Still Wondering if YOU Are the Narcissist/Did They Finally “Get it?” – Introducing “Shelf Life”

“If I’m asking if I’m the narcissist, then Tony says I’m not!” Tony shares that he receives more feedback on this concept than any other from WUTN listeners. But what happens when the narcissist or emotionally immature person in your life gets ahold of this “script?” Does simply repeating this sentence elicit change? Tony details this question and introduces the concept of ‘shelf life’, a temporary behavioral change in emotionally immature people. We debate the question, ‘If you’re asking yourself if you’re a narcissist, then are you one?’ and touch on the use of therapy or self-help methods as tools for manipulation. As we progress through the episode, we discuss how ‘John’ used therapy to manipulate ‘Emily’ and appear as a problem solver rather than acknowledging his shortcomings. Overall, the episode is an insightful exploration of emotional immaturity, narcissistic traits, and manipulative behaviors in relationships.

00:00 Introduction and Story of John and Emily

01:27 The Breaking Point and Decision to Seek Therapy

02:09 Initial Therapy Session and Promises Made

03:22 The Short-lived Change and Return to Old Patterns

05:47 Understanding the Concept of ‘Shelf Life’ in Emotional Change

09:08 The Power of Writing and Self-Expression

15:04 The Narcissist’s Reaction to the Podcast

16:27 Doubts, Confusion, and the Struggle to Stay Strong

32:53 Recognizing the Difference: Working on Things vs. Escaping Discomfort

33:15 The Narcissist in Therapy: A Case Study

33:37 The Power of Self-Questioning: Are You the Narcissist?

34:07 The Concept of Shelf Life and Positive Tension

34:37 The Nurtured Heart Approach: A Parenting Model

35:40 The Struggle of Change: A Personal Story

36:10 Trusting Your Gut: Recognizing Manipulation in Therapy

36:39 The Aha Moment: Acceptance and Curiosity

37:37 The Ultimatum: Divorce or Seek Help

39:40 The Journey of Awakening: Acknowledging the Past and Embracing the Future

40:05 The Reality of Narcissism: Recognizing Traits and Codependency

41:59 The Power of Community: Reading Comments from the Group

51:02 The Story of John and Emily: A Case Study on Shelf Life

52:39 Understanding Shelf Life: Temporary Behavioral Change

56:54 The Power of Self-Reflection: Embracing Solitude

Find all the latest links to podcasts, courses, Tony’s newsletter, and more at

And follow Tony on the Virtual Couch YouTube channel for a sneak preview of his upcoming podcast “Murder on the Couch,” where True Crime meets therapy, co-hosted with his daughter Sydney. You can watch a pre-release clip here

Subscribe to Tony’s latest podcast, “Waking Up to Narcissism Q&A – Premium Podcast,” on the Apple Podcast App.

Go to to sign up for Tony’s “Magnetize Your Marriage” virtual workshop. The cost is only $19, and you’ll learn the top 3 things you can do NOW to create a Magnetic Marriage. 

You can learn more about Tony’s pornography recovery program, The Path Back, by visiting And visit and sign up to receive updates on upcoming programs and podcasts.

Tony mentioned a product that he used to take out all of the “uh’s” and “um’s” that, in his words, “must be created by wizards and magic!” because it’s that good! To learn more about Descript, click here

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top