Wednesday, January 23, 2008


TOP 10 THINGS I'VE LEARNED ABOUT NARCISSISM

10. Very similar to Borderline Personality Disorder, but a NPD most often is male, and a BPD is most often female.

9. We are all on the continuum of narcissism. Too little is dangerous, too much is dangerous, as with everything, moderation and somewhere in the middle is where life is the easiest for the individual and those around that individual.

8. Adolescence is a natural and normal time to be "way over" on the narcissism continuum. Unfortunately, "life" often "happens" at adolescence and arrests the development, keeping the needle stuck in the extreme range.

7. NPD is often masked by extreme altruism, the distinguishing characteristic is that it isn't true altruism, it is to make the NPD person look good. They don't get the "don't let the left hand know what the right hand is doing" concept, they want to make sure everyone knows just what they are doing that is "selfless."

6. Being "other-centered" is not something they are refusing to be. They CAN'T be. It's not a "won't," it's a "can't." That is helpful, to me anyway, to understand.

5. If raised by a NPD, chances are higher you'll turn out to be a NPD, or WAY over on the other end of the continuum. "Normal" is very hard to recognize.

4. Those with a NPD will think I'm writing this just about them. Everything is about them. I am writing this about all the MANY NPDs in my life, both actively and in my past, as well as just in general.

3. The grandiosity that often comes with NPD is really a mask to cover a deep sense of worthlessness.

2. The key to "curing" NPD is to come to terms with it, and realize the tendencies will always be there. It's like being an alcoholic, you must accept you are powerless over alcohol, and work each day to stay out of the trap. You can "be in recovery" but you can't be "cured."

1. This is a good site to find out more. The author is a recovering narcissist.

10 comments:

Michelle O'Neil said...

I'm sorry, I got a little distracted reading this piece because I was trying to take pictures of myself for my blog at the same time.

I'll have to re-read it.

Love.

La La said...

WOW. That was very succinct and informative. My mom is way over the top NPD, and I've read a lot about it over the years. It is something I have to guard against in my own life and be acutely aware of.

Another good book is called Trapped in the Mirror.

Terry Whitaker said...

Do I have this? Is this about me? I'm sure it is. I'm just one of the many NPD's in your life! Aaahhhgg!

Kathryn said...

My mother in law has NPD - had a horribly abusive childhood BUT uses that as an excuse to suck the life out of everyone. I did not really "get" what was happening with her for a long time. This makes a lot of sense to me. Thanks.

Lee Wolfe Blum said...

Cool Now I don't have to read the book. Yep...my Mom too is still a NPD. It is sad and difficult but I love her because she really doesn't love herself! But she appears to Loooooove herself. I work with oodles of BPD and sometimes I think they are worse than NPD.

Anyway - I have read Trapped in the Mirror and that is a great one too! Thanks for this post!

Lee

kario said...

Why is it that Carly Simon's song "You're So Vain" is playing in my head as I read this post?

:-)

Deb said...

This is new territory for me. Thanks for the enlightenment. I'll start looking for this in other people right away.

Suzy said...

Hey- DON'T ANYONE KNOCK CARLY SIMON- HEAR THAT MS O"DRISCOLL??????

Ya gotta love the narcissist. They make you.

Eileen said...

Love this post Carrie. This impacts me in SO many ways, starting of course right there with my mom. I have been doing lots of reading about this off and on for years. I will check out the book you suggested and the one la la mentioned. GREAT topic. How to deal with NPD is so very important to know. Tis not easy.
XOXO

Jess said...

I like Michelle's comment. Especially having seen the result.

Really this is helpful for me, re my dad. Thank you. And we should still have coffee and talk. Maybe you see my NEW HOUSE.

PS I don't think Terry is NPD!