Adult Narcissism and Childhood Criticism
By Felicity Muscat
People who seem overconfident or too interested in themselves are often called narcissistic. Narcissism is a thought and behaviour pattern that involves many negative elements including:
- Fascination with the self
- Excess self-love
While narcissism is a serious mental problem in adults, it is completely normal in children and is actually a necessary part of childhood development. Adults who are narcissistic may not seem childish because they are confident, emotionally independent, self-assured and self-sufficient. However, the truth is that narcissistic adults are in fact “stuck” in a childlike state. Unfortunately, no matter how much psychotherapy a narcissist endures, he or she will likely never achieve a mature sense of self with conventional treatment methods.
The prognosis for a narcissist is not completely bleak, though. In fact, I am here to tell you about a program that can help narcissistic adults overcome their narcissism and become truly mature, emotionally secure, and independent adults.
Through my years of study and practice, I have come across many individuals who struggle with this exact problem. They are trapped in this ineffective and paralyzed state. I say “ineffective” because, while the narcissist displays outward signs of being highly confident and competent, he or she is actually almost incapable of functioning as a mature adult. Narcissistic people are stuck in a childlike state. Think about a five year old. The child might be extremely confident and self-assured, but he or she is not capable of handling adult responsibilities. Neither is the narcissist who never grew past that level of childhood.
As it turns out, narcissistic individuals reside in what I refer to as a “child-like trance.” In other words, they actually feel and believe themselves to be emotionally like a young child. Imagine being put in a hypnotic state where you think and act as if you were five; now imagine that that state never wore off and you simply acted that way in your relationships, your job, and even relaxing at home or in public. It has implications just about as serious as you might imagine for your life.
From my years of practice, I have come to the conclusion that narcissistic individuals are in something akin to this hypnotic trance where they believe they are five. It negatively affects their lives about as you would expect. However, there is another powerful implication: the only thing they have to do to get out of this harmful trance is to wake up. That’s it!
The narcissistic person has the experience of their adult authentic self already fully formed inside, but it is divorced from the conscious experience. In other words, the mature, adult “true self” has been kicked out of the cockpit, while the immature intruder has taken over navigation and is causing the person to feel that they are childish and dependent on others.
So how is this “trance” induced? Early in life, children are forced to adapt to less-than-hospitable social circumstances. This most often happens in the form of criticism.
A child who is constantly criticised comes to believe that he or she is:
- Lacking in self-confidence
- Unable to function in the world.
These beliefs cause the individual, in turn, to feel:
- Hopelessly alone
These beliefs and feelings are profoundly painful. Not only that, but they are threatening to the person who has them. In order to cope with these painful feelings, the child develops narcissism as a defense mechanism. The problem is, the narcissistic tendencies cause the person to be ineffective and don’t allow him or her to progress emotionally past the age when he or she received the wound.
In order to awaken the narcissistic person from the trance, the negative memories need to be erased and the harmful feelings dissolved. When this happens, the individual begins to wake up and discover who they really are. Even more so, they discover that this is who they have been all along – they just weren’t able to see it before.
With the narcissistic trance broken, the individual begins to feel like a competent and confident adult, with the qualities of being:
- Emotionally secure
- Loving towards self and others
- And truly attractive to others and self.
I have helped many narcissistic individuals break free from their negative patterns, release their true selves, and become who they really want to be. My coaching process enables people who are stuck in all sorts of harmful patterns to reclaim their hijacked Life Force Energy.
Felicity Muscat is the Founder of The Institute of Self Mastery which was created to help others fulfil the truest, highest, and most authentic expression of themselves in all areas of life.
If you have tried other approaches that have failed and are ready for change, request a complimentary introductory phone/Skype coaching consultation to help you get started on your journey back to your peak performing empowered and alive self today. To learn more and explore others’ success stories, download Felicity’s eBooks.
Felicity Muscat, former psychologist is now an international self-esteem, self-empowerment, and self-mastery life coach. Felicity is also a relationship and success coach, author of three best-selling books and Level 3 mind resonance coach.
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