Is excessive defensiveness a trait?

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ClemmieC

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Is excessive defensiveness a trait?
« on: September 18, 2015, 11:03:18 AM »
Hello everyone

My step brother just been sectioned, for the third time, and his mum is finally realising he may be NPD after a lifetime of stress and horror to extended to go into - he's 35. But I don't know if he is. One of his doctors suggested it.

He's got a lot of the traits. As a child, couldn't understand (and would get angry that) my Dad wasn't earning more money; why didn't we have a bigger house; why did we go on such crummy holidays. Nothing was ever good enough. As a young adult, though he had no experience of this world, and zilch people skills, decided he was going to be a hot shot sports agent; or a hedge fund billionaire. But he couldn't get on with anyone so he got fired from every job. He's been on benefits for years but still claims he's making money from various mysterious "projects" and if you question him he gets furious. Now, everything his mum's fault or my fault or someone's fault and though he's screwed up in every way imaginable, it's not his fault at all. As far as he's concerned, we're the ones with personality disorders; he's the sane one.

But do other people recognise this one: even before he got seriously unwell, it was  almost impossible to have a conversation with him because if you disagreed with him - even about something tiny - he'd get all defensive. For instance, he might say: "I just saw the Devil Wears Prada, you'd really enjoy it." I might reply: "Yeah I already saw it. I liked it. But I thought Anne Hathaway was a bit irritating....." At that point, he'd interrupt, get all defensive and start back tracking or arguing and conversation just ends in a kind of row situation over nothing.

Is this something other people have experience of?


 

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Bloomie

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Re: Is excessive defensiveness a trait?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2015, 01:25:56 PM »
ClemmieC - welcome to OOTF. Extreme defensiveness over minor to major things is something I have experienced with someone I believe has uNPD in my family. Along with everything being someone else's fault. I can sympathize with how frustrating that behavior is and the other behaviors you describe you have been dealing with from your step brother. This has to have been an ongoing trial for everyone in your family. As in my experience with a uNPD person they will go to great lengths to protect their image of themselves and can have very little capacity for self awareness, self reflection, and empathy. It can be quite painful being close to them.

There are some great tools in the toolbox at the top of the page that I have found helpful when dealing with the uNPD in my life. Things like Medium Chill and learning about Circular Conversations. All have been a great help as well as spending time on the forum boards and learning from others who are in similar circumstances.

Take a look around at the info at the tabs at the top of the page and check out the book recommendations for NPD found above as there are some really great resources there that help us understand the "lens" that a NPD person looks through and it helped me alter my expectations and responses in my relationship with my uNPD family member and in time this helped bring me a great deal of peace. Keep visiting and posting on the forum boards. It really does help! We welcome your participation.
"You can understand and have compassion for someone and still not want a relationship with them."
Amanda E. White, LPC @therapyforwomen

Bloomie 🌸

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ClemmieC

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Re: Is excessive defensiveness a trait?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2015, 03:55:31 PM »
Thank you Bloomie. I am really happy to have found this site. My stepbrother is now also psychotic. I think the stress of keeping up his over-blown self image, through numerous personal setbacks and in the face of countless failures, may have tipped him over. Its great this site is here for people: it's terrible to see people self destruct and you feel there's nothing you can do. I am relieved, in a way, to find his defensive behaviour is not uncommon and I will take your advice about the tools.