How a Child Becomes the Narcissist

Written By Dr. Nima

On March 5, 2024

These days my inbox is inundated with people
telling me how their ex is a narcissist.

And I get it, too.

I’m married now in a secure bond that’s polarized, but
when I was unpacking the sh*t show that was my last relationship I was in,
I was surprised to discover that I was in a “trauma bond”
and went down the rabbit hole
through the Manual that psychiatrists use to diagnose mental disorders
and found 8/9 criteria a perfect match for my ex-girlfriend,
literally qualifying her to be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder,
co-morbid with Covert Narcissism.

I felt validated.

A little excited, to be honest—
FINALLY! I had the mechanism to understand WTF was happening to me.

I understand the desire we have
to help us make sense of our partner’s behavior.

And I also get how diagnosing THEM
helps to keep US safe from our own part in our dance.

“If I can confirm that THEY are the sick one,
then I don’t have to be the “bad guy. I was right!"

In other words, diagnosing THEM protects ME from SHAME.

And this is key take home point:

Shame is the insidious seed from which the twisted vine of narcissism grows,
wrapping around the soul,
obscuring the light of true self-worth.

It’s all about shame (and our avoidance of it).

Avoiding toxic shame
is why we deflect any responsibility in an argument and get defensive.

Avoiding shame is why most of us refuse to look at ourselves,
play the victim and blame the other.

Avoiding shame is why we can’t see ourselves as the problem.

It’s why Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero” song is so pivotal:
She finally acknowledges that SHE is the problem in her relationship woes.
That SHE is the common denominator.

Something most of us are unwilling to do.

Our lack of capacity to HOLD our shame
is what causes us to AVOID our shame
to the point that we put up a wall to block the pain,
and as that wall goes up– so does our capacity to have empathy towards others.

Ever feel like you’re talking to a brick wall
when someone doesn’t want to own their part of the dance?

This is shame-avoidance: the effect of unresolved trauma.

And our shame avoidance destroys our health AND relationships.


I have had the privilege of helping people heal from being stuck
in “should I stay or go” dynamics
where they are trauma bonded and have no clue what to do.

“Is it me? Or is it them? Am I the narcissist? Or are they?”

While I agree that Narcissism has a spectrum from "ever-so-slight narcissistic traits”
(someone who can’t hold and contain someone else’s feelings without deflecting or making it about them)
to full blown malignant Kanye West/Donald Trump-style personality
which is overtly obvious to everyone around us,
because most of us didn’t get our attachment needs properly met as children,


And my experience in working with hundreds of people in the last year alone,
those who can’t see the narcissistic parts within themselves
are the most narcissistic in their behavior.

You know them when you see them too–
they always seem to be the victim to EVERYONE.
It’s always everyone ELSE who’s the problem (never THEM).

The truth is,
depending on our Nervous System state,
we all have these traits within us– even those who identify as Codependent.

And don’t get me started on self-diagnosed “Empaths”—
which is another form of self-appointed grandiosity.

If you truly want to create secure relationships (which is likely why you’re reading this),
Instead of pointing finger and diagnosing the other person,
it’s wiser to understand the mechanism of where it comes from,
so that you can see yourself in it.

If you can SEE it, then you don’t have to BE it.
As you can see in this video,
I share exactly the mechanism where Narcissism comes from.

It’s quite fascinating and learning this has helped inform me
of exactly how I want to raise my son Dominic to break the cycle,
as I can easily identify with being raised with wonderful parents
who did the best they could, and didn’t have a trauma-informed lens,
and unknowingly passed down some unhealthy adaptations onto me
that created the perfect storm for me to enter into a relationship
with a perfect match someone who was a perfect match for my narcissistic wounding.

If you can relate to this,
and see yourself in the video–
either as a child who didn’t get their attachment needs met,
or a parent who unwittingly passed down some unhealthy patterns,
just know I see you and it’s not your fault.

The good news is that secure relationships ARE POSSIBLE for you
if you’re willing to heal at the root cause where your biology is concerned.

You CAN create a secure, magnetic relationship with a partner who is devotional
if you’re willing to master the art of becoming Trigger-Proof.

You CAN shift the dynamic of your Trauma Bonded relationship
if you’re willing to master the art integrating with those shameful,
hidden parts of yourself and communicate with polarity.

Most importantly,
you literally shift the way others show up for you
by taking RESPONSIBILITY (not blame)
for your own woundings that arise in conflict,
and master the art of turning that conflict into deeper intimacy.

It’s possible.


One of our Cyclebreakers Lauren did just this.
Born to a Narcissistic Rage-a-holic mother who kept attracting Narcissists,
she went from pining after an ACTUAL narcissist who had a gambling problem
where she lost almost everything,
to doing the deep inner work, becoming Trigger-Proof and meeting this amazing guy Patrick,
who didn’t give her the feeling of primal panic during their dating period.
She made the shifts and he started showing up for her, planning dates,
and introducing her to his family within the first few months of dating.

A year later and they have taken their relationship and when I checked up on her,
they’ve moved in together.

She told me he was different from the get go– no guessing,
no breadcrumbing, no blame-shifting, gaslighting or having to mother him.

She attracted a healthy masculine man after making the shifts.

Her first question to me when she came to the Overview Experience was
“Why do I keep attracting Narcissists?”

The truth is that we don’t attract Narcissists,

we are attracted TO what will cause our childhood woundings to arise,
and without the right tools,
without taking responsibility (not blame),
and without healing our attachment wounding
and mastering the art of repair,
we will attract trauma bonded dynamics

And that’s not our fault,
but it is our responsibility
if we want to make sure we go to the grave
ACTUALLY having experienced love that is secure.

This is what you deserve.

Love that is secure.

And to do that,
we need to put down the magnifying glass we use to label our partners,
and do something MOST PEOPLE are unwilling to do:
pick up the mirror and learn how to alchemize our shame.

You got this.

Your wingman on the adventure,

P.S. Ready to master the art of armoring yourself against Narcissistic Relationships and Codependency?
To do so we MUST learn how to stop people pleasing and fawning,
and learn how to set elegant boundaries instead.
Mastering the art of boundaries helps to protect
us from abandoning ourselves and letting the wrong kind of people into our lives.
On Friday March the 15th, from 4-7pm PST (7-10PM EST)
which is 11-2pm Saturday the 15th in Sydney, Oz,
I am guiding a maximum of 100 people from my community in a 3-hour
workshop called "From Fawning to Secure Boundaries:
How to Elegantly Advocate for Yourself in Relationships”
and YOU are invited for only $30.
These workshops have been so well-received
that I have decided to run it again this month for anyone who finds
themselves stuck in Trauma Bonded dynamics and wants to learn
the most foundational skill to protect themselves and their energy
against those who as a result of their trauma can potentially be harmful.
We will cover where fawning comes from and some somatic practices
that help us connect to our boundaries and some elegant communication
strategies to ensure that your “no” is received and if not,
you have the knowing to walk away from situations that are unhealthy.

Master your boundaries HERE.

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