Not ALL Highly Successful People are Narcissists

by | Apr 8, 2022 | Manipulative People, Self Esteem | 0 comments

Some might think that most highly successful people are Narcissists, or worse, full-blown Sociopaths because of the power they have amassed to be extraordinarily successful. Can you really be tremendously successful and still have a conscience ?

Although, I have worked with many especially talented business leaders, in most cases they have been able to navigate through the potential mine-field of corporate America while still maintaining a conscience, a moral compass and compassion. As clients, they have been able to learn from their mistakes or missteps to separate their business minds from their personal relationships.

This brings to mind an especially talented client I worked with many years ago, who had built companies from scratch and sold them at an enviable profit. He was in as position where he would not have to work another day in his life, but realized that not being productive and doing something meaningful in his life would lead to anxiety and frustration for him. However, he returned as a client because he wanted guidance as to how best to deal with personal crises that was being experienced by his spouse, and was affecting the entire family. He felt compassion, but was also frustrated because, how do you help someone who doesn’t want to help herself. He had to learn that while being compassionate, and in spite of his business successes and providing employees the potential for successful careers, he did not control, nor wanted to control the choices another person makes in his or her life.

Then there were others, who were extremely talented and successful, but lacked empathy for the feelings of others. They would come to me because of the lack of successful relationships or due to their wives threatening divorce, and they had no realization as to why. ”I did not see this coming and still do not understand why this is happening. I take care of everyone, and they want for nothing !” Well, it is quite a daunting task, and sometimes impossible goal to teach a person empathy, how to feel or understand the feelings and needs of others.

Then there were the true Narcissists and Sociopaths. I had my experiences with a number these manipulative and controlling personalities. The only reason they came to counseling was to try to present themselves as perfect in every way and to blame, shame and guilt their partners {their victims}, who were my primary clients. Once they realized I was on to them, they would not return, but would continue to attempt to sabotage our therapy. It would take time to help the primary client to build the confidence, support system and resources needed to break away from the unhealthy relationship. About fifty-percent would stop therapy then call to ask if they could return, apologizing for not being strong enough or prepared to take control of their lives previously. We would always be open to their return since we knew what a daunting task it was to admit they had to leave the unhealthy relationship and restart their lives, but with new ways of thinking and a healthier support team behind them.

Gene Benedetto, Psychologist/Emeritus/Coach,


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