It seems that a lot of DLers have had relationships with people who have personality disorders \
Can we do a thread on what to look for and avoid
I'm currently dating somebody with NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Here's what to look for:%0D
Narcissists expect and demand that the ones nearest and dearest to them, tolerate, admire, love, and cater to their needs. They expect others to be at their immediate disposal. Their behavior is obnoxious, aloof, and indifferent and they are aware of this. Narcissists test the mental limits of peoples patience. Individuals in a relationship with a narcissist feel something is not "quite right," and many seek answers to the unsettling experience of day to day life with a narcissist.%0D
Narcissistic individuals do not tend to be physically abusive, although there are some out there that are. Their worst weapon is their mouth. With their mouth they spit verbal negations and dispense emotional abuse. Their vocal cords are their method of attempting to control others. %0D
Narcissists do not have the emotional capacity to provide support or understanding to others. There are numerous defense mechanisms which narcissists use to confuse and unbalance those around them. Organization is unknown to narcissistic individuals and they avoid future plans if it concerns pleasing another for some reason not evident to them. They do not want anyone thinking highly of them for several reasons. First, their sense of self as special, unique and deserving keeps them grounded at maintenance level in their relationships. Maintenance level is just enough, just in time to keep the folly of the relationship moving forward., but just enough and no more. To expend more energy on the relationship would cause others to feel some degree of predictability in the whole affair, contributing to the happiness of the ones they already envy for having the ability to feel love is not an activity in which narcissists wish to participate. %0D
Second, if another thinks highly of the narcissist then there are expectations which that person has that the narcissist must fulfil. The narcissist, however, does not intend to fill anyone's expectations except that of his/ her own.%0D
Happiness, joy, and the effort to please others is not normally undertaken by the narcissist except in the beginning or potential ending relationship. At either of these points, the narcissist may be charming, helpful, pleasing and amusing beyond imagination, but this effort is only used to obtain a new narcissistic supply source or to win back the affection of an important source if abandonment appears eminent. At all other times, the narcissist believes his/ her presence, is clearly and abundantly sufficient to maintain the loyalty, trust, affection, and respect of those which the narcissist already considers his/ her object, so the narcissist will postpone, withhold, or procrastinate the continuing efforts that are essential to maintaining any kind of meaningful relationship. A narcissistic person is unable to fake the emotion of love for another for a long period of time. This impairs the capacity for a committed relationship with a narcissist. %0D
Narcissists can perform obligations in the global areas of their lives and with strangers quite well, but with those individuals they have already captured, they find the expenditure of civil treatment taxing to their mental reserve and not really necessary. They routinely display to their captured objects their worst traits. These may include abuse of alcohol, verbal negations or other behaviors that tend to keep people at a distance and not allow any close interpersonal strength to develop.
Rihanna, bitch I''m getting tired of this passive aggressive shit. Ain''t shit wrong with me! So STFU I have albums to sell! Am I going to have to start breaking shit around here?\
And FUCK that manly bitch Robin Roberts!
r1, why are you "currently" dating someone with NPD? Life''s short, and narcissists are a lot of fun to dump.
On a shallow note, he is the best looking/sexiest guy I have been with since I was a teenager 20 years ago. I am so physically attracted to him and I do care about him, but as we know a Narcissist can only love himself.%0D\
R1, that described my ex perfectly.
Major mood swings -- huge sign that something''s off. In the early stages of a relationship/friendship, you don''t know that person as well as you''d like, so you think it''s just that person having a bad day or a really good day or whatever.
Narcissism used to be a disorder. Now it''s the norm.
Depending on how good your "gut" is, OP, I''d say paying attention to any squicky or uncomfortable feelings you get when you meet someone and first begin to know them. In my case, I could have headed off a few problems if I''d paid attention and trusted my own feelings about certain people. Instead, I questioned myself and told myself I was just being judgmental since there was nothing concrete at the time I could put my finger on to justify the reaction I was having. I''ve since learned that our subconscious is always picking up on very subtle signals, and we do well to pay attention to them. Even if we can''t consciously give a reason for why we think someone''s off, that doesn''t mean we aren''t right. In fact, when I get uncomfortable around someone who seems "perfect" upon first meeting, that''s when I know to run for the hills.
My first love became one of those people who is only attracted to criminals, thugs, and bad boys. Is there a "condition" for that?%0D
I started to get friendly with a guy who seemed just a little "off" from the beginning. I thought he was just socially awkward.The closer we got, the less predictable he became. Eventually he''d have episodes during which he''d be overtly hostile for no apparent reason. I got tired of feeling like I was expected to apologize for things I knew nothing about, so I stopped having anything to do with him.
If one or both of your parents was truly narcissistic be careful! It''ll be easy to fall into relationships with narcissistic men (or women). My mother was extremely narcissistic and I''ve had 2 romantic relationships with narcissistic men. I''m very aware of what to look for nowadays and I stay the hell away from narcissists.
[quote]I''ve since learned that our subconscious is always picking up on very subtle signals, and we do well to pay attention to them. Even if we can''t consciously give a reason for why we think someone''s off, that doesn''t mean we aren''t right. In fact, when I get uncomfortable around someone who seems "perfect" upon first meeting, that''s when I know to run for the hills.\
r8 is absolutely right. If something doesn''t seem right, but you don''t know what it is, don''t ignore that feeling out of a misplaced fear of being "unfair" to this new person. Pay attention to it. \
In "The Gift of Fear" (a really interesting read), Gavin de Becker says people often credit their dogs with a sixth-sense -- "Barkley never liked him from the beginning!". He says it''s far more likely Barkley is picking up on subconscious cues that the owner''s uncomfortable, rather than having doggie insight into someone the dog has never met before.
When someone tells you who they are, believe it.\
A motto to live by.
Look for and avoid people with Personality disorders
I have a huge crush on a girl who is in a VERY unhealthy symbiotic relationship with a woman 20 years her senior.
Also, I've just discovered I suffer from the 'pleasing' syndrome.. need to work on that asap!
Taking a course on how to be a selfish but happy asshole..
Most gays have personality disorders.
That's why they got beaten up in school.
(They sure as hell weren't sucking dick in front of people)
R16, what kind of personality problems do you think makes them shunned?
I knew of one extremely bossy and fussy gay guy who tried to take over and control every event, he'd tell everyone what to do in group projects, he'd throw a fit and whine if he didn't get his way, and nobody ever wanted to say anything because he was gay and outgoing. It was weird.
Of course, he thought he was 'fabulous'.
gay men have a very high rate of NPD!
R8 and R12 great posts.
R8 and R12 are correct. I teach my students that significant countertransference (what comes up for the therapist when she or he is with a client), and interactions that leave her or him wondering, feeling as if something just wasn't right during the session is a strong indicator for characterological psychopathology (also known as a personality disorder).
'The Gift of Fear' author Gavin de Becker. Apparently he's very hypocritical/selective and doesn't follow his own advice:
[quote]Narcissistic individuals do not tend to be physically abusive, although there are some out there that are.
Yes, that's also true of people without any personality disorder or mental health disorder in general though.
[quote]It seems that a lot of DLers have personality disorders
Well R23, maybe the 'people they know' are just their alternate personalities.
R23: [quote]Well [R23], maybe the 'people they know' are just their alternate personalities.
Stop talking to yerself, R23
Look what you did, R25. Now I'm all confused.
Oh hi Cheryl, it's R25/23/24 here.
Like your posts BTW.
Does a sock puppet account count as a second personality?
Freud and some of his followers (I believe including the leading 'expert' on NPD, Otto Kernberg), believe that Narcissism is present in many homosexuals - and in fact, they believe that it's the cause of homosexuality, at least in some cases.
At some point in early childhood, the child rejects loving 'others' and turns libido (kind of like 'lust' but an early form of it) to the self.
Well, obviously, if you're a man, a woman isn't very much like yourself but another man is. So it's like they fall in love with a mirror image.
Well, that's the theory. Maybe it's 100% wrong in every case but the theory has held sway since Freud, which is a very long, among many, if not most, psychoanalysts.
And I believe I've seen that kind of gay man - who is incapable of truly 'loving' relationships because they really only love themselves. And they destroy any relationship that becomes demanding on them, to be loyal or self-sacrificing, etc.
However, I've also seen gay men who have none of those characteristics, so I don't know if I believe that Freud et al. were partially correct sometimes - or just totally on the wrong track.
Few have studied Lesbianism - few care about it, lol - but I have read some theories that it sometimes is the result of an overbearing mother and a loving father - that they identify with and want to BE - and because of the difficulties with their mothers, they can never really accept their own femininity -- well, that obviously couldn't explain all Lesbians because some are very femme.
How far removed is Jung's work from the work of Freud?
I don't know but I know they were very close, personally and their theories and such - maybe Jung was a disciple of Freud? - and then they had a major disagreement. I don't think it had to do with personality disorders or Narcissism - Freud first wrote on the subject in 1914 and he himself said he was only scratching the surface and there was much more to be worked out.
He seems to have abandoned the complicated subject - and his break with Jung continued to his death in the late 1930's. I wish I knew more about Jung - he believed in personality "archetypes" and there's a incredible blogger on the subject of Narcissism ("Joanna Ashmun" - you can Google and you'll find her blog) and she claims to have figured out her homelife situation, ruined by a Narcissistic parent, by going to a 'Jungian analyst', which leads me to believe that Jung did work on personality disorders - but I haven't read any of his works - though I've read a LOT of Freud and Kernberg on the subject.
My mother has NPD. It's hell. I'll quote Joanna Ashmun: "The only good advice I ever got, first from my non-narcissistic parent and then my Jungian analyst, was to get out and stay out."
Oh - I think the jury's out on whether Narcissism is somehow intrisically related to homosexuality or if it's just a coincidence that some gays have NPD - people of all sexual orientations have it.
But it IS associated with people in show business, politics, and high echelons of business (CEO's that lie, cheat and steal without any conscience, etc.)
I just learned a whole lot from you, thank you so much. I have a narcissistic person in my life (not my partner) who I absolutely loathe, and you just gave me some understanding on what he is all about. He seems to like to fuck with peoples heads, and he actually also seems bi-polar at times, as well as passive aggressive. But one thing for sure, he's evil, and I find it best not to get too involved with him. Unfortunately, he is now my boss.
"It seems that a lot of DLers have had relationships with people who have personality disorders"
Yes, they're Onanists.
Line of coke, Sig?
Nice Joanna died in 2009. Too bad -- I would have liked to hear more from her...
Oh man, I agree R36. I've Googled her and of all things her name comes up a lot in connection with astrology, of all things - but anyway, she posted her Narcissistic PD stuff in the 90's when almost NO ONE knew anything about it. She's astoundingly accurate.
Another sadly deceased expert is Kathy Krajco. You can find her book "What Makes Narcsissists Tick" for free online. She was a ex-tennis-pro and was still coaching when she was found suspiciously dead! Her narcissistic sister lived across the street and she brazenly wrote about her narcissistic family, including her sister, and some wonder if she wasn't murdered by said sister.
This is an insidious disease - and some say it really should be considered as a form of psychopathy or sociopathy instead of its own milder designation of narcissism. I've read, and believe, that Narcissists will do ANYthing they can get away with - that's what restrains most of them. But when they get the power of a Hitler or a Stalin or a Saddam Hussein, look out!
Hell, look out for all of them. They have no conscience.
Overwhelming charisma may really be bi polar disorder. If that is the case, RUN!!!!!!!!!!!! There is no relationship possible with bipolars unless they are in the care of a doctor and on carefully regulated meds. You cannot win over it otherwise.
It sort of seems like everyone is NPD nowadays.
Freud did not say homosexuality was narcissism. What a load of bullshit you are peddling. Homosexuality was considered a disorder of early childhood and it didn't need an "explanation" any different than any of the other disorders, all of which dated from early personality development and every single one of which involved the ego. It would have made no sense at all to indicate "narcissism" in such a scheme for any disorder.
Anyway, I don't like de Becker's approach because intuition is often misleading.
I remember a post on asg or agc back in 2002 or so that said everything has gotten so fucked up because we'd allowed NPD people to have self-esteem. They were always a problem before, but once critical summations of behavior were discouraged, they bloomed like evil flowers and have taken over most of our institutions...
...and stay in power by making critical summations of anyone they consider a threat.
I remember a post in here where a person who processed Workman's Comp insurance claims said that in most, HR accused the injured employee of having NPD.
It's like whoever makes the first overt accusation wins.
Yes, Freud did theorize that narcissism and homosexuality were related. From his (only) treatise on the subject, "On Narcissism, an Introduction" which Freud himself wrote and which was published in 1914:
"...Psycho-analytic observers were substantially struck by the fact that individual features of the narcissistic attitude are found in many people who suffer from other disorder - for instance, as Sadger has pointed out, in homosexuals..."
Later in the same essay:
"...We have discovered, especially clearly in people whose libidinal development has suffered some disturbance, such as perverts and homosexuals, that in their later choice of love-objects they have taken as a model not their mother but their own selves. They are plainly seeking 'themselves' as a love-object, and are exhibiting a type of object-choice which must be termed 'narcissistic'. In this observation we have the strongest of the reasons which have led us to adopt the hypothesis of narcissism..."
And still later in the same essay:
"...large amounts of libido of an essentially homosexual kind are drawn into the formation of the narcissistic ego ideal and find outlet and satisfaction in maintaining it..."
He clearly connects the two - narcissism and homosexuality. The book is expensive to buy but you can check from your library an edition published in 1991 by Yale University Press, edited by Joseph Sandler, et al., named "Freud's 'On Narcissism: An Introduction."
Freud went on, in the essay, to talk about very beautiful women who fall in love themselves - that they are in a situation similar to homosexual men - they have chosen themselves as their primary 'love object.'
He does not address Lesbianism in relation to Narcissism, at least in this essay, though he does address other failures (and the results of those failures) in both genders to attach properly to their mothers and to their fathers - and the resultant problems in personality development in those children.
Let me tell you something, those of you spouting Freud's theories as though he was right. Freud was full of shit. Full. Of. Shit. And he knew it.
Don't be using Freudian or Jungian theories to explain human behavior. It's very ignorant. Psychology has come a long way since those theories.
As for narcissists: if you find yourself attracted to one, take a good long look at yourself. The Narcissistic-Borderline couple is a common one.
Also, the above poster is right. When someone tells you who they are, believe them. People often will tell you exactly who they are. For instance, a Narcissist may say "I have a black heart. All of my exes hate me. I'm not a good person, etc."
Those kinds of statements are not self-deprecation. They're truly how that person views himself/herself. And even though there are many layers to a person, they tend to behave in self-fulfilling ways. Meaning, if they think it, they will be it.
Well, I'm R44 who was answering R40's contention that Freud never made a connection between homosexuality and narcissism, which he most certainly did - as did many of his followers, including Otto Kernberg, who is still alive and is considered the main expert on narcissism in the world.
I never maintained that Freud or even Kernberg were right about what they theorize - and in fact, I personally know so many examples that counter their beliefs. Maybe there are more narcissists among homosexual men, but I'm far from convinced by these two experts whose work I'm very familiar with.
I'm more likely to believe there's a clear connection between narcissism and beautiful women (which Freud also suggested) and people in certain lines of work, such as show business, politics, and high-flying business types.
So, in other words, homosexuals aren't sick people. Sick people are homosexuals.
We've come a long way, baby!
Meanwhile, Freud was a genius and a pioneer in his field, but psychology, like everything else moves on. How many of the world's top physicians thought sickness was caused by ill humours in the blood and thought bleeing their patients was the best course? Before Lister, did science actually believe that invisible organisms existed or caused disease?
I love how people quote Freud like he is still the leading authority on psychology. Did you know Freud thought all charges of childhood sexual abuse were imagined by the patient, because he himself couldn't accept such a thing occurred, in spite of first hand accounts from his own patients?
And yet, homophobes and deluded assholes on this thread still promote the "homosexuality = narcissism" or whatever other bullshit on this thread.
With "friends" like you, who needs enemies?
I'm the one who quoted Freud and I don't believe he was right at all - and I've been saying that, but it just occurred to me why he CAN'T be right.
Homosexuals have DESIRE for people of the same sex. Narcissists don't have desire for anyone. They just have a need for people to be their slaves or tools to get what they want. Then they have no interest.
They're asexual. Or maybe autosexual. But they are neither heterosexual or homosexual, not really, because they have no 'desire' to have a real, sharing relationship with any other person. And I don't believe they really enjoy sex with another person (at least not any more than they enjoy masturbation.) People are simply tools to a Narcissist, like your toaster or your vacuum cleaner. They don't really even see others as 'people' at all, must less have sexual or romantic desire for human beings.
But Freud himself said he'd only just begun to consider narcissism and he knew his early steps were tentative and very likely to be proven wrong. I don't think he understood the extent of disorder in the true Narcissist - they can't feel for anyone but themselves, ever, so how can they be homosexual? (or het, for that matter.) Answer: They can't.
This is all good advice, especially R8.
Just don't go too far in the other direction and start using this kind of amateur-psych stuff on anyone in your life who has the occasional bad mood or is sometimes darkly sarcastic/edgy.
What R45 said --
But Freud's daughter put together an interesting list of behaviors and what they mean -- my experience has showed she is on to something, where as my life has left me laughing at her dad.
I'd like to recommend "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout. It helped me see the light about my last boyfriend, who ended up stalking me. Another good one is "Emotional Vampires: dealing with people that drain you dry" by Albert Bernstein.
One thing I've learned to pay attention to is how I feel after I've spent time with someone. If I feel emotionally drained and exhausted, I have serious second thoughts about seeing them again.
Technically is that would a simpler explain be he's a self self-centered asshole?
[quote]If something doesn't seem right, but you don't know what it is, don't ignore that feeling out of a misplaced fear of being "unfair" to this new person. Pay attention to it.
So true. Not doing so has always fucked me up.
[quote]When someone tells you who they are, believe it. A motto to live by.
I have Avoidant Personality Disorder (diagnosed several years ago) and it makes dating pretty difficult. For one thing, I tend to avoid situations where I expose myself to the possibility of being rejected. That means I rarely go to bars and when I do, I only talk to the people I came with--ignoring potential dates. Also, I try to avoid conflict, but I also have the tendency to court it by being closed off/unapproachable. My last couple of relationships ended because I was "emotionally unavailable" with one guy and I bailed out of fear with the other. Actually, all of my breakups are technically bad because as soon as things get shaky, I implement a torched earth strategy (I say whatever it takes to hurt the other person and cut off communication once in for all...which makes it pretty hard to go back and apologize!).
My sister was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and it seems like her dating life is pretty difficult too. She's a great person (beautiful, smart, funny, caring), but it's hard to find someone who compliments her personality type rather than exacerbates it by feeding her insecurities.
R54, I am curious - if you are self-aware enough to know that this is what you're like, wreaking bad relationship karma on whoever you get with -- why do you even try to be in a relationship?
R55, to be fair, I average about 2 years between relationships (30 years old here). I know I have issues and I make an effort to work on them, but I tend to go back in "survival mode" when I feel like my sense of security is threatened. I approach relationships the same way a transient would try to jump onto a moving train. I'm very methodical and I have to find the right moment to getting into the dating mindset, so that once I'm in I'm completely present. I also work to be mindful of when I might be hurting the other person; however, in my past few relationships I felt like I was doing more nurturing than I was receiving in return. It because overwhelming and I totally checked out both times.
At the end of the day, I'm like most other people: I'd like to find love...someone to enjoy the small moments, as well as the big moments, with. I'm not a bad guy and considering my personality disorder is manageable as long as I make an effort to change, there's no reason to not pursue a relationship.
I take offense to your bad relationship karma statement only because while it seems like I'm tricking poor innocent guys to torment, there's a lot more nuance that can't be conveyed in a simple post. Also, for what it's worth: My past two exes both admitted that they had been prescribed antidepressants, but they had both felt creatively stifled by the effects (one was a writer, the other a musician). I also quit my meds for a year when I was dating the writer. It's not a good idea to give up on treatment cold turkey, regardless of the reasons. People prone to depression often have a hard time relating to each other...that's probably why we're often drawn to people with completely different personality types.
My favourite is the psychopath / sociopath.
The difference between the two is it is believed
that one is manifested due to genetic factors and the other social.
P-sychopathic traits come from a genetic problem i.e. born fucked up .e.g. Macauley Culkins character in the Good Son.
Sociopathic traits come from social factors i.e. gang membership or abuse and cruelty.
Both come under ASPD anti social personality disorder - feel free to wiki it.
The traits are pretty much the same and the prognosis is poor. Basically, when you spot one at work, in love or relationships get the fuck away. It is believed that it is not treatable and these people are massively dangerous as they are pure parasites and everyone serves a purpose in their lives and act as their host.
I dated a guy who was a pure sociopath, after I sent him packing I realised he was trying to access my credit card and bank details to defraud me. He was unsuccessful only because I figured out what he was and he figured the game was up.
Please click the link for lovefraud.com.
It will be the best education you will get for free, and you will realise how many of these people we meet throughout our lives.
I've been in a relationship with a borderline. My advice to recognize and avoid is to find out if the person has any healthy relationships with people in their past. Borderlines are big bridge burners and can't maintain long term close relationships.
When discussing past friends, he may try to make it seem as those he was dropped or victimized by the other person, and that's why they're no longer friends. Same applies to family members. Or she may claim she simply doesn't know why she can't maintain relationships.
The point is, R46, that Freud did not mean by "narcissism" what you mean by "narcissism."
He said someone who chooses himself as a sex object is BY DEFINITION narcissist, which of course, means that every man who masturbates is a narcissist or EVERYONE.
And why did Freud say it was the self that was the object of desire and not the same sex parent? Because it would have overturned his dump Oedipal/Electra theories.
Freud also claimed that everyone is somehow bisexual, and said lots of things against women.
As for personality disorders or mental illnesses, if someone is bipolar STAY AWAY! They might be OK if they are on meds but make sure the meds are working and that they keep taking their meds. I know it's not a personality disorder but it's a major red flag and if someone's bipolar they should be avoided.
R63, I started dating this great looking guy who was always full of energy and had a thousand creative ideas a minute (slight exageration). Someone said his apartment was decorated well, and he immediately went out and had cards made up which called him an interior decorator. He also claimed to be psychic, and gave me a health reading that was 100% WRONG, after I checked it out with a doctor.
Nonetheless, he was a tremendous lover and had energy to try just about anything, the kind of guy who would take up skydiving just because there was nothing else on his schedule next Saturday.
His energy was incredibly intoxicating and I was deeply in-lust with him.
However, one night everything totally turned. I received a call from him crying. I went to his apartment and he was curled up in a fetal position in a corner. Then he told me that he was bi-polar, and stopped taking his meds when he moved to Los Angeles. I took him to an ER where they gave him some of the bi-polar meds but told me that he was in no shape to live an independent life. I got hold of his older sister in Pennsylvania, who immediately flew out and got him, saying he would live with her family. I'll never forget the dark red eyes (from crying) he had as he turned to me at the airport and quietly said "Thank you. I'm sorry".
Since then I've learned that it is extremely tempting for a bi-polar person during the manic phase (full of energy) to convince themselves that they are not bi-polar and do not need medications. The 'high' phase can last from weeks to (in this case) several months. So the patient stops taking the meds and eventually crashes.
He will always have a place in my heart, but by the time he left, I was exhausted and relieved. This kind of continual drama is just not a good way to live.
I met this guy in a nightschool class. I could tell he was gay, and after class he detained me to talk. He said I was a very interesting guy and had made many brilliant comments in class. He said he wanted to get to know me. We planned to do coffee, and he gave me a big hug.
I was attracted to him. We went to coffee and he revealed that he wasn't attracted to me at all physically (which was like being punched in the stomach - I realized how much I took my good looks for granted as a bedroom door opener). He just thought we had a real lot in common.
OK, fine. We got together a couple times for an afternoon of philosophical talk. I must add at this point that the guy had a PHD in history and always introduced himself as DOCTOR. I realized that this title was very important to him. In the nightschool class we had to create name tags. His had DOCTOR in giant letters, then his name in small letters below it. (Roll the eyes).
Anyway, I am only writing this because I am not sure he has "disorders", but when we get together 99.5% of the time HE talks. I get to talk if he asks me a question. If I share any information, he evaluates it for its truth content or usefulness to HIM. For example, I used to be a technical writer. He immediately tried to convince me that we should try to write a scientific article together (so the DOCTOR) could get his name in some posh science magazine?
He said that he suffered from continual anxiety but I relieved it. I was evidently a highly spiritual person (!) he said, because after talking to me for a few hours he felt such peace and bliss.
I felt restlessness and boredom. I know I'm shallow, but hell, if there wasn't going to be any sex involved (where I get to have some fun) and all we are doing is having me listen to him chatter on and on about 19th century history and the famous people he knows, well, where's the beef? Where's the payoff for me in the relationship? I love to make friends (sex is not necessary), but something just feels very odd about this guy. Another friend said the same thing to me.
I've been keeping away from him, but he calls and says that he deeply misses me and that our "conversations" (to me I'd call it a monologue) are deeply important to him.
Any amateur diagnosis?
Just avoid all closet cases (and Actors)
I think some of the postrs in here need to take a look at themselves and ask why they label everybody around them narcissists.
I live with someone who has undiagnosed Avoidant Personality Disorder. It's dangerous to self-diagnose or look for mental disorders that fit your friends or loved ones' behaviors. But in this case, it's warranted. The diagnostic criteria for APD is something like four of nine characteristics; he has all nine of them.
He knows he has something. He likes to "joke" that he's autisitic. Turns out, Avoidant PD goes hand-in-hand with people on the autism spectrum.
I cannot tell you how insanely maddening and frustrating it is to not know when something I say or do will set him off. I'll give an example. A few days ago, I was looking for the sea salt in the kitchen. I innocently asked "do we have any sea salt left?" because it wasn't in the usual spot and he was the last to use it.
Well, he exploded. It was like I accused him of torturing and killing puppies or something. He started yelling that he didn't know, he used some and why was I accusing him of using it all up, there was some left when he last used it and he knew I had a whole new jar somewhere, etc. And then he was yelling something about me always being mean to him. I tried to diffuse things by saying "relax, I'm just looking for the salt, I'm not accusing you of anything." But that only made things worse. He got up and stormed out and avoided me for the rest of the day. He made a special trip to buy new salt, too.
I never know when I'm going to get a reaction like that. It could have gone the other way with him saying "I used it up." Which is what he did, he used it all. I think he was afraid that I would disapprove or think less of him because he used all the salt. And that is what is so crazy about personality disorders. Something that you or I would brush aside is a life-shattering event for people with PDs. Believe me, the salt thing was NO BIG DEAL. But to him, it was devastating.
I try to reassure him and I try to explain things in a reasonable way. You know, that things happen in life and they're ordinary and unimportant. If you use the last of some item, you just put it on your shopping list. But he doesn't absorb those messages.
He often says he would be better off alone. But I know he yearns for connections with others. It frustrates me and I have no idea what more I can do. I've gotten to the point where I just let him have his fit. If he wants to feel better, he can make an effort to address his issues.
But that seems increasingly unlikely. He's gone to therapists before and they have misdiagnosed him. Because of that, their treatment didn't work so of course he's down on therapy.
R54, if you have suggestions on how to live with people like you, I'd love to hear them.
R68, Freudian slip! Reread your last line. I have no idea what it means, if anything.
The most 'mentally ill' people seem to congregate in Washington DC, New York City, and Los Angeles.
R65, it sounds like your friend is extremely insecure. Has absolutely no self-worth. He is using you to feel better about himself.
If you think there's any hope of having a friendship with him, you might try honesty. Tell him "our conversations may be fulfilling for you but for me, they are draining. You dominate the conversation and only care about my life as it relates to yours. This has to change if we are to continue a friendship."
I have found that such people do not and will not change. But I tend to give people the chance so that when I sever ties, I know I've tried everything within my power.
The "doctor" thing is a real clue to his inner life, I think.
Someone with avoidance probably wouldn't "explode" on you on a regular basis r68. Cuz you know, they tend to avoid things like that.
R69, I was asking r54, someone with APD, for suggestions on how to live with someone with APD. What Freudian slip do you think I committed? I addressed a question to a poster who said he has a personality disorder.
Not true, r72. People with Avoidant Personality Disorders are not shrinking violets. They will and do have extreme emotional outbursts if they are trying to protect themselves. I've done a lot of research on APD and I've talked to mental health experts about it. An extreme emotional outburst in response to what he perceives as a "threat" or rejection is a common response in people with APD.
R73, now I understand that you were directly speaking to someone in the thread, so the Freudian slip vanishes, leaving me standing here naked, alone, and suspecting that the ants in my backyard are really mechanical bugging devices to spy on me for the CIA. I'm sorry I dragged you into this, and hope that no ant is reading this.
Father, brother, grandfather, all bipolar.
[quote] Freud also claimed that everyone is somehow bisexual
Well, he got one thing right.
[quote]if someone is bipolar STAY AWAY! They might be OK if they are on meds but make sure the meds are working and that they keep taking their meds. I know it's not a personality disorder but it's a major red flag and if someone's bipolar they should be avoided.
I agree with R72 and I've been officially diagnosed with Avoidant Personality Disorder. Being openly belligerant is not a trait - APD's are scared of being disapproved of to an extreme extent and are very unlikely to 'explode' on anyone.
What you described sounds like Narcissistic, Antisocial, Histrionic, or possibly Borderline PD. But not Avoidant or Schizoid. They cower in the corner and never initiate confrontations - and basically avoid most kinds of interactions - Avoidants because they're afraid and Schizoids because they don't care about human interaction.
Here's a checklist of Avoidant Personality Disorder characteristics:
People with avoidant personality disorder are preoccupied with their own shortcomings and form relationships with others only if they believe they will not be rejected. Loss and rejection are so painful that these individuals will choose to be lonely rather than risk trying to connect with others.
Hypersensitivity to rejection/criticism
Self-imposed social isolation
Extreme shyness or anxiety in social situations, though the person feels a strong desire for close relationships
Avoids physical contact because it has been associated with an unpleasant or painful stimulus
Feelings of inadequacy
Severe low self-esteem
Mistrust of others
Emotional distancing related to intimacy
Self-critical about their problems relating to others
Problems in occupational functioning
Lonely self-perception, although others may find the relationship with them meaningful
Feeling inferior to others
In some more extreme cases — agoraphobia
Utilizes fantasy as a form of escapism and to interrupt painful thoughts
Some of you treat personality disorders as concrete diagnoses with perfect, unbreachable boundaries.
They are not. One can be Avoidant and exhibit histrionic or narcissistic, etc. characteristics. This is why the newest version of the DSM will contain new categories for the personality disorders. So, in a nutshell, yes, someone with Avoidant personality disorder may behave as r68 describes, especially if they're interacting with a loved one.
Question: what is the name for the personality disorder for people who seek (consciously or not) and maintain relationships with Narcissists?
R60 nailed a borderline's biggest tell.
I have AvPD (Avoidant Personality Disorder) and I would agree with r72/r79 who said that those with AvPD are not likely to have aggressive emotional outbursts, since we fear rejection and associate open conflict with rejection. I virtually never have fights with friends or lovers, because I feel that if I vocalize any hostility, I'll be making myself vulnerable to rejection. People with AvPD are much more likely to display nonverbal passive-aggression and indirect (ie, avoidant) communication if they're upset. Or if we feel that the other person is being hostile towards us (whether they are or not), we're more likely to walk away from the relationship or withdraw emotionally (again, avoid conflict) than to try and address the problem.
In my case, I can get in fights with my close relatives and blow off steam or hash out problems with them, probably because I know they're family and won't reject me and disappear from my life (like a bf or friend potentially could).
The kinds of outbursts and fits r68 spoke of are not an AvPD trait, except in instances when the person with AvPD is doing what r54 has done: deliberately and willfully picking a fight for the purpose of irrevocably ending a relationship (the AvPD "reject him before he rejects you" mentality).
However, as r83 says, many personality disorders are comorbid, and AvPD is very often concurrent with other PDs or issues. r68, it definitely sounds like your bf needs counseling but of course there's nothing you could say to make him go: it's up to him whether he wants to make an effort to get better. From your description it sounds like he's got problems with paranoia and is intolerant of any perceived criticism. Those traits don't make for very successful therapy patients. AvPD alone is considered to be among the most treatable of the PD's because people with AvPD usually are unable to get into or maintain meaningful relationships and we are lonely and yearn for connection, so we're willing to get help. Even then, progress is typically slow and difficult. Most personality disorders are untreatable (as most people who have them are incapable of conceiving that [italic]they[/italic] are the one with the problem), so even the treatable ones (like AvPD) are a hard road to hoe.
Your bf sounds unwilling to get help and, since he's already in a relationship with you and you're tolerant of his sea salt spats, he probably does not have much incentive (ie, loneliness) to change.
If you love him and are willing to take him as he is and not expect him to improve, bully for you, mate. But, as you're already resorting to [italic]asking people with personality disorders for relationship advice on DL[/italic], it might be best for both you and your bf to end the relationship now.
An excellent reply, R84. I have avoidant PD and have grown out of much of it. I'd still almost always turn down a party invitation or even a lunch with a friend, but I can do it - and have managed university, jobs, relationships, etc., and the anxiety has lessened with age.
Therapists haven't helped at all - though their meds (benzodiazepines) have helped me get through major social functions. Gentle exposure helps but maybe I've got a less severe case than some others with AvPD.
I agree with you that anyone can have an outburst, especially if they trust you won't leave (or if they don't care if you do), but the Avoidants are the least likely to do that. I think this man's problem is something else - maybe on top of Avoidant, if he has that at all. It's not that easy to diagnose and many people try to do it on one or two traits that they've occasionally observed, when it's more complicated than that.
People with Borderline Personality Disorder might be beautiful, smart, funny, and interesting. But they cannot be great people, or at least they're not great to know and interact with.
More about avoidant people and those with social anxiety disorders, please. As much as you can post.
R87 - the type of personality disorder called "Avoidant" is probably the most treatable of all. It's like any phobia - controlled exposure and 'talk therapy' - unlearning the 'run and hide' coping mechanisms that got you through whatever trauma that may have caused your condition, if it's environmental.
It varies a lot. If you're agoraphobic, it's probably the most problematic. In my case (I've got AvPD), it doesn't show up with strangers. As long as nothing 'social' is expected of me, I'm fine - I can be serious and quiet. It's parties and all that rot that drive me bonkers - when younger, I'd just get drunk. Not a good plan but without alcohol, I doubt if I'd ever have found a partner - or even a pal.
Anyway, there's a lot of behavior therapy available - look at Amazon under social phobia workbook or something like that, and it's step by step controlled exposure.
Another trait of narcissists is that when they are in a happy relationship, they drop every friend and family member, and disapear. They pop up again when the relationship becomes unhappy or is over.
They also constantly are "never going to talk to that person again," then the minute they want something, they're back. They resent the bf's other relationships with loved ones, and describe them as plotting to take the bf away for themselves, or belittle them as unworthy of the bf's affections. One narcissist told me she was very angry her bf's child by a previous marriage was "always hanging around." She was there to drive a wedge between her and her father, and her mother sent her around because "she wanted her ex back." She was 5 and her father had joint custody. She constantly fought to try to keep the bf from honoring his custodial agreements. The daughter's existence meant the father sometimes had to speak to the mother, which made her furious, and she fought every time they spoke. She was just wanted the ex-family to disappear. The more the father wanted interactions with his child, the more angry she became. Luckily, the dad got away.
Also, being completely unable to even imagine the feelings of others. A narcissist told me a friend was meeting in-laws for the first time. The friend was nervous. The narcissist loudly proclaimed that SHE would never be nervous to meet these people, because she knew them well. She couldn't understand that meeting total strangers was scary for someone ELSE, because she knew the strangers and wasn't scared of them. She then told me she was never afraid to meet new people or go on job interviews, because she doesn't care if they like her. Many times she has expressed disapproval that others aren't just as fearless, because they are "wrong."
r87, I'll post a link to the proposed DSM-5 revisions site. Scroll down to see a chart indicating the different degrees of issues associated with Avoidant Personality Disorder. 0 = a healthy, balanced individual. The page takes a long time to load so be patient if it doesn't open immediately.
The best (basically the only) book about AvPD is called Overcoming Avoidant Personality Disorder, by Martin Kantor (available on Amazon).
R82, you're thinking of borderlines. The Borderline/Narcissistic couple is so common, books have been written about it.
"And I believe I've seen that kind of gay man - who is incapable of truly 'loving' relationships because they really only love themselves."
But no straights are like that, right?
r92 - I'm not sure. One of my best friends is doing a very sick tango with a narcissist. He's getting destroyed and refuses to give him up. Any insight into this would be appreciated.
The bigger the flame, the more insane.
Speaking of flames R103, you'll probably get some for that comment. But you are dead on.
Is there a name for people who tell huge lies all the time and pretend to be victims?
[quote]If one or both of your parents was truly narcissistic be careful! It'll be easy to fall into relationships with narcissistic men (or women). My mother was extremely narcissistic and I've had 2 romantic relationships with narcissistic men. I'm very aware of what to look for nowadays and I stay the hell away from narcissists.
This is true. After growing up with a narcissistic father I've found myself strongly attracted to people (friends and lovers) with narcissistic tendencies. I was in my thirties before I realized that if I felt a strong, immediate and unexplained connection to someone, it was a red flag and not the start of something exciting. But it's hard for me to feel that excitement with someone who doesn't exhibit those tendencies.
Beyond the broad descriptions, it's hard to explain what it's like to live with a narcissist. One example I've used is the day my childhood dog jumped the fence and got hit by a car. The neighbors came over to tell us and everyone was very upset, but my dad was watching something on TV and didn't want to stop to take the dog to the animal hospital.
What made it narcissistic was that he didn't want anyone else to do it either - when I got older, I realized his thought pattern: it was our family's dog, and nobody else was going to stride into the vet's office with an injured animal to save the day. So it was going to have to wait until he was done with his TV program. (Mom, probably given moral support by the outraged neighbors, got the dog out of the street and took it to the vet. It lived.)
He wasn't a sadist; he just didn't emotionally comprehend the dog's injuries (or my terrified feelings). In fact, he always resented the dog after that -- I guess for showing him up.
In "The Sociopath Next Door," the author mentions that sociopaths have no conscience and no ability to feel empathy or love for anyone, including themselves, while narcissists love themselves but cannot love anyone else. So a narcissist is like a half-sociopath. I'm sure both are equally toxic to be around, though perhaps narcissists are slightly less dangerous.
Without a conscience, the only thing that stops these people from literally killing anyone who is in their way is their fear of being caught, and since narcissists are more preoccupied with themselves, I imagine their interest in self-preservation/not risking jail time is stronger than their desire to actively hurt others. Though it all depends on how much power they have; how much they can get away with. Gadhafi seemed like a total narcissist and obviously once he became powerful he had tens of thousands murdered and didn't appear to give it an afterthought.
ps, I'm sorry about your dad and your dog, r106. very good to hear that your mom had the courage to defy your father and save the dogs' life.
Stay away from Psychopaths and Sociopaths if you can tell who they are.
"Is there a name for people who tell huge lies all the time and pretend to be victims?"
I call them Mormons.
can someone explain what the deal is with bi polars? Someone who has been with one or related?
R109, wrong religion.
Firstly, the majority here commenting on Freud probably only read a couple pages or chapters in the context of some non-psychological comparative lit class. I've read all his work in several languages and while I could write an entire dissertation just about your ignorance I won't.
I will, however, state the following:
1) Whoever said the narcissism of which Freud wrote is different than NPD is correct. As an aside, look at the history of "borderline". It originally referred to one whose perception of reality was so skewed as to be on the borderline of a complete break from reality (psychotic) but not quite. Their perceptions were at least rooted at some level in reality but it no longer resembled reality.
2) Freud did believe we were all bisexual to some degree on the continuum.
3) Freud, contrary to most woman studies majors programs,was one of the first feminists in the true sense. He was the first to propose a single human meta-psychological perspective. He understood that psychological processes may display differently in each gender (and children for that matter) but that it was all essentially due to the same psychological processes.
4) Dreams, or rather how you remember them, ARE the fulfillment of wishes.
5) He never said or postulated a subconscious. Only the unconscious, preconscious, and conscious.
6) Freud himself in 1895 stated (On Hysteria with Josef Breuer) that there were neurological processes occurring that were just not known at that time. He knew the brain was far more complex than ever thought (we still know so little).
7) Lastly, as a Neuropsychologist I can definitively state (say to the standard .05 alpha coefficient) that much of Freud's theories and processes have direct neurobiological and neuropychological correlates. Not always a perfect match up but too damn close or similar to be coincidence.
8) cocaine was a medical treatment then. He ceases prescribing it when one pt OD'd on it. Much sooner than most doctors.
9) now where did I leave those lines?
Is my mother a narcissist? Since I left home to go to college, she hasn't called me on the phone more than 4 times to talk to me, other than on birthdays. I'm 45 now. She doesn't even call me on holidays. All of my friends' mothers call them constantly.
The old-fashioned rules about getting to know a person pretty well before getting involved with them is still the best way to avoid getting mixed up with a person with attributes you can't handle. It's very common for people with very serious psychological problems, like personality disorders and bipolar disorder, to work fast to get you into an intense relationship with them as soon as possible, just to make it harder for you to get away from them later, when you realize how troubled they really are (and how unwilling or unable they are to make the changes necessary for them to have a successful relationship rather than an exploitative codependent one.) If someone overwhelms you with attention, gifts, and romantic/sexual charm, and you start to feel like you're being pushed into committing to them before you're ready, you should be wary. If you try to slow things down and the other person flips out, gets mad or threatens to hurt themselves, do yourself a favor and cut it off right there. The person is in no shape to have a relationship with you or anybody else.
So what do the people with personality disorders who try to get into relationships quickly(before being found out) truly want? Mainly sex?
Stay away from architects and you are more than half way there.
What is their deal, R117?
[quote]I've read all his work in several languages and while I could write an entire dissertation just about your ignorance I won't.
When someone types a sentence like that, I think it's fair to say they have a personality disorder or two.
Possibly, R14. Narcissists don't really love anybody - they aren't capable of it. Sometimes they pick one of their kids to be a "golden child", but they really intend for that child to be an extension of themselves and they don't see them as separate people who matter, as individuals.
If you're hurt by your mother's neglect, look up Narcissism on the Internet - like Joanna Ashmun's blog - or read Merrill Markoe's new book, which has essays about her own Narcissistic mother (she's a comedian who invented 'stupid pet tricks' on the David Letterman show.) Lots of other books - look up Narcissism on Amazon.
Your mother could also be a sociopath - they're similar to Narcissists - but a bit more sinister, usually. And don't feel too bad - some believe as many as 10 or 15% of people have personality disorders. Your in a big group (children of people with severe character disorders.) Jane Fonda's new book talks about BOTH of her parents being Narcissists and the extreme damage it caused her and her brother Peter.
The list goes on and on. Try to love yourself - parent yourself - screw your mother. She's not worth it. Don't care if she calls you or not. It's hard but when you start to see her character disorder - and realize how prevalent it is - it will be easier to accept and move on.
Meant my reply for R114 not R14.
[quote]So what do the people with personality disorders who try to get into relationships quickly(before being found out) truly want?
"So what do the people with personality disorders who try to get into relationships quickly(before being found out) truly want?"
There are a lot of personality disorders and some don't mind being alone (schizoid, schizotypal)
But here's Joanna Ashmun's (she has a blog on Narcissistic Personality Disorder) answer on why people with this particular personality disorder want to get in relationships:
"Narcissists hate to live alone. Their inner resources are skimpy, static, and sterile, nothing interesting or attractive going on in their hearts and minds, so they don't want to be stuck with themselves. All they have inside is the image of perfection that, being mere mortals like the rest of us, they will inevitably fall short of attaining."
Everyone is talking about how they feel about a narcissistic person, but epically fail to realize that by talking about there feelings it alone is a narcissistic trait.
Can people with BPD ever cure themselves via therapy? I fell hard for someone who I am fairly sure had borderline personality disorder. Wrenching myself voluntarily away from his woo-me-in-push-me-away behaviour and hurting him in the process was one of the hardest things I have ever chosen to do. He got involved in a now-long-distance relationship with someone else, but 2 months into it chased me down and confessed very deep feelings. I nearly engaged with him again, but again I walked.
He is still in the long-distance relationship, I have reason to believe (though don't know for sure). I went complete no-contact on his ass so it's hard to know for sure.
I do believe what we had was real. But I also don't know if he will ever deal with his demons. I suspect his new relationship covers up his problems again. Even though I am still hung up on him, at least I refused to get sucked in totally and walked away. Maybe I should feel sorry for my replacement. But at the moment I only feel sorrow for what could have been between us had he been sorted out.
With something like bipolar disorder, depression or schizophrenia it's possible for the person who has it to understand what's going on with themselves and do the things necessary to function as normally as they can, taking their medications on schedule and staying away from liquor and street drugs and so on. Personality disorders, on the other hand, are almost impossible to treat because one of the characteristics of people who have them is that they lack the ability to look at their own behavior objectively, learn what it is they're doing that's screwing up their lives, and make the necessary changes to function better. And unlike with many other conditions, as of yet there's no medication you can give people to alleviate that symptom. We'd have a hell of a lot less crime if there was an effective treatment for narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder (the newer term for psychopaths.)
What are you talking about, R25? Talking about your feelings is not a narcissistic trait.
Always and exclusively talking about and thinking about your own feelings, and taking advantage of other people in every situation in order to please yourself, while never caring or even recognizing other people's feelings or needs or even the fact that they're human too is Narcissism.
One thing I've learned to pay attention to is how I feel after I've spent time with someone. If I feel emotionally drained and exhausted, I have serious second thoughts about seeing them again.
That's a really good measure  I've just ended a 'relationship' with a sociopath and I wish I had paid attention to that!
Btw, you all seem tol be referring to people with Antisocial Personality Disorder (commonly known as sociopaths or psycopaths) and not to narcissists.
 you're an ass! You obviously have NO idea what you are talking about. So glad you're taking the necessary steps to ostracize yourself instead of leaving it to some poor person with Bipolar Disorder to wander in innocently and find out what an dick you are. Sweet dreams.
 What would you like to know?
 Do tell how you figure that Bipolar Disorder and personalitiy disorders are one, the same and interchageable?
 Nice read. I've never been given that perspective. I suppose it makes a difference when the explanation comes from someone who knows what they are talking about or is well read enough to have a sensible opinion. Thank you.
r131, go back and read my post (as opposed to skimming it) and you'll see I say that personality disorders and bipolar disorder are examples of serious psychological disorders, not one and the same thing.
My experience is that they falsely describe themselves and what they want. They "want" serious relationships, they "want" to face and deal with problems etc. But instead they get triggered by all kinds of things way out of your control, so they're suddenly mad or upset or withdrawing or lying and you have no idea why. The first fifty times you try to accept responsibility for whatever they are blaming you for, but finally it starts to become clear that they are - at best- over-reacting, or having borderline episodes. The worst thing is that what you two really felt, said, expressed, shared gets eclipsed, because they can't hold realistic human nuance. So all the good gets erased and they make up a new story about how terrible you are and how terrible the relationship is when none of that is true. Totally unaccountable, and they forget their agreements, plans, promises. Unconcerned about how their behavior affects you.
My experience mirrors yours R133. After the demise of the relationship you wonder "What the fuck was that?" What it even a real relationship?
[quote]Narcissists don't really love anybody - they aren't capable of it. Sometimes they pick one of their kids to be a "golden child", but they really intend for that child to be an extension of themselves and they don't see them as separate people who matter, as individuals.
This is exactly my experience - my dad had kids from his first marriage but I was going to be the golden child. It worked fine until I began to develop my own personality, likes and dislikes, wants and needs - then things went downhill. The relationship was eventually completely severed when I got into a couple of colleges and picked the one he didn't prefer. After that my visits home weren't exactly strained or unpleasant - he just treated me like a relative who had come to stay for a few days.
It was weird to fly all the way across the country and come into my parents' house to have him say "Well, hi," and go back to the book he was reading or show he was watching within the first 30 seconds of my arrival. I'd seen it before with other relatives (particularly on my mom's side). Many years later, my aunt said "I told your mother years ago that your dad only had enough room in his heart for himself and a little bit of her."
It gets better - immensely - when you accept that and stop looking for approval or love from that parent or relative. Some people don't get a great dad (or mom). But growing up with a narcissist can play hell with your adult relationships.
R133 and R134 (the ones who've been in relationships with borderlines), how do you deal with the loss of connection? Even with months of no-contact initiated by me, I still feel entangled and "present" in it. This really was a headfuck for me; I have never been in a relationship like this before. I still feel we have a connection, in all honesty. But I am (just) healthy enough to know that it cannot work with his patterns at the moment.
So therapy won't work for borderlines? Does time/insight/maturity work? Do they need an alcoholic-like hitting bottom?
[quote]how do you deal with the loss of connection? Even with months of no-contact initiated by me, I still feel entangled and "present" in it. This really was a headfuck for me; I have never been in a relationship like this before.
It will continually feel like a mind fuck. Get a therapist. You're going to need it.
[quote]I still feel we have a connection, in all honesty.
That's part of the mind fuck. You don't. You won't. You never did. You thought you did. It wasn't real.
[quote]But I am (just) healthy enough to know that it cannot work with his patterns at the moment.
Good. Big step. Don't fall back.
[quote]So therapy won't work for borderlines?
[quote]Does time/insight/maturity work?
Time will heal your wounds. Time isn't a borderline's friend.
[quote]Do they need an alcoholic-like hitting bottom?
Mine's constantly talking about hitting bottom. Over and over again. It's a cycle. I'm far removed from it THANK JESUS!
Thank you, R137. Only point where I differ is the connection was something that he talked about all the time, and persistently pursued, even after months apart. I don't think I was imagining the connection, but it pales beside all of the headfuckery. It makes me sad that there is no direct help, though I have heard that dialectical CBT helps with borderlines. Of course, they have to want to get help, and as someone pointed out above, one of the problems is they cannot see things objectively.
Any other avoidant people here? Please post.
[R132] and yes you attribute the same characteristics to bipolar disorder as you do to personality disorders, totally innacurately by the way.
[quote]Only point where I differ is the connection was something that he talked about all the time, and persistently pursued, even after months apart.
That's what they do. He made you feel special. You were connected. You were the only guy he connected with on such a deep level. YEAH RIGHT. It's part of his mind fuck.
Some info about Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
People with character or personality disorders do
not have a stable sense of self. They operate on a very primitive level. They aren't aware of it, either. You can't use logic with what they're saying
because they're not logical - it's like talking to a young child.
Joanna Ashmun (Google her to find her blog on Narcissists) has a whole section called "Now we are 6" or something like that - and people with NPD act very very much like 6 year olds, and immature ones at that.
NPD (and Borderlines) are described exceedingly well by Otto Kernberg in his book "Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism." On the subject of
having "golden children" they idealize and scapegoats - here's an excerpt from his section entitled "Omnipotence and Devaluation" (by the way, the use of the word 'object' basically means any other person):
"...Patients may shift between the need to establish a demanding, clinging relationship to an idealized 'magic' object at some times, and fantasies and
behavior betraying a deep feeling of magical omnipotence of their own at other times. Both stages represent their identification with an 'all good' object, idealized and powerful, as a protection against bad 'persecutory' objects. There is no real 'dependency' in the sense of love for the ideal object and concern for it.
"On a deeper level, the idealized person is treated ruthlessly, possessively, as an extension of the patient himself. In this regard, even during the time of apparent submission to an idealized external object, the deep underlying omnipotent fantasies of the patient can be detected. The need to CONTROL the
idealized objects, to use them in attempts to manipulate and exploit the environment and to destroy potential enemies' is linked with inordinate pride
in the 'possession' of these perfect objects totally dedicated to the patient...
"The devaluation of external objects is in part a corollary of the omnipotence; if an external object can provide no further gratification or protection, it is dropped and dismissed because there was no real capacity for love of this object in the first place..."
It's complicated but basically, the N cannot see other people as separate valuable individuals. They're either an idealized 'hero' on their side to
support them - or they're a useless worthless nonentity.
Well, anyhow, Kernberg's book is 340 pages of analysis of the failure of the "ego" to
develop properly - there's just no real adult there at all. There's not really a real self -- other than a very primitive infant-like "real self" that was never developed and instead, a fake "front" or facade was developed instead.
There's no 'genuine' person in there at all. It's all smoke and mirrors (and complexes and defense mechanisms.) They themselves don't even know who they are.
Oh - Otto Kernberg is a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University in NYC and probably the world's foremost expert on Narcissism.
R136, I don't have all that much experience on this issue, but I have done a lot of reading regarding this topic.
You obviously have glaring red flags with this guy - and you are well aware of them. My advice is to disengage completely. You know, there comes a point where we have to take full responsibility for who we choose to associate with. The good bad and the ugly. Sounds like this guy has done nothing but cause you a lot of emotional and mental exhaustion. This is not healthy for you. The longer you feel drawn to it, the longer it will take to heal from it. You need to move on from this and get on with you life, and that also means surrounding yourself with healthy people that are good for you.
I know it must be hard, because somewhere in your mind you still recall how great he was to you in the beginning - you, in his words, have this "connection" - well he may not even have the emotional and mental capacity to even know what a true connection is - he may just have moments of feeling "attached" to you. And it's not until you make waves about leaving him, that he goes into a panic mode, thus insisting again that you have this special connection. He will find someone else to fill this void - someone he can attach himself onto. Probably quickly or maybe he already has someone lined up for the job. And that, most likely is another temporary situation, he will also grow tired of the new guy and move onto someone else for attachment. It is a vicious cycle, especially for those new people that get involved unknowingly - and you do have to feel sorry for them even when you don't know them.
You have to understand, they don't have the same thought process as a normal healthy person does. They can't relate to how a normal person thinks, or feels. Or to how a normal person reacts to a situation. So even communicating with them - well you may feel that something is 'never quite right'. Listen to your gut.
I am sure for the ones who suffer from self destructive personality disorders must feel like they are living in their own own pure hell. It can't be all that great for them, living with consistent instability of their own minds - so as much as the experience has hurt you, there is a certain compassion I feel for the ones who do inflict this hurt on people - I don't think it's their fault, but at the same time I don't think there is necessarily a cure for them either.
And what R133 states -they are "unconcerned" about your feelings - so you really do just need to walk away. It's a no win situation for you.
BTW R133 in all of the reading I have done that is the most spot on post described in such basic, but accurate terms that I've ever read. Bravo - you've explained it all so perfectly.
Thank you so much, R144 and R137 / R141.
Reading what the two of you have written has really helped me. Again, thanks.
You're welcome R145. I worked with a couple really destructive sociopaths and started reading up on personality disorders in the process just so I could arm myself with what to look out for in the future - you end up reading about all sorts of different personality disorders in the process.
You deserve to be happy. So it's time to get up, brush yourself off and get back out in the field. Maybe find someone who is a little more stable.
We had two high level managers where I work who had NPD, one was a cerebral narcissistm, the other somatic. They both "left" last fall and everyone who remains feels so much better, but we all feel like we have PTSD from how horrible it was before.
[quote]I worked with a couple really destructive sociopaths and started reading up on personality disorders in the process just so I could arm myself with what to look out for in the future - you end up reading about all sorts of different personality disorders in the process.
Work is a big cesspool of personality disorders now that everyone is beautiful in their own way and we can't detach ourselves from our co-workers, thanks to Teamwork...
It seems to me that we are unlikely to hear from people saying, "I had a relationship with a guy who had nothing wrong with him, and yet it didn't work out." Such postings would be uninteresting, might imply that there was something wrong with the person posting, or just that the two people did not have complementary needs. Far more likely to look for some flaw in the person with whom the relationship was disappointing.
I had a relationship with a guy who was perfectly nice, but he liked golf and fishing and things like that, and I like movies and musicals and going out to dance.
Since we both work pretty stressful jobs and off time is limited, we ended up no continuing our relationship since their didn't seem to be room for what we both liked.
Since then, we've both met more compatible people and I think that is better for everyone.
What R81 said
It's a game. The sane ones aren't serious about it. Maybe it's anti-social in some way, but I'm not sure. They usually don't do much except hang out trying to look cute while staring off into space, unless they're crazy. Occasionally they might make some dumb remark, like, "I brought my car. Did you bring your car?" or "I looked for you. I couldn't find you." I would't call it a sex or homosexual. It's a game they get good at.