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(176 Posts)
BabylonPI Sat 29-Sep-12 16:13:34

Is there a straightforward definition please?
Is there a list of narcissistic tendencies or traits

I hear the term a lot these days and a lot on here, but I don't know what it is/means.

Thank you.

Abitwobblynow Sat 29-Sep-12 17:07:06

OK Babylon, imagine if you said to me:

Wobbly, I was really upset what you said about me [and the bike].

Now, if I was NORMAL, I would feel what is was like to be that upset. I would remember the embarrassment of [me and a bike] and know how that felt, to look like a twat. So I would show the ability to EMPATHISE, to put myself in yours shoes. And, with that in mind I would feel sad that you felt bad and respond,

Sorry Babs, that WAS a bit of a thoughtless/harsh/whatever thing to say, I am sorry I made you feel [less that the wonderful person you are].

And we would make up. You would have felt heard, I would have thought about how you felt, problem solved water under the bridge.

Now, a narcissist has so much self-hatred, such an empty feeling within, that they cannot bear any criticism. They would feel such panic, shame and self-hatred that you saying how you felt, could not be borne by them. You saying that would be an ATTACK to get angry about.
So they would say 'no, I didn't. Anyway, YOU said that really horrible thing how could you be so mean... (denial, diversion, twisting, projection)

They will literally TRASH you and the relationship in order not to bear anything that is negative against themselves.

They will never, ever hear you, because they can't put themselves into your shoes and think about you.

Nrcissisism and affairs/midlife crisis/substance abuse go hand in hand, because those things don't require relationships. Bottles and pills don't have needs, mistresses tend to be on their best behaviour and very admiring and flattering.

It's the best way I can explain it.

sookiesookie Sat 29-Sep-12 18:08:47

Wobbly has given a good example. I would google it.
However please remember that this is an actual mental health issue and is not as common as the posters on mn portray sometimes.
I have seen loads of threads claiming, with no medical exam, that dh, dm, dbro, df 'is a narc'. Most won't be. Most will just be twats.

AKissIsNotAContract Sat 29-Sep-12 18:32:26

I think there is a difference between being a narcissist and having narcissistic personality disorder. NPD certainly requires a formal diagnosis.

dondon33 Sat 29-Sep-12 18:41:04

The best I can describe is:
Arrogant behaviour, a lack of empathy for other people, a need for admiration, self-centred, Selfish, manipulative, and demanding. They can be convinced that they deserve special treatment. Defensive, can be aggressive, impulsive.
Hypersensitive to criticism and insults. Shamelessness. Narcissists sometimes relate to others as objects instead of equals.

There's so much more and of course people are different and will portray different narcissistic traits.

Sandy Hotchkiss's - seven deadly sins of narcissism explains it quite well.

suburbophobe Sat 29-Sep-12 18:46:25

I like atually - the best website out there IMHO

suburbophobe Sat 29-Sep-12 18:49:39

swallowedAfly Sat 29-Sep-12 19:21:04

people don't exist except as secondary characters in the real play which is them and how they want to perceived, treated, etc. likewise reality and truth are only a backdrop to flatter them, the truth does not get in their way, they just re-write to suit hence the gaslighting they are often guilty of. they are hard work. there's no compromise, they'll bare faced lie to you saying they never said what they just said in front of a roomful of witnesses yet no one will dare stick up for you and challenge them because they fear the narcissistic rage and drama that comes from such confrontations.

they create fucked up dynamics through whole families.

but enough about my mother, doctor who is starting wink

BabylonPI Sat 29-Sep-12 20:06:26

Thank you, that helps smile

amillionyears Sat 29-Sep-12 20:10:46

Am I right in thinking one or 2 posters on MN might be?

otchayaniye Sat 29-Sep-12 21:03:49

narcissism is poorly understood, even by health professionals, and some would argue that the diagostic criteria is misguided. it's not really about selfishness, grandiosity, the feeling of specialness, per se, it is rather a disorder of the personality whereby a person is so unsure of their identify that they don't really know what they should be feeling and construct it from without. someone very clever (because this is a nice point) described narcissism as imitating by being, method acting all the time, if you like.

so to the narcissist other people become tools to plug into their inadequate personality, rather than whole beings with whom they can connect meaningfuly.

there is no cure.

CharlotteCollinsislost Sat 29-Sep-12 21:09:40

Can I ask another question about this? I suspect my nsdh might be a narcissist. I rarely confront him, really, so I don't think I've seen a huge amount of rage, but a lot of the rest fits exactly. But how would I get a diagnosis? I can't imagine him saying, "Ok, you think I have a problem; let's investigate that." I feel it's important so that I'm clearer what's going on, ie that it isn't me. But would it actually make a difference? Is there any point? Anyone got any ideas or experience?

amillionyears Sat 29-Sep-12 21:10:04

How do adults become like that otchayaniye?

CharlotteCollinsislost Sat 29-Sep-12 21:11:30

Wow. Not heard that method-acting thing before, but I have always felt like that's what nsdh is doing.

otchayaniye Sat 29-Sep-12 21:11:59

there is a very good blog written by a forensic psychiatrist which often talks about narcissism and narcissistic culture, called thelastpsychiatrist.

a couple of good posts

CharlotteCollinsislost Sat 29-Sep-12 21:13:27

You would've thought, though, that in that case you could help them build up their identity, like a self-confidence issue - why does that not work?

otchayaniye Sat 29-Sep-12 21:22:09

he also writes very perceptive stuff about porn and narcissism ( think he's currently writing a book on porn)

BabylonPI Sat 29-Sep-12 21:58:19

So is there a cure to being narcissistic?

BabylonPI Sat 29-Sep-12 21:58:46

Can sufferers learn to be "normal"?

thetrackisback Sat 29-Sep-12 22:18:21

It is hard to get diagnosis of npd purely because the person doesn't have insight into their issues. It would mean they are less than perfect.

CharlotteCollinsislost Sat 29-Sep-12 22:20:02

So how is anyone ever diagnosed?

sookiesookie Sat 29-Sep-12 22:29:50

Usually under observation.

High level of violent crime are committed by narcs

UnlikelyAmazonian Sat 29-Sep-12 22:44:50

Usually aren't diagnosed as they disappear or re-invent themselves elsewhere before it ever reaches the 'counselling' or diagnosis stage.

Very frustrating that some people still repeat the 'he's not a narc he's just a twat' thing. There is a big difference. Bit boring to talk about it all now really as people who have asked for help and got some from those who have experience of living with a narcissist, have been totally ridiculed on MN, so much so that 'he's a twat' is now the norm. I don't see other MH issues being so dissed as in, say....
desperate poster: 'I am bi-polar...'
MN: 'No you're not you're a twat'

If and when those posters who dismiss the 'narc' theory do eventually come up against one i will be the last in line to offer help.

CharlotteCollinsislost Sat 29-Sep-12 22:48:19

Hmm... Don't think my H is likely to go down the violent crime route.

Have missed the ridicule and most of the advice and just starting to look round now.

Interestingly, this blogger thinks there is hope for some sort of recovery, where most experts say there is no cure.

sookiesookie Sat 29-Sep-12 22:50:28

unlikely I am not dissing anything.

Its a fact that a high proportion of mn jump striaght to the 'i think my dp (or other relative) is a narc'. There is alot.

Also alot of responses on here include 'ooh i bet he is a narc', when in the majority of those case (but certainly not all) that will not be the case.

There is a distinct difference between twatish behavior and narc. However Narc is the usual go to response. I was merely pointing out the OP Narc, is more rare than MN would lead you to believe.

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