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How To Spot A Narcissist, The Impact of Toxic Relationships & Building Healthy Boundaries with Dr Ramani Durvasula

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  February 21, 2024

Whether it’s on the political stage, in the world of celebrity, or across social media, the word narcissist is used a lot these days. The same goes for terms like ‘gaslighting’. But do we really understand what they mean? Is their increased use a good thing, shining a light on toxic behaviours to beware of? Or do we risk diluting their impact – undermining what it really means to be stuck in a narcissistic relationship?

This episode takes a frank look at all these questions and more, with licensed clinical psychologist Dr Ramani Durvasula. She’s Professor of Psychology at California State University, a world-renowned expert on the impact of personality and personality disorders on health and behaviour and someone who is extremely passionate about the impact that narcissism can have on physical health, mental health and relationships. She has written several books, including the latest, It’s Not You: How to Identify and Heal from Narcissistic People.

We begin by exploring the true meaning of narcissism, its prevalence within society, the evolutionary explanation for narcissistic traits, the impact that narcissistic behaviours can have on our relationships and why it is that society seems to reward these traits, making them synonymous with success and fame. 

Dr Ramani believes too many people are harmed by narcissists. As a survivor herself, she’s made it her life’s work to raise awareness of how they can wreak havoc in relationships, families, workplaces and more. By exposing the traits and refusing to celebrate them, she wants to empower and protect people’s health.

It’s Not You is the title of her book because Dr Ramani wants survivors of narcissism to know they’re not at fault. She believes you can get to a place of ‘radical acceptance’ where, even if you can’t leave, you can acknowledge a person’s behaviour is not OK and you’re not at fault. And during this conversation she outlines some of the ways you can get there, how you can protect yourself in future, and how to start healing if you have been hurt.

This conversation is slightly different in topic and tone from what you may be used to on this podcast. But I do think that this is an important topic that is probably not spoken about enough. For me, it really was an honour to have such a deep and honest conversation about this topic with someone as passionate and articulate as Dr Ramani. I hope you enjoy listening.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Watch the video version of the conversation here:

Connect with Dr Ramani:

Website     YouTube    

Instagram     Facebook     Twitter  

Dr Ramani’s Podcast:

Navigating Narcissism

Dr Ramani’s educational programme:

Taking Yourself Back: Healing from Narcissistic & Antagonistic Relationships

Dr Ramani’s books:

It’s Not You: Identifying and Healing from Narcissistic People

“Don’t You Know Who I Am?”: How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility

Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving A Relationship with a Narcissist

Related Feel Better Live More Episodes:

#332 7 Ways We Self-Sabotage and How To Stop with Dr Ramani Durvasula

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Dr Chatterjee’s books and resources:


*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP