What is communal narcissism? Is healing from trauma culturally influenced?
What is Communal Narcissism?
Is Healing From Trauma Culturally Influenced?
Answering Your Questions.
Healing from trauma is culturally influenced. Here’s some perspective on that.
You’re welcome to either watch or read below.
Hope this is helpful
Hi Loves happy Wednesday.
It’s Colleen here from Saliya Life wellness.
I always forget to say my name so
Hi, it’s Colleen here.
And as always I try to share some perspective when I’m getting the same questions over a number of days
So I’ve put together some notes and hopefully I can give you as much information as possible.
I don’t speak in sound bites.
Education is not delivered in sound bites of three minutes so hopefully I can give you as much information in a short time span.
People come to me for various reasons most of which either has to do with burnout or healing from a traumatic experience,
and what I should say is healing from trauma is
There are a lot of cultural differences.
For me, I’ve been fortunate enough to live in 35 countries which I’ve mentioned a number of times and so the benefit of this is that it’s given
me a really broad perspective of how different cultures deal with the whole healing process and traumatic experiences.
I’m in North America at the moment and one of the main differences between what we see in Asia and what we see in North
America is what people identify with & how the healing process is handled.
In Asia people don’t identify very strongly with qualifications.
Whereas in North America qualifications are valued highly.
There is very much this perception of the person with a piece of paper has your answers, right?
So we see things like being qualified in mindfulness, being qualified in Meditation, and being qualified having a piece of paper and being
qualified in just about everything.
For me, yes, I am well qualified for my age, but I definitely don’t identify with my qualifications. For me, the value of a qualification is
only ever how much you’ve applied that to your own life, and actually implemented what you’ve learned within your own
From an Asian perspective Wisdom is valued highly, and you cannot be qualified in Wisdom. Is how these traditions see it.
They value personal insight and they value community, very highly.
We see the sense of community very high across Africa and definitely across Asia, whereby
The “we “is far more important than the “me” , right. In North America, this is very very different.
It’s very much a sense of ME, very high levels of entitlement and the questions that I’m getting at the moment have a lot to do with narcissism.
This is a really interesting topic and it’s quite broad.
I can’t give you everything within one segment, but I can give you some information.
One of the important things to know is that
part of my life is early childhood development work.
The ages between 0 & 5 are really really important, and so a lot of people who come to me, particularly women are healing from narcissistic
They might be dealing with anorexia and bulimia and anorexia and bulimia is very much connected to the early childhood stages and
also for people dealing with addiction, it’s very often related to the environment that they’ve been raised in.
So if you’re a parent and you’re watching this the ages between 0 & 5 for a child are really important in order to
develop a strong sense of self.
To actually know:
Who they are within themselves and from there
to know Who they are within their family and then
within their Community
This is a very important gap that’s missing in North America at the moment.
People identify very much with what is outside of themselves.
So they identify with qualifications, they identify with a group,
they identify with the possessions that they have, but the personal sense of security is particularly low.
Whereas from an Asian perspective establishing a very strong sense of self is important.
People often mention this topic within yoga. We should have no ego.
There’s a very clear difference between what is ego, and what is a strong sense of self and a strong sense of personal identity.
When it comes to the topic of narcissism, this also is important from a yoga perspective because there is one branch of narcissism refer to as communal narcissism.
For me this is quite interesting within the yoga community because there are overlaps.
We see this with social movements that are involved in high conflict.
When there’s mass conflict or high conflict situations.
It’s a group of people that have kind of taken up a banner to change the entire world.
We’re going to rescue, save and fix the whole world.
There is a question mark of communal narcissism on this.
Within communal narcissism we see this very much with people, like I said, who want to rescue, save and fix the entire world. They often
seek validation in charity work.
Not everyone that’s involved in charity work is necessarily a narcissist, but it does feature a lot in terms of ,there’s often a sense of emptiness
within the person and so feeling needed in the world is fulfilled, or that emptiness is fulfilled by rescuing, saving and fixing the entire world.
We see this with social media pictures very often of like, you know, the women posing with orphans for example and
things like this.
I don’t need to necessarily go into this if you’ve ever seen photographs of people posing with orphans, then this would make total sense.
So the validation of receiving validation from the community by rescuing those who are less fortunate than us.
In Asia, you don’t see this. You don’t see, particularly within Buddhist societies.
I don’t necessarily identify with any one particular belief system; I have respect for all of them and my understanding of various
cultures and various belief systems is broad having lived in different places, but within Buddhist communities you don’t see this.
You don’t see the monks and the nuns going out into society to kind of rescue, save and fix people.
The Monastery is provided for those who want to go and develop their personal wisdom, develop their personal insight. The Monastery is a
place where there they go.
You don’t see the monks and nuns going out to save or convert or fix everybody within the community.
They simply offer the services or they offer the place and then if people want to go they go.
There also isn’t a belief, and for me, I believe the same:
I don’t believe in people ever being broken and I don’t believe in people needing to be fixed.
I believe that we are simply here to grow and develop as humans and so part of that growth process & part of that development process and
part of that evolution process, is that we come up against struggles and we come up against difficulties in life and then we learn the skills in
order to navigate that.
If you’ve read any of the testimonials on my website, you’ll often see people say things like I give them tools.
For me that’s important.
My role is that I provide tools.
I don’t provide answers.
I provide perspective and I provide tools for you to find your own answers.
I definitely am NOT the holder of anyone’s answers.
Because ultimately people are responsible for the consequences of their own choices.
That is very important and I realize that my own belief system in this is very much influenced having lived in Asia for so many years.
In terms of the narcissist and dealing with narcissism; one of the things to be aware of like I said is that there’s a high level of conflict
but these people are also prone to rage and particularly defensive. This is something to be aware of.
It’s very difficult to please, like nothing is ever right, and as I said a very high level of insecurity and entitlement.
Also what I’m seeing in North America and this does make sense from a lot of the research that I’ve done on narcissism is that
that there’s a high level of incivility.
When you greet people they don’t necessarily greet you back.
It’s kind of the narcissistic behavior has become the new normal and because the media, because mass media and marketers within mass
media understand consumer psychology very very well
it’s almost like it has become the new normal and people don’t actually realize that they’re being manipulated.
People don’t actually realize that they’re perhaps following a trend that is not normal.
It’s normal within this particular culture, but there are very different approaches in other places.
For the narcissist there is the perception of “I’m The King Of The World”
I hold all of your answers, rather pretentious and arrogant, controlling, and I think the most important one , is the lack of empathy.
So for me and my own personal journey about learning all of this, I found this really interesting because I had never …I couldn’t relate the
first time I realized that I was speaking to a person that didn’t have a sense of empathy.
Didn’t know what empathy actually felt like within them-self.
This confused me, I guess for me, I have a very high level of empathy and I connect very easily to people on an emotion level.
For me, this was really interesting as part of my own growth process and my own evolution and my own development, was
realizing that there are people that are simply wired differently.
It’s not necessarily a matter of being right or wrong or good or bad or any of that.
It’s just that we are wired differently and in working with mostly women, working with the women who have recently been coming to me
recovering from traumatic experiences within narcissistic situations, that is what is something that they also realized within themselves
is that there has been a lack of empathy.
I’m sharing this within the yoga community because it’s very often that women who care very deeply , so those within the yoga community,
those within health care, those within education.
The carers of the world very often pair with a narcissistic partner without realizing.
It’s almost as if what is seen in the carer, is what is needed within the narcissist and so this partnership is very very very common and it’s
only much later when things like the rage and the toxic behavior become very clear and the superficial behavior, grandiosity become very
clear that women start realizing things are not in alignment.
Men also do experience it. It’s definitely not gender specific.
There are definitely instances of men pairing with narcissistic partners as well.
And so that’s why I’m sharing some of this information because the questions that I’ve received have been from both men and women
where a lot of the time the men don’t really understand.
They’re simply trying to relate to women and so a lot of the time they ask me questions.
They’re not necessarily clients of mine but they were around me and they ask me questions about certain things in order to try to relate to
things going on in their own life.
So yes, um, there are definitely narcissistic women in the world as well.
I’m not naive about this, in any stretch of the imagination.
The reason why this is relevant to yoga and relevant to the 200-hour Trauma-sensitive yoga teacher training; is that within the recovery
from dealing with situations like this, dealing with things like bulimia and anorexia and a lot of like hardship and pain that has come from
destructive relationships is that there is a difference between thinking your way through a healing process and kind of
intellectualizing your way through a healing process versus having the ability to go through something where you are
able to Embody it.
There is a process of:
- Re-establishing that personal identity
- Re-establishing that personal security
- Personal self-confidence
- Personal self compassion and empathy
- Personal clarity and then a
- Personal connection to yourself and then to
- Whatever is greater than you
- Whatever religion or faith or whatever that means to you.
- You’re able to Embody it.
Healing from trauma, kind of going back to the beginning of what I was saying, is healing from trauma is both culturally influenced and
the approach is very different in terms of viewing it purely from an academic perspective and simply delivering people with information
that they read versus a healing process whereby it is embodied.
The trauma sensitive yoga teacher training is running in July 2020 hosted on an island in Thailand.
There is still availability for this. All of the information is on the website and I do work online.
So if you need additional support in the interim feel free to reach out and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope at least this has given you some information and some perspective on the different approaches to culture and an important
conversation that is necessary because this Communal narcissism is very prevalent within the yoga community.
Hopefully that’s helpful. Have a lovely day. Bye xx