Narcissists and psychopaths perpetrate most of the evil in our world.

They break the hearts and often minds and lives of those who love or trust them. They are the con artists who divest us of our precious savings, our hard won retirement, with mind-numbing skill. They make life hell for those they work with, they bring down organizations, and commit the majority of violent crimes.

But perhaps most tragic of all is the transformation of the victimized spouse, business partner, employee, colleague, client, student, patient, into an enraged, hypervigilant, chronically stressed and quite possibly now physically ill victim who has lost her sense of reality and her self-respect and may never feel able to love or trust again.

Narcissists and psychopaths look, sound and usually behave just like the rest of us. They disguise their true self with a practiced, skillfully constructed mask and ingratiate themselves into our lives and figure out quickly how to manipulate, cheat, and take what they want.

We need to know how to recognize them, these monsters in disguise. We need to know for our own well-being, and as communities, as societies.



Narcissists and psychopaths make riveting, often even mesmerizing characters.

Their minds, their brains, are different from ours – they’re actually wired differently. Their manipulations – privately, in the workplace, and if they’re public figures in the public arena – are excruciating but enthralling. If N/Ps are accurately portrayed, your novel, short story, script or article can not only fascinate but add to public education in incredibly important ways.



Unfortunately many writers – like a lot of other people – know little about these predators, and contributions to the educational effort can be inaccurate and misleading to readers.

Do narcissists know what they’re doing?

Many people think, for example, that narcissism and psychopathy are mental illnesses. In fact they are “personality disorders”, which means those afflicted know exactly what they’re doing, and choose to do what they’re doing. They are responsible for their actions. That’s very important to know.

Two kinds of narcissist

Most people see narcissists as grandiose, blustering, grandstanding self-promoters.

And many are.

However, there are even more “covert narcissists” – people who work for the same self-aggrandizing goals, but are less showy. You’ll still see the “narcissistic smirk” as she gets her own way, hurts someone she wants to bring down, or notices her own fabulousness. But she’s more introverted and often “spiritual”, and driven by shame as much as by ego, and she’ll play the “pity” card for all it’s worth to help ingratiate herself. They’re harder to spot, and for this reason are often more dangerous.

If you’re a fiction writer, give your “badass” characters an accurate N/P persona. Help your readers get inside their head, make it real for them.

Educate while you entertain.

You have a remarkable platform for helping to catalyze personal and social change.

We’re all potential victims of narcissists and psychopaths. Most of us are vulnerable to their trademark charm, their targeted flattery, their fake “caring” and fast declarations of “love”.



I’ve been a psychotherapist and life coach, and more recently coach, consultant and trainer for more than three decades, and I’ve worked with hundreds of narcissists – many over extended time periods. I’ve learned a great deal about the way they think, what motivates them, and how they behave under various circumstances, and in a variety of life situations.

I offer public seminars, I educate therapists, coaches and consultants, writers of all kinds, teachers, medical doctors, lawyers and other professionals. I write for the public on my website and blog, and I’m writing a book designed to offer new insight into their minds and habits.



“How To Recognize A Narcissist Before It’s Too Late”

October 10, 2015, 2.00-4.30pm.

And please join us for refreshments and informal chat until 5.00pm or so.

Downtown DC location

You’ll learn vitally important information:

  • How the narcissist and psychopath see you, how they view the world
  • The personality characteristics of N/Ps, and the different kinds of narcissists
  • Stories, strategies and tools that will help you identify (and describe) N/Ps in business, organizational and social settings.
  • How to recover and heal from narcissistic and psychopathic abuse
  • How to cope with a narcissist you’re stuck with (co-parent, close family member, boss, neighbor..)

More information and Registration




Copyright © Claudia Contessini, 2015