Narcissism – Clinical vs. Vanity
I hear the words “narcissism” & “narcissist” used daily to describe someone. I caution the use of these words to define someone’s personality, as the truth of the matter is Narcissism is more than a condition of arrogance or extreme vanity; it is one of the Borderline Personality Disorders and it is a clinical condition. A Narcissist actually borders on the cusp of being a Sociopath, some would say they are sociopaths or minimally have sociopathic tendencies.
A Sociopath is someone who has an AntiSocial Personality Disorder which includes the inability to empathize, a larger than life ego, pathological liar, has no shame and is a master of manipulation. Clinical Narcissists are unable to own up to their mistakes, and will not take the blame for anything; after all they are perfect and incapable of making an error. It is always someone else’s fault. ALWAYS.
So, that Facebook friend who is posting all the selfies daily may just like to strut his or her stuff, s/he may enjoy the attention the photos yield, or the person may simply be proud of how s/he looks after dropping a ton of weight or is holding on to their glory years as best as s/he can. The difference is the guy or girl who appears to be very into their looks probably has a lot of close friends (Narcissists have very few if any close real friends), if the person hurt your feelings s/he would probably apologize and wonder what they did wrong, whereas a Narcissist would blame you for your own hurt feelings – it would somehow be your fault, but never the Narcissist’s fault. We all have friends who take a long time to get ready, worry a bit too much about their hair, are always looking in the mirror or a glass plate window checking themselves out, but this does not make the person a Narcissist, it makes your friend vain.
Trust me; I would date a cocky arrogant guy any day over a Narcissist. THERE IS A MASSIVE DIFFERENCE!!! Sadly, I had the misfortune of being with a Narcissist for a LONG four months, and it was the most excruciating break up of my life, mostly because the guy wanted to punish me and make sure I paid him the respect he felt he deserved. It was a whirlwind of a romance where we progressed at an incredibly fast pace, where we discussed marriage and engagement rings only two months in. He had two daughters from a previous marriage, and I was concerned about his lack of involvement in their lives, and I questioned him. Initially he had a sob story about how his ex wife, who didn’t want him involved in their lives, but being an inquisitive person and a Daddy’s girl I pressured him to confront his wife, and be more involved with his daughters. My suggestion didn’t go over well. He lied to me about a variety of sob stories of how others had done him wrong, which I came to find out were fabricated lies in which he flipped stories around when in actuality he was the one doing another wrong. He lied to me about not smoking and I gave him grief; he was never accountable for his actions, it was always someone else who made him do something. He smoked because I was making him stressed, so it was my fault. One time he was yelling at me over the phone at the top of his lungs (post breakup) in his car, and he said verbatim “People are looking at me because you’re making me yell, and I look like an idiot because of you!!!!”. Yes, I made him scream like a banshee… Come on now, okay, yes, I told him how I felt which was nothing nice, but I did not make him yell. But you get the picture… After the breakup, he made my life a living hell for a month, to the point I was on the verge of becoming an agoraphobic (scared to leave home!). In addition, he became engaged to a 24 year old (he was 38) less than two months after we broke up. Sadly, and I mean it when I say this, the marriage didn’t last more than a year. I hope not too much damage was done to the girl he married (wife number 4 at 39).
It irks me when I overhear gossipy conversations about someone who is a “narcissist” because the person is overly concerned with their looks. Yes, the arrogant vanity does tend to go hand in hand with Narcissism, but to describe someone with this serious clinical disorder is not something to be said lightly. Narcissists are toxic to the core. If they do something kind for you it is with the intention of a personal gain. Any emotions they show are mimicked from observing other human interactions, but to actually feel an emotion besides anger, rage, and self serving pleasure is impossible for a Narcissist. They are master manipulators and lie so much they actually believe their own lies to the point where you begin to question your own sanity.
There is so much to write on the clinical Narcissist I cannot cover the heinousness this personality disorder exhibits.
Ladies and men, just remember these words, if you meet someone who appears to be too good to be true, they probably are. Narcissists are the greatest charmers, they can read people very well, they will sweep you off your feet and study the things you adore, and appear to be all about you. They will lift you up so high your head is in the clouds and they will do this all in a very short span of time. They will be generous and insist on paying for everything and make you feel like a queen, but this charade only lasts for a short amount of time, as you are literally living in an illusion built with glass walls, and the moment life happens and you express any displeasure in someone’s behavior or oppose an opinion, get ready to see what a 180 degree turn looks like. You will see ugly on a whole different level you never imagined possible, and you will question yourself, as you will be beyond floored.
Psychologists say that only less than 1% of the population are clinical narcissists, and I pray this is true.
Beware of the perfect guy or girl, as s/he does not exist. We are all flawed, but a Narcissist believes they are not only perfect, they are close to divine and you better bow down and worship or be prepared to be punished and experience the gaslighting fire balls of hell.
On that note 😉 Peace & love – Rachel
Great post on this topic.
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