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Toxic Narcissism :  The Biggest Obstacle to Optimising Life

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

Lighthouse Global’s Paul S. Waugh tells us why toxic narcissism is the biggest obstacle to conscientious people building their lives, careers, and businesses

Written by Vivienne Juan, Associate Elect

What we have discovered from our 18 years of working with 70,000 people is that it is the ones we don’t suspect, the ones we love the most and expect to love us the most, that do us the most harm. This has been one of the most inconvenient and painful truths that we've discovered through our pioneering research into human potential; from leading psychologists and our own personal experiences.

“Most people think that’s normal — you live your life through your child — when it isn’t! It’s seriously unhealthy to live your life through your child, and put your life’s pressures (where you didn’t succeed), through your child to succeed.”

Watch the video below to hear from our Head Mentor, Paul S. Waugh, on his experience with helping people handle toxic narcissism, and what it takes to really begin to heal from the narcissistic damage we have suffered.



Do you feel you may have been the victim of narcissistic feeding?

To speak to a mentor about getting the right support, and to learn more about what we've discovered about human potential, please check out our mentoring & coaching page.


Have a question? To send me feedback or share your thoughts,

please do get in touch and drop me an email - I'll be happy to hear from you.



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10 Comments


zach54
zach54
Jan 04, 2022

Thank you for addressing the 'inconvenient truth' around toxic narcissism, and for highlighting the impact that this can have in our lives without being aware of this in ourselves and in others!

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jatindersingh4
jatindersingh4
Jan 04, 2022

This is a very common scenario- so common it seems so “normal”! There are hundreds of millions of parents doing this right now without even realising it and they are damaging their children. I can relate to feeling the pressure from my parents - often unwittingly so from them when they would share the pressures of their life in front of me and I would feel the need to succeed to make them feel happy.

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Vivienne
Vivienne
Jan 26, 2022
Replying to

Thanks for sharing, JT, that's so true, and all those parents have no idea how damaging that can be, the subliminal message to the child being that life is about conforming to others' needs in a way that leans you to learn (as a child) to neglect your own wants and needs, to not explore them or think them anywhere near as important to be explored in the first place. This paradigm has certainly followed me around later in life, and is the source of much suffering that can only be healed by being supported to confront the cognitive distortions in myself and the source of it in my parents.

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Thank you for sharing Vivienne. Toxic narcissism in families needs to be highlighted because so many are oblivious to it and I was one of them. Identifying it and indeed recognising the consequences of living lives through children and how damaging and unhealthy it is. Control in the name of love and from those you would least expect. I can only imagine the endless list of attempted justification if confronted but no doubt starting with "its because I love you, I care for you".

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Vivienne
Vivienne
Jan 26, 2022
Replying to

Bless your honest self-reflection Duano, and the work you do to ensure you are constantly improving, and teaching your girls what healthy love is x

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Sukh Singh
Sukh Singh
Jan 04, 2022

Oh my goodness, yes!! Parents living through children and it gets passed on and passed on... my child, my dahling... when a parent creates the child to make themselves feel good about themselves as a parent is one of the most damaging things to the human spirit. We do not learn how to become parents which is just one of the reasons why I am spending the time and effort and money on developing myself into a mature adult before I build a family. Thank you Viv for putting this together. This is seemingly such a normal trait of parenting but it means that the child does not form their own unique identity. I know it is hard to take…

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Vivienne
Vivienne
Jan 26, 2022
Replying to

100%, how crazy! The only thing worse than incorrectly learning the unhealthy notion that we are what the social mirror shows us, rather than having our own intrinsic value? Worse is the fact that we learned that from our parents, because they learned it from theirs, and they learned i from theirs, ad infinitum. Could we use the intergenerational chain of learning for something other than this nightmare?! We can - and we will 💗

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Diane Cubitt
Diane Cubitt
Jan 04, 2022

Many of us have grown up with what we see as being loving parents, they care and help and advise us. But what we are unaware of is the manipulation that is done in the name of loving us, I am speaking about the Loving Saboteurs. From the quote you shared Vivienne, where Paul is speaking about living through your child, I have witnessed many occasions seeing how people I have been around have been mentally manipulated by parents in order to please them and carry our their dreams and not even consider what their child wants, but because they themselves were manipulated by their parents and they by theirs. Thank you for sharing this Vivienne

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