How to manage in the face of Narc Grandiosity

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Sapling

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How to manage in the face of Narc Grandiosity
« on: June 27, 2021, 01:34:43 AM »
I have a uPD sis. I cannot diagnose her (nor do I want to go down that rabbit hole) but she seems to display DPD and N traits. Her behavior is often baffling to me. She is incredibly charming and always surrounded by a gaggle of people who indulge her, do things for her and don't really challenge her. For a long time I think we were in a codependent sibling dynamic and I was constantly painted as an aggressive monster if I challenged her outlandish views of herself. *Sigh* I have gone VLC with her over the last year and sought therapy to work on my own issues (incl. our codependency).

I spoke with her yesterday and was shocked and triggered by her grandiosity. She wants to write musicals she says - but she is literally tone deaf, has had no musical training at all, has no theatre writing background or any of the actual skills required to produce a musical. She keeps bringing this up with me repeatedly. I am a working musician who has lost all my gigs since covid and has been really struggling to get back on my feet. I get triggered every time she talks about the musical stuff because (even though I know its complete BS and she will not do it), somehow it makes me feel like my life and my efforts are not real. Am I going crazy?

A good friend told me that I need to not respond to her claims. I don't respond in the moment, but when I go away I am crestfallen and I don't know why. I also get really angry that she thinks she can do anything and everything that comes into her mind, while some of us have worked really hard and faced so many failures and set backs in our work. She is oblivious to that.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can manage myself in the face of the grandiosity? Even with VLC it is painful to talk to her and I have so much anger about how dishonest she is being. Looking at her long track record of unfinished projects I find it hard to believe that even she thinks she will actually do this. Why does she need to keep talking to me about it?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 01:36:35 AM by Sapling »

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Andeza

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Re: How to manage in the face of Narc Grandiosity
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2021, 03:12:35 AM »
Ever listened to kids chatter about what they want to be when they grow up while knowing fully there's no way in heck they'll realistically manage it? Same deal here. "Oh, that's nice" change the topic.

I'm getting histrionic vibes... but that's just from this little bit you've written here. Reminds me of my husband's Gma. ALL drama all the time.

Additionally, her goal could be to minimize your accomplishments because they threaten her desire to be.... fill in the blank. No matter her motivation or method, distance is usually the best defense.
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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SonofThunder

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Re: How to manage in the face of Narc Grandiosity
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2021, 04:37:38 AM »
Hello Sapling,

First, I want to acknowledge that I enjoyed reading your professional writing style and your use of vocabulary that paints the picture well.  I was not knowledgeable regarding the word ‘Crestfallen’ and although it’s meaning has a negative connotation, it is a wonderful word and possibly be a good name for a band or song title  :)

With regard to your uPDsis; my opinion is what you are experiencing is very common with NPD’s and since there is much comorbidity among the specific clusters of disorders, the HPD’s, NPD’s and BPD’s can all bleed a bit into one another. 

My uPDwife is mostly NPD, but will demonstrate BPD traits on occasion as well.  I believe I have read that comorbidity in cluster B and A are not likely, but my uPDw expresses some traits of PPD as well.  She has large dreams and many unfinished attempts at being successful, but her common street sense is lacking, her time management skills are terrible and she quickly folds when encountering negative feedback, unfavorable results at the front-end, or even lack of sufficient praise for her successful efforts.  In her situations that have some success, it comes at the cost of time, effort and money from many others who quickly tire of the demanding expectations and then face her criticism as the luster of their assistance wears thin. 

As her husband of 30 years, I have learned well to create very solid boundaries to protect myself and the people/assets that are my responsibility. I will not go into details regarding, on this reply, as I have many replies on other threads that discuss proper boundaries.  I have learned to protect myself, while at the same time, allow my wife to be her own adult, and therefore enjoy her own successes and suffer in her own failures.  My job is to be her ‘friend’ along the way, while at the same time, fully protecting myself.  It’s a delicate balance, and one’s backbone must be fortified over time with practice of standing ones ground in a medium-chill and no-JADE method.  Over time and sufficient mental prep and real-world practice, it does indeed become second nature. 

If I was in your situation, I would simply (as a friend) hear my sister discuss her desires, but tell her that I value our relationship enough to say no to her inquiries, because siblings and other family members are on my list of special people that I will not conduct business or projects with, in order to protect our relationship.  In reality (PD or not), many family members and friends who attempt projects or businesses together, frequently suffer difficulty in their relationships due to the strain caused by ‘too many cooks the kitchen’. 

So, my advice is to really study and practice how to create proper self-protecting (and relationship protecting) boundaries and calmly enforce them on yourself.  Boundaries are not designed to alter/control the actions or reactions of another person, but only ourselves. 

In addition, in order to be the master of my own time, assets and energy, I created this quick mental checklist for myself, in which I run through in my mind when my time/effort/money is requested, in order to properly respond to requests. 

1. Do I desire to participate. Yes, I will participate.  No: Go to #2

2. Can the other person(s) actually satisfy the need (in some possible manner) by themselves?  If yes, I will not participate.  If its chore related, I will possibly encourage them to do it/learn it themselves.  If I can be of assistance in them acquiring a new skill, I may assist them the first time but not thereafter.

3. Is their need truly necessary (mandatory vs choice or able to do another way) or unnecessary?  If unnecessary, then #1 and #2 apply.  If it’s a tough call by me, I may choose the helpful decision because I also don’t desire to spend a lot of mental energy wrestling with myself afterwards.  If I see a repetitive pattern with this type of need, I will say no to the 2nd time and any time thereafter.

4. Is there a need because of a true limitation on the abilities of the person(s)?  #1-3 apply.

5. Is there another friend/family member who desires to help this person(s), other than myself?  If it’s a time consuming task, then I will encourage this if #3 and #4 also fit the situation.

6. Is there a willing volunteer or paid professional that can be hired by this person(s) to help with the situation?  Same as #5

7. If tension, quietness, anger or punishment happens because this person(s) is disappointed in my ongoing or specific choice(s) for myself, I will potentially protect myself further from any negative experiences.

I wish you the best in dealing with your sister and hope you are finding proactive musical work as Covid restrictions continue to ease.

SoT

« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 04:43:21 AM by SonofThunder »
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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Sapling

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Re: How to manage in the face of Narc Grandiosity
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2021, 10:47:07 PM »
Thanks Andeza, yes I have put as much distance as possible between us. I agree, that in some ways it is an attempt to diminish my accomplishments in a "everyone can do it" kind of way. I just find it really triggering because it is a sensitive spot for me especially at the moment with current setbacks. There could be HPD traits there as well but like I said, I try not to go down the rabbit hole of diagnosis because a) I'm not qualified and b) it doesn't really help me set boundaries with her anyway. I will definitely think of the kids chattering away next time she brings up this topic with me!

SonofThunder, thank you so much for your thoughtful and thorough response. Your uPDwife sounds a lot like my sis. She also has poor time management skills and folds when confronted with critical feedback or minor setbacks. Her dreams are HUGE but the efforts she makes towards them are pretty meagre. In addition she's learnt to use this language of self-care eg. "baby steps" and "I"m just being gentle with myself" to excuse her minimal efforts. She also jumps around from dream to dream, project to project and claims it's because she has ADHD. She has not been diagnosed with it and will not seek a diagnosis because she says "they" will put her on some 'super drug' (whatever that is  :blink:)

It has not quite been a year since I put serious distance between us, and it is difficult to set boundaries around these conversations so thank you for your checklist! I have no intention of entering into any joint business projects with her and I doubt she would even get them off the ground to begin with. But I do feel, now that she doesn't get the attention she is used to getting from me, that she is ramping up talking about her life and trying to get a reaction out of me. It pushes all my buttons and I am trying not to let it get to me. I feel angry that she needs so much attention for her hypothetical dreams but she doesn't support those of us who have actually put in long, hard hours towards our dreams. She wants credit without having done anything and I guess it just it makes me angry. I have definitely had to deal with the "tension, quietness, anger or punishment" when I have not reacted the way she has wanted me to. I am sick of the extreme immaturity and I sometimes just wish the world would knock her right down to size.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 10:51:15 PM by Sapling »

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SonofThunder

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Re: How to manage in the face of Narc Grandiosity
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2021, 09:04:23 AM »
Sapling, I understand where you are in dealing with her.  Btw, my uNPDfather has a psychiatrist diagnosis of ADHD and depression.  I am not familiar with this doctor, but my friend who is a psychologist, says that PD’s, Depression and ADHD can surely have comorbidity.   In fact, I have read where many PD diagnosis’ happen when the patient is seeing a psych for depression.  My uPDw also has bouts of depression as well, most of them following a time of extreme life excitement regarding their big dreams or latest project suffering a failure/quitting.  Everyone else or circumstances outside themselves are always to blame vs them and they are always the victim. 

Also, I have learned that I must find my balanced joy and healthy satisfaction in my ability to accomplish a goal, from myself.  I’m a person of faith as well, and this is not the proper forum area for that discussion, but simply adding that I have removed from my mind, all expectation that I will receive any encouragement from a PD, because of their inability to focus on anything other than themselves, and receive joy from myself and in my creators joy. 

It may seem at times, that I am receiving the gift of encouragement or acknowledgment of a job well done from a PD, but it does not take long to expose that the gift itself is the focus and if it is not acknowledged or appreciated properly by the receiver, the receiver pays a price.  Therefore, the gift of encouragement or acknowledgment that was initially assumed to be heartfelt, is really another attempt from the PD to gain self satisfaction. 

I again encourage you to fully utilize the toolbox, and especially the four tools of MC=medium chill, noJADE, 51% rule to take good care of yourself and 50% rule to keep yourself balanced because you, as an adult with adult rights, always have options. 

SoT


« Last Edit: June 28, 2021, 09:06:04 AM by SonofThunder »
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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Sapling

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Re: How to manage in the face of Narc Grandiosity
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2021, 09:21:54 AM »
Also, I have learned that I must find my balanced joy and healthy satisfaction in my ability to accomplish a goal, from myself.  I’m a person of faith as well, and this is not the proper forum area for that discussion, but simply adding that I have removed from my mind, all expectation that I will receive any encouragement from a PD, because of their inability to focus on anything other than themselves, and receive joy from myself and in my creators joy. 

Thank you for sharing this SoT. I too am trying to channel my energy and focus into my own goals and find satisfaction in my ability to see them through from idea to finish. While I'm not a religious person, I have found that connecting to something greater (by being in nature or by meditating or by practicing mindfulness) has been helping too.

Thank you for acknowledging where I'm at. What you're saying about comorbidity of depression, ADHD and depression makes a lot of sense. I suspect that, even though I have the language now talk about my relationship with my sis and other PDs in my life, I can never fully grasp where they are coming from and that is difficult. I think I still have a long way to go before I arrive at true acceptance. I appreciate your support along the way.

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SonofThunder

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Re: How to manage in the face of Narc Grandiosity
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2021, 09:46:54 AM »
Also, I have learned that I must find my balanced joy and healthy satisfaction in my ability to accomplish a goal, from myself.  I’m a person of faith as well, and this is not the proper forum area for that discussion, but simply adding that I have removed from my mind, all expectation that I will receive any encouragement from a PD, because of their inability to focus on anything other than themselves, and receive joy from myself and in my creators joy. 

Thank you for sharing this SoT. I too am trying to channel my energy and focus into my own goals and find satisfaction in my ability to see them through from idea to finish. While I'm not a religious person, I have found that connecting to something greater (by being in nature or by meditating or by practicing mindfulness) has been helping too.

Thank you for acknowledging where I'm at. What you're saying about comorbidity of depression, ADHD and depression makes a lot of sense. I suspect that, even though I have the language now talk about my relationship with my sis and other PDs in my life, I can never fully grasp where they are coming from and that is difficult. I think I still have a long way to go before I arrive at true acceptance. I appreciate your support along the way.

Sapling, yes I agree, that “ connecting to something greater (by being in nature or by meditating or by practicing mindfulness) has been helping too.” is so important, and is an area of our lives that is fully protected from entry into, by a PD. 

Loving ourselves in a balanced manner, around PD’s is a difficult thing.  I keep a journal and as you well stated, find time to connect to something greater.  I also agree with you that I cannot enter into the mind of the PD and in fact, I’m glad I cannot, because the push/pull that would cause on me, in potential compassion for their truly underdeveloped mind, would cause me to fall into the traps once again, of PD manipulation as they use compassion from others, as supply.  I must let my PD people be adults and deal with themselves, just like I must do, all while balancing my relationship with them. 

SoT

Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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Boat Babe

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Re: How to manage in the face of Narc Grandiosity
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2021, 06:46:34 PM »
You will never fully grasp where they are coming from. That is what is so mindfucking about very disordered people. I don't try to understand any more.  Total waste of my one and only wild and beautiful life.

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It gets better. It has to.