous in various ways, but for now we will focus on relational / emotional danger.  There is a feeling of threat to differentiate, and you might get cut off, but having a Self is the only way to move it into a more secure relational dynamic.  Otherwise they have no incentive to change because internally they see themselves doing pretty dang good.  Disabuse them of this delusion. Hold you, also hold them, and stay strong.

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 November 2, 2020  51m