The Art of Dialogue

Narcissism and Its Discontents

based on the Tedx Sedona Talk by Dr. Ramani Durvsaula

Saturday, October 6, 2018

3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

This topic foreshadows a TEDx talk that will be given on November 3, 2018, by Dr. Ramani Durvasula.

Our purpose at the ROUNDTABLE is to hear from each other through the dialogue that unfolds. Dr. Durvasula will not be with us, but we will explore the ideas that she describes here. Please reflect on the following before you arrive.

Narcissism and Its Discontents

Narcissism has not only become a normalized social condition, it is increasingly being incentivized.


It’s time for a wake-up call.


Health and wellness campaigns preach avoidance of unhealthy foods, sedentary lifestyles, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, but rarely preach avoidance of unhealthy or toxic people. Yet the health benefits of removing toxic people from a life may have far greater benefit to both physical and psychological health than going to the gym. We need to learn to be better gatekeepers for our minds, bodies, and souls. Instead of habituating to the global shift of validating narcissism and other toxic patterns, it’s time to understand it and take our lives back.


The framework of narcissism has these central pillars:

  • lack of empathy
  • entitlement
  • grandiosity
  • superficiality
  • anger
  • rage
  • arrogance
  • shallow emotion

This is a manifestation of pathological insecurity—an insecurity that is experienced at both the individual and societal level. The paradox is that we value these patterns—and venerate them through social media, mainstream media, and consumerism. They represent a fast-track to financial and professional success. These traits are endemic in political, corporate, academic, and media leaders.


There are few lives which are not personally touched by narcissists—be it your spouse, partner, parent, child, colleague, boss, friend, sibling, or neighbor. Whether societally or individually, the toxic wave of narcissism, entitlement and pathological insecurity is harming us all. The enticements of charm, charisma, confidence and success can draw us in or blind us to the damaging truths of narcissism.


The invalidation inherent in these relationships infect those who are in them with:

  • self-doubt
  • despair
  • confusion
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • the chronic feeling of being “not enough”

All of this makes it difficult to step away and set boundaries.


The illusion of hope, and the fantasy of redemption can result in years of second chances for narcissists, and despondency when change never comes.

Facilitated by Andrea Christelle

Saturday, October 6, 2018

3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Limited to 20 participants


We'll begin by getting to know each other, hear a short talk, then explore what it means to us personally. Bring your curiosity and discover the wisdom that unfolds in the art of dialogue.“

[In] dialogue, when one  person says something, the other person does not in general respond with exactly the same meaning as that seen by the first person. Rather, the meanings are only similar and not identical. Thus, when the second person replies, the first person sees a difference between what they meant to say and what the other person understood. On considering this difference, they may then be able to see something new . . . [and make] something in common, i.e., create something new together.” David Bohm, On Dialouge

People who are interested are interesting. Meet each other!

Saturday, October 6, 2018
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Limited to 20 participants



Sponsored by:

Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau logo