Our City Leaders Narcissism Part II

A Resounding Victory Against Narcissism!

If you followed my last post with this title you may be excited to learn that our local city council voted last night to retain all 14 of the beautiful giant trees in our local Civic Park that were threatened.

This is wonderful news for those of us who have been committed to protecting them.

This last few months has been a very harrowing time for me as it often seemed we would lose this battle and as I explained previously, these trees hold a very sacred place in my heart. For many years they have been the place I would go (even if only in my mind) when I needed to self soothe and calm down. The fact they came so close to being destroyed - fully in bloom and a home to so many beautiful creatures - threatened me personally on more levels than I could express. Walking under those enormous trees is for me God's own church and the fact that other people wished to show their power by cutting them down caused me anxiety and a sense of evil taking control of our city in ways I have never experienced before.

In the past where I would have been debilitated by that anxiety, or over reacted - this time I helped with the fight.

The victory has also been a very healthy one and not superficial ...

In the process of this battle the general manager of our city council resigned. She was the highly paid - behind the scenes UNELECTED official who had insisted there was no choice except that the trees must go. Like an episode of "Yes Prime Minister" she was an expert at massaging the egos of the councillors-with-a-vote to make sure she got her way.

So here's were we stand now ...

- Our city has been 'woken up' and had its community political spirit renewed.

- Our Mayor has had a change of heart and even made a stand saying that council should not be fighting the people but defending their interests.

- The unelected power in the system has been shown it is not invincible.

- Even though the activist's court appeal was overturned it ended up being council itself who has voted to preserve ALL of the trees.

- A better working relationship now seems to be forming between the activist group (that works to protect our parks and playgrounds) and council.

I mention this idea of a healthy victory because all to often I find people in dysfunctional families seeking unhealthy victories.

Once a battle of wills has gone on for too long the goal of each family member can too easily become focused simply on the importance of getting one's way.

Narcissists will lie and cheat while codependents will use emotional ploys - with the sole purpose being that these acts will hopefully get each person what they are desiring for a little while.

Not only does this rarely work but it then sets an unhealthy precedent for their children who will begin using all the same unhealthy and ineffective methods of coercion.

The only real means of healthy decision making and team work is direct negotiation.

If your partner will not play fair however you will also need to know how to cut through their games and keep it honest.

That is certainly not easy but is where our ebooks can really help.

Learning new habits and unlearning old ones takes time certainly - but where will you be in a year's time if you don't start now?

It took my 3rd major relationship being on the rocks till I woke up and saw that I really had to do some hard work growing up.

That decision was undoubtedly the best in my life and so I hope you will do the same.

There are many people who will argue that their relationship problems are completely out of their hands and there is nothing they can do to improve things (and even blame me for giving people hope) but that was exactly the same thing nearly everyone said about saving the trees.

I said from the beginning that we could win and we did!

So who do you want to believe? If the people saying, "There is no hope", win your vote ... what happens to your life then?


  1. Congratulations to you and your trees

  2. I'm really happy for you and your community, I know that feeling of working so hard on something you want that you think it is kicking your butt in the process and fear it won't pay off...and then it does! It's like you hear the choir singing and the sun shining, it gives purpose and confidence in your abilities.
    Unfortunately I am married to a narcissist and have not yet felt this breakthrough with him. I have bought and read all you and Steve's e-books and actively taken part of it, but every time I try to introduce the gap work to my husband, he refuses and says he doesn't need it, maybe I do but he doesn't. After a recent blow up about nothing, where he broke a computer on purpose, (luckily his), he told me HE wanted a divorce! I was more flabbergasted than anything, I didn't even get upset, I still haven't. Here I am the one who could have left him a million times and trying to make it work, I almost laugh a little when I think about him saying that. Am I just emotionally numb, I haven't even cried or cared. I mean I know I have successfully stopped letting him control my emotions based on his outburst, his words and actions don't upset me anymore because I know it has everything to do with him and not me, but I guess I am just not sure what to do at this point? Should I be feeling nothing when he tells me HE wants a divorce?
    I don't mean to rain on your parade and again, as a lover and climber of many trees, I congratulate you on being part of saving them. And I thank you from all the way over in the south United States for helping the Earth breathe a little better. God Bless.

  3. What a beautiful interweaving of personal activism with relationship healing and hope! You have nailed the narcissistic "my way or the highway" point of view that explains how self absorbed leaders manage to do a lot of damage without making any sense. Congratulations on your victory and the healing of your relationship as well.

  4. Thank you for the hope you inspire in codependents like me.

  5. Yeah Baby!
    To you, Steve, and the children.
    I'm so pleased.

  6. Wonderful results! It is nice to be listened to by our elected representatives. I just read the US book 'The No Asshole Rule' by Robert I. Sutton. It illustrates that when bullying/narcistic behavior at work is spotted and not rewarded but discouraged at every level, the work environment and efficiency improves within and around the company. It gives many excellent tips for both sides to help eliminate narcistic behavior. These reinforce Kim's tips and many can be applied to personnal relationships too. As in Kim and Steve's examples, rallying help around you, taking small steps and highlighting every positive result such as today's trees story show how we can chip away at this worldwide problem. Think of the old french proverb: Patience and length of time achieve more than might and rage.

  7. yes and amen,, I don't want to sound religious but I would like to say that this came at a 'very' key time. I am struggling with similar stuff...lots could be said.

  8. Hope and work = results! Congratulations for believing...in people, in trees and in miracles. Thank you for being present in my life. You are a blessing.

  9. I love trees and that is my soothing place to go as well. Working in the garden sooths me it it isn't horrible but give me a bunch of tree when things are really bad.

  10. Kim, This is really a big deal. I have long felt that I was placed in relationship specifically to strengthen me for the future, which it has. I have to say that when I was looking for help, your information was the ONLY call to sanity that I encountered, both in the real world and in the cyber world. There are many beautiful trees standing, in the forms of men and women with their families because of your speaking up for all of us. You go girl, you know it, as my aunt said to me " What dragons are you going to slay next? " Congradulations on the victory, and Merry Christmas.

  11. Wonderful victory. As Chief Seattle said once, what befalls the earth befalls the people of the earth. And Abe Lincoln said something like evil is allowed to flourish when the good people of the world do nothing. It takes courage to take a stand and say 'No more'especially with the earth, the trees and those beings that are voiceless and unable to do it for themselves.That's a sign of maturity, to have the guts to be disliked. You're so right about maturity and having some hard work to do growing up. If you come from dysfunction, you're usually an adult child. Bravo on doing the right thing and backing down the city council.

  12. Bravo to you from Jacksonville, FL USA. You guys are awesome!

  13. From all of us who love trees and appreciate their beauty, their dynamic place in our ecosystem and the pleasure they bring our lives--congratulations on winning a difficult and seemingly impossible victory!

  14. Be Blessed in your work. People take their habits from the bedroom to the boardroom. Unless we can take what we learn about emotional abuse from our private relationships to community building, we cannot infect the society with more positive outcomes.

    God is love; love is God.

  15. So happy for you. Thank you for all you have done & continue to do. Trees are the one place I can go to for healing as well. As I read your story I thought of my special place and how upset I would be if this was happening in my community. I am so proud of you for speaking up and I believe this battle saved more than just trees.

  16. Kim, You do give hope where there didn't used to be. Here in the USA we have a huge divorce rating. I think that is the biggest problem-- that no one tries to make it work. I think mostly because no one knew how. Your lighting the way for many families and now your community. Look at the impact you are having when you were able to grow. The codependents that will grow because you lite the way. I am excited to learn what I can do for mine. Thank You

  17. Colorado USA friendDecember 18, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    Thank you so much for saving those beautiful trees! There's just no way to express what magic trees bring to us and the world. And the ouster of the behind-the-scenes destructive sociopath who would kill them for no reason is perfect. So very well done. Your city and the world is a better place because of you, in so many ways!

  18. Well done Kim with the outcome of dealing with the questionable leadership within the community. Dealing with a narcisstic person or group is hard work but luckly is now also easier for myself too! I was taught to not think thus be weak but that's history now:). I also can relate to the special places in Nature where the connection to my creator is much clearer. Very important to me. Thanks again for all you and Steve do and enjoy your continued success...

  19. Congrats to you Kim on the victory . This may be a victory that you can see on pen and paper , but I would like to commend you with a victory that you and your husband have personally achieved.
    The work that your web site has done along with the techniques expressed in your books have cured a friend of mine of thier narcissism.
    They explain to me that never before have they had such freedom and love for themselves and others .Through this they can now look forward to a genuine future and have the toolkit in thier hands that can allow them to experience successful relationships.
    Love comes in many forms , the touchy , giving ,sweet talking type and also the tough , relentless and discipline type.
    You seem to me to be discerning in the methodologies you employ given most situations. And for that you are a great example of a person that will leave a commendable stamp upon this world.
    Keep up the good work it doesn’t go unnoticed

  20. Wow Kim Cooper I am so proud of you girlfriend !
    I also like the the comment about a "partner not playing fair". It was very good advice as usual from you.I'm going through a battle right now where no one is playing fair but that's o.k. because I know that I will win also.Although reading your article put a little more strength in my back to hold on tight to the decision I've made to leave my mate.Throughout the ride I am about to experience I will continue to seek your
    wonderful guidance in order to blossom.That's what other woman are supposed to be to each other right?


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