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Interview granted to Randi Kreger, author of "Stop Walking on Eggshells"


Interview granted to Randi Kreger, author of "Stop Walking on Eggshells"

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2. Interview granted to Randi Kreger, author of “Stop Walking on Eggshells”

 

Review modifications I propose to the diagnostic criteria of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) in the DSM IV to remedy some glaring omissions and misconceptions. My suggested amendments are based on 15 years worth of correspondence with well over 30,000 family members and co-workers of narcissists, 1,000 mental health professionals, and close to 2,000 people who claimed to have been diagnosed with the disorder (though, of course, there is no way to support the veracity of such self-imputed information.)

 

Q. Can you focus on each Narcissistic Personality trait (diagnostic criterion) and write me about how it feels INSIDE to you (paragraph 1), and then one example of how you have shown this to another person in a way that they could see (paragraph 2).

 

A. 1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements);

 

Exaggeration implies deliberation and intent. I employ neither. I am utterly certain of my uniqueness and superiority, exceptional accomplishments, and unparalleled talent. It is a given, an axiom, a fact, and a law of nature. I constantly marvel at me. I regard everyone as inherently inferior, defective, error-prone, and immature. It is an innate conviction, not a conscious decision. It is more of cognitive deficit than a swaggering resolution.

 

I do not hide this idiosyncratic position from my interlocutors: I make clear to them from the very start of every interaction that I am aware of the intellectual disparity, the unbridgeable abyss that separates them from me. I broadcast my contempt and low opinion of them and their puny endeavours. I am not averse to antagonizing people because I regard them as subhuman, mere instruments and functions, at my disposal to use and discard. They do not matter.

 

 2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love;

 

Everything I do is imbued with these grandiose fantasies. I fully expect my writings to elicit overwhelming attention (either negative or positive), to impact events and personalities, and to render me immortal. I fancy myself an eminence grise, the power behind the throne, and a mover and shaker. I look everywhere for evidence to support these confabulated narratives.

 

I communicate my fantasies to co-workers and family. I create a shared psychosis and mobilize them to participate in my grand schemes and thus to buttress my inflated (false) self. I reject, deny, belittle, and re-interpret all information to the contrary.

 

3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions) + 5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations;

 

I demand to be served, attended and catered to by the main honcho: the most senior doctor, the head waiter, the government Minister, leaders and senior executives and editors-in-chief. With my illustrious career and superior traits, skills, and talents I deserve my match and only the best and am entitled to the grandest. I am a precious object, engaged in a cosmically-significant mission, out to transform and revolutionize the world. I, therefore, cannot be bothered with daily chores, underlings, and subordinates. Not for me are the rote, the routine, the pedestrian, and the mundane. I do it my way and in the company of other shapers of worlds and definers of epochs.

 

I firmly feel that my uniqueness is visible, a kind of halo that is discernible. This emanation, I believe, engenders immediate respect and deference and I capitalize on these reactions and present my list of requirements, accepting and expecting instant, unmitigated, and full obeisance. I rage if I am ignored or disobeyed. I can instil fear and trepidation even in the most formidable opponent. Their minds are like putty in my capable hands and I am bound to prevail. I am also immune to the consequences of my actions because I am above man-made laws, red tape, and procedures. I know that this kind of magical thinking is irrational, but it still holds sway over me.

 

4. Requires excessive admiration;

 

Everything I do is intended to elicit attention, either positive (adulation) or negative (fear, loathing) from people around me. The DSM is wrong to limit the subject of the narcissist’s quest to “admiration.” In general, I labour furiously to elicit and solicit “narcissistic supply” either by applying my thespian skills to my life and treating it as one continuous theatre production – or by feigning “false modesty” and garnering reactions to my blatant efforts at “fishing for compliments”.

  

I dazzle with displays of erudition, brilliance, or verbal dexterity. Failing that I revert to naked aggression disguised as hectoring and moralizing, or “tough love”. Either way, I aim to shock. When necessary, I can fake emotions, or use verbal triggers to provoke them in my listeners. I would do anything not to be ignored, to constitute the center of attention, and to memorably “shine.” I am very aware of my “legacy”: the afterglow of my presence, the awe that I aspire to inspire, the hushed tones with which people discuss me and my work. I thrive on these susurrations, they are my fuel.

 

6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends;

 

This is the one trait I completely lack. On the contrary: I am a compulsive giver and an avowed altruist. But my giving is sadistic: I aim to humiliate the recipients and beneficiaries of my largesse and to irrevocably and unambiguously establish my ascendance over them. They are mere foil, a grateful and humbled audience, to be trample on with my conspicuous generosity.

 

7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others;

 

I am aware of the fact that others have emotions, needs, preferences, and priorities – but I simply can’t seem to “get it into my mind.” There is an invisible partition behind which I watch the rest of Mankind and through which nothing that is human can permeate. I empathize more with my goldfish than with my “nearest and dearest.” To me, all people are cardboard cut-outs, sophisticated motor contraptions, ersatz and robotic. I know how I should feel because I am well-read – but I cannot seem to bring myself to emote and to sympathize. I care more about my material possessions and belongings than about any man or woman alive (with the exception of my wife.)

 

Over the years, I have deciphered the code. I have constructed “emotional resonance tables” and have learned to imitate and emulate expertly the more common affect and expressions of one’s inner landscape. But this veneer is easily breached when I am frustrated or humiliated (“narcissistic injury”): the mask slips and the real Me is out: a predator on the prowl.

 

8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her;

 

Envy is at the core of my being: seething, foaming-at-the-mouth, destructive, morbid, and potent. I envy other people’s happiness, possessions, accomplishments, status, spot in the limelight, contacts, you name it. I disguise my envy. I rationalize and intellectualize it. I do my utmost to ruin the source of my frustration while pretending to be his or her friend, an objective critic, or a disinterested observer. I lie sleepless at night, rebelling impotently against the injustice of it all, that any one should surpass me, perfect as I am.

 

My pathological spite drives me to extremes of behavior: I plot and provoke and collude and spread malicious gossip and strive to damage my opponent and reduce him. I imagine his downfall in great detail and revel in his forthcoming misery and humiliation. I salve my agony with the rupture of my ultimate, ineluctable triumph and vindication. I spend inordinate amounts of time, resources, and mental energy on nurturing my envy and mollifying it.

 

9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes.

 

Everything – from my body language to my choice of vocabulary – is intended to disabuse my surroundings of the notion that I am their equal. My posture, my speech, my opinions, and my mode of communication all convey my innate and indisputable advantage. I do not talk – I lecture. I do not agree or comply – I deign. I do not collaborate – I guide. I do not give advice – I preach. I do not walk – I parade. Everything I do is suffused with a significance that defies words and the average intelligence of mere mortals. I am a cerebral Superman, a Gulliver among the Lilliputians, a condescending and patronizing intellectual giant among the midgets and dwarfs that comprise humanity. My arrogance and haughtiness are merely encoded messages bearing the information that I am sui generis, one of a kind. They do not make them like me anymore.


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Oct/14/2011, 8:51 am Link to this post  
 


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