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“LAWS” of HUMAN NATURE by R. Green (cont)
2. of NARCISSISM: Transform Self-Love into Empathy
Humans have the natural ability to empathize & connect with others. Unfortunately, we get blinded by self-absorption. As children, our sense of self-worth is tied to the attention we receive & the quality of our interactions. As adults, the problem comes when we rely on how well others treat us to feel worthy & alive.
We all have narcissistic tendencies, to varying degrees.
– Deep narcissists (NPDs) lack a cohesive sense of self, so their self-worth comes entirely from others’ attention and validation. In relationships they take everything personally, demand control , everyone’s total focus being on themselves, & are expert manipulators.
– Most of us are functional narcissists in the middle of the spectrum. We may slip into moments of self-absorption, but have a strong-enough sense of self to pull out of it.
– Healthy narcissists have a strong, resilient sense of self. They direct their sensitivity outward – in the form of empathy toward people or focused creativity in their work, instead of only not themselves.
SHIFT Toward HEALTHY NARCISSISM
Recognize deep narcissism in others to avoid being sucked into toxic relationships. Be honest about your true nature, & work to develop :
a. Analytic empathy: Gather info about the others so you truly to know them (family relationships, values, emotional triggers)
b. Empathetic attitude: Assume you’re ignorant about people so you can be truly curious about their point of view. In your daily conversations :
☼ set aside your judgments / biases
☼ stop your endless inner dialogues, & fully listen
☼ don’t assume they have your same /or similar views
☼ be open to new discoveries.
c. Visceral empathy:
‣ Pay attention to people’s reactions (facial expressions, body language & tone of voice)
‣ Use mirroring to develop a stronger connection (mimic their tone or expression, nod & smile as you listen)
d. Use direct/indirect feedback to develop your empathetic skills: ask about their thoughts / feelings to verify your guesses, then pay attention to their responses & rapport.
“LAWS” – cont.
3. of Role Playing
People tend to wear the mask that shows them off in the best possible light – humble, confident, diligent…. trying to hide their true personality. It’s a form of impression management – wanting to influence other’s perceptions.
If we take this appearance for reality, we never really know their true feelings, & on occasion get blindsided by their sudden resistance, hostility or manipulations.
RESPONSE : See though the masks & become a master at reading body language, as well as presenting yourself optimally.
4. of Compulsive Behavior
People never do something just once. They will inevitably repeat their bad behavior.
RESPONSE : Learn about people’s character types. When choosing who to work / associate with, don’t be mesmerized by their reputation or surface image. Instead, determine their strengths & weaknesses.
Also, assess your own – correcting negative compulsive patterns so you have control of your choices
5. of Covetousness
People continually desire to possess what they don’t have. Most don’t really want truth & facts, rather wanting their imagination lifted & ego boosted.
RESPONSE : Become an elusive object of desire – a little absence will spark interest, so creating an air of mystery will make you highly desirable.
Also, ‘covet’ a closer connection to reality, accepting what you can & can’t change, and be OK with both, which brings calmness
6. of Shortsightedness
People tend to overreact to present circumstances, & ignore what
will happen in the future. It makes them vulnerable when things take an unexpected turn.
RESPONSE : Surround yourself with those who understand the consequences of their actions & have a bold vision. Elevate your own perspective – learn to focus on the long-term, considering the bigger picture, so you gain the patience & clarity to achieve almost any goal
NEXT : Human Nature (#3)