December 16th, 2010

moon

QotD: Narcissistic Defenses

Any nonnarcissistic person can sound arrogant or devaluing, or empty and idealizing, under conditions that strain his or her identity and confidence. Medical school and psychotherapy training programs are famous for taking successful, autonomous adults and making them feel like incompetent children. Compensatory behaviors like bragging, opinionated proclamations, hypercritical commentary, or idealization of a mentor are to be expected under such circumstances.
--Nancy McWilliams in Psychoanalytic Diagnosis, p195