Helicopter, Bad Parenting Foster Narcissism Pandemic (with Conor Ryan, Eyes Wide Open, EXCERPT)

Uploaded 5/17/2024, approx. 13 minute read

And they tell you, be a narcissist.

And you have even, I think I mentioned it last time, you even have pretty respectable magazines such as Scientific American, I'm sorry, New Scientist.

And they came up with a cover story.

Parents teach your children to be a narcissist in July 2016.

So it has transitioned from the periphery into the mainstream.

And now narcissism is bent on, narcissism guarantees success and accomplishments, narcissism leads to self-efficacy.

If you're not a narcissist, something's wrong with you.

For example, if you're not selfish, you're altruistic, you're charitable, you're so...

So either you are virtue signaling, you're fake, you're being fake, or something's wrong with you because you should put yourself first.

And so you need therapy.

And so narcissism is permeating academia and literature.

And now you have a whole class of respectable scholars who say that psychopathy and narcissism are the next stage in evolution.

That high functioning narcissism and high functioning psychopathy is socially beneficial.

It's a really, really bad thing.

Narcissistic personality is not just about being an able or a jerk.

It's really bad out there.

So for example, the narcissist is unable to tell that other people are separate from him, that they're external, which is utterly psychotic feature.

Consequently he treats other people as extensions or instruments or tools.

The narcissist imposes a fantasy defense on reality.

He divorces reality and he supplants it.

He replaces it with fantasy.

That's okay.

But then he tries to coerce you into fitting into this fantasy and affirming it.

And if you refuse to confirm, to tell him that the fantasy is not fantasy, or if you refuse to play a role according to his fantasy script, you're penalized.

He becomes aggressive and he, you know, it could escalate and then very badly.

So these are two examples about people around the narcissist are affected.

I think if you're looking for a metaphor, the narcissist is a black hole.

Now other physicists by training, other PhD in physics.

So the black hole, you can't see a black hole.

The only thing that comes out of a black hole is some kind of tenuous radiation, which is literally undetectable.

Light cannot escape a black hole.

So you can never see a black hole.

But what do you see?

What do you, how do you know there's a black hole out there?

Because everything around the black hole misbehaves.

Everyone around the black hole is in some kind of crazy making cycle.

All kinds of stars and all kinds of galaxies and all kinds of, you know, every, everyone goes haywire around the black hole.

And that tells you there's a black hole there.

The narcissist is the same.

Even if you are unable to diagnose someone with narcissism because you need tests and structured interviews and so on, still the reactions of people around the narcissist ought to tell you that something is wrong with this person because he, he dysregulates other people.

I'm saying he, it's a she, half of all narcissists are women.

They dysregulate other people.

They remove their, they shriek away the defenses that other people have built, lifetime of defenses, habits, everything breaks down.

When the narcissist enters the scene, there's a collective meltdown, not only of individuals, but of institutions.

There's an institutional meltdown, everything melts down.

And so there's this issue of being unable to recognize the externality and separateness of other people.

It's known as an othering problem.

Another issue, for example, which she alluded to is that the narcissism is a disruption in the formation of a self.

There's a problem that self is not fully integrated, not fully formed.

It's as if the narcissist is a kind of a kaleidoscope with all kinds of shards flying in space and it's not, nothing coalesced.

And these are the really, really, really bad narcissists.

These are the narcissists with no boundaries, no inhibitions, no adherence to social worries and norms and rules.


In short, these are psychopathic narcissists actually.

They're a bit psychopathic.

And a portion of these, a percentage of these narcissists are known as malignant narcissists.

And malignant narcissists are really dangerous because malignant narcissists, these are narcissists at the core, although there's no core, but you know what I mean.

The basis is the narcissist, the foundation.

And on top of that, like a wedding cake, you have a psychopathic layer and a sadistic layer to say this.

And so this is the gift that keeps giving if you're, if you find yourself in the ambit or orbit of this kind of narcissism.

So you can't reduce narcissism to three sentences in scientific American.

So hyper complex phenomenon.

But yeah, if a child keeps getting told that he is, that, you know, he is the embodiment of unificence and magnificence and, and especially if the child is denied access to reality.

When you tell a child, you can do no wrong.

What you're telling the child is don't listen to reality.

This reality pushes back.

Reality is harsh.

Reality keeps telling you you are mistaken or you're stupid or you should deal.

And so the parent is informing the child, don't listen to reality.

Reality is wrong.

You're always right.

And so this is to cut the child off reality.

That's why it's abusive.

Pempering, spoiling, pedestalizing, idolizing, these are forms of abuse.

They're not good parenting.

These kind of parents are also usually overprotective.

So they isolate the child from peer groups.

They don't allow the child to be exposed to peers or at least not meaningful.

Or homeschooling.

Would homeschooling come into that equation?

Yeah, homeschooling could come into that or you're not allowed to play out or if, or I'm going to join you.

So there are kinds of helicopter parents who can join the kid.

Wherever the kid goes, they're there.

Never give the kid a long time, especially not with peers.

Chest eyes and castigate an attack.

Other role models such as teachers.

So teacher is always wrong.

Teacher has some, you know, hates the kid.

She's envious of the kid or she's, you know, so they inject a streak of paranoia, paranoid ideation.

So this kind of child is totally thwarted and distorted.

And it reminds me of Victor Hugo.

Victor Hugo wrote a book, not a lot.

And in this book he describes a phenomenon which in the 19th century was quite prevalent and they were known as kopacikosim.

Kopacikosim were children who were abducted as babies by itinerants, gypsies, sorry for the word.

And then the children were inserted into bottles and they grew up inside the bottle and they took on the shape of the bottle.

And then they became circus freaks and circus attractions and they made a lot of money for their owners and so on.

This was, it was a red phenomenon.

The child with an idealized object is this kind of child.

It is put in a bottle of the parents making and it acquires the shape of the bottle.

Now the parent projects onto this kind of child, unfulfilled wishes, expectations, spoken and unspoken.

The parent dictates the child's behavior, micromanages the child and instrumentalizes the child.

The child's role is to bring glory to the parent.

The parent secures narcissistic supply vicariously through the child and the child is penalized.

So the child learns, penalize if he fails.

So the child learns to link love with performance and he has a perception of love, it's totally transactional.

So it's a really f-ed up child at the very end of this cycle.

And these kind of parents are as bad as parents who commit incest or physical abuse or whatever, even to some extent more pernicious.

One of the reasons this kind of parenthood is a lot more threatened is because it's socially acceptable and even socially condoned.

You know, we have this education system where every child is amazing.

Every child is perfect.

Every child is the greatest talent since Einstein, if not earlier.

No child can do wrong.

There are consolation prizes for everyone.

Everyone is a winner.

No one is a loser.

So the education system, especially I must say in the United States, isolate children from reality, embeds them in a fantasy bubble of their own grandeur, grandeur, their own, you know, this kind of education system fosters grandiosity as a cognitive distortion.

And collaborates in cahoots with parents who find this amazing because they want every parent wants to believe that their children are amazing and incredible, super intelligent and I know why.

So there's a collusion here, a collusion to create a fantastic space where the child would never ever find who he truly is.

Who he truly is, warts and all.

So it's really bad out there because this practice, as I said, is part and parcel in the fabric of modern society and modern education and modern parenting skills and modern everything.

Parents are told their children are sensitive.

It should never be written.

You should never shout at them.

And so I strongly disagree.

I think these are all pedagogical tools.

They're all educational tools that should be available to a parent.

I think suffering and pain and loss are the greatest engines of personal development.

And if you deny them to the child, he will never develop.

Once this child is out of the family, I don't know how to call it, next, shall we say bubble, or whatever, this kind of child is going to suffer disproportionately more than well-constrained children.

So would you be recommending some kind of clinical intervention or some kind of therapeutic intervention or just coaching parents?


First of all, it is extremely bad practice to diagnose narcissism, ethnological narcissism prior to age 21.

And some authorities like Twenge and Campbell say 25.

So we should, because the brain, for example, is not completed until age 25.

Critical parts of the brain are missing until age 25, including major executive functions.

Second thing is grandiosity is a good, healthy thing in adolescence.

Adolescence need to be grandiose in order to break away from the family and take on the world.

Or you need to be seriously grandiose to think at age 14 that you can succeed in the world or you can say goodbye to mommy and daddy.

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