Handy links for more information
- Trapped in the mirror - families of narcissists
Very academic and comprehensive in scope, so it may be a little intimidating for the lay reader. Still definitely one of the best books I've ever read describing the experience if living with a narcissist and the origins of this disorder.
- Identifying and understanding narcissistic personality disorder
A somewhat more academic and technical piece focusing on some of the reasons for the development of this personality style.
- Cognitive behavioral treatment of narcissistic personality disorder
Link to a book describing one of the most commonly used treatment techniques with narcissistic personality disorder.
- Treatments and Supports
NAMI is one of the foremost agencies in mental health advocacy with extensive databases and information on resources, research and treatments. A description of cognitive behavioral therapy, one of the treatment options for personality disorders.
- MedlinePlus: Personality Disorders
MedLine is a great reference source with comprehensive medical and mental health information written for the lay person.
- Personality Disorders
The Mayo Clinic provides good, up to date and well researched information on personality disorders, their causes, symptoms and treatment options.
Day to day with Narcissistic Personality Disorder
So, what, specifically are people with narcissistic personality disorder like? In general they are extremely self centered, enjoy, no demand positive attention and acknowledgement from others, are considered entitled, self focused, have trouble empathizing with others or understanding what another person may feel like. They are often grandiose, self important and judgemental, seeing themselves as better than those around them, while at the same time being extremely sensitive to rejection - implied, perceived or real from others and may react with displays of aggression, threats or temper tantrums when denied. They tend to fall within what I affectionately call the 'yeller/screamer" category. Their view on life tends to be that the sooner everyone gets with the program and does what they want, the sooner things will get done, the right way, their way - and the easier it will be for everyone.
As long as people do what they need to do, which is obey immediately and ensure that nothing ruptures their worldview, things generally remain calm and narcissists can be as nice as the next fellow. The description "walking on eggshells" is commonly used by the families of people with narcissistic personality disorder and they are often considered difficult to treat due to their difficulty with empathy, extreme sensitivity and rejection of change. It doesn't mean they can't change, it just takes a while, after all, these are pretty ingrained habits - which may beg the question - why don't we spend more energy focusing on the signs which emerge in childhood when they might be easier to treat, but that's a complicated, political and social question beyond the scope of this article.
But back to what it's like for someone with a narcissistic personality disorder to face a threat. It may help to understand a little of where this comes from. Remember that people with narcissistic personality disorder view the world a little differently - not through rose colored glasses exactly, more like one's with the wrong prescription - things are kind of fuzzy, out of focus, distorted, flat becomes round, your head spins and you feel a little queezy, so imagine spending your life with badly fitted, out of focus glasses - you reach for the cup, but your vision is distorted so you miss, you misjudge the distance to the door and walk right into it, you try to walk over to someone and you trip and fall because the ground feels wobbly and is moving and undulating in a most disturbing manner.So, psychologically, these people are starting off at a distinct disadvantage.
The other thing, and the underlying reason for much of the mocking, the rage, the sarcasm, put downs and copious tears, is that for these people, much of what most of us would consider inconsequential is tantamount to a life or death struggle, psychologically. For these people, anything that threatens their world immediately threatens their very self - and that's the core of narcissism, it's a reaction (and none of this is conscious, by the way) to a deep seated fear that underneath all that bravado, boasting and general obnoxiousness that accompanies severe personality disorders that they will be unmasked as someone so unspeakably horrible that they will instantly be shunned and denounced by all who know and love them. It is this deep seated insecurity, self doubt and longing for unconditional attention that provokes the intensity of the reactions many of these people display. Something as minor as a disagreement about an outfit or movie choice can provoke this fear, in fact any questioning at all is threatening in the extreme because to these people, if there's a crack in the dam wall, catastrophe is imminent and certain (and what's more, it's probably because of something they've done or not done).
Obviously not all people with narcissistic personality disorder are this severe and certainly not all the time, but when they are triggered, their attacks can be biting and vicious and frequently guilt ladened. People with narcissistic personality disorder are so uncertain that they will be loved and cared for for themselves, that they frequently use manipulation, especially guilt to get what they want - and it works! People often comply, partly because of their own guilt being activated, but also because they know from experience that they are never going to win, and if by chance they do, there will be hell to pay.
One of the central deficits in narcissistic personality disorder is in the ability for empathy or being able to imagine oneself in another's situation and imagine what they would feel like. How would it be to try to imagine someone else's experience if you don't know how to. It's like telling someone with no art experience to reproduce a Monet with a screwdriver, at best you'd get a crude approximation.
Dealing a Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Well, where to start....
What exactly are personality disorders? Basically a personality disorder is a set of personality traits or characteristics that are both rigid and chronic. Generally personality disorders are not diagnosed in people under 18 as children's character or personality traits are assumed to still be somewhat flexible. Children may show characteristics of these disorders earlier than 18, but their essence is chronicity and inflexibility - and we have to get a little older for that.
Personality disorders are most often diagnosed by a mental health professional. Comprehensive interviews, information from the person's family, questionnaires and projective instruments like the Thematic Apperception Test and the Rorschach are all commonly used in the diagnosis of personality disorders.
What differentiates personality disorders from the rest of us? Like many mental health symptoms, personality disorders are the extreme manifestations of common characteristics. In the same way that everyone feels sad, but clinical depression significantly impacts day to day functioning, people with personality disorders (and those around them) are significantly affected by the person's personality style and despite these difficulties, the person is unable to change these characteristics. They continue to respond in the same way to everyone and every situation. They're the prototypical "when you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail" type.
Most of us consider our personalities pretty stable, we know if we tend to be introverted or outgoing, the people we like and the activities we enjoy. Although our internal base remains, we change ourselves subtly from day to day and in different situations. While a "hey bud, what's up?" may be fine for a friend, few of us would walk into a job interview saying that, and even fewer would be surprised by a negative result. But people with personality disorders are different, not only are they unable to make those essential changes, but they are often deeply confused, hurt and offended when their actions are not well received. Many of these disorders are also externally focused, in other words, it's everyone else's fault, which is part of what makes these people often very difficult to deal with, real "my way or the highway" people who don't generally play well with others.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders lists the following as general personality disorder criteria: An ongoing, chronic pattern of understanding the world and one's own experiences which deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture. This is often expressed in cognitive or thought patterns (i.e., ways of perceiving and interpreting self, other people, and events) and in emotions (i.e., the range, intensity, lability, and appropriateness of emotional response). Interpersonal functioning is also affected and there are generally some problems with impulse control.
These patterns must occur over a significant period of time, in multiple situations and with multiple people. It's not just an occasional bad day, it can't be due to drugs or alcohol and other disorders need to be ruled out. While many people come to therapy because they feel bad, often people with personality disorders are dragged to therapy or are there because of an ultimatum, because other people can't deal with their behavior.
The big problem comes in that despite these invisible impediments, people with narcissistic personality disorder are expected to live, work and interact with the rest of us in the world - and this poses 2 problems - they have to live with us and we have to live with them - and unlike many disorders which are temporary or intermittent, by definition, these are ongoing difficulties. Furthermore, the areas in which these people have deficits - self soothing, empathy and perspective are all areas which society generally attributes to personality, which is fair enough, but more specifically, we treat them as volitional. People with narcissistic personality disorder struggle with things that most of us take for granted and certainly things that many of us do reflexively. They don't know how to calm down, feel less anxious, angry etc. they don't know how to restore their fragile, wounded ego's and they have no innate sense of themselves as kind, loving etc, which they certainly can be.
Knowing some of these things can be helpful in alleviating the guilt that people in families of those with narcissistic personality disorder often feel - and some that those with the disorder feel too. On the whole, people don't like being uncomfortable or unhappy and tend to avoid it if they can. People with this disorder show definite deficits in skills, some of which can be taught. Although it can be difficult for people with narcissistic personality disorder to enter therapy, there can be significant changes with perseverance and practice by both the person with the disorder and their families.
So, in dealing with these people, try to have a sense that actions which seem spiteful and malevolent are actually their attempts at coping because they feel so bad and don't know how to do things differently. This often helps feel less angry towards the person and can help with problem solving. Also, look at your priorities and which things are worth fighting over, remember for them it probably feels a lot more personal so they'll put a lot of effort into it - is it worth it?
Now on important things it's different and here you might want to try stating what you need to say as neutrally as possible, if you're giving feedback focus on your feelings only, use "I statements" say something like "I feel that I'm not able to communicate with you right now because you are yelling, so I'm going to take some space for a few minutes", and yes, mostly you will have to take the high road and don't get lured back in with "so you think it's my fault" or any digs - the idea is to get out quick.
Living with a person with narcissistic personality disorder can be a little like being a meteorologist - and if it looks like rain take an umbrella, so be prepared with prepared things to say, no matter how silly you think it sounds, remember this technique is not just for you, it's for them too, the idea is you take the lead and show them better ways of dealing with things by how you interact with them. Over time, if you do things like self time outs or taking space, which quite honestly is the best way to sneak some undisturbed time, sooner or later, you'll be in the beginning of a conflict and you'll hear "I'm taking space for 10 minutes" instead of the escalating cycle.
Johne296 on June 30, 2014:
You are my inspiration, I possess few web logs and rarely run out from to brand. bkefckadggdf
Heather Mcdougall on October 05, 2013:
Reading many of the comments here, rings so many bells, and I feel my own recent agony just revisted. It's just all so familiar to those of us who have been in long-term relationships with the most extreme, toxic and malignant of narcissits. I think there are small degrees of marcissism - some worse some slightly better,but all totally toxic to those who live with them.
honeytrap99 on April 02, 2013:
I's be careful of Gail Meyers, she is a narcissist and goes around reporting all blogs using pages as resources with the link clearly stated as source. So no copyright what so ever and clearly a RESOURCE and to help others!!!! Yet now she wants to use this as a source??? I think my lawyer can sort her out.
Gail Meyers from Johnson County, Kansas on February 25, 2013:
Wow, I am going to add this to my Narcissist Personality Disorder Mother Facebook resource page.
EmpatheticG on January 21, 2013:
OH MY - totally agree - the person who has a narcissistic personality disorder IS a DANGEROUS and difficult person. Much in this blog and many of the responses are simply enabling behaviors. Alnon had me passifying and enabling my EX husbands behaviors until after 13 years of marriage, afraid for my life every single day, he picked up my 10 year old son by the shoulders and smashed him against the wall for "looking like your mother." I thought he had killed my son, luckily he was OK, but I filed for divorce the next day for inhumane treatment. Now, as an adult my daughter seems to have the exact same thing and, though I raised my grandson for his first 5 1/2 years, she now has him and, at age 8 is twisting the confused boy into the beginnings of some of her behaviors. As her father did years ago when she was young, she has full-force, VERY diligently, been trying to teach my grandson "allianation of affection" towards me (I had to go to court soon after she took him from my house just to get grandparent rights, which, of course, infuriated her and allowed her to manipulate the system to the point that she continued to play with his head) It is a nightmare!!!
1. So, is it possible for an overpowering parent to "teach" a child to become this. I definitely KNOW they can teach a child to be rude, unfair, and callous to the other parent - I've seen this now for 2 generations. But, especially with my grandson, still young, and generally a very intelligent, empathetic boy (my daughter was a sweet young child once too but in hind-view, always seemed to have difficulty with empathy until teenagehood when she seemed to not ever be empathetic to a clinical point- and now - do you know how sad it is when a mother is completely devoid of the ability to empathetize with her young son - EVER) Could she actually warp his brain and soul into becoming like her and her father? What could I do to help stop the repeating of history and give this child a chance in life? At some points, people actually asked me if she has been diagnosed as a socio-path. At this point , sadly, but honestly, I can say that my concerns are for my young grandson now. My Ex, and now my daughter, has beaten me down so hard and so strong, they have drained my feelings for them. My daughter thinks that EVERYTHING is my fault, that if there were an earthquake in China, then that would be my fault. She can be extremely cruel and is very passive aggressive. She has been in rehab and detox several times and I was told that they just couldn't help her because she refuses to "follow any other program than her own private one." She has a terrible memory - do to some very bad health issues - that are "other people's fault", too! She takes ownership of NOTHING and ONLY her own immediate satisfactions have any priority what-so-ever. All of this seems to me SUCH a dangerous milieu to raise a young child in - particularly for his psychological balance. She has COMPLETELY NO empathy for her child and can actually torture him psychologically with threats, guilt, trying to get him to do whatever she wants, etc - or else, he'll pay for it! She is absolutely incapable of thinking about the child's welfare/education/nutrition/future/pleasure/well being/etc. much less any thoughts or desires he may have. And of course CPS ONLY cares about 1) if there is food in the refrigerator and 2)if there is any physical abuse. My daughter, when she was a teen ager, would do things like empty my bank account out or steal my things to let her various boyfriends hock them for drug money. At that time I was very aware that she could easily slip into my room and stab me to death or get one of her jailbird guy friends to do it (the combination of no empathy, and not ever being able to think ahead, and just having to have her immediate desire satisfied at all cost with no connective thought to other's feelings/thoughts/or even life or health) but GENERALLY she is more of a master cold-hearted manipulator and very passive aggressive than simply aggressive (thank God she didn't get that trait from her very aggressive father). So physical abuse of her son is not that much of a worry - only the emotional and psychological abuse of him gives me nightmares every night. SO HOW TO PROTECT THE CHILD??!! I used to think that with my example, he will be more able to pick his path in the future. But she works diligently on trying him to discount/not love/disrespect/dismiss me.
I can say - GET AWAY FROM THAT BOYFRIEND YOU SEE THIS IN!!! Don't enable him, walk on egg shells, put up with, be subservient, etc. But what do you do to help the victim child in this mess???
Winnow on November 14, 2012:
First thanks for your help in this matter. I just realized that I am married to a narcissistic women. At this time we are separated, we have been married for 3 years and have a beautiful little girl of 19 months old. I love my wife with all my heart and just found out that the love she had for me was fake. She has been very verbal and physical abusive to me. (I don't want to seem like I am whining) but the things I have read say that she is text book narcissist. She doesn't want anything to do with me other then when I get to see my little girl. I stopped talking to her, trying to get back together for my little family. I offered for us to go to marriage counseling or some other help but she doesn't want no part of it. I realize she has problems now , for a time I didn't know what I was dealing with. I guess my question is how do I get my wife back and get help that we need?
Christina on November 07, 2012:
You do realize that NPD is considered non-treatable and that there is not a single case of treated NPD in all the times of history of humanity, right? I believe that the advice of trying to help persons with NPD is potentially harmful to people who have feelings for them, especially when it is a family issue. I also believe that the part in a comment where you say "despite the common belief, they are not violent", is completely coming out of a pink cloud. When their concept of self-perfection is threatened they can get very violent, if they are sure they will get away with it. In order to not be violent, you need to have empathy, to realize how it feels to others what you do to them. Well, they don't have any empathy by default. And in the definition of violence, you completely scrap this way the part that answers to what psychological violence is. Guilt tripping, manipulating and lacking love and empathy ARE psychological violence.
I grew up with an NPD mother who used to beat me up until I spitted blood. She used to tell me that I am very ugly and therefore I had to study only because noone would ever want to marry me. She forced me to wear her old clothes and she would always say that I am really fat because I wear at age 10 what she was wearing at age 25. I once got in an abusive relationship and she called the guy and congratulated him for beating me up cause "I needed to learn discipline". I ended up in therapy for several years while she is being a drama queen for what a martyr she is to be standing by me through all this - although she didn't even visit me all these years and she was clear that if I want therapy, she will not waste her money "just because I am crazy".When I told her I got engaged she laughed and said "since you found someone who can tolerate you, marry him as soon as possible before he can see who you really are and leaves you".
On what grounds would you advice me to try to help a person like this? And if I listen to you and I do try to be all compassionate and understanding, do you realize into what potentials of furthermore trauma your advice pushes me?
If anyone here, struggling with an NPD person in their lives, has the slightest bit of self-survival insticts, please listen: NPD is NOT treatable and it is sear malice. Save your souls before it is too late. NPD people are predators feeding off your pain. Sticking around them means two choices: more trauma or even more trauma. You are responsible for one person only: yourselves. You cannot change the world. Just save yourselves. And as hardcore as it may be, leaving is your best choice. There are other options too, but don't go through them without the sturdy presence of a therapist in your lives. YOUR therapist, not for the people with NPD. You need real help and support, not internet advice from unknown sources. Noone deserves to go through the pain an NPD person can cause. And noone with such behavior to you deserves your compassion - they will only take advantage of it to hurt you further.
Seek help with a therapist. Don't think because you read something you can also do it. If you had a broken leg you would go to an orthopedic doctor. Now you have a broken soul, go to a psychologist. This moment. Not tomorrow. Be well and I hope you find your peace.
bj on November 01, 2012:
wow, so glad to find your site! how do i deal with a daughter who has totally devastated her father, who previously was her "hero"? i figured out quite awhile ago she was narcissistic when all her chats were about herself and her dramas and problems, but she never answered my comments or asked about us or any of the other family members. i do not even want to talk to her as i feel nothing i say will make her understand what she has done to him.
Tara on September 20, 2012:
I recently ( within the last 10 months) got with my boyfriend, he is an admitted narcasist. I would really like to know how best to deal with him and perhaps get him to go to counseling with me?
Samantha on September 15, 2012:
Stay away from someone with NPD....stay far far far away.
Ochya on August 03, 2012:
I have a friend who is narcissistic. She was my roommate last year in college and it was terrible. We were friends at first because we share many interests. We're even minoring in the same thing, which was great because we could study together. But it soon became obvious that she had major self-esteem and control issues. She would be offended by the slightest thing and would flare up. She twisted conversations so they seemed like a personal insult. She can be incredibly competitive and childish.
I wasn't sure what to make of this for a long time and I just tried to deal with it. Honestly, I just thought she had really low self-esteem and needed a friend. But finally she crossed the line and did something selfish that effected out entire Japanese class. Long story short, the class had to be rescheduled to a new time and she didn't want it at the new time that was decided so she said she had class then. When I discovered that she didn't (because I was her roommate. How did she think I wouldn't find out?) She got very angry and we had a fight. I admit I yelled, which was the wrong thing to do, but afterwards she threw a tantrum and screamed and kicked (not me, just furniture) and then refused to talk to me. This really shocked me as she is 20 years old!
For the longest time I felt like I had done something horribly wrong and blamed myself. I thought maybe I overreacted. But then I talked to my friends and other people who know her and I realized she was being really selfish and narcissistic.
But the story doesn't end there, sadly. We are in the same study abroad program and there are only three people from my college (including us) that are going. Not only will I have to sit next to her on a plane for 15 hours, but we will be in Japan together for a year! I would love to avoid her but I don't think that's possible. What should I do?
mimi on July 29, 2012:
I have read this article twice already and I believe my boyfriend is a narcissist. My mom has mentioned it and even my family members. I have been dating his for a year and as the months passed the worse the arguments got. He always gets upset about foolish things and blames it on me. He always says relationships are 50/50 which I completely disagree because a relationship to me is to have someone that fills you in as a person and to be able to grow together. I tried walking away but he says its disrespectful of me, when really I want us to have space to cool off and think about the issue. I just do not know what to do anymore or how to talk to him without him being an asshole or impolite towards me. Any advice?
Cdub3060 on July 22, 2012:
I have a close friend who has just recently been diagnosed with NDP and is currently in a psych ward. Is there medication that can help it and do they go back to the person they were before the personality took over?
I really hope so as I still have feelings for him...
Broken23 on July 12, 2012:
Was just directed to an article through here about gas lighting. I guess that about hit the nail on the head. And by the way, my husband didn't start out calling her a narcissist, nor did he blame her. He was initially convinced he failed as a husband by not shutting her down. I discovered that through affair blogs then quizzed him on things she said and how she reacted. I know it's easy for the wife to blame the "other" woman but in this case I don't consider her a woman. More like the devil.
Broken23 on July 12, 2012:
Hi. Two Years ago I learned the hard way that a high school friend was actually a narcissist. We reconnected through our kids attending the same elementary school. Almost every weekend her husband and her, along with me and my husband would play cards, go to dinner or a movie or just get together to visit. She painted her husband as unsupportive, uncaring, uninvolved with the children, etc. my husband has always been very supportive of people and tried to encourage and help her whenever possible. About 7 months into our renewed friendship, she sent him a text, unknown to me, that said "I'm crushing on you". My husband says he thought since she was considering divorce he just thought she thought he was nice. Really? Next thing he knows they are texting and talking on the phone behind my back. He says it was just normal stuff. All the while the four of us are still getting together for fun. I learned later that she was planting seeds telling him he must not be happy with me, she can tell we aren't happy, I'm not as good to him as she would be, I don't take care of him like she would, they are soul mates, they shouldn't miss this opportunity because there's a reason they "found" each other again. She even planted seeds with me by asking me once how I would deal with my husband having an affair. Which when I discovered the affair she was quick to remind me of what I had said. Almost 9 months after reconnecting she convinced him to have phone sex with her. He says he doesn't know why he agreed because he was never looking for sex. I know people will think I'm stupid for believing this but i do. He was depressed and I believe she knew this, thru our visits with them. The more time we spent together as couples the more seeds she was able to plant and the more evidence she was able to gather to make him believe we were destined for divorce. My husband says she always had him feeling confused, put words in his mouth and referred back to stuff he never really said. He tried to disconnect with her after phone sex but she convinced him they were in way to deep to turn back now. It's very hurtful to think that someone I considered a friend could try to steal my husband. She was even trying to buy my children gifts to make herself look good prior to the exposure of the affair,
My husband is a good man. I consider us lucky that God led me to discover the affair, which ended the secrecy. He did end up moving out for 8 weeks. He says he always knew something was wrong, and that he knew he loved me but that she convinced him too much had happened. And, afterall, right in front of both of them I had said I would never forgive an affair. She let her true colors show the first week he moved out, and I fought for him. Hard. Like my life counted on it. She pushed him to cuts ties with me and be with her 24/7. Something clicked with him luckily. He cut all ties and never looked back. He said something told him no contact was the only way out.
We are still trying to recover after nearly two years. I never knew narcissists existed before this experience. I just can't believe someone would actually become friends with another person with the intent of manipulating their husband away. We are much stronger now.
Hurt and Confused on July 10, 2012:
I 'm gay and hurt. I met a guy on twitter. Didn't know he was gay was just being friendly with him and followed because he had a sense of humor similar in some ways to my own. He didn't follow me back but idc(I didn't care) because it was just for his wit. After several weeks of exchanges of jokes or replies to his jokes, he started responding back. Score! A friend I thought. Soon, we'd started trading barbs with each other. Again, it was fun not flirting from what I thought. Last year before father's day he had a freak out about his dad coming to visit and wanted to take him to do things in LA where he lived and asked with great fear for things to do. Me being his playful joker gave him several suggestions with a comedic twist but useable ideas. He laughed and told me thanks. A few days later I was feeling down and idk how he saw my tweets because he wasn't following me but told me to cheer up I was always there for him and he was glad to have me as a friend. This came to a shock to me becaus he had only been the person I just joked with. Shortly after he followed me and I thought that would be the end of it. About a week later he started tweeting me on a daily basis. Before, I had tweeted maybe every other day, but this must just be him being nice. I didn't respond everyday at first but later this became an issue so I did and felt I had to. He started telling me that he liked me and that I was the combination of sweet and sexy, he had met no one like me and he wanted to get to know me. This was a shock to me, Idk he was gay, had never noticed or seen anything to make me think he was. My followers didn't know I was gay, I had not felt comfortable to say it to them so the tweets between us became epic to my followers. some were supportive others unfollowed...even though I never officially said I'm gay.
I tried to slow things down with him, like where is this coming from? Why did you think I was gay? Answers of which I still don't have. At first 3 months after him telling me this, I was just his friend like I had been before. I wasn't one of those online romance types. But after telling me all these sweet nothings for that length of time, I came to like him somewhat. He quickly started Direct messaging me saying why he liked me and how he thinks of me all day, he swept me off my feet. When I told him I was shy and nervous ,scared he seemed ok with taking things slow but would tell me he need more affection from me and to tell him how I fell about him. I did.
Then he said he needed it in public. He knew I wasn't out so I tried to give him all the attention publically he wanted. This mind you is all online he lives in Cali me in the south. So I gave him the attention. Then he would say privately in Direct messages, that I was treating him coldly and he wasn't sure if I liked him and he wanted me to be more warm not short and sweet but long and with more warmth, he suggested I look at his tweets when he tweets me and to respond back to them sooner. Since he tweeted everyday, I tweeted back every day. whatever sadness I felt he'd cheer me up in Direct messages We had so many DM that At one point I knew we'd exchange email and telephone nmbers. He didn't then.
By Thanksgiving he was my entire world..sweet and caring and nice publically flirting. I was getting ready to come out for him.
It wasnt' until this new year he started acting even more strange getting distant. He'd say he needed me to tell him funny things what I was up to,tell him what I was thinking about him because he couldn't tell if i was being funny, snarky or sarcastic. I told him what I felt my heart was his. He then out of the blue became very distant. He wouldn't tweet me and stopped Dm. I asked if anything was wrong and he was like no. I am made of steel my emotions are real I'm a professional I don't put up with bullshit. His exact words. I told him. Now I know you're mad at me, but what did I do? say? I was in love for him. He was like nothing.
A few weeks go by and by the end of January he Dms me saying that I'm too private, and that unless I can share more affection for him publically that I'm not worth anything than the occasional flirt. he then unfollowed me and didn't tweet me. Now again..I was not out. and I had been careful to walk the line of being with him when you unfollow someone on twitter you can't send them direct messages. so I begged him to follow me to see what was going on..out of the blue. He told me he just needed more from me and when I tried to get what he needed so I could give it to him, he basically argued with me and broke up and unfollowed me again. The only way to tell him how I'd feel was public. Scared as I was to do it, I did.
By now it was leading up to Valentines, and since we talked every day since june/july until January I thought he liked me still..I know.. I thought I can win him back I'll give him the attention he wants. I sent him tweets and Valentine msgs and wished him a Happy Birthday which he was happy to get but after the thanks would just ignore me.
This left me crushed. I began to think maybe I had done something wrong?What'? Why had he dumped me after he persued me and dumped me without as much as a real closure? So I left twitter for a while to collect myself. When I came back I wasn't over him, but I felt, he's not into me get over it. I said well I'll be the bigger person, I can show him, how to be friends with an ex even if it's an online ex. i was nice respectful, no ribs or jokes like before just things I'd tweet normally.
I included him in music listings and sent him mass group news tweets normal stuff. One day out of the blue he tweeted me and said he missed me. This was weird because he had dumped me 2 months prior and didn't tweet or talk to me unless I initiated it so what was there to miss? I simply replied I missed him too, becuase I did.
After that no contact for about a month. Idk this was a pattern or that he was just checking my feelings I thought he was being sincere. So Again not over him but moving on I tweeted like usual and a month later, he tweeted me saying he missed me a lot. And that it would make him very happy if I'd tell him or tweet him anything, something nice, funny, silly, if I was sad, or just thoughts on my mind. I told him, it that would bring him some happiness then yhea I would. I just thought it was weird. So that weekend I told him my plans he was happy just like he was before when we were together, but we were not together and then he followed me again. He sent me a DM saying that this was his number and I should call him. Well in all the time we were online courting as he called it he never gave me his number. This made me feel insane. Why give me your number now? What did he want? I figured I would try to get the closure to us breaking up by calling him, I called 2 days later after I checked my feelings to what I needed to say and feel. When I called I got voicemail, so I left him a msg a nice short one saying Have a nice day, please call me back and giving him my number.
Midnight he dm saying thanks for calling he was out with his buddies and couldn't take the call. Thanks for making a move to show interest. Now I wasn't making a move for us I was making a move for closure to the break up and to be friends and move on as friends. weeks went by he never called. I told him I needed to speak to him please call. He made up excuses he was tired, sleepy, the time zone diff. But he would call. A month went by no call and I followed through on tweeting him like he asked. He would tweet back things like he's going out with his exboyfriend, or how he was playing the dutiful husband for his roomate, he would post pics of guys and tweet about guys trying to kiss him or flirt with him or he could have sex with. seemed like he was trying to make me jealous but I was seriously trying to close our "love" to be friends. That was 2 months ago. Now he gives me the silent treatment. If I Dm him now, I'm sure he'd answer & if I tweet him he'll reply, but at this point idk what to do? Why does he do this? Should I just unfollow No Contact?& Why do I hurt? He's the 1 being mean?
Lookingtunderstand on June 18, 2012:
Help. I have dated a woman for about 9 months and spent 5 more trying to be friends with/be in a relationship/escape completely. I recently read up on this disorder by putting in signs and after reading as much as I could told her that it sounded like her. I spent 3 days straight refusing to accept that she Nos sees that she is depressed..watched her cycle from realizing, accepting, being sorry, blaming then attacking me over and over. I kept my strength. Cried my eyes out but in hoping she sought help was my goal. I didn't want to mask the situation and go. Mack because I already attempted to take my own life once. I have started seeing another woman casually but intimately in an attempt to make the possibility of going back impossible. Less than 9 hours after this admission I was devastated to be told that my ex-girlfriend posted on a very social/public website that she was abused by me verbally, physically and emotionally. There were some partial truths in the comment section and for me made her accusations sound accurate. I am devastated by this. I don't know what to do. I have to admit that there were times when I lashed out calling names etc. trying to get her to leave me alone...but by no means was I abusive. I was trying to protect myself. I realize I shouldn't respond etc. but I almost feel like ignoring it..she will do it to someone else. I made an attempt on my own life because I had been made to believe I was less than the scum of the earth. I don't want anyone else to go thru what I did. Please help.
austin 0203 on May 01, 2012:
Thank you for the article. I am having a difficult time with my sister who now has cut me off from her life for the second time. This is her way of punishing me. She blamed our mother for years and now including the father. Yes, our parents have their faults like we all human do. But she wants their validation that she is right. She can go on hours on what other people do wrong but if say three phrases she makes feel like a worst person in the world and start badgering with a list of my faults. She feels that it is her obligation to tell me my faults because no one else does. The last time we started to talk to each other was when we found out she had breast cancer and the family supported both financially and emotionally. Then she says she will be famouse through this ordeal and will be writing a book and then then into a movie. So many people helped her. Now three years later... she is back to everyone's fault again. She seems to have bipolar because she has very highs and lows. But also everything is about her either good or bad. She has definate ideas of how parents should be to her and how her sibling should be to her. But she never think twice about how she should to be rest of us. Other people thinks she is a victim. Other people sees her as a happy go lucky. I don't know what to do. Yes, I feel guilty because I always feel like maybe I ddin't do enough. Now she only speaks to two members of the family because they have college degrees. minds you she doesn't have it either. Please help me understand and how can I have a healthy relationship with her. Of course we don't have any right now because she has cut me off..
Nuria on April 23, 2012:
To beachgirl4...It deeply saddens me to hear about your niece, as I am forced to let my ex-husband continue his path of destruction with our daughter.
First and foremost, I am committed to protecting my child. (Unfortunately, there is no reasoning with these individuals, so you will never get them to seek "treatment" for their own sake or those, involved - in my belief, they are not even "treatable" - they are like sociopaths...).
Maybe this helps making your decision easier: My daughter sees a therapist that deals
exclusively with Narcissism - and I know, in your case, it's difficult, since it is her mother, which will never agree to that.
I am in the same position: anything, related to our daughter, has to be agreed upon by both my ex-husband and I.
I did not ask his permission (violating court orders - I don't care).
I just have her see the therapist - protecting my child - building a "case".
I am currently petitioning the family court, presenting evidence and hoping that, eventually, the court will listen to me and my daughter (at age 13, they have a right to be heard before the judge).
The tricky part of the whole issue is the fact that the abuse is not "visible" - it is "just" abuse - not physical - therefore not enforceable / punishable.
Having endured extreme narcissistic behaviour for over 12 years myself and having a child that still does endure it: If I knew of a child that is exposed to a narcissist, I would (without hesitation) involve CPS.
beachgirl4 on April 18, 2012:
I am emotionally distraught today. Although my sister has not officially been diagnosed, it is clear she has a narcissistic personality and perhaps other mental issues. She is 9 years older than I. Growing up she has always had a strange control over me and my parents. I was taught to "not get her angry" or "let the argument pass" and "not to be so sensitive and deal with it" when it came to coping with the erratic motions of my sister's personality. We all walked on egg shells with her and my parents continue to do so to this day...although my mother finally seems to have had enough. I am now married and have an 10 year old son. I feel fortunate to have found a wonderful husband and live out of state from my family. Living at a distance has been a great help in coping with our very dysfunctional family. My sister is married and as a 9 year old daughter. I have always been stressed over her behavior to my parents and her husband...very bossy, controlling,rude to strangers, volital, nothing is ever her fault, etc. Now that we both have children, I have become very disturbed at her verbal abuse not only with her husband, but more importantly with my neice. Not to mention my son witnesses her alarming behavior. I feel a responsibility to report her to child protective services for my niece's sake. Her husband seems to have had enough and has confided to me that he is looking at moving out but is afraid to leave his daughter in her care. We all know she will go into a rage if any of us try to recommend the need for professional help. It is a loose/loose situation. She has threatened that he will never see his daughter again and end up with nothing if he leaves but she continues to pick at his every move and controls every aspect of his life. It is far worst for my niece who is home schooled...ugh! She will not even allow him to keep in contact with his family. I feel this has all come to a head at a recent visit. My son and I endured many verbal abusive arguments upon her daugher and husband. We all know if we stand up for each other the fight will explode into a big screaming match and I don't want to do that in front of my son, so we all just let her go into a frenzy and wait for the storm to pass. I ended up leaving our visit earlier than planned because of all the turmoil and she took it personally saying I was incensitive to her feelings and I did not appreciate all she did to have us over. She now sends hateful text messages and emails trying to manipulate me but does not see what drives everyone away. She has lost many friends and other family members distance themselves. I am so disgusted with her that I wish to never speak wit her again...especially since I see this verbal abuse has escalated to where I am frightened for my niece. I know confronting my sister will just bring on a storm of arguments for my brother-in-law and niece. Should I push her husband to seek assistance from a child and family service or just get the ball rolling with child protective services?
get real on April 18, 2012:
Hmm....NPD, just one of a group of PD`s essentially made up by society and the medical fraternity to explain what is essentially just bad behaviour from people who enjoy behaving badly, now that you are classed as having a "disorder" and therefore somehow ill means that you get "treatment" for your excesses of behaviour instead of suitable sanctions being brought to bear (by this I mean punishment). Why does medicine perpetuate this nonsense?, well an auto mechanic needs broken engines to work on or no income, even if they are simply made up faults....
Sharon H. on April 11, 2012:
I have been married to a man for 22 years. I have been going through hell with his personality and the light bulb went on yesterday. He is narcissist. I have taken the time out approach and things sometimes get better, but it has taken a toll on me. I'm in a difficult time in my life because I am taking care of my 96y/o mother. I want to run away but can't. To his family he is the best thing since sliced bread, to me he is horrible. I dont know how much more I can take.
Christine Louis de Canonville on April 06, 2012:
To nuria..... sadly I tend to agree with you. Unfortunately before the victim realizes that they are dealing with a narcissist, so often they have been stripped bare of self-esteem, and sucked dry. They often end up so confused by the gaslighting behaviour that they cannot even trust their own decision making. This makes it very hard to get out.
To Liz-Abeth, I would say that your man is "Gaslighting" you.... this is a very destructive behaviour on the victim. During the process of gaslighting, the victim will find themselves going through emotional and psychological states of mind.
I am a therapist that works with victims of narcissistic abuse. I have written some articles on the subject that you may like to read. I shall put a link to my site.
During the process of gaslighting, the victim will find themselves going through emotional and psychological states of mind that leave them drained.
Liz-Abeth on April 04, 2012:
I have been in a relationship with a man of 53 years of age for over three years. We cannot get through even one day with out him saying something extremely hurtful and accussatory to me. Each day is a fight, but each fight he says is my fault. I have read all the information about Narcassistic Personality Disorder above and he fits completely into all of the criteria for it. He has been through two divorces and has a history of all women he has had relationships with not being able to remain with him. If they did not get along with him under his demands then he cronically takes on a new girlfriend who does not yet know how cruel he will become. I met him while he was married to his last wife. He pretended to be a single man with a house and a car and a normal life. None of it was true. He also gambles to an extreme on top of his personality problems. I will give just one example of what I go through every day. I can pick up a paper he has written a to do list for the day on and just look at it. Soon he will say something like - Why are you looking at it there is NO WOMENS NAME OR NUMBER ON IT. When I ask him why he would say anything like that, he will reply with an insult like I always accuse him and every thing I look at is to find proof about other women. Now this is every day, every place we are, every thing we do. I am kind to him, considerate, patient. But always the same from him. With in minutes I am being called a whore, ugly, he hopes I would die. And it is always my fault. No matter what he has said or done, it is my fault at all times.
nuria on March 30, 2012:
My heart goes out to all of you - those, who currently suffer and those, who found their way out. I can not say, I am healed (and I still have to deal with the devil, as my son is forced to continue to visit), but I know for certain: I am not crazy. None of you are!
Seriously, there is no cure, there is no "trying", nor getting them to "understand you" - there only is: PACK YOUR BAGS AND RUN!
hurtfulsoul on March 13, 2012:
well people its like this when I first me this Man I was a virgin and he was my first in everything, I trusted this Man and gave him my all that it caused me to fall in love with him. in the begging everything was on point he was the perfect gentlemen and in a couple of months he used to ask me were am I going, and who i'm with and what time i'm gig to be back,,, I didn't think anything of it I thought it was cute that he was a little jealous but when the pushing, slapping, choking, bitting and all other things such as sexual abuse came thats when the tears and fears would come out towards him... the first time when I had a gun to my head and he pulling the trigger I thought of my god i'm gonna die and I thank God that the bullet that was in the chamber did not shoot me or him in the frrekin head, or getting stabbed in the leg and almost dies after an infection not knowing that I should have went to the doctor...
or the first time when he beat me down in my house of outside when the MBTA bus stopped looked and kept on going I felt so little that the abuse won't stop... I have so many more stories about my abusive life that it can't fit on this page... but here I am today wanting to end the abusive relationship and he won't let me break up with him...
he is threading me more, hitting me more, and sexually abusing me more... when I tell I don't want to have sex or stop he ignores me and tells me he can't stop and during that time of sex he makes me orgasm wither I want to or not... just the other day he took an extenuation cord and rapped it around my neck and choked me I freaked out and he said calm the fuck down i'm just playing or the other time when he put a plastic bag over my head while I was trying to fight him off of me...
so today i'm afraid to be seen with other guys, or start another relationship, I feel like all of this is my fault, I feel shamed, embarrassed, guilty, confused, and at most times worried about my life is he capable of seriously hurting me, or putting me in the hospital or even wind up dead one day,,, I have loved this man for more then 15 years and still NO FREEDOM after all these years he just told me if you leave me i'll kill you or someone in your family how can u tell someone something like that when you think they love you?
thank you for reading please send me your comments cause your comment do count take care and God Bless :)
notsurewhattodo on March 13, 2012:
Hi I am married to a man with strong Narcissistic personality traits and for the first time in reading all of this I feel like I am not crazy or insane in fact I am quite normal. I have been trying to place his behaviour in the wrong category as I have never understood why he would react the way he does. I have been with him for 11 years and probably sad for much of it, clinging to the hope that he would have to 'get how he talks to me' one day. He has been the one in the drivers seat for most of it as we have had some bad financial luck, through his choice to invest in the stock market, but you would never hear him admit it and I never at the time put it on him that his decision which over rides mine was the cause of our discomfort, I simply got on with the job of staying up night after night working with two small children to earn our losses back. He is a doctor himself so is in the best position for a narcissistic personality...everyone goes to him for advice to fix their problems so he is always in a position where he feels like he is indispensable because he receives so much praise from his patients. During the early years of our marriage, actually many years if I would disagree with him we would call him the master debater because you could never win a discussion ever. You could say the sky was blue and he would say 'where is your evidence for that' or 'no its not' even if you were just making conversation his way was to bring it into a debate to show how smart he is. His Father died when he was a teenager and his mother has always admired text book intelligence. He has always had a problem with other women, and what i used to say a 'desperate need for sexual attention and validation' particularly if I seemed like I was not pandering to flattering him at every turn at home listening to hours upon hours of different things that would go beyond emotional support of a partner. He has not physically cheated yet I feel emotionally he has and I can pretty much predict that what ever challenge he has in his life, and I mean it can be far removed from anything to do with me will always come back to a sentence starting with 'well I behaved that way because of you, or we are here because of you, or its because of you'. We would go out to a function and I could see him eyeing up other women and trying to catch their attention, I would be humiliated, and the thing is he was not interested in taking this beyond that because it was not about emotional attachment, I used to say he wanted to just get this zap of attention then he was done with them, and they sometimes would get the wrong idea because of this behaviour and think he was available, send him emails or call him and he then would be totally dismissive to them and claim he had no idea what gave them that idea. I would say then I must not be crazy if the woman in question and I both thought the same thing. He had one good lesson, he played this game with someone he worked with and she then started emailing him and calling him and sent an email to me. I have never seen anyone run so fast as when she returned his flirtation he had already gotten his fix of attention and had not intended for it to go further, and i know it did not. We had a conversation about this need, this desperate need and from that point he seemed not engage in it and that was years ago. I would dread going out with him because I would feel like I was just there as Plan B because he would have to command the spotlight, to the point I would just leave him at the door and go off and be social all night long to turn the tables, I never exhibited the same need or bahaviour but just wanted to see how he reacted and he did not like it one bit, so yes that seemed to stop, but in the back of my mind I am yet to be put in a situation where there are women around him like that to see how he behaves, and actually nor do I care as much about it because it just played into a feeling that I must not be good enough. Despite the fact he is a very good doctor and people love him and he seems to be able to totally empathise with his patients when he is in the position of control, he lacks total awareness of his own behaviour in private. I have always said he will fight to the death to always be the good guy but being the good guy means someone else always has to be the bad guy. Consequently he rarely argues with anyone outside of his family, and right now he is off on a 1,000 km charity bike ride that he has been training for for the last few months which he has blasted all over Facebook and aside from being a good thing to do, his motives are no different to everything else he does, he constantly needs attention and is very critical of me, I can never feel like I can do anything where he will even praise me because he is on the look out for a failure and lord help me when life throws me a curve ball because although he thinks by being here is support he will then go about making it emotionally torturous. I went through a very nasty court case where I went into business with someone that I was introduced too and to cut a long story short, them being a large corporation, saw it as a golden egg and tried to steal the idea and cut me out of my own business. I later found out the same guy did this to his own company and his own major share holders tried to dump him as the Director. I was completely broken down by this but instead of support I received abuse and verbal tirades about how I obviously did not do my research, and I will get a list as long as my arm of a history of what he considers past failings. Of course it leaves you emotionally devastated as I could never understand how he could be so caring and emotional with his patients and to me the complete opposite. He even told us at a dinner party he was giving counselling to some patients on their relationships in practice. I was floored, I asked him how he could think he could be doing this later on when his own relationship was not given the same respect and attention and he did none of what he was advocating for in his own relationship. I found it almost sickening that he was being such a hypocrite. Of course he sees not the hypocrisy. The thing that hurts the most is yes his total lack of empathy. I hit rock bottom over the court case and I felt I had his judgement on top of it. I was at a very emotionally fragile state and have been privately on the ground crying, numb and unable to feel like I could move forward when he has come home and seen me and all he did was walk over to me, take my pulse and then walk out without a word. What message I got from that was...well if I did not have a pulse that was his level of care! I was not even looking for him to be there as I had become used to being private about my pain because I knew there would be no emotional support from him, just some kind of lesson. I asked him about this later and he said...well all you have done is cry over the years. This is another thing, he will hear no criticism of himself, there is a zero tolerance there, but he has no problem with loosing it with me. I guess I struggle with how someone can be so far removed from his own behaviour in favour of annihilating someone else's and quite often after he has vented he feels great and I feel shocking. Why stay you say. The thing is outside of the home everyone thinks he is just the most amazing person on the planet, and he will do everything he can to cultivate it. He is highly intelligent and very physically good looking so has always had mountains of praise and of course women chasing him. He has actually acknowledged in the past that he has had a need for sexual attention as a way of validation and that the behaviour has been damaging to us, but that was then. If you asked him now, instead of saying this he would tell you I have been jealous of any other woman that even comes near him. The thing is I have always been very secure, happy and driven and confident but somehow he has stripped all this away and turned it around to excusing his behaviour by making it all about me again. He ups and goes away a lot with his work, we are not
Re: revelation on March 13, 2012:
I have NPD and I can tell you, you sound like you're deserving of a good draining. When you suffer from this, yeah sure you can be on your best behavior and bite the tongue around the people that matter (through aging wisdom).. but eventually you are going to need a stranglehold over someone for release.
It sounds to me like you were a willing participant, and that is your fault for being so weak, no one elses. Slap, sorry, slap, sorry.. If you eventually meet someone who doesn't treat you like this, it's not b/c they're more together or mature; it's b/c they are also weak. Inevitable weak offspring.. Jeremy Kyle-esque show 1-2 generations down the line. You have no one to blame but yourself (maybe your parents).
revelation on March 09, 2012:
People with what modern psychology defines as "narcissistic personality disorder" are simply BAD AND EVIL people. There is no way to make anything work with them and if you ever get involved with one, you are best to run away as fast and as quickly as possibly because they are DANGEROUS and will drain you while making your life a living hell and ESPECIALLY if they suspect that you want to leave them. I have recently come out of a very turbulent relationship with one and despite other previous relationships I have had, this one was purely a WASTE of three years of life, money and valuables lost, and, more importantly, sanity and self-esteem damage. Their personalities are ruthless and their actions are criminal so the sooner you get away the better, bearing in mind that you will always lose, but better to lose a lot rather than everything. Dictators throughout history have NPD and many have literally lost their lives being at their mercy when they were in power. A narcissit will abuse their positions of power to the maximum and there is NO resolution, mid-way or compromise for what they do.
Tara on March 03, 2012:
Hello, i am Tara
Last month, it was my birthday, and a time when I experienced another loss in my family. I was in total depression also because the gentleman I had been seeing for nearly a year decided to cut ties with me. All this happened at the same time, and my heart was broken. Then I found Dr Ijebu online, and all my luck turned around – especially because the master did a wonderful spell of Love for me and my dearest companion, who decided he had made a terrible mistake by leaving me. We even took a much-needed vacation. It meant the world to me, and I have you to thank firstname.lastname@example.org
Kat on February 24, 2012:
I have a real problem here with my mother's ex girlfriend! She is dead on to EVERYTHING said, as if everybody is posting about her, as if they know her! Very scary! I want to start out by saying that I'm truly sorry for everybody dealing with somebody with NPD it's been one of the hardest things in my life and I know it's been hard for everybody here!
There are two small adopted children thrown in the mess of this person (3yrs and 1yr) I can't tell you how much I worry about these two! I'm 30 and I play a HUGE role in the life of my two little siblings, for almost 2 years I have been a stay at home sister for the two of them (by choice I quit my career and switched my focus to them) my reason for such a drastic change in my life was because of there behavior of the person. Adoption was everything this person ever wanted and when she got the first child he was kicked aside on day 3 of his life. I watched by the sideline for 1 full year watching him get tossed from one care taker to the next, within the first year of his life her had 6 care takers. Not to mention that this woman didn't really work, her business was getting closer and closer to failing and never once stepped in to take care of her son (I hate to say "her son" because it's the saddest excuse for a mother that I have EVER seen) my mother works full time and gives ever second of her life otherwise to both children, no to mention that she already raised two children, myself 30 and mt elder brother 32
I could go on and on about the behavior of the woman but I won't because it would be no different than everybody else's story, it seems like a very black and white disorder.
What I would really like to know is if there is any way to notify someone outside of the family of the danger that this person posses. There has been one incident where she has almost broken down a locked door from pounding on it with her fists and kicking. she has made many threats to my mother of taking the children from her and has previously hurt both the children in sneaky ways: examples knowingly allowed the older one to be electrocuted by a light socket repeatedly...allowed the older one to fall out of her truck off the front seat hitting his head on the footstep so hard that he flipped over and landed flat on his back and head on the pavement (she told me that this happen in a public parking lot)... Pulling off oxygen tube from second baby's nose WHILE IN THE HOSPITAL, nurses told my mother this and told her to talk to her and tell her not to do that because the baby needs the oxygen (baby was in hospital due to labored breathing) when my mother told her not to take the oxygen off she told my mom "she doesn't want the baby to become dependent on the oxygen and the sooner the baby can breath by herself the soon they can go home" baby was in hospital for 1 week, it would have only been 4 days but the doctor spoke with my mother telling her that she was concerned who would be taking care of the baby and the two of them ( dr and my mother) cancelled the discharge until the weekend so that she would be home to to take care of the baby too. One week later this woman ripped off the baby's umbilical cord cause it to bleed and develop umbilical granuloma... One day my mother came home from work and the older child was limping (2yrs) she told my mom she didn't have a clue what happen and several hours later after my mother kept on it she said "I don't know maybe somebody stepped on him"
The latest is now she is trying to make my mother re-appoint her full decision maker on her life insurance policy in the event that something happen to my mother, shes even gone as far as doing the research and telling my mother that she needs to have her home go to her as well as a portion of my mothers family business...."because of the kids"
So basically I know this woman is ill, the whole family knows this woman is ill, when my mother first met her she had been going to therapy for 10 years and my mother found anti depressants in her bathroom but she denies that.. My mother has told her story to an attorney but there was no concern at all from her, so I'm asking at this point what can be done, because so far I have only been told that no action can be taken until something happens.
I'm very worried for the safety of my mother and my little brother and sister.
Please help me to figure out a way to make things right before something terrible happens.
DrSleep on February 22, 2012:
I have been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, histrionic, borderline and anti-social.
I've always known I have had these problems. I'm going through a child access battle (uk) and am terrified that my Mental health will be used as a Tool against me.
The facts are, I've never been violent or hurt anyone. And I love my son, more than anyone. I'm no threat to anyone, I can hold down a job, I did have a stable life until a break down of my marriage which was faults on both sides. Now I'm having this access battle. I have my son on sundays but supervised. Will the courts see me as dangerous to my son? Should I give up? What can I expect? I mean, if people with personality disorders can't have kids, why not people with Aspergers, Bipolar etc. I'm terrified I'm going to lose my son. I'm actively seeking Psychotherapy.
Anything you can give me would be appreciated. thank you.
Hayley on February 17, 2012:
Do you think nlp or hypnosis can help people who have npd ?
Overseas on February 14, 2012:
Hello, what an interesting site.I really could do with some solemn advice. I' ve been in a relationship for 23 years with someone who is now a doctor. I admit to having put him through trouble in the beginning as I expected him to react to an overbearing, almost vicious mother and a low-profile father, due to the fact that I had idealistic views as to how relationships should be in order for the world to be a better place. But, to my defence, I was fully aware that all views need to be constantly reassesed and amended through thought processsing and communication so that we don' t become rigid. He was in constant "fear" of me as he admitted very often, because I was a thinker and insisted on self-knowledge. He avoided me with all sorts of excuses mainly his parents' health and then their death and work. The first years of our relationship were very intense in a good way as I inspired him to be a philanthropist which he enjoyed and thought of as a worthwhile objective. But to my dismay, though he became a very caring doctor, while I was in constant retreat, communication was gradually breaking down as he started yielding dangerously to family propaganda which had involved persistent lying even when there was no reason, double standards, false criticism of others, and narcissistic behaviour. He even cheated on me which was inconceivable once upon a time. After 10 years of marriage where I've been trying to figure things out, it dawned on me that afterall he must be a narcissist, but what made it difficult to nail down was the fact that he really is a caring person and doctor especially when emergencies arise and he isn't at all snobbish with everyday people as one might expect. So the "lack of empathy" characteristic of NPD just isn't there except when he needs to understand his own behaviour which involves temper tantrums, avoidance, insults towards me and paranoid ideas in repetition of what mother used to say.It just doesn't make sense. It almost looks as if this seemingly circumstantial personality disorder or whatever it is, is the price he has to pay in order to feel as an accepted member of his family. So, what's in it for me ? Apart from my wanting to "save" the good that I knew was in him, I've invested so much time, energy, brainpower, meaning and emotion in this relationship that I feel I need to see it through 'til at least we make head and tail of it and really understand what has happened.
Troubled on February 04, 2012:
Thanks so much for this website. But I think I still need some help. I have got a father in law who is narsisstic. To add to this he visits prostitution a lot and gotten STDs which he spread to my mother in law. I am living with them with my husband and three kids. My mother in law is very considerate and does not share food with my kids or us. However my father in law sometimes bites the food and offers it to my kids. My two bigger ones are ok since I told them to reject the food nicely. However my youngest is a 1month baby who will take whatever food anyone offers her. This is causing me a lot of stress other than his normal narsisstic character. He also always uses our toilet, all of which he thinks we are at fault and if we makes any comments, the next few weeks of us life will be a torture. What can I do? I thought of leaving my husband but he is really a very doting loving husband, please, can someone help me please..
Bill on January 24, 2012:
I might add that my son has not hardly worked in his lifetime. in the past he has had runins with the law and has managed to convince them through manipulation that someone else is to blame for his crimes. He can take on the law, government, or anyone else with authority and come out on top. He has told me on several occasions that he is aware of his manipulation of others but he shows no remorse. He lies and steals, he has stole from my wife and I all of his life. He had a job awhile back and does not ever want to work his way up in a company, instead he uses his intellegnce to manipulate his way to the top and feed off other people to make himself look good. once at the top he refuses for his boss or anyone else to tell him what to do, after a short while at the job he gets enough and will punch out his boss, I mean physically beat him up.
bill on January 24, 2012:
my son is very intellegent, he is 31 years old and even as a child he would manipulate me and my wife to get what he wants. he uses his intellegents to get what he wants from everyone even his freinds. he does not work, instead he uses his intellegence to plan and get everything in life given to him. he has a very violent temper and nobody around him will speak up in fear of violence. his wife and child must act as he wants them to act and speak like he wants them to speak. if we get in a conversation with him then he must always win with the last word. He shows no sympathy except after he loses his temper but I feel that this is only to get things back to his normal. He thinks that the whole world owes him and he acts like he has worked hard all his life and that he is the elder. His ego is so big that he beleives that he is always right. he can be charming and seem nice but I feel that this is only for himself to feel somewhat normal. rather than work he makes his wife work while he sits at home and rules the nest afraid that someone might come and disrupt his self-built empire. please help, I am at my wits end.
titties on January 18, 2012:
I have a point person at my job with this problem. It is hard not only because he has the ear of my boss but also believes that everyone ELSE is the problem and that he can somehow "fix" THEM. The saddest part is that I think the part about him finding out that there is actually something terribily wrong with him is actually true. He's got real mental problems!
Oh Margaret on January 15, 2012:
I have a mil and sil that fall in the NPD. Problem is I have checked out of the family and I worry I will lose my marriage over these two manipulative women. SIL is s case book study of the disorder. SIL attacks my speech patterns, compares our looks, style, challenges me on every word and belief and will go up and change if I am wearing what she perceives a better outfit then what she is wearing. She becomes hateful if a smidgen of attention falls my way. I have never heard her allow for anyone to finish a story without her adding her twist to it. She and her husband are like two warriors fighting over every detail and she pouts and sulks like a young child if her plans are not kept. I hate traveling with them. SIL even went as far as trying to accuse me of stealing our MILs jewelry on a family trip. Sil "found it" after a third attempt of finding the "lost" item. It was then I decided to check out of my husbands family. He still has commit and contact with his family and I would never ask him to stop. I told him once how I felt and never talk about it again. He goes without me and I stay happily home. We both are aware we can only control our own actions. So far he respects my action. Even understands it. We both realized how damaging Sil NPD can be. It took over nine years of abuse for me to leave. I still feel guilty for cutting them off and I still worry I will put a wedge between my husband and I, yet, I just can't being myself to spend one day with them. Even a phone call is painful. I try to be empathic of what they both went through to get to this stage. Understanding why they act the way they do- does not allow them the right to be their verbal punching bag anymore- nor does it take away the sting. My question is why do I feel childish and wrong for allowing them that power and with drawing from the situation? I am still falling for the NPD power? Or am I a little NPD myself?
jag216 on January 13, 2012:
The NC 'no contact' dogma is useful but open to abuse because you don't want to engage the silent treatment carelessly. This process is tied to deep emotional surivival instincts and becomes addictive to the user and devastating for the recipient. Instead, firm and fair conditions for contact need to be established and adhered to. It helps to have a third party discuss the boundaries you are proposing to see if it seems fair. Generally speaking, you want to reserve your emotional energy and limit contact to prevent yourself from being run down all the time. You don't want to encourage irrational speculation, fear, paranoia and pain on the part of the other person. That doesn't mean that your reasonable boundaries won't be seen as hostile or unfair - but it does mean that the other person has had to choose their path, and cannot blame you for arbitrarily not contacting them.
Ready to walk! on January 10, 2012:
I sympathise with 'atalos'
I too find this way of life soul destroying.
My girlfriend bless her has indicated to me I have now become comfortable with similar behaviour as 'ataloss' and I now fear speaking FREELY to either defend, justify or express my feelings.
I can easily repeat all of the above in 'ataloss' comments.
My partner does not tell me he loves me unless I do first, this was different in the beginning (2 years ago)
He is evasive
Scoots around the subject and avoids the question
Rude on his phone texting while in the company of my friends or family situations
Lack empathy (big style)
Is offended with constructive critisism or suggestion, is not able to cope at all if you suggest a different approach or style
I may walk into the room after shopping or out for work and not a word spoken to me while I am in the same room for hours
Holds a vacant stear for hours as if he is somewhere else.
Does not initiate conversation or rarely does (says he will talk if there is something constructive to talk about)
Considers himself as a good listener and if asks a question and the conversation steers in different directions then he smirks and comments that while he asked me a question I end up talking about other stuff! So what I call that conversation' as I am the only one talking anyway
Does not respond to my conversations, comments in general NOTHING no comment or physical response at all
Communicates with his friend’s about family and general
Stuff, I then find out through them, he does not talk to me
If I challenge or try to discuss other options in life generally or for the business, I mostly get shot down or my idea or suggestion is dismissed or suggested not a good one
If away on holiday or camping he can quite easily be in the company of 6 people and not and hardly speak unless his children turn up to join us then the personality changes
Walks away from a group of people and will sit in the back ground unless it is with his family or friends
Does not feel my pain if I am in physical pain or hurt myself, just looks at me or ignores me. (This is not often)
His mother has openly told me after I noticed she was ignoring me or snapping at me or making sarcastic remarks to me that I am not good enough for her son and he could so much better! While this change the course of my partner’s relationship with his parents and in particular his mother he has no idea how this affected me
Never asks about how I feel or apologetic for his parent’s treatment towards me.
Never ask about my family, my son who lives away OS
No longer is interested in intimate dinners or time with me, suggest I arrange it! All of these were the reasons he left his wife because she would not do anything with him!
WHEN I CHALLENGE OR QUESTION
Responds poorly to questions, says there is stuff he knows about and I shouldn't question him 'WHAT'
I say white he says black
Becomes aggressive and shouts if I challenge or speak freely about how I feel or suggest I don't agree with what he says
Then continues to say what a thick dumb stupid bad person he must be
Is not able to get over things very well, holds anything that may suggest what he did or said is not appropriate or acceptable. Blows up and storms off in a rage
Then it’s like walking on egg shells for days
Texting in a dance concert, I mentioned he should go out and that was ok with me if he was bored.... suggested it 3 times and asked him to stay out during the second half and stormed off, exactly what he wanted. The next day he suggested I wanted to pick a fight and I loved drama... he didn't see anything inappropriate in his behaviour and I was being unreasonable. We were asked to turn our phones off.
After spending time and enthusiasm decorating and preparing meals for a large number of people for 2 dinner situations for him with his friends and his family he had nothing to say. I had to ask if everything was ok and did the room look nice. His response was impressive! That was it..
He did tell his friends what a good job I did but not to me.
I feel this condition is driven by his arrogance, lack of empathy
THE POSITIVE SIDE
Stays fit (physically in good shape & will not compromise his fitness to look and feel good for anything)
Is involved in school committees (finance & council)
Is always involved with his kids sports
Is always available for his kids
Does anything for them
Helpful for anyone who asks for help
Nothing is too much trouble and will be available for anyone who NEEDS him
Is supportive towards certain situations with me, when a friend comes to stay or family member with disability
Helpful if I need him to do anything (generally)
Has maintained professional positions until the last year which is when he started a business working from home
HELP.. I am ready to walk out.. I have suggested counselling and he suggested I organise it and he will attend. I feel sends signals of the person he wants people to see but for some reason is different towards his partners.
Mental Health Worker on January 10, 2012:
I have an interesting story to tell.
I always knew something was very wrong with my mother. I did not have a father- he was an alcoholic and left us. My mother did not drink or date around. I fought with her a great deal due to the put downs, envy and guilt. I then read self help books and tried my very best to make healthy choices and be a decent person.
I liked psychology and was in my masters program when I feel in love with a very intelligent successful man. We had natural chemistry. I had been seeing a therapist- psychoanalytic- for 2 years by the time I meet this man. He was very good at hiding who he really was.
About eight months into the relationship, I had walked away from him and gone home twice when he was acting bizarre. Both times he shaved his body- self harm. He lied about it and I was suspicious but had never seen anyone act this way. He lacked a sense of reality and his emotions where far too intense for the minor infraction at hand. He started to make mountains out of mole hills.
Unfortunately, my therapist started to tell me he was abused as a child and I needed to be more “relational”. I became the identified patient and kept this to myself. My friends became very worried about me as I lost my personality and isolated. This man was a millionaire and my therapist then decided she needed to raise her hourly price by three times and I was being undermined by her as well as my boyfriend- in the middle of getting my masters degree. Two years later- I was able to leave both of them after having a serious plan to commit suicide. I had never done that in my whole life.
I then started to work as a social work intern. Unfortunately, the college I went to did not teach us about personality disorders. The college taught basics psych history and cognitive behavior therapy skills.
After working in mental health through the county I learned everything about personality disorders. My mother was a narcissist, as was my father; my x is narcissistic and borderline. I have tried to avoid dysfunction in my life and remain as stable as possible but I now see that I forgot to do that in the job I chose and am now surrounded by personality disorders- mostly borderline and narcissistic.
The last ten years have been quit an eye opener- to say the least. I have been happily married to an awesome man (with a wonderful family I love) for the last five years.
My point is, not knowing about personality disorders was incredibly destructive to me. I had some deficits and vulnerabilities due to my childhood and was not able to see as clearly as someone from a more functional family. I had a therapist take complete advantage of me and then admit later she knew my boyfriend was borderline. She brushed it off but that knowledge would have set both him and me free. I have sense told him and he has done a lot of work and reading about it. It was healing for us to know this information and he apologized for how he treated ma and was disgusted by the way my therapist took advantage of us both. I turned her into the BBS and nothing was done. She had told me another family had turned her in for something else she had done. She is a very dangerous narcissist.
I now have a private practice and avoid personality disorders as I had my fill working for the county. I look back and wonder why personality disorders are not explained in high schools.
And what did not kill me has not made me stronger.
Tina on January 06, 2012:
Hello - I need help in dealing with my 25 year old daughter who I have now realized has these narcissistic traits. They seem to have developed once she left for college and was away from the family. She is an accomplished young lady who has done well for herself but she has no true friends and is an extremely unhappy person. She seems to have finally realized that she is selfish, stubborn, envious of others and uses lies and manipulation to get her way but she doesn't behave like she wants to change this. She is in therapy but it is for grief as her fiance finally had enough and left.She completely fell apart when that happened. That was the trigger that made her finally realize what she had been doing so I hope there is a window for healing. I would like to know the best way to help her. If she truly does recognize that she has these negative traits and wants to change them will she be able to? I cannot discuss anything with her as she seems to hold me responsible for all that has gone wrong for her. So how do I help her "see" what she truly is and get her to share this with her therapist so she can get the help she needs? I am learning not to be pulled into her antics anymore. Before I would beg to be let back into her good graces and do whatever I could to keep peace in our family. I know my "baby" is in there - I just want her back. Please help me.
Dannielle on January 06, 2012:
whats with the masive debate its not that important im gessing your all geeks!!!
Paul on January 04, 2012:
I have narcisisstic personality disorder. Should I hospitaize myself?