Narcissism In The Work Place – Redux

I see a lot of search terms in my stats that include “narcissim in the work place”  and “how to spot narcissism in the work place.”

The first and best bit of advice I can provide is this:  It’s just as difficult to spot it, initially, as it is in personal interactions.  Narcissists abound, within and without the workplace.  So be aware; prepare not only for the technical aspects of your interview, but have a small list of characteristics beneath your note-taking page to remind you what to look for.

When you first interview for a job, you’re usually so excited that you got the interview, and you’re so focused on doing your best in that interview that you don’t notice body language, tones of voice, and/or certain other behaviors that could be dead giveaways that you are interviewing with a narcissist.

Before I discuss that, though, let me say this:  If you are interviewing and/or work in corporate America, you can bet your sweet little bippie that you are surrounded by narcissists.  Perhaps your department isn’t rife with them; perhaps the individual in the cube next to you isn’t one.  You can rest assured, however, that at some point, you WILL run into one.

I suggest you first read this post.  It will open in a new tab.  Read it before you go on an interview.  Read some of the other posts I have here on NPD and Narcissists.  That won’t guarantee you won’t wind up working with a narcissist, but forewarned is forearmed.

As a rule, you don’t recognize a narcissist until they’ve already damaged you.  The average non-NPD simply doesn’t think the same way a narcissist does, and many of us have experienced the devastating fallout that comes from working with a narcissist, to the point of losing our jobs.

Narcissists will win.  Even if you manage to block a move or two, they will manage to tap dance around you, and the abuse will escalate.

Even in these tough times, I advise getting out if you find yourself in a nest of narcissim, or if you are working with one powerful enough to destroy you.  You’ll know, because your stress level will be intolerable, you will find that you are questioning your sanity where you never did prior to working with this individual and you will find that you have become grist for the rumor mill.  You go in as grain and you never come out . You simply keep getting ground.

It is better to be poor and have your self-esteem intact; to be happy with who you are, than to be financially comfortable and in constant fear for your sanity, health (stress will kill you), and miserable.

We all have choices.  Some may seem very painful at first and we don’t like pain.  No one does. Sometimes the most painful choices are the ones that are best for us and our families.

Jus’ sayin!

 

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Narcissists ARE Evil.

Narcissists ARE evil.  Reasonable doubt doesn’t enter this picture.  While there are reasons that a narcissist acts the way he or she acts, those reasons do not excuse their CHOICE to act that way.

A narcissist will never do anything that does not benefit him or herself.

A narcissist makes conscious decisions; he or she makes the CHOICE to harm.

If a narcissist and his latest supply walk into a bar and the narcissist gets drunk, and then disorderly and is thrown out of the bar, whose fault is it?  If you answered “the victim’s fault” you answered correctly and this means you understand how a narcissist’s mind works.

I have posted here that I’m not certain whether a narcissist truly knows he or she treats others badly.  The reason I say that is because a narcissist, in choosing to treat another badly, makes the choice believing, in their twisted psyche, that their choice is right, good and moral.  That choice will always contain projection of their own accountability for a situation onto whomever (and sometimes whatever) they find to be their nearest victim.

While sane people KNOW a narcissist treats others badly, and does it on purpose, the narcissist has no knowledge at all.  All he has is a delusional belief system that tells him he is NOT treating others badly.

What a narcissist believes is of no relevance.  A narcissist’s mind is twisted, sick and dangerous.

What a narcissist believes is a delusion; it is a construct within which there can only be one “good” person.  You know who that person is.

A narcissist will always do only what is right for him or herself, and that action, regardless the harm done to any other individual(s), will be justified in the narcissistic mind as right.

A narcissist knows the difference between right and wrong only as it pertains to him or herself.  No one else matters.

None of the above is a justification for the pure EVIL that a narcissist perpetrates on his or her victims.

Narcissists do not and cannot love.

Narcissists do not care about you or anyone else.

Narcissists are very good at hiding all of these things – for short periods of time, usually the length of time it takes to suck in fresh supply.

Narcissists do not have relationships.  With anyone.  Period.

Narcissism is rampant in our society.  It is rampant because our culture not only encourages it, but supports it, through the venue of pop-psychology and the “gotta take care of Number One” mantra.

Narcissists do not want the best for you or anyone other than themselves.

Narcissists do not help anyone unless they can be certain it will be known by as many as possible that they have “helped.”   If you  need an example of this just look at corporate philanthropy.  That’s an entirely different post, though.

Narcissists are the embodiment of all we have been taught is morally wrong; EVIL; and they are excellent at cloaking their behavior in the guise of goodwill and self-sacrifice.

I just wanted to make that clear, in case anyone was wondering where I stand on this issue.

Narcissism in the Workplace: Moral Compass Malfunction?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be a paradox.  Maybe.  If we think about what it means to have a moral compass, or a moral agent, we can come up with at least two logical philosophies.  The first is Immanuel Kant‘s philosophy that states one must be rational to engage in morality.  The second is a philosophy put forth by the Utilitarian philosophers that states morality cannot be tied to a rational thought process; rather, that it is tied more to the avoidance of suffering.

I tend to align myself with the second philosophy for a number of reasons, the most prominent being that a Narcissist is programmed to avoid suffering at all costs.  A Narcissist’s actions will have a direct correlation to the amount of discomfort he might feel in any situation.

I’ve worked in corporate America most of my adult life.  No one warned me about narcissism in the workplace, because 30 years ago, no one knew to do such a thing.  Instead, people would tell me to stay away from so-and-so; never to get on the “wrong side” of someone else, and with one particular supervisor, to make certain that I place a copy of each of my completed projects on his boss’ desk at the same time I placed a copy on his desk.  The reasoning behind this was simple.  I was told if I wanted credit for my work, I could not just hand it over to my supervisor, because at the next staff meeting, all my work would be presented as his.

If someone in the work place tells you this about someone else, lend credence to it.  Assess the co-worker who is telling you this, watch how they interact with others and if your gut tells you they are on the level, listen to them.  I have experience with not heeding such advice and in one instance, during the early 80’s, was actually fired because I spoke up for myself in a meeting, stating the work being presented was mine and pulled out evidence to prove it.  I was fired that afternoon and no one said a word.

Narcissists in the work place are just as bad as they are outside the work place.  Have you ever had any of the following happen to you?

1.  Your work is presented, at a meeting to which you were not invited, and you found out later that your contribution to the effort was either not mentioned, or was stolen from you and presented as someone else’s work?

2.  You are provided direction for a task or process, you write down all instructions provided, and once completed, it’s determined by your supervisor’s boss that something is wrong.  You are called in to explain why you proceeded as you did, and you explain that you took direction from your supervisor, and oh-by-the-way, here are the detailed instructions, that you wrote down.  You are then told that you wrote the instructions wrong – your supervisor will read them, immediately see where he or she screwed up and rather than own accountability, will deflect blame to you, stating YOU misunderstood and your notes are wrong.

3.  It feels as though you are constantly being thrown under the bus by a co-worker, but you are never able to actually prove it.

4.  Several co-workers are also thrown under the bus and they have the same issue.  When you compare notes it all points to one person, but there is no real proof.

5.  You find, when comparing notes with co-workers, that the extremely vicious statement made by someone with regard to someone else was also made about you, and then you all realize that the same person has been setting each of you against the other.

6.  You are working in a group, and you make certain that everyone in the group is included in all communications, but you continually get emails or correspondence from one person in that group; the communication from this person seems to target you in some devaluing fashion, and the rest of the group has not been party to it.

7.  You are working in a group, and when you ask a particular individual who is hyper-critical of your efforts to please send his or her thoughts via email, they refuse.  No paper trail, no proof.

8.  You know you are doing your job well and correctly.  You are never late, you don’t take sick days, you work late when you know it’s necessary, because for some reason, the work isn’t getting done, and it’s not your piece that’s not getting done,  you are a team player, yet your direct supervisor, who arrives at work later than you do, who you know is very tight with one particular co-worker, suddenly requests a meeting and writes you up for being late, chastises you for not working smart or fast enough and shoots down your statement that your extra time has been used to complete tasks that were part of the group goal and weren’t being finished.  Then you are written up for not meeting the group goal in a “timely fashion.”

9.  You notice that a co-worker is getting preferential treatment, and getting it consistently.

10.  You’ve been “reported” for breaking “rules” and even though you can prove you did not break “rules” your supervisor tosses the proof aside and states that he or she has “evidence” that you’re at fault.

11.  One co-worker, or supervisory figure is praised for his or her work, you look around the meeting table and you see your other co-workers grimacing, because they know what you know:  that this person stole your work, lied about you, curried favor, threw you under the bus numerous times, and everyone knows that no one can truly prove it.

Those are some of my experiences.  I’m sure you’ve got others.  Narcissists in the work place function exactly as they do outside of the work place.  They curry favor with those they feel can be of benefit to them, they have no moral compass when it comes to the good of the group versus their own good.  It’s not a case of a moral compass malfunctioning.  It’s a case of having no moral compass at all.  They work very hard – at making you look bad so they can look good.  They gaslight in the same manner they would gaslight anyone else.

Many times a work place narcissist will target one person; they will target the person they have deemed the weakest.  That would be the individual who displays accountability, who works hard, doesn’t break the rules, and has an exceptional work ethic.  A work place narcissist can’t abide anyone working with them who might appear to be better at anything than they are, so they set about devaluing this individual to other co-workers and to management.

They are insidious about this process.  They don’t run to management with an issue about the person, rather; they simply sow seeds of doubt, seemingly at random.  They’ll do it at a company gathering; they’ll do it over lunch, or while chatting in the hallway.  They will cause seeds of doubt regarding the individual’s character to germinate.

They will drop a casual remark-in one instance that I witnessed, it was regarding the fact that a co-worker always wore black to work.  I heard the comment:  “I wonder why she always wears black.  I’ve never seen her in anything but black, even her mascara is really black.  Did you notice that?”

I was at the lunch table when this was said, in the presence of 9 other people, but presumably it was said to only one individual.  Heh.  Hardly.

A month later, I found that the “woman in black” who I worked with closely, had suddenly turned into a departmental pariah, rumors were flying about her personal life, and the narcissist who had started it all had even searched for her online and found that she was a member of a motorcycle club.

No one would ever say that it was the narcissist of the group who found the online information but I knew it.  No one else cared until she started her insidious devaluation of this co-worker.

Naturally, this must mean “the woman in black” is a bad person.  It must mean she does terrible, immoral things.  It must mean she cheats on her husband and is an unfit mother to her children.  It must also mean that she’s a poor reflection (like that word?) for the company, and it must also mean that she’s got personal issues.  Stands to reason, right?  She wears black, she’s part of a motorcycle club so it naturally follows that she’s a sleaze bag mom who is unfit to raise her children and the by-product of that is that she’s unfit to work for the company, even though she is one of the best workers they’ve got.

What it really meant is that the narcissist found this woman’s presence intolerable, went searching for something that she perceived as a weakness; something that could be manipulated and spun, and proceeded to infect 7 co-workers and our supervisor with her poison in an effort to get the person fired.  It worked.  Only two people didn’t buy into it.  One of those people was yours truly.  The other was the “woman in black.”

All it took was two months and a woman who had worked for this company for 11 years was fired; she was fired based on lies, a deliberate devaluing of her character based on speculation and the seed of doubt that this woman was doing the great job that everyone else thought she was doing. This was done by an individual who was transferred into the department at the beginning of those two months.

In two months, a woman who had 11 years with the company, in the same department, was fired, and since the state in which we worked was an “at will” state, the only reason she was given was “you’re not a good fit.”

The narcissist wasn’t finished though.  She’d managed to get rid of one mirror that wouldn’t reflect well for her, so she began watching for others.  I was next in line.  By this time, I knew the importance of documenting everything with regard to this woman; from the time she came in to work, to what she said in every meeting, to what I overheard her saying to others.  I refused to interact with her in any way that didn’t have a paper trail.  So how did she get me?  Easy.

I’m one who doesn’t bring my personal life to work.  No one knew much about me, other than that I was a single mom with a teenage son.  They didn’t know who I dated or if I dated.  They didn’t know if I was involved with anyone.  What they did know was my name and my son’s name.  They knew where he went to school – the usual stuff that co-workers share.  I never shared anything I didn’t feel couldn’t be printed on a bulletin board.

All it took was one comment from me, empathizing with another co-worker at lunch, who was going through the terrible teens with her child.  Just ONE comment, stating that I truly understood, and offering information about a program that was available for troubled teens.  My son wasn’t troubled – not like this woman’s was.  My son was a relatively normal and rebellious teenage boy who did the normal stuff teenage boys do.

Within a week, rumors got back to me that my son was in this program.  Then more rumors that my son was in the program because he’d been caught dealing drugs at school.  When I heard about the rumors, from someone in a totally different department, with whom I was friendly, my reaction was a completely flabbergasted:  “HUH???”

Then I got popped for a random drug test.  I came up clean, as I knew I would, but bells were clanging in my brain.  Two weeks later, I got a call from my son at 1:00 in the afternoon.  He’d been in a bad car accident,  and was part of a four-car pile up in the westbound tunnel of the area where we lived.  He was fine, car was totaled.  I raced out of the office.

That was a Thursday.  When I came in on Friday everyone wanted to know what happened.  I was cautious with details – none of it was my son’s fault – but I just don’t give out a lot of details at work.

The following Monday, I heard a rumor that my son had been arrested for DUI as a result of that accident.  Not true.  You can’t quash a rumor like that.  It bred on itself.  Over the next two months, my son’s accident went from “thank GOD he’s okay” to “her son caused a four-car pile up in the tunnel because he was stoned and he almost killed 3 other people.”

During the next month, I found out that some work I’d done on a project, that was housed in a location where everyone could access it, because they HAD to access it, was all cabbaged up. I found this out because my boss emailed me that he was getting corrupt data when he used the database involved.   I sent an email to everyone in the department stating that they were not to use the database on a particular server until I’d fixed it; that something had gone wrong causing relationships and table links to disappear.

I always kept a clean copy on my laptop, which I backed up daily.  I overwrote the corrupted database with the clean copy, sent an email less than ten  minutes after being notified, that it was okay to start using the database again.  Situation solved, right?

The next day, I came into work to find my laptop on and that someone had logged in as “admin.”  I questioned everyone.  The narcissist in the group turned around and said:  “Oh, I had to get hubby up here to help run some reports and he used your laptop.  He was a peach to do it, since I knew you’d be too busy today to get to them.”  Her husband was in our IT department.

My head instantly spun like Linda Blair’s.  I calmly thanked her, turned to my laptop to find an IM from a co-worker who sat behind me.  It said:  “check the database on the server – it’s all screwy again.”  I checked.  It was corrupt beyond corrupt.  I IM’d back:  “no problem – I’ll just overwrite it.”  I went to the folder where my clean copy was always kept and it was gone.  I checked my restore point – it had been changed.  I frantically checked the cds where I kept a daily copy (it was a small database, but crucial to operation of the department and company), and an entire 5 days worth of cds were missing.

I couldn’t restore the database with current information.  It was my JOB to be able to do that if it was deemed necessary.  I went to my boss to tell him.  He told me to shut the door and proceeded to tell me that he’d been advised that I was having difficulty concentrating on my work, and that there had been several mistakes found in the database, even when the copy was “clean.”  I asked him who told him this and he refused to tell me who.

I knew who had done it.  He then went on to say that he felt it was in the best interests of the company if my relationship with the company was severed, since it was apparent that my “personal” issues were causing too much pressure on me to be able to function with the accuracy necessary for my position.  He chastised me for it.  He stated that “others” had noticed my “work was slipping” and when I again asked who had noticed, he refused to tell me.

So I asked WHAT personal issues.  Our friendly departmental narcissist had done her job well.  My boss, who knew me to be reliable, productive, knowledgeable and who used me as his go-to person for anything requiring data, told me that my son’s “drug-related car accident” seems to be causing my focus to slip, and that this had been brought to his attention several times over the preceding three months.

He stated that since my service to the company “up to this point” had been exemplary, that he would give me 30 days so that I would have time to find a new job.  I replied to that with:  “If you are going to fire me, please fire me.  I won’t quit; not now, and not in 30 days.”  So he fired me.

Narcissist won.  She got me out of there.

She got one other person out, after she was finished with me.

Guess what?  Two months after she got her last “tarnished mirror” out, she was part of an enterprise-wide downsize.  SHE was given no notice, was told, mid-day, when a security guard came to her desk with her pink slip, stood over her while she packed her personal belongings and then escorted her to her car and watched as she drove off the lot.

It’s small comfort, because her actions with regard to me, happened in 2009, just after the economy began its downward spiral.  I found a job, moved out of state for it, and it evaporated before I could start.  I was living with family in that state, so at least I didn’t have to worry about how I was going to keep a roof over my head.  Three months later I found a job.  A week into it, I was told that office was closing and my options were an 8 week severance package or a transfer to the city where I now live.  I took the transfer.  A year later, I was downsized.

And here I am, 7 months later, unable to find work.  Would I have been caught in that initial enterprise-wide downsize that the departmental narcissist was caught in?  I don’t know.  The odds are pretty good, I’d have been transferred, or something would have been found for me, as that’s what was done for those who had an exemplary record and seniority within the department.  Had the narcissist not been transferred into my department, I might still be working there.

Might, maybe, what-if?  Who knows.

This is a cautionary tale.  I know of no way to protect oneself against a narcissist in the work place.  I’ve tried.  Documentation doesn’t seem to do any good.  If you are targeted by a workplace Narcissist know this:  They have NO moral compass.  They will steal from you, lie to and about you and if you appear in any way to outshine them, they will set about devaluing you in a most insidious fashion and you won’t realize the bus ran over you until you look down from your out-of-body perch on the ceiling to find the bus didn’t accidentally hit you.

I wish I had answers for you.  I don’t.  Corporate America breeds an environment that is conducive to narcissism.  It breeds an all-or-nothing environment that deliberately places co-workers in competition with one another.  Throw a true NPD into the mix and all bets are on the N coming out on top – at least for the time being.

The carnage will be horrific, and the N will be standing triumphantly over it, beaming beatifically at your former boss, while surreptitiously fingering their fake moral compass that always reads correctly, because that compass is missing the mechanisms that a normal compass would have.   That compass tells the Narcissist that true north points at him or her and since it has no magnet to move the hand, it will always point at him or her.  A Narcissist’s moral compass will always show him the way – and that way is toward his own glory.

The compass doesn’t malfunction.  It is an empty housing, just like the Narcissist.

 

 

Vote!!

I’ve been writing a comprehensive book on personality disorders with an emphasis on NPD.  I’m not a psychiatrist but I know someone who IS psychiatrist in real-life and who specializes in personality disorders.  He has agreed to review this book prior to publication for accuracy of information.  I’m also going to request that he write a forward for it.

This book  will define the term personality disorder, it will provide all the DSM-IV (cited) criteria for NPD, with real-world descriptions of each criteria.  Each criterion will probably be a chapter unto itself, since there is such a massive amount of accurate anecdotal material available.

I will also include chapters on Borderline Personality Disorder since that disorder has so many crossover traits with NPD.  Depending upon how long the NPD book is (I’d like to keep it at 300 pages!) I may have to write another on BPD.   These books are being written with the purpose of helping others recognize these disorders and understand what they can do to better their situations if involved in any way with someone who is one of these disorders.

Please remember that individuals who meet the criteria for NPD and BPD don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.  Why?  It’s simple.  To have something implies that one can NOT have it.  For an NPD, the realization that they are a disorder will never come, so they don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.  For a BPD, there’s a shred of hope, but in most cases, they, too, do not realize that anything is wrong with them, thus they don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.

You will learn methods for recognizing those who are potentially NPD or BPD on the first date, but more importantly you will learn an accurate method for analyzing online dating profiles to determine whether the writer is NPD.  It’s a little more difficult to extrapolate BPD from a dating profile and not always accurate, so I won’t provide that.

The book will also contain a compassionate and common-sense guide to rebuilding emotional health during the aftermath of interacting with an NPD (remember, they don’t have relationships!) and it will provide cited research into the developmental phases of a child who grows up to be an NPD adult.  This will provide a glimpse into the why of an NPD and it will allow you to feel compassion for them, while understanding that pity is wasted and it will also allow you to learn your best method for detaching and distancing – for good.

Additionally, there will be anecdotal information based on my personal experiences, interviews with others who have had similar experiences and between each chapter there will be lined pages for you to make notes if you choose to print the book.  The book will be in PDF format and will be read-only, and you will not be able to do a “save-as” so you can make electronic notes.  Allowing that capability is dangerous for an author.

Please note, since this will be my material, garnered from many long  hours of research, and then the effort put forth to write a book that resonates with truth, REAL help and guidance, it will be copyrighted as my material.  If I provide this book and someone wants to use pieces of it in their own work, they will need permission to use it and any portions of it that are used must be cited (as I am doing with all my research.)  I want to help others, and in doing so, I also want to help myself.  If there is enough interest in this as an e-book, when I am finished writing it, I will post it here as a downloadable book at a price of $9.95  for 30 days prior to allowing my publisher to release it (at a much higher price!)

Vote now!

Learning the Truth

Allison, whose blog is Pieces of the Heart, wrote the following as a comment to my post : Narcissists Fold Spindle and Mutilate.  I thought it was worthy of its own post because it is full of the wisdom of experience.

Leaving an abusive and/or narcissistic relationship is difficult and once gone, an individual can many times be presented with an issue that is almost just as difficult to deal with:  that of “outcast mentality.”  Leaving the abusive relationship doesn’t mean the abuse magically vanishes.  It simply diminishes.  It is up to us to make it stop.

I don’t want to write too much here, other than to let you read Allison’s reply to my post.  This is a woman who has chosen her battles and has won or is winning the war.

“Not being accepted after leaving these types of relationships causes greater “outcast” mentality. When I finally pulled up my bootstraps and decided for a better life, it took me a while to really understand that I was not all the things that had been said to me in those non-relationships and by those who judged my decisions. The ONE thing that kept me centered through obstacles and continued abuse, even after I separated myself from it, was seeking a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, my higher power. I learned that I was truly loved, NOT from what someone told me, but from what I understood from a thirst to know. I researched and studied the Bible on my own, so I would know the truth personally.”

This comment could only have been written by someone who has sought the truth of her situations and came to personally know that truth.  Learn the truth so you will know it, personally.

 

Narcissists Fold, Spindle and Mutilate: Where and how to get help

I just read a post entitled  No Longer Dead and I knew immediately what this woman was dealing with based on the first half of her post.  My assumption is that the second half is her, telling herself that she will not accept this individual any longer until or unless he acquiesces to her completely legitimate and emotionally healthy demands.

If this woman has been dealing with an NPD, she was dead to him from the beginning.  She never truly existed as a human being worthy of love, respect, dignity and empathy.  She was simply this person’s mirror.  It appears she spent years being devalued and discarded and then finally got sick of it, found her strength and decided to move on.

This is a good post to read.  Many times, when we are the focus of devaluation by a narcissist, we don’t know what the heck is going on.  All we know is that nothing we do seems to be good enough; everything is our fault; we are crazy.  Nothing is wrong with the narcissist and he or she makes it very clear to us that we are the problem.  Still, when we’re in the middle of it, it’s difficult to step outside the fishbowl and peer in.  Objectivity seems to be the lowest on our list of priorities, with survival of a relationship that never was being our top priority.

Even if you’ve been married to an individual for most of your adult life, if you are being treated the way the woman in No Longer Dead was being treated, you haven’t had a relationship.  A relationship takes two people.  A Narcissist absolves themselves from relationship responsibilities before they engage with another individual.  A narcissist doesn’t have relationships; he or she merely has mirrors.  Even if you’ve been married for 30 years to a narcissist, it sadly means that you’ve been a mirror (and nothing more) for 30 years.

Narcissists can’t love another human being.  They don’t love themselves, even though their surface would indicate that they do love themselves – too much.  Scratch that surface and you find nothing.  Narcissists are fragile shells and to keep their shells intact they abuse before they can be abused.  This is why they are hyper-vigilant for the slightest criticism.  They twist and spin words that they believe might be critical (even if they aren’t) and deliberately make them critical so they can set about stomping the purveyor of those words into submission.

Narcissists are emotional vampires and they have memories like elephants.  Those who share emotions, who show they have emotions, who are compassionate and empathetic, are considered weak to a narcissist, ergo; they are FOOD.  A narcissist will suck you dry, and when you finally realize what’s been going on and stand up to the narcissist in your life, they will pull out every emotion you ever shared with them, twist and spin it and fling it back at you with deadly accuracy.  When they see their mirror has gained strength, thus providing the mirror the means of seeing the narcissist for what it truly is, they will move in for the emotional kill.

There is a point at which you, as a mirror can avoid this emotional kill, if you truly see what’s going on.  It’s a nanosecond in the scope of a 30-year marriage, or a many-years-long “relationship” with a narcissist, but if you see it, and flee when you see it, you will have a slightly diminished time frame during which you have to heal and rebuild your emotional health and strength.  If you don’t see it (and many of us don’t, and no one but you can say when that point is) you will be so emotionally crushed that it may be years before you have the strength to bootstrap yourself out of your situation.

If you are experiencing any of the issues described in the first half of No Longer Dead you MUST take a step back, grab your journal if necessary, and start assessing things.  Just start writing, and don’t worry about how things come out.  This will allow you to re-read and identify what’s truly going on.  If you don’t write, see a counselor.  Talk to a trusted friend.  Get an objective view of your situation.  While you’re doing this ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND THAT A NARCISSIST NEVER CHANGES.  THIS IS NOT A RELATIONSHIP; YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO SAVE YOURSELF, NOT A RELATIONSHIP THAT NEVER WAS. 

I don’t recommend seeing your family pastor or priest.  Why?  A pastor (and especially priests) are trained to keep the marital unit together regardless the circumstances.  If you see a priest you may be told it’s your responsibility (if you’re female) to act in submission with your husband’s will, regardless his will.  Depending upon your denomination, a pastor may tell you the same thing.  Fundamental Christian pastors may tell you (if you’re female) that you’re the one with issues since you’re not acting in accordance with “God’s” will or your husband’s will.  Trust me on this one, I’ve been there.

Most religions don’t recognize personality disorders as an acceptable reason for divorce.  My experience has taught me that when religion enters the picture, it is the woman who pays a huge price when her mate is a narcissist.  If there are children involved, you must get them away from the daily influence of the narcissist or you will have children who grow into damaged adults.

I believe that faith in a higher power is essential.  Many don’t believe that, and I respect their choice. For me, though, if I didn’t have faith in a higher power, I’d never have made it this far in life.   If you don’t have faith in a power greater than yourself, all that’s left to see you through your turmoil is whatever reserve of inner strength you may have.

My best advice for getting free of a narcissist (and you are with a narcissist if  all or most of the first half of No Longer Dead applies to you) is to seek secular help.  Prayer works, regardless your form of worship or faith.  Positive thinking works, but getting there is difficult.   Narcissists have many crossover traits to alcoholism, as well as to Borderline Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder.

Even if the narcissist in your life doesn’t drink, that doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t have alcoholic traits.  It’s very easy for someone to believe they are not an alcoholic simply because they don’t drink.  Alcoholism is defined not only by the consumption and need for alcohol, but by a very clear set of behavior patterns and those behavior patterns align with the way I’ve seen narcissists act.

If you are with a narcissist who does not drink, the odds are good you have a dry drunk on your hands.  Al-Anon is a great place to get the help and support you need in dealing with a dry drunk and/or a narcissist.  Please open the link for dry drunk to read the characteristics.  You will see that they align clearly with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

If the narcissist in your life drinks, it’s very important to get help through Al-Anon.  There are meetings everywhere and while some view it as a betrayal to the person with whom they are involved, that is simply misplaced loyalty.  Most of us who wind up with a narcissist in our lives have had prior experience with some form of emotional dysfunction in our lives, probably during childhood, when we are most malleable and taught to accept behaviors that are truly self-damaging.  Regardless your faith, if you believe in a higher power you must ask yourself if your higher power would find your situation acceptable, and would that higher power believe it to be something that is good, healthy and uplifting for you?

Remember this:  Martyrdom is not the glorification of God or any other higher power.  It is the glorification of EGO.  Many times, we have our egos too invested in who we are; that which we allow to provide us our criteria for life is our ego, not our SELF, which involves listening to the still, small voice and acting from within a higher level of knowledge with regard to self.  If we act from within the self, and not the ego, martyrdom to the cause of a narcissist becomes anathema to us.  In martyring ourselves to another’s abuse of us, we deny that which has been universally given to us:  love, in all its forms. Martyrdom is not love.  It is the glorification of our own egos, and that is not a good thing.

If you are with a narcissist, and you have sublimated yourself to that individual’s monstrously sick manipulation, you are martyring yourself.  STOP NOW!  

If you don’t stop the madness now, you may find yourself dealing with a massive case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Trust me on that one, too.   PTSD can result from recurring, consistent emotional abuse.  Couple that with the physical abuse that some experience when with a narcissist and you’ll wind up with a full-blown case of PTSD.

Deconstruction of a Dating Profile

For those of you who are trying to find love online, here’s an example of a dating profile you should avoid.  I dated this person, and since his profile is public content, there is nothing illegal about re-posting it here.  I will not post his dating-site handle (but I wish I could so women in my area who read this can avoid him) or his name.  I will deconstruct his profile for you.  My commentary is in red.

Most tell me I am warm, giving, knowing, and patient. 

Most of what? Most of whom? If “most” apples in a barrel are good does that mean that ALL apples in a barrel are good? Do you not know whether you are those things? No, you don’t because your entire image of yourself is a construct built upon what others tell you.

Others tell me I have a good sense of humor and am fun to be around.

Here we go again with what YOU say OTHERS say.  You don’t want to actually say that you have these qualities because deep down, you know you don’t really have them, you only present them when you are in the presence of others from whom you can benefit. Presenting these qualities is not the same thing as actually having them.

Many things interest me and I am entertained easily. I love kayaking, skiing, hiking, skating and most of the usual sports but I tend to gravitate toward the arts.

Note that this person places the emphasis on the more “extreme” sports, the ones that require more skill for the average person to engage in them.  There is only a nod toward the “more usual sports” because this person feels the “more usual” is beneath them.

I am emotionally healthy as I am filled with positive feelings and energy most of the time.

Um, okay.  How does that define emotional health?  Notice this person doesn’t say “others” speak to the individual’s emotional health.  This is something this person is CERTAIN of, and even goes so far as to define it for us.

I enjoy talking and listening and sharing emotions.

Be very wary of this kind of phrase in an online profile.  It sounds innocent and it may well be innocent as well as truthful, but I happen to know this person.  I dated him. He does enjoy talking – about himself.  He listens for perceived criticisms and the emotions he shares are thinly disguised rage.  He feeds off YOUR emotions and stores them up to use as ammunition against you. 

I’ve been told I’m old fashioned and I’ve been told I’m eclectic, urban and modern. 

Again, he doesn’t know himself – he tells us what others have told him.  He has no clue what he truly is. 

I think I’m a bit of mix since I strive for balance in most areas.

He doesn’t know what he thinks, since he’s already stated that his opinion of himself is garnered from the opinions of others.  How many people strive for balance in just “most” areas?  This is an individual who doesn’t know anything about balance and probably added the word “most” as a subconscious qualifier.  I doubt he even realizes what he’s said about himself here.

I am honest and loyal and sometimes too trusting.

This is classic NPD in this case.  Again, he  shows us that he hasn’t got a clue.  How can he be honest when he’s already told us that he has no clue what emotional health is and that he only strives for balance in “most” areas?  The part about being loyal and too trusting is a classic set-up from NPD people.  

This is a huge red flag, and it’s already setting his potential victims up to BE victims. He’ll be “loyal” and “trusting” until you evince dissatisfaction with him.  At that point, his entire visage will change, his normal MO will cast off the cloak of charm, warmth and affection and you will be told exactly what a terrible person you are, and any emotions you may have “shared” with him will be brought out and used to decimate you.  You’ll know you are nothing more than a thing to him, that you are disposable and he will attempt to convince you that you have misinterpreted him in all ways.  Any hurt you sustain from your interaction with him is your fault.  To paraphrase another source:  “so sorry that you’re a casualty of my pathology.”

An Optimist-idealist grounded in the practical.

Note he doesn’t state “I am an optimist-idealist grounded in the practical.”  To state that would not allow him to say “I never said I was that way.”  While this may simply be poor grammar on his part, based on the preceding elements of the profile, one could reasonably ask:  “Why is this phrase here?”  

I’ve been known to act like a child and think like an old man, then think like a child and act like an old man.

He’s been “known” to do these things.  Known by whom?  Note that he doesn’t state that HE ACTUALLY DOES THESE THINGS.  He simply invokes the ubiquitous and invisible “others” by use of the word  ‘known’.  

You? You’re easy to talk to and like to talk and laugh. You’re generally happy with yourself In body and spirit. You enjoy the outdoors and appreciate the fruits of the country but also like urban activities and the suburban typical.

First, he’s telling you what you will be if you are going to interact with him.  He’s not stating qualities he appreciates in another, he’s stating WHAT YOU ARE and if you prove not to be these things, you’ll be sorry.  He’s also pompous as hell – “appreciate the fruits of the country?”  What the hell is THAT?  You like to go apple-picking?  His entire profile is written from the perspective of condescending pomposity. What does “generally happy with yourself in body and spirit” mean?  Does this mean he’ll be okay if you’re sometimes not happy that way?  No, in this profile it means you WILL be happy with these things because he has decreed it.

Your open-minded, funny, and can enjoy laughing at yourself. 

He says nothing about compassion, independence, warmth, empathy, loving, giving, etc.  You are to be open-minded, funny and you have to enjoy laughing at yourself.  That is ALL you will be. Note he doesn’t state that you can enjoy laughing at him!

You are understanding and respectful and appreciate those qualities in me.

This time he tells you what you are.  You are understanding and respectful – and you WILL appreciate those qualities in him.  What he left off here is this:  “…as I interpret those qualities.”

This is what he’s currently doing with his life:

Generally: Surfing the curl of the daily experience and picking the next big wave. (Ahh…Escapism through metaphor) Family and Friends are most important. Life is care and devotion to myself and those around me.

Okay, this statement is fraught with issues.  First, he displays how  “intelligent” he is by using metaphor.  He also uses metaphor to escape from having to state what it is he is usually doing, which is trolling dating sites for his next mirror.  That would be “the next big wave.”  

He uses grandiose surfing metaphor to describe what he’s doing with his life, which is precisely NOTHING.  He states that Family and Friends are most important.   I know for fact that he doesn’t get along with his siblings.  His sister moved to Guatemala not too long ago to continue her education through experience, and when I was told about this I got very excited.  I wanted to know how she was, what her experiences were, etc.  

His reply was:  “I don’t know.  She left three months ago.  I haven’t had time to email or call her to find out how she is and what she’s doing.”  

I was stunned.  Had that been MY sister, I’d be emailing her daily, I’d be checking her Facebook to see new photos, I’d send her snail mail so she’d have things from home, cards and little things made and sent with love.  I’d be in constant contact with her.  

He stated his other siblings are “slobs” and had nothing positive to say about them.  Yet Family is most important to him. 

He spoke of his mother in glowing terms.  His mother died in 2007, and she was an excellent surrealist.  When I look at her artwork, I see the emptiness in her.  There is one painting that is scarily desolate.  

It is a depiction of  four humans in the form of trees, and the center “tree” is  obviously an older female who is oblivious to the trees around her.  The other three trees (her children)  surround her and their branches reach toward her.  She stands alone, with clearly defined space around her, space through which her children will never be able to travel.  She is powerful, she has no need of these other trees and in the painting, she is the tree given the most detail.  This painting gave me serious insight to this man’s relationship with his mother.

This man has also told me that he only has one dream.  It’s a dream where he is around 6, standing in the living room, watching his father chop the decorated christmas tree down with an ax.  His father left the family unit when he was 7.  He states that from that point forward, he never had a relationship with his dad because of what his father “did” to his mother.  My guess is that the N’s mother made certain the children drank the kool-aid with regard to their father. 

Notice in his last sentence above that he states that life is care of himself BEFORE it is care for others.  In my experience, care for oneself comes naturally when one gives of oneself to others.  If I actively nurture my friends and family, as well as the family of mankind, I am, by definition, providing care for myself.  I’m not placing myself ahead of others, I am working in TANDEM with others. 

These are his favorite books, movies and shows:

Most of my reading is done on the web.

Yup, most of it IS done on the web.  On dating sites.  He is a remarkably uninformed individual but if you read his pretentious list below, you’ll likely wind up with the notion that he’s remarkably WELL informed and well-read. 

I used to enjoy really long hair stuff like Proust and really silly stuff like Kurt Vonnegut.

I’ve heard Kurt Vonnegut described as many things, but never as “silly.”  Vonnegut is known for populating his novels with characters who are searching for meaning and order in an inherently meaningless and disorderly universe.  He’s known for his irreverent humor, satire of contemporary society and his focus on the futility of warfare and the human capacity for both irrationality and evil.  And this person finds Kurt Vonnegut SILLY

Pedestrian stuff like Michener and scary stuff like King.

Michener is pedestrian?  No.  Danielle Steel is pedestrian.  John Grisham is pedestrian.  Michener?  He wrote from wartime experience; he wrote from his experience as a world-traveler who immersed himself in various cultures.  He wrote compelling epic portraits of those cultures.  Nothing he wrote is pedestrian, yet he is casually lumped in with Stephen King, who, while being a great teller of scary stories, is rather pedestrian. 

Poetry by Stephen Dunn and tanka (Japanese Poetry Method).

Ahh.  Now we are getting to the meat of it.  Stephen Dunn.  Read Poem for People That Are Understandably Too Busy To Read Poetry .  G’wan.  I dare ya.  It’ll open in a new tab, so you can come back here without having to click “back.”  Read this gem and you will know exactly what an N is.  Until today, I hadn’t investigated Stephen Dunn.  Wow.  If I had researched him before I dated this man, I might not have dated him – or, being into poetry myself, would have thought him quite deep for being able to understand Dunn.  Holy shit on a brick.  Read Biography In The First Person .  Wow.  

Next he states he likes Tanka.  He doesn’t state he likes Haiku, which is characterized by the 5-7-5 syllable rhythm.  Oh no.  He’s special, he prefers Tanka, which most people won’t know anything about, and is characterized by the 5-7-5-7-7 syllable rhythm.  Yet, when I replied to one of his initial emails to me in Tanka he didn’t recognize it.  When I pointed it out to him, he said it wasn’t recognizable to him as Tanka.  Excuse me?  Anyone familiar with Tanka would have recognized it immediately.  Devaluation from the very beginning.

I have a wide range in taste in Movies but would watch an Oliver Stone effort over Ron Howard, Cohen brothers over Cronenburg, Burton over Zemeckis…

How many people take the time to tell the world what movie directors they prefer?  This is simply an effort to prove to potential supply that he’s arts-literate.  It’s grandiose, pompous, condescending and indirectly states:  “If you don’t like Oliver Stone over Ron Howard…(ad nauseum) you need to get with the plan.”  And the funny part about this?  He doesn’t watch films like these with ANY regularity.  He’s got a teenage son who monopolizes the television and they watch teenage-appropriate films.  When I suggested seeing an art film at the local art theater, he turned it down without explanation.  He simply said “no.”  

Shows favorites go more abstract: Salome over Cameron, Carmina Burana over Coppelia, Aspects of Love over Gigi, Circ Du Soleil over Ringling Brothers…

I really wish I’d read his profile more carefully.  He’s confusing opera with cult films, male choral performances with ballet, and it doesn’t surprise me in the least that he prefers Aspects of Love over Gigi.  In Aspects of Love, as Alex, the male lead, traipses through life nonchalantly breaking female hearts and at the end, leaves not one, but two women, in favor of a third, who wonders aloud what the future will bring, to which Alex replies “love changes everything.”  It’s not Alex’s love that changes everything.  Alex has no love.  In Gigi, Gaston marries her, because he understands what Gigi has been saying all along – that the world will perceive her as his mistress and Gaston has a conscience.  He doesn’t want to harm Gigi.  It would not surprise me in the least to find this list is merely a regurgitated reflection from comments he’s heard others make.

Music is a bit too large of a topic in my life for this textbox so I will leave it at, there is no genre that I don’t enjoy some part of. Food? Don’t like Brussels Sprouts unless they don’t taste like Brussels Sprouts. Other than that I go from the usual to the exotic in cuisine.

Wait.  He dumped all kinds of pretentious and pompous crap in about other things, but music is “a bit too large of a topic in his life for this textbox?”  If he loved all types of music, why not just state that?  Why not just state that music holds a huge fascination for him and he gravitates toward many types?  Oh no.  He has to mysteriously let us know that it’s “too large of a topic in his life.”   It’s SO large that it won’t fit in a text box that allows unlimited characters.  It’s infinite.  It’s much larger than YOU or I could EVER understand so he’s going to do us the favor of not expounding on it, because: 

At this point his sick of writing a profile that has to impress potential supply well enough to reel them in, and he believes he’s already done that, so he leaves us with a lame comment about not liking brussels sprouts and the generalization that he goes from the usual to the exotic in “cuisine.”  Not “food.”  “cuisine.”

While this is the deconstruction of my N’s online dating profile, perhaps there are elements of it that will help you deconstruct profiles you encounter that just don’t read “right” to you.  If your intuition is telling you that the person who has contacted you isn’t going to be a good thing for you, heed that intuition.  I did not heed it.  I allowed him to charm away my fears.  I allowed him to talk me into dating him.  Most men, when in receipt of an email that says “thank you, but I’m not interested in dating right now” will simply move on.  Not an N.  That presents a challenge for him and his perceived image of himself dictates that he MUST “conquer” this refusal NOW.  So that’s what my N set about doing, in a sympathetic and charming manner – so much so that I capitulated.  

Never again.  Matter of fact, I learned so well from this that just prior to removing all my dating profiles, I received an email from a guy whose approach was similar to the N’s.  I was on instant alert.  I refused him.  He persisted.  I refused.  He persisted.  I refused.  He sent his phone number, telling me he can’t wait until we talk.  I tell him we aren’t going to talk.  He replies that he’s made reservations for us at a fancy restaurant.  I blocked his ass and took down my last dating profile.  

 

 

 

Trolling Redux

I lifted the text below from planetjan’s  blog.  It is part of her post entitled Narcissistic Game Playing.  It has eerie significance for me because the last sentence echoes something my N said to me.  Read the lifted text and you’ll see some bolded text at the bottom.  I’ll clue you in below that text.

When it comes to relationships, narcissists have two birds to kill. First, because they think very highly of themselves, they use relationships to self enhance not caring whether this involves exploiting others. Think of it as feeding the beast. Although the narcissist desires perfection in a partner, in reality their partners (mere humans) are doomed to come up short. This game is not a cooperative game, but one in which the winner takes all.

But here’s the rub. Relationships are good in that they can provide positive attention and sex, BUT they are bad in that they demand emotional intimacy and prevent the narcissist from receiving attention and sex from other partners. If only they could have it both ways… (The feelings of the other person do not factor into the N’s thinking.)

So the narcissist turns on the charm, using all the extraversion and confidence he can muster to reel in a new partner. But “they would be careful to keep this relationship from becoming too intimate or emotionally close lest they lose control. Finally, narcissists would covertly seek out other potential romantic partners.” So it should come as surprise that the narcissist lacks a sense of real commitment to a relationship and is always on the lookout for an alternative, frequently flirting with others.

In this way, the narcissist maintains power in the relationship and a certain amount of freedom. If things go sour in the relationship, he’s already got his eye on his next target.

“Narcissists’ self-regulatory blueprint involves bringing people in and extracting esteem from them. If that entails being, in turn, charming, exciting, deceptive, controlling, or nasty, so be it.”

When I was in the devaluation phase with my N, he sent me the email I’ve pasted below.  First, understand that I’d already broken it off with him.  In a prior email he’d told me if I had something “important” to discuss, to call him, and not tell him in email.  So I called him and left a message letting him know I had something important to talk about.  He didn’t return the call.  So I sent him an email breaking things off with him.  The next day he sends me an email about a photo of me telling me how much he likes it.  I replied with:  “did you get my phone message?”

Below is his reply.  He completely ignores that I sent him an email two days prior telling him that I no longer wanted to be involved with him.   Obviously, nothing regarding me is important enough for a phone call, because he justifies sending what should be an “important” email by stating it’s going to hurt regardless what way he does it.  Devaluation.  I’m not worth a phone call.  At this point, it didn’t matter, except to confirm my growing knowledge that he’s a selfish, manipulative bastard who is incapable of sustaining any sort of intimate relationship.

I tell him I’m breaking it off and that translates to:  “you seem to want more than I can give right now.”

Then he gives me the slam-dunk.  He tells me he may be fooling himself into thinking he can maintain frequent contact with me right now, and in the same set of keystrokes tells me he’s trolling and has intention of spending that time he doesn’t have looking for other women.  The eerie similarity in the bolded text from PlanetJan’s blog text and what is in red and bolded below makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: RE: ops
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2011 12:46:11 +0000
From: The N <the N’s email>
To: ‘Me’ <my email>

I think I’m going to hurt you be it in person or not so this has just got to happen now.

I like talking to you.

I like spending time with you.

But:

From my perspective you seem to want more than I can give right now.

I may be fooling myself into thinking I have enough time to maintain frequent contact with you and I certainly don’t want to give you any illusions.

 I am trying to bring a number of people into my life right now and it has been/will be taking a lot of time.

________________________________

I thought I’d got to the laughing point about this man, but this bit of serendipity made me want to go shower.  It made me shiver in horror at the thought of the monster I’d believed was a wonderful man.  It also confirmed, without any doubt whatsoever, that the man with whom I thought I was involved is a hardcore Narcissist.  There is so much going on in this email that I would emotionally exhaust myself attempting to deconstruct it any more than I have.  It would also cause me to become depressed again, and I’m not going there again.  I’m worth so much more than to allow myself to cycle down into depression again because the man of my nightmares is actually a living, breathing entity who lives 4.5 miles from me.

NPD – Fun With Archaic and Obscure Words: A through I

I was given a clever little gift by someone a couple of years ago.  It’s called:  Reading the OED:  One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages.

The book is by Ammon Shea, who actually sat down and READ the entire Oxford English Dictionary and wrote his own book about the more interesting archaic and obscure words he encountered.  The book is fun, entertaining and, actually, educational.

An N would love this book, since it would provide him/her some truly “empowering” vocabulary.  By “empowering” I mean that it would provide yet another fun way for the N to obfuscate (great word, huh?) and confuse his or her victim.

So I’m going to have fun pulling words from it that actually describe an NPD.  Notice I don’t say someone who has NPD.  An N is their disorder, hence, “an NPD.”

This post contains the letters A through I.  I will continue at a later date with J.

Enjoy!  Have fun!  Add these words to your vocabulary.  Odds are good your N hasn’t heard of them.

A

Abluvion:  Substance or things that are washed away.  Gosh, this could be synonymous with discarding.  Imagine that.

Addubitation:  A suggestion of doubt.  Oh my.  Does anyone know an N who engages in addubitation?  I do!

Aerumnous:  Full of trouble.  Need I explain?

Assy:  Asinine.  Um – yeah, I think it fits.

Astorgy:  A lack of natural affection.  GASP!  Really???  My N is full of astorgy.  How about yours?

B

Backfriend:  A fake friend; a secret enemy.  Well, Ns are always fake and never friends, but they’re only secret enemies until we figure them out.  bwahahahahaha!

Bayard:  A person armed with the self-confidence of ignorance.  Well golly gosh gee whiz!  Slap your N’s face and call him a Bayard!

Beadledom:  The sense of self-importance and officiousness.  How absolutely delicious!

Bed-swerver:  An unfaithful spouse or lover.  Gosh, imagine an N being unfaithful!

Benignant:  Showing warm feelings toward one’s inferiors.   Be prepared for benignance.  Ns believe themselves superior to everyone!

Bowelless:  Having no bowels; lacking in mercy or compassion.  Gee, I don’t know any Ns who qualify.  (snort!)

Bully-scribbler:  A bullying writer.   Gee.  Anyone received any bullying emails from their N lately?

C

Cacozealous:  Ill-affected, or badly imitating.  Oh me.  Oh my.  What do we know about Ns and their “emotions?”

Charientism:  A rhetorical term to describe saying a disagreeable thing in an agreeable way.  Ns practice charientism all the time.

Conspue:  To spit on someone or something with contempt.  This can be used figuratively, you know.  Ns do this all the time.

D

Dapocaginous:  Having a narrow heart.  This is not a medical term.  I bet you can figure it out.

Desiderium:  A yearning, specifically for a thing one once had but has no more.  “My N has a persistent desiderium for a clean mirror.”

Dyspathy:  The antithesis of sympathy.  Does your N display dyspathy?  Mine did.

E

Elozable:  Readily influenced by flattery.  Oh yes, indeed!  Ns are always elozable!

Expalpate:  To get something through flattery.  My goodness!  Did your N engage in sincere-sounding expalpation?

F

Fedity:  Vile or repuslive practices.  What a handy word to describe an Ns behavior!

Frauendienst:  An exaggerated sense of chivalry toward women.  Most male Ns will exhibit frauendienst when they first meet a woman they think can be a good mirror.

G

Hmm. I didn’t find any under G.

H

Hansardize:  To show that a person has previously expressed opinions differing from the ones he or she now holds.   My N attempted to hansardize me all the time.  He wasn’t successful, which is why I’m such a broken little mirror.  Snort.

Heterodogmatize:  To have an opinion different from the one generally held.  My N was so full of heterodogmatization that his eyes were brown (and he had blue eyes!)  In general, it means one is WRONG.

I

Idiorepulsive:  Self-repelling.  Well, if we think about what an N truly is, and what we know about how an N truly feels about him or herself, I think this is apt.

Immutual:  Not mutual.  Any interaction you have with an N will be immutual with regard to equality.

Infelicitate:  to cause to be unhappy.  The irony of this word is that it makes me very happy.  I love it.  My N, however, engaged in this practice daily.

Inspirado:  a person who thinks himself inspired.  Note from the author:  “If someone is describing you with a noun that ends in -o, chances are, they are not paying you a compliment.”  My N is an inspirado.

 

 

 

 

 

More A.A. Milne Deconstruction – Winnie-the-Pooh

First, take a read of these Character Descriptions of all the primary (and some lesser known) characters in the Winnie-the-Pooh series.  The link will open in a new tab or window, depending upon your browser.

Now, re-read my post on A.A. Milne’s poem “Disobedience.”

Okay, we’ve all grown up thinking Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin were the most amazing children’s stories.  Having researched A.A. Milne, I’m seeing something a bit more sinister.  It’s not a terribly far reach to see this in these characters.

Remember, these are all Christopher Robin’s “friends.”  We know that Christopher Robin is a good boy, who never does anything wrong, who is always right, who is kind, generous, loving, obedient, etc.  Christopher Robin is practically perfect in every way.  His friends, however, seem to be lacking a bit…

1.  Winnie-the-Pooh:  He’s known to live under the name ” Mr. Sanders.”  Milne goes on to state that this means he lives beneath the name Sanders which is inscribed in gold over the door to his home.   First, Milne intimates that Pooh’s name is really Mr. Sanders, and then he invalidates this with humor that is actually devaluing and cruel by stating he’s not really Mr. Sanders, he simply lives in a house with that name over the door.  What, did Pooh steal the home?  Is he a squatter?  Why didn’t he paint over the name Sanders if his name is REALLY “Pooh?”  Why does Milne allow him to seem to be a bumbling idiot, when he’s so very obviously not?  Why did Milne state his REAL name and then immediately take it away from him, replacing it with the ludicrous “Pooh?” Milne’s characterization of a loving, gentle, easily frightened bear who loves the simple things in life is “bumbling idiot.”  Can you extrapolate?

2.  Piglet:  He’s a small, timid pig who used to live at Trespassers Will, 100 Aker Wood, S.W. in a Beech Tree.  He tells people Trespasser’s Will refers to his grandfather, who he calls Trespassers W, which really stands for Trespassers William.  Milne goes on to inform us through description of the sign before it broke, that Piglet is lying about having a grandfather named Trespassers William.  Milne tells us Trespassers Will, before it broke, stood for Trespassers will be Prosecuted or Trespassers will be invited to dinner.  My guess is prosecution.  Piglet is also the nervous sort.  Gee, I wonder why?  His entire existence is based upon a whopping lie.  Maybe he’s afraid he’ll be found out.  He’s always sidling up to Pooh, seeking comfort and reassurance, and he daily wonders what will be exciting that day.  Liar, nervous, needs constant reassurance,  twitches and wonders about daily excitement.   There you have some classic Borderline Personality Disorder traits.

3.  Eeyore:  Oh please.   Invert NPD.  Say it in your best Eeyore voice:  “I’m so depressed.  I’m so unhappy.  My birthday is coming and I bet no one notices.  Oh gosh, thanks for noticing me.  I’ll just put my tail back on and trudge back to my unhappy home where no one pays attention to me, no one loves me, no one cares about me.”

4.  Tigger:  Well gee.  Do I need to interpret?  Maybe.  Attention seeker.   He’s bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun.  He hates all the things that Pooh, Piglet and Eeyore love to eat.  Specifically those things.  He loves to play detective, because that’s what Tiggers (Narcissists) do best!  Tiggers are wonderful things!  The best thing about him is that he’s “the only one!”  Tiggers also never get lost and they’re great at locating “lost” friends.  His friends get lost and he has to ‘rescue’ them.  Then he makes them pay by annoying the shit out of them.  My guess is that they wanted to be lost.

5.  Rabbit:  Oh this is enlightening!  Pushy and decisive. The best speller of all the animals. His life is made up of Important Things. Likes to organize things and take charge of group events, even if nothing gets done. Becomes disoriented very quickly in unfamiliar surroundings.  He has friends “too many to count.”  Do you know anyone like this?  I do.

6.  Owl:  He speaks eloquently, everyone thinks he’s the wisest, he tells stories to anyone who will listen and sometimes he’s a real bore. Gosh.  Gee.  Are bells clanging?

There are more, but these should give you a clue.   A.A. Milne has projected personality traits on to stuffed animals – traits that may exemplify his own worst characteristics and since he can’t acknowledge them in himself, he projects them – in these stories – onto stuffed animals.  His adult writing does the same thing.  Read some of it.

Then there’s Christopher Robin, the good boy.  The boy who never does anything wrong, who always reflects the positive traits a narcissist so wants to believe himself to have.  Christopher Robin is the polar opposite of his friends.  Christopher Robin never makes mistakes.  He always does the right thing.  He is known to chide his friends when they’ve been “bad.”  He shoots down ideas, he walks away from “bad” ideas, and I don’t believe I’ve ever read (in the original writings) where he was ever accountable for any misadventure, even though he participated in a LOT of them.

Some of you may think I’m reaching too far, because Christopher Robin and the Pooh family may have been some of your favorite childhood characters.  I’m not denigrating your favorite characters.  I’m stating that the author of these stories had a few issues with which you might be well-acquainted, and those issues are clear in his character development.