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Registered: 10-2008
Posts: 2215
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Narcissistic Rage: Rumpelstiltskin

This illustration came from: Craik, Dinah Maria Mulock. The Fairy Book. Warwick Goble, illustrator. London: Macmillan & Co., 1913 and can be found at Surlalune:

From Rumpelstiltskin by the Brothers Grimm

"Now, my lady Queen, what's my name?"
She asked first: "Is your name Conrad?"
"Is your name Harry?"
"No." "
Is your name perhaps, Rumpelstiltskin?"
"Some demon has told you that, some demon has told you that!" screamed the little man, and in his rage drove his right foot so far into the ground that it sank in up to his waist; then in a passion he seized the left foot with both hands and tore himself in two."


Thoughts on Narcissistic Rage

An ancient belief in many cultures is that if you know a man's name, it gives you power over him. This appears to be the thought behind the story of Rumpelstiltskin. The woman's ability to say his name eliminated his power, saved the day for her, and also sent him into a rage which resulted in his self-destruction.

When we call the Narcissist on his behavior, stop buying his act, or confront him with his failings, he considers this an injury and will in all likelihood respond to that injury with Narcissistic Rage. (Narcissistic rage is a response to narcissistic injury according to Sam Vaknin.) The Rage, in my experience, might manifest itself either covertly through veiled sabotage and devaluing by the Narcissist, or overtly through outright abuse and possibly a smear campaign levelled against whomever or whatever has succeeded in "naming him'.

You may be tempted to unmask the Narcissist, to confront him with his disorder in an effort to either 'help him' or just let him know that you're onto him. I wouldn't recommend that course of action. All it will provoke is either denial or rage.

However, your ability to 'name him' is helpful to someone. It is helpful to you. Acceptance of who the narcissist is and what his disorder means, i.e. 'naming him', empowers a target. While this recognition does not give you any power over him in terms of 'fixing him' or changing the outcome for him, it does empower you to detach and avoid the Narcissistic Rage that results from injuring a Narcissist's sense of self. False as that self may be, it is crucial to the Narcissist and he will "tear himself in two" to preserve it. Don't stick around for the fallout.

By Lynn

"The best way out is always through."--Robert Frost
Oct/26/2008, 4:04 pm Link to this post  

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