“Narcissists are made by being over or under indulged.”
Grandiose vs vulnerable narcissist
Trump= grandiose = over indulged
My ex= vulnerable = under indulged
It’s truly fascinating.
All comes down to self esteem and insecurity ie bring ego driven.
What’s interesting is that, after going to psychotherapy in an attempt to understand myself and my relationship with my ex and establish a baseline reference of what “healthy” is, these narcissism traits seem to be generational.
Like she said, they’re made, not born.
I read some books recommended by my therapists about childhood development and attachment theory, to understand what kind of environment nurtured these narcissistic tendencies.
I learned that narcissism is a spectrum.
I also learned that there is a narcissist antithesis, which is referred to as a “shadow narcissist” which I also is called an empath. They’re literally the opposite of narcissists.
I forget what the statistics are, but it’s like if you have a narcissistic parent, there’s a 70% chance their kids will be shadow narcissists, and 30% chance they’ll be narcissists. But that may be reversed.
But I concluded that narcissism is the result of a highly inflated ego.
For vulnerable narcissists, or those who were under indulged by their caregivers, this ego serves as a protective mechanism, because they had very little emotional attention or support when they were developing. So they had to essentially look out for themselves to compensate.
I think on some level many people possess traits like this. I know I do. Trying to compensate for a lack of self worth. I don’t think that’s totally rare or uncommon. Especially in a culture which prizes individualism. I can see how kids were raised by parents who were self absorbed or emotionally absent.
But it exists on a spectrum, and I think it becomes a pathology when there are strong patterns of dysfunctional relationships. Or drama. At work. In romantic relationships. With friends.
I think by and large our culture really encourages narcissism. In a variety of ways.
I think ego is a double edge sword
It’s this necessary evil. Because anyone that wants to change the world in a significant way must place an inordinate amount of faith and value on the way “they” see the world.
In a free competitive market, there are no safety nets. Unless you’re born into privilege.
It’s everyone out for themselves. You’re either the master, or the slave. To put it bluntly.
I also think psychotherapists, or psychologists more generally, or even the psychological toolkit used to describe the world and people and relationships, almost causes them to walk around with a hammer looking for a nail.
I’m not sure the psychotherapeutic framework is the end all be all when it comes to labeling or trying to understand personalities. It’s useful. But it can also lead to narrow thinking.
Much like a religious person walks around and just sees the world as sinners or saints or whatever.
The world is nuanced, and it’s very hard to be a judge until we walk in other people’s shoes. It’s easy to judge at a distance.
And our default it to measure the world with the same measure we use to measure ourselves.
It’s very challenging to gain a self awareness of this tendency, and acknowledge its limitations.
I also wonder if psychology or psychotherapy attracts narcissism.
Imagine being the center of the world for so many people, and they look to you to provide all their answers, and you have such a high esteem that you possess the answers for people’s problems, that you make it your living.
Or you could just want to help people, and help them heal themselves.
It just gets tricky.
Who is to say who has compassion or is capable of feeling?