Here’s the sixth in this series of unseen video snippets, where I share some bitesize pieces of information on the subject of narcissism. The paperback version of my critically acclaimed book Rethinking Narcissism, with updated material and resources was just released on July 5th, so if this subject interests you, you can buy the book here!
“The question is, is there any connection between narcissism and substance abuse and the answer is yes. There’s plenty of research that shows that people who have, say, narcissistic personality disorder, extreme narcissism of any kind– there are different kinds, but I can’t get into here because we don’t have time–that they are more likely to turn to substances. Again, it makes perfect sense. If you do not trust that you can depend on people for love, for caring, connection, you’re going to have to soothe yourself some other way. You can soothe yourself with narcissism, you can soothe yourself with a drug addiction. You can soothe yourself through gambling. These things don’t require people. Remember, the problem is if you don’t trust people and you’re not going to turn to them, you’re going to turn to things that you can control.”
“We can control our looks to some extent, people can become really practiced at it in fact. Extremely narcissistic people often are capable when they are very outgoing narcissists like the ones we think of earlier that I asked you to conjure up, those are the ones we think of but they are acquired introverted narcissists. Extremely outgoing narcissists are often capable of something called effective adornment, where they’re able to put themselves together and make themselves look absolutely fantastic, but if you don’t give them the opportunity to do that, they are about as good looking as the average person. These are things that we can control. Money, looks, whether we spend say, shopping, our presentation of ourselves as having a deeper sense of emotional pain than anybody else–yes, that can be a kind of narcissism. The one thing that we can’t control is whether or not we can depend on people–and that’s what extremely narcissistic people do not trust.”