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Interesting article on how to spot narcissists

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Softcentre posted 8/14/2014 10:06 AM

Apparently, you just ask them if they are???

I'm confused because I thought NPD's refused to accept diagnosis?

But this quote got me thinking that The Arse is some kind of narcissist (and he would never answer yes to that question):

Overall, narcissism is problematic for both individuals and society. Those who think they are already great donít try to improve themselves

The Arse said he believes he never gets it wrong, but unlike normal NPD, he doesn't care what other's think, HE KNOWS that he's right and that's what matters No changing THAT kind of thinking....

GotPlayed posted 8/14/2014 17:36 PM

The way I understand it, there's vulnerable narcissism and grandiose narcissism. Neither of them are prone to seek help, but the grandiose type may admit it and be proud of that fact, while not seeing it as a problem.

Although they both certainly crosses gender lines, the vulnerable narcissism is more typically associated with females and the grandiose with males.

I checked the article, and it's pretty weak sauce. In my opinion, a healthy narcissist will feel great about his/her accomplishments, but will not try to feel entitled to different treatment. An unhealthy narcissist will play up his/her accomplishments from a base of insecurity about the accomplishments. Similar to the difference between a loud talker and a quiet doer (tortoise and the hare - sort of thing).

So you actually have to ask two questions:

1) If they are special or superlative or whatever. That's the question everyone asks. Evidently, since being good at everything is impossible, asking what they're bad at or what they need work with is usually a good tell.
But the second one is even more important
2) If they feel entitled to special treatment (you'll also see that in their behavior).

Everyone is superlative at something. Some are superlative in things that provide revenue. Among the high achieving, it happens a lot that praise given for doing particular things right over a lifetime manifests into a bit of an inflated ego.

But the main thing you have to see is in the little things. How do they treat the valet? How do they treat the help? How do they behave when things go wrong? Do they politely wait or do they berate the attendant? Do they assume that people who are in a menial job are there because of their "low capabilities" (whatever that means) or do they afford them respect?

A vulnerable narcissist is a bit of a different beast. Their base is shame, and the insecurity comes from the shame. And because of that, they shy from self-describing as feeling important. But the behaviors are similar - they are very nice to people they want to use, and lose touch with people that aren't useful to them. They hide their As even from their friends and family. They act caring but are internally perfectionists, and when you are not as perfect as they expect you to be, they then act out when they are disappointed instead of addressing the issue head on. They also expect special treatment but never tell you, instead they feel offended and swing back and forth between inferiority and superiority depending on what's going on in their life.

But both types will avoid contact with therapists, or feel angry/put upon/defensive when speaking to one. Vulnerables may seek help but only during the crisis.

You walk on eggshells with both for similar reasons. With the grandiose, you're more afraid of the anger outbursts. With the vulnerable, you are more afraid of their oversensitivity and offending them.

They are both incapable of empathy, and unable to provide real emotional support, unless they take a serious look at changing and go through long therapy.

Narcissism and Bipolar go side by side with affairs.

But as you resolve this in your head (same thing happened to me - asking "what the heck happened??", one thing is important - don't tell them, don't try to diagnose them (we're not qualified), don't concentrate on it so much. It just enables them, as it continues to be about them. Focus on yourself and your healing. If he's a jerk he's a jerk. We can feel sorry for them as fellow human beings, as we do have empathy. But let him suffer his consequences. Let him figure himself out.

Healing from being long term with a NPD/BPD is hard enough as it is concentrating on ourselves. Don't give him any more mental bandwidth than is necessary to heal your own self. Don't talk about this with him, it will just backfire.


Nature_Girl posted 8/14/2014 18:02 PM

I don't think highly of that article.

thebighurt posted 8/14/2014 19:19 PM

^^^^Ding, ding, ding, ding!

Gotplayed, that description of a vulnerable NPD fits xpos pretty well. I just said in my thread that I didn't think NPD as described in that ICR thread fits xpos, but if this is also a clinical description, it IS him!!

Softcentre posted 8/14/2014 23:11 PM

I agree the article is weak, it did get me thinking, though

The Arse treats everyone politely, because otherwise he would be 'bad'. He enjoys taking the mickey out of overt NPD/pompous people by asking leading questions and then laughing at them in his head. He will never turn back if he can help it, even if he goes the wrong way in the car, he will find another route instead...and if he can't he will get angry, but never admit he is angry because angry equals 'bad'for him. He has said that he believes he never gets it wrong and that he never forgives anyone for anything. Up until the A, I would have said that he has kept a close group of long term friends regardless of where we've lived. But since dday, he has dropped most of them and only kept those who will let him blame me...sadly he has dropped his own family as much as possible too. He resents the people closest to him. He both craves female attention and resents women for his need. He is passive aggressive (diagnosed) but I feel like passive aggression has some kind of narcissism attached to it?

I think I'm trying to understand him, not to excuse what he did, but to try and make sense of what has happened to our family and to try and work out how to deal with him until the children are grown and I never have to see him again. That's the codependent me. I'm working on it, but it's going to take time

meleanoro posted 8/15/2014 09:29 AM

Seems like there's a lot of 'bait' on the internet regarding personality disorders, especially the less savory ones (narcicissm, sociopathy, psychopathy)

Softcentre, your H sounds an awful lot like mine. Lacks the grandiosity but big pity parties, over sensitivity, and when pressed, completely unrealistic assessments of his 'contributions' in life and to our marriage. :D

My H thinks nothing is wrong with him except whatever he deems is wrong with him. He is very 'take me or leave me' about himself, which, coming from a healthy person can be admirable, but coming from a nutcase, well--I don't need to explain.

He, too, looks down upon the grandoise types, and *really* resents them. Not sure why. He fits more of what gotplayed wrote about vulnerable narcissism. He's bitter. He prefers to lay in the shadows. He thinks himself a mastermind, while others are his puppets.

Then again he's also a self-proclaimed anti-social personality disorder so we start to go beyond narcissism here. Which is interesting, and wraps back around a bit to your article: would a true narcissist own up to it? My H sure seems (of late) 'proud' of his self-diagnosis. I think because he feels it makes him more special than others.

The best part of all of this?

From his POV, I'm supposed to inherently understand that I (as his wife, his 'chosen' one) am different, and me assuming he will trample on me in a heartbeat is completely unrealistic. I mean, don't I know him? (seriously. This is what he thinks)

[This message edited by meleanoro at 9:30 AM, August 15th (Friday)]

Softcentre posted 8/15/2014 11:19 AM

There's a bit of difference between ours - The Arse refuses to agree that he is passive aggressive. He's in complete denial. He wants to be the 'good guy', so nothing can be wrong with him. Therefore, it's the world/other people who get it wrong and drive him to whatever acting out he did. The eternal shy, sensitive victim who just needs the right person to understand him & bring him out of himself That's actually the role he played when we met, with the addition of being very flirty and I was the special one who he could open up to...except he didn't truly ever make himself vulnerable and fled from true vulnerability and intimacy. And actually,he's quite arrogant underneath it all.

Your's sounds more like my dad (NPD) or my sister (BPD)...using medical/psychological conditions to gain sympathy, to use as an excuse for any acting out and to get attention?

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