The scene is the order of the day at any latitude or longitude of the globe, in any type of relationship, be it straight or homosexual. Sooner or later, a narcissistic. “He wrote to me for a while, then poof! Gone “or” We went out together for a month, all beautiful. Then at a certain point he stopped writing to me … But why? ». “Oh, darling, come on, it’s very clear: he’s a pathological narcissist! “. “Right! That manipulative narcissist, it’s his fault that I have insomnia problems now and a rash too! ‘
We challenge you to count the times you have used the word “narcissist” referring to a man who had deluded and disappointed you and not reach at least the fingers of one hand. “In recent years we have all transformed into psychologists and psychologists, calling the other a narcissist, when he deviates from our expectations.” It is talking to me on the phone on a sunny winter morning Gerry Grassi, psychotherapist psychologist, known to the general public for being one of the experts in three editions of the program Marriage at first sight on Sky Uno. “But the truth is, narcissism doesn’t exist if you don’t know how to recognize it,” he continues.
Which is also the title of his latest book, now in all bookstores, “Narcissism does not exist, if you don’t know how to recognize it”, published by EPC Editore. A revolutionary title, deliberately provocative. «Too many times I have heard from friends and patients, with excessive superficiality, the word narcissism, to negatively describe people with whom I have had problems. And this not only in the sentimental field. Trapped in relationships – love, friendship or work – of which you have no controlmanipulation by hardened and unscrupulous narcissists is invoked. The truth is that the tendency to overwhelm others is biological and determined the supremacy of Homo Sapiens over other species, human and animal ”.
During the spread of the pandemic, in the isolation made up of walks and moments of meditation, the idea of writing a book on narcissism was born in Gerry Grassi, indeed, a book – hence the deliberately provocative and paradoxical title – aimed at deconstructing the very concept of narcissism, which restores dignity to all those people labeled as narcissists just because they have disappointed someone’s expectations.
In an eclectic and unpredictable journey – from the myth of Narcissus passing through Freud’s Vienna, the aborigines, Darwin’s Galapagos and the Palo Alto School up to the present day – also drawing on personal events and experiences, Grassi demonstrates the relativity of the concept of narcissism, its being typically a child of Western culture; confines the use of the term narcissism to a specific and circumscribed area, that of the clinical diagnosis of personality disorder, showing how everything else has to do with love and relationships.
What if instead of immediately labeling the other as a narcissist, we were the problem? The doubt, as the phone call continues, takes hold.
Who is the narcissist today?
«Today, in most cases, it is a man. A man who approaches you, woos you, “stays behind” you, takes you out, takes you to bed, whose enthusiasm then diminishes and … disappears. From a “man of life” to “a pathological narcissistic asshole” in two seconds, no less. But my question is: if according to science and also according to you, you women are light years ahead in terms of emotionality and intelligence, why are you not able to immediately notice the male predatory mechanism? Which is a scheme that has already been written, established and tested since the dawn of time. We humans are basic beings, you know … And you women know immediately that we will behave like this with you. Therefore? Here, I would like to dismantle the cliché that if we men behave like this, we are narcissists; if you women do it, you are emotionally intelligent. Narcissism does not exist, but if it exists, we all are ».