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 Is the internet breeding narcissists? 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:13 am
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New post Is the internet breeding narcissists?
And are forums a feeding ground for narcissists? I think so. Me not included, of course. :-) In times past narcissists would have been the village misfits with their symptoms being contained due to lack of grand opportunities, much to their own benefit as well as everyone elses. From my reading, these unfortunates proved much of a trial when they entered the monastic life. One can only imagine it!

Any comments?


From the Sydney Morning Herald today, July 31, 2012.

Do you fantasise about being a celebrity? Perhaps you rely on Facebook to promote your successes and achievements? Or do you constantly tell your children how special they are to boost their self-esteem but really think you should be the one getting all the attention?

You could just be displaying the traits of a confident person with healthy self-regard but some might argue you have the more sinister characteristics of a narcissist.

Lisa Firestone, a psychology expert on relationships and parenting, writing in Psychology Today, explains the distinction. "Self-esteem differs from narcissism in that it represents an attitude built on accomplishments we've mastered, values we've adhered to, and care we've shown toward others. Narcissism, conversely, is often based on a fear of failure or weakness, a focus on one's self, an unhealthy drive to be seen as the best, and a deep-seated insecurity and underlying feeling of inadequacy."

Narcissists come in two forms, says Dr Doris McIlwain, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Macquarie University. "The grandiose narcissist is out for themselves, pretty hopeless at empathy, likely to make any shame coming their way your problem rather than theirs. They are status-obsessed, unlikely to thank you or apologise. The thin-skinned narcissist is secretly resentful of being imposed on, feels like an unsung hero and, since they are unable to soothe their own ruffled emotions – they will outsource that need by getting others to bolster their ego."
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If all this is starting to sound familiar, it's not surprising. Experts are warning of the dangers of narcissism - from celebrity culture promoting fame and wealth above ethics and altruism, to internet-enabled self-obsession and discipline-averse parenting styles.

Larry Rosen, Professor of Psychology at California State University in Los Angeles believes technology is affecting our emotional stability and exposing us to a range of psychological disorders including narcissism. The author of iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession With Technology And Overcoming Its Hold On Us, told ABC Radio National's All In The Mind program, "iDisorder is where technology is literally making us exhibit signs and symptoms of a whole bunch of psychological disorders including narcissistic personality disorder, depression, attention deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder even a little bit of schizoid personality."

"While people may not be exhibiting a full-blown narcissism, what they are exhibiting are more signs and symptoms of narcissism" said Rosen. "This narcissism might be manifested on Facebook by collecting friends. I have lots, and lots, and lots of friends; I have a thousand friends, look how wonderful I am. Or look at these photos of me that I'm posting on Flickr. [Moderator comment: Anyone know anyone that's done this? With photos from 20 years ago, at that?] Wow! Look at how much fun I'm having in my life."

"Researchers that have found looking at, say, even popular lyrics in songs that over the last several decades, the songs have become more narcissistic, songs instead of being about other people and love, are more about me, me, me – look at me," he added.

Last month singer Rihanna became the latest celebrity thought to be suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) after the UK's Daily Star said "a string of bizarre messages and pictures she put on Twitter revealed she could have a mental disorder". Relationship psychologist Jo Hemmings told the newspaper: "Rihanna's erratic behaviour could indicate that she suffers from NPD. Symptoms are an exaggerated sense of self-importance and a need for constant admiration, which Rihanna shows by posting semi-nude pics."

Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University and co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement believes young people are becoming increasingly narcissistic.

"Overall, we've seen a massive increase in narcissism among college students" she told the American Psychological Association's Monitor on Psychology. The financial crisis may have dampened down materialism but "a lot of other cultural forces — the internet and parenting in particular — are still pushing in the direction of narcissism," she said.

Lisa Firestone highlights the role of parenting in the book she has written with her psychologist father, Robert Firestone, The Self Under Siege. "Vanity is a fantasised image of the self that is formed when parents substitute empty praise and a false build-up for the real love and acknowledgment they have failed to provide to their child," she says.

"Studies have shown that children offered compliments for skills they haven't mastered or talents they do not possess are left feeling as if they'd received no praise at all, often even emptier and less secure," she wrote in Psychology Today. "Only children praised for real accomplishments were able to build self-esteem. The others were left to develop something far less desirable — narcissism."

These arguments have found resonance in Australia where the question of whether young people today are more narcissistic than previous generations is a topic of debate.

Professor Johanna Wyn, director of the Australian Youth Research Centre at Melbourne University, has been conducting research through the Life Patterns project following two generations of Australians, Gen X born in 1973 and Gen Y born around 1989, in areas such as education, employment, health and family as well as learning about their aspirations and attitudes.

Wyn says she rejects the narcissistic label given to young people in Australia today.

"Jean Twenge can't speak for Australians" she says. "I don't see anything like that in the data we've got and we've been researching Generation X for over 22 years," she says. Young people today "have to be really good decision makers, they have to be self-aware and they have to be good navigators of complex times and I think you could be reading some of those traits as somehow being narcissistic because they have to be fairly aware of where they stand, who they are, how they connect, but I see it as a functional and probably inevitable way of operating."

Young Australians "really value family highly and friends and there's a really high rate of volunteering and I think it really doesn't paint a picture of that kind of narcissism or self-interested individual. As they get older volunteering increases so, instead of becoming more narcissistic, they are becoming more community minded in general and I think that's really important. I think there's a lot of evidence to paint a different picture."

Dr Helen McGrath a senior lecturer in the School of Education at Deakin University disagrees. "Parents and teachers always have the best interests of children at the heart of what they do and their involvement in the 'self-esteem movement' has reflected that. However, although well-intentioned, this movement is now seen by many researchers to have contributed to a stronger sense of entitlement and, in some cases, higher levels of narcissism."

So what does McGrath think can be done to protect children from these narcissistic tendencies? One approach, she says, is to place more emphasis on self-respect rather than self-esteem.

"We can work with parents to change their focus slightly and identify self-respect as a more useful goal rather than self-esteem," she says. "People who have self-respect have sound values that they use as a 'moral map' they treat others respectfully. They consider themselves equal to other people (neither inferior or superior) and work hard to try and achieve their goals. They are resilient, accept themselves as imperfect and continue to be self-accepting in spite of mistakes or failures. Although they enjoy receiving positive feedback and they are not dependent on it to feel okay."

In the meantime perhaps we can stop seeing celebrities as role models, take a break from Facebook and give our egos a well-deserved rest.

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On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

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Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:25 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Helen McGrath wrote:
"We can work with parents to change their focus slightly and identify self-respect as a more useful goal rather than self-esteem," she says. "People who have self-respect have sound values that they use as a 'moral map' they treat others respectfully. They consider themselves equal to other people (neither inferior or superior) and work hard to try and achieve their goals. They are resilient, accept themselves as imperfect and continue to be self-accepting in spite of mistakes or failures. Although they enjoy receiving positive feedback and they are not dependent on it to feel okay."


Haven't they noticed that they're reinventing (miniscule parts of) the most famous "wheel" yet - Catholicism?

Talk about learning the hard way.

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Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:45 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Quote:
Raphael wrote:
Helen McGrath wrote:
"We can work with parents to change their focus slightly and identify self-respect as a more useful goal rather than self-esteem," she says. "People who have self-respect have sound values that they use as a 'moral map' they treat others respectfully. They consider themselves equal to other people (neither inferior or superior) and work hard to try and achieve their goals. They are resilient, accept themselves as imperfect and continue to be self-accepting in spite of mistakes or failures. Although they enjoy receiving positive feedback and they are not dependent on it to feel okay."


Haven't they noticed that they're reinventing (miniscule parts of) the most famous "wheel" yet - Catholicism?

Talk about learning the hard way.

Raphael! You took the words right out of my mouth!
But this bit is worth a laugh:
Quote:
They consider themselves equal to other people (neither inferior or superior) and work hard to try and achieve their goals. They are resilient, accept themselves as imperfect and continue to be self-accepting in spite of mistakes or failures. Although they enjoy receiving positive feedback and they are not dependent on it to feel okay

Heh! Psycologists! Can't loose if every possibility is included in the diagnosis.
Anyhow, Katie's right; only she and I are immune to narcissm.(And Raphael, of course).


Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:08 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Odd and Raphael,

Do you think that this article has the other forum members in retreat... :wink:

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On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:22 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie wrote:
Odd and Raphael,

Do you think that this article has the other forum members in retreat... :wink:

Nah! They're just wisely waiting to see what kind of narcissists they might be associating with. It is perfectly reasonable for anyone to be a bit cautious of the likes of me that swaggers into your Tea Room and starts provoking the hostess.


Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:37 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Oldavid wrote:

It is perfectly reasonable for anyone to be a bit cautious of the likes of me that swaggers into your Tea Room and starts provoking the hostess.


Ah, I am glad that you can see that. :lol:

_________________
On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:04 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie wrote:
Oldavid wrote:

It is perfectly reasonable for anyone to be a bit cautious of the likes of me that swaggers into your Tea Room and starts provoking the hostess.


Ah, I am glad that you can see that. :lol:

It's a habit of mine.
I hate formal dinners.


Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:21 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Hey Willsy, would you believe that Odd already communicated to me privately that from his earliest recollection he had an aversion to formal dinners and then sent me through this photo? With manners like that he won't be coming round to dinner here anytime soon...

Image

_________________
On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:44 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie wrote:
Hey Willsy, would you believe that Odd already communicated to me privately that from his earliest recollection he had an aversion to formal dinners and then sent me through this photo? With manners like that he won't be coming round to dinner here anytime soon...

Image

He's a serious little chap, isn't he?

But one can see how he grew up to be the Terror of the Tea Room.


Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:33 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Well, you have progressed a bit - at least you bring a knife and fork these days.

Image

_________________
On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:22 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
They just happened to be in my pocket from the last tea room.

Anyone want to try one of my scones?
There are still a few in my pocket from a couple of days ago.


Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:39 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Oldavid wrote:
They just happened to be in my pocket from the last tea room.

Anyone want to try one of my scones?
There are still a few in my pocket from a couple of days ago.


No thanks. You've been a bit quiet lately and methinks you may be suffering from scone-poisoning.

_________________
On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:20 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie wrote:
Oldavid wrote:
They just happened to be in my pocket from the last tea room.

Anyone want to try one of my scones?
There are still a few in my pocket from a couple of days ago.


No thanks. You've been a bit quiet lately and methinks you may be suffering from scone-poisoning.

Nah! I don't eat scones... I just keep a few for treats for my friends.

I've only been quiet because I've been away where I can't see what's going on in your establishment (whatever it's called today).


Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:07 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Oldavid wrote:
I've only been quiet because I've been away where I can't see what's going on in your establishment (whatever it's called today).


It's been named with you in mind, again. See how you rule even when absent.

_________________
On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:52 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie wrote:
Oldavid wrote:
I've only been quiet because I've been away where I can't see what's going on in your establishment (whatever it's called today).


It's been named with you in mind, again. See how you rule even when absent.

You've lost me again!


Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:44 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
It's a pub in Meekatharra, if memory serves (and yes, I'm going back 25 years...) :)

We could have a great argument there, as long as the native lady that kept asking me to come outside and share a bottle of wine with her will leave us alone. :oops:

It's a great place, or I should say, was a great place, eighty years before I was last there. :) A grand house, and clearly a product of the gold profits which flowed so freely in that era. It has one of those bars, rectangular and placed in the centre of the room. One could interrupt a conversation between any two other drinkers, and yell abuse or have a good debate, without having to move from one's stool. It was set up with you in mind, surely! :)

The name also suggests that it's where you'd get "the mail" as in "let me give you the mail" and not just any mail, Royal mail, just like we get from Katie. :D

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Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:19 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
:lol: I was in Meekathara a few weeks ago and that "native lady" was still there!

But the "Royal Mail" wasn't, as I recall.


Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:43 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Oldavid wrote:
:lol: I was in Meekathara a few weeks ago and that "native lady" was still there!


:shock:

Oldavid wrote:
But the "Royal Mail" wasn't, as I recall.


Mate, is your memory always this short, or is it just the effect of your visit to the Royal Mail Hotel? :lol:

http://www.royalmailhotel.com.au/

And there's the bar! First image - click and it will open up to a large picture of it.

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Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:05 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
John Lane wrote:
And there's the bar! First image - click and it will open up to a large picture of it.

Oh, yes. I remember the bar... a young Canadian girl served us a good feed. I was sitting on that stool front right. The "native lady" was on the verandah out front. I had a short conversation with her as I was waiting for the other bloke.


Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:15 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Oh Old, I nearly forgot there was another connotation to this forum's new name and you: The Royal Male. Wear your crown with pride while it lasts! :D

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On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

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Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:27 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Uh huh.

But is the internet breeding narcissists?


Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:15 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
OldD,

I think the thread is named rather badly, actually. I think the internet is FEEDING narcissists and that they would be a lot better off without such a ready and wide medium to spread their "fame." And we would all be better off also. Though I think the most damage narcissists do is within their own social circle and there's not much that can be done about that.

How many narcissists does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: One. He holds the bulb while the world revolves around him.

_________________
On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:35 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie wrote:
OldD,

I think the thread is named rather badly, actually. I think the internet is FEEDING narcissists and that they would be a lot better off without such a ready and wide medium to spread their "fame." And we would all be better off also. Though I think the most damage narcissists do is within their own social circle and there's not much that can be done about that.

Yair, yair, yair! Applies to everyone but you an' me though.


Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:11 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
It does raise a question.

How would one identify an internet narcissist; or more particularly, what telltale signs should one be on the lookout for if one's self might be, or be becoming, an IN?

(That, of course, is a thinly disguised invitation to you all to put the boots into the Royal Male so that I can be the centre of attention). :twisted:


Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:43 am
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Oldavid wrote:
It does raise a question.

How would one identify an internet narcissist; or more particularly, what telltale signs should one be on the lookout for if one's self might be, or be becoming, an IN?

(That, of course, is a thinly disguised invitation to you all to put the boots into the Royal Male so that I can be the centre of attention). :twisted:



Got you worried, have I? :)

Following is a very good list of narcissistic traits from a narcissist "help" website. If you know someone who ticks most of the boxes...well, you are in trouble! Actually, it's not quite that simple when dealing with the internet, as many of these traits are only exposed when a narcissist feels under pressure. I'll see if I can find something more internet specific for you (to allay your fears...).


Common Behaviours of a Narcissist

• ‘Me versus You’ mentality;
• Competitiveness;
• ‘Tit for tat’ retaliations;
• Striving for the ‘spotlight’ and attention;
• Excessive generosity to outside people;
• Uncomfortable when others are incurring attention or praise;
• If can’t be centre of attention will either discredit or leave the experience;
• May fake illnesses or problems to procure attention / sympathy;
• Abusive verbal behaviour when angered or insecure;
• Tendency toward violent and even criminal behaviour;
• Inappropriate and inapplicable language in front of women and children;
• Dark moods that affect others;
• False promises;
• Glorifies and falsifies achievements past and present;
• Expects to be recognised and praised;
• Finds others not complying with wants intolerable;
• Extreme sensitivity to criticism;
• Extreme defensiveness when confronted;
• Pathological lying;
• Disdain for rules, regulations, decency and morality;
• Childish outbursts and behaviour;
• Very little consideration for how behaviour affects others;
• Extreme lack of compassion or sensitivity towards others' problems;
• Grossly unsupportive to familiars in times of need;
• Brushes incidences under the carpet;
• Uses allies real or imagined to back up claims and arguments;
• Uses guilt and manipulation to influence others;
• Tendency towards unreasonable jealousy and possessiveness;
• Capable of degrading name calling;
• Can steal, harm or hide property to others;
• Uses vengeance, threats and intimidation to control ;
• Uses excessive charm and manipulation to control;
• Little (if any) sense of conscience;
• Discredits others to gain attention / sympathy from others;
• Will ‘attack’ when confronted or questioned;
• Employs unpredictable and unaccountable behaviour;
• Capable of ‘disgusting’ behaviour to gain the upper hand and control a situation;
• Feels powerful and fulfilled when creating powerlessness in another;
• Gross failure to apologise or have sympathy after creating tears, distress or trauma to others.

_________________
On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:17 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
This is not internet specific but I came across it in my travels and this woman really does have a good insight into the subject. I agree with most of what she says.

Malignant Narcissism: A Brief Overview

By Anna Valerious
Daughter of a Narcissist


What is narcissism? Is it a simple case of being kinda self-involved? Is it just the human condition? This post will focus on the big picture of what this blog is about. Consider it orientation for people who are new to the subject and new to this blog.

This blog is about malignant narcissism which is another name for NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder as its called in the bible of psychiatry, the DSM-IV.) This isn't a blog about people who have a few narcissistic traits because that would mean talking about everyone on the planet. I'm not interested in throwing the whole planet into one box because it would render it a useless classification.

It is understandable that people who are unfamiliar with the terms "malignant narcissism" or "NPD" to not really know how completely different of an animal is being discussed here than the average human being. It is very possible to be a jerk or to be a self-focused princess and not have the disorder of NPD. If you label anyone who irritates or annoys you as a narcissist then you don't have a grasp of what this character disorder really is.

Every human being is bent to one degree or other toward selfishness. So to define NPD as "being selfish" is not a definition that makes any sense because it would just be statement about the whole human race that wouldn't help anyone identify the problem of human evil. Some people say that all humans struggle against being selfish and so are quick to state that we are all narcissists. Not so fast. The label is important because we are trying to identify a certain sub-set. There is a specific definition here that is important to grasp if you're going to be able to deal with the problems that proceed from calculated and predatory human evil which is at the root of the definition of malignant narcissism.

Let's look at the statement above, "...all humans struggle against being selfish." No, they don't. THAT is what this blog is about. The ones who don't struggle against their selfish urges. It is about those human beings who long ago gave up any struggle against their lusts, their selfish entitlement attitude, their demands, their need to control others. Some, I believe, have never put up a real fight against their own selfish demands. Malignant narcissism usually manifests at a very young age even though it never becomes an official diagnosis until adulthood because this is how the grand poo-bahs of psychology play the game of labeling.

There is a creature that exists in human form that has become distinctly different than those of us who do struggle against selfishness. In a very deliberate and conscious way these people have made a decision to not fight against their selfish impulses. They have embraced them. They have found ways to completely justify them. They are quite proud of their freedom to do anything they want to anyone they want. They may be quietly smug about it or openly boastful; nevertheless, they're proud of their ability to get their way.

They see themselves as set apart from mere humanity. They distance themselves from the human race by setting themselves apart from and above them. They do this by word and by action. They even usurp the very throne of God Himself as they position themselves as god over all they survey. They reserve to themselves the right to define reality to all in their domain. All this results in the train of woe that follows from the human embodiment of evil.

I make no apologies for referring to malignant narcissists as a "creature" or any other dehumanizing term I may use from time to time. I didn't dehumanize them. They do it to themselves. I'm just agreeing with them that they aren't like the rest of us...only, when I say it, I mean it in the most disparaging way unlike the narcissist who pretends himself apart from all the rest of humanity as proof of his superiority.

The outgrowth of the mental state of malignant narcissists as described above are very predictable and legion but it can be boiled down to some consistent traits seen among all who've dedicated themselves to human evil. I have covered these traits at length on this blog. I'll try to revisit some of these predictable behaviors and attitudes of the malignant narcissist in brief.

All malignant narcissists are cases of arrested development.
They are perpetually living in a mindset of a young child. The age when a child is old enough to know the difference between right and wrong but very willing to do wrong if they think they won't get caught. Like a child, they feel entitled to whatever they want. Like a child, they recreate reality to suit their fantasy about themselves and the world around them. Like a child, they want all attention focused on them. But, unlike a child, the narcissist is not subject to being molded and shaped by authority figures or reality. The narcissist is determined (read here, conscious choice) to remain a child whereas most children are driven by a desire to grow up. Children are childish and there is no crime in that. I'm not pathologizing childhood. I'm highlighting that malignant narcissists are pathological children.

This state of being leads to the other realities about malignant narcissists which are all characterized by being pathological excess of whatever we're talking about:

The narcissist has a pathological need for all attention in every context he finds himself in.
It is so pathological that if you get any attention he is obsessed by the need to take it away from you because he imagines that if you get any that it is an unsurvivable diminution of this precious commodity for him.

This is attached to his transcendent sense of entitlement.
If he wants something then, in his mind, it belongs by native right to him. And because he wants every shred of human attention, warmth, regard, consideration, that means you can't have any. This is at the very bedrock of the narcissist's motivations. The need to have it all means he must take what you have. It makes you a target of his malevolent intent. It is the fountainhead of his ill will toward all others.

The malignant narcissist's pathological need to have it all leads to his existence of being pathologically envious.
In other words, the most pernicious, pervasive and all-consuming state of being covetous. This translates to him envying anything you have or are. So, picture a human being utterly possessed of a pathological need for all the attention and all good things which flow from human relationships and you have the framework for understanding the next identifying feature of the Malignant Narcissist Creature...

The malignant narcissist is a predatory animal.

He stalks his prey. He must do so because his malevolent intent is absolute and would frighten away any source of his supply if the target could easily discern his implacable nature and insatiable lusts and his intent to feed. So the narcissist transforms himself. He is an adept at making and wearing masks. He thrives on appearances. He is short on substance. People who are easily taken in by appearances and short on wisdom to discern substance are easy targets.

The malignant narcissist is a chameleon.
This is why so many people have a problem identifying what a narcissist is. To the superficial view malignant narcissists can appear to widely differ from each other. This narcissist here is a sophisticate with excellent worldly tastes, vast charm and a following of admirers. That narcissist over there is an unemployed alcoholic who lives off his wife or parents, abuses animals and his children, and hasn't amounted to more than a pile of rubbish his whole life. But both of these widely disparate appearances are adaptations to environment, I.Q., accident of birth such as physical beauty, advantages such as education, sex, etc. It is important to understand the chameleon-like adaptations all narcissists are capable of and not be fooled by these adaptations to miss the substance of what they are: a pathological mess of predatory urges that feeds off of the people around them.

How an individual narcissist presents himself or herself can cause huge variations in how a malignant narcissist appears to others, but make no mistake, these basic characteristics will be found in any of them. Both the charming sophisticate narcissist and the alcoholic loser are pursuing their favored forms of "narcissistic supply.", another term for the attention "drug" that every malignant narcissist junkie is pursuing his every waking moment. How they go about it looks very different, but in principle they are after the same thing.

All malignant narcissists are parasitical.
They need people around them from whom they can steal what they need. Their need for people is desperate, yet their desperate need presents a conundrum for them. Their need for people runs counter to their even more desperate need to not appear like they need anything from anyone, especially you! Never forget, they are gods in their own estimation which means that even while they steal, demand or extort what they need from you they will trash you for giving it. The more they need you the more you will be subjected to their loathing. It is paradoxical unless you understand what the heck is really going on. Which is what I'm describing for you now.

Stay focused on the narcissist as parasite. Because the malignant narcissist is a complete failure in the moral realm they must attach to sources of virtue. This is because no lie can exist without the truth. Evil can't exist without some appearance of good. How does the narcissist wear an appearance of virtue? Most commonly he surrounds himself with those who possess real virtue. The close proximity makes it easy for the malignant narcissist to steal virtue for his own image. Does the narcissist need to feel powerful? He may prop himself up or feed on those who have real power if he is lucky enough to sidle up to them, or he will surround himself with people who are weak so he can feel powerful by controlling them.

OR the narcissist can steal virtue and substance from her profession or from belonging to certain clubs or organizations or charities. Service professions are very attractive to malignant narcissists. So is religion. As is Motherhood. An example: the narcissist can get herself close to her prey of choice by her choice of profession. She may decide to become a teacher. She attaches herself parasitically to the profession's high claim of being concerned about the education of young people. Who would suspect she is not a teacher because of the usual reasons? By association everyone assumes a certain amount of goodwill and character due to her choice of job. This is her cover to then commence her predation of her favorite flavor of attention. She has parasitically attached herself to the good name of teacher. She is stealing virtue she doesn't possess so as to better reach her prey.

In every situation the parasitical narcissist is preening himself.
He needs a mirror to accomplish his acts of preening. That mirror is you. He plays to his mirrors. He poses in front of his mirrors to get the desired reflection back. When you show looks of interest, admiration, fear, concern, he is basking in his reflected self. His insubstantial self. A construct of reality he has created out of thin air. But see? He needs YOU to accomplish this. He needs you to hold up the mirror for him. But he isn't looking at you. He is only interested in his own reflection in your face. You don't exist as a person to him. You're a means to his end. The parasite takes what he needs with no thought or benefit going to the host. If you cease giving him what he wants he will move on to a better host. He is completely heedless of his tremendous and all-consuming need of people to accomplish this act of reflection. His preening is an extension of his parasitical lifestyle, yet he is unable to comprehend this.

We are only objects to the narcissist.
He can't comprehend it because he has transmogrified all the rest of us into objects. We have no needs that he must enter into his consideration. He is first and only in everything. He refuses (again, conscious choice) to see your humanity and the basic rights that come along with that humanity. You are nothing more than a tool in his hand, a pawn in his game, an object for his use. When done, he casts you aside as so much used trash. People who believe the narcissist loves them are tragically naive and deceived. The narcissist has vast reservoirs of love, compassion and concern, but not one tiny bit of those things can be diverted from himself. He loves himself so utterly and completely there is no room for anyone else in his affections. The malignant narcissist is absolutely incapable of the true emotion of love for any other human being. Period. If you doubt me you will continue to suffer under the heartless tyranny of these blood-suckers. You can never successfully deal with a narcissist if you believe he loves you in any real way. He NEEDS you. But need is not love. His need is the need that will take and take and take with no concern as to whether his taking is killing you.

Even if you've not been in close contact with a malignant narcissist, with a little imagination you can follow these descriptions to some of their outcomes. All of those outcomes are attended with ill will. Not one motivation of the narcissist is concerned with anyone else's well-being. This is what makes them dangerous and evil. They are unsafe for human interaction. Do they see themselves as dangerous and evil? Very unlikely. Some do. Most don't. Remember that they have justified themselves on every point. The evil they perpetrate is most times seen by them as their righteous cause. They have turned evil into good and black into white. This is easy enough to accomplish for someone who has for a lifetime tinkered with reality as much as those around them have allowed.

As you can hopefully see by now, malignant narcissism isn't about everyday variety selfishness. I'll use the word again here, it is pathological selfishness. It is a selfishness that will destroy anything that gets in its way.

Thus concludes my attempt at an overview of malignant narcissism which is the focus of this blog. There are plenty of annoying and petty people out there. That isn't what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about those humans who've embraced evil that stalks its own kind as prey. The most scary aspect of this kind of evil is that it will suck the life blood out of its own young. The children of narcissists are the ones who've seen what evil really is. The narcissist disguises himself when in public view. It is behind closed doors that the fangs come out. Pity the children. Save them if you can.

Note: Some edits made for reasons of suitability.

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- St. Robert Bellarmine


Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:30 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie wrote:
Oldavid wrote:
It does raise a question.

How would one identify an internet narcissist; or more particularly, what telltale signs should one be on the lookout for if one's self might be, or be becoming, an IN?

(That, of course, is a thinly disguised invitation to you all to put the boots into the Royal Male so that I can be the centre of attention). :twisted:



Got you worried, have I? :)

Following is a very good list of narcissistic traits from a narcissist "help" website. If you know someone who ticks most of the boxes...well, you are in trouble! Actually, it's not quite that simple when dealing with the internet, as many of these traits are only exposed when a narcissist feels under pressure. I'll see if I can find something more internet specific for you (to allay your fears...).


Common Behaviours of a Narcissist

• ‘Me versus You’ mentality;
• Competitiveness;
• ‘Tit for tat’ retaliations;
• Striving for the ‘spotlight’ and attention;
• Excessive generosity to outside people;
• Uncomfortable when others are incurring attention or praise;
• If can’t be centre of attention will either discredit or leave the experience;
• May fake illnesses or problems to procure attention / sympathy;
• Abusive verbal behaviour when angered or insecure;
• Tendency toward violent and even criminal behaviour;
• Inappropriate and inapplicable language in front of women and children;
• Dark moods that affect others;
• False promises;
• Glorifies and falsifies achievements past and present;
• Expects to be recognised and praised;
• Finds others not complying with wants intolerable;
• Extreme sensitivity to criticism;
• Extreme defensiveness when confronted;
• Pathological lying;
• Disdain for rules, regulations, decency and morality;
• Childish outbursts and behaviour;
• Very little consideration for how behaviour affects others;
• Extreme lack of compassion or sensitivity towards others' problems;
• Grossly unsupportive to familiars in times of need;
• Brushes incidences under the carpet;
• Uses allies real or imagined to back up claims and arguments;
• Uses guilt and manipulation to influence others;
• Tendency towards unreasonable jealousy and possessiveness;
• Capable of degrading name calling;
• Can steal, harm or hide property to others;
• Uses vengeance, threats and intimidation to control ;
• Uses excessive charm and manipulation to control;
• Little (if any) sense of conscience;
• Discredits others to gain attention / sympathy from others;
• Will ‘attack’ when confronted or questioned;
• Employs unpredictable and unaccountable behaviour;
• Capable of ‘disgusting’ behaviour to gain the upper hand and control a situation;
• Feels powerful and fulfilled when creating powerlessness in another;
• Gross failure to apologise or have sympathy after creating tears, distress or trauma to others.

Oh dear! I must have put this aside for later (and then forgot it) when it first came out.

Whoever made that list must have been spying on me, noting my every move, and applying motives straight out of some psychology textbook.


Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:39 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie wrote:
This is not internet specific but I came across it in my travels and this woman really does have a good insight into the subject. I agree with most of what she says.

Malignant Narcissism: A Brief Overview

By Anna Valerious
Daughter of a Narcissist


While I could quite credibly own up to being the village idiot, this does seem to be a bit of village idiot one-upmanship. It seems to imply that any lack of "human respect" that is not characterised by a genteel "peeing in the pocket" is motivated by a desire to exploit everyone else for one's own aggrandisement.

I'd suggest that there might be other things that could instigte a distrust and dislike for contemporary mores, fads and fancies that might distance one from the mannered hoi polloi.


Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:25 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
OldD,

I really do not understand what you are saying. You know you have to make things simple and clear for me. I'm interested. If you are disagreeing with this woman well, just keep in mind that she might actually have some real knowledge on the subject through personal experience, and I think you will find that there are many others out there who relate to her views for the same reason. This stuff is not made up. I have a book by St. John of the Cross where he writes about the people with the same problems but uses Catholic and traditional terminology. There is nothing new under the sun. Other than the internet. :D

_________________
On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:06 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
BTW, OldD... good to see you back!

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On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:06 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie wrote:
BTW, OldD... good to see you back!

I've never been away! I've cruised by and seen nobody and nothing in the tea shop.. or whatever it's called today, and just presumed that you might be re-locating to a premisis I didn't know about and couldn't find... yet!

But don't worry, us narcissists have ways of getting what we want!


Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:33 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie wrote:
OldD,

I really do not understand what you are saying. You know you have to make things simple and clear for me. I'm interested. If you are disagreeing with this woman well, just keep in mind that she might actually have some real knowledge on the subject through personal experience, and I think you will find that there are many others out there who relate to her views for the same reason. This stuff is not made up. I have a book by St. John of the Cross where he writes about the people with the same problems but uses Catholic and traditional terminology. There is nothing new under the sun. Other than the internet. :D

When this thread first started I thought it was just a bit of a dig at me (an' 'im an' 'er), but the article above seems to indicate a different intent. I confess that it's all pretty incomprehensible to me. It's the kind of stuff one might imagine could be the stuff of the likes of Charles Manson or the wicked witch of fairy tales. Even then, not the least bit understandable.

What I would regard as a narcissist is one who's idea of their own importance propells them to assume an importance, grandness, authority that doesn't rightly belong them... wielded, usually, despotically where they can and obsequiously where they can't.

Some of my aquaintance that I suspect of being somewhat narcissistic seem to like to intimidate others by applying important sounding unflattering "diagnostic" labels. I ran into a few at uni. Blardy psycologists are the worst by far.

Psychology seems to be the the stuff that frees the mind from mere dependence on facts. People and things can be ignored or derided by just pinning a label on them. It's the kind of stuff that people who are drawn to careers in media, some parts of public service, large corporation management etc. seem inclined to indulge in.

I tend not to dwell on such things and just put it down to part of the normal distribution of personality types, my usual response being (as it is almost anywhere) to pull their leg a bit indicating that I don't take them as seriously as they seem to take themselves. (Can get some interesting and challenging reactions at times).

Anyhow, one does see some people on internet forums that appear to be so in love with their own opinions that they cannot even admit that there might be another reasonable point of view. It sure does take the conversation out of the conversation.


Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:41 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
:)

Yes to all of that.

I think we've all come across these people, but we may not have recognised what we were dealing with. It isn't just dogmatism about disputed matters. That's normal, and only a conscious effort can reduce, and hopefully eventually eliminate it. It isn't just selfishness, either, as the article says. It's an unusual, but unfortunately not rare, condition which is characterised by an extreme distance from reality, particularly reality about oneself. These people have a self-image which is completely false, and they are deeply in love with that image. Everything they do revolves about it, either by way of bolstering it, or defending it. This is the real reason they can never be wrong, which is quite different from the usual causes - lack of imagination, lack of experience (we see this in youth, who know everything!), lack of knowledge - they don't know what they don't know, exaggerated but not pathological ego, etc.

Do some Google searches on this lady - Tania Head - of 9/11 fame. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alicia_Esteve_Head She is, in my opinion, a classic case. Some of the articles reveal very striking information, which if you have known one of these types will gel immediately. The disfunctional relationships, the passionate loyalty they inspire in those who get taken in by them, the constant dissension they cause, even between married couples who have never had a fight in their entire marriage, etc.

The 'Net is perfect for them. They can create an entire, controlled, online person which is the superior-self they imagine that they really are. But the one thing they cannot do is act rationally in a consistent way. Bitter, nasty, dissension breaks out in their wake, regularly. There is a sub-category of "religious" malignant narcissists, who make their self-image a religious one. Traditional Catholics come across these on the 'Net with greater frequency than the usual, I think.

I have about the same view of psychology you do, David, but this I have had to learn about. It's terrifying, and one cannot ever really deal with it except by cutting off all contact with the person, and even then they won't cease their efforts to affect your life, via friends, acquaintances, etc.

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Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:36 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
John Lane wrote:
:)Do some Google searches on this lady - Tania Head - of 9/11 fame. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alicia_Esteve_Head She is, in my opinion, a classic case. Some of the articles reveal very striking information, which if you have known one of these types will gel immediately. The disfunctional relationships, the passionate loyalty they inspire in those who get taken in by them, the constant dissension they cause, even between married couples who have never had a fight in their entire marriage, etc.

Of course, I know nothing about our Ms Head other than what you linked to. However, the mere fact that there might be very unscrupulous opportunists who will try to take advantage of any situation doesn't necessarily imply a diabolical egocentricity.
Quote:
the constant dissension they cause, even between married couples who have never had a fight in their entire marriage, etc.

I find it impossible to imagine that a marriage between two quite different people (male and female, for a start) could not have differences of opinion (fights) unless there was one completely dominant and one completely subservient. But, of course, I am an Odd bod. Would you like a scone?.... I still have a few in my pocket. :lol:


Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:09 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie,

The article you posted was great and very accurate, from my experience. I know a malignant narcissist very well and nothing in that article was an exaggeration about them. This disorder is beyond a simple character flaw. It is something that consumes their whole being. They will drain the life out of anyone they let get close to them. I think it would be difficult for most people to identify someone as a malignant narcissist unless they are brought into their web. A person might speculate about it (if they are even aware that there is such a thing) when they notice certain behaviors, but I don't think they would be able to know for sure that those behaviors weren't just simple individual flaws until they've become very familiar with the person. The saddest thing is that there is nothing a person can do to break the malignant narcissist out of their delusional world, beyond praying for them. The next saddest thing is that a person has to almost completely cut themselves out of a malignant narcissists life in order to not have their own lives ruined by them. Though this is a disorder and it can be somewhat dependant on their childhood, I think it is ultimately brought upon themselves by neglecting to change their lives before the disorder crystallizes. I think it's similiar to the "operation of error," in that these malignant narcissists neglected the graces to enable them to change their behavioral flaws so many times in the past, that the graces and ability to change their behavior were removed and they have become permanently entrenched in an inhuman state for the rest of their lives. I pray this isn't true for the one I know, but it sure seems that way.

Something that might seem odd about the malignant narcissist I know is that they, as far as I know, don't get involved in any online public discussions, such as on forums like this. This is odd since they consider themselves to be an expert of all things Catholic (or simply ALL THINGS) and seem to beleive that they are the only non-heretical traditional Catholic alive today. I have a theory on why they avoid these public forums, but don't have the time to post it now .


Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:43 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Oldavid wrote:
When this thread first started I thought it was just a bit of a dig at me (an' 'im an' 'er), but the article above seems to indicate a different intent. I confess that it's all pretty incomprehensible to me. It's the kind of stuff one might imagine could be the stuff of the likes of Charles Manson or the wicked witch of fairy tales. Even then, not the least bit understandable.


My dearest OldD,

Oh my goodness! Of course this is not a dig at you. I would never think such a thing of you and then again, even if I did I would never insult a patron like this, much less The Royal Male. My favourite and most trusty patron. :D

Secondly, if this is all pretty incomprehensible to you then count your blessings.

_________________
On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:35 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Welcome to The Royal Mail, Joe Cupertino!

I am glad and sad that the article I posted rang so true with you. One can tell that you have a good understanding of what is at play. It seems to be one of those things that if one hasn't encountered this "phenomenon" then it all doesn't make so very much sense. On the other hand, it is painfully obvious to those who have. There is so much more one could say on this fascinating subject, particularly for those who do have an interest in the human condition. You know blardy psycology as OldD puts it.

Thank you for your salutary contribution, everything that you stated was very insightful and I agree with it.

Regarding the query re avoidance of the internet. Well, I think this is probably a case by case thing. Age may play a part. Older people sometimes are not as comfortable with email and computer/internet technology whereas someone younger may take full advantage. However, I do believe many narcissists do flaunt their "talents" on the internet. (Hey, wasn't this the whole point of the thread and OldD is still waiting for more evidence. It's coming...)

Though, as it is evident that this is a subject you are knowledgeable and familiar with I would be most interested in your theory.

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On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:01 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Joe Cupertino wrote:

...This is odd since they consider themselves to be an expert of all things Catholic (or simply ALL THINGS)....


This reminds me of a funny conversation I had the other day with a friend. We have a "narcissist' in common, however, my friend was not aware of this. Further, this friend is a delightfully unassuming, trusting person without guile. (The ultimate victim, I hear someone say?)

This narcissist had given my friend some clearly erroneous moral advice on something rather basic and I was excusing the narcissist by saying she was ignorant and wasn't all that intelligent. My friend replied, "No, but she is very intelligent." I replied, "What makes you think this?" The answer... "Well, she told me so herself!!!" :lol:

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On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:11 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Joe Cupertino! Good to see you here! I read a biography of you years ago and I thought "I like this bloke".

(I think I remember that he used to float around the chapel before being confined to a cell of a tower in the monastery). It seems his peers hated him for being different (not saying that he was a narcissist, but his peers possibly thought he was.)

Anyhow, I'm still not convinced of all this narcissist stuff as per the article above. It seems to imply that someone so hopelessly despairing that they do the self-mutilation thing that is so common these days is a narcissist.

I am a bit suspicious that many who are called narcissists are simply employing a self-defense mechanism to compensate for their inability to attain standards set idealistically, impossibly high.

One can say the same thing to a group of people and they'll all take it differently. One might say that "I didn't achieve it today.... maybe tomorrow" and another say "I didn't achieve it so I'm a total failure".

Quote:
This narcissist had given my friend some clearly erroneous moral advice on something rather basic and I was excusing the narcissist by saying she was ignorant and wasn't all that intelligent. My friend replied, "No, but she is very intelligent." I replied, "What makes you think this?" The answer... "Well, she told me so herself!!!"

Fair go, Katie, both to your friend and your narcissist.


Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:26 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Oldavid wrote:
I am a bit suspicious that many who are called narcissists are simply employing a self-defense mechanism to compensate for their inability to attain standards set idealistically, impossibly high.


So I see there is a seedling of a blardy pyschoologist even in you! :) I couldn't disagree more that this is a self-defense thing. Not from my readings anyway. But you know me, I am prepared to differ and to leave things at that. Each to his own.

Oldavid wrote:
Fair go, Katie, both to your friend and your narcissist.


Fair enough, OldDavid - I believe in fair go's. For everybody though.

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On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:54 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie wrote:
So I see there is a seedling of a blardy pyschoologist even in you! :) I couldn't disagree more that this is a self-defense thing. Not from my readings anyway. But you know me, I am prepared to differ and to leave things at that. Each to his own.
Fair enough, OldDavid - I believe in fair go's. For everybody though.

All right. I'm prepared to admit that I might be naive, or foolish even (as in: fools rush in where angels fear to tread) but I can't help but be uneasy about blanket dismissive condemnations.
Katie wrote:
So I see there is a seedling of a blardy pyschoologist even in you!

:lol: You better believe it: I've got a note from my Mum that says I'm an expert pyschoologist!

Anyhow, do narcissists enjoy a bit of leg-pulling? I rather suspect that they'd take themselves much too seriously to be amused by a witty remark... or to make one.


Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:31 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Oldavid wrote:
All right. I'm prepared to admit that I might be naive, or foolish even (as in: fools rush in where angels fear to tread) but I can't help but be uneasy about blanket dismissive condemnations.


I understand that and I feel the same. I'm certainly not advocating we all read an article or two and then condemn everyone out there who seems to fit the bill because we've picked up a negative trait or two or more. You know OldD, I am glad this all seems to leave you a bit out of your depth. You are obviously not a narcissist (good news for you that Doc Katie has now pronounced on this) and you obviously haven't met one or at least not one that you recognised as one. That's a good place to be and long may it last!

Oldavid wrote:
:lol: You better believe it: I've got a note from my Mum that says I'm an expert pyschoologist!

I think you are making this up.

Oldavid wrote:
Anyhow, do narcissists enjoy a bit of leg-pulling? I rather suspect that they'd take themselves much too seriously to be amused by a witty remark... or to make one.


They NEVER enjoy leg-pulling as they do take themselves much too seriously. However, to be fair there are plenty of people who are not narcissists who also take themselves much too seriously. Now, how is that for me being fair and making an effort to avoid blanket dismissive condemnations? :D

Now... can I have a Clayton's pass from your Mum as well now pleeeassse?

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On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:54 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie wrote:
They NEVER enjoy leg-pulling as they do take themselves much too seriously. However, to be fair there are plenty of people who are not narcissists who also take themselves much too seriously. Now, how is that for me being fair and making an effort to avoid blanket dismissive condemnations? :D

Now... can I have a Clayton's pass from your Mum as well now pleeeassse?

I am melting. Any moment now I'll be putty in your hands!

What's a Clayton's Pass? I've never heard of that before. If they're available at a reasonable price I might buy a couple (they would improve my social prestige... wouldn't they?)


Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:02 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Oldavid wrote:
I am melting. Any moment now I'll be putty in your hands!


Oh good. Now is the time to post a really controversial thread then.

Oldavid wrote:
What's a Clayton's Pass? I've never heard of that before. If they're available at a reasonable price I might buy a couple (they would improve my social prestige... wouldn't they?)


It has the same value of the pass that your Mum gave you. I can't believe you, an Aussie of all things, haven't heard of this. You must not be OldD enough. 8)
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claytons

_________________
On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:25 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie and Oldavid,

Thank you for the cordial welcome!

Oldavid wrote:
(I think I remember that he used to float around the chapel before being confined to a cell of a tower in the monastery).


I could never get that floating thing down, but I have St. Joe’s slow and absent-mindedness down pat.

Oldavid wrote:
Anyhow, I'm still not convinced of all this narcissist stuff as per the article above.


I don’t blame you for not being convinced. I’m extremely skeptical of all those things psychologists chalk up to being a “disorder.” I think a lot of it has simply become a marketing tool for the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries. Had I not known someone whose traits and whole life match what I’ve read about NPD with so much precision, I probably would not be convinced that there was such a thing. This person has been a struggle to understand for as long as I’ve known them, and this is also true for the few other people who know them. One person even posited the possibility that the person was under some form of possession. I didn’t know anything about NPD until a couple of years ago when someone suggested some articles on it. After reading these articles, and then Sandy Hotchkiss’ book “Why is it Always About You?” I became convinced that NPD completely explains the unusual and odious life and behavior of the person I knew. It wasn’t a fortune-cookie type thing, where broad and ambiguous suggestions could fit anyone or anything. It was a cookie-cutter thing, where all of the characteristics of this person precisely matched all of the criteria of NPD. Certain characteristics about this person had no other correlation between them, where the presence of one characteristic might make the presence of the other more probable, yet they were described by NPD. Besides this person, though, I don’t know anyone who meets the full criteria of NPD.

Oldavid wrote:
One can say the same thing to a group of people and they'll all take it differently. One might say that "I didn't achieve it today.... maybe tomorrow" and another say "I didn't achieve it so I'm a total failure".


A person with NPD would likely say “It didn’t happen because everyone else is a total failure,” followed by a fit of rage and months to years of boiling anger. If they ever were to say “I’m a total failure,” however untrue it might be, it would be a reason to celebrate, since it would be an enormous step out of NPD.

On to my theory about why the malignant narcissist I know doesn’t get involved in online forums discussing traditional Catholic issues, even though they consider themselves to be an expert and also consider everyone else to be wrong about something. This person is very familiar with the internet, spends large portions of the day on the internet, and takes pride in being computer savvy. They only ever employ their religious “expertise,”though, through emails to individuals and always in a “teacher-student” context. You can guess who presumes they’re the teacher. Most of the people they decide to “teach” hardly have any experience with the traditional Catholic issues today (ie. older isolated traditional Catholics, Catholics in the Novus Ordo, and some protestants). Many seem to be passive types that are not likely to challenge any claims. Some are just not the type to be able to discern a good argument from a bad one, especially when claims are couched in an over-abundance of information. Though the NPD’er thinks they are the elite expert in Catholicism, they aren’t very good at answering tough challenges to the claims they make and some of the major claims they make are supported by erroneous arguments, even when their claim is true. Some of the significant claims they argue for are false, though. I believe this person has encountered tough challenges from intelligent traditional Catholics and others, and in these experiences, this person’s short-comings were exposed. These expereiences were a threats to their grand delusion of themselves as the elite Catholic expert. Maintaining their delusion is the ultimate objective of a malignant narcissist's life, though they don’t think it’s a delusion. Limiting their discussions to the passive and non-argumentive people they choose to email allows them to maintain their delusion as the elite Catholic expert and teacher. If one of these people begins to challenge them, then they’ll just cut them out of their lives, since they are simply fuel for this person’s delusion. This person considers almost any challenge to them as being an argument for heresy and they’ll use Titus 3:10 to justify themselves in ending the discussion after two emails without having to think they were quitting because they couldn’t handle the challenges. Forums such as these pose an extreme threat to their delusion, since their claims and arguments would be exposed to tough scrutiny that was out of their control. They truly can’t handle tough scrutiny and they need to be in full control in order to maintain their delusion.

I could be wrong about a lot of this, though, but I believe it really would make sense to anyone who knew this particular person well.


Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:33 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Joe Cupertino wrote:
Katie and Oldavid,

Thank you for the cordial welcome!


You are welcome!

Joe Cupertino wrote:
I don’t blame you for not being convinced. I’m extremely skeptical of all those things psychologists chalk up to being a “disorder.” I think a lot of it has simply become a marketing tool for the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries. Had I not known someone whose traits and whole life match what I’ve read about NPD with so much precision, I probably would not be convinced that there was such a thing. This person has been a struggle to understand for as long as I’ve known them, and this is also true for the few other people who know them. One person even posited the possibility that the person was under some form of possession. I didn’t know anything about NPD until a couple of years ago when someone suggested some articles on it. After reading these articles, and then Sandy Hotchkiss’ book “Why is it Always About You?” I became convinced that NPD completely explains the unusual and odious life and behavior of the person I knew. It wasn’t a fortune-cookie type thing, where broad and ambiguous suggestions could fit anyone or anything. It was a cookie-cutter thing, where all of the characteristics of this person precisely matched all of the criteria of NPD. Certain characteristics about this person had no other correlation between them, where the presence of one characteristic might make the presence of the other more probable, yet they were described by NPD. Besides this person, though, I don’t know anyone who meets the full criteria of NPD.


I agree wholeheartedly with what you've written. I wish I'd written it myself. :)



Joe Cupertino wrote:
A person with NPD would likely say “It didn’t happen because everyone else is a total failure,” followed by a fit of rage and months to years of boiling anger. If they ever were to say “I’m a total failure,” however untrue it might be, it would be a reason to celebrate, since it would be an enormous step out of NPD.


Too true.

Joe Cupertino wrote:
On to my theory about why the malignant narcissist I know doesn’t get involved in online forums discussing traditional Catholic issues, even though they consider themselves to be an expert and also consider everyone else to be wrong about something. This person is very familiar with the internet, spends large portions of the day on the internet, and takes pride in being computer savvy. They only ever employ their religious “expertise,”though, through emails to individuals and always in a “teacher-student” context. You can guess who presumes they’re the teacher. Most of the people they decide to “teach” hardly have any experience with the traditional Catholic issues today (ie. older isolated traditional Catholics, Catholics in the Novus Ordo, and some protestants). Many seem to be passive types that are not likely to challenge any claims. Some are just not the type to be able to discern a good argument from a bad one, especially when claims are couched in an over-abundance of information. Though the NPD’er thinks they are the elite expert in Catholicism, they aren’t very good at answering tough challenges to the claims they make and some of the major claims they make are supported by erroneous arguments, even when their claim is true. Some of the significant claims they argue for are false, though. I believe this person has encountered tough challenges from intelligent traditional Catholics and others, and in these experiences, this person’s short-comings were exposed. These expereiences were a threats to their grand delusion of themselves as the elite Catholic expert. Maintaining their delusion is the ultimate objective of a malignant narcissist's life, though they don’t think it’s a delusion. Limiting their discussions to the passive and non-argumentive people they choose to email allows them to maintain their delusion as the elite Catholic expert and teacher. If one of these people begins to challenge them, then they’ll just cut them out of their lives, since they are simply fuel for this person’s delusion. This person considers almost any challenge to them as being an argument for heresy and they’ll use Titus 3:10 to justify themselves in ending the discussion after two emails without having to think they were quitting because they couldn’t handle the challenges. Forums such as these pose an extreme threat to their delusion, since their claims and arguments would be exposed to tough scrutiny that was out of their control. They truly can’t handle tough scrutiny and they need to be in full control in order to maintain their delusion.

I could be wrong about a lot of this, though, but I believe it really would make sense to anyone who knew this particular person well.


This is very interesting, I can see you really do have a deep insight into the subject and I agree with it in most part. Email/private communication is always the first and foremost choice from my understanding. However, I say I agree in most part, with the distinction that I think some NPD'ers will venture on to forums as long as the experience is generally positive and the rewards outweigh the negatives and up until such a time as their balloon is burst. Some people may move out of the internet sphere after one disastrous experience but then again others are more resilient (isn't that a chief characteristic of this condition?) and will try another place. Keeping in mind that people generally have usernames on forums, so when they burn their bridges it's not as if they have been exposed and cannot just move on to new hunting grounds and start again. Though I think that in traditional religious circles this would be difficult as opportunities are limited. For those with broader interests much easier done. I also think though that success would much depend much on the type of forum and the way it is run. Forums such as this they wouldn't stand a chance! Not for long, anyway.

These are individuals after all, and even though they are from cut from the same mold, I think each will take whatever opportunity presents at any given time and whatever outlets appear promising if it suits their whim.

_________________
On the last day, when the general examination takes place, there will be no question at all on the text of Aristotle, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or the paragraphs of Justinian. Charity will be the whole syllabus.

- St. Robert Bellarmine


Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:37 am
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
All right, Joe.

I'll accept that there are people that I can't fathom... maybe Imamas inciting suicide bombers or something... but surely, all come from the same Hand... surely all have the same Mother.
Quote:
I could be wrong about a lot of this, though, but I believe it really would make sense to anyone who knew this particular person well.
Fair enough! but are he and thee and me dissimilar enough that we might pre-empt Judgement?


Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:34 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Katie wrote:
You are obviously not a narcissist (good news for you that Doc Katie has now pronounced on this)

Phew!
One psychological disorder I don't have to worry about! only 647 to go!!


Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:49 pm
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New post Re: Is the internet breeding narcissists?
Lance Armstrong - Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is my guess.

Quote:
SI: Will you watch the Oprah interview?

Anderson: No. I never watched Oprah when she was frankly relevant in the media in America. I can't think of reasons why I would now. Since it's Lance and since I have such a cynical view of him, why would I even bother? I've wasted a lot of mental and emotional energy with that guy for way too long. That aside, there's not going to be any real genuine contrition. What's the point? I kind of enjoy getting everyone else's view. I know what he's like. I know he's completely lacking empathy. I know this. I've seen it. I don't think that suddenly he's turned 180 degrees and become a normal human being who thinks and feels like the majority of us do.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/more/n ... armstrong/

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Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:17 pm
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