The high-level narcissist, the one who succeeds in the world at the top rung of the ladder, is highly prized in today’s business and social worlds. Often he/she is rewarded with outlandish salaries, co-ownerships, stock options, golden parachutes, and the glitter and bling that accompanies entertainment celebrities. High-level narcissists are “masters of charm, purveyors of magnetism…(They) beguile and persuade with a special kind of magic.”
The narcissis t spends his life creating grandiose visions that reflect his overriding sense of self-importance. He chooses special individuals to play different roles in the drama where he runs the show. Each member of his elite circle is chosen to play a part that enhances his (the narcissist’s) feelings of superiority and self entitlement. His scale is grand; his visions are limitless, often delusional. But he has mastered the art of persuasion. When a gifted narcissist sets his sights on you, it is difficult to refuse him. With the skill that he has practiced since childhood, these individuals understand our needs to be cherished and feel special. High-level narcissists tap into those vulnerable parts of us that yearn to be seen, wanted and accepted as unique and valuable. High-level narcissists have great confidence in themselves and mastery of the external world. It can be irresistible to find ourselves next to a person who appears to be strongly attracted to us, promising to fulfill our deepest wishes and desires.
The very successful narcissist can set an experienced psychiatrist or psychotherapist off balance. Narcissists generally don’t seek psychological treatment since they know that if there is a problem it belongs to someone else, not them. If he/she comes to therapy, there is often a honeymoon period at the beginning. The narcissist idolizes the therapist, viewing him as brilliant and perfect, almost his equal. Many therapists find themselves vulnerable to this level of persuasive ego boosting, especially if the patient is a prominent and influential figure.
Combating the charms and wiles of the narcissist takes keen awareness and a clear comprehension of how he/she operates. The development of genuine, transparent self knowledge is invaluable in expanding our own identities and essential for remaining grounded when the narcissist tempts us with his irresistible magnetism and bouquets of promises. If we see ourselves clearly, warts and all, we view him as he really is—a perfected, empty false self that holds no power over us. When we remove his mask, all the magic disperses into thin clouds of smoke. Another essential tool is knowing how the narcississt functions in his deluded version of reality. He is the most talented, brilliant and powerful actor in his life drama. The narcissist is in charge;everyone else is at his disposal. When he fixates his powerful attention on you, he knows exactly what he wants and what part you will play. There is no real relationship with a narcissist. He pretends to place value on others to get what he wants. When he has fully exploited the other person and achieved his goals, the individual he has sought is discarded and forgotten. To successfully handle the narcississt’s overtures, we call upon our own sense of a separate, authentic self that cannot be exploited or invaded by the whims and desires of another. We know who we are and remain psychologically grounded. We stand firm in our reality that seeks self truth while holding the reins of integrity and self respect.
Linda Martinez-Lewi holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a licensed marriage family therapist. She has extensive clinical training in narcissistic and borderline disorders. Dr. Linda Martinez-Lewi is the author of the book “Freeing Yourself From the Narcissist in Your Life.”
Dr. Martinez-Lewi has worked for many years with patients experiencing psychological problems as a result of personal and professional relationships with narcissistic personality disorders. She has clinical experience treating patients suffering from childhood trauma, anxiety disorders, and depression.
Dr. Martinez-Lewi has been interviewed on numerous radio talk shows throughout the country.
Visit her website at: http://www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
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