Are you dealing with a self absorbed teenager? What is the best way for parents to handle self centered teenage problems?
I interviewed Wendy Behary, one of the leading experts on narcissism, and asked her about exactly this issue. What she came up with blew me away.
One of the big topics covered in this episode is how to tell a self absorbed teenager that something they are doing is not OK. How can you confront a teenager without making them feel like they are being attacked?
Teens have a tendency to turn these kinds of talks into arguments. But as a parent it is important to be able to communicate to teens that they absolutely need to stop behaving in a given way.
An Expert on Self Absorbed Teenager Psychology
Wendy Behary is the ideal individual to teach us how to handle self centered teenage problems. The author of Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed, Wendy is one of the world’s leading authorities on dealing with narcissism.
She taught me a few powerful techniques for telling a self absorbed teenager that his or her actions are not acceptable. My favorite is something she calls “empathic confrontation”.
More Self Centered Teenage Problems…
We also talk about triggering. Wendy says that what initially got her interested in studying narcissism is that she found herself in her therapy practice being triggered by a particularly narcissistic client.
Parents are triggered by their teens’ behavior all the time. It is easy to find yourself yelling at your teen and getting worked up. Wendy explained that these moments when you catch yourself getting triggered are actually important opportunities to help your teen grow.
But you have to know how to respond properly in the moment.
Wendy explains how to do it in this episode.
3 Word-for-Word Scripts
from this Episode:
1. When your teenager is starting to get hard to deal with during an argument
“We have many dimensions to our personalities. There are sometimes parts that are unruly or nasty. There are parts that can be angry. And I’m not talking about having a multiple personality. I’m talking about just being human. We have many dimensions. You know, I think you have something really important to tell me. And I’d love to hear it. But when that other part of you becomes the spokesperson it’s really hard to hear what the hell you’re trying to say. It just gets all messed up. So maybe you could ask that part of you to just step outside and get out of the way and we could just have a conversation about what it is that’s upsetting you.”
2 Scripts HIDDEN…
Wendy Behary is the founder and director of The Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey and she is also the co-director (with Dr. Jeffrey Young) of The New Jersey-New York City Schema Therapy Institutes. She has been treating clients, training professionals and supervising psychotherapists for more than 20 years.
Wendy is a Founding Fellow and consulting supervisor for The Academy of Cognitive Therapy and she served as President of the Executive Board of the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST) from 2010-2014, where she currently chairs the Brainstorming Sub-Committee.
Disarming the Narcissist, widely considered to be one of the foremost texts on narcissism, has been translated into 10 languages and has received significant praise from the academic community.
As an author and an expert on the subject of narcissism, Wendy lectures both nationally and internationally to professional and general audiences on schema therapy, narcissism, relationships, anger, and dealing with difficult people.
Her private practice is primarily devoted to narcissism, parenting issues, and relationship problems. She is also an expert at coaching individuals in interviewing, public speaking, and other interpersonal skills. Visit Wendy’s website here.