Sure enough, narcissists seem to win because of their persistent use of power to force you into subordination. In the long run, though, few people want to be in relationship with them. Psychotherapist Dr. Les Carter explores their misuse of power, then identifies two traits that can become the foundation for your life away from the narcissist.

Dr. Les Carter is a best selling author and therapist with 38 years experience. He has conducted many workshops and over 60,000 counseling sessions. He lives and practices in the Dallas, Tx. area.

Dr. Carter’s books:

Laura Charanza’s book:

While Dr. Carter and Laura do not conduct online counseling, we have vetted a group who can meet such a need:

Dr. Carter’s other YouTube channel:

Dr. Carter’s online workshops on narcissism, anger management, and overcoming infidelity:


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Comments (31)

Thank you, Dr Carter. What a wonderful video. Thank you for sharing your experience, knowledge and wisdom. I am learning so very much about this subject that has affected my life for so many years. You give me the strength to have confidence in myself and to love myself more than I ever have. I understand so much more now, because of the videos you are sharing, about my narcissistic partner and the dance we’ve been doing for years. I love him but I can’t change him. I need to take better care of me. Thank you, Dr Carter for all that you’ve shared. I am truly grateful 💖

Very interesting. I've listened to your videos (and other experts) on the topic of narcissism as a result of a domestic abuse counselor pointing out to me that my ex-husband is a narcissist. Before she pointed that out to me I had almost no idea what a narcissist is. The best answer I could have given is that it's a self-centered person, but that's about the most fulsome explanation I could have given. Thank you for the free education.

Narcs need to be loved FROM a distance or avoided altogether.

Thank-you with all my heart for this information! I am soooo happy to know that I can choose dignified responses to individuals who trigger me in negative ways. First of all, pausing to think about what is happening can give me a chance to think out a response that is helpful, at least to maintaining my own self-respect. By choosing gentleness and dignified responses I am saying: this is who I choose to be. This is very empowering and esteem-building behavior. I love this approach! One never knows if the narcissist might begin to wonder: why is she serene and why am I so troubled?? Who knows? One thing for sure: a narcissist is never going to change if I project anger, disdain or behave like doormat. Thanks so much for this insight:)

Thankyou for sharing this information. Helping me to navigate forwzrd & decide my priorities.

I like having "cleaner alternatives" and the choice of decency and goodness….

A friend of mine deals with a supervisor like this. The type of work they do deals with very high stress situations, plus loads of reports. The supervisor has created chaos in the office dynamic. My friend is biding their time, but, I'm praying they get a better opportunity because when this friend is gone those entities they deal with that are assigned to them will run ramshod over who is left. It's dangerous physically, emotionally and mentally. This supervisor enjoys being in "power". My friend and I pray a lot. I'm coming from an abusive marriage and my friend is being abused at work.

Dr C…you must have the most well adjusted kids on the planet!

Way too many-tired of having to stand up for myself all the time! Its exhaustive, working on trying not to let this person trigger me….

I've been working on a short term project recently where I needed to define a situation, plan a solution and lobby a group of about 30 Individuals to get the support to get the job to a good successful result. I had to work closely with a narc who accused me of most traits that narcissists displays because I had to stay firm and direct across the months to get the targets accomplished. Each step of the way she tried to emotionally manipulate, make me uncertain, offer threats to subdue my activity and anything that went wrong, instantly I was to blame. Many times I tried to explain out to her the need for two way communication so we can be on the same page and I was accused of being demanding and controlling. I found that as we worked In a team of her and I to present the situation and solution to the stakeholders , I found that by the end of the day, my information and my side of the presentation was completely copied and it was like she was becoming my personality as every minute went by. In the last event, she played everyone and made me look like a doormat however, as I was aware of the narc and it's methods, I was able to direct it and lead it into the actions needed to get the job done. Its interesting to see that by being driven and determined towards the end goal I had to display some stubbornness and firmness to the plan. The difference between wearing the hat of a leader directing action and the obsessive control of the narc was I knew when to stay firm and when to pull back. The narc was all go go go with no actual understanding of any strategic planning to accomplish this goal. From this experience I've learned that narcissists have Thier value in convincing people into what they believe is right, because they resort to threats and fear and rumour mongering to get people to agree and by understanding that they are traitors and a liability if given too much power/responsibility they can be managed and directed. It's interesting to think that I am usually quite calm and understanding with most people, and give people freedom to think and choose for themselves – but when dealing with a narcissist it's like a wild dog. Hold it tight by the collar and not by the leash. If there's slack in the leash it WILL bite the closest person to it even if that person is it's food supply. Point it's nose at the target and whisper sic em. Then when it's done its job and it's still at a distance, shoot it.

There was a choice between being followed around and screamed at, even outside, in a threatening/humiliating way or the silent treatment. I settled for the silent treatment while raising children. But the children were given the bad example of verbal abuse as a way of controlling another person– you step on an eggshell and you are back to the screaming again; keep in line and you are rewarded with the "Silent Treatment". Not much of an example; not much of a choice.

I am watching my 84 year old widowed mother, who has historically been "the nicest lady in town", slowly and profoundly adopt the characteristics, positions, attitudes and arguments of my 58 year old historically narcissistic older brother. They spend a lot of time together: he works part-time, is divorced, only child lives on the other side of the country, and has very few friends & she is increasingly disabled, friends are dying off, and she recently told me he is a lot like our long-deceased beloved father. Nothing could be further from the truth. For example, Dad (a psychiatrist) had a problem working with one female nurse back in the '60s. I was a child, and don't know exactly what transpired, but my best guess is that the nurse in question was unkind to patients and rude to him as the new doc in the unit. I do remember Dad was beloved by his all- female support staff because I used to walk to his office after school and wait with the ladies until he was done at 5:00 to ride home with him. He always chatted and joked with them, and included me (I'm the only daughter) in the conversation, which made me feel so grownup and proud. Later in my life, he would tell me the female patients he saw who had the worst troubles in life had gone directly from their father's house to their husband's house (it was the '70s😁) and that he hoped I would get as much education as I could, and live on my own for a time before marrying and starting a family, which I did (Go Bears, Doctor Carter!) I'm saying all this to explain how shocking it was when Mom recently told me, by way of "explaining" why narc brother had sent me a series of insanely rambling, name-calling, humiliating and accusatory emails when I suggested how to handle a family business transaction. I'm an attorney, and I communicated my thoughts in exactly the same manner I would with a client. He went berserk and sent the offensive emails to me alone, although Mom had been included in the conversation to that point. I forwarded the emails to Mom, copying narc brother, with the msg that she had been excluded from that part of the conversation. Narc brother hasn't tried to communicate with me since, and it's been 5 months. Mom is anxious about smoothing things over between us. I've established the boundary that I won't discuss him with her, but she insisted on telling me that the reason he said those things is that "he's a lot like Dad; he just can't tolerate taking orders from a woman", then telling me about that nurse from '60s. I was speechless for so many, many reasons. It's been about 3 weeks now, and I'm so sad as I realize she is fully engaged in the "narcissist codependent dance" with my brother, who is alternately helpful, condescending and argumentative with her. Also realizing she is his flying monkey, trying to get me to discuss him with her so, I assume, she can report back to him what she interprets about what I said. It took a long time for me to see that pattern, but it is unmistakable. It's solely because of watching these videos, taking notes, and actually practicing the lines in my head that I was able to observe her bizarre and untrue statement about Dad from outside my usual perspective. I didn't react, didn't engage in argument even though I was horrified by her uncharacteristic betrayal of Dad and disrespect for me. I just reminded her I would not discuss narc brother with her, that I had a completely different experience with Dad, and that he didn't raise me to accept abuse or disrespect from anyone, ever. I was shocked, later, that I'd been able to respond at all. This dysfunctional pattern is not new by any means, but I've usually reacted to such provocation by defending, explaining, arguing. . .and then feeling frustrated and alone afterward. Sometimes it takes me days to realize I was treated poorly by him or her or both. This time, I said my truth calmly, peacefully and truly with love for my Mom. (She must be feeling so much pain to malign Dad's memory in that way) She just sighed, literally turned her face away from me and abruptly changed the subject. I'm still very, very sad, but am feeling strong, more sure about what kind of person I am and where I fit in this disordered family puzzle. Thank you, Doctor Carter!

"Kill" them with kindness and acceptance.
That will piss them off and you won't be an easy target but a confusing one.
No it's not easy but it's a way to practice no reacting.

Threats let me see have a listen can u hear " the jobs not over until Jo's six feet under spitting from the zoo keepers who cage innocent and their children

I had several conversations with my covert narcistic ex partner and most of the time it went like this: I am happy that you are so open, true and honest. A day later: can we talk again about yesterday or she was so angry the day after because I didn't do my utmost. That the way she confused me but it also showed, she didn't know what she wants. An insecure, angry person acting on fear is what she is.

I ran across this incredible song by Julian Casablancas, "OUT OF THE BLUE". My Narc broke her style and proclaimed, upon hearing the words to the song, that it was the first time in her life that she ever heard anything describe her life so EXACTLY, she said it's the closest thing to PERFECTLY describing what felt all her life, that it was as if a mind reader had transcribed her thoughts! I, myself, was blown away about how well it fit everything I had observed in my ex.

Julian Casablancas – Out of the blue (lyrics) LYRICS below…
[Verse 1]
Somewhere along the way
My hopefulness turned to sadness
Somewhere along the way
My sadness turned to bitterness
Somewhere along the way
My bitterness turned to anger
Somewhere along the way
My anger turned to vengeance
And the ones that I made pay were never the ones who deserve it
And the ones who deserve it, they'll never understand it
Yes, I know I'm going to hell in a purple basket
'Least I'll be in another world while you're pissing on my casket

How could you be, whoa-oh-ohh
So perfect for me? Oh-oh-ohh
Why can't you ignore, oh-oh-ohh
The things I did before? Oh-oh-ohh

[Verse 2]
Somewhere along the way
Exacting vengence gave excitement
Somewhere along the way
That excitement turned to pleasure
Somewhere along the way
That pleasure turned to madness
But sooner or later that kind of madness turns into pain
And the ones that I made pay were never the ones who deserved it
Those who helped me along the way, I smacked 'em as I thanked 'em
Yes, I know I'm going to hell in a leather jacket
'Least I'll be in another world while you're pissing on my casket

[Verse 3]
All that I can do is sing a song of faded glory
And all you got to do is sit there, look pretty, and make 'em horny
Together we'll sing songs and tell exaggerated stories
About the way we feel today and tonight and in the morning…

How could you be, oh-oh-ohh
So perfect for me? Oh-oh-ohh
Why can't you ignore, oh-oh-ohh
The things I did before?

And take all your fears
Pretend they're all true
And take all your plans
Pretend they fell through

Now, that's what it's like… oh-oh-ohh
That's what it's like for most people in this world
The rich or the poor, oh-oh-ohh
Muslims or Jews, oh-oh-ohh
When roles are reversed, oh-oh-ohh
Opinions are too…

That's all I'm gonna say now
Right before they come knocking on my door now
No, no, no, no

You have the words of life for an atmosphere of death.

I wish there was a way to sum this video up into a mantra.

Determination for SURVIVOR POWER Thinker, Calulators. Schemers, conivers & power plays. Influence. God like suppior.

yes..walking on eggshells all the time…he would call the police in an argument and tell lies..I was afraid my kids would get taken away..didn't understand it until I thought it was some sort of weird control ..miserable..strange…it never are better off alone..way will spend more than them..they Have to have more or hell to pay…you will pay..nobody will want to come to visit you

I had been with a overt narcissist for 30 years when i got free i ended up with the covert narcissist for 10 i would not be scared no more i gave that ass a run for his money i would not be tamed and i out that now the man no care no decency i was a tool he was my worst nightmare

Objectively speaking: codependency has to be "co-narcissism". It has to be. Because it's the sinful nature. Two sides of the same coin. Abuser/abuse victim is not love. When God said to Adam and Eve that Adam's desire would be to rule over Eve and her desire would be towards him: that's codependency. That's narcissism and narcissist supply. They're both the sinful nature. Being an Empath just has to be the sinful nature. That's how I am looking at it objectively. Both are woundedness manifesting.

I know what perfection is. I have spiritual experiential gifts to know. I saw Jesus face to face in full revelation in Heaven in salvation. I experienced perfection in the Spirit in Heaven. It's the "natural state" at spirit level of the spirit born of God in core 💓 union with Jesus. It's the truth of who we really are as saints in our 💓 of 💓 s.

That's why I have strength to manifest it on earth in the body as I come out of my shell to share. I just have that strength level by power enduement in my salvation experience.

I just need to be able to start the release process of my ministry: and withstand narcissist blowback to go to goal. I will simply "grow into" strength to fully arise in Jesus from within.

Unique in birthing power. Not unique in state of being as a born again believer. And not unique in result. I can release power to edify other saints to the level "standing strength" I attain.

That's what I am measuring. My standing strength to release outpouring. Vs collapsing when narcissist blowback hits me.

Birthing pangs.

'It's all about power.' Is it because they lost their power during an abusive and sexually abused trauma during childhood?

I need to watch this every day until it really sinks in.

Narcissists do what ever cost you being you, because they think you are not you, you are they object, tools.

Dr. C….he was every one of the words of what you spoke! I learned not to argue just let him do all the talking & yelling as I stood in silence. Finally he walked away yelling cussing words. I'm enjoying my peace & realize I'm fine with my own company!! I never hated him I finally realized I can't help him !!

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