One of the questions I get asked over and over is “what causes narcissism”. So today’s Thriver TV episode is my take on this.
Of course, I cover the impact of nature and nurture. But most importantly I wanted to go even deeper, into the spiritual cause and meaning of narcissism.
The debate around the importance of nature versus nurture will continue – but the spiritual causes affect all of us, not only narcissists. We can all find ourselves in separation consciousness, and it is recognition of this that has so many of us asking ‘am I the narcissist?’
I hope this TTV has you looking within, as well as towards your abuser, so that you can have an understanding of the difference between us and narcissists – and how our healing can change ourselves, humanity and ultimately the world.
Today I want to talk about what creates narcissism and I want to look at this from a psychological, genetic, and spiritual perspective.
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Now on to what causes narcissism? It’s one of those million dollar questions that a lot of you ask all the time.
First of all I want to look at Nature. For example, I’ve got two beautiful pussy cats who are sisters from the same litter yet they have completely different personalities. One’s really sweet and the other one is a lot more complex, and she has a lot more defense mechanisms.
This can be the same even with identical twins. Every parent knows that each of their children can seem to have a completely different personality make up
We don’t just acquire hair color and eye color. Just as we may express blue eyes or brown eyes, or dark hair or blonde hair, we also may express certain personality traits that we’ve picked up genetically from our ancestors.
A lot of our great neuroscientists, quantum scientists and genetic experts are really proving this. Our genetic composition can include certain survival programs, fears or traumas which another child in the same family doesn’t have, and this will express as differing personalities.
Narcissism is about fear and defences. Narcissists have an enlarged amygdala and exaggerated defense mechanisms. They react from their primitive brain rather than anchoring into a more reasonable and emotionally secure way of dealing with things, and this can be present from earliest childhood.
Now let’s look at nurture.
Nurture is, for example, being born into an environment where you have a narcissistic parent. Such a parent is abusive, selfish and everything is all about them. They are neglectful and their child isn’t validated or respected for their own needs, views or ideas. Instead, this child is taught that they’re not good enough, that they’re not important and that they’re not valued. They are completely invalidated and this can create narcissism.
A child treated in this way will make an internal decision that “as myself, I’m not getting my needs met. As myself, I can’t emotionally survive or function in the world. I need to create some kind of strategy to be able to get along.”
Children can also suffer abuse or violation. It could be mental, physical, spiritual or sexual abuse, which results in a situation where the true self is submerged because it’s way too painful and a false self will come forth.
There’s two ways that this can go with children. We have the narcissist and we have the codependent.
The narcissist is, “I’m going to create a fictitious false self – the ‘me’ that I would like to be. So my buffer to stop the pain is to imagine that I’m omnipotent, I’m magnificent, I’m incredible and people fear me.” It’s a cartoon vision of a child self as a superhero, or somebody incredible.
This child may end up being the bully in the schoolyard because they feel so pumped up, important and superior that even from a young age they need to have other people bow down to them, respect them and give them what they need. Whereas their version at home could be very, very different because they’re the one that is being abused and they’re the one being bullied.
On the other hand, a child may also become codependent at a young age. These children ask themselves, “how do I survive the abuse and the neglect? Maybe it’s by me winning and earning love and approval by pleasing my parents, by being an over-accomplisher, by being the fixer, by being the helper, by being the good child.”
These are the people who may go on to be abused by a narcissist.
As a false self, a narcissist will be able to have lots of false narratives about life and themselves. They are well able to lie from an early age, looking people in the eyes and telling them a version of things that doesn’t even resemble the truth. They do this either to win approval or to shunt the blame elsewhere, usually onto the scapegoated child.
The narcissist will also do all sorts of bad things to get their share of the goodies. They’ll steal, lie, cheat and scheme. And then they’ll blame the scapegoated, codependent child of the family – the more sensitive child who’s trying to people-please to stay safe. They’re the ones that will get attacked by the narcissist in the family, and a narcissistic sibling will absolutely take it out on them.
There are other ways psychologically that a narcissist can be created too, including over-entitlement. Over-entitlement results from never saying no to a child, giving them whatever they want and giving them too much free rein in an attempt to please them and be loved by them. Rather than saying no, having limits, creating boundaries and holding firm in truths even at the risk of disagreements and them disliking you.
A narcissistic parent will usually have their golden child. This is a child that they use to feel better about themselves. They objectify this child – their looks, their sporting achievements, their academia or anything they can brag about – and live vicariously through them.
The golden child feels like they’re always on a pedestal and they’re superior. This can create narcissism. Not to say that every golden child that’s put in that position will become a narcissist because many of them are not. But it can create narcissism.
Now to the spiritual side of this. We are living in a human construct which is very conducive to narcissism.
This is because Source has been taken out of the equation. Source, meaning our higher self, prime creator, the light, life force, love, the wave function of oneness, and the interconnectedness of Unity Consciousness – which comes from Source /the prime creator.
If we are not filled and fulfilled with Source, we can’t have peace, inner solidness and an integration within ourselves, our soul, our spirit, our higher self and our world. When we are lacking that fulfillment, we are going to try to get filled from the outside – and this can never be durable and authentic. It will always be a false substitute.
This is things like buying the next flashy car; having a big pay packet; having a hot girlfriend or boyfriend; having people envy you; having your identity based in stuff, things and how many likes you get on Facebook; or how many people think you’re attractive and tell you you’re beautiful.
All of these false substitutes are feeding the ego. It may even be, “I’m such a nice person, I do all these lovely things” and then grandstanding your virtue to get attention and an ego feed.
So that is a huge problem in humanity. We get fixated on looking at ourselves through these identity-based classifications. We are getting away from the True Unity Consciousness identity, which is “I am Source. I’m a fractal of Source. I am a part of the divine mind, of oneness, of the higher consciousness – that I am a piece of as an eternal, immortal spiritual being, having a physical experience.” That’s where we get our wholeness and our connection from, and our peace and our power – true powerfulness.
True source is our true identity at the wave oneness function. That’s actually who we are. The further we get away from that, by making our identity as ‘my job’, ‘my skin color’, ‘my classification’, ‘my whatever’, the more we’re getting taken away from the Oneness – which is ourselves and all of life and Unity Consciousness.
So spiritually, narcissism is created through separation consciousness. “I’m different from you. It’s me versus you. I have to win and others have to lose for me to get my share of the goodies. I’m in lack, I’m in separation, I’m not blessed by Source, I’m not a part of Source, and I don’t know how to express myself as Source in life.” That’s narcissism. “I’m out in the cold on my own, having to scheme, lie, manipulate and do whatever it takes to get my share of the goodies because I don’t believe that I’m worthy, or whole, or deserving because I’m not connected to Source.”
That’s the spiritual aspect of it.
“Am I The Narcissist?”
You may sometimes have wondered “am I a narcissist?” because sometimes you feel empty and separated. You may know that you have people-pleased, or manipulated and had an agenda to try to be loved, approved of, and to get energy from the outside. Maybe you don’t feel any good unless you are getting ‘the stuff’.
Yet that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a narcissist. It means that you are suffering a spiritual deficiency within, where you haven’t yet come home to releasing the traumas that are keeping you in separation consciousness. By releasing those and filling with the light, which is unity consciousness, you can come home to true Source and original creator, and to knowing that you are a piece of original creator.
That’s why I’m so passionate about what I teach in healing from narcissistic abuse. True healing is getting out of separation consciousness where you can get taken down by narcissists, and getting out of that deficient trauma where you are susceptible to abusers. It is coming home to Unity Consciousness.
If we all did that, our world would be completely different, humanity would be completely different and this planet would be completely different.
We can all have narcissistic traits. Does it mean that we have Narcissistic Personality Disorder? No.
If you’re in this community, it’s highly unlikely that you are a narcissist. That means we can heal and clean up those parts of us that are feeling powerless, trying to feel powerful by our skirmishes, and trying to get things from outside of ourselves rather than coming home to ourselves.
My Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program is a 10-step process to clean all of that up, come home to yourself and escape the world of connection to narcissists – because you evolve beyond it.
When we’re whole, solid and fulfilled, then we have no need to try to turn crumbs into cookies, or try to change and fix abusive people so that they will love us. We leave them behind and we move into much more authentic, genuine, fulfilling relationships.
I hope that helps – let me know in the comments below.
Until the next one, keep smiling, keep healing and keep thriving – because there is nothing else to do!