Wednesday, September 23, 2015


The first item you'll see in most descriptions of narcissists is that they are grandiose, that is, the narcissist exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements..... grandiosity may be described this way: An unrealistic sense of superiority, a sustained view of oneself as better than others" that causes narcissists to view others with disdain or see them as inferior. It also refers to a sense of uniqueness; the belief that few others have anything in common with oneself and that one can only be understood by a few or very special other words, is full of themselves and think they are “all that”.

You, by comparison, are a mere mortal who should love and admire the narcissist. The narcissist may believe that they are destined for greatness. My NarcX, for instance, told me she was one of the smartest people in the world and had an IQ higher than Einstein, and would win the Nobel Prize. When this doesn't match their actual life, they will often fabricate success and falsely lay claim to things that might make them looked up to, or exaggerate their own importance and position.

This is done so they can be admired by others, which they think, of course, that they deserve. My narc ex has written and self published several books which no one reads. If they sold 25 copies, it would be a lot for what she did. However, this allows her to say to others that she is a “published author”. She also touts her success, but in reality, she is broke and deep in debt, which, to her, is an injustice, given that she “deserves” to be rich.

Narcissists often tell all sort of random lies and exaggerate to an extraordinary degree. My NarcX claims to have lived in over two dozen places in the USA, but the real number is more like a dozen. Why? Because, to her, it makes her “story” more interesting. No amount of calling the narcissist on the lies will dissuade the narcissist from telling them.

Narcissists react in two main ways to “narcissistic injury” in which someone doesn't believe their lies, or accept that they are superior, and treats THEM as a mere mortal. One type of reaction is that they become very angry and may fly into a rage at not being treated like royalty, since they think they deserve admiration and respect. This sort of narcissist can be quite abusive when “dissed”, and they use their anger to dominate and control others.

Another reaction is the one that therapists call the “vulnerable narcissist”...this means the narcissist may act like a hurt victim, vulnerable and sensitive. I believe these are less TYPES of narcissists than strategies by narcissists, since my own NarcX does both, depending on what she believes will work best at the moment.

However, an apparently “vulnerable narcissist, while being grandiose, may also fear abandonment, and so, be quite controlling and insecure, forcing the partner to account for every second of time and every location, and imply that the partner is not being loving enough if they do normal things with friends. The partner's world can gradually collapse to the level that makes the narcissist most comfortable, which can be near imprisonment. The partner may be accused of infidelity, despite the fact that the narcissist is the unfaithful one. My (non expert) opinion is that this type of narcissist may have a secondary diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, but in any case, has some features of this disorder.

One obvious aspect of all narcissists is that they MUST have loyalty, and they react badly to anything they see as a betrayal, which may be merely disagreement with what they say or want, or failing to support their false self. My NarcX considered my son's desire to spend time with me as disloyalty, for instance.

When people are turned off by the narcissist's offensiveness, they have “turned against” the narcissist. My NarcX characterized the judgment of the Guardian ad litem and my son's therapist that I was a good father who deserved full parental them having turned against her, and she said so on the witness stand, much to the surprise of the judge. Personal loyalty takes precedence over truth and justice, or reason and common sense, which are irrelevant to the narcissist.

Narcissists are chameleons. They can be one thing, then another, so if you see both types of behavior in the narcissist, don't be surprised. However, some are mainly the overtly grandiose type, and others mainly the vulnerable type. I believe that these are strategies that the narcissist has discovered works for them, and they become expert in using that tactic.

One aside....the covert narcissist is also grandiose, but my wrap their grandiosity in fake humility, or pretended religious belief. However, the grandiosity can leak out, as when the narcissist frequently proclaims themselves a “person of God”.

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