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The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism #4 March 23, 2010

Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
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18 comments

I never could have imagined that so many people would read my 3-part series Close Encounter with a Narcissist.  Or imagined how many people would leave comments detailing their own often heart-wrenching “close encounters.”

When I check my blog stats (something us bloggers obsessively do), I like to check the “search engine terms” people typed in before they were electronically dropped off at my blog’s doorstep.

In this new series, The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism, I’ll use a “search term” I’ve come across as a jumping off point for a discussion. (Please read the Close Encounter with a Narcissist series first, or it’s like walking in after the movie’s started.  Shhhh!)  Here goes.

“Are all narcissists charismatic?

A growing number of celebrities/politicos have been been dubbed by the media as Narcissists.  While it’s true that those with narcissistic traits are often drawn to professions that allow them to be front and center, I worry that this only perpetuates the myth that all narcissists are charismatic svengalis who believe they can walk on water.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, most people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are downright ordinary. Shlubs.  That’s right.  I’ve resorted to Yiddish to describe how pathetic these people are.

Presidential hopeful John Edwards and Tiger Woods have both been called narcissists. Maybe. Maybe not. There’s a big difference between having narcissistic traits and having full-on Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Only those closest to a Narcissist can see these people for what they are, or more importantly, for what they aren’t.

Most people with NPD are not natural charmers, though they can certainly turn on the charm when it suits them (like during the Idealization Phase or when dealing with total strangers).  No, they are downright ordinary, and on some level, they know just how ordinary they and their lives are. Their false self, or the image that they project to the public, attempts to disguise the oh-so ordinary nature of their lives.  No wonder so many of them come across as blow hards or just a$$holes.  At best, they’re legends in their own minds.

Read The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism #5.

Photo Credit:  Jan Marshall

Comedy Traffic School – Not! March 15, 2010

Posted by alwaysjan in Personal.
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7 comments

I was speeding.  I admit it.  But the time should fit the crime.  What on earth possessed me to sign up for online Comedy Traffic School?  “I don’t hear you laughing,” my husband called to me from the next room during what turned out to be a 7-hour ordeal.  On a Saturday.

It didnt help that I’d spent so much on time on the computer in the past three weeks that my husband accused me of hooking up with terrorists in a chat room and planning to kill the Swedish cartoonist who made the mistake of putting Mohammed’s head on the body of a dog.  I assured him that as a die-hard Pearls Before Swine fan, that was too lightweight to even register on my radar.  By the way, did you know that “Radar spelled backwards is radar?”

Just to make sure you don’t go straight to the questions, you’re warned that odd sentences are planted in the text.  You need to be able to recall these to prove you read EVERY word of the California Vehicle Code.  So one minute you’re reading about how high the fog lights, er I mean lamps, need to be off the ground, and then you suddenly bump smack into a clunker like, “My favorite fern is my best frond.”  or “Jacques Cousteau’s fingertips were always ‘pruney’.”

Just to provide some levity, there’s some side splitting jokes like the Five Things NOT To Say To a Police Officer.  The first one was, “Sorry officer, but I was reaching for my bag of crack when my gun fell off my lap and wedged between the accelerator and brake pedal forcing my car to go out of control.” Or, “Excuse me, but which one of the Village People are you?” It only got worse.

Did you know, “a Toyota” spelled backwards is “a Toyota?”  Just wanted to make sure you’re still paying attention.  More important is that you pay attention while you are driving, or you too could spend a Saturday afternoon in front of the computer with no prospect of a trip to Sweden.  “Ancient Egyptians shaved their eyebrows to mourn the death of their cats.”  Hey, you passed!

Do – Dough – D’oh! March 2, 2010

Posted by alwaysjan in Teaching.
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3 comments

A reader provided a link to this incredibly clever video featuring students in the South Pasadena School District lamenting the loss of school funds.  If education is as important as everyone says it is, how come we can’t find the money to fund it?  I’m afraid Californians are going to wake up in the not too distant future only to realize, “D’oh! We forgot to educate the kids!”

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