Narcissism

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by KnowSelf, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    Are males primarily the main recipients of narcissistic behavior? Are A-Personalty traits related to Narcissism as well?

    Excessive boasting and an unwillingness to be happy for other people's good fortune is highly annoying to me. However, I question my motives in allowing this type behavior from other people bother me. Perhaps people exhibiting narcissistic behavior are not aware of their self indulgent behavior and assume themselves to be of higher caliber than anyone else. Can a person's character be changed or is a person's character hardwired into his/her very being?

    When is it Ok to boast? I struggle with this because of my personal feelings against self-promotion, but sometimes I need to be recognized for the things I am doing. Perhaps everyone needs to be noticed.
     
  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    First of all I'd like to say that "narcissism" is at least two separate things: a part of one's personality, which is developed at one stage in childhood in everybody, and a personality disorder, which may or may not impair a person's ability to function in society (and which will cause turmoil in people's lives as they associate with a narcissist).

    Then, women and men tend to live out narcissistic tendencies in different ways, and yes, men tend to be more in-your-face or even violent physically, while women tend to be more emotionally violent.

    Thirdly, there is something like "subdued" narcissism. The extreme "holier than thou" personalities could be an example.

    Fourthly, I'm not an expert by any standard. This is stuff I picked up alonf the way.
     
  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Spirit weaves nature. The wheel of Spirit turns the wheel of nature and is not turned by it. There's the fact. Happy days ...
     
  4. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    Spirit weaves nature? Human nature? Does spirit select nature? What is the nature of spirit selection?
     
  5. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    --> Women can be just as narcissistic as men. But as for your question, both men and women can equally be the recipients of narcissistic behavior

    ---> Yes, but introverted people also engage in narcissistic behavior.

    --> Excessively allowing allow other people to engage in toxic behavior is just as bad as boasting and an inability to show compassion.

    ---> This is common.

    ---> A person's character can definitely be changed. But most people do not know how to do it. What is worse, the person’s romantic partner usually does not know how to do this.

    ---> It is perfectly normal to need to boast and to be noticed once in a while. But when a person needs to boast too often is when it becomes unhealthy. (And never boasting can be just as unhealthy.) These are examples of being needy. We need to take a good look at each example of such behavior and determine if they are normal behavior or needy behavior.
     
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  6. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've watched a few press conference deliveries by Donald Trump recently.

    Why does he stumble when reading from a script? I was wondering: Is he on meds? Someone else asked was he totally unaware of what he's being asked to read out, he acts as if it's all alien to him ... Now I'm wondering if he sometimes stumbles because while he's reading, he's trying to think of a way he can ad lib and either attack an opponent or, more importantly, brag about himself; if he can turn what he's reading into some kind of praise for the greatness of Donald Trump, so much so that he forgets what he's reading/where he is on the page ...
     
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  7. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    It's Plato's cave, imo:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_cave

    "Plato has Socrates describe a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them, and give names to these shadows. The shadows are the prisoners' reality ...

    ... The inmates of this place do not even desire to leave their prison, for they know no better life. The prisoners manage to break their bonds one day, and discover that their reality was not what they thought it was. They discovered the sun, which Plato uses as an analogy for the fire that man cannot see behind ...

    ... If however, we were to miraculously escape our bondage, we would find a world that we could not understand—the sun is incomprehensible for someone who has never seen it. In other words, we would encounter another "realm", a place incomprehensible because, theoretically, it is the source of a higher reality than the one we have always known ..."
     
  8. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    One of the most useful and accessible models related to the understanding of narcissism that I have found is D.W. Winnicott's concept of the false self/true self. For armchair guys like me who have an interest in the subject but no psychological training at all, it represents a way to at least break into a very complex matter (full of jargon and varying theories) in a way that most understandable for a layman.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_self_and_false_self

    The two big names which will always crop up in research into pathological narcissism as presented by psychology are Heinz Kohut and Otto Kernberg. There some differences and also some convergences in their theories, but both men are to be respected in my opinion because they labored in the trenches, actually treating patients with with narcissistic disturbances. There are quite a few good papers available online regarding the differences between the two.

    My go-to guy in these matters is and probably always will be Stephen M. Johnson. He covers narcissism and other personality organizations which can vary from mild to severe, along with the existence of narcissism as a thread running through other pathologies which are not ordinarily regarded as narcissistic or NPD.

    He places three points on the narcissistic continuum: The narcissistic character style (less severe and endemic to our culture), narcissistic neurosis (more severe), and finally narcissistic personality disorder, or "narrow" narcissism (very severe), in which the true self may be so thoroughly buried that the sufferer has very little conscious access to it. He has written several books, all minus even a hint of the sensationalism that is so often found in many contemporary books on the subject. This is his website:

    http://www.stephenjohnsonphd.com/

    Just a couple final things. Narcissistic and NPD are terms which can be used in a very pejorative sense. These psychological terms and others can easily be "weaponized" in an irresponsible manner and used in a damaging way against anyone who might exhibit some of the traits. This should be avoided if possible, in my opinion. In other words, don't hang damaging pejoratives on people just because you don't like them. We're all a little bit crazy.

    The other thing is with regard to the true self/false self model. It's a very good tool and has been used not only by writers in psychology, but also by writers concerned with spirituality. Somewhat different aims, but good in both fields. Not perfect (what model is?), but good.

    (All of the above are from the "nurture" side of the question, and not "nature", in which there could be some biological predispositions which might make a person more or less susceptible to certain pathologies.)
     
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  9. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    "Narcissistic and NPD are terms which can be used in a very pejorative sense… We're all a little bit crazy."

    ---> Stranger, I hear what you are saying. This brings up the subject of being mentally stable vs. being mentally unstable. Most people think there are only these two areas. But I think there is a third area, a middle area, which I call being needy. I think that when we say someone is crazy, what we really mean is they are in this middle area. I think we tend to use other terms when we think someone is actually mentally unstable. For example, I like to say that people who have extremely toxic personalities are extremely needy, not mentally unstable.

    Regarding nature vs. nurture, I believe in reincarnation, so I say there is also a third area, which is the karma and dharma we bring over from our previous incarnations.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
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  10. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    Perhaps needinesss is a personality disorder?
     
  11. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    ---> Actually, I see it the other way around. What I am trying to do is show that most neediness is separate from personality disorders, rather than both terms usually describing thoughts and behavior in the same category. For example, some examples of personality disorders are sexual preference disorder, gender identity disorder, nightmare disorder, and stuttering disorder. I do not think that stuttering is a personality disorder (unless it is a symptom of a person having crossed over into being mentally unstable). I also do not think that changing a person’s sexual orientation is in itself a personality disorder. I also believe that people can have significant anxiety and depression without having an anxiety or depression disorder. I do not feel having nightmares automatically means a person has nightmare personality disorder.

    I like to use the examples of the TV characters Frank Burns and Charles Emerson Winchester III in the TV show MASH. I would say both of these characters have extremely toxic personalities but they do not have personality disorders. On the other hand, I would say the character Col. Flagg has definitely crossed over into the area of mental instability. (I like the way Col. Henry Blake describes Col. Flagg in one episode as a "wacko", meaning mentally unstable.)

    I like the way Cino distinguishes 'regular' narcissism from narcissistic personality disorder. This is exactly what I am talking about.

    (If anyone is interested, here is a list of medically-recognized personality disorders.)

    https://www.who.int/classifications/icd/en/bluebook.pdf?ua=1
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020

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