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Archive for January 25th, 2011

A: Just one — but he has to wait for the whole world to revolve around him.

Yesterday’s post on negotiating the junction where narcissist meets liar brought further investigation on the condition known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder and had things jumping off the page and many thoughts popping up in the process.

With no too few sites and forums set up by and for victims of relationships with narcissists, I’m wondering how any of these folks ever manage to even get a date, much less a commitment out of anyone.

Sure, they’re charming as anything and don’t break out the devious shit for a while, and that certainly baits the hook, but in reading how uniformly narcissists conform to their disorder, it seems most would be more clued in to spotting trouble and running like hell.

Of course, red flags are often ignored early in togetherness, and with the bag of tricks any decent narcissist has available they could be looking more rosy than red when used to divert attention or cover up. And who wants to let their mind run to such dire conclusions at the beginning of what seems to have so much potential?

Letting those flags wave about and wrap around a person can be dangerously smothering, though. Here’s a selection of what there is to look forward to if those annoying little quirks you’re noting get time to bloom:

Common Behaviours of a Narcissist

* ‘Me versus You’ mentality;
* Competitiveness;
* ‘Tit for tat’ retaliations;
* Striving for the ‘spotlight’ and attention;
* Excessive generosity to outside people;
* Uncomfortable when others are incurring attention or praise;
* If can’t be centre of attention will either discredit or leave the experience;
* May fake illnesses or problems to procure attention / sympathy;
* Abusive verbal behaviour when angered or insecure;
* Tendency toward violent and even criminal behaviour;
* Inappropriate and inapplicable language in front of women and children;
* Dark moods that affect others;
* False promises;
* Glorifies and falsifies achievements past and present;
* Expects to be recognised and praised;
* Finds others not complying with wants intolerable;
* Extreme sensitivity to criticism;
* Extreme defensiveness when confronted;
* Pathological lying;
* Disdain for rules, regulations, decency and morality;
* Childish outbursts and behaviour;
* Very little consideration for how behaviour affects others;
* Extreme lack of compassion or sensitivity towards love partners (and others’) problems;
* Grossly unsupportive to familiars in times of need;
* Brushes incidences under the carpet;
* Uses allies real or imagined to back up claims and arguments;
* Uses guilt and manipulation to influence love partners;
* Doesn’t trust love partners;
* Tendency towards unreasonable jealousy and possessiveness;
* Capable of sexually degrading name calling;
* Can steal, harm or hide property to sabotage love partners;
* Uses vengeance, threats and intimidation to control ;
* Uses excessive charm and manipulation to control;
* Little (if any) sense of conscience;
* Discredits love partners to gain attention / sympathy from others;
* Will ‘attack’ when confronted or questioned;
* Emotionally punishes love partners when feeling insecure;
* Emotionally punishes love partners when they are struggling with issues, losses, grief or challenges;
* Employs unpredictable and unaccountable behaviour;
* Capable of ‘disgusting’ behaviour to gain the upper hand and control a situation;
* Feels powerful and fulfilled when creating powerlessness in another;
* Gross failure to apologise or have sympathy after creating tears, distress or trauma to the love partner.

As mentioned, the web is rife with accounts from people who’ve come out the other side of relationships with narcissists, but what I’m not finding is anything from folks who’ve found some peace with their totally self-involved partners, but it must happen. Certainly not every narcissist ends up alone, although strings of short-term attachments are the most common form of connection for them.

Is it possible to have some version of happiness when linked with someone so self-centered as to think their partner little more than a serviceable appendage?

I’m guessing there is.

Although a two-narcissist combo could be disastrous, with enough resources it might work. Some Hollywood marriages may function this way when both partners are getting the strokes they require from a wider audience and there’s money to feather both nests in the style each demands. Keeping whatever balance is required to have both partners convinced they’re ahead of the game would be tough, but it seems possible given the excesses available.

Another good match for a narcissist might be the masochist. Some do need to be needed, and if that means one is driven to serve as both an audience and a doormat perhaps some folks can find fulfillment with someone who requires both. There are those who enjoy living the life of Trilby and seek out their own Svengali, forever more relinquishing control while contentedly hunkering down in the back seat.

What better setup could there be for someone looking to give everything, yet get nothing back than this?

These people are geniuses of “Come closer so I can slap you.” Except that’s not the way they think about it, if they think about it — no, they’re thinking, “Well, maybe you do really care about me, and, if you really care about me, then maybe you’ll help me with this,” only by “help” they mean do the whole thing, take total responsibility for it, including protecting and defending them and cleaning up the mess they’ve already made of it (which they will neglect to fill you in on because they haven’t really been paying attention, have they, so how would they know??). They will not have considered for one second how much of your time it will take, how much trouble it may get you into in their behalf, that they will owe you BIG for this — no, you’re just going to do it all out of the goodness of your heart, which they are delighted to exploit yet again, and your virtue will be its own reward: it’s supposed to just tickle you pink to be offered this generous opportunity of showing how much you love them and/or how lucky you are to be the servant of such a luminous personage. No lie — they think other people do stuff for the same reason they do: to show off, to perform for an audience. That’s one of the reasons they make outrageous demands, put you on the spot and create scenes in public: they’re being generous — they’re trying to share the spotlight with you by giving you the chance to show off how absolutely stunningly devoted-to-them you are. It means that they love you …

The trouble, however, comes when normal, reasonably well adjusted people find themselves attached to a narcissist … sooner or later, they’re going to want something in return. When that shit hits the fan things get ugly.

Demanding honesty or recognition or appreciation or respect … demanding anything … is nothing less than unreasonable under the circumstance as it’s beyond the scope of the narcissistic personality to deliver.

As explained here:

There’s only one way to get decent treatment from narcissists: keep your distance. They can be pretty nice, even charming, flirtatious, and seductive, to strangers, and will flatter you shamelessly if they want something from you. When you attempt to get close to them in a normal way, they feel you are putting emotional pressure on them and they withdraw because you’re too demanding. They can be positively fawning and solicitous as long as they’re afraid of you, which is not most people’s idea of a real fun relationship.

Nope … not most people’s idea of fun, but perhaps it does work for some.

Anyone can fall into a relationship with a narcissist, but it seems only by finding either some equality in dueling egos or giving up and in completely will keep it going for long.

Apparently, Alanis Morissette did, at one time, fall in, then climb out, since she sums it all quite nicely in her song “Narcissus” …

I wonder if the guy she wrote this about knows that, for once, it really IS all about HIM …

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