What is the crux of narcissism?
For those of us who cogitate on narcissism 24/7, the concept begins to take on a life of its own. Before long, the word “narcissism” conjures a creature with the face of our husband, wife, father, mother, boyfriend, girlfriend plus horns, tail and pitchfork! This post is intended to bring us all up to the surface for a much needed gasp of fresh air. To refresh our recovery with a quick review of the basics of narcissism, before we dive into the morass of recovery again.
Narcissists are as various and unique as you and me. They may be wildly successful or a mooching deadbeat. They may be in-your-face obnoxious or the nicest person you’ll ever meet. They may be atheist, agnostic or devout, even a religious leader. They may be well-dressed and impeccably groomed or a halitosis breathing troglodytes. They may behave like a bleeding-heart, engulfing empath (I call them “chocolate”) or a cold-hearted standoffish neglectful narcissist (“vanilla”) or a twist cone (a little engulfing, a little neglectful). They may scream “narc” the first time you meet them or it may take years before seemingly disconnected incidents suddenly congeal into your “By George! They’re a narcisisst!” armchair diagnosis. They even be your mental health professional!
As a friend recently reminded me, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a spectrum disorder and we’re all on it somewhere. Given this endless variety in narcissists, let’s do a quick review of the basics to remind ourselves of why we originally identified that nice-nice-nice or mean-mean-mean person in our life as a narcissist. What is the crux of narcissism?... A big gaping hole where their self-worth should be revealed by their coping using the identified list of narcissistic coping mechanisms... The list of Narcissism Personality Disorder traits most websites provided tends toward the “vanilla” type of narcissist: grandiose, power-hungry, unfeeling towards others. But what if your narcissist is chocolate? What if they are devoted, retiring and caring to the point of smothering? So let’s boil it down to more bedrock clues that reveal you’re probably with a narcissists, whether chocolate, vanilla or twist.. Here’s my Top 5:
- Their words and their actions send two different messages.
- They are chronically jealous, especially of you.
- They are wildly critical of other people.
- Their “love” is painful.
- You are the problem.
Let’s explore each of these traits more deeply.... Words vs Actions
One of the most difficult challenges is to accept that the intellectual image our narcissist painted of themselves with their words is not at all the person they truly are.With narcissists, the expression dating back to 1628 rings as true now as it did then: “Actions speak louder than words.” What did your narcissist do? Nevermind what they said! What did they do!?! What story did their actions tell you? Did they claim they loved and cared about you so much and “felt your pain” while knowingly making your life a bloody misery? Then trust what they did, not what they said. Did they say you were the love of their life and they were true to you while having a fling in every port and twice on Sundays? Trust their actions. Did they talk long and loudly about their love for Jesus but never manifest the “Fruits of the Spirit”? That’s your clue!When I trusted my narc