This past year, I’ve done a lot of online research to learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NDP). Below I will list some of the most obvious traits along with some sources and resources. I will also copy excepts from an article on Narcissistic Supply.
First a disclaimer about my credentials (or lack there of) and how diagnosis is made.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a qualified mental health professional or medical person of any kind. I only took a batch of courses in clinical counselling and I don’t remember Narcissistic Personality Disorder being mentioned; it would have been in Abnormal Psychology, a course I never took. I know a tiny little bit about diagnosing mental illness and/or personality disorder, but not enough to actually do it.
DIAGNOSIS: Formal diagnoses cannot be made online, by the untrained person or psychologist. To make a formal diagnosis, a professional with the proper training must see the person face-to-face, possibly do extensive and in depth testing. It cannot be done online by anyone. It would be completely unethical because there is far too much room for misinterpretation when one cannot see facial expressions and mannerisms, and hear tone of voice–all at the same time and in the context of what is being said and done.
TRAITS: The following character traits appear in everyone to greater or lesser degree, but not exclusively. Also, NDP individuals exist on a spectrum; some have it more extreme than others. This list of traits or symptoms of NDP is not definitive or exhaustive.
- They will do only what makes them look and feel important in their own eyes (meaning in the eyes of people they consider to be important such as bosses or community leaders or other dignitaries).
- They have no empathy, because their emotional development is at the level of a toddler; they cannot feel compassion or sympathy for the needs or feelings of others.
- They are always right (in their own minds) and will never never apologize or admit to being wrong.
- They project their own dark feelings/weaknesses/faults/failures onto those around them (loved ones, co-workers, etc.), and accuse them of their own badness.
- They lie, always in their own interests as described above. For example, if something goes wrong because of their negligence, they will accuse you for being unaware of and blind to important details and somehow make it your fault.
- Occasionally, they seem to be loving and caring, but only in the service of some larger goal such as keeping you on the hook for future narcissistic supply.
NARCISSISTIC SUPPLY: https://narcissisticbehavior.net/narcissism-and-the-addiction-to-narcissistic-supply/
Following are excepts from the article “Narcissism And The Addiction To Narcissistic Supply“:
Narcissistic Supply really refers to those people who provide a constant source of attention, approval, adoration, admiration, etc., for the narcissist. The attention they receive from the “Supply Source” is vital for the survival of the narcissist, without it they would die (either physically or metaphorically), because their weak ego depends on it in order to regulate their unstable self-worth and self-esteem.
[T]he narcissist…has two sources of Narcissistic Supply to draw from; …Primary Narcissistic Supply…[and]…Secondary Narcissistic Supply…(Vaknin). Primary Supply…may come by public means, such as fame or infamy, or by private means, such as admiration or hate. … one is as good as the other to the narcissist. The source of Secondary Narcissistic Supply comes from…spouse, family, friends, colleagues, partners, business etc., all of which give them a feeling of security and pride, and the appearance of leading a well-adjusted life. This form of supply needs to be positive…
With the loss of either the Primary or Secondary Sources of Supplies, the narcissist will experience…dysphoria…. [and] display mood swings, especially rage, and he will feel (and look) out of control. …likely to turn to…excessive shopping, food, drugs, etc.,… and refuses to deal with anybody….he punishes anyone who he thinks is adding to his pain.
For a better understanding, read the entire article. Even better, read Sam Vaknin’s book Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited. Be aware that he is not a mental health professional; read his Warning and Disclaimer.
MORE SOURCES & RESOURCES
Some intriguing stuff on how narcissists are made, how they operate, etc., posted by a person with the handle Little Shaman. Little Shaman is another person who may not have an actual psychology degree. See her Facebook “About” page https://www.facebook.com/pg/littleshamanhealing/about/?ref=page_internal. Also her “Shows–The Little Shaman Healing at http://www.podbean.com/…/yf3vu-3c938/Stream—The-Little-Sh….
For comparison, I will also post videos by clinical psychologist, Abdul Saad of Australia. Saad’s videos may be a little harder to understand but I trust they are scientifically sound.
The Little Shaman
- Blog https://thelittleshamanhealing.wordpress.com/tag/narcissist/
- How Narcissists are Created https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEpZckMLr6E
- Why Are Narcissists Abusive? 4 Reasons Narcissists Abuse Their Loved Ones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52zR-Pc3x-k TRANSCRIPT/Article at https://hubpages.com/health/Why-Narcissists-Abuse
- Roles of Children in Narcissistic Families http://randigfine.com/roles-of-children-in-narcissistic-families/
- Surviving Workplace Mobbing: Identify the Stages https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beyond-bullying/201303/surviving-workplace-mobbing-identify-the-stages
Most of these articles have links to more information.
Jan. 16 2018 I’m adding to this list my first book on narcissism written by a properly educated and experienced mental health professional, Karyl McBride.
- Will I Ever Be Good Enough: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers, by Karyl McBride, published by Free Press, New York, 2008.
McBride is a licensed marriage and family therapist with more than 28 years of experience. She shares her personal experience as a daughter of a narcissistic mother before, during, and after the recovery program.
Mind Games with Greater Narc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWb3alqNljA
Mind Games are the Noble Hallmark of Sophisticated Abuse. The mind games the narc plays are:
1.Second-guessing: forget about personal needs
2. Pre-occupation: always wondering who he is with; forget who you are
3. Luring: Mirroring what you want; making you helpless
4. Obsessing: Why is he late? Why did he do that?
5. Gaslighting: Doubting own reality.
6. Ghettism: Act of making you think you are about to be discarded.
8. Makeover: self-blame because he is interested in someone else
10. criticizing everything and anything about you
11. Blame-shifting: everything that goes wrong is your fault
12. Authoritative Denial: We don’t just deny; we deny with…conviction, determination and authority…
13. Smear Campaigns:
14. Silent Treatment: you are taking things out of context and exagerating. We are nice to everyone else. Maybe you cause abuse to happen.
17. Losing your mind: We label you as crazy, unhinged.
Why does he do it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_f3YSTqrnQ
3. Future Lein: we need evidence in future that you are mentally incapable.
4. Facade Management: Keep mask in place because we’re nice to everyone else.
5. Superiority Reinforcement: If we can make you angry, we prove to ourselves that we are indeed superior to you.
6. Self-Defense: prevent criticism
7. Exhaust You: so you can’t think clearly
8. Plausible Deniability: When challenged by person in authority, we can point to absense of proof.
9. Impact: Psychological abuse is invariably more difficult for the victim to handle than physical abuse because the victim cannot address what is happening.
10. Lack of Detectability: A bruise raises questions. It is far harder to determine the effects of a mind game.
11. Erosion: A broken arm still allows you to walk and do things. Mind games wear down everything you do by wearing down your mind to prevent your escape.
12. Tenderizing: You are being tenderized for future games to be played against you for maximum effect.
13. Empathic Vulnerability: Honesty, decency, telling the truth makes you especially vulnerable to mind games
14. Endeavor: Some mind games end up making you try harder to please.
15. Power: Applies to Greater Narc only. Love to impact someone’s world this way, distorting it, making the victim provide fuel yet have no idea how or why this is being done to them.
- Five Fears of the Narc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndshO61O488
1. You’ll leave. You are the primary source of our precious fuel. Without the fuel, we are thrown into chaos.
2. I am ignored. We need the spotlight like plants need the sun. The removal of the light of attention criticizes us and strikes at our core. We don’t care how the attention comes, so long as it is laden with emotion.
3. I am exposed. We will withdraw from your treacherous behaviour of telling the world what we are. We will paint you as a liar, a crazy person, a fantacist. It hurts, it burns, it wounds. We will seek retribution. We must seek new hunting grounds and rebuild our twisted empire.
4. I grow weary. What if I no longer had the hunger or desire to stock/stalk my hunting grounds?
5. The creature escapes. What if I can no longer keep the craven creature in the prison I have constructed for it? What if it emerges and its wants and threats become a reality? What if it takes me to the edge of the abyss and forces me to look into the great void, oblivion just a step away, the howling winds of desolation whipping around me? Rarely, but sometimes, I feel the craven creature’s cold hand on my back, ready to push me over the edge.
Serving the narc last at the dinner table without any emotion was experienced by him as a criticism and wounded him so that he left the table glowering, then returned as though he’d only been to the bathroom and charmed the guests. Everyone’s shock provides him with fuel.
Main principles of toxic logic:
1. Fuel governs everything we do.
2. Nothing is ever our fault.
3. We are entitled to do what we want.
4. You are the competition.
5. Everybody is an appliance to use for fuel.
6. If you do what we want you are good.
7. If you do not do what we want you are bad.
8. There is no middle, no grey, no in between.
9. The end always justifies the means.
10. We have no concept of remorse, guilt, or conscience.
11. The world is against us.
12. Anything that blocks, defies, challenges, or causes us to question our superiority is a criticism if it is done without providing fuel.
13. We hate criticism.
14. Criticism wounds us and ignites our fury.
15. We must control our environment. Control is paramount to us.
16. We do not recognize boundaries.
17. We have no empathy.
18. We mimic and copy to pretend we have certain emotions and feelings.
19. We lie repeatedly.
20. Fuel is everything to us. That is worth repeating.
This logic is toxic because the outcome is that you are manipulated….Our behaviour, lacking any logic in your world, keeps you where we want you….If you apply our toxic logic to what has happened, you will understand why it has happened….You will not like it. You won’t approve. But you will understand. Once you start to understand you gain control….You will be taking your first steps to freedom.
- What do narcissists feel? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiLfF6BHqpM
- I feel the burning harshness that flows from any criticism of me.
- I feel jealousy when people are listening to someone else in the group, not me.
- I feel angry when I see a car that is a period of mine.
- I feel frustration when I am not causing someone to do as I want.
- I feel hatred when others are turned against me.
- I feel fury when I respond to the criticism.
- I also feel power. I feel that familiar surge as the first flames of power spark into life brought into being by the application of fuel. And then they grow. The growing sensation grows and courses through me, invigorating me, edifying me. It drives me forward, causes me to feel like I am bursting….Not only is it necessary for me to feel like this; it is addictive.
- When you feel happy, I feel powerful. When you feel joy, I feel a greater sense of power.
- How to reduce giving fuel to the narcissist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oNatBJMs7E
Fuel is any emotional response to something we have said, done, or caused.
Read “Fuel: What makes the narcissist function.”
If we cannot get fuel from an appliance, then that will force us to seek fuel elsewhere.
1. The largest amount of fuel you provide to us comes from direct physical interaction. The tone of the words you use, your body language, your facial expression, the look in your eyes, all provide us with very large quantities of fuel.
2. You are far easier to manipulate in person because your own emotional thinking surges into our close proximity…It is easier to ignore an email than when we look at you and give you that winning smile.
3. Your politeness and decency mean you may well struggle to ignore us when there is direct physical interaction. Your emotional thinking will cause you to say hello, and at least be polite. We draw you in once again.
4. You may be able to keep your voice level but your eyes, body langauge, etc. do provide fuel. We are looking to provoke you. Avoid direct physical contact.
How do you reduce giving fuel to the narcissist? continued; Lost track of numbering points.
1. Apply no contact made total.
2. In the case where physical contact is necessary, reduce occasion of contact to absolute minimum. (Suggestions offered on alternatives to joint meetings with child’s school, etc.)
3. In case of ambush, apply goso (get out and stay out). Walk away from us and say NOTHING. We will claim that you ran away like a scared mouse, but that is to maintain our facade. If you just walk away saying nothing, that wounds us massively and we hate it.
4. If you really can’t get away, do so at the earliest possible opportunity. In the meantime, talk to other people, not us. This will also wound.
5. If you have to talk to us, keep your voice neutral, avoid eye contact, talk about neutral topics, or topics that do not give away much about you.
6. Not only are we looking for fuel from you but also information about what you are up to which we can then use to our advantage.
7. Do not ask how we are. If we want to talk, let us do so. The more we talk, the more you can concentrate on zoning out and not providing reactions while planning your departure.
8. Avoid expansive and sweeping gestures. This provides fuel. Hold your hands still (behind back, flat on table, etc.) and keep in that position.
9. Resist all attempts to attack us in some way. You will only end up giving us fuel.
. If the narc calls to ask you out, do not ask questions. End the call immediately.
8. Where there has to be communication with the narcissist, communication through a third party. The third party should be advised to avoid referring to you. If no third party, communicate in writing.
- Narc’s reality gap https://narcsite.com/2018/05/18/the-narcissists-reality-gap-3/
- The Greater https://narcsite.com/2017/01/27/the-greater-narcissist/
- Mid-Range Narcissist: Five Facts https://narcsite.com/2017/01/11/the-mid-range-narcissist-five-facts/comment-page-1/
- The Lesser https://narcsite.com/2016/07/21/the-lesser/
- The Lesser 5 Facts youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lc0cSG5tAVc
- Divorce and the Narcissist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFz2SauLOdY