Spotting The Big Difference Between Charming and Sincere

We live in a time of sizzle and dazzle, quips and giggles. It’s not a time to do deep dives into any subject.

How do I know?

I’ve fool-hardheartedly been following the Presidential election soaps on television and twitter.

I’ve been wondering why and when we turned from substance to slander and superficiality.

I want someone to blame. I want something to blame.

Ah, technology did it. Or maybe it’s because we have free reign to get guns and shoot them whenever we want. I know, it’s because we did not build enough walls to keep “them out” or to keep “those in.”

I got it!

It’s my parents fault. They were too busy making a living to really live. Busy, busy, busy all the time. Ah, that’s how I learned that life is about stuffing ourselves with stuff.

And that leads me to the social narcissism I see that is clogging our relationship system today.

I have a warning: STOP and listen. STOP and question. STOP and say NO.

Social narcissists are taking over.

They are everywhere.

They make promises they absolutely never intend to keep. Over-promise and under-deliver is their core value. Oh, they never say it. What they say is “You are amazing and I can help you fulfill your dreamiest dream.” What they do is tell you “I know the smartest, more influential people and I can get you on the fast track from here to there.”

Did you ever hear the warning, “Careful, it’s too good to be true” Yes, of course you’ve heard that!

So why is it when you are promised perfect health and untold wealth you re-frame the thought to “Well, this time it really is good enough to be true.” You forget the warning and you buy in.

You are seduced into believing you can lose all that excess weight in 10 days with this one little pill. You can find your fortune with three simple phone calls. You can ride into the sunset with your princess or prince and live happily ever after with just one lunch date.

You want easy and you want instant and so you buy in.


Let me give you the warning signs and then, well you are on your own. But don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!!

I will just name one person who won the Social Narcissist top award several years ago. And the Oscar goes to…Bernie Madoff. Google him if you don’t remember.

Here is what to look for.

Social narcissists are engaging, beguiling, charismatic and they have all the answers. They do a quick scan of what you desire and appeal to your yearnings with smooth, sweet talk.

It works.

They appear as high achievers on the fast track and amazingly never get tired. They have the stamina of a herd of elephants and they will show YOU how to get where they are.

These folks, male and female, are also compassionate and filled with empathy. They can mirror your emotions and take you up past your fears and stressors to envision a better you, a better way, a better world.

They inspire, ignite and invigorate.

They will make you and the world great again.


Until you say No thanks. Until you do a background check Until you find out that what they sell is smoke. Until all you have is the sizzle with no steak on the grill. Or until you look at your bank account and you see the vast amount of money transferred from you to them. Until you give them your intellectual capital and now they have the book, song, project you shared with such abandon and trust.

We live in an instant world. Or so we think. It’s a lot of bull! Mastery takes time and diligence. However brilliant mixed messages and empty promises are the products of the social narcissist.

Let me end with what Cinderella learned after she married the Prince. He was having an affair and when she confronted him, took charge of her own life, she said “If this is the way you behave as a Prince what kind of a King will you be?”

He responded “I was raised to be charming, not sincere.”

OK, you’ve been warned.

Sylvia Lafair