Emotional Intelligence (EI), Narcissism and Private versus Secret

As is often the case, what comes up for one of my clients tends to be a recurring theme for just about everyone I coach during certain periods of time and, as luck would have it, I lived with and was engaged to a narcissist.

Right now, several clients are experiencing some confusion around privacy versus secrecy and truth versus honesty and they want greater clarity on these aspects of emotional intelligence.

Narcissism, the absence of real love of the self and the ensuing havoc it wrecks on people closest to them is also dominant right now in my life as well as several of my clients’ lives.

Privacy versus Secrecy

According to experts, private matters are those traits, truths, beliefs, and ideas about ourselves that we keep to ourselves. They might include our fantasies and daydreams, feelings about the way the world works, and spiritual beliefs.

Private matters, when revealed either accidentally or purposefully, give another person some insight into the revealer and there is relatively little drama surrounding these revelations.

Secrets, on the other hand, consist of information that has a potentially negative impact on someone else ~ emotionally, physically, or financially because they are based on lies and deception.

Secrets, when revealed either accidentally or purposefully, cause great chaos or perceived harm to the secret-keeper and those around him or her. Secret keepers or truth benders often use drama, grandiose threats and deflection tactics by blaming others for their deceptions as well as creating confusion with stories that just don’t make sense.

Chronic secret keepers are adept at minimizing their culpability and are skilled at transferring blame to anyone close by. Appearing to apologize, they will tell you exactly what you want to hear – and lead you to believe the secret you found out about is an isolated occurrence.

There is usually a lot of shame driving a person's need to keep secrets as well as an inability to live a life outside of a mind filled with fantasy. This capacity to live in a false world of smoke and mirrors is often linked to unhealthy narcissism.

Narcissists have a tendency to keep a lot of secrets from everyone close to them and they spin intricate webs of lies tailor made for each person in their life often playing one side against the other and reveling in the chaos they’ve created between people. Narcissists also love to play victim and receive a psychic payoff when they spin lies around a little bit of truth.

This is why many narcissists have compartmentalized relationships with a lot of superficiality, deception and little or no real intimacy. If everyone they knew got into the same room together and talked - they would be exposed.

Similar to the Wizard of Oz who is exposed for being an impostor, the narcissist is deeply invested in his or her image and will do whatever it takes ~ even extreme measures ~ to maintain the illusions they have created. In a confused panic of image preservation, narcissists will think nothing of destroying their partners self esteem, reputation or life. They are very calculating, duplicitous and exacting.

Secrets and the lies and deceptions that support them make it very hard for a person to make and sustain a true emotional bond with another. In part that's because secrets take on a life of their own by creating a wall or barrier between real connections with another.

Narcissists do not have the capacity to live within healthy interactions. They simply do not have that skill. However, they will read up on how to play the part of a united partner always anxious that they will be found out.

Secrets take a lot of energy to maintain and that energy is stolen from having a relationship with a real person outside of a fantasy world. Watch for people who confuse boundaries with secrets or boundaries with privacy. These are very different states of mind, feelings and behavioral patterns. Many narcissists misuse the word and concept of "boundaries" as a way to rationalize their deceptions.

Truth versus Honesty

Truth is empirical, demonstrable fact. Your bank balance, today's date, whether or not you're married. Honesty is about feelings.

If you're honest, you are open, clear, and consistent about how you feel. You can be truthful without being honest, and you can be honest without being truthful. The best and most fulfilling relationships are both truthful and honest.

Trust, the staple of a solid relationship is built on both truth and honesty, tempered by the proof of predictability and reliability. Consistency, dependability, reliability and honor are traits that the narcissist can occassionally demonstrate but it is not a part of their true character.

Shoring up on your emotional intelligence skills will bring you enormous success in all aspects of your life and keep you away from the destructive effects of Narcissists.

Author's Bio: 

Stacy Kamala Waltman brings a well-rounded blend of experience and personal development skills to her coaching practice.

Bridging the spiritual world with the professional arena, Stacy Kamala draws from a rich and varied background to enhance her client's personal, spiritual and professional life.

Earning a B.A. in journalism at San Diego State University along with a minor in business administration, Stacy Kamala has worked in a variety of business settings including group/team facilitation, public speaking, marketing, promotions, corporate communications, sales, web site design, and public relations.

In small, medium, and large companies, she has learned what it takes to succeed.

Stacy Kamala also serves her community as a consultant and volunteer, most recently as a Facilitator on the Bend2030 project and as a commissioner on the Oregon Governor's Commission on Women.

Stacy Kamala's real-world experience is a counterpoint to a 25-year history as a student of Swami Satchidananda's Integral Yoga, and a certified Svaroopa Yoga Instructor.

From the postures of Hatha Yoga to breathe control, meditation and chanting, Stacy has developed a deep appreciation for the peace, centering and focus to be found in the world of spiritual studies.

By combining these various disciplines with specific coaching training and advanced education at the Coaches Training Institute - accredited by the International Coaching Federation, Stacy provides an integrated approach to her coaching practice.

Her vision is to guide her clients and teams to a life of fulfillment and success by linking their spiritual, material and practical needs.

Stacy Kamala's clients are those people striving for more in their lives; better communication skills, a healthy relationship with money and increased earning power while maintaining skillful life balance. "In addition to being a wonderful communicator, Stacy is a gifted and powerful coach," says Jim DeLaurentis, CFO, The Andrew Lauren, Inc." She has dynamic energy and deep commitment."

Whether you participate with her in a teleseminar format, organizational team or individual coaching, Stacy Kamala's approach will illuminate blind spots and increase awareness of yourself while enhancing how you interact in the world.

If you are committed to living a life of freedom from habitual thinking patterns - then you would be Stacy Kamala's ideal client.

To schedule a sample session at Integration Coaching with Stacy Kamala Waltman, please send an email to ic@integrationcoaching.com.