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Review: Navigating Narcissism Podcast

Helping those who battle the self-involved.

By Frank RacioppiPublished 8 days ago 3 min read
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Psychological disorders seem to be trendy, just like fashion, memes, and food. Two decades ago, bipolar disorder was a thing. Any disruptive or toxic person seemed to be diagnosed as bipolar. Today's go-to psychological diagnosis is narcissism. I was at a dinner party where gossiping about non-participants was expected. For every lurid tale of bad behavior, someone concluded with: "They're a narcissist."

Don't get me wrong. The world is full of narcissists, but not every Karen is a narcissist and not every narcissist is a Karen. I think many people have a sketchy idea of what defines a narcissist. So let's try to do that.

"Narcissism is extreme self-involvement to the degree that it makes a person ignore the needs of those around them. While everyone may show occasional narcissistic behavior, true narcissists frequently disregard others or their feelings. They also do not understand the effect that their behavior has on other people."

That's why the podcast Navigating Narcissism with Dr. Ramani can help people to deal with true narcissists.

The elevator pitch for the show is: "We all have to deal with narcissists. Now, it’s time to heal from them. In this groundbreaking series, clinical psychologist and world’s leading expert on narcissism Dr. Ramani Durvasula talks to survivors and experts to help millions left reeling from narcissistic abuse."

The Navigating Narcissism podcast can break down classic narcissistic patterns like manipulation, control, gaslighting, and love bombing and help unpack feelings of betrayal, shame, confusion, pain.

The host of the show is Ramani Suryakantham Durvasula, who is an American clinical psychologist, retired professor of psychology, media expert, and author. In 1989, Durvasula obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Connecticut. She has also received a Master of Arts in Psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Clinical Psychology from the UCLA in 1997.

So the good doctor is eminently qualified.

She has also appeared on media outlets discussing narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse, including Red Table Talk, Bravo, the Lifetime Movie Network, National Geographic, and the History Channel, as well as programs such as the TODAY show and Good Morning America.

I mention these TV appearances so you can understand that Dr. Ramani is good in front of the mic and camera. She's comfortable on her podcast discussing one of her areas of expertise, and she's a solid interviewer. Unlike other podcast psychologists, Dr. Ramani does not make extravagant claims about treatments and cures.

Dr. Ramani also reminds listeners that "this podcast should not be used as a substitute for medical or mental health advice."

One of the most intriguing yet disturbing episodes was about Hollywood producer Scott Rudin, who The New York Post called "Hollywood’s Biggest A-hole." The male guest was not identified by name and had his voice modulated.

In her opening, Dr. Ramani explains that Rudin is one of those rare producers who have won a EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). But the doctor chides, "You can spell EGOT without ego." The episode is a freak show of horrible behavior by Rudin, who adopts a familiar delusion that geniuses can get away with anything. Listen to the episode, and realize that Hollywood -- with its Weinstein's, Rudin's, Mel Gibson's, Bill Cosby's, -- can be hell on earth.

Dr. Ramani has an episode on narcissism in the fashion industry. In another powerful episode, we hear from Dylan Farrow, daughter of actor Mia Farrow, about surviving sexual abuse, and one of the engrossing episodes was in June 2023 when Dr. Ramani talked to singer Jewel about how she survived an abusive father, a mother who abandoned and betrayed her and found healing in the most profound ways.

The June 2023 episode with dancer Cheryl Burke relates an all too familiar tale of a family friend who raped her as a child.

In her September 28, 2023, episode, Dr. Ramani eschews guests for an Ask Dr. Ramani episode. Dr. Ramani answered listeners' deep questions about the most difficult - but most effective - way to heal from narcissistic abuse: going no contact. While that seems self-evident as a successful strategy, Dr. Ramani has taught us loyal listeners that narcissists have powerful weapons at their disposal -- gaslighting, playing the victim, love bombing, and blameshifting.

Check out Navigating Narcissism with Dr. Ramani. Whether your particular narcissist is in your workplace, in your family, or in your own home, the podcast episodes can help people identify and then separate from narcissists.

As Dr. Ramani once said, “Relationships with narcissists are held in place by the hope of a ‘someday better,’ with little evidence to support it will ever arrive.”

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About the Creator

Frank Racioppi

I am a South Jersey-based author who is a writer for the Ear Worthy publication, which appears on Vocal, Substack, Medium, Blogger, Tumblr, and social media. Ear Worthy offers daily podcast reviews, recommendations, and articles.

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