Monday, October 22, 2012


From Joanna Ashmun's site.

Narcissists are  extremely sensitive to personal criticism. They think that they must be seen as perfect or superior or infallible or else they are worthless. They can't tolerate the least disagreement. Their reasoning seems to be something like "I am a good person and can do no wrong.  They will say, "You just have to accept me the way I am. (God made me this way, so God loves me even if you are too stupid to understand how special I am.)" Accepting them as they are (and staying away from them entirely) is excellent advice.  They can't see that they have a problem; it's always somebody else who has the problem and needs to change. There are usually a favored few whom narcissists regard as absolutely above reproach, even for egregious misconduct or actual crime, and about whom they won't brook the slightest criticism. These are people the narcissists are terrified of, though they'll tell you that what they feel is love and respect; apparently they don't know the difference between fear and love. Narcissists just get worse and worse as they grow older; their parents and other authority figures that they've feared die off, and there's less and less outside influence to keep them in check. 

Narcissists are totally and inflexibly authoritarian. In other words, they are suck-ups. They want to be authority figures and, short of that, they want to be associated with authority figures. In their hearts, they know they can't think well, have no judgment about what matters, are not connected with the world they inhabit, so they cling fanatically to the opinions of people they regard as authority figures -- such as their parents, teachers, doctors, ministers. Where relevant, this may include scientists or professors or artists, but narcissists stick to people they know personally, since they aren't engaged enough with the world to get their authoritative opinions from TV, movies, books or dead geniuses/saints/heroes. If they get in trouble over some or another opinion they've put forth, they'll blame the source -- "It was okay with Dr. Somebody," "My father taught me that," etc. If you're still thinking of the narcissist as odd-but-normal, this shirking of responsibility will seem dishonest and craven -- well, it is but it's really an admission of weakness: they really mean it: they said what they said because someone they admire or fear said it and they're trying to borrow that person's strength. 


jessie said...

This is a good "layman's" description of narcissists and I found it very informative. Some of those clinically descriptions are, well, clinical and don't adequately describe what they are really like.

I found the last paragraph to be particularly interesting. You put it brilliantly how they borrow opinions, brandish them as their own, and then dismiss them as someone else's should someone disagree. God forbid they have to defend their own mind.

mulderfan said...

An absolutely perfect description of my NF until the last paragraph. He has never admired or listened to any authority figure EVER because he IS the ultimate authority on everyone and everything!

Bess said...

Great post. I agree with Jessie - that last paragraph suits my mom to a T. Everything is because the bible says so, or god says so. And if ya call her on it, her comeback is that the bible says blah, blah, blah.

Bess said...

My NF, too!

Tundra Woman said...

Psycho had no living being she ADMIRED: They were all dead and therefore, not "available" for consult in terms of conformation of their alleged doings/sayings.
So that took them off the table as possible "sources" for validation for me.
Psychob feared authority-type figures that may have been tangentially associated with her life. Consequentially, they also were unavailable because she denigrated the hell out of them rendering them bogey-men, "undesirables" or more likely, monsters of some sort. (Never to their face or within the realm of their possible "hearing.") Essentially, they were "deleted" a la Service-Pro:"Like it never even happened."
She had NO friends: Zero, zip, nada. There were acquaintances in the earlier years, but they became a revolving door until the door revolved no more. She had burned every last person who came into her life. Long before the the normal process of aging where your friends become ill, die and the circle becomes "smaller" her's was essentially non-existant.
I'm not sure her "admiration" of others wasn't a covert form of envy, but her fear clearly was an OVERT form of envy. The dead ones were no competition; the "feared" were alive and living lives she felt SHE was "entitled" to in terms of respect and accomplishments. Those two qualities alone were enough to guarantee unbridled envy, nastiness and if possible-meaning, she wouldn't get "caught"-retribution, not simply because of their respect or accomplishments (although sufficient but not a necessary cause) but because they were GOOD people-a "necessary" cause.

Gladys said...

If Ranty Pants read something, it was TRUTH. As little kids, one day we could no longer eat bread - it was bad for you. Whoops, then milk. Whoops, then ketchup. And pancake syrup - we had to use honey. He read it in the Times, it has to be truth! He only respected anyone's opinion if it bolstered HIS. He hated doctors who whould tell him to quit smoking. Yet loved doctors who said rock music would damage our ears. Now of course I know he never 'read' any of that advice. It was all based on if we liked something, it must be taken away. POWER and CONTROL. The mechanisms inside the shell of a narc.

Bess said...

When I referenced NF, I was trying to link it to mulderfan's description of her NF. My NF just frickin' knew it all, and what he didn't care to pretend to know, he wasn't at all interested in.

q1605 said...

It reminds me of once living at my mothers. Her drain was clogged and I was going to fire up my compressor and blow some air through there. It works like a charm and doesn't eat up
the metal of the drain. She insisted that I used Draino.
So I did. As I was pouring it down her drain she started telling me about how metal reacts to acids and bases. No shit loon. That's what I just told you.
She then gnashed her teeth the whole time until the drain cleared and I could run fresh water down.

vicariousrising said...

God, my mother does shit like that. Tell me how wrong I am about something, then an hour later spout off my original stance as if it were her idea and claim "age read it somewhere."

Forget me trying to tell her than an hour earlier, I was her source. She just tells me I was wrong and look at me like I'm addled.

Anyone dealing with my mother needs to be careful of her sources if info because she tends to read things with blind spots for anything she doesn't want to hear or confirm what she needs to believe. It's like entire paragraphs disappear in a book, leaving just the words she likes.

Texarkana Friend said...

Upsi, happy birthday! I can't comment on your site because my decrepit eyesight won't let me prove I'm not a robot!!

upsi said...

Aww thanks Tex! I have a hard time proving I'm not a robot, too. I swear some of them are impossible.