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Does a narcissist ever think they are?

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Conflicted1 posted 7/5/2013 18:47 PM

My WH thought it was absurd and believed I am way off in seeing so many narcisitic traits in him. Wondering if the person with the disorder ever "sees" it in themselves.

Nature_Girl posted 7/5/2013 18:56 PM

My STBX doesn't think there's anything wrong with him. He's adamant he does not need counseling, that he's a fun & friendly guy who is misunderstood & victimized by his wife.

hemademesingle posted 7/5/2013 18:58 PM

Not my STBX, everyone else has issue's except him
ETA he is always the victim

[This message edited by hemademesingle at 6:59 PM, July 5th (Friday)]

suckstobeme posted 7/5/2013 19:06 PM

It's interesting that you ask this. My IC deals with narcissists quite a bit and my ex is a covert narc. So I asked her, do they know how fucked up they really are?

She told me that when she encounters a narc alone, she will confront him or her with it during a session. Very matter of factly, she will say, "you know you're a narcissistcs, right?". She said they rarely, if ever, fight her on it.

But, if the spouse gets in the room and confronts with the same info, the narc will deny, deny, deny. It's something about the need to snow us and the fact that they know how to do it with us so well. A therapist, at least temporarily, will throw them off their game so they seem to, for a fleeting moment, accept the idea.

At least that's what my IC says.

Kelany posted 7/5/2013 19:08 PM

Mine knows and admits it, but he was diagnosed by a psychologist and seeing it in black and white after being tested and assessed makes it hard to deny.

Conflicted1 posted 7/5/2013 19:13 PM

Hmm I had been thinking when I am invited to a future session with his IC if I shouldn't share my observations of narcissistic traits. He sure seems to fit nicely from my perspective but I'm no expert and clearly not willing to be introspective about the idea at all.

HurtsButImOK posted 7/5/2013 19:16 PM

My x has not been officially diagnosed so its really just my observations during the 'relationship'.

My x will never accept that whatever is wrong in life or the relationship he is currently in is not someone else's fault. There is nothing wrong with him.

If he had to admit there was something wrong with him he would then have to face up to the horrible things he has and is doing, so that will never happen.

For what it is worth his parents help this, they enable and support his narcissism. Hell they gave it to him.

[This message edited by HurtsButImOK at 7:17 PM, July 5th (Friday)]

PrincessPeach06 posted 7/5/2013 19:18 PM

Our MC told him he has narcissistic traits and he apologized to me later for being a narcissist. lol. I don't know if that means he "gets" it but I don't think he realizes how hard it is to change that way of thinking/being. :/

Housefulloflove posted 7/5/2013 19:33 PM

I think even if a narc could truly accept that they are one it usually makes no difference. It would probably be like accepting something is wrong with you but thinking that you have a special version of it that makes it a good thing!

Narcs can't look inside themselves and that is where they have to look in order to acknowledge and take the actions necessary to change themselves. I'm sure there have been some who have, but there is a reason why even professionals often see them as just about hopeless.

Everything I have read about the disorder says basically to run or suffer (and give tips on how to deal with a lifetime of various forms of abuse). I wanted SOOOO bad to tell my Ex about NPD because it was like it was written about him specifically! How could he not see that he had a problem and was practically following a script written in the books I was reading?!

But if I can't get him to even accept that cheating is STILL wrong even when *HE* does it...there is no hope that my words will do anything but give him something else to accuse ME of!

Sometimes I wonder if he sees me with a penis and facial hair since he projects so much!

Kelany posted 7/5/2013 20:02 PM

Those with npd can change, they just have to want to change.

TrulySad posted 7/5/2013 20:12 PM

When my ex bf of three years couldn't get me to fall for his bs, and believe I was at fault, and hurting him, and that he was the innocent victim....he moved on to other women, cheating on me. I eventually broke it off with him. BUT he has been careful enough to never allow them to know mutual friends of ours. This is calculating and leads me to believe a narc knows what they are. It's their selfish nature to deny, at all cost.

solus sto posted 7/5/2013 21:49 PM

Yes. My husband recognized his personality disorder when it disrupted his life sufficiently. He accepted testing and his diagnosis with equanimity.

He still uses IC as a testing ground for new manipulation methods, and he's made next to no progress. He briefly was a bit more deliberate before responding to others harmfully.

The "change" possible does not include feeling empathy or remorse. It involves deliberately choosing different words and actions. If you're married to a real narc, you will never experience the emotional intimacy most desire in a relationship.

My ex "changed" minimally and short-term. Now he just ices people out. Our daughter is his primary victim right now. I am very worried about its effects on her.

If pressed, he'd now use his diagnosis as an excuse.

So, really, it's been kind of handy for him to be diagnosed.

[This message edited by solus sto at 9:54 PM, July 5th (Friday)]

mainlyinpain posted 7/5/2013 22:45 PM

But are there different levels of this disorder? I know a person can be a raging NPD but is there a very low end of this spectrum? Hoping so.

KBeguile posted 7/6/2013 00:42 AM

I'm a WS who has been diagnosed with "narcissistic tendencies," which means I'm not fully-NPD, but I share a lot of the same traits as those who are. Thankfully, the traits that are different were enough to make me look within myself and do the work necessary to start changing that behavior.

So, to answer the question: yes, there is a spectrum. However, it becomes much harder to treat the higher-intensity it goes, because the person is less-likely to see him- or herself as being faulty.

wannabenormal posted 7/6/2013 00:51 AM

Fuck no; they are so wrapped up in themselves.

I do remember XH telling me that OW was so much like him, that is why her liked her. Literally, "She's like a female version of me!"

How into yourself can you be?! Fucking yourself?!

Bluebird26 posted 7/6/2013 03:48 AM

Not my STBX, everyone else has issue's except him
ETA he is always the victim

Exactly that!

Tripletrouble posted 7/6/2013 10:07 AM

This thread made me laugh. My narc was very offended by the suggestion. I guess it would go against their nature to admit and acknowledge.

Like housefulloflove says - they can twist it into a good thing.

caregiver9000 posted 7/6/2013 10:14 AM

He still uses IC as a testing ground for new manipulation methods, and he's made next to no progress. He briefly was a bit more deliberate before responding to others harmfully.


The choice before speaking and acting can be learned, however the N in my life tended to choose to be an ass.

When ex was diagnosed he preened and crowed. Someone had recognized he was SPECIAL.

selkiescot posted 7/6/2013 10:22 AM

My first reponse was think they are what? Condecending? Arrogant? Gods Gift? Whiny little Momma's boys.
My husband will tell you he is abloutely not NPD and yet he was diagnosed as such.

[This message edited by selkiescot at 10:32 AM, July 6th (Saturday)]

joeboo posted 7/6/2013 10:40 AM

I work with a couple guys that are strong npd's. It seems to me they view it as an "order" not a "disorder". As far as them thinking they are, I have no idea but it has become apparent they don't really give a shit. Its as if they do not value an individual's opinion as much as the group's opinion. Shame on me, but I like to mess with their heads every now and again, but only in in groups. They seem to get a little edgy when they are the butt of a joke and everyone laughs at them. Reminds me of the old saying about being able to dish it out but not take it.

..."She's like a female version of me!" How into yourself can you be?! Fucking yourself?!
Sorry, that was just too funny!

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