How to Spot a Narcissist
At the core of extreme narcissism is egotistical preoccupation with self, personal preferences, aspirations, needs, success, and how he/she is perceived by others. Some amount of basic narcissism is healthy, of course, but this type of narcissism is better termed as responsibly taking care of oneself. It is what I would call “normal” or “healthy” narcissism.
Extreme narcissists tend to be persons who move towards eventually cutting others off and becoming emotionally isolated. There are all types of levels on that road to isolation. Narcissists come in all shapes, sizes, and degrees. I would like to address how a person becomes an extreme narcissist.
Narcissism, in lay terms, basically means that a person is totally absorbed in self. The extreme narcissist is the center of his own universe. To an extreme narcissist, people are things to be used. It usually starts with a significant emotional wound or a series of them culminating in a major trauma of separation/attachment. No matter how socially skilled an extreme narcissist is, he/she has a major attachment dysfunction. The extreme narcissist is frozen in childhood. He/she became emotionally stuck at the time of his/her major trauma of separation/attachment. In my work with extreme narcissist patients I have found that their emotional age and maturity corresponds to the age they experienced their major trauma. This trauma was devastating to the point it almost killed that person emotionally. The pain never was totally gone and the bleeding was continuous. In order to survive, this child had to construct a protective barrier that insulates him/her from the external world of people. He/she generalized that all people are harmful and cannot be trusted. The protective insulation barrier he/she constructed is called a false persona. He/she created a false identity. This identity is not the true person inside. The many types of false personas or identities that an extreme narcissist creates can vary. Some narcissists may have the ability to change into a variety of identities according to the situation. The wounded child inside may choose to present a front as a “bad ass” and tough individual. He/she may look, by appearance, intimidating and scary to the average person. He could also play the “nice guy/person” whom everyone likes. A corporate type version can be one that is diplomatic, proper, and appearing to care but in reality does not. Another very likeable extreme narcissist can be the one that chooses the comedian role. He/she is the life of the party and has everyone in stitches, making them laugh constantly. Everyone wants to include this person because they are a lot of fun. Try to get close or ask personal questions as to how he/she is internally doing and feeling and you will find is that he/she will quickly distract you. They will sidestep the question with another joke, making you suddenly forget what you were asking. Narcissists can be very skilled at dodging and ducking personal questions. If you press them, they will then slot you as “unsafe” and will begin to avoid you and exclude you from their life. There is also the success oriented narcissist. He/she will be your friend and keep you close to him/her as long as you are useful. Once you do not have anything more to offer and he/she has taken all they wanted from you, you are history. You are no longer desired, wanted, or sought.
[This message edited by woundedby2 at 8:46 PM, June 18th (Friday)]
Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.
~Robert Louis Stevenson
I was thinking of the posts remarking upon the use of third party or legal means to get these vampires to head in the right direction (why I'm doing this)and also working in the realty of my still being the one doing the long distance parenting for the two teens that still stay with him 50/50. By the way, my atty. and his both wanted me to get a parenting coordinator that was a lawyer and a mental health professional!
I will update you all with what happens in this arena as I can see it may either be a help to some here or may be words to the wise on a path to not spend the resources on.
It is a repository of wisdom.
I'm snipping one poster's comments as they apply to the current discussion...my apparently evolving quest.
"Mediators and GAL's tend to have a bias in favor of communication, believing that the more the two parents speak to each other, the better things will go for the children. In domestic violence cases the truth is often the opposite, as the abuser uses communication to intimidate or psychologically abuse, and to keep pressuring the victim for a reunion. Victims who refuse to have any contact with their abusers may be doing the best thing both for themselves and for their children, but the evaluator may then characterize her as being the one who won't let go of the past or who can't focus on what is good for the children. This superficial analysis works to the (NPD's) advantage."
(hi auntie! i miss u terribly!)
Victims who refuse to have any contact with their abusers may be doing the best thing both for themselves and for their children, but the evaluator may then characterize her as being the one who won't let go of the past or who can't focus on what is good for the children. This superficial analysis works to the (NPD's) advantage.
This is so true!! I think our custody mediator realized that he was an abuser. But when I went back before the judge a couple months back for the Restraining Order, the judge was admonishing me for not keeping open lines of communication and for not responding to X-assclown's phone calls right away.
Well, I don't have communication with him for a reason. That's why I was seeking a Restraining Order. And as far as not responding to his calls: when he can just call me once and leave a polite message, well then maybe I'll call him back. Until then, I will continue to deploy my protective measures thank you very much.
rainagain, I would advise keeping track of the fact that he's not making appointments, paying the retainer, etc. I had some other advice, but then I remembered that you are already divorced, correct? Are you still having custody disputes, or is this just to deal with issues involving co-parenting? If it's an ongoing issue, I imagine you have plenty of prior documentation about what he's done in the past, and I would make sure to have that available when you do meet with her.
[This message edited by sick_of_the_lies at 8:45 PM, June 23rd (Wednesday)]
Feeling weak with his "niceness".
It's not that I have trust issues, it's that you shouldn't trust some people!
Can they act "semi-normal" for so long? It seems that those who knew WH superficially thought he was wonderful. Some people who were not taken in by his charm thought he treated me badly.
Thanks for any input. I am really trying to heal. WH is a huge cake eater and has told me he won't give up OW, but loves me and doesn't love her.
It's not a decision I have to make, just trying to make sense of things and heal.
In my case I don't think anyone else sees him as being as flawed as I do, but I also don't think anyone other than brief encounters thought he was "normal".
His superiority complex was not something he ever hid, nor was his disdain if you did not live up to his standards.
But he can also be very charming and he is very good looking and smart, though I haven't seen anyone last, except me, for very long, he went thru friends and jobs fast.
I have been married 30 years. There is no way I could take him back. He is fine as a go to guy if I want to go the movies or grab a bite to eat. He cannot, however, form emotional attachments, and without that I could never consider him "husband" material.
honesttoafault--it is my experience that they can act normal for quite a while. Afterall, they are actors and the world is their stage. I also minimized his moods, etc. Once the infidelity became known and it became increasingly difficult for him to act the role of good husband, all bets were off. Attempts to charm me back to sleep, distract me from seeing who he really was eventually failed.
They are forever and always managing their image. Once my NPD realized he couldn't manipulate how I viewed him, he decided "game over".
Is this making any sense? I feel like I am rambling
My NPD's pity parties are legendary around here!
just wondering...it said if you block off the NPD...then they find thier N supply elsewhere...
when it got too much for me, i stopped responding to WS...he DEMANDED that i listen to him and give him moral support...(i still didnt )
my NPD WS went to chatting ...right away...and started telling girls how intelligent...rich...he is ..blah blah...girls were all falling for him...he doesnt know i am reading all these chats...
so i guess...i shudnt take this personally....it was expected to happen...if i was like a doll with no brain and just said yes master..yes your highness...he wouldnt be cheating online..?
just a thought....
[This message edited by fallenangel02 at 11:51 PM, June 24th (Thursday)]
Imagine they are invisible and cease to exist unless they can see themselves in a mirror. Imagine the mirror is the face/attention of the supply.
eta: pressed enter too soon..lol
[This message edited by Nicole5 at 8:14 AM, June 25th (Friday)]
When I am in a more rational frame of mind, I remind myself that if we were truly in R and he did not have a personality disorder, he would've given me as long as it took for me to become comfortable with him again. He never ever did anything to show that he was truly remorseful - I don't think he is capable.
The most I ever got was "I am sorry that you got hurt while I was searching for my happiness"
Unbelieveable. Wish I had that entire conversation recorded and wish I had a camera. That same day I found he'd dropped off his recycling in my can (I allow this because I'm a friggin idiot) and I see its all wrapped up in a black plastic bag. Pull the bag open a bit and out pops two huge vodka bottles. No wonder he's trying to cover it up. Jesus! Just unbelievable.
Kids heard the "fight" and my oldest asked me about it. I said we weren't fighting, daddy just got upset, its nothing to worry about.
I love it. My voice never got above a conversational tone but "we" are fighting. LOL, sure, that's it.
The craziest part is that the next morning when I went to drop the kids, he acted perfectly normal, like it never happened. Crazy son of ... UGH!!!!