Joined: 25 Jun 2004
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Chain contends that people with Asperger's syndrome often get into relationships with pathological narcissists. How many people here actually have? I don't really know any narcissists I know personally off the top of my head except maybe one. The narcissistic personality style is so different from the typical aspie personality that I would think they would repel each other more often than attract each other. Narcissists would not want to have a relationship with a seemingly low-status, meek, asocial introvert; and aspies wouldn't want to have a relationship with a loud, boastful, shallow, condescending narcissist.
Joined: 1 Nov 2005
Location: where I decide
Sounds like psycho-babble to me. "Narcissist" is such a vague term, one at the discretion of the dianosing shrink.
Negative on that one. The girls I've dated--along with most of the ones I know--seem to be more than anything insecure about their looks.
Whatever you can do,
Or dream you can do,
Boldness has genius,
Power and magic in it.
Fumigated With Boredom
Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Joined: 10 May 2005
If I were to just hear the description of a narcissict, I'd consider such a person to be completely uninteresting, off-putting, and overall someone who I'd want absolutely nothing to do with.
BUUUTTTT.. my best friend/business partner has a lot of very narcissistic qualities. It's not to the point of some horror stories I've heard involving narcissists, but I wouldn't be surprised in the least if he were to be diagnosed with NPD. Despite appearing to be polar opposites, we actually have *very much* in common under the surface. Deep down we both have the same "it's me versus the world" attitude, and the feeling that we're fundamentally-different misfits. He is not always a very easy person to deal with, but I'm not either. He's also one of the very few people I've ever met who is intelligent enough that I often lose arguments to him. Our business is doing great, and much of its success is due to his ideas--even though I was often quite skeptical about them at first.
We've also learned a lot from each other--he has coached me on social interaction, making small talk, etc., and it has become much easier for me as a result. And he respects how I really don't give a crap what other people think, since that's a very foreign concept to him.
I remember reading a really old thread here where a few people mentioned having close friends/significant others who have narcissistic traits. So I think there might be something to it. Despite all the differences, AS & NPD may very well have enough similarities that we attract one another.
Joined: 3 Jan 2006
I don't know this "Chain" but I think that what he said is very valid. I married a person who is just as Chain describes (minus the kinky stuff). I am not very observant about people's controlling behavior. Ex: When I first met my husband he would talk on and on and I interpreted that as "Wow! He likes me so much he's sharing his real ideas and feelings!!" Many men do not open up like this. Later, much later, I finally figured out that it's all about him and he'll talk the hind leg off a donkey if the donkey will stand still long enough!! It's really about his ego and needing someone to listen. I think that the idea of boundaries is very important and should be investigated by all.
"Honey, would you buy me some boobles for my 40th b-day?" "No way, they're too expensive. Your own baubles will have to do."
Um sorry respectfully disagree. True it's at the discretion of the 'shrink' but so was your AS idagnosis if you have one. (edit: jeez that was an afterthought but may be taken the wrong way. I was just covering the bases and added thinking "well what if he doesn't"... anyway sorry)
And that seems like it's a rather closed minded point of view. Maybe this will provide some reading:
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a pattern of self-centered or egotistical behavior that shows up in thinking and behavior in a lot of different situations and activities. People with NPD won't (or can't) change their behavior even when it causes problems at work or when other people complain about the way they act, or when their behavior causes a lot of emotional distress to others (or themselves? none of my narcissists ever admit to being distressed by their own behavior -- they always blame other people for any problems). This pattern of self-centered or egotistical behavior is not caused by current drug or alcohol use, head injury, acute psychotic episodes, or any other illness, but has been going on steadily at least since adolescence or early adulthood.
NPD interferes with people's functioning in their occupations and in their relationships:
Mild impairment when self-centered or egotistical behavior results in occasional minor problems, but the person is generally doing pretty well.
Moderate impairment when self-centered or egotistical behavior results in: (a) missing days from work, household duties, or school, (b) significant performance problems as a wage-earner, homemaker, or student, (c) frequently avoiding or alienating friends, (d) significant risk of harming self or others (frequent suicidal preoccupation; often neglecting family, or frequently abusing others or committing criminal acts).
Severe impairment when self-centered or egotistical behavior results in: (a) staying in bed all day, (b) totally alienating all friends and family, (c) severe risk of harming self or others (failing to maintain personal hygiene; persistent danger of suicide, abuse, or crime).
1. An exaggerated sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
Translation: Grandiosity is the hallmark of narcissism. So what is grandiose?
The simplest everyday way that narcissists show their exaggerated sense of self-importance is by talking about family, work, life in general as if there is nobody else in the picture. Whatever they may be doing, in their own view, they are the star, and they give the impression that they are bearing heroic responsibility for their family or department or company, that they have to take care of everything because their spouses or co-workers are undependable, uncooperative, or otherwise unfit. They ignore or denigrate the abilities and contributions of others and complain that they receive no help at all; they may inspire your sympathy or admiration for their stoicism in the face of hardship or unstinting self-sacrifice for the good of (undeserving) others. But this everyday grandiosity is an aspect of narcissism that you may never catch on to unless you visit the narcissist's home or workplace and see for yourself that others are involved and are pulling their share of the load and, more often than not, are also pulling the narcissist's share as well. An example is the older woman who told me with a sigh that she knew she hadn't been a perfect mother but she just never had any help at all -- and she said this despite knowing that I knew that she had worn out and discarded two devoted husbands and had lived in her parents' pocket (and pocketbook) as long as they lived, quickly blowing her substantial inheritance on flaky business schemes. Another example is claiming unusual benefits or spectacular results from ordinary effort and investment, giving the impression that somehow the narcissist's time and money are worth more than other people's. [Here is an article about recognizing and coping with narcissism in the workplace; it is rather heavy on management jargon and psychobabble, but worth reading. "The Impact of Narcissism on Leadership and Sustainability" by Bruce Gregory, Ph.D. "When the narcissistic defense is operating in an interpersonal or group setting, the grandiose part does not show its face in public. In public it presents a front of patience, congeniality, and confident reasonableness."]
In popular usage, the terms narcissism, narcissist, and narcissistic denote absurd vanity and are applied to people whose ambitions and aspirations are much grander than their evident talents. Sometimes these terms are applied to people who are simply full of themselves -- even when their real achievements are spectacular. Outstanding performers are not always modest, but they aren't grandiose if their self-assessments are realistic; e.g., Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay, was notorious for boasting "I am the greatest!" and also pointing out that he was the prettiest, but he was the greatest and the prettiest for a number of years, so his self-assessments weren't grandiose. Some narcissists are flamboyantly boastful and self-aggrandizing, but many are inconspicuous in public, saving their conceit and autocratic opinions for their nearest and dearest. Common conspicuous grandiose behaviors include expecting special treatment or admiration on the basis of claiming (a) to know important, powerful or famous people or (b) to be extraordinarily intelligent or talented. As a real-life example, I used to have a neighbor who told his wife that he was the youngest person since Sir Isaac Newton to take a doctorate at Oxford. The neighbor gave no evidence of a world-class education, so I looked up Newton and found out that Newton had completed his baccalaureate at the age of twenty-two (like most people) and spent his entire academic career at Cambridge. The grandiose claims of narcissists are superficially plausible fabrications, readily punctured by a little critical consideration. The test is performance: do they deliver the goods? (There's also the special situation of a genius who's also strongly narcissistic, as perhaps Frank Lloyd Wright. Just remind yourself that the odds are that you'll meet at least 1000 narcissists for every genius you come across.) [More on grandiosity.]
2. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
Translation: Narcissists cultivate solipsistic or "autistic" fantasies, which is to say that they live in their own little worlds (and react with affront when reality dares to intrude).
3. Believes he is "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
Translation: Narcissists think that everyone who is not special and superior is worthless. By definition, normal, ordinary, and average aren't special and superior, and so, to narcissists, they are worthless.
4. Requires excessive admiration
Translation: Excessive in two ways: they want praise, compliments, deference, and expressions of envy all the time, and they want to be told that everything they do is better than what others can do. Sincerity is not an issue here; all that matter are frequency and volume.
5. Has a sense of entitlement
Translation: They expect automatic compliance with their wishes or especially favorable treatment, such as thinking that they should always be able to go first and that other people should stop whatever they're doing to do what the narcissists want, and may react with hurt or rage when these expectations are frustrated.
6. Selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends
Translation: Narcissists use other people to get what they want without caring about the cost to the other people.
7. Lacks empathy
Translation: They are unwilling to recognize or sympathize with other people's feelings and needs. They "tune out" when other people want to talk about their own problems.
In clinical terms, empathy is the ability to recognize and interpret other people's emotions. Lack of empathy may take two different directions: (a) accurate interpretation of others' emotions with no concern for others' distress, which is characteristic of psychopaths; and (b) the inability to recognize and accurately interpret other people's emotions, which is the NPD style. This second form of defective empathy may (rarely) go so far as alexithymia, or no words for emotions, and is found with psychosomatic illnesses, i.e., medical conditions in which emotion is experienced somatically rather than psychically. People with personality disorders don't have the normal body-ego identification and regard their bodies only instrumentally, i.e., as tools to use to get what they want, or, in bad states, as torture chambers that inflict on them meaningless suffering. Self-described narcissists who've written to me say that they are aware that their feelings are different from other people's, mostly that they feel less, both in strength and variety (and which the narcissists interpret as evidence of their own superiority); some narcissists report "numbness" and the inability to perceive meaning in other people's emotions.
8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him
Translation: No translation needed.
9. Shows arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behaviors or attitudes
Translation: They treat other people like dirt.
Last edited by hermit on 16 Jan 2006, 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Joined: 3 Jan 2006
Joined: 9 Nov 2005
I think you nailed it down hermit... mostly.
Forgotten are what they do too their family members, making the family members believe that what they say, every dang word out of their mouth, is true, even though 99% of it is lies. Tearing down others, because their self esteem is nil to such an extreme that cannot be described in words. This is the paradox of the Narcissist, outwardly you may think they love them selves with their grandiosity, but inward, they are just a hurt child who hates themself, at the cost of everyone around them.
Oh I almost forgot, grooming people to become them by proxy; sucking them into their web of deceit, so that this person doesn't even realize they have become a tool, to be used at the N's whim.
They are masters of the game called "gaslighting" convincing others that they are crazy, when in fact they are the ones desperately in need of help.
This is a real disorder, sadly, too many people who REALLY have this will never ever receive the help they and their family menbers need.
I research therefore, I am.
Just call me "Miss Communication"
Joined: 8 Dec 2005
Location: Not here
I think you got it right too, quietangel - very well said. So sad. Not only do they lie, but they lie to themselves. There is no "there" there. It's almost like they don't have a soul because it's buried beneath so many layers of bullshit, and a lot of it is self-protection. And the sad part is they have no idea that their whole existence is a lie - they are so well-shielded. That's what makes having a relationship with them possible in the first place - you see what they want you to see, and it takes a while to come to understand that what they're showing you is not in fact the real person at all. When you uncover that mask it's horrifying to see what's really underneath - a very scared person who will NEVER be able to come out and play - or have a meaningful relationship.
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Location: Western Australia
Don't be so condescending, Aylissa. Most people lie to themselves. Aspies are no less susceptible to the same failing. I'd really like to know where everyone got this idea that underneath their manipulative behavior, there lies this scared person who doesn't want to come out. I've got to tell you, it's fun being able to manipulate people. It's fun to watch them jump through hoops, or to push their buttons and watch them react. Power corrupts, it is said. When in power, people often develop narcisstic traits. If you look closely, you can see evidence of NPD in those in power. Narcissists use it on a personal level, and don't kid yourselves, they love it. It is a game, and people are the pieces. It can impede developing a meaningful relationship, but it certainly doesn't preclude one.
True but the 'regular' folks who lie to themselves know they are doing it. Most of them even are able to stop if they want. A NPD either doesn't know or CANNOT admit it. And, no mention was made of AS at all in her post.
It's a pathological ego problem, for short, and if you are interested there is plenty of reading readily available online.
Hmm... to the second part I say this: very true. It goes both ways also- NPD's seek out power.
That's exactly why it's such a problem. Nail on the head.
Depends on the definition of 'meaningful'. For a NPD, all relationships are meaningful in that they are assigned value to the NPD. The contents of the relationships themselves are empty. For the person on the other end, it is 'meaningful' in as much as it causes all the above mentioned problems (other posts).
I just don't think an attitude like this is very constructive. It is a game, you are correct, but as with all games the rules should be followed, for the most part, to everyones benefit.
It is a game: this connotates fun, something one does with friends, family, pleasant interactions with strangers. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. The problem comes with the abuse of the game, and as such the other players. The NPD does not allow other to play the game.
More to the point: I know of at least one person in this thread that has been deeply hurt by a NPD individual. Given some of the emotions expressed by some of the others, I suspect more. The aggressive tone of your comments are, in my opinion, rather inflammatory. Perhaps greater care could be taken when choosing a tone of voice in a conversation.
Ignoring all that, the actual contents of the post are off topic; the thread is about people who have suffered at the hands of these people, and you are clearly not responding in that vein.
Joined: 10 May 2005
My friend I mentioned has a lot of narcissistic traits. He happens to be able to back up a lot of his grandiosity, as he is very hard-working, intelligent, and has become very successful by running his own businesses. But his claims being mostly truthful doesn't make him any less narcissistic to me. In fact I think the reason he accomplishes all those things is for the purpose of being able to show off--everything he does seems to be an attempt to prove his worth to others. It's really kind of sad.
Anyway, he's nothing compared to his parents. His dad, especially, is downright creepy. The guy is prominent in the community, and most everyone loves him and thinks he's perfect and wonderful. But I've seen the mask come off, and it is not pretty *at all*. My friend told me that both his parents were extremely abusive, because they felt he was the black sheep of the family, and that he was tarnishing their all-important reputation. In some of his more candid moments, he's told me that he feels like his parents really screwed him up, that he feels like he's on the verge of turning into his dad, and that's his worst fear.
Is this something you've encountered, hermit? It makes sense to me that abusive narcissist parents could very well cause their kids to adopt those same behaviors.
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Location: Western Australia
On the big lies, Hermit, yes, they probably do know that they are doing it. But it's the little lies, the small lies, that everyone does daily. They don't know that they're lying. Call it egocentricity. Everyone has it in a measure, and they never realize the extent of those lies. I like to call it the glavering, a term coined by my favorite author, David Zindell. We all shamelessly tell ourselves that our world-view is better than others. The AS connection was implied by the terminology used in her post, not explicitly stated, and it was this connection I was addressing.
Whatever happened to the principle of Occham's Razor? Surely it would apply equally to psychology as much as it does to science. If they appear to have a massive ego, then they obviously must be hiding the fact that they don't, right? So apply Occham's Razor: Which is simpler? They just appear to have huge egos, to hide their weak ego? Or they HAVE huge egos? The latter, of course, is the simplest. Personally, I can see the hand of narcisstic Psychologists at work in such convoluted thinking. "I've come up with this really complicated theory that fits some people, therefore I am clever." This thought-pattern seems to be consistent with all Narcissists. Narcissists are simply more aware of the glavering than most: That it is all just a point of view; that their point of view is all that matters when others don't agree with it; and when others DO agree, then it is increasingly validated.
"To the second part", hmmm. It seems like you have grasped the basics of Narcissism, at least to the extent that you yourself use aspects of it. Amazing how similar egocentricity is to Narcissism. Narcissists just take it a step further, and have no qualms about manipulating people. You are flattering your worldview, and either CANNOT admit that another worldview exists, or are unaware that they do exist. Your own validation of your worldview comes from the fact that there are "professional" psychologists that wrote the stuff you are quoting. Perhaps you can see where I'm headed with this, though it is perhaps unlikely. From a liberated viewpoint, it can be seen that everyone who possesses a measure of egocentricity, are narcissists.
The NPD might not allow others to play the game, it is possible. But neither do they have a choice in the matter. Narcisstic people are no less immune to manipulation than others. If someone wanted to play, they would first have to learn the rules. You don't need to read the programming of a computer game to learn how to play. You try, you fail, you learn. You push the boundaries. In truth, to join the game of a narcissist, you have to become at least a little narcisstic. The game IS fun, to a narcissist. That is what I was saying. We do have a defense mechanism, but it's exactly the same mechanism everyone else uses, but we employ it to better effect. As for the tone of my posts, perhaps you might try looking at this thread from the POV of a narcissist. That is assuming you are capable, of course. But in the event you can't, let me say this: Someone in this thread has been hurt by a narcissist, by an INDIVIDUAL. If I had been hurt by an Aspie, I could very well do the same "Black and White" thinking as is happening here, and be wary of all Aspies. But everyone would be up in arms defending that being Aspie doesn't make them all like that. So take a look at this thread again, Hermit, and try to look at it from the POV of a narcissist.
Joined: 8 Dec 2005
Location: Not here
I completely fail to see why you think I was being condescending. I was in a horrible relationship with a person whose narcissism was sociopathic, and it was a horrifying experience. I was expressing my experience of that relationship. Not only did you completely misunderstand my post, you belittled me. As Hermit pointed out, I was referring to people who are narcissists, not aspies.
Apparently there are a few of us here who are aspies and have been traumatized by relationships with NPD's, and this being a supportive community for aspies, I thought it was okay to share my experiences. I'm starting to realize that there are certain things that are not tolerated here, that it's not as supportive as I'd hoped, and I will have to modify my expectations of receiving support from this board. Thank god for PM's.
yes I agree with this, but don't understand how it applies. The 'glavering' appears to be, and by your argument is universal for all people. I am talking about Narcissism and it's effects.
I actually find this subject fascinating, as we all build our own worlds within ourselves. I would be more than happy to discuss this somewhere else.
Still don't see it. Maybe I take things too literally, still, I see a personal story, not a reference to AS. Don't know if it really matters though.
I said it's a "pathological ego problem".
I believe in Occam's Razor most of the time. But in reference to the human psyche I think it's a little more complicated, and might be better served with Immanuel Kant's version "the variety of beings should not rashly be diminished." The scope of the mind is limitless, and the push and pull between motivations (in the psych sense) creates a very complex system that is at best hard to figure out.
Then I fear I rended all arguments of mine invalid, for I do not see this. It's not manipulative. True there were shades of meaning. I shall spell it out for you: I didn't want to explicitly address your claim that manipulation was fun. I didn't want to validate it by discussing it. YES some people enjoy this, they are people with NPD tendencies. It is morally WRONG to manipulate others for your enjoyment.
At the same time, I wanted to respond to your assertation by simply pointing out it goes both ways.
danlo: do not underestimate me, it would be a grave error.
honest confusion here: are you claiming to be one?
Belittling is childish and you have now done it twice here. While disagreeing with your post, I didn't make any personal comments about your intellegence.
The thing is, there are a wide variety of behaviors associated with AS. Many differences in neurological makeup, many differences in behavior. There may be some symptoms that never exist in an indidivual. With NPD, the individual behaviors themselves change, BUT THE CORE IS ALWAYS THE SAME.
There is good evidence that AS is a lump term that describes several differences in neurological makeup, not just one. Another discussion, but hopefully my point comes through. And also, it's hard to compare a neurological condiditon with a behavioral one.
Regardless of the above, yes, you may start a "hurt by an aspie" thread, but don't be surprised if you get a lot of support. If you are claiming to be/support the NPD POV, you won't get a lot of backup on this thread, or probably even this board.
I CAN see the NPD point of view. I disagree with it. I think it's gross, cruel, and inhumane. People who use their power, or manipulation tools, to get ahead more than is neccessary or at the continual detriment of others ARE BAD PEOPLE.
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