Malignant Mind: The Narcissist
By LQGriffin on April 28, 2009
During the past few months, sincerelyu.com has mostly focused on matters which promote the overall health and wellness of our bodies.
But since this website is dedicated to the overall wellness of mind, body and spirit, it's time to begin tapping into malignant matters which affect the state of our mental health.
Malignant mental matter number one: Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD.
I chose to write about this disorder because it frequently goes undiagnosed, and yet adversely affects so many, including the person suffering from the disorder and especially those who have to deal with the narcissist.
First, what is narcissism? Narcissism is defined as excessive love or admiration of oneself; vanity; inordinate fascination with oneself.
Some psychologists believe that every person possesses a certain degree of narcissism at one point or another. However, when narcissism is pathological or habitual, it's known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
In this article, I'll be solely addressing the effects of narcissism as a disorder. The term narcissist will be used to describe only those suffering from the disorder.
The terms narcissist, narcissism and narcissistic derive from the Greek mythology of Narcissus.
In the story by Ovid, Narcissus - a handsome, young man - falls in love with his reflection after seeing it for the first time in a pool of
water. After pining over his reflection for a while, he eventually dies and is turned into the narcissus flower.
Today, some evidence suggests that the adult narcissist may have become obsessed with him/herself as a result of childhood trauma (abuse, neglect, extremely high expectations) or over-doting parents.
Mentally, he or she is a child trapped in an aging body.
A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
1. Believes everyone is envious of him/her (even when his/her accomplishments/achievements are little to non-existent).
2. Possesses arrogant or haughty behavior.
3. Believes that he/she is entitled to special treatment.
4. Thinks he/she is superior to others.
5. Has a grandiose perception about their abilities.
6. Brags about him or herself frequently; dominates conversations.
7. Projects his/her feelings of insecurities (e.g. loneliness, jealousy, shame, unhappiness, fear, etc.) onto you.
8. Is oblivious to the needs of others; focuses on his/her own needs and preferences.
9. Is cheap. Only their purchases are justified.
10. Lies incessantly or frequently exaggerates achievements and accomplishments.
11. Is controlling and manipulative.
12. Is never wrong; always right.
13. Exploits others for personal gain.
14. Has trouble maintaining healthy relationships; do not have a significant number of long-term relationships.
15. Lacks compassion or empathy.
16. Is obsessed with fantasies of success, power, beauty, fame, intelligence or ideal love.
17. Is constantly jealous of others (and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of his/her frustration).
In the case of personal interactions with narcissistic family members
(e.g. sister, father, cousin, etc) friends or co-workers, these
relationships can be draining.
The family member, friend or co-worker of a narcissist may find themselves frequently feeling as if they are being manipulated or exploited.
For the sake of brevity, this article focuses on those relationships involving a narcissistic spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.
Unfortunately, NPD is associated with abuse. This could include physical, emotional and mental abuse by the narcissist.
Narcissists crave admiration, adulation, affection, constant praise and attention.
And when lacking these flatteries, they may lash out at their
unsuspecting victims with great rage.
Many people don't understand or even recognize that they are in a
relationship with a narcissist until the narcissist has already carved a path of destruction.
By then, the narcissist's victim is likely on a path of mental breakdown and self-blame wondering how life is suddenly beginning to spiral out of control.
Narcissists hate happiness. They abhor people who seem to enjoy life or who are happy just being themselves.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the narcissist may react with rage or contempt and(other)efforts to belittle the other person so that he/she(narcissist)
may feel better about him/herself.
These fits of uncontrollable rage may also occur at the slightest hint of disagreement from their victims (it's not unusual for the narcissist to have several victims - past & present).
But make no mistake, this rage is likely to occur in private settings with immediate family, partners or spouses since the narcissist can't risk losing the admiration and affection of outsiders.
Sam Vaknin, author of "Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited," says the narcissist has a False Self and a True Self.
According to Vaknin, the narcissist flaunts the False (fake) Self in public while the True Self is reserved for the nearest and dearest.
And when the narcissist finally reveals his/her true colors, the victim has usually already invested time and effort into the relationship.
So if you've never encountered a narcissist on a personal level, thank the heavens. But if you believe you are currently involved with a narcissist, please seek help with safely removing yourself from the situation.
Also, if you believe you are currently involved with a narcissist, please
learn more about the disorder. Realize that most narcissists are
incapable of change since they don't believe they are the problem.
But most importantly, remember that it's NOT your fault for the rage,
anger, fear, unhappiness, jealousy and misery THEY possess.
Protect your sanity and happiness.
Believing you can remain friends with a narcissist after the relationship is over is a naive assumption. The cycle of abuse (even if it's verbal or
emotional) may never stop. It may continue even after they sense you
are no longer emotionally attached.
Narcissists don't know how to handle kind gestures. In fact, they will probably use it against you to reaffirm their own sense of "specialness" or
NPD is complex. But once you somewhat begin to understand the mind of a narcissist, you'll begin to understand that he/she will most likely never change.
Because for the narcissist to change means they would have to admit they are the problem.
sincerelyu.com is a blog dedicated to promoting overall wellness in the form of healthy mind, body and spirit.
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