Narcissism and Shame (therapy in philadelphia, ocean city, mechanicsville, santa fe)
Narcissism and shame go hand in hand in so many ways. Narcissists carry a LOT of shame. From mistakes made in the past, fear of not being enough, to fear of criticism in the present and future. For many narcissists their lives are rather shame-based but, they will never admit it. Facing shame is something incredible uncomfortable and difficult for most narcissistic individuals. To admit to shame means to become vulnerable, to let go of control, and to face the fear head on. These 3 tasks are not in a narcissist’s skill set. Shame is an essential emotion, we all have it, and it is often misunderstood. Facing one’s shame is necessary in creating meaningful and intimate relationships. Narcissist’s issues with shame is a major reason narcissists struggle to maintain friendships, experience true intimacy, and struggle with self-esteem.
Narcissists fear and despise facing their shame so much so, that their way to survive is to project their own shame on to those around them. As they continue to blame, shame, and criticize those around him/her, they are able to distance from their own shame as well as feel better about themselves now that they can view those around him/her as flawed.
Shame is a hidden emotion
Shame is often a misunderstood emotion. And just as often its’s mistaken with guilt. Guilt means you’re aware your actions were wrong and someone else may have been hurt in the process. Healthier functioning individuals who experience shame use the emotion and experience to correct their actions in the future, grow and move forward. In a narcissist’s world, even if they haven't done anything wrong, they feel as though they did something wrong. Its about regret, not feeling like you made a mistake, but feeling like you ARE a mistake. Common thoughts associated with shame include: “I am worthless.” “I am a failure.” “Why would anyone want to love a failure?” The shame for narcissists is carried deep within, and often impacts one’s feeling of worth, that they cant bring themselves to share with anyone.
Avoid and Blame
How do narcissists typically cope with shame? By avoiding and blaming. As previously mentioned, trying to get a narcissist to face and talk about the shame he/she is carrying is an incredibly tall order. Narcissists are so uncomfortable with deeper emotions, especially shame that they would rather put off facing this hidden, negative emotion at all costs. They will criticize and blame others in order to avoid feeling like a failure. Whether they blame others for their own mistakes made, or they take something completely new and separate from their own mistakes criticizing the flaws they believe they see in others.
Consequences of avoiding shame
Avoiding shame negatively impacts relationships; most likely intimacy is difficult to attain in the relationship. Narcissists are worried about losing control and becoming too vulnerable, because if they becoming vulnerable, they are susceptible to feeling their shame. It is nearly impossible to achieve true closeness with a controlling and distance person. In addition it is difficult to want to be close with someone who is constantly blaming, criticizing, and questioning every action you take. It’s also difficult to feel close to someone who instead of trying to understand you, wants you to say and do things differently from how you naturally behave. This kind of criticizing can send the message that “you are not enough.” As one continues to avoid, and as the shame continues to build, it’s understandable if one’s self-esteem becomes damaged in the process. Someone who avoids shame is someone who is so fearful of criticism from others and eventually, rejection.
Whether you are dealing with narcissistic traits and shame yourself, or you are on the receiving end of someone avoiding shame, it is imperative to address the shame you experience. To face all possible factors and layers of shame means to be vulnerable and therefore ready for intimacy. As for the type of intimacy, that is up to you. Avoiding shame negatively impacts relationships, because narcissists are blaming others and probably avoiding certain aspects of intimacy in order to avoid shame.
You can self schedule an in-person or virtual therapy session at the Center for Growth by calling (215) 922-5683 x 100.
For your convenience we have 5 physical therapy and counseling offices and provide virtual therapy and counseling services in Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Virginia.
360 West Ave, Floor 1, Ocean City, NJ 08226
9044 Mann Drive, Mechanicsville Virginia, 23116
233 S. 6th Street, C-33, Philadelphia PA 19106
2401 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 1a2, Philadelphia PA 19130
· Santa Fe Therapy Office, 2204 B Brothers Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87505
· Telemedicine: We have therapists who are licensed to work in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Virginia New Mexico and Pennsylvania
Therapy Services Offered in Philadelphia, Ocean City, Mechanicsville, Santa Fe:
Individual Counseling and therapy
Couples Counseling and marriage counseling
Teen Therapy and Adolescent Therapy and tweens and child counseling
Family Therapy and multi-generational counseling
Art Therapy and Counseling no art skills needed
ADHD Therapyand ADD, Dyslexia, Autism, Tourettes counseling
Anxiety, Panic, OCD Therapy and worry and fear support
Breaking the cycle of Codependency and being your own person
Overcoming Chronic Illness and Chronic Pain .
Depression Therapy and sadness, gloom, and upset support
- Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) Therapy is a particular style of therapy designed for people with problems affecting their nervous system, how the brain and body send and receive signals.
Grief Therapy and loss, End of A Relationship, rejections, pregnancy and loss and therapy
Mindfulness Based Therapy and spirituality based therapy
- Narcissistic Abuse Recovery child of, parent of, spouse of, sibling of a narcissist.
Sex Therapy and sexual function & dysfunction, sex addiction, sexual orientation and gender identity support
Trauma Therapy both emotional and sexual abuse, complex trauma, PTSD counseling
Affairs, Infidelity, Unfaithful, Cheating counseling
Personality disorder treatments Narcissist, Borderline, Histrionic