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can someone explain narcissitic for me
February 6, 2006
11:05 pm
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hopeful for change
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I think I have an idea but not clear.

February 7, 2006
10:49 am
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dalpuz
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dido

February 7, 2006
11:04 am
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revelation
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Hi hopeful...wow! Thats a tall order!

There are lots of different explanations and genre's for this word.

Narcissus was a character in greek mythology...look up his story on http://www.wikipedia.com its very interesting.

Narcissism:
Narcissism is named after Narcissus, and both derive from the Greek word narke "numb" from which we also get the word narcotic. Thus for the Greeks Narcissus stood for callousness and insensitivity, as he was emotionally numb to the entreaties of those who fell in love with his beauty

Then there is the personality disorder NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) which is disgussed frequently on this board as its thought that many emotional abusers are actually suffering from this personality disorder. Its impossibly difficult to diagnose and detect in a person and victims of a person suffering from this disorder (victims are known as narcissistic "supply") go through absolute hell while they are in contact with the person.

Briefly from wikipedia I have found this explanation:

"The disorder is defined by the DSM as characterized by an all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), the need for excessive admiration or adulation, and a distinct lack of empathy, all of which are present in a variety of contexts. Its onset usually begins by early adulthood, with a failure to outgrow the normal narcissism inherent in adolescence. [1]"

This is only a very brief explanation, there are different levels of NPD and its frequently combined with other personality disorders such as Paranoid Personality Disorder or Bipolar Personality Disorder.

I am not a professional (Although someday I am hoping to be) but I have researched this myself as my mother I believe suffers from NPD, although the symptoms have now mellowed with age and apathy, she was quite a force to be reckoned with and she wreaked havoc in our family for years.

I hope this helps.

February 7, 2006
11:17 am
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dalpuz
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geese, combine that with codendency, and throw alcohol abuse is deal with childhood problems and other insecurities......that's a tall order for a therapist to try and fix.

February 7, 2006
12:57 pm
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hopeful for change
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i kinda understand....can I have examples????????

February 7, 2006
1:02 pm
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revelation
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example of what babe? Narcissistic people? There are lots! But officially diagnosed NPD's, now thats harder to find!

February 7, 2006
1:30 pm
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Anonymous
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This is very true about about how difficult it is to find people officially diagnosed with NPD.

I read someplace that many people suffering from NPD eventually go to therapist when their dreams and goals for themselves don't materialize in the way that they expect..and they need help to understanding why. Therapy is for people ready to admit that they have a proble or need help. People with NPD generally don't think they fall into that category.

February 7, 2006
1:56 pm
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gingerleigh
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I think that people too often label their abusers as NPD. True NPD is easy to spot. The grandiosity is so apparent, it's impossible to miss. Most people feel darn right uncomfortable standing next to one.

All people exhibit N traits from time to time, and in fact that's healthy. Focusing on yourself, taking care of yourself, surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good and healthy... couldn't that be interpreted as searching out for "supply"? Sure it could! The question is the degree.

Healthy people are "balanced". They take care of themselves and love themselves, but they also love others and care about them. In some ways you could look at the Narcissist and the Codependent as mirror opposites of each other. Neither is healthy.

Now, keep in mind I'm spouting off an opinion here, not "fact". I think that the reason that codependent behavior is so much more treatable than narcissistic behavior is due to a few key factors. First, one of the traits of codependency is to change oneself to make another person or set of people happy. They will flex and mould themselves into all sorts of contortions, and they are more likely to admit that they have a problem of some sort and submit to treatment.

The Narcissist on the other hand believes that he/she is perfect and that everyone else should change to meet the needs of the Narcissist. By the very nature of the disorder, the Narcissist would never submit to treatment. In fact, I'll throw out there the opinion that the true Narcissist would NEVER submit to treatment, and if he or she does, then that person isn't truly a Narcissist. Perhaps it's just someone who's leaning towards the Narcissistic end of the spectrum and needs a few whacks on the head to shake him or her out of selfish mode, kind of like Scrooge needed a visit from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.

Plus, I think that many therapists want to help people and so are more favorable to treating someone who is a "people pleaser" than treating someone who is so full of themselves it's hard to exist in the same room with them!

Just throwing around some opinions without basis other than my own whim inspired by several cups of crappy office coffee.

February 7, 2006
2:05 pm
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garfield9547
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Hi everybody

I just had to post this....

As a psychiatrist was once heard saying " Ns. are the bread and butter of
the therapeutic enterprise, not because they so often seek professional
help-they are too impressed with themselves to ever think they have a
problem-but because they drive so many people around them crazy.

Garfield

February 7, 2006
2:07 pm
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revelation
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Wow ginger....great post. Yes, I would agree a true narcissist would never agree to therapy. I find your take on why codependents seek theraly to be very interseting too...it makes a lot fo sense, a codependents nature is to want to change in order to please others! wow! Do you have any views on this:

Are codependents and narcissists drawn to each other?

Can narcissism be mistaken for codependency...I'm talking about the "poor me" act that narcissisists sometimes play...could it be mistaken for the manipulative aspect of codependency.

Are children of narcissists more likely to become codependent or narcissistic as adults?

Do children of narcissists seek out narcissistic partners more frequently or is it that narcissists are more attracted to the codependent children of narcissistic parents?

I'd love to research this!

February 7, 2006
2:24 pm
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gingerleigh
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I found this site a long time ago that talks about different types of narcissists... the martyr and the rescuer I think could totally be mistaken as codependents, Revelation.

http://www.n-courage.net/types.htm

Interesting question: "Are children of narcissists more likely to become codependent or narcissistic as adults?"

I'm not sure... probably depends on the circumstances, and whether or not there are other children in the family. Just thinking outloud here... if a true N man married an extremely submissive and codependent woman, and they had a son together, and the son watched the parents interact, the son might turn out to be Narcissistic, playing out the behavior later on in adulthood, modeling the behaviors he grew up with. Or maybe not... maybe the son would grow up codependent, watching his mother endure the sucking out of love supply from his mother and rushing to fill that void with love of his own.

Sometimes I think it's all genetics, nature over nurture. I know one family of two sons and a daughter. The oldest son is 52 and still lives with his mother, doing odd jobs every now and then. The youngest daughter is 40, and she also is shaky in her career, and lives with her husband and children with her mother. Their middle son is 50, financially stable, owns his own small business, and people make comments that you can "set your watch by him". Same parents. Same upbringing. Completely different way of reacting to his environment.

What do y'all think?

February 7, 2006
2:50 pm
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toyia
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Garfield

RE: >>>not because they so often seek professional help-they are too impressed with themselves to ever think they have a problem-but because they drive so many people around them crazy. >>>

I'm living that right now!

As a friend of mine said..."If his EX went to counseling and you're in counseling now...ISN'T that a clue????"

February 7, 2006
2:57 pm
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garfield9547
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Toyia

As a friend of mine said..."If his EX went to counseling and you're in counseling now...ISN'T that a clue????"
Yes, Yes

I have spend thousands on counseling because of my N dad.

Garfield

February 7, 2006
2:58 pm
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garfield9547
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Gingerleigh

You have a very good insight.
I gather you must have been involved with a N if i am not mistaken.

Thanks anyway

Garfield

February 7, 2006
3:15 pm
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gingerleigh
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Garfield,

I think I've been exposed to some N's in my life, and I was certain for a while that I was involved with one who hurt me deeply. But as the years passed, I've looked back and seen that this person really wasn't a true Narcissist. He was a sex addict and had pedophilic tendencies (liked looking at porn pictures of early adolescent girls). But not a Narcissist in the truest sense. He was selfish and cruel at times, but not without total empathy. As far as I can understand it, I think he was just immature. He shirked responsibility, ran away from his troubles like a little kid hiding in the closet or under the bed when Mommy would come to make him do his chores. I was falling into the Mommy role. Hated it. Ended up playing the Mommy role all over again in the relationship where I actually got married to a man who had much more empathy and a much narrower cruel streak, and that didn't work out either, but I finally wised up about my attraction to the immature but oh-so-fun guy who presents himself as having his crap together but underneath is a total mess who passive-aggressively reacts to any attempt on my part to "fix" him. Yep, I'm a fixer. *laugh* In my own defense, both of these men led me to believe that they were one way, and proved to be a different way, so I was trying to "fix" them to be the way that they had originally presented themselves. I played into the drama by refusing to see what was there and stubbornly looking only for what had been promised to me.

But that's just selfishness and immaturity to me, not Narcissism. My great grandmother and grandmother were Narcissists, fitting the Martyr description to a T, and that has poisoned my family dynamics for generations. My mother was a people-pleaser with Narcissistic "episodes", and my father was a binge alcoholic who hit her and then never remembered it, and who relinquished total control of everything having to do with life management to my mother.

Wanna know the most hilarious thing? My father was in therapy for several years after their divorce, and he's a much more stable and happy person now. My mother never got help and continues to flounder. And he was the physical abuser, and she the more classically "codependent"!

All I'm seeing is that there are no hard and fast rules to anything. But I'm sure learning a lot!

February 7, 2006
3:29 pm
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garfield9547
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Gingerleigh

You said
but I finally wised up about my attraction to the immature but oh-so-fun guy who presents himself as having his crap together but underneath is a total mess who passive-aggressively reacts to any attempt on my part to "fix" him. Yep, I'm a fixer. *laugh* In my own defense, both of these men led me to believe that they were one way, and proved to be a different way, so I was trying to "fix" them to be the way that they had originally presented themselves. I played into the drama by refusing to see what was there and stubbornly looking only for what had been promised to me.

Excellent!!!

I can sooooo relate. i wish i had time right now. i am also a 'fixer"

and my father was a binge alcoholic who hit her and then never remembered it,

Am I alloud to laught???

I cannot help, not the abuse of course but hitting somebody and then you do not remember??
So strange, my father is a N. Walked out of after being married for 36 years.

He remmaried and is happier then ever. MY FATHER THE N. The one everybody hated. My mother the one who wanted to divorce, the vitim I am sorry and forever will be the martyr...

depressed, unhappy and forever will be.

Nobody would have predicted this in a million years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks

Garfield

February 7, 2006
5:13 pm
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revelation
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Garfield, your quote about counselling, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry...its so true!

Ginger, I am so interested in this stuff. My mother...she had extremely strong narcissistic traits, all of them.....but maybe she was codependent, I'm not sure, her father was an alcoholic...she definitly lacks empathy though, thats was what trigger my aunt to research NPD years ago. But as an older woman she appears to be empathic towards me and my current situation...but sometimes I get the feeling that she's just playin a role the "concerned and worried mother of troubled daughter" role!!!
I am most definitly codependent, I discovered this about a year ago, it was a complete "revelation" to me hence my name! My Dad...well, he was always very loving to me and my siblings, but he almost was relieved when mum took her "moods" out on us and left him alone...he never stood up to her y'know? Not sure if he was codependent, but certainly by know means a healthy person...looking at my mother and fathers relationship now as an adult I can see that probably from very earlier in their marriage, he was quite cold, undemonstrative, unaffectionate, too fond of alcohol...

My ex, well....I knew from about a year ago that something about his reality wasn't quite right...He does fit the N pattern of showing complete lack of complete understanding of empathy...I mean its quite baffling, he is cold, unemotional, has several fake persona's...but I more or less believed that he would fit in more woth the Paranoid Personality Disorder...he is extremely paranoid, also the N trait of thinking you are extremely handsome and sexually appealing, that doesn't fit as he would have quite low confidence in his looks. He does however have this very disturbing (to me anyway) belief that he is 100% good, 100% vituous, a real good guy...wouldn't harm a fly....its quite baffling his sense of blamelessness and virtuosity...very frustrating and now as I think about it...very scary! Does he sound like an N??? I've thought it before...but...maybe its me who is the N!!! I dunno...there definitly is something just no quite right...just a little skewed about him...a slightly skewed reality!

February 7, 2006
6:26 pm
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toyia
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Thank God, I wasn't raised by an N.

My Dad was a humble saint, with an awesome sense of humor, he loved to kid around.
To meet him was to think you knew him all your life, he loved people, animals....had a good work ethic and generous to a fault.

He spent on anyone but himself, but he was also responsible, we (8 kids) had all we needed.

Did that make me want to "take care" of others??

I noticed my sisters all married, people needy of them!!!

My first marriage....

He was in debt in 2 states, never told me. I put a down payment on the house (from Dad).... managed to get him out of debt.
He got a better job, became successful, workaholic and I lost respect.

Darn......I tried to be careful!

Single for years, then met a saint.

Ok, he wasn't funny, or sociable, but he adored me and seemed to have my Dad's old fashion values.

NOT True, he was anxious to marry. As soon as the committment was made.... he's selfish,controlling belittles me, gives me no credit - my role is to make him look good and he gives nothing in return.

No emotional support......just his looks, his interests, his money.

I did it twice & don't have time for a third.

Just want to get myself whole again.

February 7, 2006
6:58 pm
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taj64
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It means to me: selfish that is out of control.

February 7, 2006
7:50 pm
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toyia
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They wake up selfish, live selfish, can only think of themselves...their image, their looks, their comfort and their title.

Anyone in their presence is only meant to be their trophy.

Don't dare compliment me in his presence - he will make a slur.
Don't show an interest in me, or ask what I do for a living, he will change the subject.

I asked him once, why he changes the subject if I'm asked a question.

He replied "YOU are so petty!"

Nothing that matter to you, your feelings, your parents, friends, work means a thing to him.

He hates to hear what a catch he got in me.......I can't help it that people have made the comment to him.

He just isn't mature or man enough or healthy enough to feel good about me.

If I make money, that's good....but he won't help, encourage or show any support.

I can go on....it's not a pretty picture.

February 7, 2006
9:39 pm
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hopeful for change
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sounds a little familiar, thats why I asked...my husband is very selfish, no emotion or empathy or compassion. Consumed with his looks and portrays this thing to people like he is above them and perfect...or they don't measure up ...but honestly he isn't he does the bare minimum and I take care of everything he neglects and before him it was his mom. He never compliments me or even touches me. it seems like everything is him him him...I don't know if its the same as n or not

February 7, 2006
9:54 pm
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toyia
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HOPE

We live on hope. And when there is no hope, they rekindle it.

He obsesses on his looks, two showers a day, and dresses up to cut the lawn (which is the only task he does).

The world is made up of his secretaries (wife is one) and his Go-fers.
He writes nothing down...he will ask you 3 times for an address, or the date of an event...two trivial for him.

His mother (who I love) kept a gorgeous home, and took care of everything.
He got a minor pregnant when he was 18 yrs old!!!!!

His family took care of everything, they married...the family built them a home.
He's never known a consequence for his behavior.
I admit he is a good worker (not at home) but where he has a title, he loves to be Boss-man!

He feels he is entitled to the best, cleaniest, first class everything - I've never seen him do a thing for charity.

He could less for children, but he has used his own as trophies.

Never around when his ex raised them...too busy looking important.

How did I miss all this?
Well, when a man looks good, dresses good, has nice parents, likes to go to dinners, sends flowers....acts so sweet - well, I missed it all.

His Ex could have predicted the future. But, I thought he didn't love her (shot gun marriage), of course he didn't love her - he used her!

I can't believe how they look like choir boys (or girls, perhaps).

Hope I gave some examples.

Oh, he is obsessive, fearful that he might get sick on food. If he opens orange juice, he will never finish the container - has to have new as soon as the other was opened.

Strange!

February 8, 2006
1:00 am
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shelbeegirl
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Toyia, It sounds like you have met my ex-N!!!HAHA. He too had a wonderful mother. I became very close to her and still love her a lot. (We dont talk any more since the break-up) The only thing and I mean the only thing my guy did was mow the lawn and very occasionally help with the dishes. I did everything else. He didnt care about my feelings, my family or anything. But, boy he always had to look good. Isnt it sickening?

February 8, 2006
9:02 am
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toyia
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Don't want to continue venting....

However, An N would make a good "Plantation Owner".

They will treat their (go-fers) pretty well, as long as they serve, don't ask for a thing, don't have a need more than offered and don't try to be an equal.

When the counselor asked him, what he liked about me, he said:

"She's a hard worker and she's pretty"

Doesn't it sound like something or (someone), an owner would purchase?

I could never understand, plantation owners, Yes, they needed labor, but how can you try to own another human.....then I married one.

Sorry to offer such a pitiful example, however.....I can never speak up, without hearing the threat of him leaving (he'll sell me) LOL!!!

He moved in my beautiful home, when we married.....but never offered a thanks, compliment...resented others feeling he gained alot.

He complains about any repair needed in the home, but refuses to sell it cause he doesn't want any debt.

YET, his plane is on loan and he's now looking for investment property ($500,000) in his name.

I'm so ready, finally......to have a voice.

February 8, 2006
1:19 pm
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hopeful for change
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OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!! My husband can't mow the lawn without his hair being perfect either!! His hair is about an inch long and it takes him 30 minutes to do his hair.

He claims this perfection thing, and at his work he is. At home he does nothing except complain about how it isn't perfect while he does nothing.

I have been told by people that he sees me as a trophy!!

He is completely uncaring of others to. Like I always say if I won 50 million on Powerball I would help the starving kids etc or do something to really help out. He is like screw that I wouldn't do that..I would just buy ferrari's. I am so opposite of him, I could just strangle him on that one. I told him maybe that's why he'll never win because he's so selfish.

Our house is falling apart he won't fix it.

Oh my gosh their are alot of similarities here!!!!!!!!!!! WOW

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