PsychotherapyHELP Newsletter

by Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D. MFCC 


"Self-Centered Conversation and Narcissism"




"Hey..... I'm backing away. I can't get out of this conversation. He's doing all the talking and it's all about himself. If I pull away, I'll appear impolite and hurt his feelings. He's setting me up to reject him. He's not interested in me or anybody else. He just keeps going on and on about himself and his life and his accomplishments. Is he trying to impress me and appear to be somebody special?"

Have you ever had these kinds of feelings and thoughts when you were locked into a conversation with someone? This type of conversation is not very appealing or attractive. In fact it actually detracts and devalues the message sender. The paradox is that his egocentric conversation is having the opposite effect of what his attention seeking ego is attempting.

Now, let's stop for a second and think about this. Am I being set up to reject this person on the basis of his ineffective conversational skills? It seems very tempting and I am inclined to dismiss this person as someone who only cares about himself and his accomplishments. Are his self advertising attempts working on me? The answer is simple and contradictory... yes and no. The ego centered conversationalist is a universe of valuable information at times. At other times his self-centeredness is an absolute turn off and a distancer.

The egocentric person has several unconscious motives. The first motive is an attempt to try to be helpful. The second and most debilitating is his proclivity for non-democratic, unequal there and then verses here and now conversation.

Question: What does this say about the personality of such a person?

Answer: The paradox is the good-natured, kindhearted altruistic side is countered by the authoritarian/autocratic nature of this disorder. Narcissism is characterized by excessive there and then/non-present self-centered conversation. Being in the "now" with another person is difficult with ego centered people. They are always shifting the conversation around to themselves and to their past experiences, which they use as the main frame of reference for evaluating reality. They have difficulty empathically tapping into the reality and perceptions of other people. This gives them the appearance of being non-caring and overly self-centered.

Question: I have encountered some very physically attractive people who eventually turn me off when they open their mouths and start talking. What's that all about?

Answer: Emotional and social skills are very powerful areas of examination. You can have a very high intelligence quotient and a very low social and emotional IQ. These various areas of intelligence can be enhanced and acquired. For example, a person with a very high emotional IQ is very much in touch with and benefits greatly from his emotional intelligence concerning himself and others.


Some individuals have very high and productive social IQ's and appear to be amazing in their ability to relate to other people. We can actually measure these social and emotional IQ's. Self centered egotistic individuals seem to be locked in to what I call the third chakra energy system, which is located in the power center of the lower chest. Individuals who have accessed and done much work on themselves in the various chakra centers, have broadened and expanded their emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, and technical skills.

Question: It seems as if a scholastic and academic genius could be stupid and dumb emotionally and socially.

Answer: You just made a statement and it is also a question. The answer is, "Absolutely." The good news is: change and transformation is available and possible, if one is willing to work at it. A self centered conversationalist will not change unless they have the capacity for the observing ego to inform the person that there needs to be emotional and social change. There is very little possibility for change unless there is an acknowledgment that something isn't working.

Question: Can you give me a quick example of how emotional and social growth can make great changes in one's life?

Answer: One quick example: After enough emotional and social education and growth, one would be able to make better mate and life choices; thus improving and enhancing the quality of one's existence. Abraham Maslow postulated the system of self actualizing people. These people have had extraordinary peak experiences in their lives, which have made huge emotional and social differences.

Our Most Requested Books are now Available as E-Books!:


Knowledge is power and reading all that you can about a disorder is the first step to changing your situation. Additional resources on the different personality disorders are available from PsychotherapyHELP. Now the e-books "Narcissistic Personality Disorder: A Profile", "Borderline Personality Disorder: a Profile", "Obsessive Love Disorder: a Profile", and "Bi-Polar Mood Disorder: a Profile" can be purchased directly from our web site. Don't forget our best sellers "Coping with the Disorder", "Sizzling Relationships: the 401(k) of Love" and "Feeling People". Click on the titles to be directed to PsychotherapyHELP for more information.


Questions about Therapy?


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Thank you and I hope you continue to enjoy our newsletter. Please feel free to explore my web site at PsychotherapyHELP at You find articles to download, information on therapy, and links to an abundance of resources.


Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D. MFT



voice: 818-882-7404