top of page
  • Writer's pictureEmily Eldredge

📺 IWFGG | The Narcissism in Do-Gooding





00:00:00.690 --> 00:00:19.660

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: Hello! Hello! Hello! And welcome to Inner Work for Greater Good. My name, as always, is Emily Eldridge. I am the founder and CEO of ChangeLight where we're here to ChangeLight the world to help you do inner work that accelerates your power to make a difference and really light up the world and and be your full itself.


00:00:19.660 --> 00:00:36.029

That's why the show is called Inner Work for Greater Good, because it's not just about doing inner work. And you know, feeling better just for one on one's own sake, but that when we do that accelerates and enhances our ability to be a better presence for others, no matter where we are in the world, in life.


00:00:36.030 --> 00:01:04.560

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: So today is a topic that I want to talk about. the this, as always, has come up. recently I had a conversation that was very similar to another conversation I'd had with someone a few months ago, and Both of these people that I'm going to refer to. Obviously I won't refer to them by name, but both of them came to me, or at least was, you know, came into my life and X and describe situations


00:01:04.560 --> 00:01:14.570

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: in which someone let me start with the first person. Okay, so she's this, this dear old friend of mine. She's running a nonprofit, and she was talking about how


00:01:14.800 --> 00:01:21.589

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: the leader or the founder of that nonprofit talking about the woman's behaviors.


00:01:21.590 --> 00:01:46.570

and how? you know, she's part of this society set, and she's very well known and everything. Everyone thinks she's so wonderful, and she does all these things to raise money for the organization, but that behind closed doors are basically to the staff in the nonprofit. She's horrible. She's mean. She gas lights. she attacks she criticizes. She's always finding fault. They always feel like they're having to walk on ex shells with her.


00:01:46.570 --> 00:02:10.169

She's very unpredictable. She's fake. It's all this stuff. So the point is that we're at the contrast between the way she's perceived in the outside world by her fellow philanthropists versus the way the staff, and in the not for profit. experiences her is completely different. you know she's seen as this angel to the rest of the world, but a devil, you know, in the organization.


00:02:10.169 --> 00:02:21.430

and then the other, or a woman who I recently met in a mentoring. Now she is was has taken on a a new organization.


00:02:21.730 --> 00:02:48.120

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: in an African country. And basically, what it happened was the the organization had been co-founded. They're helping children in this African country, and they've been co-founded by this woman who's here in the United States, and this man who is a man from that country to help children, and they co-founded it together. But basically, what happened was, that the woman from the United States


00:02:48.120 --> 00:03:12.410

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: had basically found a way to maintain control of, you know the messaging, the communication, the donors and that when he and the co-founder were at odds because of their outlook on the organization. And I'm not going to go into specifics because I really don't want to reveal too much. But the point is is that she basically, you know she didn't like


00:03:12.410 --> 00:03:36.590

the the this approach, which was the original intention of the organization. And so she basically just pulled out and got all of her fellow donors to pull out. And then they started another organization. That's doing something. Very similarly, they basically stolen all of the details from the previous organization. But they're just calling themselves something else. And what ends up happening was all these kids who, prior to that, had


00:03:36.590 --> 00:03:50.490

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: you know, supported in their education and in their and other endeavors. Basically, all that money just disappeared. And those kids were left in the lurch. in this other country. So the and then


00:03:50.490 --> 00:03:53.909

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: the point is, I want to. I'm showing you these 2 examples.


00:03:54.090 --> 00:04:12.429

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: because what I ended up explaining to both of these women at these different times, when I was presented with this. Is that it? What it sounded to me like they were being that they they've been dealing with, and we're dealing with with some someone who is what's called a communal narcissist. Now.


00:04:12.430 --> 00:04:31.229

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: if you're not familiar with narcissism, I highly recommend learning about it, but I'm sharing it on the Channel right now, because I think it's extremely important for those of us who are do good. Or obviously, I'm about in Inner Work for Greater Good. Well in that endeavor to do greater good and to help others, and to make life better people.


00:04:31.230 --> 00:04:45.989

besides, just ourselves. we can run into what are called communal narcissist. Now, I'm in the description. I actually provided a couple of videos, one by Dr. Romney, who was an expert on narcissism. She does tons of videos on Youtube.


00:04:45.990 --> 00:04:51.600

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: about communal, narcissist and communal narcissism, and then another one by Dr. Phil.


00:04:51.600 --> 00:05:16.400

and part of what I like about his video, too, in addition to Dr. Romani, is that he calls these gala narcissists, and if you have ever spent any time in certain set, you know sets of society. You know that the the sort of you know higher echelons or the Money society you know there are. Gail is where people will spend thousands and thousands of dollars just to have a plate, you know, or a table


00:05:16.400 --> 00:05:45.890

in support of an organization. But you know as much as they might seem like. Oh, well, we're getting all this money, really, it's more about their own self aggrandizement, and being able to be perceived as somehow selfless and wonderful. And you know, superior and kind and generous to the people around them. And so that is the essence of a communal narcissist. And narcissism is just. I'm not an expert. I just, I've just studied it a lot. But


00:05:45.890 --> 00:06:10.109

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: narcissism is basically characterized by a lack of empathy for others. And also it's a selfishness, self absorption. And so what's interesting and different about communal narcissist and self-organisement. Although there's other kinds, there's there's grandiose narcissism and other kinds a communal narcissist is typically one of the grandiose narcissist. And I'm going to read term an article


00:06:10.110 --> 00:06:33.310

and I'll also include the link there, just so that we can go through some of the details. But the reason why I'm sharing this with you is because so often in do good or organizations, and not for profits and Ngos in, you know, philanthropic circles in community organizations, in spiritual organizations and churches and and other you know, spiritual groups.


00:06:33.310 --> 00:06:56.999

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: you can. We can run into communal narcissist, and I am going to guess that those of you watching have probably dealt with some, whether you realize it or not, and my hope by sharing this information is to help you learn to discern between someone who is genuinely doing something because they care because they want to make a difference. or they really genuinely want to spread good good messages and and and


00:06:57.530 --> 00:07:22.510

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: and and have have genuinely have impact versus those who are doing it for their own self aggrandizement. And too often there are too many communal narcissist frankly, in these do good or communities, and so when we can recognize and start to discern between who's genuinely altruistic or kind or generous versus someone who's just doing it for their own sake. It's really it's good for us to recognize that


00:07:22.510 --> 00:07:47.510

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: we can learn how to deal with that person, or frankly remove ourselves, because part of the thing with communal narcissist is that oftentimes they inflict narcissistic abuse, which is a kind of abuse that we suffer when you know if we're under the thumb of the narcissist, or we've been manipulated by someone who's a narcissist. So first of all, let me go through some of the elements of this type of narcissism. So I'm going to show you.


00:07:47.510 --> 00:07:59.959

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: So hold on 1 s. Here, I'm going to read just some notes that I wrote from this article that I've included in the description. So communal narcissists present themselves as altruistic


00:07:59.960 --> 00:08:22.759

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: caring and extremely community minded. So this is that dichotomy between narcissism. So we often think of just narcissism is like, well, I'm just all about me, and that's how they come across that. All narcissist come across that way. But this is where communal narcissist actually get their narcissistic supply from being seen as good. And so they seem selfless.


00:08:22.760 --> 00:08:41.469

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: But it's really all about trying to serve their own interests. So communal narcissistic admiration and validation through their perceived contributions to others, the community or society. But here's the key. It's about perception, not the truth. They want to be seen


00:08:41.470 --> 00:09:05.180

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: as benevolent and saintly, saintly, but that does not. That is not necessarily based on reality. The truth doesn't matter to them if other people believe their facade. So it's about maintaining that facade to others. Which is why, when I described to that first example, you have that contrast with that woman who's a gale and narcissist, as as Dr. Phil would likely call her,


00:09:05.360 --> 00:09:30.349

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: between the way she behaved externally versus the way she actually treated her staff, and it was a similar situation in the second example that I gave where like I don't know the woman, so I don't know this for sure, but from what I understand, you know she's being perceived as this angel to these African children by her friends here in the United States. But meanwhile to she she pulled out all her funding on the kids. She didn't seem to care about them. She was only judging them


00:09:30.350 --> 00:09:47.500

on certain metrics as opposed to really caring about them as human humans, and then didn't seem to care when she just pulled out all the funding and got all of her friends to pull out all their funding. Leaving these other people, these the kids suffering. So anyway, it's about perception, not the truth. So to the world.


00:09:47.500 --> 00:09:54.069

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: communal narcissist portray an image of kindness, compassion, and honesty, but at their core


00:09:54.070 --> 00:10:19.039

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: they are just like the grandiose narcissist attention syncing, entitled Antagonistic and even cool. They consider themselves as unique and special, and what the world to believe. They're the best lists in our friend, mother, volunteer, etc. And they satisfy. Those are those narcissistic needs that that supply or that fuel, as some people call it, by being perceived as


00:10:19.040 --> 00:10:27.479

superior, grandiose, and powerful in the communal domain. So in term, in any sort of communal or community, you know, group setting.


00:10:27.930 --> 00:10:51.529

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: but their facade only serves as a mean to get power. So once they have that power, they can drop the pretense and focus on themselves rather than acting as though they actually care about others. Here's another thing. This is another telltale sign for identifying a communal narcissist that when they do something charitable, they want the world to know about it.


00:10:51.770 --> 00:11:19.579

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: There's no use to them in doing something good unless others see it and praise them for being selfless and generous. So think about the people that you may have dealt with in your volunteer organizations. Maybe you're in a nonprofit. Maybe you're running an Ngo. Maybe you know whatever the deal is, or even in your your church, or your synagogue, or your mosque, or wherever you know your or even any new ag organization. You know any kind of thing where there's also a spiritual element


00:11:19.580 --> 00:11:52.259

that you might actually have seen this this huge split between the way their prestige or the way they want to be perceived versus the the actual behaviors that you see behind closed doors, the manipulations. And so let's go on to this manipulated be manipulative behaviors. Communal narcissist also use manipulative tactics, but are often hidden behind false modesty, kindness, and generosity. They often use those as tools to manipulate other. So this is where they're really, if there's a sinister element to this.


00:11:52.260 --> 00:12:00.110

because, you know, they're pretty good at tricking people and making them think that. No, they're not narcissistic. They're actually very humble.


00:12:00.110 --> 00:12:25.110

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: For example, they might give you give some compliments to win your favor and get you to do what they want. They might make you feel guilty for not showing them enough appreciation for all the wonderful things they do for you and for others, or they might gaslight you if you question them in any way, and you can often tell gas lighting when you see something as true like this is what actually happened. But then the other person just denies


00:12:25.110 --> 00:12:33.150

it, and tries to convince you that your perception of reality is wrong. It's a form of manipulation. It's very sinister, and it's a form of abuse.


00:12:33.150 --> 00:12:58.059

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: You may feel like you're walking on egg shells because their mood can change quickly and drastically. Your confidence and perception of reality may have been affected by Lea by constantly being gas lit, lied to and otherwise abused. So here's where we're going to give some examples of where communal narciss can show up because they can show up in different environments. So, for example, a colleague at work might portray themselves as well.


00:12:58.060 --> 00:13:15.469

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: post-social and generous, but behind your back they gossip, and they aggressively dominate every meeting and conversation. Their actions do not match up with their work. They act as though they have everyone's best interest at heart. Really, they only have their own interests at heart.


00:13:15.870 --> 00:13:36.899

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: So that's something to notice, you know, even. And this is where I and I, and I'm speaking to you as I'm speaking to myself as well as to you, because I've run into these people where you know, you think where it's. It's kind of a mind game where you're like, yeah, but they seem so nice, but they seem so generous. But they do such good, and it's like, but something's not quite right or something just doesn't match up.


00:13:36.900 --> 00:14:01.149

And you realize that. Oh, wait! This is all in a man manipulation. So it's really important to recognize this in France. Your friend may involved in charitable causes or volunteering and promote their altruism and generosity on social media. For example, however, in private they are comp unkind, selfish, and or exploitative, you might know the public image they are portraying is false, and in the reality


00:14:01.150 --> 00:14:26.109

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: they only care about themselves, but you also know they would react badly if you questioned or criticized them. That's a great telltale sign to that if you push back or you say I don't know. That just seemed like it wasn't quite, you know, authentic or whatever. And if you get a pretty severe reaction, or any kind of manipulation or gas lighting that can be a good sign that you might be dealing with narcissism


00:14:26.870 --> 00:14:59.910

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: in that person. Parent. This is very common sadly, where you have a parent who presents themselves to the world as the most supportive and caring parent in the world. But at home. It's a totally different story. They're abusive. They're mean, they're critical. They're dismissive. They're neglectful, etc. my grandmother had a term actually for for basically you could say in a way, it was her way of saying a communal narcissist, and I don't think she came up with this, but it's It's Angel, a street angel house, Devil Street, Angel House, devil perceived as an angel on the street.


00:14:59.910 --> 00:15:07.839

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: But really at home they're not. They're terrible. They're mean. They're you know, critical, etc.


00:15:08.070 --> 00:15:37.620

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: And then I've already referred to this spiritual narcissism. This is something to be very, very, very careful of, because I've seen too many people abused by spiritual narcissist. So spiritual narcissism falls under the umbrella of communal narcissism because my nurses doesn't because it describes a narcissistic individual choosing the moralistic domain to feed their narcissistic needs. Right? So there are plenty of wonderful fantastic spiritual leaders.


00:15:37.620 --> 00:16:00.350

or, you know, mentors or priests, or whatever who genuinely care about their constituents and genuinely compare, can care about their communities. But then there are those who seem like they care, but they're actually trying to manipulate, or they get some weird gratification from the power that they, the sense of power they derive from others. Looking to them for guidance, etc.


00:16:01.080 --> 00:16:25.829

So spiritual narcissist believe that they are more spiritual than others. They feel they need to share and show off their spiritual growth with other people. For example, on social media I will just throw in here. I've run into some of the spiritual narcissism in some of the groups that I was in years and years ago, when I was in some healing groups. And they're wonderful, absolutely wonderful, fantastic people I met. But at the same time I always felt this like weird feeling


00:16:25.830 --> 00:16:48.530

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: when I would see someone who was just so sort of enthralled with their you know, new in their own, like energetic, you know, levels that they'd achieved, or the meditations they were doing, or the you know, the way they would wear their clothes as though they were kind of playing a character. Almost it was. It always kind of bothered me. And now I realized that there might have been some narcissism going on there, some spiritual narcissism.


00:16:48.530 --> 00:17:13.290

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: So in typically narcissistic, is narcissistic style. These people need constant praise and admiration for being spiritually advanced or being able to do a particularly difficult yoga pose. You see, there's a there's a need for like supply from that kind of behavior. Fuel, however they are, and despite their spiritual facade, they are entitled and arrogant with a tendency to become hostile and aggressive


00:17:13.290 --> 00:17:37.949

when faced with criticism. If you've spent any time watching, for example, some of the documentaries like Nexium about next year that cult in some other organizations. Or you know scientology, that when you watch those you see that it is at their absolutely, they are always led by narcissists, and sometimes they're full on sociopaths for psychopaths, but that the point is, they derive their fuel in their power


00:17:37.950 --> 00:18:01.399

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: from the admiration of their followers, and they do all these sometimes over, but oftentimes covert tactics to manipulate their followers into doing really really horrible things to fellow, to to, to to their fellow human beings. So it's something to look out for. Whenever you're part of a group it's just be aware of when you might be running into that kind of personality.


00:18:02.240 --> 00:18:27.209

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: So what do you do? All right, I'm going to wrap this up with. What do you do when you are dealing with a communal narcissist or a narcissist of any kind. To be honest with you, the most important thing you can do is set your boundaries part of the problem with with that I'll just put it this way. Is it? Oftentimes narcissist will prey on people who don't have boundaries, or who are


00:18:27.210 --> 00:18:52.169

very well-intentioned and genuinely really good and so narcissistic. You know those of us who are genuinely altruistic and caring and want to make a difference can sometimes be easy. Pray for these people. And so that's where it's important for us to have this discernment about. What are this person's true intentions? What's really going on? And am I dealing with someone who is truly genuine in their motivations? Or are they actually just


00:18:52.170 --> 00:19:24.960

trying to to, you know, elevate themselves, or just for their own self aggrandizement or narcissistic fuel. So setting boundaries, once you realize what you're dealing with setting boundaries setting boundaries, I've said this many times. That's a whole huge conversation, but basically since it, but it's a matter of recognizing the manipulation that's going on recognizing that. that what you know, what the way they're presenting themselves is not reality, and limiting your interactions with them


00:19:24.960 --> 00:19:41.250

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: to the point of even full on disconnecting, if you need to. I am not sitting here counseling anyone here to go so far as that, because I don't know your unique situation. You only know your unique situation. But the point is that there is no point.


00:19:41.300 --> 00:20:09.459

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: no point in trying to change a narcissist trying to appeal to their empathy, trying to even tell them that they're narcissistic, trying to convince them to think or feel or act otherwise. There is no point I am telling you right now. It is just not worth your time and energy. I know this from experience. I know this from study. I know this from watching other people struggle for decades, decades to appeal to, to redeem, to connect with whatever


00:20:09.460 --> 00:20:14.390

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: the narcissist in their lives, it doesn't fing work.


00:20:14.430 --> 00:20:38.159

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: It's not going to work as much as you want it to, as much as you might deeply desire that connection, or deeply desire for them to see the air of their ways, or to, you know, turn themselves around whatever it is. Don't bother, because part of the thing about narcissism is that anytime it is. It's it's it's a self defense mechanism. Ultimately it is like extremely powerful defense mechanism. And so any time.


00:20:38.160 --> 00:20:46.099

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: And and actually, for my own work. You can understand this when we talk about defenders. Is that anytime you might try to break through that


00:20:46.100 --> 00:21:09.490

that defense mechanism is going to pop up, and it's going to just keep reinforcing what the narcissist thinks about themselves. They're going to end up projecting onto you, or they're going to attack you so as not to receive any of the criticism or feedback that you might be trying to give them, etc. So you're just going to keep running into their inner defenders, to their their blocks, to their defense mechanisms.


00:21:09.490 --> 00:21:34.409

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: There's just no point, and I know that can be really hard, especially if you're dealing with someone who lets say as a parent who might be showing the signs of communal narcissism, is that it can be really, really, really hard. But part of another element of narcissism is lack of self-awareness, lack of self-reflection. But I will say this, too, though that's the that's the funny thing, especially about certain kinds of communal narcissist, like, let's say, a new way of your spirit.


00:21:34.410 --> 00:21:56.989

It's not up to you to change their minds. It's up to you to change their minds. It's up to you to know what's right for you, and to know what's healthy for you, and to set your boundaries with those people, and to remove yourself, if necessary.


00:21:57.260 --> 00:22:24.290

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: in the first example of the woman that I shared with, where she realized she was just suffering so much under this woman's direction of this, not for profit. And finally, when we talked about, you know we were, I was explaining all this to her, you know, she said. Well, you know, I think I'll stay just because, you know, we are doing good things for the kids. They were doing other things for other children in this first organization I mentioned. But the problem is, that's a rationalization


00:22:24.400 --> 00:22:50.369

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: for putting up with abuse. So she and it's very natural. I'm not criticizing her. This is a natural thing that we often do, especially when it comes to do gooding and wanting to make a difference. And then, if you realize that you're dealing with a narcissist, communal narcissist, narcissistic abuse, we can tend to rationalize our choice to stay in the situation because well, I'm helping people well, or she's making a difference, or what have you?


00:22:50.370 --> 00:23:11.320

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: But I guarantee you there are good people in the world doing great things, and they're not doing it narcissistically. They're doing it genuinely with good intentions and healthy boundaries and healthy approaches. And so you, in order to do good in the world does not do it and put it this way. Doing good in the world does not require you to put up with abuse


00:23:11.440 --> 00:23:40.159

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: period period, and if anything that's one of the main things of my work is that oftentimes those of us who want to do good in the world are doing good in the world can often do it under suffering like that. We're suffering internally, or we're suffering in this in our circumstances. But it's not about suffering. It does no good. If you're suffering while your help trying to help people who are suffering. The best way to help someone is from a place of clarity and peace and strength.


00:23:40.160 --> 00:23:51.350

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: and your own inner light and joy and Truth. And so, while it may be tempting to want to rationalize your, you know, staying in a situation in which you're dealing with a communal narcissist.


00:23:51.440 --> 00:24:09.310

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: It's, of course, up to you, but I just want to, you know. Put that out there and say, Hey, be aware of if you are trying to rationalize or justify putting up with the views. Okay, so other than that, go ahead. Watch the videos. Dr. Ramani explains it in actually 3 parts 3, part video.


00:24:09.480 --> 00:24:34.360

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: she explains it. And there's a the link is in the the show notes. And then Dr. Phil. Really powerful stuff, and the article that I I read from is also in there. This is such an important thing. I feel so passionately when it comes to narcissism because I've suffered some narcissistic abuse, and other people have way worse than I have. I've mostly just observed it, but I've I've I've dealt with some. And it's just really extremely important that we recognize the narcissist


00:24:34.360 --> 00:24:41.829

in our lives, and especially those of us who are so passionate about making a difference in doing good in the world. It is absolutely vital.


00:24:41.830 --> 00:24:46.189

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: vital that we recognize the healthy actors


00:24:46.190 --> 00:25:07.739

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: versus the unhealthy actors, and my opinion that we all ally ourselves as fully as possible with the healthy actors, because that's how you're going to create more health in the world. It doesn't serve anyone to be unhealthy while you're trying to make other people healthy. We've got to be healthy ourselves in order to make the greatest possible difference and the greatest good.


00:25:07.740 --> 00:25:23.029

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: All right. I hope this has been helpful. I hope this has been educational, as always, I'm And also I've got free program, free, check us out. And I got a podcast Dark Light Truth where you can hear people experience. My.


00:25:23.470 --> 00:25:24.770

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: my


00:25:26.410 --> 00:25:42.499

Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight.World: amazing Drawing Out Process in which we permanently heal, things like inner critics and inner walls and wounded inner children and all those things that you know other approaches. Take a long time to heal, but we can help him in just a few hours. Pretty cool. All right. Thank you so much. I hope you're well, and I will see you next week.


bottom of page