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@Just Sayin' said "they think themselves as wolves"

All I can say is WOW because one of the narcissists that was in my life previously actually says her "spirit animal" is a wolf.

For myself personally, I don't think about getting any kind of justice. They are too good at the game and yes, they do see it as a game they excel in. They would twist and turn things and have anyone believing they were the ones being victimized.

I find it better to just stay away. Along with my own awareness that I am probably drawn to narcissists having bonded to one as a child.
I am also becoming aware that I have learned narcissistic ways and display some of the traits at times. This is a hard pill to swallow but awareness makes changing possible. To keep it out of my life, I have to first start with keeping it out of me.
@Alice.in.Wonderland, I agree with you (from your first post) that some behaviors do look like narcissistic traits and that we all probably display some of those traits at times. I applaud your self-awareness and your desire to "change" -- a not at all a narcissistic trait.

Before I had my first child, I voiced out-loud that I was worried about whether I'd be a good mom. An older lady in the group of people I was with said, "Honey, bad mom's don't worry about that -- If you're worried, you're fine."

It seemed applicable. It's clear that you're very aware of this in your life and dedicated to "keeping it out." I don't doubt that you'll be able to spot the behaviors and change them, and from reading other things you've written here ... you're certainly strong enough.

I'm glad in advance for your success with this.

Hugs if you accept.
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Just my 2 cents...

Zero empathy is a trait of antisocial disorder (the sociopaths and psychopaths). You can be a Narc and have antisocial personality disorder as well, and I think that's the combination that you're really looking at when people are starting to not just have grandiose delusions, but actually getting personal entertainment value from planning and carrying out the manipulation and destruction of others.

I've shared a ward with a Narc before, and he was a complete pain in the proverbial- his grandiose thinking was truly pathological and delusional. But he wasn't a threat to anyone, and I wouldn't have said he was even particularly manipulative. He liked to reassure everyone of his brilliance in every possible field of endeavour all the time, which would have been tragic if not so annoying. But the guy wouldn't have hurt a fly.

He was narcissistic because he was totally convinced of his superiorty, to the point of delusion, in a way that pervaded every aspect of his interaction with the world. But it really was just sad and annoying. He wouldn't have harmed a fly (in fact, if you asked him, he was no doubt some kind of animal rights warrior).

It's not that he couldn't empathise with the people around him, it's just that his own superiority complex clouded all of his human interaction. If he saw a person in pain? Most likely he'd have rushed in to help on the basis that he was a paramedic hero (in his mind).

When you start adding the issue of people seeing others as merely "there for my personal enjoyment" and an inability to feel empathy, you're entering sociopath/psychopath territory...

For what it's worth, this guy was tragic to watch. He really believed that he was God's Gift and literally had no idea just how delusional he was.
This is a weird topic. My therapist is trying to get me to ask and research my mom's past to see if she was sexually abused to see why she made a turn like she did. Im not wanting to as i feel it gives her an out but it doesnt.

People with NPD are still responsible for their actions and nothing they do wrong can be blamed on NPD. PTSD same thing, BPD same thing. Any mental disorder same thing. We are all responsible for our actions and we hold blame for what we do wrong. I suppose the only mental disorders that can say "well they didnt know what they were doing or they dobt know from right and wrong" are the mentally handicapped. We cant pawn it all off on having a mental disorder, we just cant and neither can they.
I am by far no expert and only know those narcissists I spent time with. Someone might have delusional grandiose ideas about themselves but that in itself, I don't think would make them a narcissist.

My personal experience is a narcissist is more likely to convince someone else they are mentally ill and tut-tut poor thing to the admittance personnel and the doctors and say how much they have endured because of this person's instability. They could never admit any fault in themselves and to even imply there is something wrong with them is their personal proof you are the crazy one. They are too knowledgable and perfect too have any instability.
Just my 2 cents...

Zero empathy is a trait of antisocial disorder (the sociopaths and psychopat...


In the context of the conversation, I did take for granted that the flavor of NPD that @Alice.in.Wonderland was specifically describing included anticocial elements if not full-on co-morbid disorders.

I really wasn't trying to over-generalize or to say that all narcissists are also psychopaths. Low empathy is part of the diagnostic criteria for NPD, but that's not necessarily malicious though -- it's a side effect of grandiosity.

There are all kinds of all kinds of people.

I appreciate the reminder to be careful with my words and assumptions. I also appreciate that you gave the reminder respectfully.

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the whole shared area between a really parasitic narcs and the if, where and how they might differ from psychopaths is something that confuses me.

If you listen to Otto Kernberg, he'll say that Stalin, Hitler, Churchill...
(actually especially Churchill!)

cannot have ASPD as people with ASPD are unable to work cooperatively, and in each case those individuals, however evil they were, managed to work with other people at a high level of functionality and were immensely and irrationally loyal to some people to their own detriment, eg Hitler to Goering, Churchill to Bomber Harris.

However Kernberg was speaking at a time when psychopathic personality was subsumed under the much wider (arguably so wide that it was totally meaningless) category of anti social personality disorder

If we look at psychopaths, they have a grandiose self, they invariably believe that they are absolute geniuses, they completely lack empathy or an ability to conceive that they might be wrong and another person right, that reality is what they deem it to be...


We all have aspects of the personality disorders and psychoses (ok only about 10% of us hear voices - but only about 1% of the population ever gets diagnosed as psychotic edit: schizophrenic ).

It's when we have a very skewed set of those characteristics rather than being able to fluidly use them all as a good artist would use their whole pallet of colours with subtlety, that problems begin.

The "disorders" are in the most basic sense, difficulties which seriously affect our functioning in every day life, work and relationships

they usually have positive features (normal attributes that are present to a very exaggerated degree), such as delusions of grandiosity and genius

and negative features (normal attributes that are absent) eg no empathy or sense of understanding the existence or feelings of other beings
I appreciate the links. Knowledge is power.
I wasn't trying to ultimately define narcissism. I was only coming from my own perspective and experience narcissists have had in my and my children's lives. Maybe a couple, few, several..... I haven't taken the time to count. Anyway, maybe they are psychopaths and not narcissists. I wouldn't consider them antisocial since they can easily turn on the charm and be very convincing and helpful in the "self" they are presenting. The abusers I have experienced in my life need to be around people because they crave an audience. Honestly, I don't care "what" they are. I just want them to stay out of my and my kids lives. I want my family left alone and I don't say "my family" in the sense they belong to and are an extension of me. I say it from a place of deep love and desire to see my children and me develop an adult bond as individuals. Meaning we accept each other with our cracks and flaws and focus on being a family that loves each other and is there to have fun in the good times and support each other through the bad. That is not possible when these negative people are around.

What I do know is that I have a tendency to curry favor and if something seems off regarding a persons mood, my first feeling is I must have done something wrong and try to do damage control when none is necessary.
I can come off as "it's always all about me" because during "episodes" I need constant confirmation that "things are okay between us". It can be with coworkers, my children or friends during the usual short time those relationships last.
I know I am draining when I am like this because the process becomes redundant and one-sided.
This is something I am working on but change is a process. Part of that process is understanding its roots. Not in a I want to quote a diagnostic manual way but in an effort to understand my own unhealthy, developmentally learned traits.

I am very self critical and all too willing to take on "blame" because that was how I learned to keep the peace.
This trait works against me now rather than for me at the workplace. It taints my career, credablity and at the end of the day makes me resentful and angry along with scared. Mix that with the need for affirmation and I am one hot mess.
Is my mother and father narcissists?
I honestly don't know but I have a strong suspicion they are. I know the damage I am left with due to their actions. I can say with much more confidence that my sister and her grown daughter are narcissists/ psychopaths... I know I loved them both very much and felt so connected to them. I know the lies they told, the manipulation, their sense of entitlement to mine and others things. I know their efforts to try and rewrite events that took place in my and my children's lives and their total lack of empathy which was expressed in their actions as well as their words. Their need to conquer and divide my family while trying to damage our relationships with each other.

So for the healing of not just me but my relationships with my children I work to understand.

This led me to narcissism and I saw my niece and sister described again and again. I am also seeing the fathers of my children described.
I am trying to learn how my unhealthy bond still draws me to others who are glad to fill in for them.
So my experience with the narcissists/psychopaths in my life could be different from others experiences and I am okay with that.
My goal is not to be ultimately right. My goal is to manage my PTSD and keep my children close not only to me but to each other.
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I also understand many narcissists were themselves terribly abused
I think you might be confusing issues. A minority of people who sexually abuse others were themselves abused. I suppose some percentage of bullies were themselves bullied. A narcissist, according to my T anyway, is probably born that way. Or born with the tendency to be that way. It can probably be enhanced by the "right" kind of childhood and, maybe, it can be stunted by the right kind of early training too. I've read an article or two on the subject of early intervention for budding narcissists that suggests that.
Is my mother and father narcissists?
They might be. It would be a little more common for one to be a narc and the other not. It's tough for TWO people to be the center of the known universe. LOL But sometimes they make it work.

Like most things, there's a continuum of symptoms. My T refers to this as the "narcissist/psychopath spectrum". It's especially hard to sort out because these people aren't really interested in being diagnosed.
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