#428 How To Spot A Narcissist, The Impact of Toxic Relationships & Building Healthy Boundaries with Dr Ramani Durvasula

Whether it’s on the political stage, in the world of celebrity, or across social media, the word narcissist is used a lot these days. The same goes for terms like ‘gaslighting’. But do we really understand what they mean? Is their increased use a good thing, shining a light on toxic behaviours to beware of? Or do we risk diluting their impact – undermining what it really means to be stuck in a narcissistic relationship?

This episode takes a frank look at all these questions and more, with licensed clinical psychologist Dr Ramani Durvasula. She’s Professor of Psychology at California State University, a world-renowned expert on the impact of personality and personality disorders on health and behaviour and someone who is extremely passionate about the impact that narcissism can have on physical health, mental health and relationships. She has written several books, including the latest, It’s Not You: How to Identify and Heal from Narcissistic People.

We begin by exploring the true meaning of narcissism, its prevalence within society, the evolutionary explanation for narcissistic traits, the impact that narcissistic behaviours can have on our relationships and why it is that society seems to reward these traits, making them synonymous with success and fame.

Dr Ramani believes too many people are harmed by narcissists. As a survivor herself, she’s made it her life’s work to raise awareness of how they can wreak havoc in relationships, families, workplaces and more. By exposing the traits and refusing to celebrate them, she wants to empower and protect people’s health.

It’s Not You is the title of her book because Dr Ramani wants survivors of narcissism to know they’re not at fault. She believes you can get to a place of ‘radical acceptance’ where, even if you can’t leave, you can acknowledge a person’s behaviour is not OK and you’re not at fault. And during this conversation she outlines some of the ways you can get there, how you can protect yourself in future, and how to start healing if you have been hurt.

This conversation is slightly different in topic and tone from what you may be used to on this podcast. But I do think that this is an important topic that is probably not spoken about enough. For me, it really was an honour to have such a deep and honest conversation about this topic with someone as passionate and articulate as Dr Ramani. I hope you enjoy listening.


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