Wednesday, January 28, 2009

NARCISSISM SYMPTOMS

Does the DSM IV and all that professional jargon leave you wondering?

A checklist for the non-professional, full of subtle red flags.


Narcissism Symptoms Checklist
How to Spot An Emotional Vampire


In my opinion, the DSM IV criteria (listed at the bottom) for Narcissistic Personality Disorder do not really help the average person. Sometimes people have narcissistic traits that overwhelm us, and we feel drained by their behaviour. When an aura of confusion surrounds an encounter with someone grossly narcissistic, it helps us to recognise this red flag, and to take measures to deal with that person. Narcissistic Personality Disorder does not run rampant in our population, but dealing with narcissistic people may be a challenge for many of us across our respective lifetimes.

Even though I have a Master's in psychology, it did not help me identify and deal with people who are severely narcissistic. The cues, the verbal abuse and emotional abuse, and the manipulation, can be subtle and insidious; our sense of self erodes over time as the narcissist slowly undermines us.

Albert Bernstein's book, (see website: Emotional Vampires) has helped me immensely to see narcissistic people for what they are and how to cope with that knowledge, and them. And it has also helped me to recognise that there may be hope for them as well as those of us dealing with them. Even if it means letting go of someone beloved, because they are not self-aware, and because to remain means we progress in feeling astoundingly diminished and damaged and small till nothing seems left of us. ~Invicta, 08/20/03



T
he Narcissistic Vampire Checklist

THE SMARTEST, MOST TALENTED, ALL-AROUND BEST PERSON IN THE WORLD TEST:

True or false? Score one point for each true answer.

1. THIS PERSON HAS ACHIEVED MORE THAN MOST PEOPLE HIS OR HER AGE.

2. THIS PERSON IS FIRMLY CONVINCED THAT HE OR SHE IS BETTER, SMARTER, OR MORE TALENTED THAN OTHER PEOPLE.

3. THIS PERSON LOVES COMPETITION, BUT IS A POOR LOSER.

4. THIS PERSON HAS FANTASIES OF DOING SOMETHING GREAT OR BEING FAMOUS, AND OFTEN EXPECTS TO BE TREATED AS IF THESE FANTASIES HAD ALREADY COME TRUE.

5. THIS PERSON HAS VERY LITTLE INTEREST IN WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE THINKING OR FEELING, UNLESS HE OR SHE WANTS SOMETHING FROM THEM.

6. THIS PERSON IS A NAME DROPPER.

7. TO THIS PERSON IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO LIVE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AND ASSOCIATE WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE.

8. THIS PERSON TAKES ADVANTAGE OF OTHER PEOPLE TO ACHIEVE HIS OR HER OWN GOALS.

9. THIS PERSON USUALLY MANAGES TO BE IN A CATEGORY BY HIM OR HERSELF.

10. THIS PERSON OFTEN FEELS PUT UPON WHEN ASKED TO TAKE CARE OF HIS OR HER RESPONSIBILITIES TO FAMILY, FRIENDS, OR WORK GROUP.

11. THIS PERSON REGULARLY DISREGARDS RULES OR EXPECTS THEM TO BE CHANGED BECAUSE HE OR SHE IS IN SOME WAY SPECIAL.

12. THIS PERSON BECOMES IRRITATED WHEN OTHER PEOPLE DON'T AUTOMATICALLY DO WHAT HE OR SHE WANTS THEM TO DO, EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE A GOOD REASON FOR NOT COMPLYING.

13. THIS PERSON REVIEWS SPORTS, ART, AND LITERATURE BY TELLING YOU WHAT HE OR SHE WOULD HAVE DONE INSTEAD.

14. THIS PERSON THINKS MOST CRITICISMS OF HIM OR HER ARE MOTIVATED BY JEALOUSY.

15. THIS PERSON REGARDS ANYTHING SHORT OF WORSHIP TO BE REJECTION.

16. THIS PERSON SUFFERS FROM A CONGENITAL INABILITY TO RECOGNIZE HIS OR HER OWN MISTAKES. ON THE RARE OCCASIONS THAT THIS PERSON DOES RECOGNIZE A MISTAKE, EVEN THE SLIGHTEST ERROR CAN PRECIPITATE A MAJOR DEPRESSION.

17. THIS PERSON OFTEN EXPLAINS WHY PEOPLE WHO ARE BETTER KNOWN THAN HE OR SHE IS NOT REALLY ALL THAT GREAT.

18. THIS PERSON OFTEN COMPLAINS OF BEING MISTREATED OR MISUNDERSTOOD.

19. PEOPLE EITHER LOVE OR HATE THIS PERSON.

20. DESPITE THIS PERSON'S OVERLY HIGH OPINION OF HIM OR HERSELF, HE OR SHE IS REALLY QUITE INTELLIGENT AND TALENTED.

Scoring: Five or more true answers qualifies the person as a Narcissistic Emotional Vampire, though not necessarily for a diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality. If the person scores higher than ten, and is not a member of the royal family, be careful that you aren't mistaken for one of the servants.

By ALBERT J. BERNSTEIN, Ph.D.


The DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder are: (don't try this at home, folks):

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, lack of empathy, as indicated by at least five of the following:
1. a grandiose sense of self-importance
2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3. believes that he or she is "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4. requires excessive admiration
5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
7. lacks empathy and is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW! My Fiance and I are struggling with an undiagnosed Narcissist!!! One that has been given a very high-ranking position within an organization and is creating distruction every where they go, but the leaders don't seem to notice!!!! Thank you for this information b/c we have found it extremely comforting knowing that we are not crazy!!!

Anonymous said...

I have a housemate who has recently been having a tough time, many things in their personal/family life have been going wrong for her. I have made many friendly gestures of help and have often gone way beyond the call of duty/reason to help her out only to have most of my kindness thrown back in my face. This Sunday we had a minor disagreement which was in no way related to her character or any assessment of. However I had begun to notice that whenever tiny inconsequential things occurred she would almost explode with rage and have a go at me when I really had either nothing to do with the issue in question - the main issue she had with me personally was that I "didn't care about how upset she was". This Sunday she claimed that I was a deeply upset human being, that my negativity had rubbed off on her and that I had made her mentally ill! I was shocked. I am pretty comfortable in myself and with my partner, life is sweet but since she entered my life and began acting like this around me, I feel like I have literally had the life sucked out of me. Thank you for posting this blog it has reassured me that she is in fact the one with the emotional problem and not me!

Rose said...

I have a Master's in Psyhology too. I joke that I'm a narcissistic sociopath, but I'm not. (I really am smarter and more talented than everyone around me.) I can't help it. I'm a psychotherapist who is a psycho on my own time. The only emotional vampires I've met are actually developementally disabled. I've learned to laugh at myself and enjoy my life. I wish everyone I meet was well adjusted, but they're not. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Remember narcissism is a choice for some people. Some people actually take some sort of sick pride in demeaning others.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I may have found the answer I have been seeking. My MIL was so nice to me for years when I was working for her and doing as she asked. As soon as I got my own career and started planning our wedding, she turned on me along with her daughter. People kept telling me they are just jealous but deep down I knew there was more to it than that. She doesn't like anyone who is more successful than her or her children, loves being centre of attention, has been known to fly off in a rage over the smallest things (only in her own home), looks down on others, strives to better her education, turning up places where I am, etc. Everything I read on the symptoms is her. I now can stop doubting the person I am and the reasons why she is attacking me. Now I need to know how to deal with this so she doesn't keep hurting me.

Tracey Burger said...

... I'm a narcissist, undiagnosed, but very obvious. I scored a 14 on this test. It is taking every bit of my restraint not to say snotty things about the others' posts, but, I suppose, this is to be expected. I want to write something, like, "I'm really happy that this is a diagnosable problem, because I want more excuses for why I need to get my way," and have everyone think it's sarcasm, but honestly, it isn't. I am actually pretty psyched to have an excuse. I know I should be diagnosed, and I'm trying to explain to my therapist and psychiatrist so I can get some help, so I don't feel like the world's worst failure every time I screw something up. I enjoy being polarizing, honestly. I don't feel like I need to spend time talking to someone that won't accept the way that I act and the way I think. What do you think about this?
Yes, I'm smart, and I'm going to be very wealthy and successful, and I am capable of twisting this new revelation into something that will further bolster me in this culture that worships emotional freaks. Watch out. You will hear me coming.

Anonymous said...

lol, i suffer from all but 1, hahahaha cheers XD

culture_b said...

I am wondering if there is a bit of mania associated with a N's conduct and behavior. Perhaps a bit of a rush when thinking about themselves and what they will "become" or "are." An increase in epinephrine levels? This may be a physiological basis for scientific proof of this type of personality disorder; albeit many years into the medical technological future. I think this 'rush' can be a very rewarding of maladaptive behavior, and even engendered in our culture with justifications of "survival." Where no real pending danger exists, in our modern day society.

Invicta said...

@culture_b

As long as you stay in their heads, you are caught up in the content.

Anonymous said...

What's the CURE?

Anonymous said...

Wow, cool site; so glad my friend Philippe linked to it!

Tracey: Well, with a 14, it's hard to deny. Kudos; it's very rare for a narcissist to admit to it or be in therapy.

ALL: I read a book on narcissism; understanding where it comes from, and even more so why some people have difficulty identifying and living healthily when they cross paths with a narcissist goes a LONG way to understanding how to deal with it.

CURE? I don't think the book I read (Why Is It Always About You?) went into that, probably because it's very rare for a narcissist to admit to it or be in therapy. It did go into great detail on how to deal with the narcissist(s) in your life.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... this is awesome. I always knew it, but scoring 17 on the first test, and 9 on the second, I must be doing something right. I believe I get an "A".

Just know that people like me wander this planet and we're not all bad.

I only abuse the world when it doesn't know it's being abused. Unlike most of us, I DO understand consequences. Self preservation is the name of my game.

Ciao.

Anonymous said...

I also read a book on N's it stated that in order for a person to overcome this disorder they need to learn how to feel.
Whenever a N... starts to feel something like empathy they shut down because the feelings are overwhelming. The N's feels alot of tension in the face and neck area when they start to feel therefore, they need to relax the area of tension in order to feel.
If a narcisist can deeply cry I believe that they can be on the road to recovery.

Anonymous said...

I have been married to a N for 25+ years. We have 3 children. I am patiently waited my sainthood plaque, crown, robe - I don't know what is taking so long. It has been a hell of a road.
I recently asked him to get an apartment and try to 'figure things out' - hasn't happened yet. Because of course, as far as he is concerned, he is fine.. I'm a terrible bitch.
I am curious if anyone here has any experience or thoughts with N and alcoholism. He is in a terrible place. I also suspect he suffers from aspergers disease.
Because of the 3 issues combined - I have yet to find him appropriate professional help. He is actually willing to go - but the ones we have come in contact with have not been capable to deal with all 3 issues.
If anyone has any suggestions for him - we would greatly appreciate it. We are in the Dallas area.

Anonymous said...

To the lady whose husband has npd/aspergers/aocoholism.
i have no advice for you i'm afraid, just posted to share empathy. i have belonged to a support group for families of addicts and it's my opinion that many npd's turn to alcohol/drugs to cope with the anxiety/stress of needing to portray this fabulous persona. my n is a drug addict and I too also suspected aspergers. the 2 conditions have a huge operlap of identical traits but come from utterly different sources. ultimately, the aspergers person has a damaged brain which finds it hard to process certain types of information, but their soul is undamaged. they are often very truthful with a strong sense of values. with the npd, the damage appears to be in the 'soul'- the brain is fully capable of reading social cues, body language, facial expressions; of manipulating, conning, acting, for their own ends. the malicious cruel envious and shallow traits of the n are not present in the aspergers. n's have a very strong sense of their self image, which they have to bolster up at all times, whereas the aspergers person has no concept of self image at all. i eventually concluded that what i was dealing with was purely npd combined with the effects of drug taking. i would doubt any true aspergers person, insensitive as they can be, would have the skills to pull off the incredible manipulations that npd's do. but for me, the important turning point was stopping the labels and the diagnoses and starting instead to look at and indentify what was going on with ME. Then, the diagnosis and the labels were crystal clear: exhausted, abused, and deserving of better in life. Thats when I got out.

Anonymous said...

Wow... I'm engaged to an N. I had no idea. She scored 18 on the first and 7 on the second test. I didn't even know what narcissism was before today. I can't say that this new info is helpful for anything improving, but it is good to know I'm not alone!

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I am married to the queen of the Vampires! This condition came on very slow over the coarse of 3 years of dating at first she was very attentive and effectionate. Then she started making changes to everything in my life. She changed my entire wardrobe to suit her image of me, my hair, my house and it's decore. I even sold my car and truck at her request and bought a used car that was less valuable than hers. Because it was way more practical and efficient for me. The bottom line is Ive allowed these changes to happen due to my own need for love. She has spent the better part of this entire year after I married her running off my two teenaged daughters with ridiculous demands and obsessive interest in thier personal hygene. I try to defend my children and I'm personally attack belittled and disgraced. There's so much more to this than can be explained. I don't blame her as I honestly think she's entirely unaware of her issues. She blames me for everything thats wrong with her life and demands that I do her biding period end of story. My opinions are worthless my children aren't as good as hers. I'm under constant attack verbally emotionally and sometime physically. Try Christmas morning with a fat lip because she need me to find her camera that she misplaced. But I'm awake and aware after reading this information. I'm taking drastic steps to attend counseling for myself and my children and will remove this person from my life once and for all. It's heart breaking but must be done to save my self my soul and my children as well. Please get out as soon as you can if you're in a relationship with someone like this. RUN! Run fast! Never look back!

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled across this in trying to decide, once and for all, if my sister is indeed a pathological narcissist. I've never heard of the connection with drugs or alcohol, but I will say she's had an alcohol problem for years with no sign of improvement. I was reading The Sociopath Next Door when I realized she might be a sociopath, but I really don't think so. I just don't know. Anyway, this is all very painful. I wish I had something beneficial to others to contribute, but I guess I don't really. I just wanted to tell someone because I can't tell anyone and I can't confront her about how I feel because she will explode and never talk to me again.

Sirius said...

Stumbled upon this site while researching narcissism and Vaknin. Suspecting I'm a malignant narcissist with strong personal dissociative features. My response to this? Awesome.

Anonymous said...

IMF! My brother scored 17 on the vampire
List, and a 7 on the other. Thanks for helping
Me understand what my uncle won't claim he is :)

Anonymous said...

This test is completely ridiculous. All the questions are being manipulated to get the expected result. Example·1: "2. THIS PERSON IS FIRMLY CONVINCED THAT HE OR SHE IS BETTER, SMARTER, OR MORE TALENTED THAN OTHER PEOPLE." Everyone feels more talented than, at least, one people.
Example·2: "7. TO THIS PERSON IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO LIVE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AND ASSOCIATE WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE." ¡Nobody wants to be at the wrong place with the wrong people! Psychology should not be used in such a lame and perverse level.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness we are understanding narcissism so much more tho it is late for me. 42 yrs of marriage to a man who was hyoer critical of me, constantly chasing other women, and managaing to hold court with as many people as possible.

It was my daughters who figured it out and told me. I now sleep at night, not having to deal with his sex addictions and alcohol .

Anonymous said...

We, my two brothers and my sister and I grew up with a mother that had been diagnosed with having a tumor on her thyroid. Our experiences with her were, that she was a tyrand, and left the running of the household over to us, as long as we did exactly how she wanted it to be done. Like making tea, we must have been told how to make tea as often as we were making it. She believed that she was without faults and was very cunning and manipulative. As long as there was money to give out she was OK, but thunder struck when it was the end of the month, we would all use the phrase that the lamp was hanging on an edge. My sister and I were here personal cloth buyers, she would never go out to do it herself, and if we got it wrong, well no problem, we just had to go back, twice or 3 times and she was always asking for cloth, that were of a century before. Later in life when we got another house-doctor she was diagnosed with scizophrenia, but we will never know for sure. She would have scored very high on the checklists. I do feel that those kind of people are a disaster for their children, they can ruin their lives, with giving them so many problems to sort out in later life, they make very poor parents in my opinion, with watching the effects on my brothers and sister and I,she has created large scars. As siblings we are very close and look out for each other, and my father who was very intelligent and incredibly capable, has had a hell of a life and we often think that he was a saint to put up with our mother. They have both passed away and found peace.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting all the experiences. I identify with those who are living with undiagnosed Ns. He has been successful in creating businesses, music and longlasting friendships, however we have children 2 boys, he is emtionally volatile and a constant irratation. Im venting here after reading the posts, I can see where I have lost myself to this person the constant barrage of negitivy,comparing me to whatever female he got of the phone with . He goes out of his way to publicily humiliate and enjoys seeing me cry. I Got full of rage n have been distced from being mom to my boys simply because I dont wan hear him complain and find ways to justify his findings or behavior. Both pregnacies he was rude offensie and vicious, I still hurt deeply from those wounds. I have known for a time, lack of committment and his projection and acquations something is wrong. I also believe he knows he is undiagnosed. He threatens and holds money over my lack of furrducation has means for sifying his behavior.

Anonymous said...

Here are the main, disturbing elements that I have been able to identify during my obsessive examination of my 12 year realtionship with a narcissist...continuous alcohol and drug use (although the drugs changes over time- occassionaly the alcohol use would somewhat subside)...what I believe to be an addiction to pornography...successful (but stuck perpetually in the same place- no pormotion, etc. in 12 years)...excessive spending (he appeared to be very generous to me, my son, and his family *manipulation*)...Fifty years old with quite a bit of debt and no savings (except company retirement)...constantly complaining about situations, things, and people but never doing anything about it...dreams of 9doing his own thing (self-employed) but never taking any steps to this end...a talker- not a doer...only making changes in his stagnant life when he was forced to...bouts of sexual disfuction (impotence)...telling other people that I am crazy and that I pursue him (I know this now- but he endlessly pursued me)...rages that I know recognize (not violent or loud)but an unusual, ongoing obsession over even the slightest preceived slight...importance of living in the "right area" (while denying this was important)...pathological lying (even about the stupidist things)...very vain and obsessed with his own physical image (although he is not unusually good-looking)...depression...making promises that he didn't keep and never intended to keep...telling me what he knew I wanted to hear...hammering a wedge between his (close) family and me (I believe his mom is a narcissist)...seperating me from his friends...living a second and secret life with me...he is smart, educated, successful, and talented (musician)... he always seemed like he was trying to "get away with something"- you know get something for nothing or sneaking around behind people's backs...He has stalked me. He is an evil, soul-sucking cheat and a liar.

Anonymous said...

This site does shed a great deal of understanding when dealing with a narcissist! I have several of them in my life and have a few zingers hurled at me when they don't feel like I'm giving them enough attention or responding with their preprogrammed responses. These folks are highly intelligent and accomplished people who are extremely manipulative and charismatic ~ usually get what they want regardless of who they throw under the bus. I have learned to watch what I say and how much contact I have with them in order to preserve my sanity and peace of mind. I know I'm not crazy!!

Anonymous said...

I've begun suspecting my father of being an undiagnosed narcissist. I'm sure not for certain, but looking at the checklist here I've identified about six or seven traits that he has.

He will fly into a rage over the smallest things, make callous, mean-spirited remarks about others and then become upset and paint himself as a victim when the person he's insulted takes at offense at his words (they "don't understand his humor", etc.), and loves to be the center of attention. Any sort of criticism about him is a personal attack in his eyes (I recall my mother telling me how angry he became when she told him his breath stunk one time).

I'm a frequent target for his ire, I think because I didn't turn out the way he wanted and because I don't agree with many of his views. He's always been like this, but it's grown increasingly worse over the years. I will be following this blog very closely from now on.

Anonymous said...

I'm becoming a narcissist, my mother, uncles and aunts are narcissists and my grandmother I believe was the one who started all this situation.

We do funny/mean things for example my mother doesn't serve food because it makes her feel inferior so she tells me I should serve it, be nice to her, make her happy and please her so that she follows my example (yeah right) if I'm late to see my clients and they call me one day later I tell them they should have called me as soon as they noticed I was late, or if they acknowledge my mistakes I tell them well there's nothing we can do about the past so what we are going to do for the present is blah blah blah (acknowledging their weaknesses to avoid "the same mistake" in the future.)Also, during a conversation, if I'm speaking to someone of a different religion about something I want them to agree on, I ask them how they're religion is like in order to adapt to what I'm about to say and make them believe what I want...which I usually do, I keep telling people what to do. Or even worse, while I'm talking, I defend the two sides of a problem in case the person disagrees I always win. It's a win win win for me situation. Oh and I always get what I want when it comes to driving, jobs..or men...enough said...but I don't like this because I don't feel love for anybody and I want to change because I don't want to turn into a lonely monster like my mom!

I never take advice from anyone but this time I need to know how to be non-narcissistic. I already know they not to's now I need to know the do's.

Oh and here's my narcissistic personality telling you what to do: be ready for a mental war to stay alive when you are with a narcissistic personality, keep your cool, be nice, don't let them use you and don't feel sorry for them!they use that as a weapon to get help from people!! they could even act like they are poor and miserable to get money and attention from you while their bank accounts keep growing!!! Oh and say yes to everything even to favors, then make a last minute excuse and run!!! hehe :)

Anonymous said...

After 24 years of marriage to a N, I got the hell out. This is the only way to deal with a true N because they won't change as long as they are being supplied with attention. Even negative attention is a plus for an N. They construe it as you being the crazy one pursuing them, instead of you being a normal person who doesn't like being abused. They play the victim this way and meet out attention and sympathy from others. There is a sure fire way to prove if someone is a narcissist...ask for their credentials!! Ask for proof of what they are telling you, then do you're own investigation (secretly) to verify that information. N's love to talk about themselves. Draw them into a conversation where they feel you are interested listening. You can learn a lot that way. Trust your gut if things sound too good to be true. N's are notorious braggerts and liars, but to them it's not really lying, just a little deceptive. Most of all take care of yourself and get out before they suck you dry.

Anonymous said...

I have been with a nacissist for 8 years. I have broken up with him twice. 11 months ago we got back together after breaking up for 5 months. The reasons i broke up with him is because he basically ruined every relationship i had with people. He would screw people over to the point where they would call me looking for help and/or answers. He always thinks he is right and if we get into a fight he automatically says "yeah i know, its always me, you never do anything wrong". He makes up stories to people we meet when we're out, he claims to be exremely successful when he is not. He could care less how i feel. When we fight, last night was a bad one. He says he's done with the way i treat him, etc. and then the next day acts like everything is perfectly fine. I cannot take it anymore, the problem is that i do love him but i got to the point where i was sitting in the parking lot of the emergency room last night alone because i was going to tell them, emotionally i cannot function like this. I dont know what to do anymore.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Are you sure ur not talking about my soon to be ex-husband? I could've been the author of this last posting on 11/28....I understand ur fear and emotional distress! I work in the medical field and have dismissed so many of my n's behavior because "he loves me tons"!? One day he's screaming at me and angry about the most trivial things, and the next "let's go to counseling"..I love you...and oh yes...then there is the infamous line "that's right it's always me and my anger and you never do anything to make this situation bad"...you're right my N I'm not the liar and the cheater...u are!!! Oh but that's right you forgot about contacting the other woman, or sending the inappropriate emails to her about viewing her breasts....classic! I'm trying to run as fast as I can, but a N is usually a manipulator too! Hang in there and know there will be life after the N! At least I'm hoping so!

Anonymous said...

I never heard of this until a couple of days ago, this fits my husband to a " T "" we had a terrible fight at Christmas and someone called the police on him. I haven't spoken to him since, but several people have came forward to let me know some of the way out there stories he has told them. The bragging and exaggerated BS is making me sick, I always new he lied to make himself feel important but usually to strangers (or so I thought) Now it is all beginning to make since to me, no wonder we have no friends that come around. I really believe he has run them off. Time to move on, after 16 years I feel like I am finally going to get my mind back and my life. No more fixing his stories to make him look like he is not such a fool. This past week has been an eye opener for me.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure my mother is a N. When I was a child she was an alcoholic and physically, emotionally and verbally abusive to me. She had me clean the house 8 years old before she came home from work. Everything had to be spotless. She never took interest in me and when I was 21 years old, I realized she hardly knew anything about me but she would sometimes say she knew me better than I knew myself because she is my mother. When I had no car and asked her to pick me up to her place for Christmas she told me to take the bus. Disagreeing with her is not an option, she controls conversations and it is as if she loves getting into fights, it happens often, only to win them. She is putting on her best face now that I am grown and living my own life but it seems like such an act. She loves having her granddaughter over but I don't trust her and don't know what to do. I want to cut all ties with her because she has caused me so much pain and left such scars on me but I don't know how. She has manipulated so many people around her, even my younger sister, she makes me out to be the crazy one.

Anonymous said...

Im not sure about all this. I ranked almost all out of all, but I dont think I usually exhibit the behaviour that is described as associated with NPD.

I did go to a shrink after I got separated from a 10 year marriage, but he didnt mention this at all.

However, I have allways known I had some narcissitic personality traits. My family allways has had unrealistic expectations, all the way from my grandparents to my parents and then on to me and my siblings.

But I do worry. For example, I got separated because my partner was cheating on me here and there (although to be fair, not everywhere, but still quite a lot). But a part of me feels I drove him to that place and then sent him away because I was contemptuous of him so even if he had not cheated, I would have never allowed us to be happy. But thats water under the bridge, its been a couple of years now.

I dont know what to do. I am in a lonely place right now.

L.A.

Anonymous said...

a green girl said...

L.A.: I'm no expert, but perhaps you were a victim of a narcissist yourself? And you are not the narcissist?

For one thing, you are questioning yourself, something a narcissist NEVER does.

You also remind me of myself (definitely a victim of a narcissistic husband) in that I was asking myself if I had somehow done something to cause him to behave so atrociously.

Even if something was missing in your marriage, and you were the cause of the "missing component", he still cheated on you and that was his choice. Not once but many times. He could have chosen to work with you to find whatever he was missing; instead he chose to seek pleasure for himself outside of the marriage which is classic narcissistic behavior.
[edited to remove link]

Anonymous said...

Hi green girl, L.A. here. Thanks for your answer.

Perhaps you are right and he was NPD, but im pretty sure that I at least have some strong personality traits that do comply with this questionaire and the DSM "test" (i know, i know, its not a way to diagnose oneself, but my exshrink said he didnt think that was a problem so i never got diagnosed).

I really connect and find it describes me well that I cannot empathize. Its a strange feeling, because when I was younger I sure could connect a lot better to people. But as time went on, things happened and now other people's feelings and my own feel "blunted", like I just dont want to see them. I am always listening to stuff nobody else ever cares about, Im constantly looking for validation of my self image in others, I sometimes get it and get very depressed if not.

I operate under the belief that people already should know what they have to do to. For example I deliver better numbers at work than anyone else, Im supposed to be their leader, but I just do not talk to them about goals and ways to achieve them.

I assume they know what they have to do and so I deliver better than my subordinates or partners (I have no boss: it is my company). Its plain sadic terrorism and I enjoy it very much. I also think much more of myself and what ive achieved than what Ive actually achieved.

On the other hand, I have realized all this leads to people taking advantage of me: of course if Im always delivering more, its because I do work more. People notice it and thus, have no incentive to work better and they dont. They reap what I sow... or do they? Would I be able to do this without them? I dont know.... isnt this narcissistic in itself? Not knowing that? Shouldnt I be able to read into them? Im terrified of doing an objective analysis of this.

I dont want to do this anymore. Im tired of this image of myself I created to protect me.

By the way, Im gay. The partner I mention was my "husband".

And this all has to do a lot with that. I think ive never accepted myself as a gay person and even if I tried (ive been socially "open" for a decade, but i dont think i have forgiven myself). Thus, I forced myself to be the best possible at work, I created my own narcissitic image and my own narcissitic traits, I also stoped being empathic or just justified my non-empathy with the mantra "if Im not the best here and make my own company work, then Ill have to face a job market that will never let you live an open life. Nobody actually understands how you feel, so why should you understand what they feel? Why should you care". I closed up at some point. I know I did.

And now, over a decade later, I have no husband, Im terrified of the people that very sincerely and nicely hit on my and I just dont want to be in bussiness anymore.

I want to be happy no matter who I am.

Hey... :)

Thanks I feel a lot better now.

L.A.

Anonymous said...

I read a stat that said roughly 1% suffer from NPD, but since narcissists don't think they're the problem, they don't seek treatment, so how can that be accurate? I think it's much higher,especially after reading some of the message boards.
I recently met a new guy, and after two months of walking around with a question mark floating around my head (what did he mean by that? why does he act this way?) I quit seeing him because of what appeared to be a lack of interest. I realized that the lack of interest seemed to coincide with a time I turned him down for a date because I was ill. Then other things started to click, like why his emails were full of him, him, and more him. He would expect sympathy for something or another, but if I brought up any similar situation or concern I had, the conversation would die. Then wouldn't hear from him for a few days, then a call with more about him. I even thought to myself when I first met him, this guy is going to require A LOT of attention. Never once complimented me, and I thought I actually detected subtle put downs. He himself stated that he was "overly sensitive", yet had no clue that he would say things that sounded unfeeling. It was really a brief period, but I'm pretty convinced he qualifies for serious narcissistic tendencies, which was enough to convince me to put the No Contact rule in effect, and sure enough, he's gone, and I'm glad. After reading about people dealing with SO's of 20 + years...whew! He had me feeling like it might be something about me that made him act the way he did after only a few months. If you see a train wreck, get out of the way before you get hurt

a green girl said...

Hi L.A.! I've been thinking about you. I know what you mean about the narcissistic traits--I was questioning them in myself, even though I knew that my husband was very ill. I questioned whether I was making him worse somehow because I do have some traits. I, like you, am able to work very hard and run circles around most people which gives me a feeling of superiority and feelings of disdain for others who can't keep up with me. I do struggle with that and am aware of it.

But, he is still the one who cheated on you. You may not be perfect and you may drive people away from you (that's me too) and you may display narcissistic traits.

But, you are questioning yourself, something a true narcissist NEVER does. And I think with this awareness of your shortcomings, you will be able to figure out ways to improve yourself, soften yourself, make yourself more approachable in love and business.

One thing I think that is very important to have and maybe something you should concentrate on, is having empathy for others. That's something I have in abundance, almost to the detriment of myself. The fact that you are aware that you have limited empathy for others I think is a good sign for you, a good indication that you will perhaps be able to overcome this.

I think you're all right! The very idea that you are seeking out forums like this shows that you do care! Keep being successful in business, that's who you are. Sometimes you have to step on a few toes to do so.

Also, your cheating husband may not have been the right one for you and I think it is important for you to accept yourself as a gay person, no matter what society or anyone says. Celebrate yourself for who you are (without getting carried away!!) and happiness will follow.

a green girl says so............;)

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, I have found your messages very illuminating. I agree with " anonymous Feb 14 " that there are way more than 1% of the population suffering from the NPD. Also, "a green girl" I felt so happy when I read that a Narcissist never questions themselves.
Life seems over run with psychopaths and NPD and the myriad other conditions that pose real danger to a more balanced mind and personality. It's a guess here, but I would be confident to say most people in power are exactly that. Insane!!!!

Now I have that out of my system, I wish also to add that I find true kindness alleviates suffering.

It is a strong belief I hold- that pure love heals all things.

Time, effort and determination is of course required, as a society of many cultures, we have the ability to bring
about change for the better. We do this by insisting that our leaders are kind and capable of pure love.

It is us, those who have this ability to guide societal aims
in a balanced direction who have all the real power.

:)

Anonymous said...

I recently ended a 25-year friendship with my former best friend because after a series of circumstances it finally occurred to me that he is an extreme narcissist. In college my friends and I typically gave him a pass because we just thought a lot of his commentary and behavior was him being funny, sarcastic, quirky, etc. But as the years went on it all became downright abusive. After looking back on 25 years of various different episodes, it became clear to me that most of the time I was not so much a best friend to him as someone that he needed to have "under" him to make him look good; someone to push around, criticize, and to admire and worship him. Everything was always about him. Everything was about how others perceived him. As one example, this guy is absolutely obsessed with posting on Facebook -- and how people will react to his postings. He drops names of famous people he's met, posts photos with them, and monitors FB to see if/how others respond. If they don't he is hurt. He dissects reactions to his posts, and tries to analyze why people said what they did, why it took them so long to post a reaction, why others did not react, etc. etc. As I've studied the signs and symptoms, he absolutely fits every last one of them...every one. Most telling of all is that when I decided to split from him after all these years, I had NO guilt or remorse whatsoever. I was totally exhausted with him, fed up, spent, beat down and tired. Parting ways was actually a relief. In a way it's sad, because when a friendship with a narcissist gets that toxic that ending it is actually cathartic and satisfying, you know that something was seriously wrong with this guy. Of course like the classic narcissist he's turned it all around on me and twisted facts around so that he has the dozens of reasons why I'm the jerk, but so be it. I'd rather have my sanity and allow him the minor concession of thinking he's still the king, rather than be subjected to any more of his abusive, exhausting stupidity.

Anonymous said...

The writing on this site is way too small to be read easily.

Anonymous said...

I too was relieved to read that a narcissist never questions themselves. I occasionally seem to question myself too often, and want to understand my own problems and faults. I have a reasonably healthy ego or self esteem, but truly lack self confidence. I am also an emotional person, and express my feelings with writing or painting. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes difficult . . . especially painting.

I recently had to leave a relationship of only a year and a half. I believe that I was dating a narcissist, who was perhaps a sociopath as well. During the very first disagreement we had, I was informed she was always right, and that I had to accept that.

This has been very frustrating, disappointing and taxing relationship. Although initially enjoyable, as it seemed we shared many things in common, it has seemed after this amount of time I have simply been used by this woman.

They have been out of work for 2 years, and I have made many attempts to help her, including emotional, and financial support. She was unable to communicate regularly, and presented a personality that was cold as ice.

Our personalities and interests seemed to gradually change, and when I would simply need to understand actions or behavior, I was coolly advised to ask questions rather than assume. Questions were never answered, or simply evaded.

These actions and many more were very difficult for me, as I would either feel as though I had done something wrong, or become upset with the obfuscation and tell her that in so many words.

Over the period of our time together, I began drinking in an attempt to relieve the confusion and pain of what had become an intolerable and depressing relationship. I have never been a drinker in all my life. I also began to experience health issues such as stress and high blood pressure.

Perhaps the irony in this matter is that a few weeks ago, she informed me that our relationship was over. She didn't want contact with me and things had never worked, although she had tried. Wearing my emotions on my sleeve, I responded with sadness, disappointment and anger, feeling I had simply been used up.

Although she suggested and responded by not contacting me, we are now tied by friends and a business venture she was included within. Among other things, I had asked that she remove herself from this last association. She would not.

Within the last 48 hours, I was contacted by her with a rather pretentious message attempting to blame me for wanting her to disassociate herself from the business venture. Unfortunately, I became upset and replied with anger, telling her what I thought and felt about her actions and behavior over the last 16 months. I say unfortunately because to her, I am the one with the problem. I have many. However, deceit and duplicitous behavior are not among them.

Working has been very strained and difficult, and I have internalized this matter, in some cases shutting out well intentioned friends.

Can anyone tell me how long this may continue? Is she going to keep coming back? I had kindly attempted to say goodbye several times wishing to remain friendly, but now I am concerned about my own welfare. It's as though my life has been sucked out of me.

Anonymous said...

Just found out I have been food for one of these individuals for nearly 3 years. The problem is that I wasn't the only one in the relationship; he managed to have multiple long time "official" relationships without being caught until now.
What are the resources for the victims? It is great to try to help these people, but at the end WE ARE THE SUFFERERS!! I am still very angry, humiliated and powerless as he managed to cripple me with ridiculous AVOs. What and who can help to deal with us and is it ok to leave the PN carry on destroying lives?

a green girl said...

In reply to the post from Dec 13: I feel your pain, sister. I tried to expose my narcissist after he finished degrading me but I came upon brick walls. I wrote to his family members and several of his friends. NOT ONE REPLY! I called people. They refused to talk to me. I tried to warn his new woman but she laughed in my face.

I tried to report him to the FBI (he was conning me in the name of love and several others in the name of "business" out of great sums of money--to the tune of about $500K) but even the FBI was not interested! (They told me unless it reaches a million or more, they can't devote the resources to chasing it).

In short, you can try to warn people but they won't care or won't listen. I felt that I did my best. I even tried to help him, after he ran away from his cons and back into the arms of his family.

All you can do is help yourself. I'm speaking from experience. It is a terrible thing to be taken advantage of by these sick people but you will emerge stronger on the other side.

It takes about a year until the sun really begins to shine again but it does come out. The dark, ugly cloud that has been suppressing you for three years is gone. Don't let him back in.

I'm actually now grateful for my experience with a narcissist. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life and I am better for it. I was bitter and angry and sad but I'm not anymore.

One thing that helped me was seeing him a few months later. This thought hit me: "He is doing all he can."

I realized that he is mentally ill, although it is not immediately apparent or not apparent at all until you really, really get to know him. He didn't bring his sickness upon himself--he was born with it.

Then, due to circumstances, some created by him, other things that just happened, and his family's inclination to protect him no matter what he did, created the supreme monster that he became.

I actually felt sorry for him! I had escaped his sickness but he could never escape it. He was still under his dark, sick cloud.

Try thinking of it that way.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat... lost my kids hopes and dreams for my husband's life. I feel stuck and alone he's run everything and everyone important to me out of my life.

Anonymous said...

Your not alone same thing happened to me...

Anonymous said...

I really needed your words of wisdom. I'm scared I've tried to leave my N husband two months after I moved in almost 3 years ago but I'm stuck under his spell...I've lost my kids and am isolated trying to get out but paralyzed by mistakes so im uncertain im right and question everything i feel and think because of his pounding me without giving anyroom to come up for brearh and have my own feelings or thoughts
Everything is so confusing now
Am i the crazy one or him.

Help....
He did score extremely extremely high but i still can't see the light

Anonymous said...

I have just recently met a man with NPD.we are part of the same oarganization,and he played the most vicious game with me.After munipulating me into giving him hundreds of dollars,with his sob stories regading his mothers, and father treatment of him,and he can,t find work. I was on vacation this summer upon my return he convinced me that all my friends in the organization is speaking bad about me. He had me so parniod couldn,t trust anyone,he was blowing hot and cool in the relationship. Messed up in BC.

Anonymous said...

One day everything was great. A week later he's spazzing about his life and his kids and his future and his job and his family and his friends. Notice HIS? One day he's telling me he cares for me and its so comfortable to be together. And then the next week we got into a spat where I told him to stop feeling sorry for himself. He basically stopped contact. He was distant and cold and rude. But to everyone else he wore a mask that appeared he was cool calm and collectes. What a lie. He frequently takes his frustrations out on me. So I told him how he hurt me by projecting his woes and problems on to me. I didn't talk to him for over a week. Guess he needed an ego boost so he emailed me. I ignored it for a few days then responded that he hurt me and I felt used and that I needed to cut him out. Two days later I see him and he's all nice and I wasn't rude and had small chat with him. He said sorry for being a jerk BUT...
He was nice and charming. Once he knew I was still into him I felt he was happy with himself. He doesn't take rejection well. The next day I see him and he's back to his narcissistic ways... acting cold and ignoring me. Talking to me like I'm a nobody. I'm sick of it.
So I sent him a text saying how he was rude and to not ever disrespect me again. He hasn't replied. He's probably upset bc in his eyes he felt his half ass apology the day before was enough boost for him to feel like he was guilt ridden for what he had done to me.
Tomorrow I'm going to start ignoring him again. He's a jerk...