Saturday January 03, 2015

A Field Guide to the Narcissist

Listen 54:00

We all know one. Maybe you are one. If you are, you probably don't know it. Mary Hynes brings us tales of survival: working with - and living with - the narcissist.

Narcissus was an amateur. He may have fallen in love with his own reflection, but ours is an age of rampant self absorption: the selfies, the status updates, the self-esteem movement.

Trevor Cole tells us what it's like to grow up with a father who believes Everything Is About Him. Who could forget the summer of 1969? That's when when dad declared his was a family of nudists - even when company came over.

Trevor is a writer and novelist.  His first novel, Norman Bray, In the Performance of his Life, was inspired by his father's narcissistic personality. The book was a finalist for a Governor General's Award. Below, Trevor's dad, Bill Cole, talks about himself making a living as a stage actor.


Jeffrey Kluger, editor at large at Time, has written a new book: The Narcissist Next Door: Understanding the Monster in your Family, In Your Office, in Your Bed - In Your World. Kluger has met more narcissists than he cares to remember - and admits to a touch of the disorder himself. (Journalism = common narcissist breeding ground.)

See how you rank on the narcissism scale. Take the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. It's 40 questions long and only takes a few minutes. Remember, the average person's score is 15.5 and reality TV stars score about 19.5 - just a notch under imprisoned sociopaths...