Is Narcissism in the Genes?


Is Narcissism in the Genes?
A study reveals that niceness - and narcissism - might be in the genes. (

Could we be expecting too much from people who might not be pre-disposed to "niceness"? A study reveals that niceness - and narcissism - might be in the genes. ( There is DNA associated with traits that relate to being giving, caring, and responsible. This discovery is affiliated with what Dr. Bonnie talks about in Make Up Don't Break Up, where a person who's loving and caring often has two specific hormones in their genes. Oxytocin - the cuddle hormone - and vasopressin - the risk-taking hormone.

Should we be more patient with people who are not so nice? asks Dr. Bonnie. She says that this discovery cannot be a cop out. It's not ok to give a narcissist a free pass, but it does help to understand where they may be coming from, she says. "It's possible narcissism isn't as much the person's fault, directly, as we may have thought," Dr. Bonnie suggests.

More from YourTango: Game Over: How Playing Video Games Can Be A Form Of Cheating

When someone is dealing with a person they suspect is a narcissist, Dr. Bonnie suggests asking these questions:

Do they turn the activities or conversations back to themselves?

Do they feel entitled?

Are they looking to receive great gifts but don't put as much thought into what to give other people?

Do they shut down and ignore other people?

For people with a narcissist in their life, Dr. Bonnie suggests skills that she teaches for empathy but also firmness and decisiveness. She typically prescribes the Brush with Death for patients who are dealing with a narcissist who needs to be snapped out of taking the other person for granted. "It's the only thing that will bring a narcissist to their knees - they will start missing the other person and stop taking them for granted. It alerts the narcissist if it's a viable relationship; don't feel sorry for them, stay the course - it often takes a person like this four to six weeks to snap out of it! Unless there is movement or change - remember, it's important not to waver when the person pleads their case. Don't listen to words, look at the movement" cautions Dr. Bonnie.

More from YourTango: 4 Do's & Don'ts Of Facebook Flirting

"Don't engage in a power struggle," advises Dr. Bonnie. And do lower expectations. "Don't attempt to discuss the issue with them, because you don't want to talk a relationship to death. Just don't give them too much attention and don't expect too much."

For more tips from on how to handle a narcissist, click here:

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Bonnie Weil


Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil
Relationship and Family Therapist

Location: New York, NY
Credentials: PhD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Bonnie Weil:

How Do I Avoid Being Too Controlling In My Marriage?


There's a thin line between suggesting your spouse do something and demanding they do it. The latter is considered controlling behavior and that is a major no-no in marriage.  Marriage therapist Dr. Bonnie Weil explains why you shouldn't attempt to control your spouse and what ultimately happens when you try.  Watch the video to learn ... Read more

Marriage: Help! My Husband Always Humiliates Me In Public


Does your significant other leave you blushing and speechless in public? Are you sick of your relationship being a continuous awkward moment? Embarrassing your husband or wife in public is a social and relationship no-no. Marriage therapist Dr. Bonnie Weil explains the importance of staying honest (behind closed doors). “Honesty can be cruelty; you ... Read more

Marriage: How Do I Deal With My Selfish Spouse?


You love your husband, but not his behavior. Should you really break up with your husband if he is acting like a selfish jerk? You'll be surprised to learn the answer is yes!  Marriage therapist Dr. Bonnie Weil explains "break up to make up" and how this can be an effective way to get your husband to pay attention to his less-than-stellar ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts
The Secrets To Happiness Start With You

The Secrets To Happiness Start With You

Look within to center yourself and discover lasting joy.


What is Romance?

By redefining your definition of romance your love life can improve.

Dallas Buyers Club

Gender-Bending Hollywood: It's Time To Put The Boxing Gloves Down

Let's bring balance to who gets which roles in Hollywood.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no timeā€¦

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>