An interesting article about how narcissists think

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LemonLime

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An interesting article about how narcissists think
« on: October 17, 2021, 08:49:56 PM »
I want to share this article about narcissists because I found it explained the "why" part of the puzzle really well.   I've wondered for a long time why my sib has to always be the "all-knowing" person.   This article explains that it's because if she does not feel special, she feels like a nothing.   It's part of the black-and-white thinking.  If I'm not special I'm a nobody.
"One recent study posited that this drive to compare oneself favorably to others may act like a flotation device for a narcissist’s buoyed sense of self. “Perceived superiority, pursued via frequent social comparisons against downward targets, serves as an important tool in maintaining narcissists’ grandiose self-views,” wrote researchers."

This explains why I can't win for losing with her.   She criticizes me and tells me that I need to be better.  So if I improve and am better, she freaks out at me anyway.   This makes sense....if I get better at something, then she is no longer "special" in her eyes.  So now she feels like a nobody and she takes that out on me.   I have made her feel like a nobody, so she hates me.  Of course she is not cognizant of why she feels like a nobody.  It must be Lemon Lime's fault sib is feeling so terrible....probably something LL did or said.  So it's fine to rage at LL for whatever invented reason sib's brain gives her.  So of course it's easy to see nobody can win here.   If I'm not good enough sib rages.  If I'm good enough sib rages.

https://www.psychalive.org/what-really-goes-on-in-the-mind-of-a-narcissist/

This article also gave me chills.  It's because I see how much my mom always compared her kids to her friends' kids.  And how my mom and sister and I used to talk about other people behind their backs all the time.   My sister and I learned this habit from our mom.  It became so ingrained in me that I didn't even realize not everyone did this.  I think it was my mom's way of trying to reassure herself that she was a really good mom and that she had produced really good kids.  It's my mom's insecurity that caused so much of this mess.
And I also recognize that as a young adult I displayed some covert N traits.  It's hard for me to admit this and to write it here.  I cringe when I think of a roommate I had at age 21 who moved out after we had a disagreement about cleaning the apartment.  In essence I wasn't able to tolerate her criticism of me not regularly cleaning the kitchen.  She thought it was gross and I just got defensive and told her that she wasn't that neat in the bathroom and that "besides, a clean bathroom is more important than a clean kitchen anyway!".   Yikes.   Can you believe that?   I'm so embarrassed even thinking about that.   And I feel so crushed that I learned that entitlement from my mom. 
What would my life have been like if I was raised by a person with healthy self-esteem?
I can't go back and do my life over.   I sort of wish I could.
But I do think I managed to marry well and NOT pass on narcissism to my children, which is perhaps more important than me having a better life.
This work is hard.

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square

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Re: An interesting article about how narcissists think
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2021, 10:22:27 PM »
I have so much respect for eople who do the work.

Btw I believe I’m quite low on the narcissism scale but I remember some incidents as a young adult where I had some serious entitlement attitudes. I’m embarrassed by it but ultimately chalk it up to the process of becoming a full adult without the training wheels. It exposes you.

And, yeah, I learned things from my FOO that I later distanced myself from.

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Simon

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Re: An interesting article about how narcissists think
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2021, 09:35:58 AM »
Interesting article, although I think it over-simplifies NPD and, as is usual for this current pop-culture, confuses Narcissism and NPD (or at least blurs the lines), and feeds into most people's view that a Narcissist is just someone that is full of themselves and vain.

It does highlight the grandiose part of Narcissism though, and it's mind-boggling to think that people are constantly playing "I'm better than you", every minute of every day, just to survive, even if it's sub-conscious and they don't realise it.
Must be exhausting.

I can't remember who said it, or where I read it, but one Psychologist wrote that while we all think of the Narcissistic person as flying high on the wave of their perceived greatness, the truth is that even when they are at the top of their game, they are actually just keeping their chin out of the water to stop themselves from drowning, and anything less than them being "the best" will sink them.
Imagine living like that.
Sounds like a constant state of panic.

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SonofThunder

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Re: An interesting article about how narcissists think
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2021, 10:00:35 AM »
LemonLime,

i enjoyed reading the article and thank you for sharing.  It was also invigorating to read your well-written post as you developed your thoughts and experiences relative to the article, looking into the past and discovering the driving factors behind your experiences.

In addition, reading of your self-analyzation and your chills in recognizing the fleas within yourself from being raised in the home of a PD and the lightbulb of realization.  Again thanks for sharing the article and your story in relation.  Wishing you continued ‘a-ha’ moments along the OOTF trail.

SoT
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in 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.

Proverbs 29:11
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

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Hazy111

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Re: An interesting article about how narcissists think
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2021, 12:37:25 PM »
Yes it covers a lot that is already known . The narcissists "critical inner voice " or " punishing  super ego" as Freud put it. They have a precarious unstable psyche .

One think that stood out which may/may not bring succour to SGs was how they treat the nominated GC but not referred to particularly as such in the article  :

A parent who offers a child special treatment, build-up, or false praise is not necessarily conveying real love, warmth, or nurturance to the child. They may even be compensating for a lack of these feelings toward the child. In turn, they may be building a child’s narcissism, but most likely are doing nothing to support the child’s authentic sense of self or a healthy level of self-esteem.


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SonofThunder

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Re: An interesting article about how narcissists think
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2021, 09:13:30 AM »
Interesting article, although I think it over-simplifies NPD and, as is usual for this current pop-culture, confuses Narcissism and NPD (or at least blurs the lines), and feeds into most people's view that a Narcissist is just someone that is full of themselves and vain.

It does highlight the grandiose part of Narcissism though, and it's mind-boggling to think that people are constantly playing "I'm better than you", every minute of every day, just to survive, even if it's sub-conscious and they don't realise it.
Must be exhausting.

I can't remember who said it, or where I read it, but one Psychologist wrote that while we all think of the Narcissistic person as flying high on the wave of their perceived greatness, the truth is that even when they are at the top of their game, they are actually just keeping their chin out of the water to stop themselves from drowning, and anything less than them being "the best" will sink them.
Imagine living like that.
Sounds like a constant state of panic.

“… the truth is that even when they are at the top of their game, they are actually just keeping their chin out of the water to stop themselves from drowning, and anything less than them being "the best" will sink them. Imagine living like that.  Sounds like a constant state of panic.”

Simon, yes this is something that crosses my mind frequently, especially witnessing my wife's reactions over the decades when the uncontrollable and unseen negative events in life raise their head, the NPD in my wife (“..top of their game”) goes quickly under water and that panic you mentioned is immediately in full view. 

There have been a few instances where the panic of my wife caused a bigger issue than the negative event she was encountering, putting others around in a difficult situation, not understanding her  overreaction and which situation needed the greater attention. 

In those situations, i believe it has been the true instant-drowning panic of her living just on the mental edge of going under, while just prior, was projecting she’s comfortably lounging on her facade-yacht of confident self control.  But i cant say it hasn't crossed my mind, in a few of the overreaction panic moments, that some of it is attention seeking; the NPD/BPD needing someone else to recognize just how awful their situation is, in a suffering-trophy 🏆 sort of way.  It can be very confusing to grasp. 

Lastly, since in the mind of the PD, they truly know no other way to live, do they really know what their missing (not on the mental edge of going under) or is their understanding of themselves, what they believe is ‘normal’.   Interesting to ponder but can also be a self-protection deterrent for the non, as they feel sorry for the drowning PD and come to their aid.   The PD quickly learns that the panic brings reward.  Just like a little child….

SoT
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 09:15:09 AM by SonofThunder »
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in 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.

Proverbs 29:11
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

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Hazy111

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Re: An interesting article about how narcissists think
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2021, 12:32:38 PM »
But i cant say it hasn't crossed my mind, in a few of the overreaction panic moments, that some of it is attention seeking; the NPD/BPD needing someone else to recognize just how awful their situation is, in a suffering-trophy 🏆 sort of way.  It can be very confusing to grasp.


I called it martyrdom SofT .My uBPD mother was a big martyr. I grew up with these frequent "Im just a paid skivvy for this family" " Just a whipping block " "Nobody lifts a finger to help me" etc outbursts always beginning with simmering tension in the house, muttering under her breath.  I could cut it with a knife , like waiting for the volcano to blow. A fav annual time was always after Xmas as she always invited all the family over and did everything herself (she never asked asked anyone to help) and then spend the next days complaining bitterly. "Not doing that again, never again , im sick of it. Nobody does anything to help me!"  My father just nodded, waiting for it to blow over. Of course she never did do anything about it, but then she would have nothing to complain about or drama to create.  :stars:

My father once said his mother was the same and ive dated some BPDs and they often played the martyrdom card. Not all of them.  Im always surprised that Christine Lawson didnt mention it specifically in "Understanding the Borderline Mother"

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SonofThunder

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Re: An interesting article about how narcissists think
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2021, 01:31:33 PM »
Hazy111, that is an appropriate term for the behavior.  I can surely relate to your experiences with your uBPDm regarding my NPD father and my PD wife.  Im so sorry you grew up with the experiences of a borderline mom. 

SoT
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in 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.

Proverbs 29:11
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

*

Hazy111

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Re: An interesting article about how narcissists think
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2021, 02:02:49 PM »
Hmmm yes ..as Christine Lawson says, to have had a Borderline Mother is a tragedy.

I think its far more common then people realise. I could reel off dozens i have known/know I would strongly suspect of suffering from BPD. Family members, ex girlfriends, (ex girlfriends moms and sisters) work colleagues, wives/mothers of friends, neighbors, acquaintances etc. The telltales are so familiar, but most people just dont get what PD is. 

For example a neighbor of mine who im on friendly terms most of the time blew up at me about some trees that needed pruning/cutting down that another neighbor had been complaining about. We were chatting about it amicably then she went into an outburst "  You just want to cut down all the trees , thats all you want to do! "  Very triggering and the next day shes back as nice as pie. I once heard admonishing her son screaming at him, " Dont you ever treat my furniture like that " It was the use of my  that gave her away. Not the or our but my to her son.??!! Like it wasnt his home.

I heard that the condition was going to be re characterised as "Emotionally Unstable Disorder" much more accurate  i think but i havent heard it used. Borderline implies bouts of insanity. Some may well experience it when under extreme stress, but it doesnt describe the everyday experience imo.