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Remember the first time you listen to the show, you probably didn't know what to expect, does it? The first time I walk into a Good Vibrations store in San Francisco. I was 21 years old, curious, new to town. And the first thing they said to me was, let's talk about your orgasms. I felt my world expand, but no one had ever asked me that before. And by the way, I hadn't had one. That's why I was there.

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I walked out with my first vibrator and a newfound comfort for talking about sex and, well, the rest is history. It was the first story I ever trusted with my pleasure. And I still do. And like me, they test everything for you in advance. You've probably heard the shows with my friend Coyote while she's in charge of deciding what they sell and what they don't. I like to call her the surgeon general of sex toys. She approves.

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No, it's a good product. Good Vibrations as beautiful shops all over the country. An amazing website. And they're the experts behind my online store shop with Emily. So before you buy something as personal as a sex toy, check in with Good Vibrations. Go to sex with Emily dot com Good Vibrations. That sex with them come Good Vibrations.

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Narcissistic people are often fantastic salespeople because they have a tremendous ability to study another person, get the intel and use it for their own narcissistic needs. Look into his eyes, they're the eyes of a man obsessed by six eyes that mock our sacred institutions, bedroom eyes, they call them in a bygone. You're listening to sex with Emily. I'm Dr. Emily, and I'm here to help you prioritize your pleasure and liberate the conversation around sex.

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Today, we're talking all about narcissism with one of the top experts on these disturbing personality types, Dr. Ramani Durvasula. Dr. Rahmani is a licensed clinical psychologist who's on a mission to demystify and dismantle the toxic influence of narcissism on all of our lives. Her book is Should I Stay or Should I Go? We talk about everything related to narcissism, like the telltale signs of this kind of personality, what to do if you think your partner is one, you find out who they're typically attracted to as well.

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And she goes into detail about manipulation tactics and explains those buzzwords like love, bombing and gaslighting. Really think you're going to enjoy the show? She is the renowned expert and I found all of this fascinating. And a lot of you are calling and emailing about your toxic relationship patterns. I think this is going to be super eye-opening. All right. Intentions of family for each episode. Join me in setting an intention. When you're listening, what do you want to get out of listening to this episode?

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It could be damn. I want to figure out if my partner is a narcissist. My intention is to show you what it truly is and how to make sure you don't get taken advantage of in the future. Oh, we have a new survey. It is our better sex survey in 12 days of Xmas sponsored by Pure Lube.

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Love their lube. We want to hear about what you've got going on right now. What are your six goals for the New Year? And there's also going to be prizes for 12 days from pure we vibe, womanizer, yea lap and more. So all you have to do is take the survey to enter. It only takes a few minutes. And I actually got an email today from someone who said that she was really inspired by it. She said it really got me to think differently about my sex life.

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So I think you're going to like it. I want to hear from you. Go to sex with Emily dot com slash survey and do it. It's fun, I promise. Also, if you have any questions you want to ask me, you can call me directly. It is Monday through Friday, five to seven p.m. Pacific. I can help you figure out those next steps to your sex or relationship goals and the number you want keep this is eight eight nine four seven eight two seven seven.

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That's eight eight eight nine four seven eight two seven seven. All right.

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Enjoy the show. Dr. Romilly, welcome to the show. Thank you, Emily. So nice to be here and to get this chance to reach your audience with some of this information.

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When I first heard about you see my friend Jen Cohen and she said to me, this was a me, I was fascinated, her interview. And then I just went down the rabbit hole of all your videos on YouTube. So let's just before we just start throwing around the term narcissism, let's first define narcissism.

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Yeah. So narcissism is like you and I have spoken about. It's a very misunderstood term. It's characterized by a lack of empathy, entitlement, grandiosity, arrogance, a constant need for validation and admiration there. They're often very controlling in relationships. They're very sensitive to criticism. They take advantage of other people. They can be quite manipulative. They're very prone to rage. And they don't do well with frustration, stress or disappointment at those times. They do tend to really blow up.

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Those are kind of the top notes are very prone to envy. They covet what other people have actually in some cases, they often feel quite victimized, that life didn't give them everything that they think that they deserve.

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OK, so that's a great that's a great overall picture of it. And then in listening to this, I think, will I get stressed? I get upset sometimes. I mean, how do you know when it's a problem, when someone's actually because is we could use the term too much.

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So how do you I think that one of the things that confuses a lot of people is like, does this person have a diagnosis? You can call someone narcissistic. That's a diagnosis is actually not there is something called narcissistic personality disorder, which is actually not that common. We see it maybe three to five percent of the population. But this pattern of narcissism is quite a bit more common. I mean, we don't have any good we don't have great statistics on it.

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If you actually ask me to spitball a number, I'd say probably closer to 15 to 20 percent of people. That might even be an underestimate. But you ask, when is it too much? You know, it's one of those things when other people are really being affected negatively by it. I agree with you. There are times I was on hold today for thirty minutes with someone and I was incensed. The woman who answered the phone was clearly, you know, felt bad that she put me on hold and then she put me on hold for another fifteen minutes to clean up the mess.

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And I'm seething at this point. But I thought I was able to say this woman is not responsible for this.

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This poor woman is far down the chain. She's just doing her job. It's late in the time zone she's in. You know, instead of I'm not going to get angry at her, I'm going to say, OK, this is maybe I should consider whether I'm going to keep doing business with this company, but I'm not going to take it out on her. A person with a narcissistic personality style would never make that discernment. They would have gone to town on that woman.

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How dare you how dare you waste my important time? A person who's really narcissistic just can't turn it off. They lash out. They rage. These are the people who will just make messes and later on apologize. And since everybody is used to giving them second chances, they just keep getting away with it over and over. And that's the pattern. Going to make a mess. I'm going to yell at people. I'm going to hurt people's feelings, and then I'm going to say sorry and it's OK.

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And then I'm going to do it again because there's really no consciousness around it.

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Then it's a pattern and people have been enabling them perhaps that for their entire lives.

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Is that I'm saying it's you that fancy clinical terms. We say that they have low self reflective capacity. This is a really fancy way of saying they're absolutely unaware of who they are, what they say, how other people around them feel. And the deeper, darker part of it is they really don't care. You know, they can care when they need to care. And what they and this is what really bothers people. People say, golly, I was in a relationship with the narcissist and for the first month, he or she was the most attentive human being I've ever dated in my life.

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Like they remembered every detail about me. My birthday was pitch perfect. Like everything was like it was perfect. So obviously they have the capacity for this. If they had no capacity for empathy, they'd never get it right. They they're often narcissistic. People are often fantastic salespeople because they have a tremendous ability to study another person, get the intel and use it for their own narcissistic needs. Does that make sense? If I'm having empathy for you, Dr.

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Emily, it's because you're a lovely person. I've heard great things about you. You're another human being.

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I care about, you know, whether or not we were doing this show, you know, it's not like, well, I'm going to be nice to Emily. You remember my show and then I'm going to cut Emily loose. You know, it's not that. My point is, is that people often say, how can you say narcissist doesn't have empathy? They had a lot of empathy in the beginning and then it went away. What they have is this really incredible ability to turn that empathy on and off to suit their own personal needs.

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So I know you've seen so many people over the years in in your office and you've written about it. You've research extensively. But what if you have to say, is there a common story that you hear to explain if someone's going well? Well, I don't know if I'm going to if it's narcissistic, you know, I can't tell. Is there is there something you could kind of paint a picture you could paint for us? The client comes in and sits.

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And here's the story, dating a narcissist, you really look and you start counting up how many justifications they make for this person's behavior, the justification is the signature of the narcissistic relationship. Listen, none of us are perfect. Any of us who are in relationships know that we sometimes do say, you know what is my partner is not the best in the evening because he or she wakes up really early in the morning, whatever. But this is regular justification is No.

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One. It's making excuses for big ticket stuff because you want it to work out because you're used to making those kinds of excuses from early in life. A lot of people who might have had a narcissistic parent, for example, they're much more likely to choose a narcissistic partner. It's almost like it's familiar. But I think another thing that people will often point out in terms of some of those early red flags, they would notice a real sensitivity to criticism.

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They'd say, gosh, this person could really dish it out. But if anyone even made a tiny little joke at them, they would blow up and it would feel so disproportionate. And in those early days, especially of dating, they might say something like, I just assumed because he was drunk or I just assumed that this is something that maybe she was bullied about in the past, didn't stop to think like, wow, that is a disproportionate, really poorly regulated reaction.

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And that hypersensitivity to criticism combined with that need, that you feel like you're always making justifications for their behavior. Oh, they're late. They have a busy job. Oh, they got angry. They've been drinking too much. Or, you know, they didn't ask me how I was feeling even though I lost my job last week. But, you know, they're distracted and maybe they feel guilty, like always, always making these kinds of excuses.

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And I also have to say, a lot of people in relationships with narcissists who don't see those early red flags are doing a lot of what I call storytelling. They want this to work out the reason a lot of people marry a narcissist is bad luck and timing. They meet them at an age when they're like, I want to get married and I don't want to spend another six, 12 months finding someone else there. There's enough good things about this person.

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OK, let's make it work. And it'll be the single worst decision of their lives, because if you think dating a narcissist is bad, try divorcing one. It is literally one of the most nightmarish things a person would go through, especially if there's children involved. And so this idea of a biological clock at thirty five has resulted in many a narcissistic marriage. Wow.

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We always talk about in the end, we're talking about sex and relationships that people covid that the honeymoon phase, that early part of a relationship when everything was amazing and they were having sex all the time and never and I always say like that was a very small portion of the relationship that we're talking the first three months. But a lot of people live there. They live in that place. And sometimes it's like, you know, I hear from a lot of it, like they were so nice or a lot of times it's about the sex that what you're hearing is there's this bright light, they turn on you.

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It's this intense focus to bring you under their layer. In a way, it's a manipulation, is what we're saying early on. It is.

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It's a manipulation. It's also a dream. If you really want to go primal with this, what does every child crave to be seen, to be loved unconditionally, to be really just sort of the center of a parent's universe? A lot of kids don't get that. And so the idea of sometimes in adult relationships as a person falls in love, especially if they didn't get that there's a craving for that. It's almost like this is where I'm going to work through the father for whom I was never enough, or the mother for whom I was never enough.

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Now I'm going to be enough. And in the midst of this whole love bombing idealisation seduction kind of a phase, that's where we start entering something. And I'm going to use a technical term and explain it called cognitive dissonance. Now, cognitive dissonance is this idea that we have a really hard time holding two things that don't agree in our mind at the same time. So the old story on that is sour grapes, right? The fox saw the grapes.

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The grapes are really juicy and yummy. The fox couldn't reach them. So to help the Fox deal with the bad feeling of like, there's yummy grapes, I can't jump that high. The Fox says of those grapes are probably sour anyhow. Well, a different kind of thing happens in the cognitive dissonance around a narcissistic relationship in this idealized, seductive love Bomi time. People want to keep this and want this to last. Love bombing lasts anywhere from four to 12 weeks on average.

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So in the short bay, about a month of along about three months, much longer than that. Sometimes some people have told me six months. And that's a bit of an outlier. And what they want is they want that to last. But the next step in a narcissistic relationship after idealization and seduction is devaluation. The narcissist does this interesting game for them. They're really, really interested in the chase, in the hunt. And so and a lot of people almost resist it.

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And when the person finally things like this, really, I finally did get my fairy tale. I deserved this.

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They they really do the. They kind of push all the chips to the middle of the table and they get all in. And then when the narcissist knows they have you, that's when the devaluation phase starts. It's almost instantaneous. Like people say, gosh, just when I moved in, this thing started going south at right after I left my job and moved to the other coast. This thing stopped working out like, yeah, because the love bombing was done.

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They've got you. Once they got you, they have contempt for you.

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You could set your watch by it. Now, let's explain. Love bombing, if you will. Let's break that down. What that exactly is.

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So love bombing doesn't always look the same. So when the classical kind of grandiose model love bombing is really sort of the cinematic kind of seductive experience, the person's really handsome, charming, charismatic, you do really cool stuff, but everything's too fast. It's very, very intense. And people will describe this is like this person understands me, like I've never been understood before. I think I found my soul mate. I this is a once in a lifetime love story.

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And again, intense and fast, people will start traveling together very quickly. Hey, I'm going to the Bahamas next week. And meanwhile, it's like your third date. Probably not a good idea to fight at the Bahamas on your third date unless you already live in the Bahamas. OK, so it all happens fast. You're meeting friends, you're meeting family. There might be expensive gifts. There might be a quick move like, hey, my lease is up.

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We've been spending twenty four, seven together. You move in really quickly after like six weeks and it seems like it's all just about a convenience. But we're together all the time. You do you neglect other stuff in your life, you might find yourself taking time off from work. What happens at a time when you do have more time and you're with this person all the time? There's a lot of intensive ness in terms of good morning. Good morning, princess.

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Thinking about you, babe, what you do in Babe at night. And it's interesting because this is there's something very Stocki about the people like, oh, I love the good morning take. Feels good. Yeah. You just need to know where you are all the time and show me where you are is they want to make sure they know your whereabouts and all of this. I mean, sorry for being the anti cupid, but a lot of the stuff that's gotten romanticized is actually kind of stalking and it is the beginning of a controlling dynamic.

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And so not all love bombing is grandiose and presents and one hundred roses showing up at your office kind of thing. Some love bombing is really what I call like sort of a it's a rescuing love bombing. And what happens in in this happens with the different kind of narcissism with the person. It's what we call covert narcissism. Covert narcissists aren't so big and charismatic and charming, they tend to be a bit more victimised, resentful, sullen, and they feel angry at the world and they never got their shot.

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And why didn't they? Why didn't the world see how great they are? And when people meet them, people who are naturally rescuer's will often feel like, well, gosh, this poor person seems so talented and they never got their chance. And in the early phases of the relationship, the covert narcissists, like I said, may not be the one hundred dozen roses or the the sunset cruise, but maybe more of the they tell you everything about themselves.

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They tell you about how terrible their childhood was. They tell you these really kind of sad, victimized stories. And they say, you know, I just wish somebody would have believed in me. You know, you seem like an amazing person. You seem like you get me and you're like, you want to be that amazing person who gets them. And so before you know it, you're alone in the money. You're giving them your car. You're making calls to get them connections.

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And that love bombing feels different, but it's still very love by because you're getting sucked into this idea that you're going to be the one that kisses the frog and turns them into a prince.

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We're going to be the one that changes them. I'm talking to Dr. Romney when we come back. We talk about why narcissists are really insecure and after Romney breaks down Jeffrey Epstein's manipulation tactics.

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[00:19:31]

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[00:19:49]

Dr. Romney, thank you for being here, this is such a great conversation and super helpful for everyone to spot it because there is an aha moment when she says she if you're somebody who is a fixer and you think, you know, we talk ourselves into it saying, well, they're not that bad, they only forgot my birthday once or they only didn't ask me how to do it just just twice. And so is there a personality type of people that you find drawn to narcissistic partners?

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It's a pretty wide range. I think there are certain personality styles or people with certain histories that are a little bit more vulnerable. I think people like you call them rescuer's or Fixer's highly empathic people are often get corralled into relationships with narcissists. When people meet someone at a transitional time of their life. So you meet it's often easy to get stuck into a narcissistic relationship when you're new in a city, at a new college, in a new job, when you're traveling.

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So these sort of transitional times when you're kind of destabilized, you could even be if you've just experienced a big loss, some in your family has died or you've gone through a divorce. So you're not quite a fully on your feet. That's another time that people are very vulnerable to narcissists. People have histories of trauma. Their decision making in relationships is often impacted in the long term, and they will often find themselves in relationships characterized by almost further ongoing invalidation.

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And believe it or not, like people obviously had. Narcissistic parents, not surprisingly, are more likely to choose narcissistic partners. But there's one group that might be you might be surprised that people who grew up in really, really, really happy families are actually tremendous narcissistic. And I'll tell you why they are so used to love solving everything. And people are good and their families leave and say, oh, come on, give them a shot, because we're a family that draws together and he's just part of our family.

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So we're going to love him back. And you'll see these people who really believe that love and family is also good and they sometimes take it real hard because they refuse to believe these ideas, like people really don't change so they can get stuck for a long time. So you can see it's a pretty wide range of people who are quite vulnerable to this really hard.

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But I love that you're saying is that so often we do think with hard work and consciousness and maybe a little therapy, people can change if they want to change. What about the narcissist?

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The narcissistic personality style is really, really, really resistant to change these kinds of high conflict. Antagonistic, difficult personalities are super rigid. You think of something rigid, it's like something heavy. You can't move it, can't bend it. And this is no different. And so because of that, they're just not amenable to change. And remember, most narcissistic, there's nothing to change. They are more likely to blame other people. This is other people's fault.

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This is the world's fault. You know, this isn't about me. I didn't do anything wrong. And because they're so quick to deflect blame on other people and they're not able to internalize their accountability, their responsibility, they just don't take it. And so there's no motivation for them to change. And if there's no motivation to change, a person's never going to change. So the likelihood of successful therapy with a narcissist is tough because the majority of them don't think that what they're doing is a problem.

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Now, if you put someone in front of me was like, listen, I see all these patterns of myself. I'm not empathic enough. I do. I don't think the rules apply to me. You know, I'm kind of a jerk. And I see now that I've heard a lot of people I'd like to commit to changing. Now, you've given me something I can work with now. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to work, because what it does mean is that for the rest of that narcissistic person's life, they have to be mindful in all of their interactions.

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They don't get to go have their usual rageful temper tantrums. They actually have to take the time to pay attention to other people's feelings.

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And quite frankly, that's exhausting for a narcissist, especially if it's your behavior, your conditioning, your your life. If you're forty years old, they are like it's OK to start paying attention and being empathic. It's a whole new skill set. So let's back let's back up for a second. I'm curious, how does someone become a narcissist like isn't you that we're all born is you babies.

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We all have the same opportunities to grow into a kind human being. Or is it is it nature, nurture? What do you think about it?

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It's more nurture than nature, but it's definitely there is a little bit of nature in there. We are born. We're not actually all born, made to begin now. I just yeah, it is a nice thought, but it's not true. And some people are born with more difficult temperaments. Some kids are born highly, highly, highly sensitive. They're very difficult to soothe. It's harder for them to form attachments. So some people actually believe that narcissism is a post traumatic state, that that's that's one explanation.

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It actually holds some water, that a person is narcissistic, actually didn't have safe and consistent early attachments. They have very anxious attachments. They're very avoidant of. And dismissive attachments, their emotional worlds weren't often sufficiently fed, sometimes their material worlds were they'd get a bike every Christmas, they'd have the latest video games. They get to go to lots of theme parks. They may have grown up in a beautiful home, but none of their emotional needs were ever met.

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Add that in with their highly difficult or highly sensitive temperaments that it can really make a sort of a volatile combination. And then these are kids who sometimes in some cases are really kind of they start to realize that they're only validated when they perform. So if they look pretty or they're the perfect ballerina or the perfect soccer player, they get the basketball trophy or they win the spelling bee, then they're loved. But if those things aren't going on, the parents aren't that interested.

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So it's almost like the kid feels like a performing pony rather than as a human being. And then they go into adult life, they retain that performing pony feel to them rather than a fully empathic feeling person.

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Oh, God. I mean, it makes so much sense. I mean, because that is our society, right. It's all about achievement. Are looking good or feeling good. So it makes sense why a lot of us get caught up in this perfectionist loop where we're all about achieving. Once I get the next thing, then the next thing. The next thing I'll be happy.

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So what we're talking about then is early caregivers who aren't allowing us to experience the range of our emotions and feelings like a parent to maybe who was a little bit neglectful or if your parent wasn't there for you, let's say, but the only time you're getting attention is when you do something right. So isn't a lot of it we're talking about is like emotional regulation stuff. Some of the core element of narcissism is emotional dysregulation. They don't know how to express feelings.

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There's some people that argue that people with narcissism just don't have a vocabulary to talk about feelings. But more than anything else, narcissism, the core, core, core of narcissism is insecurity. These are deeply insecure people. They constantly perceive the world as a place of threat. They always think that someone's trying to get something over on them. Have you always felt like the world is a place of threat? You'd have your fists up all the time, too.

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And so because of that chronic sense of insecurity, they tend to be insecure. People are actually really, really problematic people because they are again, they're always defending themselves against this perceived threat that often isn't there. And that's why people are narcissistic, can almost seem somewhat paranoid. But it is a that insecurity comes from a childhood where they were they never felt safe emotion. That's what it is. It's feeling safety. It is right. Comes back to the parents.

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They didn't feel safe. They didn't know they had the things, but they didn't have the safety or the consistency of parental love. Oh, what I thought about the documentary. Jeffrey Epstein, the. Did you see that? Yes. The first step was to he would bring them to give him a massage and then in the first five minutes he would ask them questions about themselves. They would reveal a lot of personal information like, oh, I've had a rough childhood, my parents have no money, I've been working hard.

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And it's all to collect data. I mean, that's an extreme example, Jeffrey Epstein. But in a sense, this is what the narcissist is doing every time they meet anybody. And for them, it's a defense mechanism to feel safe. But they're still maybe they don't recognize they're doing it right. They're collecting data constantly.

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I think they're very aware they're doing it. They're very aware they're doing it. They'll often I say, like I can read anyone give me five minutes with anyone and I've got to figure it out. So it's very intentional.

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So is there anything that we could do then? Because what we're saying is sometimes it's familiar from childhood. Right? So it's familiar. Like if our primary caretaker, one of them, let's say, was a narcissist or this behavior is familiar, we're going to confuse that for attraction.

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This should be my partner more because it's familiar, not because it's someone we should be. So we often talk on the show about breaking patterns, right? We keep dating. If you lose, if you lock eyes with someone across the bar that you think they're the one, like walk the other way right now, try to change the behavior. And so how much success? I know what the nurses might not change that much, but what about the people who keep getting in relationships with them?

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Is there some some good tips for those people?

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So I think that what happens is when people start using words like magical connection, I felt this electricity, we are so connected. I'm like now. So I think that when it feels almost irrational, primal, magical, then it's going back to some of the stuff that you're talking about, Dr. Emily, that idea of that that sort of those early primal activations of early unhealthy relationships, quite frankly. And I think that it's it's really about it's interesting.

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I say to people, one of the safer things somebody can do if they have been through a childhood experience with a mother or father, both where they were gaslighted and or they the narcissistic parent, they would do well to enter into long term relationships through the bridge of friendship because friendship doesn't have as much of the sparklies. That gets people into trouble and friendship is so much more of an intentional, deliberate kind of an experience that you do start you're almost seeing some of the flaws from a rational perspective rather than in this kind of almost like delusional, delusional love mommy experience.

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That's one great way to do it, because I think that what happens is that idea of cognitive dissonance. I was talking to you about two things, having two things that don't go together, like, wow, this person is treating me really badly. I'm crazy about this person. So what do you do? You justify their bad treatment of you. That's what that person is doing since childhood. My father is so mean and cruel to me, but dad always gets us the best presents when he travels on business.

[00:30:29]

So they have to come up with that other thing. Otherwise they have to look into the abyss and realize that dad's not a good guy, you know, really mean guy. That's really hard for a child to reconcile. So when the child has to keep making these justifications for a parent, it becomes almost automatic that they'll make them for people, including partners in adulthood. So I do think that one of the biggest issues then becomes pacing, that you need enough time to get to know this person without it being.

[00:30:59]

So that idea of the narcissist rushing the process is very much taking things to their advantage, because when things are rushed, a person can't take the time to be much more deliberate. Because remember, narcissists, believe it or not, for all their bluff and bravado, they're terrified of abandonment. And so they don't want you leaving them. They want to be the one to leave because that's the power move. But if people find them out, they do live in constant fear that people will leave them.

[00:31:23]

Yeah. Oh, God, this is fascinating. So so the Nazis is living in constant fear that someone's going to abandon them. And so then their partners, let's say they're the people who are vulnerable, are codependent. I mean, aren't they also is it more like the Nazis comes on so extreme? Like, this is my way. It's right. So you think and you're a more empathic so you're able to see both sides. Is that what it is you're like?

[00:31:47]

Well, if they're so sure about it, then it must be right. You know, what is that likely to doubt?

[00:31:52]

A hundred percent, because remember, that conviction is very seductive. It's going to be that way because addiction is seductive. Yes, because it's parental. That's why parents say we're getting in the car now or we're going to grandma's. Right. That's conviction. You're two, three. I mean, I guess that's all the conviction. You OK? That's what they're saying. And a child goes along. There's a reassurance in childhood that that's why kids need bedtimes.

[00:32:18]

That's why kids have meal times, because that that that routine and that safety is very reassuring for even when they fight against it. And believe it or not, there's a primitive need for someone to say, no, it's bedtime now. We're brushing our teeth now. We're eating now. And the child that they slowly internalize that structure, which helps them feel safe in the world. So when someone rolls up and says, we're doing it my way, believe it or not, although it sounds anti autonomous and all the things we do want a healthy adult to be, people get reassured by that.

[00:32:49]

And since so many of us are sort of plagued by our own small insecurities, we're like, well, they seem really sure of themselves. I'm not myself.

[00:32:56]

So they must be right. Exactly. I've done that so many times that people I've had to notice it now. I'm like, oh, well, they must be because I'm so looking at all the signs. I don't know if I'm right, but there are certain. So let's watch for those signs.

[00:33:08]

We're going to take a quick break. But when we come back, we're going to tell you how to break the cycle. If you keep finding yourself attracted to narcissists and the deeper problems of trauma bonding, don't go anywhere.

[00:33:23]

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[00:34:26]

Well, no questions asked, just clear answers for twenty percent off an ever really well at home lab test visit Everleigh. Well Dotcom as we enter code s w e that's Everleigh. Well Dotcom swg for twenty percent off your test Everleigh. Well at home lab tests your answers your way. Let's talk to Kim, 58, in Illinois, who was in a relationship with a narcissist for 25 years. Hi, Kim. You're on with Emily and Dr. Ramani, thanks for calling.

[00:35:04]

Oh, hi, Emily Inductor. Yes, actually, I divorced that man in the next three months. I got with exactly the same. I don't get it. I don't know why I've heard so many shows about. There's so many books. I mean, what's hard is the one I'm with now. I really want to stay with like like I like nurses, but I get fired. And the other half I absolutely adore, of course, like you say, and I'm stuck.

[00:35:39]

I'm OK. Well, Kim, I mean, I love that you're so self-aware about this, but that you were married to one and now there's been three more and you want to stay. So one of the things I'd want to know from Kim is, are these men at all reminiscent of either of her parents?

[00:35:56]

Of my parents? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Unfortunately, grew up watching this, watching my mom get beat up by my father. And I was sexually abused as a child and then physically abused by my first husband. Mm hmm.

[00:36:13]

So, you know, one thing is and, you know, I mean, obviously, you're in a relationship right now, Kim. So some of the guidance I'm giving here may or may not necessarily be on point for you. But in general, one thing I always tell people is once you get out of a relationship with a narcissist, I want a 12 month detox, 12 months single. And I'll tell you why, because it takes about that long to kind of do the work interiorly where you're like, hmm, I keep recreating the relationship I had with my mother or father or both.

[00:36:41]

I keep almost recreating my family of origin to understand the nature of the trauma bond. What makes it so magnetic? Because by having that washout period, you might actually have a little bit more perspective on the issue, because given that the pattern keeps repeating so consistently and I keep using this term trauma bond, you know, the trauma bond is this is sort of this relational glue that happens in toxic relationships where in essence, the the relationship, the unhealthy relationship is a reminder of an earlier traumatic relationship.

[00:37:16]

And so the bonding is so. So you keep calling it familiar, Dr. Emily. But this is sort of much more so. The familiarity is very much oriented around the trauma. And what happens is that then love becomes conflated with abuse. Love becomes conflated with a feeling of worthlessness. And so when a person is not having that experience, the person actually feels valued in a relationship. They may actually leave the relationship saying that I wasn't feeling it.

[00:37:44]

It kind of felt uncomfortable to give a sort of a vague reason. But when they finally do meet a respectful, kind, compassionate person, it's so foreign that it doesn't even feel like love, you know? And that to me, the trauma bond to me is the great tragedy.

[00:37:59]

And that's how they are at the beginning. You know, they're exactly what I want. And then I find out that they're a liar. They have these addictions. They write, you know, and I'm so glad that doctor, you asked me that question. No one has ever asked me if I had this with my parents and I knew I had the most horrific childhood ever. And I'm so thankful that you asked me that because I know this. I'm smart.

[00:38:28]

And you know what? I don't know what is going on. And it's like I'm trying to get him to be this real person, just real honest person. But I've been with them for seven years. Yet you just get right. And now I still stuck because he lives with me.

[00:38:46]

I mean, Kim, I hope you can break out of this because Kim, at the end of the day, the little girl you were growing up in that in that home, she deserved to be happy.

[00:38:55]

And you at some point as an adult woman. Yeah, as an adult woman, you can finally give that sense of happiness to that little girl and break out of these toxic patterns now that you know, now that the wheel is in your hands. But this really does have those childhood origins. You don't need to keep recreating what you have with your parents. Yeah, thank you.

[00:39:15]

I used to be here by myself, but it's like I want the union to do things right. And it's very, very hard for me to go on. And I truly have never lived it.

[00:39:29]

It's time. It's time, Kim.

[00:39:31]

And also therapy would be great if you have this, assuming that hasn't been asked before. A lot of the stuff we went after, Romney was saying, you take a year and work on yourself and that could be the most satisfying relationships you've had. Thank you, Kim. Thank you for calling in. Thank you so much, Dr. Rom's. You're your doctor. This was wonderful, Dr. Ramani. And it's. Dr. Daniel Romanee dot com. We'll get more information there, check out your YouTube channel.

[00:39:57]

Thank you for being here. Thank you. Thank you. Was a real pleasure. That's it for today's episode. See you on Tuesday. Thanks for listening. Sex with Emily. Be sure to, like, subscribe and give us a review wherever you listen to the podcast and share this with a friend or partner. Believe me, if you got something out of it, they will to rerelease shows on Tuesdays and Fridays and look out for a bonus episode every now and then.

[00:40:21]

Find me on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. It's all at sex with Emily. And I've been told I give a really good newsletter. So sign up at sex with Emily Dotcom and don't forget to check out our blogs. If you want to talk to me, ask your questions about your sex life, dating or relationships. Email me feedback at Sex with Emily Dotcom or call into my Sirius XM show Monday through Friday, five to seven p.m. Pacific and call me Triple eight.

[00:40:48]

Ninety four stars. That's Triple eight nine four seven eight two seven seven. Get a free 30 day trial at sex with Emily dot com slash s x m. Was it good for you. Email me feedback. Get sex with Emily Dotcom. Question for you. Have you seen the Zoome yet? It's one of those toys you have to see to understand. It doesn't just look different, it works differently than other sex toys. See, Zumaya was designed for exploration using rotation, not vibration.

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