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The Sociopathic Style
NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and AsPD (Antisocial Personality Disorder, or Psychopathy/Sociopathy)
Phallic Narcissistic Personality
The least amount of narcissism and therefore the least commitment to the Sociopathic Style™ is in the phallic-narcissistic personality. This is a person who is a perfectionist and who is very concerned about self-image. They are fairly reality based and can be quite successful. They often have to be right. Their grandiosity is held in check to a great degree by the reality of their accomplishments. They are often driven to succeed and are often seen as successful. Sexuality for these individuals is based on proving their own sexual attractiveness and their power is derived from the kind of person they can conquer sexually and often by the number of people they can conquer sexually. Life is seen as a problem to be conquered with physical skill and mental prowess.
They do not live through relationships of the heart and have a difficulty truly loving. Their image of self is as a lover and sexual conqueror but not as one who loves. People relating to them will not feel loved and often will feel judged and inadequate.
f the person in a relationship is willing to confront them with how they feel and “lay it on the line” that they must feel their love or they cannot continue to be in the relationship they are the most likely of the group of narcissists to respond with looking at themselves realistically and therefore most likely to give up the narcissistic style and thereby change.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Narcissism is a term that comes out “Ego Psychology” used to describe an individual who is very self-centered and “in love with his or her own image." This term comes from the myth of Narcissus who had the inability to feel or express love. Significant in this myth is that Ego was the consort of Narcissus. Because he did not say “I love you.” She, although loving him very much could say the words to him. He believed he was unloved.
Of significance in this myth is that narcissism is based in a relationship process. Unlike many psychiatric disorders, it does not develop independent of relationships. Because it develops in relationship disorders, it manifests in relationships and can only be changed through a relationship process.
We all have narcissism to one degree or another. The problem evolves when it is the dominant aspect of our relationships.
The narcissist operates from an image they hold of themselves in their head. They do not operate from the reality of feelings in their body. This does not mean they do not feel. It means their feelings are generated by what they believe about themselves and others in there head. They do not “test” these beliefs through “real” interactions with people. They live in their heads, not their bodies.
Because they froze the ability of the body to feel at a young age they never have the opportunity to correct the picture they hold of themselves in their head. We all hold pictures of ourselves in our head. We are willing or desire to change these pictures of ourselves on the basis of feedback from others and accurate assessment of who we are.
When the narcissist is confronted with a reality of who they are, and that differs from their mental picture, they discount the information. If the information persists or gets stronger they will rage at the information or the informer.
Because they are frozen inside, they have to cling to the image they hold. If you try to go in deeper, you will discover that there is no depth to the person. The narcissist knows that and will prevent you from going beneath the surface at all costs. Any penetration of the surface reveals the emptiness they experience from within.
Depending on the degree of narcissism, the person possesses increasing degrees of grandiosity, self centeredness, disdain for others who don’t match up to their standards as well as feelings of omnipotence. In the extreme they see themselves as gods or goddesses who are above humanity. The degree to which one is narcissistic is the degree to which one does not accept their humanity.
The Borderline Personality
This personality does not look like it is narcissistic at first glance. They don’t have the inner strength to maintain the façade the way the other personalities do. They will swing from a position of high competence and distain for others to depression and self-doubt believing they are much worse than others. These people can be very confusing because they often are bright and very skillful and yet, never really make it in life. Because they cannot maintain the image of success they often quit before really getting to the place of real success. In a relationship they are very difficult to be with as they have severe mood swings and usually not caused by any external event.
They often feel victimized and will turn into a vicious persecutor at the drop of the hat. Because they personalize almost everything anyone else does or says, it is difficult to know how they are receiving what you are saying to them or doing with them. This also leads to a fair amount of paranoia. They are very concerned about what others think about them and often believe others do not like them. In some ways they often can look like the reverse of a narcissist in that they can be very sloppy in their dress and have poor body hygiene. One of the difficulties in identifying the borderline personality is that they can appear very different in public than in private. Also, they are not consistent in their behavior or in their presentation.
Narcissism is quite pronounced in the borderline personality. They really see themselves as the center of everything and have a very distorted view of their importance to others. It is important to recognize when relating to a borderline that you don’t really exist. When they see you they see a fuzzy image that is filled in with projections from their own unconscious. If you do not realize this you will feel very crazy with them. In fact, most children growing up in the family of a borderline parent have a deep abiding belief that they themselves are the one that is crazy, not the parent.
Depression is often the symptom that brings the borderline into treatment but they have a very difficult time staying in therapy. When the depression is lifted through medication they will leave therapy. Typically they go untreated except for intermittent bouts with depression, which is relieved with medication.
The Sociopathic (Psychopathic) Personality
At the most disturbed end of the continuum is the sociopathic personality. Unlike the popular belief about them, they are not all serial killers. In fact, one could almost put the criminal sociopath in another category. However, they can be quite dangerous. They are devoid of feeling and can perform the most inhumane acts without an ounce of guilt or remorse. They also have the capacity to put on an act of remorse, which can throw one off and into believing they really do feel. It is always an act. They consider themselves superior to all others and hold themselves above humanity. They are exceedingly arrogant and always right. If crossed, they can move from an appearance of compassion and caring to a cold-blooded killer in an instant.
Because they are without feeling, they can often fool a lie detector test, as they have no physiological responses to lying. Arguing with them is a lost cause. They will always out-maneuver someone and prove them wrong.
They can be very successful corporate leaders and play that role very well. Life is a game and people are pieces on their game board to be moved at their will. If one doesn't play their game, they will have no use for them. If one begins to play their game and gets in their way, they will eliminate that person by either destroying or by discarding them.
Because they live larger than life and are highly seductive, many people find them attractive--particularly individuals who are a bit timid and believe they can succeed by “going along for the ride”. Sociopaths prey on the innocent. They are the true predators of humanity. The cost to the individuals in their web and to society is immeasurable.
AsPD (Antisocial Personality Disorder, or Psychopathy/Sociopathy)
Narcissism on Crime TV
Crime and Terrorism
http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/12.html (The Idler)
http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/corporatenarcissism.html (United Press
International - Part I, Part II)
http://www.nypress.com/16/7/news&columns/feature.cfm (New York Press)
Listen to "Psychopaths in Suits" on Australia's ABC Radio
Or read the transcript here:
Mirror, Mirror ... (Toronto Sun)
Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy
Buy 16 books and video lectures on 3 DVDs about narcissists, psychopaths, and abusive relationships
Jan/12/2009, 10:47 am
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