Would a Narcissist recognise himself as one if he saw a description of traits on a relevant website? The N's answers
There is a lot of false information about narcissism on the interenet. After talking to different therapists, they have all told me the same thing. No, a narcissist would never consider the possibility of being narcissist. No matter what he has read. And if he was diagnosed, he really would not care at all. They don't want to change their behavior or 'get help' because they don't believe there's anything wrong with them. If you sincerely are worried or think that you might be a narcissist, you definitely are not one.
I honestly don't think so because, my ex narcissist and I would sit down and watch lifetime movies and he would swear up and down that he wasn't like the male characterers that abused their wives on a movie. He denied it being that way left and right. I think they will deny it just to keep you. My narcissist and I lived like roomates until I moved out. I figured I could do bad by myself.
Here is the interesting thing for me. I have not been professionally diagnosed as a N, but I started doing some research recently about it since I have a lot of trouble maintaining my relationships (specifically, romantic relationships). I'm 37 years old. I am single. I have probably had 4 truly special relationships in my life since the time I was 22. They would last 2-3 years each and then I would PUSH the person away. They were all truly special women. But the most recent one, was the most special to me. She was EVERYTHING I ever wanted. And I fought so hard to make her mine. I did everyting in my power. After 3 years, it's all over. What happened? I pushed her away. Simple as that.
Over the past few months, I have been trying deperately to figure out WHY I would do that. And why it seems to be the SAME thing I always do. Always!
I started seeing a psychiatrist last week. Social Anxiety seems to be the first "issue" we've identified. While I completely agree with that assessment, there seems to be something more going on with me.
A couple days ago I googled "men who control women." I stumbled upon this thing called "narcissism." Had I heard of it? Sure. Did I know what it was? Nope.
I read on. I continued to do research.
This morning I landed here. And specifically on this question.
I need to tell you - I am almost 99.9% sure I am a N. And the way I know that is by what I am reading here and on other sites.
Trust me, I do not want that "title," especially after reading the feedback about helping a person facing this issue.
I'm certain my ex-girlfriend is lucky to be rid of me. I miss her terribly - and, yes, I bug her with an email every now and then trying to "get her back" (manipulation). But this goes beyond her, in a way. I may NEVER have a real relationship. That makes me feel a bit sick and hopeless. I truly truly don't want to be that way in a relationship and it seems there may be no help for this.
Scary, to say the very least. But to answer the question - I do believe a N would recognize himself as one, because I did!
Unlikely. Sometimes the narcissist does gain self-awareness and knowledge of his predicament - typically in the wake of a life crisis (divorce, bankruptcy, incarceration, accident, serious illness, or the death of a loved one). But, in the absence of an emotional correlate, of feelings, such merely cognitive awakening is useless. It does not gel into an insight. The dry facts alone cannot bring about any transformation, let alone healing.
The thought of any imperfection regarding the mind, or behavior of a narcissist would never enter their mind-even if they were reading their own description on a webite.
I asked my now-ex to read some of the material on a relevant website, and after he read it, he told me that it didn't really "resonate." Btw, my therapist told me that while he couldn't diagnose someone in absentia, based on what I had told him, he thought my ex had narcissistic traits.
In the slim chance that an N would recognize himself in any description, the knowledge would serve only to anger him and put his defenses into action. Disinterest and dismissal would be the typical response, like the reader whose husband said the material "did not resonate." The reason I have not sent my ex any info is that he uses projection so much that he would find a way to accuse me of being an N based upon what he'd read. The hardest thing I've had to accept in all of this is that he will never get it, he will always say the relationship's demise was due to my emotional problems (in fact he claims that the only responsibility he bears was that he "tried too hard to help" me), and he will never be sorry for his brutality. The only healthy satisfaction I will ever get is in my own recovery from my addiction to narcissists, and on the outside chance that one of his future mates may come to me because she doesn't know who else to talk to, and I can assure her that she's not crazy. It is horrifying how few people know that narcissism isn't just an insult, but an actual personalilty disorder that costs people their lives.
I immediately recognized the traits of pathological narcissism in myself after reading about it on the site mentioned. It articulated so much of what I have been aware of for decades. Unfortunately, since the prognosis for pathological narcissists is so grim, I feel nothing but despair right now. I feel like a monster that needs to be isolated from the world so it doesn't emotionally hurt anyone. I fathered two wonderful daughters, and now I am freaked out... should I just leave them? What hope is there for me?
Answer to above
If you come back to read this please don't leave oyur daughters. The fact that your recognized these traits in yourself means there is hope and a chance you can work on it and change things. If you had denied it all and thought it didnt describe you then yes there might not be hope. But please don't feel despondant when you can get better. As with every disease and addiction realizing it is the first step and often the hardest.
Look for proffessional help, i have been reading about this alot tonight
b/c i have a friend i believe is a N, and i also read that it can be changed, especially if the person is aware and openminded about it. Please look for help, don't give up, you sound like a good person stuck in a bad situation.
Good luck, keep your head up, you actually give me hope my friend could also realize her problem one day.
I like Sam Vaknin. He nailed it. But he does get lost in words and goes off the deep end. Wordy. good but Wordy.
Seriously, you can start by not dumping your major life decisions onto strangers to make. Only you can decide and take responsibility for your actions.
The reason somebody said yes, shouldn't alarm you. YOU asked a yes/no question so if a person answers "yes" and it bothers you then maybe you weren't serious.
Narcissist do use language less literally than others. They are vague, hint, and use innuendos, extremist exaggerations (in order to shift the frame of reference). Do you literally mean what you are asking? or are you just trying to get someone to respond a certain way.
I'm a Narc and I actually take pride in that knowledge. I don't believe that it actually is a "disorder", more like an evolutionary variation. If I'm successful in life and pass on my genes then being a Narc might actually be a good thing. There is no "normal" state of being people... there is no right way too think, feel, or behave... everything is relative in the long run. I'll be successful in life because I seek power, and that hunger for more than mediocre and average is what drives me on. Most people can't understand this desire because they choose the path of least resistance... they never leave their sphere of comfort. Sad really.
The Best Answer
I know you people hate technical jargon, over analyzing and deep concepts in answers but bare with me...ok?
By the way, before I get started--addressing the person above--do you have meaningful relationships with family and friends?
"Would a Narcissist recognize himself as one if he saw a description of traits on a relevant website?"
Normally no, because for one, if the Narcissist's needs include positive recognition from a society that views mental illness negatively, they will naturally have a tendency to lean toward the denial end of the acceptance spectrum when confronted with oppositional information, no matter how creditable or "relevant" the source. To illustrate, for those of you who are not Narcissists, how would you react to your physician abruptly telling you that you have cancer? To a Narcissist a threat to their perfect self-image is equally a death sentence. In short, it is a common occurrence for humans in general, but more so for the Narcissist--their very self depends on it--to either downplay or reject outright the severity of painful, contradictory, or personally challenging information. A site modeling a "disordered" image is clearly inconsistent with the perfect image of, and thus unrecognizable to, the Narcissist.
HOWEVER, this is where it gets interesting. What if the Narcissist, though still pathologically dependent on positive regard, strips "mental illness" of its negative connotation via intellectualization--a defense mechanism that reduces anxiety or emotional distress through excessive reasoning: "mental illness is a construct of society for the purpose of instilling guilt, fear, and self-hate into those who deviate in their behaviour and thinking to preserve optimal productivity and exploit common thinking via collective consumerism", the Narcissist might say. The Narcissist is still a slave to his addiction, and continues to project a compensatory and elitist image, but is no longer a slave to the labels of society. He has ascended--and is self-aware.
Although it should be noted that this perceptual and cognitive leap doesn't change how the Narcissist presents himself to the world, for should his suppliers find out, extraction would become unfathomably difficult.
The world must never know that the Narcissist is a Narcissist.