DA is an interesting place for an artist to hang out and share opinions and views but for a psychologist it's a much more fascinating place than it might first appear. Don't get me wrong, I am primarily an artist, but I've always been interested in people; studying and working with people has given me some extra insight into some of my interactions. I'm posting some of this so I can share some information and opinion - I didn't write most of this so it's not my opinion - it is the clinically accepted diagnosis of this disorder. But, for those of you who have 'shared' some common experiences with a writer (you know who he is) and a different set of people who have shared experiences with an 'artist' (you know who that is)...it might help to understand what went wrong. It had absolutely nothing to do with me (or you)...Those two gentlemen (you know who you are) are clearly not operating at the same level as most of the rest of us. For me, psychology gives me the keys to unlock the doors and, in understanding why someone attacked and insulted me in a way that was completely out of proportion to the original (perceived) slight, allows me to 'let it go'.
Anyhoo...here is the reason that these men, probably, behaved the way they did - and it's not because I'm a man hating lesbian ;D
Narcissistic personality disorder
What is it exactly?
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.
Narcissism is a term used to describe a focus on the self and self-admiration that is taken to an extreme. The word “narcissism” comes from a Greek myth in which a handsome young man named Narcissus sees his reflection in a pool of water and falls in love with it.
Narcissistic personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called dramatic personality disorders. People with these disorders have intense, unstable emotions, and a distorted self-image. Narcissistic personality disorder is further characterized by an abnormal love of self, an exaggerated sense of superiority and importance, and a preoccupation with success and power. However, these attitudes and behaviors do not reflect true self-confidence. Instead, the attitudes conceal a deep sense of insecurity and a fragile self-esteem. People with this personality disorder also tend to set unrealistic goals.
Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by dramatic, emotional behavior, which is in the same category as antisocial and borderline personality disorders.
Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:
- Believing that you're better than others
- Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
- Exaggerating your achievements or talents
- Expecting constant praise and admiration
- Believing that you're special and acting accordingly
- Failing to recognize other people's emotions and feelings
- Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
- Taking advantage of others
- Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
- Being jealous of others
- Believing that others are jealous of you
- Trouble keeping healthy relationships
- Setting unrealistic goals
- Being easily hurt and rejected
- Having a fragile self-esteem
- Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional
Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence or strong self-esteem, it's not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence and self-esteem into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal. In contrast, people who have healthy confidence and self-esteem don't value themselves more than they value others.
When you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may have a sense of entitlement. And when you don't receive the special treatment to which you feel entitled, you may become very impatient or angry. You may insist on having "the best" of everything — the best car, athletic club, medical care or social circles, for instance.
But underneath all this behavior often lies a fragile self-esteem. You have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have a sense of secret shame and humiliation. And in order to make yourself feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and efforts to belittle the other person to make yourself appear better.
NPD Causes/Risk Factors
It's not known what causes narcissistic personality disorder. As with other mental disorders, the cause is likely complex. The cause may be linked to a dysfunctional childhood, such as excessive pampering, extremely high expectations, abuse or neglect. It's also possible that genetics or psychobiology — the connection between the brain and behavior and thinking — plays a role in the development of narcissistic personality disorder.
- An oversensitive temperament at birth;
- Excessive admiration that is never balanced with realistic feedback;
- Excessive praise for good behaviors or excessive criticism for bad behaviors in childhood;
- Overindulgence and overvaluation by parents, other family members, or peers;
- Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or abilities by adults;
- Severe emotional abuse in childhood;
- Unpredictable or unreliable care giving from parents;
- Learning manipulative behaviors from parents;
- Valued by parents as a means to regulate their own self-esteem.
Children who learn from their parents that vulnerability is unacceptable may lose their ability to empathize with others' needs. They may also mask their emotional needs with grandiose, egotistical behavior that's calculated to make them seem emotionally "bulletproof."Some narcissistic traits are common and a normal developmental phase. When these traits are compounded by a failure of the interpersonal environment and continue into adulthood, they may intensify to the point where NPD is diagnosed.
Links to sources - www.mayoclinic.com/health/narc…
The saddest thing about all this is that, clearly...those people I've come across won't recognise themselves and, most likely, not seek any kind of treatment. My understanding is that any personality disorder is particularly hard to treat - I've come across more than a few people with personality disorders in my life (and in my work) and I don't think they even want to change let alone are capable of change - change requires some humility and the ability to empathise, reflect and introspect and they aren't usually capable of any of those things.
I'm interested in all opinions on this or any subject