Narcissists Are Mad Men – Episode 2 July 15, 2012Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Tags: Lack of Empathy, Mad Men, Narcissism, Narcissist, Narcissist's lack of empathy, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD, Relationships, Roger Sterling, Sterling's Gold
I’m not a diehard Mad Men fan, but when I ran across a copy of Sterling’s Gold – Wit & Wisdom of an Ad Man, my first thought was, “Forget Sterling, this is NPD Gold!” The book is ostensibly written by Roger Sterling, Jr., better known as Don Draper’s boss. If you follow my blog, you know I’ve written about Don Draper in Is Don Draper the Devil or a Narcissist?
I thought some of the quotes in the book would make excellent jumping off points to discuss questions that keep appearing via the Search Engines that churn 24/7. I’ve been addressing some of those questions in my The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism series, but it’s summer so I’m down for something different.
“Lack of Empathy”
It is the Narcissist’s lack of empathy that is their trump card. No matter what you do or say, that bored/put upon look on their faces (sometimes accompanied by an eye roll) says it all. Your concerns are so utterly trivial. You’re boring me! It’s the Narcissist’s lack of empathy that ultimately reveals who they are and more importantly, who they aren’t.
We recently had a lively discussion on Empathy vs. Sympathy on my blog. Thanks to those who put in their two cents. I believe we now have enough to buy a cup of coffee or a cuppa. Make no mistake – it is the Narcissist’s lack of empathy that reveals their inner void. They are literally unable to see beyond their own noses due to their stunted egos. They can be like cranky children who need a nap and can argue endlessly contradicting themselves as they go. It’s all about them. It’s their party and they’ll cry if they want to, but don’t you dare cry!
When you call the N on their bad behavior, whether it be blatant lies, lies by omission, cheating on you, or just not showing the teeniest bit of interest in the things that matter most to you, you become a nattering needy nuisance. Make no mistake. It’s not love or anger that will kill your soul – it’s indifference. The Narcissist has an uncanny ability to deny that your concerns are real. It’s all in your imagination!
No matter how carefully you try to frame your concerns, you’ll be accused of being “too sensitive” “too needy” or “a drama queen.”
Women (especially) often resort to writing a letter so they can be heard. Since the Narcissist won’t indulge in a genuine conversation, they hope to say what’s really on their minds minus the rolling of the eyes. They choose their words oh-so carefully, so as not to inflame or offend. They mail the letter only to get no response. Nada.
The real danger is that where your thoughts are routinely dismissed or belittled, you begin to stop expressing your thoughts. No one wants to say something only to have it shot down. You begin to self censor. The N has literally “got your tongue.”
Most Ns sling their verbal arrows behind closed doors. So if you dare tell someone what you’re experiencing – they’ll give you that look. The look that tells you that perhaps YOU are the one with the problem. Some people have said it would have been better to have been physically abused – at least they’d have visible scars to prove the abuse they suffered.
I once confided in my friend “Joe” that I’d just learned that one of my students was being sexually abused by her father. He’d met the girl, so I thought he’d find this news upsetting. A simple, “That’s awful” would have sufficed. Instead, his reaction was, “I hope you’re not going to get all emotional about this because that will just get in the way of our project.” He couldn’t be bothered.
To the N, a genuine emotion is a Level Red Security Alert. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! They don’t know how to respond. Instead, they tend to have comeback lines that they can deliver with chilling detachment. Their response is designed to shut down any meaningful conversation. When a person does not have a voice, they slowly cease to exist. They begin to fade into the background like a TV set left on. This is fine with the Narcissist as they really could care less about your concerns. If you think otherwise, they’ll just change the channel and up the volume to drown you out – and leave you to lick your “imaginary wounds.”
DSM-5 to Ignore Narcissists – Part 3 May 22, 2011Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Tags: Changes to the DSM -V, Diagnosing Personality Disorders, DSM-IV, DSM5.org, Narcissism, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD, Personality Disorders, Psychopathy, Public comment on DSM V, Relationships
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How could you not love an article that begins with a psychiatrist lamenting, “Where are we going to put the narcissists?”
Psychiatric Diagnoses Get a Rethinking appeared in the Los Angeles Times today. It’s a very interesting read. It seems that psychiatrists, sipping drinks from coconut shells at the American Psychiatric Association’s five-day conference, have been duking it out over the proposed changes to the DSM-V due out in 2013.
Dr. Allen Frances, chairman of the DSM -IV Task Force (sounds so military, almost special-opish!) and one of the most vocal critics of proposed changes pointed out that many advances in brain imaging and molecular biology have given professional insight into the workings of the brain, but there is still much to learn (before throwing out the baby with the bathwater). The bold type is my take on this whole mess.
If you go to DSM5.org, you’ll find the suggested changes listed. The American Psychiatric Association has opened up the changes for public comments. I put in my two cents during the first public comment session last year. The second public session began this month and runs through June 15th. Speak now or forever hold your peace!
DSM-V to Ignore Narcissists – Part 2 April 21, 2011Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Tags: Changes to the DSM -V, Diagnosing Personality Disorders, DSM-IV, Dual Diagnosis, Narcissism, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD, Personality Disorders, Psychopathy, Relationships, Statistical Clustering, Statistical Dimension Reduction
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
Since writing DSM-V to Ignore Narcissists?, I came across an interesting article, The Mathematics of Narcissism , on Slate. It offers a statistical rationale for eliminating Narcissistic Personality Disorder from the DSM-V due out in 2013.
I should mention that when I took a statistics class for my master’s degree two summers ago, I woke up every morning weeping. My poor husband hadn’t seen me like that since the first year we were married! I don’t mind looking at bar graphs, line plots, and pie charts. I just didn’t want to fall into the abyss of Excel spreadsheets. I survived the course and even earned an A, but it was like pulling teeth- slowly and one at a time. Even so, I was able to follow this article, though it would have helped if there were pie charts in color.
The changes proposed for the DSM-V have been years in the making. They address the fact that many of the current ten personality disorders overlap, so instead of “clustering” personality disorders, the DSM-V is going with “dimension reduction.” Oh dear, I’m having statistical PTSD as I type this! If it’s any consolation to those who’ve had a close encounter with a narcissist, the proposed changes are extremely controversial and seem to please no one, least of all psychiatrists.
Personality disorders are being scrapped and replaced with six axes of personality traits, though no single one will be designated as the Axis of Evil. The axes are:
1) negative emotionality
So, come 2013, there will still be narcissism, but no narcissists. Those formerly diagnosed with NPD will score high on four facets of antagonism; callousness, manipulativeness, narcissism, and histrionism. So how will this help those who’ve had a close encounter with a narcissist? It won’t. But read the article and see what you think.
If it’s any consolation, psychopathy, which was eliminated from the DSM-IV, is back. Dexter, take note!
Barack Obama is a Narcissist and Other Urban Legends August 23, 2009Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Politics.
Tags: Barack Obama, Disinformation, Email Forwards, Faith Freedom, Is Obama a narcissist?, Narcissism, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Politics, Sam Vaknin, Snopes, The Internet, Urban Legends
Several friends and relatives forwarded me the email Obama is a Narcissist purportedly written by Sam Vaknin, “a world authority on narcissism.” It goes on to say, “He (Vaknin) understands the inner mind of a narcissist like no other person. When he talks about narcissism, everyone listens.” Whoa, let’s take a deep breath.
What the email fails to mention is that Sam Vaknin was diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) in 1984. And that title of Dr. before his name? Shmuel (Sam) Vaknin’s resume reports that he completed nine semesters at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. His doctorate is not in psychology, but philosophy, and was received from Pacific Western University, an unaccredited on-line diploma mill based in California. (Operators are standing by, if you too would like add Dr. to your name) Vaknin, an Israeli citizen, was incarcerated in Israel for white collar fraud and currently resides in Macedonia.
Although the Obama is a Narcissist email references some of Vaknin’s writing and includes a header suggesting he is the author, the article was actually published Sept. 8, 2008 by Ali Sina on the FaithFreedom.org (FFI) site as Understanding Obama: The Making of a Fuehrer. How do I know this? I credit Snopes.com. Since 1981, Snopes founders Barbara and David Mikkelson have made it their job to investigate information flying around out there on the internet and provide a much needed reality check.
FFI identifies itself as “a grassroots worldwide movement of ex-Muslims and all those who are concerned about the rise of the Islamic threat.” Its publisher, an Iranian who lives in Canada, uses the pseudonym “Ali Sina.”
If you’ve received the above email (there are numerous versions flying through cyberspace), you know it quickly goes off the deep end. Obama is likened to Jim Jones, the charismatic cult leader of the the People’s Temple who led over 900 of his followers to commit mass suicide. The email says they did so “cheerfully.” Sina’s ugly diatribe refers to Obama’s supporters as “worshippers” and wastes no time in comparing Obama to Stalin and Hitler. Sina has said on the website that he hopes Obama will be executed by electrocution – he subscribes to the conspiracy about Barack Obama’s birth. Wingnuts unite!
My outrage about the above circulating email is two-fold. First, it’s a lie and a blatant misrepresentation of the facts. I only worked briefly as a journalist, but the journalistic mantra is “a reliable source.”
Secondly, as someone who’s written quite a bit on Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), I know those with NPD are pathological liars. So to my mind that negates Vaknin’s observations made from half-way around the world. Vaknin has provided incredible insights into his own narcissism for which I’m grateful. It’s important to note that those with NPD crave attention, but will settle for notoriety. The email circulating provides this to Vaknin in abundance.
I’m most disappointed with how quick people are to use and abuse the term “narcissist.” I realize many don’t know any better. That’s why I write what I do. For the record. narcissism runs on a continuum from healthy narcissism (Healthy Ego) to Destructive Narcissistic Patterns (Me is getting in the way of Us) to Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or as Vaknin refers to his NPD, Malignant Narcissism.
I can’t imagine how any politician or leader could rise to power without a healthy/hefty dose of narcissistic traits. Think alpha male. But this doesn’t mean they have NPD. One tell-tale sign of those with NPD is they’re unable to maintain a healthy emotional relationship with significant others. Someone better tell Michelle and the girls.
I highly recommend that when an email is forwarded to you, you run it by Snopes.com. I recently was forwarded Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins University. When it started talking about how ingesting dairy products creates mucus and how some forms of cancer thrive in mucus, it got me to wondering. I went to Snopes and sure enough they’d already done the research. John Hopkins issued a rebuttal stating that the circulating email is a total fabrication.
If you have trouble remembering the name Snopes, you can do like I do. It rhymes with Scopes, as in the Scopes Monkey Trial. There’s a cure for ignorance – it’s called education.
Photo Credit: Google Images
My World is Flat January 7, 2009Posted by alwaysjan in Blogging.
Tags: Blogging, clustrmaps, Education, Geography, Humor, maps, Narcissist, Outliers
I’ve always loved geography, especially if it involves sticking map pins in foreign countries that are then tethered in place with colorful yarn. (But, that’s the teacher in me.) Being a sucker for maps, I added the ClustrMap in the sidebar of my blog on Dec. 28th to show where visitors to my blog are coming from (geographically speaking, that is). The stats upgrade daily (or almost), but the 12,194 visitors who came before I activated the ClustrMap aren’t accounted for. I refer to them as The Missing.
According to ClustrMaps, every so often, a new cycle starts and The Map is wiped clean. So one day The Map looks like it has the measles and then the next, there’s not a spot in sight. This has freaked some bloggers out, so now Clustrmaps (which is free), notifies users ahead of time so they can prepare for this Cyber-geddon. Bloggers, evidently, are a sentimental bunch and like to hoard copies of every measly (and measled) map on their hard drives.
I hope to see crater-sized circles soon, all but obliterating the earth as I know it. (Sorry, but given Americans’ dunce status when it comes to world geography, I couldn’t bring myself to write WE).
In the first week that I had The Map, I couldn’t help but notice that there were no dots on Africa. My husband, who just finished reading Malcom Gladwell’s brilliant book Outliers, thinks this is because much of that continent’s population is busy gathering mongongo nuts (Gladwell) and having recreational sex (my husband). No hits in Iceland? Easily explained. Richard said they obviously lost all of their computers when the banks went belly up. And what about Alaska? The only person I knew of by name from Alaska didn’t seem to be much of a reader. But, Richard is inclined to believe it’s because all those Alaskans are busy catching and gutting the few remaining fish on the planet. The strange thing is that my husband is starting to make sense, which is taking some getting used to.
When I saw I a dot smack in the middle of Australia, I actually got out my atlas, as I knew all of the major cities are on the coast. Could some aboriginal person be sitting atop Ayers Rock cruising the internet? My friend Cathy had a different theory. She imagined some poor sot working at a sheep station in the interior and the only other person within miles just happens to be a narcissist. (See Top Posts) Then I wondered if a sheep could be narcissistic, and we didn’t want to go THERE!
So, wherever you’re coming from (geographically speaking or otherwise), welcome! Thanks for stopping by my planet.