714 Comments to
How to Spot a Narcissist

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  1. Ive just stumbled across this site and read all of the posts! My heart goes out to you all. I have just left my husband of 25 years because i couldnt stand the mental torture anymore. I dont know why but i have always felt that he simply had learning difficulties as he never responded in the normal way to anything. Sulking, silent treatment, self centredness, talking in riddles, could never answer a question with a straight answer and evaded anything that would reveal who he really is. He took his defensiveness to the extreme and couldnt handle critisism at all. He could never take acountability for any of his wrongdoings and would always find a way to attach the blame to someone or something else. He had an extramarital affair 12 years ago and couldnt for the life of him understand why i would be so hurt and devestated! yet if i so much as spoke to another man he would accuse me of being up to all sorts. He is insanely jealous and cannot stand the thought of me progressing in life at all. He complains and whines about his situations in life (all self inflicted) and constantly plays the victim! If i confront or stand up to him he puts on a fake limp or headache! He runs off to bed, wraps himself in blankets and plugs his ears with his fingers like a toddler would do.

    Insane behaviour!!

    • Hi Debbie, I’m married for 19 years, same story. Only he finally broke me. I am broken I am so depressed, I want to run away. My mind is going to explode… But I cannot run I have 4 children. He’s worse than ever now. He gets worse as he ages.. I hate him for what he’s done to me. I’m a shell of the person I once was… I need to leave this horrible human being… Or I will die

  2. Dear Samuel lopez de Victoria, Hi My supervisor’s manager is a Narcisisstic and high conflict person. Who I personally assessed (after a meeting including him) to be underwhelming,assuming,critical,demonstrative and aggresive toward me within the meeting. I deemed him to be unprofessional,discourtous and unkind. and because of his demeanor in the meeting which was headed by the depty director. I declined the suggested resolution meeting by the dep director; which would’ve been headed by him. which would of included the co-worker I am presently threatend by,my front line manager who didn’t care about resloving matters before they became worse.And it did the co-worker threated to “beat some A%# up in here” in the office referring indirectly to me. but I say all of this to ask you……How do now proceed because i cc’d him the email saying no thankyou to the depty director with all me assessment and what I deemed of him(see above). I am clear after now learning that one should…. avoid insultng (my assessment & deemimg remarks could taken by a narcissist as insulting) or treating them inferior(I cc’ed him ) note it was not written with the hopes of him changing his way nor to insult him but to let her know (dep director) my reasoning for saying “no thank you” which was based on what her an I both witnessed in his demonstrated behavior within the meet. And no I’m not going to offer myself up aa a sheep unto the wolves. (for just my own cause, No)hey if for one person(s) maybe. How can I give this Narcissist what he does not give (I want to). I feel and care that he is who he is and I want to proceded with caution knowing what I know. for my own safety I respect him and his present disorder that motivates him.(apparently they know not what they do)
    I currently must deal with him on a business level how should I now proceed (until he is healed)I know he is further defensive . And how help him? no really how can I indirectly.p.s. I dont want him as friend my prayer goout to wife; but I do want show myself a friendly/safe employee. be feel free to reference biblical reference I give God all the glory thru Christ Jesus. thank you in advance for your response.

  3. Your article took me by surprise… I always defined narcissists as those who loved constant attention and positive feedback…”It’s all about ME” attitude. The solidtude factor threw me. I love solitude, and find it refuels me. As a child I’d hole up in my room and read, to avoid my fathers rants or my mother’s disapproval.
    Lately, I thought it was an opportunity for me to discover the real me… what I really want without being influenced by anyone else. I crave solitude! I do interact with others, and being a retired nurse, I seem to be the “go-to” person whenever anyone needs help… parents, my grown children, husband, etc. I’m glad to help, but at times feel overwhelmed. I delight when I have time to myself to pursue the things I love to do… read, paint, write, etc. Sometimes I do feel selfish, but I feel like I need to take care of myself too. Is this being narcissistic?
    I am the product of parents who were totally absorbed (and still are) in themselves. Their goal in life is to impress as many of their friends as possible. I believe my sisters and myself have come to see their behavior for what it is, and accept it. We never were on the receiving end of their praise, and we all admit that we’ve had to overcome the notion that we don’t deserve much.
    My son has been an addict..and probably still is, although he had many good years after agreeing to go away for treatment. He blames current problems with ADD, anger, and relationship problems on “Childhood issues”. (At least that’s what he’s telling his mate.) I’m dumbfounded, since I thought he had a great childhood, up to his senior year in high school, when he started using drugs. We tried everything we could to get him to stop, but the problem escalated in college to the point where he bottomed out and we payed for his treatment at a ranch. Since then we’d been close, with him telling us we saved his life… So it’s very confusing to hear his problems are related to childhood issues. I keep wondering if I did something wrong. Our other children are happy, well-adjusted, and productive.
    If I am marcissistic, should I make more of an effort to seek out others, and spend less time alone?

  4. I feel just like Debbie, except I have been married for just under 20 years. We have four kids, and three of them are very young. Neither of us believe in divorce, and, frankly, I love him dearly and passionately. I have very recently realized that all his thoughts revolve around himself. He absolutely will not do anything he does not want to do. He will never take the kids to the zoo. No kid movies. No kid vacations. Forget it!!! He is incapable of thinking of anyone but himself. If we have a fight, I have leverage because I am his possession, and if I leave it shatters his world. Unfortunately, my kids do not have that leverage. That is how we have figured this out. Anyway, I am looking for ways to deal with a narcissist long -term, not looking for a divorce. Thanks for any advice you have for me or my kids!

  5. UhOh,

    I would not be in a hurry to assume you are an extreme narcissist as in the article. If anything, I wonder if you are an enabler/rescuer, which attracts narcissists.

    It is hard to say what is going on with your son since there needs to be more history, as in a psychotherapy session where there is time to dig this information up. I would look at birth order info to see what traits he seems to have in light of that. I would look at how he was raised versus others. Was home a high anxiety and drama place, etc. All these can be neutralized, healed, and redirected if one knows what to look for through deep digging.

    If your son is an addict then I would make sure he is accountable to a sponsor in Narcotics Anonymous and that he is not missing any meetings as hard as that may be. You may want to explore visiting a CoDependents Anonymous group to see if it is helpful to you.

    Hope this helps.

    Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.
    http://www.DrSam.tv

  6. ms vanderpump

    It sounds you work with abusive/bullying persons. I would consider privately consulting a labor lawyer to see if you have merit where your labor rights may have been violated. You possibly might not have much recourse on your own and being surrounded by highly unsafe persons. Check with a lawyer and you might discover that you have access to some big power to push back the abuse. Establish and claim your personal boundaries.

    Hope this helps.

    Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.
    http://www.DrSam.tv

  7. Kristine,

    I would suggest that since your extreme narcissist husband is scared of losing you, then use that as your currency to get things done. I would consider even using temporary separation as a tool for force him to go to a therapist of your liking and where he has to sign a release where you have access to get info from the therapist. I would force him to go to one that you have researched deeply who has knowledge of how to disconnect childhood traumas (EMDR, EFT, NLP, and other modalities) and has plenty of experience working with narcissists and codependents. Sometimes therapists who have worked for many years in the addictions field and with AA and NA understand very well these dynamics.

    Hope this helps.

    Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.
    http://www.DrSam.tv

  8. I have been with my partner for 4 years. He is a musician but never quite made it in the music industry. His mother always told him and he believes this too, that he would be a star and therefore should not concern himself with getting a day to day job. I was always a hard worker, I was a therapist and had a very successful clinic. On our first date he told me about his childhood, told me that at the age of 3 his mother sent him off to a foster family, then to a convent, then to a boarding school in an other country, then to his mothers family where he got sexually abused, then back to his country to a boarding school. I really felt then that he was a troubled soul. We continued dating and our relationship started out as fun, loving and adventurous. We decided to move abroad two years ago. I was the bread winner, having to go back to the town were met every 3 weeks to work at my clinic. We bought a shop which needed lots of renovation, as we decided to turn it into a restaurant. We would renovate for 3 weeks then he’d stop while I work at my clinic, I’d come back and go straight into renovating, this went on for 2 years. He would go on holidays with his mother for up to 1 month at a time (leaving me to carry on with the renovation and work) he thought nothing of it, while I was aware that the longer the restaurant wasn’t open the longer we would not have an income from it. On our opening night for the restaurant his mother introduced herself to all our friends with ‘ I’m the mother of …….. and on behalf of myself and my son, we would like to welcome you to our restaurant’. As you could imagine I was devastated, my husband just stood there and said nothing. He later told me that she is mad, told me that he told her off behind closed doors, although I did not believe him. For the last year, I have at times worked up to 16 hrs a day, while he would do the absolute minimum. He would spend hours just in his studio. I would, on top of working long hours still have to clean the house, prepare our guest bedroom when his friends came to stay and so it went on. I would get angry at having to do all this work and occasionally told him that it wasn’t fair that I had to work so hard. He would always get very angry, tell me that he never wanted to run a restaurant, that he did just as much work because he dealt with the tax, banking and bureaucracy. He did cook for us almost every night, he was also a very charming and loving man. Although once I decided to play Nina Simone, which he hates, in our restaurant while I was preparing food for the day, as he wasn’t around or so I thought. Well, he came down stairs and straight away asked me to turn of the music, I said no, I would like to listen to the cd. He absolutely flipped out and told me that he wanted to kill me. We had a huge fight, after he did apologized and told me he was sorry, but when I questioned him later he said ‘ Well I did feel like killing you’. On an other occasion he wanted to close the restaurant for 1 week in the evenings so he could do some recording with a friend from America, I disagreed and he got very angry and called me a ‘Blackhearted Bitch’ he didn’t want to compromise and we closed anyway. We argued lots over the summer, he would say ‘I want a divorce, don’t want to continue with the restaurant, as I have no time for my music’. I would always try to calm him down, tell him that we have a good life here and that he only needs to work hard over the summer season, which lasts 2 months. It was his birthday two months ago, I was so exhausted mentally and physically that I did not organize anything for his birthday, only gave him a birthday card and apologized profusely. He was so angry and disappointed that he sulked all day long. He refuses to acknowledge how much I do work, says I don’t care about his feelings, desires and his needs. He told me in September that he would be going back to his hometown in November to help his mother with her art project. I asked how long he would stay, he said he didn’t know. I was upset as he never includes me in his decision making. The day he left we had an argument. He said that his mind was made up, he’s had enough, that he didn’t know if he still loved me. We have been in contact since then via phone and email. I wrote to him explaining that I was very sorry for having a big row, that I love him very much and was happy to give him space to think. He replied with a very nasty email, blaming me for everything, which he always does, that I did not care for or truly love him. I would write back, telling him that I do love him, that I do care. He did realize that he was very stressed and that it was all getting on top of him. This had been going on for 2 week, then I didn’t hear from him for over a week. I called him, his phone was ringing but then it got turned off. I wrote to him asking him some questions which I needed answers in regards to the business, I also told him that I felt angry the way he’s been treating me, that I was sorry for not always telling him that I appreciate what he’s done and that I love him and so on. Again, he wrote back attacking me, saying that he is angry that I think I do everything and he does nothing and that either I or him don’t see reality as it really is. I don’t know if he is an ‘N’ but I am certain his mother is. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want a divorce, think it’s to early for that kind of decision. Please help

  9. If someone questions if they’re a narcissist, can they really be a narcissist? I keep seeing that in comments here.

    I’m wondering if my x could be a narcissist? He lied to me for months maybe years about his feelings of not being able to be monogamous, he flirted with women online, told an old gf he had never stopped loving her. When I confronted him finally and got angry, asking who someone was on his chat list he went crazy and blew up at me, telling me never to ask about his personal life. He broke up and threatened never to see me or speak to me again. He also said he would probably come back to me. We were closer than you could imagine so it was devastating. He was the one who pushed intially for a committed relationship and marriage.

    He was deceptive again a few months ago when he told me he loved and missed me while he was pursuing another woman, who I believe he was lying to about the monogamy factor. He said then he didn’t know what was going on with her and he wanted us to be friends.

    A year later he now says he’s being honest with women about being polyamorous. He feels terrible about how he broke up with me and misses me. I’m scared to reconnect with him again. I trusted him completely, and I never imagined he would do this to me. His mom is dying and I want to say goodbye, but I’m scared to be hurt all over again. He said he is sorry and feels terrible, but he then did not respond to me telling him how traumatic the break up was for me,and that I didn’t understand how he could treat me this way and he eventually told me he was away with a new lover and a previous gf, and had a great time, while his mom is dying and with no reply to me!

    I’m not sure if this is a case of extreme narcissism but I wonder if he exhibits some of these qualities?

  10. Wow, this is a hot topic – I can’t believe how many comments there are. I just wanted to say that it was moving to read about how extreme narcissism happens and encouraging to learn that it can be overcome. I have been bullied by three narcissists over the course of my life, one my father, two my boss (who may possibly be a sociopath) and three by a surgeon. I don’t think that my father meets the criteria anymore, but he has never accepted any help for his problems. He is now a very depressed and unhappy man who has had the impact of his traumatic childhood linger into his seventies. I feel very sorry for him, but he is intensely difficult to be around.

    I don’t know why the other two ended up the way they did, but the effects that they had on me were ruinous. I’ve stopped hating them, but until now I didn’t have any compassion for them either.

  11. It seems as if you could benefit from reading several books that may be helpful – not simply in identifying narcissism but how to more effectively deal with them. Stop Walking on Eggshells is one and the other, The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists. Many of us bring our vulnerabilities and issues into relationships – exploring these in meaningful therapy may promote growth and leave you much less vulnerable.

  12. What’s really scary is when you land in the office of a psychiatrist who meets the criteria for NPD. Run for your life.

  13. Wow, what a useful article this is! I never fully understood how or why certain people in my life behaved the way they have. For example, I always knew my mother “lived in her head” and that she had difficulty trusting people. Now I have a bit more insight into her emotional makeup. Better late than never, I guess…

  14. Hello, I believe that my brother’s partner is a narcissist and I’d appreciate any advice. The most upsetting thing he’s doing at the moment is keeping my brother from me. I sent my brother an email a few months ago saying I love him and would love to meet up with him on our own (without his partner) and he’s completely ignored it. I sent them both xmas presents – I then received a (very strangely worded) ‘thank you’ text, but from the partner’s mobile phone.

    My xmas and birthday cards are all written by my brother’s partner (but other family member’s cards are written by my brother). I’m convinced that my brother’s partner is emotionally blackmailing me by showing me that unless I agree to meet up with them both together, I won’t a) see my brother b) have any emails or texts written my him or c) even have his writing on any of my cards.

    The reasons I want to meet my brother alone is because I have good reason to feel very nervous of his partner and the other reason is that my brother hardly says a word anyway when they’re together – unless he’s echoing something that his partner has just said!

    There is so much more I could say that this man has said and done to upset me and my loved ones, but it’s too much to put into words on here really.

  15. Narcissism has turned out to be deadly in my life. I did not know that my stepson had tried to prevent our marriage, or that he had been trying to get my wife to divorce me for over thirty years. My stepson’s denials and secrecies were very tight. My wife would not tell him to bug off, she tuned him out in a disassociated fashion. By doing this, she would develop constipation and psychosomatic illnesses.
    Last year, my stepson stepped up the pace, and my wife became extremely disabled, until she had a bad fall last May.
    My stepson was very “helpful” getting my wife to a nursing home and then an adult family home of his choice. When I tried to extract my wife from the situation, he got angry and revealed what he had been doing. Then he managed to find a shady lawyer to initiate a divorce, but talk of divorce made my wife sick.
    Apparently, my stepson wanted my wife as his own captive audience, so he could tell her how great he was, and how bad everyone else was. As the date for the divorce grew close, my wife chose the only plan of action that she saw open. My wife chose to die instead.
    Since I confronted my son and revealed his secret, I am now his mortal enemy. He tried to tell me that I was not an adult, so he had to step in and be the adult. I have Asperger’s Syndrome. As an Aspie, narcissists and I seem to be polar opposites. I always knew there was something wrong, but I assumed I was doing it and that I had to modify my behavior constantly. I also had some anger management problems, which my stepson used against me.
    There were endless incidents and illnesses that made no sense at the time, but make very good sense in hindsight.
    I am planning to write a book about this ordeal.

  16. I dont understand whats happening with my hubby Narc. I left him and he begged and cried for me to give him another chance. We live in seperate houses and i am finding he only wants to be around me a maximum of one night per week. The rest of the time he is sat at home addicted to the computer, online gaming and watching tv. Over the christmas period he has spent 3 days and evenings with me but made excuses to leave, stating he was feeling ill and needed his own home. Why does he do this? Why can he only tolerate being around people for one day a week without getting all anxious and needing his cave again? What is that all about because it confuses the hell out of me?

  17. Debbie,

    Emotionally your hubby is a child. He does not have the emotional apparatus to cope like an adult. How does this happen? One big way is through traumas that relate to attachment and socialization management. Basically it shows up as selfishness and wanting to disconnect and “play.” That is what a little boy does. He is in his safe cocoon or even amniotic sack. Another way is “ostrich with head in the sand.”

    Just my take, Debbie!

    Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.
    http://www.DrSam.tv

  18. Thankyou for your reply. I just have an hard time struggling with his behaviour because it makes me feel like i am the worlds most boring person that he cannot be around me for any great length of time. He did tell our therapist that i am just a background noise to him, like a buzzing radio that he isnt really listening to. As soon as i shut up talking he has to come and look for me because something must be wrong. He also told her that he enjoys the company of strangers more than people he knows. Apparently as soon as he gets to know someone they instantly start to bore him rigid and he no longer wants or needs their company? This is something else i dont understand either. I am also wondering if he will ever change at all. He has altered a few things about him since therapy but all are nothing at all to do with the reasons i left him to begin with. He has learned to cook, clean his house and do his own laundry. Thats about all he has done and feels he needs to be given credit for it and for me to go back home. He has changed nothing about himself that i complained about.

  19. This is a fascinating topic and yet not so surprizing to someone such as myself, who has been 21 years in recovery from alcholism. A primary focus in 12 step programs is learning about/recovering, slowly, from “self-centeredness”. This is not to say that all alcholics are narcsissists or vice vera, but that the trait is common because so many people have that “hole” inside them. I realize you are talking about the extreme narcissists — I recognize it because I was raised by one. Like you, Doctor, I have always tended to get involved with people with those self centered qualities.

    I have to take issue with the statement: “try to get close or ask personal questions as to how he/she is interally and he/she will distract you”. I have friendships with people who are quite able to feel for others, but when I have attempted to get closer they have put up barriers. I am convinced that many people simply cannot or will not get past a certain peronal point because they only choose to do so with certain people, pehaps, or maybe they are simply tired and overwhelmed with demands upon their energy. I attempted to discuss more personal issues between a very caring friend (of 12 years) and she changed the subject. It was disappointing, yet I know that she is not someone with a false persona. She is a wife, mother, someone with a career and busy life. She has empathy for others. Many people have personal barriers, including myself, who are not narcissists. I am sure you are aware of this but I felt the need to point it out.

  20. Does anyone else here not realise they have been the victim of narcissistic attack till some 24 hours later? I never seem to see it at the time it is happeneing until later on when i start thinking about it and then i get angry with myself for being so guillable and nieve.

  21. Through research I found this website and have read all of the posts. Please give me advice for I have prayed and cried for the past four years. I believe my oldest son may be a Narcissist. My husband and I have been married for 36 years. We had a daughter and then two sons. We both were very involved in the lives of our children and thought we had a wonderful, Christian family until our oldest son began a downward spiral in ninth grade. He became negative, controlling, angry, manipulative, and mentally abusive. I walked on eggshells all of the time. He picked fights with me, got tattoos, lost what few friends he had, and wouldn’t follow our rules. He didn’t even show up for his sister’s wedding. He quit therapy, high school, and every job. We made him move out of our home on several occasions for disrespect and breaking rules. Soon he began to control our youngest son, who is disabled and in a wheelchair.
    Four years ago he moved out for good and took our youngest son with him. Both of them married women they had only known for a few weeks and all four live together. Our oldest son controls the house-hold and told us we no longer can have contact with them. He has even convinced their wives and our youngest son, whom we were very close, to go along with him. Their wives do not have jobs, leave the house, or communicate with their families, which have contacted us for help. We don’t know what to do. The police were called when one of their wives’ parents tried to visit her. Their phones have been disconnected. Former friends and all family members are barred from contact. I have been told from an ex-girlfriend that my son is not on drugs but is verbally and mentally abusive. He displays cult-like leadership qualities and monitors everything that goes on. How did this happen? My husband and I are brokenhearted. BTW, I am a teacher and am baffled at why mothers are being blamed for Narcissist sons. Thank you in advance.

    • Mothers are blamed for alot of things. I have an ADHD-bipolar-schizoaffecitve child.

      I would not give up on making contact nor be intimidated by the fact that police were called when others tried to visit, you can’t get locked up unless you are violent, refuse to cooperate, or there is already a restraining order on you.

      If there are children involved, you can make an anonymous call to social services, even if not if your younger son is disabled you may still be able to get social services involved so they are not completely isolated from all social support.

      Additionally, if you can get any reliable information that suggest that your son is a danger to himself or someone else, in most states you can petition a magistrate to get him picked up for a psyche eval…again, which will give opportunity to increase the social support and the women and your other son to make contact if the older son is intimidating them.

  22. Pyschology is just a field of passing judgement and labeling people because our guidelines on punishment are too soft. There should only be one or two psychological disorders. But with our overcrowded population, no parenting statues, pharmacology, lack of faith, low education, poverty, the list goes on and on. OH, HOW DID WE SURVIVE ALL THESE YEARS WITHOUT THE DSM IV!!!!!!

  23. Have you ever thought that a simple solution for a narcissist is to force themselves to do some kind of an activity that is helping someone….volunteering at a homeless shelter,helping an older neighbor, do a mission trip? I’m convinced that the extreme preoccupation with themselves has to be turned around. Yes, a wound of some kind started the whole dysfunctional behavior but God has the solution. GIVE and it will be given unto you. I’m trying to nudge my narcissist this way….just planting the thought. I feel so strongly that if I could get him in that situation, his life would begin to change. He would feel the power of GIVING vs.taking and it’s a powerful thing. I do think a person has to get to rock bottom before they will even consider it. They have to hate the way they feel so bad that they will do anything.


  24. Anne,

    You have a very good point. For narcissists to help others it would take either:

    1) Kicking into one of their false personas of being a benevolent and caring person… where they get credit or…

    2) Their “force field” of protection is cracking (in most cases, not likely, but not impossible.)

    Dr. Sam
    http://www.DrSam.tv

  25. A lot of truth to this; however, it is very common for the “medical” people to improperly characterize people in this way as a means of writing them off and ducking their own inadequacies. To start off, of course, a medical degree should be about the physical basis of dysfunction, whether physical or emotional. For the most part, the medical profession is the haven of the most arrogant, self absorbed, and materially driven people, since the real cause of dysfunction is easily traded out for a “mental” diagnosis followed by the long term profiteering through the prescription of antipsychotics, which serve only to mask the real problem and not fix it. The first positive move of a narcissist would be to dump the medical profession. Step two is accepting Jesus into your heart. Jesus is the real doctor. Emphasis here on real.

  26. A lot of truth to this; however, it is very common for the “medical” people to improperly characterize people in this way as a means of writing them off and ducking their own inadequacies. To start off, of course, a medical degree should be about the physical basis of dysfunction, whether physical or emotional. For the most part, the medical profession is the haven of the most arrogant, self absorbed, and materially driven people, since the real cause of dysfunction is easily traded out for a “mental” diagnosis followed by the long term profiteering through the prescription of antipsychotics, which serve only to mask the real problem and not fix it. The first positive move of a narcissist would be to dump the medical profession. Step two is accepting Jesus into your heart. Jesus is the real doctor. Emphasis here on real. And did this post, because I had another thought – I have an austic son and several family members have fallen victim to these “psychic” syndromes. I also have 3 years graduate research experience and 40 years observation – autism, as well as personality disorder, is generally caused by a combination of vaccines and amalgams. Yes, the government and medical industry are lying about saying they are not. This is the physical basis which the medical industry should be responsible for owning up to, but if they ever did, well, there goes the country club dues. Telling it like it is here.

  27. Since i left my Narc hubby he has no-one left. His family want nothing to do with him, his friends have all deserted him and he is now in a financial bind! Its made me wake up and see who was the backbone of our relationship. He liked to pretend he was the superior one which in reality he truly was not!

  28. A big thank you to all those that have contributed to this blog and more importantly to you Dr Sam. I am sitting here feeling very sad, angry and bewildered at what I have discovered since I ended a six month relationship last week with a man who is a narcissist. This I only discovered when trying to fathom his behavior towards me. He was the first man I had been with since my divorce of nine years ago. My ex-husband I was married to for 23 years with three separations. It then dawned on me and made me feel extremely sad and angry to think that I was married to a narcissist for all those years. It was a tumultuous relationship. The scary thing is that my manager of ten years and my closest girl friend are also narcissists. I have re-trained over the past ten years and now work in the human services field, where I counsel and support people (No surprises there!! :-)) This is the reason I am so bewildered! How on earth did I not see what I was experiencing? I would like to know what to do with my girl friend, as she has been reaching out for support and I don’t know where to start. She is never abusive towards me and thank goodness over the years I have had less contact with her due to getting on with my life. The times we are together she wants support with her issues. She has become an alcoholic. Every suggestion I give her she will come up with a reason not to do it. I have my work cut out for me with my manager, my ex-husband who periodically makes contact with me to get his fix and the ex-partner who feels he is giving me the space to work on myself!!!!! :-). I have decided to go into therapy to understand more about why I attract these people in my life.

    I would appreciate any comments you have to make.

  29. Dr. Sam,
    Thank you for your very interesting article. I agree narcissists come in ‘all shapes, sizes, and degrees’, including high-ranking retired military officers. Unfortunately, it often takes a while until you realize that your partner is a narcissist. The emotional roller coaster rides you are put on are so confusing that straight thinking is difficult at times.

    I had a six-month relationship with a man I believe is a narcissist. We had a long-distance relationship across two continents. We met before I left the Unites States to return home to Germany after years of living abroad. At that time he was about to change jobs and move to another state. I could tell he was insecure about his move and needed my support. I called him daily (he told me it was very expensive for him to call me on his cell phone), sent countless emails and TMs to show him my love and support. He told me numerous times how much he was looking forward to spending the future with me. The day he started his new job he dumped me by email. He didn’t answer his phone for days, nor did he reply to my emails. I still don’t know why he really ended our relationship (besides my citizenship being a problem for his career in security). Finally, I’ve come to the point that I don’t care anymore. I’ve realized that he has not willing to give me the closure I’ve always asked for, so I have to find it myself. I haven’t had any contact with him for the past four months.

    I have come to believe he knew I was on to him. After he had broken up with me, I told him that the sexual abuse he experienced at the age of 7 has impacted his relationship with women. (He has been married three times, gone to numerous counseling session, and has had several affairs over the years. Women are his weakness, as he states it.) I let him know about his split personality (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), his sarcasm and guilt trips, his double life (stayed in contact with some of his ex-girlfriends through a specially set up account on a social networking site), and his emotional abuse. However, I never called him a narcissist (back then, I wasn’t able to ‘label’ him as one anyway). Well, he did NOT confront himself, he just moved on to the next person he can suck dry emotionally. (Right now he’s in a relationship with a woman 25 years his junior.) He’s the kind of person, who, like a cat, always lands on his feet.
    I’d be happy, if you could answer the following questions for me: “From your work with patients, what kind of event does it actually take to shake a guy like him to the core, make him undergo treatment, stick with it, and actually change for the better?” I’m just curious, not that I EVER want to have a relationship with him again. I’ve learned my lesson. “Do you advise your patients to take responsibility for the hurt they caused and apologize to the people they emotionally abused?”

    Thank you very much. Sophie

    • Sophie said:

      “From your work with patients, what kind of event does it actually take to shake a guy like him to the core, make him undergo treatment, stick with it, and actually change for the better?” I’m just curious, not that I EVER want to have a relationship with him again. I’ve learned my lesson.

      Sophie, for a guy like the one to get sense, do something about his issues, and stay on the path of healing and wholeness he probably would need a tsunami of some sort in his life. It can happen. These types are like “Fort Knox” with levels of protection and schemes of acting and reacting. Sometimes an extreme narcissist is like a genius who plots games at the most complex level in order to get what he/she wants and hide what he/she does not want others to see.

      “Do you advise your patients to take responsibility for the hurt they caused and apologize to the people they emotionally abused?”

      Sophie, I definitely do advise that. It is also part of the famous “12-Steps”… to face up to the pain you caused others and ‘fess up to those you deeply hurt. No healing without cleaning. Resolution with others is a palpable evidence of true internal change.

      Hope this helped!

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

  30. Hi There!!

    This forum has been very helpful. I’m the victim of a Narcissitic man I believe. It’s been six months since he “out of the blue” decided there was too much going on in his life and he couldn’t handle our relationship. Everything had been going fine – seriously – never argured, had great getaways, enjoyed each other’s company, laughed constantly, sex was great (except for the fact that he had a VERY difficult time getting an erection and could rarely ejaculate)but I thought the closeness was there, etc.
    I knew he was in total control and on some level I was ok with that, I was tired of always being in control of things in my life. I knew he was lying to me about the most trivial things and let it go, he would only see me when “he felt like it”, needed his “alone time” which he seems to enjoy more than anything else in his life. He has extreme financial problems, yet makes a VERY comfortable living. I pay for most things (I’m very financially responsible, 800+ credit score which strangly seemed to threaten him), he never has bought me anything in over a year (excluding cheap Christmas gift and Valentine gift), ignored my birthday. I was even foolish enough to believe he was “asleep” on a business trip in Las Vegas when I couldn’t get a hold of him for an entire night, cell phone turned off (which he never does) and not picking up his hotel phone. He watched porn a lot and seems to prefer to masturbate than have sex with me.
    He started the relationship with wanting to be together constantly, talking about marriage and children ALL the time, but has since said that me “pressuring” him about marriage was all too fast for him…that never happened, it was him.
    He is very secretive with his computer, cell phone (even takes it to the shower and bathroom with him, sometimes sleeps with it. I never met any of his friends (which are only about 3, and are women he’s dated or slept with) or any co-workers who he “hangs out with” from time to time. We didn’t do a lot of social things with people, but when we did, it was only my friends.
    What is wrong with me that I would tolerate this behavior from someone, being treated like a consolation prize when he had time for me, if he had time for me. I’m not a stupid woman, but I sure feel like one. The devastation of this has left me feeling dead and empty inside. I have a difficult time leaving my house and feel as if I will never be able to trust anyone again.
    How can I fix me to get over him. I STILL long for him. Also, he owes me a very large sum of money, I paid off some debt for him, but he is still in poor financial circumstances, will probably loose his house and has judgements for credit cards against him already.
    He accuses me of the most ridiculous things, almost like he’s paranoid. If a man asks me out or acknowledges me, I get blamed for it. He’ll ask me “what did you do to make him think it was alright to pursue you like that?” Seriously, that’s nuts! One time I was with him at a restaurant and a man left a note on my car, I never even saw the man, but he was mad at me for that. I don’t understand. I ALWAYS assured him that I was crazy in love with him and didn’t want anyone else, I was totally attentive to him! I never loved anyone like I loved him.e
    Please help Dr. Sam!! How could I be sooo stupid, yet still love this man-ipulator? How can I help myself?

  31. What an apparently-misleading, load of jargon and excrement: it seems to present a description a victim of stalking who despite being predominantly extroverted may be so scared of the perpetrators/perpetration the scapegoated-recipient doesn’t even know who to trust.

    • I AGREE! It sounds like the author of this article is simply angry at people who ignore his achievements and don’t fawn over him! I imagine that he cannot be happy unto himself without constant attention, and so labels those who find him egotistical or boring as “narcissists”. I fit many of the narcissist’s “traits” but mostly because I’m a loner and find the vast majority of people (Ph.D. or not) simply uninteresting. Wait! maybe I have Asperger’s!

      • Good point, but there is something more in the reactance of your relpy…..

    • Okay, Sib… Lets hear your wisdom and take on extreme narcissism. I’m listening.

      Sam (the guy who wrote the article). 😉

      • i thought hunting for narcissists had been regulated by the DSM to the same realm of snipe hunting.

        i wish you guys would make up your mind as to whether narcissist actually exist or not. it’s becoming the psyche world’s Sasquatch.

      • I must say your article is REAL – I have been separated for almost 2 yrs and I am still trying to get over my ex – he has an affair in Sept 2008 – I caught him in Dec 2008 (he lied and took our motohome to North Carolina with his girlfriend and her 18mth old ) then he stopped that affair – he lied for 2 mths still talking to her until I finally said end it or we are done – then in aug 2009 he was invited to play with his old band in pre-woodstock show in a mansion in NY – we went to a 3 day event – the woman who lived there asked him to train her daughter – the daughter loved singing and wanted to become a star – one mth after the show my son was in our vaca home with his dad and told me when they came home that his dad had the woman in NY at my vaca home over night and his dad was naked in bed with her (he claims nothing happened – oh please) – I lost it and threw everything he owned on the lawn wit him – he says I destroyed him doing that and since he has played head games with me because I allowed it – up until a few mths ago he asked to come back and actually said yes but the night before he was coming back he got his second DUI – he is an alocholic but won’t ever admit that – anyone he has washed his hands of all responsbility – I lost my home, vaca home, rentals, his business is destroyed – everything is gone – I live in a townhome now that I rent and my 19 yr old son lives with me – I pay for everything – just filing bankruptcy – he destroyed me financially also – repo”d our motorhome we had – everything was either short sold or sold – He is still blaming me for everything – I have read alot and it appears I am codependent – I still think sometimes I love him but I really know that is not love – but when will this all stop…. I am tried of feeling so destroyed…Thank God I built my career because that right now is at least putting a roof over our heads- my son is entering his 3rd yr in college in the fall – he is a 4.0 and they were best friends but now his dad hardly even speaks to him and blames my son for telling me what happened in our vaca home with the NY woman – come on now – I really thought I loved this man to the ends of the earth – he did treat us like gold for many yrs and once he was done he was done and never looked back – I am learning alot from reading all books on this subject but it still hurts so bad..He now lives with another woman near us for almost a yr now – he lived with the NY woman for 8 mths or so – this is crazy!! but why would I not be so done with him in my heart…I know he is no good for all he did and as time is moving forward I am learning to get away and no contact but it is so hard sometimes.

    • This author is right on target! If you don’t relate to the article then you perhaps have been fortunate enough to not have been emotionally engaged with a narcissist!

      • You said it right – they are fortunate never to have to dealt with such a horrible situation as we have

  32. We all have childhood traumas or emotional trauma in some part of our lives.. We use any of the defense mechanism to hide it from others.. We all aren’t labeled as narcissist? right?

    People call me narcissist as i tend to hide my secrets, my feelings from everyone .. Being a cancerian, i have enclosed myself in a protected wall where no one can get to my Real Me .. My friends call me narcissist because i am a bit indifferent when it comes to relationships .. I don’t like to request anyone for anything .. I am always absorbed in myself ..

    Am i narcissist? After reading your article, i feel i have some of narcissistic traits? I am confused!

    • Abysmal,

      You may or may not be an extreme narcissist. That you are a narcissist, you are… we all are in varying degrees. The issue is do we have too little or too much. What appears to be high level of privacy in your life could be narcissism or simply that you don’t trust and/or can’t handle relationships and therefore fear opening up. Now that sounds very close to what a narcissist can do. I would say, do you take advantage of others? Are you a predator in relationships where you hurt them and dump them as they bleed? If so, you might be an extreme narcissist. If not, you might just be the opposite kind of person who has attracted narcissists to his/her life.

      Hope that helped a little.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

      • I just lost my friend to a an extreme/malignant narcissist. She had BPD and he targetted her. I saw he was no good mmediately, but as a couple of months went by I realized what he was, and they are not hard to spot at all once you become familiar with their behaviour. The moment I outed him he put in a restraining order to isolate me from my friend–his property–who was now splitting on me. I could see he was very toxic and ruthless and I voiced my concerns to mental health authorities the polica and friends. No one listened and now she is dead. I am not sure if he drove her to suicide or even worse. I do know he is terrified of me because I know he is responsible as I warned him if anything happens to her he will answereable to me. He now rings and threatens me, but he is a coward and will do nothing. The intersting thing is that even though there is a restraining order in place if I text message him regarding his narcissism he doesn’t report me, when legally I could be a lot of hot water. I have plenty of evcidence to break him down in court in a second, but none of it will bring back my dearest friend who I loved very much

      • I just lost my friend to a an extreme/malignant narcissist. She had BPD and he targetted her. I saw he was no good mmediately, but as a couple of months went by I realized what he was, and they are not hard to spot at all once you become familiar with their behaviour. The moment I outed him he put in a restraining order to isolate me from my friend–his property–who was now splitting on me. I could see he was very toxic and ruthless and I voiced my concerns to mental health authorities the police and friends. No one listened and now she is dead. I am not sure if he drove her to suicide or even worse. I do know he is terrified of me because I know he is responsible as I warned him if anything happens to her he will answereable to me. He now rings and threatens me, but he is a coward and will do nothing. The intersting thing is that even though there is a restraining order in place if I text message him regarding his narcissism he doesn’t report me, when legally I could be a lot of hot water. I have plenty of evcidence to break him down in court in a second, but none of it will bring back my dearest friend who I loved very much.

        My life has been devestated by these disorders. I have now realized my ex-wife has BPD (which explains a lot) The worst of it is that my son who was always hyper-sensitive has become very narcissitic since the divorce. When I lived at home I could see these tendencies and worked on his self esteem with much success and would castigate my BPD ex for contiually screaming at the children. After the divorce I fear without me there to support him he regressed into himself and he has become estranged from me and blamed me for not being there for him!! It’s vey hard to lose someone you love like this.

  33. Dear Dr. Sam,

    I’m really glad I found this website. It has already been of help to read what other people have to say. I’m 24 years old and I was in a relationship just last year and towards the end of the relationship my best friend noticed that he had some narcissistic tendencies. That led me to research narcissism and their qualities and I came to find out that he had alot of those qualities. At the beginning of the relationship things were great, I was on cloud nine, we were inseparable, and I hung on his every word. He seemed like he was a great guy and that he had his life together. After about the first 2 months I started to notice some things about him that seemed off, at first I tried to overlook those things because I didnt want to risk ruining the relationship, but I couldn’t pretend anymore so I tried to bring those concerns to the light because I thought him and I had the kind of relationship to where things could be talked about and shared with one another. When I tried to discuss with him in a loving way some of the things I noticed about him, he instantly got defensive and changed the subject to get the spotlight off him, he would also put the blame back on me and say that these were just my insecurities and issues and that I needed to deal with them, and that I needed to stop creating problems out of nothing. It seemed that if things weren’t totally blissful and happy with no care in the world, then the relationship was rocky and he wanted to quickly get back to the bliss and not face the issues that were there. It did feel like a childish love fantasy to where he didn’t want to let himself come out from under this love high. He is a very intelligent person and has a very mathematical and scientific mind, I felt like he looked down on me and had such an arrogance about him that he was a know it all. I felt like some of the things I said were meaningless to him. At times I felt like I had to watch my words so carefully so that I wouldnt upset him with the things that I said. There were multiple times when I felt like I was viewed by him as a child that needed to be trained and disciplined by him. At times it felt like he was being a father to me and he said things to me like “you need to take the time to think about what you’ve done,” and “you need to realize what you’ve done to me”, and “I’m not going to talk to you until you see what you’ve done wrong”. He would say these things after I would try to get him to see what I saw and where I was coming from, but at these times he would turn it all around on me and try to get me to see the error of my ways and why I was so wrong and dumb for even thinking that.  I felt so low of a person at these times, but then not long after he would be charming me back in with being so sweet to me and saying and doing just the right things. I cried so much in that relationship because I knew that something was not right about the way I was being treated but when I tried to stand up against him, I was shut down and put in my place. He never physically hit me but it felt like some kind of sick control that he had over my mind or something. But he has what seems to be this visage of love, kindness, peace, and compassion for others, and people looked up to him as being a kind and loving guy and genuine in his motives, yet what I saw when I was with him was not that. But what initially drew me to him was that he came across as this loving, sweet, cool, confident, calm, and compassionate man who cared for others, so I fell for just what he portrayed himself to be. I dont know if this has anything to do with it or not but he is almost 28 years old and single, and every woman he has been in a relationship with has left him. What damage did he do to me? Can you please give me some more insight into this and let me know what you see in him, and also some ways in which I can heal and get my life back. I still hold onto alot of the emotional pain he put me through, and I still cry thinking about him because I just want him to face himself and get better. That was all my motives were in trying to point things out to him, but it was never taken well at all by him. I care for him and just want him to get well but I know there is nothing I can do to get him to change, and until he faces himself then he won’t change. I want to get things put into perspective about that relationship so that I can truly heal and move on from the pain. Did I fall for his fake person to only come to find out his true self? Something else is that as a child he was physically abused and emotionally abused and neglected by his dad. His mom finally left with him and his siblings after years and years of enduring that abuse from her husband. I’m sure that plays a huge part into how he is as a person. 
    Oh, and I did finally find the strength to break off the relationship after 7 months of being together. It was one of the hardest things for me to do.

    Thank you for your time in reading this. I really appreciate that! I really hope to hear back. 

    -Lexa

  34. … And he also has many female friends, and keeps in contact with a few of his ex-girlfriends that he says they are just friends and they are of importance to him. All of them he has been physically intimate with and has practically lived a married life with yet without the commitment of marriage. I tried to explain to him how it made me feel unsure about his commitment towards me and that I was uneasy with that. I felt like he should be able to close those doors from the past and not bring those ex’s into our current relationship, especially if I was not ok with it and if he was seeking a life with us together for the future. After me explaining it again it seemed like he finally got it and he said that he would be willing to give up communication with them in order to have me in his life, but I dont know if he was ever being honest. On his laptop he had his master account and then a guest account, I was never allowed to use his name but only used the guest account. This raised suspicion, because what was he hiding from me? There were just alot of suspicions that I had about his character as a person. But what so confused me was that he “seemed” to be such a great loving guy, but I saw completely otherwise, and that made me start to think that I was the crazy one and must have just been making things up in my head about him. But I wasn’t making it up, it was right in front of my face! My best friend that pegged him for a narcissist said he was a wolf in sheeps clothing. He would be the last person that you would think would ever do anything mean or wrong to anyone, and I say that based on the way he portrayed himself as a person and the simplistic lifestyle he seemed to live.

    • Run from these types and never look back. My daughter is “imprisoned” in a false reality she has created to rationalize the deception and entrapment that had occurred 3 years ago. He first treated her to a fantasy-land (read: to-good-to-be-true)lifestyle, then became an abusive monster after getting a ring on her finger 8 months later.

      Three attempts to leave him have resulted in taking her on yet another exotic “vacation”, forcing a pregnancy (in a bout of marital rape that was common in the first months of marriage – she told me),then threatening her (life?) and forcing her to retract all of the claims of abuse, and allegations of him being involved in criminal activity.

      For those of you (women) who are dazzled by that “knight in shing armor” type that enters your world – be very afraid, and get the hell away. In my attempts to separate him from the earliest stages of their “relationship”, I was then targeted as a threat and all of the evil that he consists of was projected on me – through the use of my own wife and family. It ultimately cost me a 30 year job, life savings (over $200k), my self esteem, and nearly my sanity.

      Today, I cope with the horror of my daughter’s captivity by having had to walk away completely. This,in order to rebuild my life – free of my (also) narcissistic wife, and the stresses she presented throughout a 26 year marriage. At least I finally “saw” her true colors as a result of this trauma.

    • Lexa,

      I just ended a five month relationship with a man I’m convinced has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I had many of the same bewildering experiences that you describe. When I started reading up on NPD, and as our arguments escalated (my willingness to accept his abuse rapidly declined), it became clear that ending the relationship was absolutely necessary.

      After much research online, I found the following two books to be incredibly helpful: “Disarming the Narcissist” by Wendy Behary (I do not recommend trying to make such a relationship work; rather, the author does a fantastic job of describing NPD and the theories of what may cause it); also, “Narcissistic Lovers” by Cynthia Zahn (more of a self-help approach; I found it quite helpful in restoring my sense of self).

      I’m still reeling a bit from my experience, but reading these books, recognizing NPD in my boyfriend, and realizing I’m lucky to have spotted this disorder and ended the relationship as soon as I did has made moving on a LOT easier.

      Best wishes.

    • Lexa,

      Believe it or not, but your post in response to this article (and the article itself) have just brought incredible peace to my heart. I TOO just came out of a relationship with someone that is EXACTLY as you and the good doc describe, except in my case, it’s a SHE and not a he.

      If I had the aptitude to write down everything she did, I would, but it would just be a repeat of your post, substituting a SHE in place of the HE.

      I’m not kidding, I am shaking at the resemblance. She was seriously educated, worldly, and to make it 10 times worse, she considered herself an expert on Narcissism, even becoming an admin on several abuse forums. She coddled me emotionally, relationally, and sexually, which was the hardest because it went against my faith before marriage. I broke up with her repeatedly, she orchestrated losing her living situation and moved in with me 3 times. She became a drug, a god, giving me everything a man could possibly want – except vulnerability. She would react and make me out to be the sick one when I asked her about her past, about things she would allude to, but never fully share. She kept in contact with ex-boyfriends, even when describing one as “practically raping” her, oh, yea, he was married. I could not compute why she did what she did, but in all of it, she portrayed herself as the victim; of her parents, of her ex-fiancée, ad nauseum. I knew one day I would be described by her to others the same way she was describing the others in her life to me… yet I stayed with her.

      It got so bad that she finally walked out on me, calling me a narc, when I expressed my concerns. There is NO getting these people to open up and be honest, and it breaks my heart, because she tries so hard to appear together, informed, and on top of her emotions. She educates and advises others, which she is very capable of doing as in life coach, but all the while does not subject herself to scrutiny or criticism, since no one is smarter than her (she claims to be Mensa).

      I could write a book on the disconnections I felt, the “something just doesn’t add up” moments. In the end, like her ex-fiancée, I concluded that, quoting him, she was “a mind-f$*k”. I NEVER saw this coming, and it’s too bad us guys can’t get the word out to others, when she seems too good to be true, when she boasts about being “every woman”, then it is too good to be true.

      Life with them is perfect, until you discover that they are not perfect, which isn’t that hard really, and frankly not a big deal since none of us are perfect. But the moment you go there, you will be accused of being emotionally sick, being borderline, being nosy, sneaky, and having something wrong with your boundaries! I still get dizzy trying to put my head around it.

      Make no mistake, she was SMART, she was SEXY, she was EVERYTHING a guy could ask for in a woman, until she WASN’T, and that’s when the accusations start flying.

      And for the record, she helped me a great deal in my own struggles, was a patient listener, was giving beyond what is expected, was FUN to be with and was someone I thought I might spend the rest of my life with… I benefited GREATLY from the things she shared – BUT MY FAULTS WERE ALWAYS THE TOPIC.

      She told me that she would not entertain discussing her problems or certain topics with me because I would get to emotionally wound up – which in part was correct. But after THREE YEARS? I found that she would never open up.

      These people operate with a different playbook, THEIR rules, not yours. THEY decide was is acceptable, since we are the “sick” or “un-mindful” ones. They create the rules, they make the plays, they call the fouls, and guess what? YOU are the one at fault, and they will CONVINCE you of that fact.

      In the end, my own sense of self was measured by how much I measured up to her rules.

      And if after doing something to her, she would vanish, not respond to emails, or email me using words that others I shared with called “caustic” and “vicious”.

      If I apologized, I was corrected on how to write a proper apology, she even WROTE the proper apology, as if I were the one writing it.

      Then the world was bright and colorful again, until I screwed up again.

      And I did screw up. Firstly, being involved with her before my divorce was final. But putting that first obvious, REAL problem aside (a problem she had no issue with), I was emotionally screwed up, and would admit it all day.

      I was fodder to her, someone willing to own their problems, accept her wisdom, worship her knowledge, and give her what she wanted – a cuddle buddy.

      Even now, as I write this, I wonder “can I post this on Craigslist? Since she uses this back-channel “diplomacy” instead of directly emailing me, would she read this and see the light?

      Do you see how we are sick? Even now, I want her back. My soul has been ruined by the attention I received from her, and I need serious help to get over this.

      I wrote her a pretty damning email in the end, and she is back on the forum boards educating everyone else at my expense, using me as the latest example.

      This is a crazy world. I always told her that my opinion was, we all are crazy to some degree, it’s just a matter of perspective and degree.

      Now that I have perspective, I realize just how true this statement was.

    • This sounds a lot like the guy I just wasted 12 years of my life with. I dated him 23 years ago…got married, had a child, got divorced- fell back into his trap. He dated another woman “T” about 25 years ago- she has cut his hair for at least the past 20 years. I walked…he pursued me…used my child (not his) to stay “in” with me…I got sucked back in for “yet another chance” about 5 months ago. He was dating “T” and I was dating “G” at this time. I had 4 conditions under which I would give him another chance…he braek up with “T”, we go to couples counseling (would be the 3rd time), He come clean about some lies he told his family about me (he did- but I now see the manipulation in it and the way he did it), and he show me a REAL commitment (ring) by a deadline date. The deadline came and went…I walked again…only to find out HE NEVER BROKE UP WITH “T”! He dated both of us for the entire 4 1/2 months that he was promising me a ring. He has done so many crazy things over the years. I believe he is addicted to pornography. I found out he has a severe coke problem for about 9 years that I knew nothing about. He still has drinking issues. When someone finally clued me in about NPD- I was FLOORED! Most of my friends don’t think he is an N- I am 1000% sure he is. Guess what- “T” stayed with him. I believe that men with NPD recycle women…this is why they keep them around after they break up with them. The ones that won’t stick around have realized the men have NPD. You can’t be his friend…ALL contact must cease.

      • Clarification…I broke up with him 23 years ago and married a different man. When we seperated I ended up back with the N…Oh, did I mention we married and annulled it 8 1/2 years ago? I moved 45 minutes away and he still managed to suck me back in over and over again. I am going to therapy with one of our previous couples counselors next week. I am determined that my story will have a happy ending and I will find a happy, healthy relationship. I realize I am too damaged now to be able to move on to a healthy relationship without some therapy.

    • Lexa, You just described someone I know to a T.
      Wonderful, kind, considerate, funny, intelligent on the top, but underneath (shown only rarely) controlling, cruel, mean, arrogant, and completely inconsiderate of other’s feeligs. I agree with the replies– stay away from him! do not let him worm his way back in. He’ll only do it over and over again.
      Not to say he doesn’t have feelings, or a soul, but he is obviously refusing to grow up, or face his own shortcomings. you cannot help him. It is incredibly dangerous for you to try.

      ~Morcaar.

  35. Alan,

    You said, “The first positive move of a narcissist would be to dump the medical profession. Step two is accepting Jesus into your heart. Jesus is the real doctor. Emphasis here on real.”

    With all due respect to your faith, even Christ said that before you could adequately love God and people you had to love yourself. I don’t believe he was speaking about a narcissistic love for self but rather a taking care of yourself. To connect with God and others you have to be connected with yourself. I take that to mean that you need to be healthy inside.

    Another point is that King Solomon wrote a lot about dysfunctional behavior in his book of Proverbs. He teaches there that signs exist that warn you of serious issues in persons and how these hurt others. If everyone read that book often they would be very wise and healthy. You could almost say that Solomon was one of the earliest “psychologists” in history.

    Best regards,

    Dr. Sam
    http://www.DrSam.tv

  36. Bewildered,

    I appreciate your candor!

    You have surrounded yourself with extreme narcissists and you have been hurt by them. Here are some suggestions and observations based on what your shared:

    1. Stop having a close relationship with all extreme narcissists in your life. Protect yourself and don’t waste your treasures on them, lest your burnout and “die.”

    2. Share only with folks who consistently appreciate you and reciprocate back to you your love and input. That is a sure sign of “healthiness and maturity” in others.

    3. Consider that you have been a magnet to extreme narcissists because they smell you out as a good victim to suck “blood and life” from. What is that “blood and life”? Your need to be needed and loved is at the core of that. It will drive you to please others who have the vicious gift of charm used to manipulate (i.e., an extreme narcissist). These narcissists will tell you only so much of what you want to hear then take all that you have, leaving you wasted. I tell you, “RUN for the hills!”

    4. A good resource is Co-Dependents Anonymous support groups.

    5. Two good books: Safe People and Boundaries by Townsend & Cloud.

    6. Test every existing and future relationship as to whether they reciprocate to you commensurately as you give. You stop at the level they stop giving.

    Hope this helps.

    Dr. Sam
    http://www.DrSam.tv


  37. Sophie said, “From your work with patients, what kind of event does it actually take to shake a guy like him to the core, make him undergo treatment, stick with it, and actually change for the better?” I’m just curious, not that I EVER want to have a relationship with him again. I’ve learned my lesson. “Do you advise your patients to take responsibility for the hurt they caused and apologize to the people they emotionally abused?”

    Sophie,

    It takes an act of God to get the attention and then some… if at all! An extreme narcissist is God… to himself. That pomposity has to be broken. Whatever it takes. Sometimes extreme pain still won’t do it. When an extreme narcissist starts to see the light then consider it a miracle!

    As part of the process of “fixing” a narcissist I would definitely require him/her to do the “12-steps” which would mean to make ammends to all persons he/she has hurt. That takes brokenness and humility… the road to health and wholeness.

    Hope this helped!

    Dr. Sam
    http://www.DrSam.tv

  38. Judy,

    Be very glad that your eyes were opened! It has been painful but it has been the price of your tuition in the school of life. It will help you avoid greater losses.

    Do get help. If finances is an issue, then find a Co-dependents Anonymous group in your area. You can Google them.

    Get the books: Safe People and Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud. They are excellent helps in training you on what healthy looks like.

    As for what this man owes you, consider consulting a lawyer to see what you can do to make sure you get your money back.

    Hope this helps.

    Dr. Sam
    http://www.DrSam.tv


  39. Abyssal,

    I would not say that you are automatically an extreme narcissist with the traits you described. To me you describe mainly an introvert person who may have social issues or just is not a social butterfly. Maybe the circle of people you hang out with are immature and you are much older emotionally? If so, get older friends. Consider that before you think you are sick. :)

    Hope this helps.

    Dr. Sam
    http://www.DrSam.tv

  40. Dear Dr. Sam,
    Thank you VERY MUCH for your reply. If possible, could you elaborate (or recommend a book or blog to get further information) on the ’12 steps’ you require your patients to take (i.e., make amends).
    What do YOU think, am I too harsh if I don’t accept the following apology which my ex-boyfriend wrote in an email: ‘I apologize for all the hurt I caused you’? One line, that’s ALL I ever got. To me this apology is way too simple/insincere, no remorse, no admitting of mistakes. Well, this is an apology I’d expect from a young immature guy, but not from a 53 yr. old adult who has read countless psychology books on improving relationships and even advises friends on how to fix problems with their partner. And definitely not in the form of an email ‘behind which you can hide’,a phone call would have been more personal.

    Again, thank you very much for any comments you’d like to post. ….. Sophie

    • Sophie,

      I know this is a belated response. I would have responded to him with a statement somewhat like:

      “Can you elaborate what specific things you are apologizing for, so I can decide if you are sincere and if I can forgive you for those specific things?”

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

    • Sophie: I get the same thing from the narcissist in my life. Apologies but never specifics. I don’t think he has the capacity to go there because, as Dr. Sam has said, his core of shame is so great that he can’t admit to himself the hurt he has caused. I’m trying to learn to have compassion for him instead of anger, to see what a hurt human being he is, and then to keep him as far away from me as possible!

  41. Dr. Sam
    BTW, YES, I’m aware I might be ‘old school’ with all my ‘expectations’. (I suppose that’s b/c of my age, I’m 48). … Sophie

  42. Dear Dr. Sam,

    I believe my brother is an EXTREME narcissist. Some things happened to him in his childhood that he never told myself or my parents about until he was about 20. at 22 he got married and had a child. He then joined the army. While serving overseas his wife cheated on him and asked for a divorce. She said he would not get the baby. He went nearly insane (as would most) and had his weapons taken, along with breaking his hand in several places from hitting the concrete floor. After he got out he came to live near me. He’s always had almost all of the narcissistic traits, but now they seemed much worse. I helped with the move by getting him a great job and an apartment nearby. He brought me so much emotional strain that I had a panic attack in the process. Hospital and all. He drained me so much but I felt that he needed me. He fell into a deep depression and I barely kept him afloat until I talked him into getting help. He actually agreed and I had my parents come pick him up. They took him to a VA psyciatrist who diagnosed him as having assburgers?! I read up on it and a lot of things do fit, but not nearly as well as narcissism in my opinion. She basically told him it could be confused with narcissism but isn’t because he actually IS smarter than most people he is around. She said he may be a genius which is the absolute last thing he needed to hear!! We are both intellegent, logical, and artistic/creative(musicians mainly), but I do not believe we are on the level that he now believes he is. He now acts as if he has an excuse to be completely cocky, and an excuse for his sometimes explosive anger towards anyone who doesn’t, no CAN’T POSSIBLY, understand his reasoning. Along with a perscription of Adderol and Xanax, with which I have had plenty of experience, and believe they will eventually “mess him up” worse mentally. I believe he has been mis-diagnosed, but there’s no way to get through to him now that he is a genious! I feel like it is to late, and he will be forever detached and alone. What would you suggest I do?

  43. I totally agree with you that one with this type of dysfunctional behavior can change. I have experienced this type of healing for myself.

    There is hope out there for change.

  44. Dr. Sam I have a question for you. Are there certain questions that you could ask a person to show if they could potentially be a N?

    As you know N are skilled at hiding their true selves, so can one ask some specific questions?

    • CadC09,

      That is a very difficult question to answer. The reason is because Extreme Narcissist are the experts at “morphing” right before you very eyes.

      What I would do is watch how they make decisions. If they make decisions with themselves in first place consistently then you start to smell the narcissism. If they are always trying turn situations so that they always win and look good then that is another tip-off. If they appear and disappear from relationships then that is another potential sign also. One big sign is their difficulty in apologizing and making amends. Extreme narcissists don’t do that.

      Hope this helped a little.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

  45. I M hoping you can give some in site on this question. When I first married my husband we always wanted to move to Florida eventually, well 30 plus years later we are selling our home and he wants to go. We have been there many times since and I told him that I have even there more than enough times to know I don’t want to be there full time. Why can’t we live half the year there and the other in the north. He told me no, we are going there because of what is going on in the world with the economy and he doesn’t want snow or cold anymore. I was told that he is going there and if I don’t want to go “we won’t be together”, and we have to figure out what I will do and the kids (early 20s who live at home).
    My question is : since we have had house on the market, going on three years, everyday at least once or twice he says the same thing, if he gets mad at something he says the same thing which is “I’m sorry I am gone when this house sells, I can’t give you what you want, I am going and if no one comes I am going alone”. It is the same thing all the time, everyday. I keep saying I will nor go full time, it’s like I never told him, he repeats and repeats. He says we have to talk about it, but hedoesnt want to hear what I have to say. He says my mind is in Disney land, I don’t know whT is going on in the world, this is the one place we can go. ( we will have enough money to buy two places to split time), he will show me weather own there on phone, he shows me houses, and that is all he talks about to me. It is like chines torture, a slow drip of water on my forehead, if I tell ohm to stop he gets mad and says Im going. If I mention breakfast, he says “as long as we wake up and walk on the beach after”. It’s like I said I will go, but I keep saying NO. I mentioned another state, he said no, I tried 6 months here and 6 months there, he said no. He once told me yeArs ago that when I make enough money to support us like he did, he will follow me, if not I am suppose to go with him. After living how and where he wanted for 27 years through construction and fights with workers , that is my choice. He has in his mind he is doing what ia best for us, in his mind, I have no choice. Always his way. If I would do his to him, forget it. Never hears what I have to say, bur do Otto him……what is it with the constant repetitiveness, hoping I will give in right? I used to, I told him I too have had it with the way we live, it got us far, but am getting too old, also am getting too old to be told how “my” life will be lead. The obsessiveness is driving me nuts, please advise. You have to understand saying anything back he doesn’t want to hear sets him off,
    Thanks

    • It sounds to me like he’s going to Florida with you or without you, and he’s made that point repeatedly. It isn’t like the subject hasn’t been discussed in the past. Have you explored the reasons why you are now so resistent to relocating? Could it be fear based?

      The clear choice that you have as he as already stated his own priority is to decide whether you want to go with him or stay; if you don’t have your own income in order to afford to stay you will have to discuss finances. If he’s not willing to share the proceeds of selling the house with you for you to maintain a second residence, then you may have to divorce him and sue for them. It’s possible you will end up divorced anyhow as you living apart for 6 months of the year would be an additional strain on most relationships.

      Just because two people disagree doesn’t mean that either is a narcissist or a nut case.

      So it’s really up to you to decide what your priorites are…being with him, or living where you prefer to live. I would suggest it might be wiser to give up a nonnegotiable argument and go and if you really can’t stand Florida you can always still divorce him and move back north.

  46. This is what he always did until I couldn’t take it anymore and give in. But I won’t on this one. You have to repeat things all the time because he is elsewhere in his head or cuts you off and when I do it as you get louder after the third time, he yells why do you have to yell at me or says why do you treat me this way. He also keeps sighing to himself and shaking his head, drives me nuts, he says I don’t understand what is going on, why we have to move to where he says. All negative. Then you can also get the big footsteps with dropped shoulders and off he goes. I have gotten better, doesn’t give me a panic attack anymore nor do I feel compelled to agree or feel bad. I hope I didn’t shit ,mysellf off totally, emotionally. If I want to say something to someone he always says don’t because they can do something back to look for trouble, but when he gets mad he does whatever he pleases, then it’s okay.

  47. We should not be very judgmental with a person when it comes to his/her personal appearance. We should be very polite and at the same time cautious on how to tell them there flaws. A simple method of how to remove moles and warts can help us be flawless ourselves. Thanks!

  48. Dear Dr. Sam,
    I was partly scared while reading your article. I feel I am married to a narcissist myself. I have in the past been told of such possibility by my friends but I just dismissed it. I know exactly how Lexa feels. I also thought I married a knight and shining armour. He always displayed a “loving, sweet, cool, confident, calm, and compassionate man who cared for others persona”. He is that same person when in front of other people. But he can be insulting, demeaning and rude at me even around other people. He tramples me down on too many occasions. I feel he hates the fact that I am a lawyer when he knew from the start I was gonna be one. I am married to him for eight years now. I realized though I could not change him. No one can change him. But God can change him. Each and everytime I am hurt or insulted it provides an avenue for me to draw near close to Jesus – to cling to God for help – for courage – for strength. I guess I hae weathered the storm not on my own strength but because God has carried me through. I must admit though that there were numerous times I wanted to leave him and start a new life without him It seems an easy thing to do and convenient but I feel also I need to help him. I guess part of me needs to help him. Or simply put, I love him.

    Gwen

    • Gwen,

      Your husband has not right to abuse and disrespect you. Remember that Jesus let folks abuse him ONLY for a few hours, not his entire life. Those hours were part of the plan. Notice that before and after those events, NO ONE pushed, abused, or told Jesus what to do. He owned himself and would not let others push or abuse him. There are evidences that there were consequences to those who would try to violate his personal boundaries. See the event with his mother and siblings in the Gospels. See how he treated Peter when Peter tried to push him around towards the end of his life.

      I recommend you go out and buy Townsend and Cloud’s book called Boundaries.

      You need to say a big “NO!” to your husband’s abuse. If you are able, then go through a separation to knock some sense in his thick head. If he does not apologize and change WHILE you are separated, then stay separated or consider divorce as a possibility. You, as a child of God, deserve respect. Remember that!

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

  49. Just yesterday i found out i have been married to a narcissist for 16 years and living with him for 19 years.
    I Googled “malice” and bingo! My husband enjoys inflicting emotional pain. He had a girlfriend before he met me and he showed me all the letters she had written him (over 100) in a 3 year relationship and they were teenagers, he was always hurting her and her she would say she loves him like 10 times in each letter and he is such a nice guy but he hurts her so and yet she will apologize. And yet again the same thing would happen all over again. I felt it was strange to love someone who treated you so badly because i had dated before and it was loving and respectful.
    My narcissist husband made me believe he loved me but i had a problem. Because nobody loved me. A allienated me from my family and friends by telling them bogus lies in subtle ways as he has kind look and a young face and an inconsistent character. He drains everybody financially,physically and emotionally because he is so demanding and gets mad for a long time if you dont do husband wishes.he has been keeping malice with me for 1 and a half years and does not care about the children anymore since i dont allow him to manipulate them. On our wedding eve,he said he was no longer marrying me because i said something to him about somebody he did not even know his house and people spent the whole night begging him. He lives in a world of his own and his mother continues to let him believe he is special even though he has not held a job in 11 years and does not like anybody broaching the subjects or he will cut you off. I am a catholic but i will get away from this man and marry again by God’s grace as he has stolen every good thing i am and deprived me of joy. He is very childish and his mum is 66 but acts and talks like a 10 year old and they are both not aging physically and mentally. My husband has a brother that has been cooped indoors and medicated by the mum for 19 years, she claims he is mental but she is caring for him to collect some allowance in the UK. They are both big liars and lazy people. Please how do i help my children not to inherit this terrible disease. I have not left since because of the possible effects of divorce on children. They see all that is happening and i am worried about their future. Please advice.

    • Bunmi,

      You are in a tough situation with trying to decide if to stay in the narcissistic relationship or not for the sake of your kids. Without knowing the age of the kids, I can almost bet that they already know that things are not good between you and their Dad. They also see many of the dysfunctions both of you have but probably on a subconscious level. They need to see that you are trying to change yourself and don’t approve of family psychopathology so that they know that they know there is a better way.

      In most cases, I recommend that you get away from men like your husband. Try a separation first and build up to a permanent separation. Chances are that your husband is not going to change, especially with a mother that continues to empower his sickness and that of his brother.

      I would focus on what dysfunctions in you have attracted and kept this man in your life. Get healthy and insulate yourself from this man.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

  50. How do I get my narcissistic husband to stop ruining the holidays? I always end up encouraging him to go skiing or some other activity he likes for the holidays, because if he sticks around us family he ends up getting upset about some tiny thing and ruining the whole holiday (not around other people, just around his family.)
    Unfortunately he has hit a wall with going away–some of his co-workers noticed and have been questioning him at work about his “selfishly” going away–the problem is, that they don’t know how selfish and disregarding he actually is to us, and how he always throws a fit and mopes during every holiday–especially the one’s about me, like my birthday or mother’s day. So now he feels compelled to stick around during the holidays because he doesn’t want to look “selfish” to his colleagues, yet he still has no regard for anyone of us family. It happens the same every time–some imaginary thing offends him (like me turning the radio on after he said it was ok–only that he didn’t really want it and he shouldn’t have had to say it, I should have just known–although he said it was ok), then he gets angry and demands something of me (though its usually impossible–like changing the past),and I just can’t give because I have my own needs and also must take care of my child’s needs, then he gets jealous and accuses me of being selfish or caring for my child above him, then he begins this extended moping session (can last for days)only interrupted with rude and viscous tirades (where he accuses me of only caring about myself and my child, and everyone but him). Yet if he talks to someone else on phone, or sees someone else he knows he suddenly turns into suave, charming, caring. Usually the moping session only ends when I leave him alone and he gets to do something he wants to do that is not associated with the holiday–like skiing. That’s why I would rather he just go skiing in the first place, than go into this intricate manipulation session just to get to do what he wants–because the rest of us actually want to have a good holiday, we don’t want to have to go through his manipulation so he can be justified to go off and do what he wants.

  51. I was wondering if my girlfriend was a narcissist or just selfess. She won’t open up to me emotionally, she seems to care about no one but herself (her sister suffers from depression and instead of wanting to call her or go see her to support her she saids it depresses her to be around her) Also when it is a friend or family’s birthday, anniversery, etc. coming up I tell her she needs to call or send a card and she says she will, but later when I ask her if she did says no. When I ask her to do something with me that I like to do, and maybe she doesn’t want to, instead of occasionally doing it to please me she just refuses. Just confused. Thanks.

    • Steve,

      Your girlfriend might be a narcissist if she cannot share your joys and spend time with you, sometimes. I would have my radar turned on. If you see more and more selfishness at your expense, then consider moving on with your life.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

  52. Sam,

    Great article. A bit distressing to me, because, as I feared, I think I surely fit the description of a narcissist…perhaps even an “extreme narcissist”. I am a recovering alcoholic/addict, and the AA program has helped me get outside myself, and at the same time explore my own feelings and come to terms with selfish behavior. I have not attended a meeting in a while and am thus experiencing an “emotional” relapse (not using or drinking, but still, doing the things I did when I was using…like putting on “fronts” as yo describe, using people, and being an ultra “people pleaser” wanting to be liked by everybody. Other than getting back to my AA meetings I don’t know what to do. I am locked in childhood at an age when one parent left and the one I remained with quickly remarried someone who resented me, or the attention that parent gave me. There was some physical abuse. Even now, I am more concerned about ways to “hide” my true self from coworkers, etc. and in asking for your thoughtd I am–well was–secretly hoping for sometips on hoe to become a better chameleon. Even when admitting I am wrong to others is just a means of seeking approval and love from others—I geuinely do not feel sorry much of the time–when I say sorry. To me, it is just a tool I use as a narrciist. AHG! IT’S A TOUGH CYCLE TO BREAK–BUT I JUST WANT TO KNOW OE OR TWO HINGS I CAN DO JUST TO START –THE PROCESS OF NO LONGER BEING THE NARCISSIST THAT I AM. THANK YOU SAM.

    • Worc,

      I would try to get competent counseling that has two specific combinations:

      1) The counselor is primarily psychodynamic in his/her approaches (not mainly a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy kind… who focuses only on the “HERE AND NOW”).

      2) Has a very powerful healing model where he/she sees dysfunctions, false beliefs, negative emotions, bad behavior coming from an originally imprinted experience that started somewhere in the past. This person needs to be skilled enough to find those original imprint moments or close to them and then…

      3) Use powerful recoding, reframing, altering intervention processes that are brief. These can be EMDR, Emotional Freedom Technique, NLP, and some others that are based on the model I mentioned.

      Once you find that kind of very skilled therapist who can do these things quickly (It IS possible! I do it all the time.), then work with them to clean out all of the “crap” of your life.

      Next I suggest that he/she install via metaphors, stories, interventions, productive scripts, algorithms, for future behavior.

      If you are spiritual, attend a church, group, temple where the clergy is mature and loves therapy and recommends it. The clergy needs to be transparent, open, real, not a fake, but genuine in promoting a community of love for support.

      Hope this helped.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

    • I do not understand the response this question was given. Why on Earth would a true Narcissist, let alone an “extreme” narcissist ever question whether or not there is something “wrong” with him? Narcissists don’t sit around having insight into themselves, seeing themselves in the non-shining examples of others, nor ever coming to the conclusion that there is something less than perfect about themselves.

      • LadySarcasma,

        An extreme narcissist probably won’t question or self-reflect unless it is to stop and justify why he/she is so wonderful and awesome. The way you get the attention of an extreme narcissist is through pain… extreme pain. Some start to crack and light may begin to seep in. If an extreme narcissist does not get or receive the hard cues of life, then he will die alone and miserable.

        Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
        http://www.DrSam.tv

  53. How can one get away from a narcissistic person? Every time I try he cries and begs and has panic attacks, etc. He puts me down all the time, isolates me, never gives me any money and I catch hell if I spend anytime with a friend. I am so tired of living this way, being put down all the time. It’s damned if I do and damned if I don’t, everything is my fault, I’m crazy, stupid, cold hearted, a user, etc. I am losing my mind.

    • Losing my mind,

      Before you lose all you mind, dump this guy! Focus on finding what inside of you needs a guy like this. I surmise that it probably has to do with unfulfilled love that you should have gotten way back as a child. Get a great therapist to help you resolve that loss and start to fill it with good people who truly give back to you love and not “take” from you as this narcissist.

      Drop him! Get healthy! Then consider another man who is healthy once you know what “healthy” looks like.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

  54. Dear Dr. Sam,

    I was really impressed with your knowledge about Narcissism. I’ve raised by a narcissistic mother, and now am in a relationship with a narcissist, and have been for 3 years now. It’s been such a difficult ride! He constantly threatens to leave me or leaves every time he doesn’t like my actions or comments. He wasn’t supportive of my family, I have a 12 year old daughter… it always feels as though he is just dating me, and never helps out or contributes to my family. He is an extreme hypochondriac, takes about 40-45 vitamins and minerals, superfoods a day, has an obsession about taking care of himself, and looking good. He is also a therapist, and analyses people to death.
    Recently, for the lst month, he’s been very helpful, started working in my garden,helping me around the house.I think if may be because I kept complaining about it and telling him that I want a family guy… or because my mom’s boyfriend started coming over and helping me around the house.
    In any case, we just had another fight… he was “working hard” in my garden almost all day… and kept telling me how hrd it is and kept asking me when are we going to just relax… and I made a comment: “thanks for helping me. I have a feeling that if you lived in my house, you would actually enjoy gardening and wouldn’t consider it a chore. But because you don’t live here, you think it’s too much work”. He got furious with me like he always does and told me I don’t appreciate his help, I’m selfish, don’t know how to love and be grateful. I then told him that I feel guilty for accepting anything he gives if he constantllyh reminds me of what a chore it is to help me… I told him that my daughter, my house and my work are my first priorities, I can’t always hang out with him and have fun! To that he said: “well , where I am on your list then?
    I then just told him that we may not have the same prioriies for family life… he just wants to have fun and relax, and I’m always the one who has to do most of the work!
    He slammed the door, and for 100th time said: “”We’re done! Don’t call or email me”

    I’m so tired of this relatonship… and have a hard time leaving him!
    Are narcissists that difficult to be with? Even when they’re giving, they make you feel so bad, they constantly need praise and admiration, it’s so tiring!

    Sorry for the long letter, I just had to vent!
    Thank you for listening!

    • <PurpleLilly,

      I am always amazed at how the counseling profession lets guys like this become therapists. This saddens me and shows me that those who credentialize sick folks like this are inept in detecting significant psychopathology. I see this kind of thing from time to time: very immature and selfish psychologists and psychotherapists. Quite sad!

      As to your situation, I recommend reading what I said to "Losing my mind" just before your post. You can do better than this very childish man. He is a little boy who wants to "play." He is inconvenienced by your place in life (having a family). That should open your eyes! In his world, HE COMES FIRST! NOT YOU!!!!! Did you get that?

      Run!

      You can do much better! Don't be that desperate for a man!

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

  55. Wow, this forum has been great for me to read. I can really relate to Lexa and everything she said.
    My bf and I dated for a year and when I thought everything was great he just up and left and gave me a list of things that I of course was doing wrong. He never talked about anything that was wrong, just left. I felt there was someone else and found out later that there was. I was nearly suicidal thinking everything was my fault for months, leaving me with no self esteem. Six months later he shows back up in my life and said what a mistake he made and that he’s changed and like a fool I fell for it all over again. Let him back in my life because he was losing his house and took a paycut at work and going through bankruptcy and I think he just needed me to boost his ego again. He needed a lot of affection and comforting and he sucked everything I had from me. And just like the time before I was walking on eggshells when he would do things like text people in front of me and wouldn’t share who he was talking to. He would stand there and talk with friends for 20 min and wouldn’t introduce me leaving me feeling like I wasn’t good enough. If I mentioned how I was feeling he would become defensive. We would never argue because it would never get to that point because I was afraid I would offend him so I would keep it in. This went on for 7 weeks the second time he came back and then said he had a job interview in another state. I told him I would give him space to decide what was best for him because he had no career here so I thought I was doing the mature thing. He then cut off all communication with me. 6 weeks later I’ve never heard from him. I was smart enough not to beg him to stay but it has done a job to my self esteem again thinking I wasn’t good enough for him to stay. How someone that says they love you can just cut off all ties with you and move on. It probably was getting serious again and he needed to move on. It’s unbelievable how these people can make you feel that they love you so much then up and leave in a second with no regards for your feelings. They use you for whatever it is they need and then when they have gotten that pick-me-up ego booster from you they are gone again. Oh, and out of those 7 weeks of me comforting him and making him feel better about his life, I needed him just one day and he couldn’t be there for me. I was having a bad day and told him I needed him and what does he do? Got a call from his friend and had to meet him and his girlfriend for dinner instead of coming to see me. This is what they do. It’s all about them and their needs. Oh he was there for his friends in a heartbeat whenever they needed to talk but with people they have a relationship with they can’t handle it. He has the maturity of a teenager and think he is stuck as a seventeen year old. And I’m not sure if others see this but they need the social networking like facebook as well to give them that self esteem. I thought it was really strange, he was 40 and needed to be on this site as a way to prove he had all kinds of friends. He was surrounded by woman friends as well just like a lot of woman in this situation talks about. And when you ask them to put you first it’s now an issue with you and your jealousy. Unbelievable. Anyways, thanks for letting me vent. I’m just not sure how to pick up the pieces and find that person inside me that deserves to be with someone healthy. I’ve invested a long time either loving this man or crying over this man and there was never anyone else in between me waiting for him to maybe come back. It’s hard realizing that you deserve better than this when someone has done this to you.

  56. Thank you, thank you, thank you! To Dr. Sam and all of you who have posted here. I am 50 years old, divorced, and I have had 5 year on-again/off-again relationship with what I now understand is a Narcissist. And I’m a therapist! This guy was good, let me tell you. No physical abuse and really not much emotional abuse, but he sure used me financially. And I kept going back for more. But then I already knew I had co-dependent tendencies being an adult child of an adult child and a previous marriage to an alcoholic. I have made a lot of progress in my recovery but I guess not quite enough. And you will laugh at this Dr. Sam, but he was a preacher and a former Christian counselor! I thought there was no way a preacher could be a narcissist! There seems to be no childhood emotional trauma in his life, but when he was 21 he married and the night of his honeymoon his new bride told him she didn’t love him and shouldn’t have married him. He said this was devastating. She would rarely allow him to have sex with her. She had been sexually molested as a child. He spent the next 27 years “shutting down” in his words, emotionally to survive and stay in the marriage because ” I loved her and it wouldn’t look good in the family and as a pastor to get a divorce.” Now how did I miss that clue? Anyway, I, too, am really sad to have lost someone I thought and felt was the best friend I ever had, totally compatible in our interests, someone I could tell anything to. But after this last and most recent break up, I was able to see him for what he was, what he was doing to me underneath the surface, and I know I will move on now. His walk with God, while it could have helped him, sadly will not because he will not even trust God to heal the pain within him. He just won’t go there. And he is alone and even his own children don’t come too close. He keeps himself in his books and intellectualizing. He’s always going to write something, has a dozen unfinished works. He has one person he considers his best friend, but they haven’t lived near each other in 30 years so this friend just continues to idolize him and I don’t think really knows him well. An interesting note, this friend was always supposed to be helping my ex get a great new job and yet the friend never did. Anyway, God Bless you, Dr. Sam and every one here. God can and will heal our wounds. My faith has been a great comfort and teacher.

  57. Thank you for this website. I was starting to feel like it was me when me and my new daughter-in-law started having troubles. She is a major control freak. She shows no emotions, admits she doesn’t cry and ends relationships if they don’t make her feel good. She talks about a mile a minute and acts like she knows everything. With my first grandchild coming I’m dreading what my relationship with be like with him. She has already put me on noticed of how I am to act or else there will be not relationship. Of course she didn’t say it directly, no, that would make her sound mean. She just told me how perfect her mother was with her first child and so she had a wonderful relationship with him. And she told me that because her grandmother and aunt where such negatived people she did not allow him to be around them until they changed. She told me she wouldn’t have a relationship with her sister if they weren’t related because basically she is not like her. This girl came from a home where she was sexually abused. Her mother had no gumption and did nothing about it and stayed with the SOB.
    She told me she did not have a good relationship and she even calls her mother by name instead of Mom. She and my son became boyfriend/girlfriend while they were in high school and after he went off to college she broke up with him so she could get married and get out of the house. The man mistreated her. Now 15 years later my son and her are back together. My son adores her and never fell in love again after she broke her heart. He, I’m afraid has issues too. Haven’t figured them out yet but I’m starting to believe he may be narcissistic too. Pray for me! I have adrenal fatigue and I can’t do this. We just had a blowout, she and I and she hasn’t even had the baby yet. I feel doomed.

    • I know how you feel, my DIL has cut us off from our first grandchild. I guess I should have seen it coming. She has always been a put me first kind of girl. Wanted to change wedding date after we found out my youngests graduation date to the same day, if i invited them to do anything and set a time she would always be 30 minutes late with no excuse or apology, when other son got a girlfriend that we liked she disliked her and said when baby is born we will not bring her over if J. is there. Told my husband he does not pay her enough attention. Finally on inviting them out for a family event..I said guys and other halves in a text conversation and all you know what broke lose..that was major disrespect, son and her got in a huge fight when he said there was nothing wrong with it and the end result is in her words she is tired of trying to please everyone, he has to be seperated from us to keep the peace! With that he can not call or come over and we are not allowed to see the child. He has no contact with his brothers or anyone else in the family. We have tried to talk to him about it even apologized with no avail. He says we its like world war 3 if he mentions coming or bringing the baby so he has just got complacent and does what ever she wants. I am not sure how to handle this no more it has caused many tears and sleepless nights. I hope your situation will not turn into mine. Dr. Sam any suggestions on how to handle this?

  58. This is probably not my business anymore but I need to make some sense of it for my own sanity. Dr Sam, why do people go back to narcissists?
    A few weeks ago, my live in boyfriend of a year left me and my daughter to go back to his wife who he had strong suspicions was a narcissist. His dovorce was DAYS away from being final. It left me devastated and I dont understand why he went back to misery? A few exaamples:
    – He left because he caught her cheating. The evidence was compelling but she still refused to admit it and went to crazy lengths to cover it up even reporting her lover as a stalker
    – She has convinced her family and friends otherwise, including a few of his friends, some she hardly knows, even bombarding them with texts begging them to convince him to give her a 2nd chance, its not fair, she did nothing wrong. blah blah. One friends wife was in hospital with cancer at the time which she knew, but this didnt matter to her, apparently another sign of her lack of empathy
    – lied about her achievements when she first met him and still exaggerated them to people
    – Thinks everyone is jealous of her and he said she was so jealous of others in fact
    – She never had empathy for anyone or their situation and would say they were just weak
    – Looked down on everyone, nobody was better then her
    – Told him that he could never make it in this town without her- this was HER town
    – threatened his job several times, even at the sacrafice of her own (they are both cops, if one reports something on the other they BOTH get modified)
    – threatened suicide several times
    – Continually asked when he was coming back home, demanding he had to go shopping with her as they needed a new table (stuff like that)
    – went from not calling him for days and days, to finally calling and getting hysterical or angry or both
    – On social networking sites, she acted like they were still together with the things she posted, perhaps most bizarre of all she changed her last name to his name. She never had his name, never took it, never wanted his name she said, this hurt him at the time but ok…..when he questioned her about why she has changed her name 2 weeks before the divorce was to be final she said ‘i have been wanting to do it for a while and we ARE still legally married’

    Anyway Dr Sam, she found out about me (because of her instability we were keeping things under wraps til divorce was final) and she turned up at his job with polygraph tests ‘proving’ she didnt cheat. I dont know how he let those tests undermine everything he heard and saw with his own eyes and ears, but he decided he was going to go back and give his marriage another chance (they do not have kids). I cant knock anyone for giving thier marriage a 2nd chance but I just dont understand why he went back to that chaos?
    I know people who know her and they all say the same thing, Im not going just by what he has said. I dont know if she had any childhood trauma but her father passed away suddenly when she was 15. Actually, her brother is an acquaintance and is most certainly an N!
    So Dr Sam, help me understand why he would have returned to this? why do people go back to N’s?
    Thank you so much

    • Lilystar,

      Why does a person go back into a relationship with an extreme narcissist?

      That is not an easy question to answer since there are a variety of factors that can be components. I’ll share a few that can be a part of the equation:

      1. Love hunger created from deficits in parent’s nurturing. Parents can be impaired in giving proper and healthy nurturing to children. Parents can be absent (physically and/or emotionally).

      2. In the case of a male, it can be a case of infantilization, or going back to “being taken care of” by “mother” who overprotects/controls and even makes the male impotent. What is normal to that male is what he experienced in “family” even if it is very sick. What he does not realize is that “being taken care of” has a dangerous price…the loss of himself.

      3. Going back to the narcissist is a form of addiction to drama/chaos. The individual cannot handle health and needs the familiar old life.

      Just my two cents here…

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

  59. To Lilystar:
    4. Co-dependence. I think this is the problem in my case. I was taught to take care of people, that it makes me worth something in the world. Also I recognize I have a fear of being alone, living alone. I’m somewhat introverted and making friends is difficult for me. Being the narcissist, he didn’t have many friends and the two of us became inseparable. So it’s been hard to let go.

  60. Thank you SuzJan. Thank you DrSam for your insight.
    Is what I described to you in her behaviour demonstrative of a N? I dont know if she is an ‘extreme’ one or not.

    But he was so happy with me, WE were so happy. he always said that he couldnt believe how well I treated him, I told him that this was just normal. Obviously he wasnt used to that. He said he coudlnt wait till the divorce was final and always said ‘we are soooo happy now, can you imagine how happy we will be when there is no more of that stress’
    He showed no signs of ever yearning to go back to her, the opposite in fact.
    I suppose she just wore him down? dis she threaten me and my daughter? possible.
    It just makes no sense the way he did a 180 in a matter of hours. I think he really believed her that she couldnt have cheated if the polygraphs said so! jeez.
    Im sorry, Im just so hurt and confused. Obviously lesson learned here is that I will never go near a seperated/recently divorced man again.
    I should have seen it coming. He was quite a passive and submissive man, and whilst I was trying to bring that out of him and make him more confident, she used it to exploit him and emasculate him I think.
    He does not talk about his childhood much, (the only insight into that is he did confide in me that he wet the bed til he was 12/13)
    I just dont know what made him go back, perhaps I will never know.
    he said he is going to go to individual councelling and then marriage councelling. I hope he did and I hope it helps him :(
    Thank you for responding, I really do appreciate it

    • Lilystar,

      You said, “Thank you DrSam for your insight.
      Is what I described to you in her behaviour demonstrative of a N? I dont know if she is an ‘extreme’ one or not.”

      I would call her an extreme narcissist.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

  61. Ha! Is Dr. Sam really Sam Vaknin? The guy (or whatever he is) who writes all over the internet on the subject of narcissism? I can’t say that it is, but this artcle, in my opinion, sounds like him. Aside from that, I quote from this article “I have had several colleagues that I considered to be like blood brothers. We had sworn honesty and loyalty to each other” Who “swears” to be honest and loyal to each otehr? can we say nar-ciss-ism? Just my opinion and just sayin’!

    • I thought the SAME thing. He thinks he’s so smart!

    • Reyna,

      I am not Sam Vankin. Sorry. :)

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

    • Reyna Reyes, I couldn’t agree more. Our friend Sam also considered his loyal friends sick because they did not wish to share with him, “warts & all.” I would have thought a natural, healthy response to not wanting to share when you choose not to do so, is to set clear boundaries, however Sam considers this to be a brick wall. Then there is the bit about the likable comedian who is lots of fun. Sam seemed to think the comedian was out of order when he didn’t want to get personal and open himself up when it was obviously expected of him. That the comedian side stepped politely instead of getting hostile with Sam for being morbidly nosey says a lot for the comedian. And there is this piece, “I do not care about whether people have degrees to…(wait for it) validate their intrinsic value as a human being. And note the bit where he says, “He stopped calling me when I got my Ph.D. He was threatened because I had a more powerful image.” I’d be avoiding you like the Proverbial, too mate!

  62. Lilystar: Don’t tell yourself you should have seen it coming. Don’t beat yourself up. You are human. Work on yourself. I support your decision not to date a separated/recently divorced person. Another mistake I made as well. But live and learn. And Grow!

    • Thank you SuzJan.
      If HE was the narcissist, I would know what I was dealing with and thank my lucky stars for dodging a bullet.
      But dealing with it 2nd hand and trying to understand the magnetic pull one has over another person has stumped me really.
      But thats his choice and not my problem – I dont have to live with her, he does.
      Dusting myself down and moving on :)

  63. Thank you. I was a supplier to a narcissist for many years. I tried to make up for his flawed upbringing. When I became successful in my profession he became withdrawn, when I had children, needed him and stopped making the big bucks, he was done. Suddenly, mercilessly. Now he has a new supplier and is quick to rage when I set boundaries. He still ignores my wishes or orders me around. The children are ornaments. It’s an awful way to live. I don’t want the children to emulate his lack of empathy. sigh.

    • Wow, when I read your post, I thought it was me who had written it. I am the mother of a 7 month old sweet baby girl fathered by a narcissistic, abusive, ugly man. I am so scared for her future which involves a man who lacks any empathy or sympathy whatsoever. We were his objects, and now that our relationship is over and he will find his next victim, I am afraid he will somehow hurt his child to get at me. Do they ever change? Do they become loving towards the kids? WTF? How did we stay with them for so long even though they sucked all of our energy, positiveness and self-esteem?

      • I would focus my energy on the child’s needs, not on those of a grown-assed man who chooses to remain a child. Allow your daughter consistent opportunity to develop self-efficacy and confidence in herself, along with accountability to take personal ownership for her actions and mistakes. Further, don’t run her father down to her; she will figure out by herself what a douche he is. Just be the listener and be supportive of her. I say this because I, too, had a narcissistic father and–had my mother played her cards right–would have dumped him sooner than she did.

      • Unfortunately 11 years on, the children he wanted “more than life” are nothing more than trinkets to bring out whenever he gets a new partner . These hollow creatures are best out of ANY Childs life anyway

  64. After 8 years of being in a relationship with a family member (on my husband’s side) I want to thank you for helping me recognize the source of all my grief!
    At first the friendship was great. We were all part of the family and would get to see each other at family gatherings. We had good laughs and I felt really loved.
    We talked all the time via phone, email and facebook and the relationship was full of carefree fun and togetherness.

    Then one day when I reacted to a situation and expressed my disappointment in something and she twisted it into being an attack on her. No matter how much I reassured her it was not about her.
    She continued to press buttons and question my motives. I learned quick that email is not a good tool when dealing with people who have emotional issues. Tone is only perceived as per the narcissist who perceives it. Not good.
    I was quickly retaliated against and lectured about all the ways I’ve failed her and all my inconsistencies and downfalls. Not realizing what I was dealing with I was forced to coddle & reassure
    her until things smoothed over.

    At the same time she was working hard at reeling in some new ‘soul mates’ to add to her tight knit roster of ‘BFF’s”. In the past I’ve known her to clutch onto one or two people until things don’t
    go exactly as she wants them to (as I like to say things aren’t “just so”) and she tells them all the reasons they are a bad friend and writes them off. But not without a dig or two or some form of retaliation.

    The next time I experienced a confrontation it backfired on her because instead of delicately reassuring her – I talked back and questioned her. I think this was the “nail in the coffin” for me.
    After that she distanced herself and began using her new BFF’s to her advantage. Anytime I would make a suggestion to get together then answer was always ‘No – I’m busy doing___”.
    She excluding me from any gatherings with the circle of friends we shared and began writing cryptic ‘inside joke’ type messages via social media. All acts of an immature self loathing 15 year old high school girl – if you ask me.
    But the strange thing was at any family functions, like a coward, she acted sweet as pie.

    It wasn’t until I spoke with another family member that they explained that perhaps the source of the behavior was because as a child she was spoiled and undisciplined.
    It is my understanding that she also experienced some bullying as a teenager – which maybe is the ‘trauma’, as discussed in your article, in combination with the coddled childhood?

    It wasn’t until I read this article that I was able to connect the dots and see what I was dealing with.
    Just recently a family member of hers has been ill. She has been using this situation to make herself into the victim and using it as an excuse why she’s been unavailable and a ‘bad friend’.
    However thanks to social media – I can clearly see that she is not holding hands at anyone’s bedside, but rather out and about with other people who are now her best friends
    in the world who she writes her love and adoration for all to see constantly. She has yet again begun to exclude me from functions with a shared circle of friends/ acquaintances
    and has been posting, yet again cryptic messages that lead me to believe that she has other people on board with her tirade against me.
    I don’t give any ‘ammo’ so the only thing I can think of her having to use against me is that my support to her as a friend in her time of need has been insufficient.
    But then again.. isn’t this what we NORMAL people do? Question ourselves and what we did wrong!!!?

    Is this a narcissist I’m dealing with and if so, as a family member what is the best way to deal with someone like this?
    Thanks
    Leona

  65. …In addition to all this everyone in her life is expected to ‘check in’ weekly.
    Once when I didn’t contact her for a little over a week – she contacted me to say that she was under the impression I was angry with her because I hadn’t contacted her to see how she was, her family member etc.
    Meaning my life must revolve around everything SHE does and how dare I not check in. I must be pissed if I don’t!!!

    • I just uncovered the same exact thing with an in-law of mine, actually two in-laws of mine. I am so relieved to have read your post. I couldn’t understand what I did wrong. In the beginning things were great (or at least in hindsight). Then I noticed being left out of the loop and the cryptic messages started on Facebook and the several, several pictures of all the great, fun times they’ve had together (without me or my hubby included). It all blew up a few months ago when I disagreed with her. I spoke my mind and I may have been a little out of line with my opinion, but I had no problem respecting our differences and moving on from the issue. She prides herself in holding grudges and if you cross her once she will never forgive you, so that’s where we are now. She will smile in my face and pretend nothing is wrong during the holidays, but she will make me feel like I am on the outside any chance she can get and be super friendly with others to get them on her side. As a side note, I noticed this behavior with her “friends”. She doesn’t have any close friends for a long period of time. As soon as they do something wrong or unapproved she drops them never looks back and moves on. So I realized in the beginning I wanted my hub’s family to like me so I pretty much kissed her ass and when the ass kissing stopped from me, the shunning started from her. I hope things work out with your situation. I have no advice on the subject and although I am sorry it has happened to you I am just glad to know I am not alone in dealing with this!

      • Hi Sara, Wow! It’s really incredible the amount of similarities here! It’s almost like we’re talking about the same person!
        It’s a reassuring pat on the back for us both, being able to recognize and ‘diagnose’ these people. At least we know that we aren’t the problem, however as a person with a conscience and maybe not as thick skin as I’d like, I still find myself obsessing with the ‘why’s’ , ‘what did I do’ and ‘what can I do to make things not awkward’.
        As I said, I have no idea how to deal with this. I’m afraid to back off because I fear that, as family, it allows for too much space which is more ‘ammo’ to use against me (i.e. I not been supportive/ I don’t care).
        Sucks that it’s family or I would just slowly fade away and not think twice.
        Dr. Sam.. where are you with advice???? :) Doesn’t the world revolve around me! me! me!??? *LOL*

  66. Can narcissists get attached? I had a narcissist boyfriend who said part of the reason he “hated’ me and treated me so bad was because he was getting too “close’. Said he hated getting close to people because every time that would happen he would feel they would betray him in some way. According to him being close was very painful and was a reason why he didn’t want to see me anymore

    • Tangetas,

      Extreme narcissists can get attached to a person and when that happens it scares the daylight out of them. They don’t want you to discover their hurting inner-child that is bleeding to death and wounded from parents. They cannot trust anyone because the persons they trusted (parents) wounded them almost killing them. That is why extreme narcissist have “rubber band” relationship where they get close, get scared, disappear, then reappears. Not good.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv
      /

      • I realize now that I was in a relationship with a narcissist. He needed so much from me, and I gave him the shirt off my back and we were tight. I became emotionally dependent on pleasing him. But, his callous manipulation of me had to stop, so I moved across the country. Time after time, he comes back into my life, and as soon as we are on the brink of reuniting, he disappears again, for months at a time. I keep thinking I am free, and he is gone forever, and then…back in my life again. I thought it was foolish me causing this by being subservient, but now I see I was in the hands of a talented narcissist.

    • My boyfriend of 11 yrs has PTSD (and ADD) and was raised by a narcissist who mentally and emotionally abused him as well as let more than one man in her life sexually and physiacally abuse him from age 4 through 15.
      He has had a number of people turn away and break promises all through his life and mistrusts people to this day and is still in therapy trying to overcome the damage.
      I have been called the ‘enigma’ as I am closest and most trusted but he hasn’t learned to overcome the mistrust and the behaviors that push in difficult conversations/arguments which serve to push me to be the next disappointment and fulfill the emotional prophecy. It is real.
      I also have experience with a narcissist in the past who displayed all the controlling behaviors including accusations against me of infidelity to keep me in defense of my integrity and we went from my opinions being sought until we moved in together and then I became the most ignorant person he seemingly had ever known.
      I won’t even get into my sister in law who fomented the now 2+ yrs of silence between my brother and I as well as all of their children.
      Good luck to all who are dealing with them in their family or otherwise. It’s nearly epidemic.

    • Dear Tangetas: This was how my ex-fiance reacted. He was afraid that I would decide I didn’t love him after we got married because his first wife had told him she didn’t love him on their wedding night and he spent the next 27 years in a terrible marriage, becoming more and more narcissistic as the years went by as a defense against his wounded ego. What I continue to be amazed by is how well he really “hid” his narcissism for so long in our relationship until about 2 months before the end.

  67. I have (or should I say had) two friends who I suspect were both narcissists. The first was a professor at a university where I was a graduate student. We got along well, though I noticed she always had to be the center of attention. She was either the extreme hero or the extreme victime in every story she told, and of course, all the conversations were about her. If we ever discussed me, it was only so she could put me down (i.e. I’d make an amusing comment about something we were discussing, and she’d get annoyed and huff, “Are you finished?”) After I received my Ph.D., she would only speak to me in hurtful putdowns. The last words she ever said to me were, with regard to my husband, “That’s not fair that there’s someone who takes care of you. When is someone going to take care of me?” (Her husband has his own share of mental issues.) The second friend was someone who was thinking about renting my apartment. We had a good time together until she decided she wanted to take over my life, wearing my clothes; talking down to me; and encouraging me to have an affair with my best friend, despite our both being in committed relationships. When she couldn’t control me and she figured out that I wasn’t about to cheat on my husband with my best friend, she stopped returning my texts and emails. I wonder if I’m just a magnet for narcissists (my mother, father, and sister were all narcissists from whom I separated completely a decade ago)? I miss both of these women, but they’re not at all who I thought they were. I feel very sorry for them.

    • Rosanne,

      One possible reason why you might feel that you are a magnet attracting extreme narcissists could be that you need to tighten up the relational algorithm you currently have in place. It lets narcissists get through its grid. The main standard for healthy boundaries is “healthy and commensurate reciprocation.” So what you do is incorporate into your paradigm progressively and increasingly testing every new and existing relationship in your life by how commensurate they reciprocate back to you as you share with them from your heart treasures. You start with minuscule amounts and slowly increase as they respond with a thank you, a kind gesture, a gift, money… anything that indicates that they have paid the price of a sacrifice for you telling you that they VALUE you every step of the way. If this either does not exist or stops for some reason, then you must stop or else risk getting severely hurt.

      To me this is the classical reason why people attract narcissists.

      Also, if you compound this scenario with having love deficits then the magnet person becomes desperate to connect, but with a highly dysfunctional and toxic person.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

      • Dr. I’m sorry but I have to call you on this. Your language suggests not that of a Ph.D. but that of a romance fiction writer. Your suggestions for playing tit-for-tat games with people and your reference to heart treasures and losing your very soul and referring to people as vampires – these theatrics are beyond pedantic. I smell a rat! To the readers I would recommend reading The Sociopath Next Door and the Narcissists Suck blogspot (google for specifics), both of which offer much more usable and less silly information. And by all means, take great care that you don’t trust charlatans masquerading as medical professionals. Narcissists wear many hats – whichever one they feel will serve their immediate needs. Look up the word “gaslighting” Look up the phrase “No Contact” Go “No Contact” from the Malignant Narcissist(s) in your life. Read. Educate yourselves. It is a long journey.

  68. Lol….the author even started sound narcissistic! “oh, they were threatened by my PhD” lol…I’m sorry, but you really did sound like cerebral narcissist right there for a while. Other than that EXCELLENT article it was superb ^^

  69. Lilystar,

    You said, “Thank you DrSam for your insight.
    Is what I described to you in her behaviour demonstrative of a N? I dont know if she is an ‘extreme’ one or not.”

    I would call her an extreme narcissist.

    Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
    http://www.DrSam.tv

  70. Hello,

    Very good article! As per my user name, i have wondered my role in this interaction with my husband. I say interaction because there was NO real relating, hence no relationship.

    I wanted to know if there is a relationship between narcissism and being a transvestite. My husband is a transvestite and seems to carry many narcissist behavior traits.

    His selfishness is unbearable at best as a start. His preoccupation with his “internal” wife leaves little room for me in his life.

    • Optimist…

      I have seen a variety of transgendered individuals in my private practice. Even though my observations cannot be construed as a scientific study but as anecdotal in nature, I have consistently seen that these individuals have a very high level of self-preoccupation. They can easily fall into extreme narcissism.

      A couple came in and one spouse said that if their partner would not give up their “inner-other-gender-person” inside them they would divorce. The problem spouse would change in the weekends and want to have “same-sex” intimacy with the other spouse. Of course, that was not going to happen. The transgendered person said that giving up that other person inside was non-negotiable. They divorced in a matter of weeks. Go figure.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

  71. Dr. Sam,

    I have both a mother who I suspect is a narcissist and an ex husband who fits with every description I’ve read about narcissists.

    My main concern is that I have a 17 daughter with my ex husband and I’m trying to help her figure out how to cope with having a father who is so wrapped up in is feelings and perceived slights against him that he fails to see what a wonderful daughter he has.

    My ex husband has exhibited many of the behaviours I’ve read about that apply to a narcissists. He’s arrogant, cruel, competive and critical to the extreme. He contradicts his own statements and the moment you disagree with him he becomes abusive.

    The last few months have been difficult for my daughter she has been dealing several health issues. Nothing life threatening, but definitely a lot for a teenage girl to have to cope with. But despite his daughters struggles he only calls to tell her how terrible she is or how she’s wasting her life. If she doesn’t answer his calls right away she’s ignoring him or she’s up to no good. He always going on about how badly he’s being treated by everyone and no one regardless of their expertise or education or experience knows what he knows.

    While I personally think she should stay away from him she is still struggling to pursue a relationship with him. I want to know how I can help her deal with her fathers inevitable behaviours to prevent further emotional injury to her. Or to know if it’s even possible to have any type of relationship with him that is not going to cause her damage.

    Thank you.

  72. I don’t believe there is necessarily a hurting child deep within. Possibly in some cases. It seems more to me they’ve just grown into this personality because it is what they want for themselves. It is who they desire to be.

  73. Lysell,

    With your daughter wanting to pursue your ex-husband, who is an extreme narcissist and how to avoid getting hurt…

    Two scenarios:

    1. She can become very strong and excellent at maintaining healthy boundaries and enforcing them. Then when she is with him, realizing that he is into extreme selfishness, put a mental barrier that she will not let him cross. For example, when she is with him and he wants to trash you, she can tell him to take that up with you but that she is there to enjoy being with him. In other words, diversion, changing the subject and being in control. She can become an expert deflector of controversy and his “zingers” from out of “nowhere.”

    2. She has to go to the funeral of her idealism in having a “loving father.” She will have to grieve and accept the reality that her father worships himself and has emotionally abandoned her. That is tough and painful. Once this process happens then you don’t expect much from him and can enjoy what little positive interaction she can extract from the relationship.

    I hope this helped a little.

    Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
    http://www.DrSam.tv

  74. Is an extreme narcissist a malignant narcissist?
    Are the terms interchangeable?

  75. wow this article and some of the comments are spot on! i had a former best friend that did exactly this and i killed myself trying to figure out what i did for a long time after the friendship ended. i think it was a combination of my own naiveness and being a “magnet” for narcissistic people that contributed to my getting really hurt by this person. i have started to make some changes in my own life to prevent this from happening again and it took a while but i think things are changing for the better. the timing on seeing this article is perfect also since i will soon have to associate with this person again due to mutual work and friend circles and i don’t want it to turn into a passive aggressive nightmare.

  76. Wow! This is amazing! I have a sister-in-law and brother-in-law who I just recently realized are narcissists. Similar to other posts, everything was peaceful- I could even say we had a very nice friendship (although she did tell me from the beginning we would not be able to “share” many things because our husbands are brothers…), but we have many of the same interests and I enjoyed being around her. Fast forward and now we have three kids each (hers are all a few months younger than mine- a fact I never gave much thought to until now), and things have gone downhill drastically.
    I should probably mention we live next door to each other. UGH. In the early years, I loved having her kids over. My husband would get aggravated because I would take them a lot and she never offered to take mine. I took this as a personality issue and that she needed more “order” in her life than I did, so I continued because I enjoyed them.
    Fast forward a little more, two years ago when I had my daughter’s 9th birthday party and invited my neice who is the same age, but did not invite her sister who is two years younger. My brother-in-law called the day of the party and acted surprized that the younger neice wasn’t invited, and I explained my reasons. Nothing was mentioned until the following year when she asked me to come over. I thought she wanted to talk to me about the obvious strain that had developed in our relationship. When I got there, they very nicely offered me a cup of coffee and then both stood up across the island and calmly told me if I had a party this year and the younger was not invited, the older one would not attend. I apologized for any hurt feelings, explained my reasons again, but respectfully disagreed that I had done anything wrong.
    My husband had learned early on to avoid them as much as possible and, (too much longer after him), I followed suit. Their kids go to a private school so our our kids don’t see each other much, especially since my husband doesn’t enjoy his brother’s company. Our kids just drifted apart. My husband and I didn’t think much about it, but obviously they have because she she is very angry with me now.
    I got a vibe in late winter that our separation had been bothering her, so I decided to write an email to her explaining why I think we all drifted apart. It was very long, three pages when I printed it out, and I was careful to not accuse her of any wrongdoing. I was very neutral, explaining logistics, etc. She responded that she would rather discuss face to face and asked if we could meet. I met her for coffee and we had a great 2 1/2 hour conversation. I was careful to keep it positive. I did however have to mention that the relationship between our husbands, being strained for many years, was a big obstacle. She agreed during the conversation that her husband was responsible for setting the negative tone in the family. I thought it was very constructive. When we left I was hopeful and ready to try to repair the relationship. HOWEVER, in the very last five minutes of the conversation, I mentioned my boys were frustrated with her son about one teeny tiny little thing he happened to be doing, and she tensed up… I could see her knuckles turn white…and she said she didn’t “micromanage” her children and kids should figure out things on their own. I explained to her that it was not a big deal, but I saw it affected my boys wanting to have her son over as much and I thought if she just said, “dude, when you do this, it frustrates your cousins..” that would be all it would take to get on track. Even though she was still a little tense, we agreed we would try to meet for coffee again soon. The next day, she sent me an email, asking me if I am “picking apart” her kids, holding them to a “different standard than my kids’ other friends. (At one point in our conversation, I mentioned her oldest daughter was “perfect” and sometimes I felt like may judge my daughter because she is a strong personality.) In her email, she said I had a “problem” with her being perfect. She twisted our conversation and attacked me. I wrote back that I was surprized she got that out of our conversation when 99% of it was very positive..( I kissed butt basically). She responded by saying they were just a few issues to”clear up” and she admitted sometimes she makes things worse.
    I decided to wait for her to call me, mostly because I didn’t care to meet with her anyway (I have healthy friendships I’d rather focus on). Also, I figured she was not ready to move forward and I figured if I met with her she would dissect everything I said and turn it against me.
    A month later, I had pretty much decided the relationship was going to remain neutral and really didn’t give it much more thought since I felt I had done all could. I received an email, subject line “the ongoing drama”, where she full out attacked me, accusing me of being “jealous, manipulative, and competitive”, accusing me of manipulating her family out of everyone’s lives, etc. It was ugly. I responded peacefully, explaining I didn’t contact her because she seemed as if she needed a little time before we tried this friendship again, explained as best I could my position, etc.. I asked friends to read my response before I sent it and they agreed she should understand and there was nothing to make things worse. I explained we just needed to move forward and stop going back to old wounds (even though I never did anything intentionally to begin with. ) She responded with more anger, saying she is such a great communicator and since I am not, it is hard for her to deal with me. (HUH?) She sees herself completely different than she actually is… creepy… These emails went back and forth a few more times and then one of my friends, who has to deal with a narcissist in her own life, explained I need to stop all contact with her. I have done that, but I have many days when I question whether I am responsible for this whole thing. I sometimes feel very guilty for her unhappiness.
    Still, I know there is nothing I can do.
    The problem: our youngest boys are fairly close because theirs asks to play with my youngest a lot. (They rarely have other kids over their house and their son doesn’t have a brother to play with.) We always have many kids at our house and as I said before, we live next door to each other (UGH!). I ask him over almost every time we have other kids over because I feel bad for him :( In one of her past emails, she said she was “hesitant” to let her kids come to my house, so I stopped asking for him, which killed me, but a month later she sent me a text telling me if I had no intention of having her son play with mine, she’d like to know so she can explain it him… I reminded her that she told me she was hesitant to have her kids come to my house, so I felt I had no choice. I started inviting him over as often as I did before.
    This would be so easy for my husband and I if we didn’t live next door to them and have kids of similar age. I actually talked my daughter out of her birthday party this year so the party would not be an issue since it seemed to be the origin of the problem… I didn’t want to encourage their bad behavior by inviting the younger daughter, but didn’t want to hurt the older daughter by not inviting her.. We had a “non-birthday” photoshoot at a beach far, far away… lol.
    I could go on and on with details, but I know I have already overstayed my welcome here… I am sorry you all have to deal with this stuff in your life too, but I am comforted knowing I am not alone.
    So, doctor, what is the best way to handle this relationship?

    • UGH,

      Wow! That was a long story! :)

      It is hard for me and my schedule of patients to read in detail and answer in detail every comment, especially the real long ones. :)

      I would say that you are doing the right thing. It is difficult living next to each other. That is “crazy.” I would be tempted to move but I know the housing market is bad. You have to limit your exposure to the toxicity of extreme narcissist. You have to watch getting sucked into relationships again with them where they trash you and suck your life and blood out of you via the drama. Stay cordial but at a distance. Their kid can come over where you can supervise but that is all. Do not let your kid go over there because you don’t know what kind of set-up will happen to attack you with.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

  77. Oh, I just read my post (sorryfor the length, but I feel like I have found people who may understand the predicament) Anyway, I mentioned I took her kids a lot and she never offered to take mine. Now she has translated that into I wanted to be the “super aunt” and I robbed her of being a great aunt to my kids since I manipulated the kids to come to my house all the time. Believe me, when my kids were younger, I would have welcomed ANY relief!!!

  78. My younger sister fits the narcissistic personality disorder description. I am not sure when she first showed signs of it, but I do believe it was around 10 years old when I noticed her attitude changed. She was always picking away at my friends (they were ugly, rude to her, not good enough for me, or they were “staring” at her in a nasty way (her description). She seemed to suffer from poor self esteem by constantly looking in the mirror and viewing her hair, her eye makeup and her outfits (a clothes horse). I pooh poohed her remarks and since I was more relaxed and outgoing, I overlooked a lot of her snide remarks and negative comments to me. She definitely had/has abandonment issues since our father left us at an early age and she feels threatened by anyone who does not want to be in her circle and she is the center of attention. She controls her eating to the point where she stays very very skinny and likes her kids skinny too. She has made fun of me because I am fatter than her and has even poked me in my fat areas while asking me in a disgusted voice “What is this??” She has put me down to our siblings (they know her drama) and others and is constantly belittling anyone who does not believe in (fill in the blank here) because it is her opinion. She has lashed out at me on the phone and in person and in emails and seems to completely lose her rationale while screaming at me for some thing she feels I didn’t do. She asked why I don’t call her to see how her kids are? I can’t find out how her kids are if she is screaming on the phone! She has told me and anyone who will listen that I am crazy, that I have changed and I need medication. She is making less and less sense as she ages (mid 40’s now) and I now do not speak to her anymore. She is full of crap and I can’t take the lies, drama and insane conversations (if I don’t buy the right cereal she is crazed and will not stop until I agree to buy it). She has slammed the phone down on me because I did not buy a certain magazine. She has lost her marbles. I am sorry for her troubles but I am married and have children of my own and can no longer subject my husband seeing his wife and my kids seeing their mom bullied by her younger sibling. She needs help. She will never get it (why? she’s perfect)…so goodbye and God Bless. I am lucky she lives across the USA and we are far far apart. It’s been over a year now and I feel happier and freer to enjoy my own life with my family and my other siblings. She sometimes asks them why I don’t call her?? After all this time, she still thinks it’s my fault.

  79. Ok, so you’ve told us how to recognize the narcissists, essentially warned us to run like hell from them & even offered insight on changing our paradigms so as not to attract them. But what are we supposed to do when we have to deal w/them? What happens when a child is involved and cutting off all contact is just impossible? How do you maintain your sanity and deflect their insanity? Do you confront, appease, go silent? I have years ahead of me to deal w/this man for the sake of our little girl and even though I am starting to see what he is, I am further vexed by not being emotionally over the relationship…?

  80. My ex-boyfriend is a textbook narcissist. He cheated on me 3 weeks ago and is now with the other woman, treating her like crap too. Now that I understand the nature of his disorder, in a sense I feel even more violated than I did before. To have had relations with someone who was acting, and had no real feelings for me, was simply manipulating me for his own ego gratification, is a very disturbing feeling. It’s like a form of sexual abuse. I’m not sure how else to explain it. He is so toxic, so disgusting. I wish I felt back to myself again, but I don’t know that I ever will after being preyed upon in the manner I was. How does one recover from such a malignant person in her life?

    • having been with a toxic man, I can tell you from my own experience, it takes time. Surround yourself with good friends, loving family, things you want to accomplish in your life and love yourself for the good person you are. We live and learn in this life and when you know better, you do better. He is not living a genuine life and so one day it will destroy him one way or another. But you can begin your journey starting now, healthier in mind, body and spirit, free from his insanity and cruel intentions. In time, the pain will fade. All the best to you :)

      • Thank you for the kind words. It’s just so hard to wrap my mind around the depth of his deceit… such a sick man. But it helps to know there are other people, smart, strong, decent people, who have experienced the same thing. It just goes to show, it could happen to anybody. Trusting someone isn’t a weakness, it is a strength. We are not fools for trusting, the narcissists are sick because they are unable to trust. It’s like untwisting my mind from such a toxic, warped, unethical experience. Thank you for your perspective and understanding. Your words ring very true, and I needed to hear them more than you know :)

    • Annie321,

      Learn from your disaster, pick up the pieces, heal your hurts/traumas, reframe the experience that extreme narcissist men are dangerous but not all men, and then figure out in you what is the magnet to these kind of men and what caused you to fall without thorough testing for the smooth talk of this vampire.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria,Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

      • Thank you Dr. Sam. It’s a hard lesson indeed. I have explored why my defenses were so low. Too high is not good, but too low I think is even worse. In part, I don’t think I truly understood that people like him actually exist, right here in my own backyard. I’ve read about them, heard about them on the news, etc. But to encounter one in real life is a surreal experience. I guess I was a bit naive. The world is full of crazies, my grandfather used to say. Maybe he learned the hard way, too. Maybe that’s the only way we really learn. Your feedback is much appreciated.

    • Annie, you’re on the road to recovery for just admitting there is a problem. The best advice about narcissists I ever got came from A PIMP!!!

      Don’t take this personally…do you know why pimps have emotional control over their prostitutes?

      They know they have the least emotional investment in the relationship. The prostitute depends on the pimp for approval, affirmation, money, and a crumb of what she perceives as love. Typically, these are women who got no love, support or dignity from male figures in their upbringing. What does that mean to you? Only one thing: stop letting that prick pimp you. Read Iceberg Slim’s book and learn about the mind games a warped misogynist thinks. Then drop that zero and be your own hero.

      • Glam Slam,
        Thank you! A pimp… what an analogy, but that sounds about right! He who cares least wins, in his world at least. But that will catch up with him eventually.

        You’re right about what Dr. Sam refers to as a “love deficit” in my life, which made me more susceptible to his empty charms. I’m sure that played a role too. All very true.

        Dropping the zero was the “easy” part. Why is it that being your own hero is the hard part, not just for me, but for so many women? That’s the real question….

      • Thank you, Glam Slam! Good advice from you, and what an insightful pimp! Wow. Who knew? Granted, being equated to a prostitute may not be the most flattering analogy, but in my ex’s mind, it’s not far from the truth. I will work to “be my own hero”! Not a natural thing for me, but it’s about time I learned.

        Thanks for your advice. I sent a couple of other replies, but I don’t think they posted. Hence, this is my third reply. I wanted to make sure I said thank you!

  81. OMG…… I cannot believe all of u with the same sad story…I have to get out of here. I already lost myself, I laid in my bed for a year. I gained 30lbs. I just dont care anymore. The total opposite of who i was. Ive been with the horrible heartless man for 19 years, and he finally did it. He broke me. Did I mention his 2 sisters and mother are the same. They have all abused me for 19 years. I thought i was crazy trying to always explain myself. It was always my fault..He cut off everyone out of my life, or actually I did cause it wasn’t worth the harassment . I could go on and on . I have to leave I feel like dying. I have 4 children he will make it hell for me if I try to leave. I’m so broken I don’t have the strength but I have to or I will die from the mental abuse. I need to leave!!!!

  82. I’m sorry i engaged. I’m not even sure this blog is real. I swear it’s like i don’t exist, guess not, never did to him. Just confirms what I already know, this crucible is mine to bear alone.

    • Nicole,
      You’re not alone. Not by a longshot, sister! There are so many of us who have fallen prey to men with this disorder. You were very smart to reach out.

      Appease, confront, go silent? I say none of the above. What seems key in dealing with this type are boundary issues. These men are constantly testing boundaries. It’s important to know where yours lie, and assert yourself! I just signed up for kickboxing, in part because I’m not assertive enough. Whatever it takes for you to believe in you, do it! Read, educate yourself, speak to a professional. Put yourself before him, not the other way around. Don’t let him push you around, and abandon hopes of saving him. Save yourself.

      Vexed by your feelings for him? Time. It WILL heal. Remind yourself as often and as loud as you need to, you loved an illusion, not the reality of this man. He’s not your soulmate, he’s no one’s soulmate.

      Please be well, for your sake and for your daughter’s. She needs you to be whole and healthy.
      Take care of YOU!

  83. I found this article by complete accident and I am really glad I did. I actually had to pause while reading it because the descriptions of extreme narcissists described me so well it was haunting. I am still in awe at how well it the author depicted my personality. I have almost never been able to open up to people about my life. Even when my own mother asks me questions I lie and change the subject to avoid giving real answers. I hate emotion and the choices humans make while under their influence. We act illogically and are easily blinded by emotion. But to reject happiness, sadness, anger and everything else in the spectrum of emotion is to reject being human.

    I have never been able to really remain friends with girls I have dated, for many different reasons. I hear a saying that goes, “If you’re still friends with someone you’ve dated, either you still love them, or you never did.” Whether or not this is true is debatable. One would first have to really define what a, friend is and differentiate that from an acquaintance. However, because of this article I am really motivated to becoming less distant and not as eager to cut ties off with those who have done me wrong.

    Thanks for writing this. It was a good read.

  84. This reminds me of my husband’s niece, (whom I’ll call B), so much. Back in 05, my husband proposed and since we both were not into the idea of having this lavish detailed event, decided to elope. Well, my mom and his mom found out and convinced us to have a small ceremony in my mother-in-law’s house.

    Well, this did not go over well with B, who was also in the process of planning her own wedding, schedueled for four months later. She was upset that her mom, aunt and grandmother took a week from planning her wedding to plan mine. I was told by others that she was going around telling others that I would cheat on her uncle and break his heart, that I did not deserve the good treatment I was getting from HER family and she could not understand what her uncle saw in me.

    Eventually she came around, helped me with my dress, which she ruined with black shoe polish, BTW, and offered to make a wedding video for us. She recorded only ten minutes of the ceremony, nothing else, then we never saw the tape again.

    Later on, at the reception, she tried to pick a fight with my sister, who was my maid of honor because she and my husband were teasing and picking on eachother. She caused a ruckous, made it all about her, then, turned around and stormed out of the reception ‘appauled’ when my husband accused her of ruining his wedding day.

    Around this same time, my husband’s other niece gave birth to her first child, a boy and my sister-in-law revealed she was pregnant. B hadn’t been married a month, home from her own honeymoon two weeks, when she reveals she is pregnant, too. She too gives birth to a little boy, to which B says, “my baby’s cuter, D’s baby is the ugliest baby I’ve ever seen.’ As if the only reason she had that baby was to compete with her cousin and her aunt.

    A few months later, my husband lost his job and we decided that we would move to VA because employment was better. But, all of us moving down there at the same time would not have been feasible, so he decided he would go, get a job get a place, then come for me and my two daughters.

    Well, his parents had moved down a year before he did, so he stayed with them while he got up on his feet. That is when his sister and B came down for a visit. They had all gone out to dinner, and B tells my husband that it was a good thing he left me. I wasn’t good enough for him and and made nasty remarks about the size of my small breasts. My husband yelled at her and told her to not talk bad about me, to which she proceeded to act like a victim, then threw a fit when no one defended her against my husband.

    Flashforward to 09, my other sister-in-law became pregnant with her second child, and I became pregnant too. As soon as she finds out my husband and I were expecting, B makes it known that she wants another child, too. Three weeks later, B is pregnant.

    About three months later, again, my sister-in-law and B come down for a visit. B starts getting painful gas. She threw a hissy fit because my sister in law did not offer and demand to take her to the hospital. My sister-in-law has lupus and her medication makes her sleepy, so, she was laying down. We asked her if she was spotting or bleeding, she said no. We asked if the baby was moving around, she said no. We asked if her water had broke, she said no. So, we tried to get her to drink some juice to see if the baby would move, she would not touch it. She sat on that porch, trying to guilt trip her mom for not “caring about me or my unborn baby”, as she put it. When it didn’t work and everyone ignored her tantrum, as we have learned to do, she got mad and called her husband to send her money so she could fly home.

    She gave birth that december, but got mad at my mother-in-law because she didn’t want to go up to Michigan, because my father-in-law had been receiving cortisone shots in his knee. Driving is out of the question and they did not have the funds to fly. B threw a fit, accused my mother-in-law of playing favorites with me and my sister-in-law and our babies. So, my mother-in-law went up there.

    Back in march of this year, B posted on facebook that her youngest was teething and had a fever of 104.6. I told her my pediatrician said that a teething baby wouldn’t run a fever that high. A fever that high usually means the body is fighting off an infection and that she should get a second opinion. She responded with “Not every baby is the same as yours (referring to my daughter and the ease she has had with her teething). Besides, he is fine
    now.” She even had her husband jumping down my throat. Two days later her baby ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. I have not talked to her since.

  85. Wow, This is very Informative. I have had a Lot Of narcissists as friends and I even Have a Now ex who was Narcissistic. I had a friend who I thought was my best friend until he decided to turn my other friends against me and got them into meth deep. After I left the friendship he still is obsessed with talking about me and even Fallowing me If he Hears that I’m shopping in the same store, as for my ex I told him off and informed him of all the hurtful things he had done, I haven’t talked to him since the day I broke up with him But I would like to know what I can do about my ex friend.

    • Rose, let it be known the next time you intend going shopping and have your current boyfriend follow your ex-friend, who is following you. Make sure you are inside the store when your boyfriend or hired BG puts his hand on his shoulder and tells him that he is a witness to this continued harassment and that next time, it will be the law that intervenes. You can get a court order to keep him away from you. This would also spoil his credibility as far as the gossip mongering goes. He sounds like a real dingbat.

  86. Well. I went to therapy few times. Every time I went I felt like I’m going crazy. I felt like I had to admit to whole bunch of things I didn’t feel. I felt like I was being put into some kind of weird mold. And I had to talk about my traumas over and over and over again and again and again. I just don’t understand why I have to dwell on that. Therapy felt like torture. I’ve went to see 3 different psychologists. Maybe I am narcissist, because I do cut people, who criticize me, out. Why would I listen on why I am crazy or fat or insensitive or whatever else? People try to manipulate me all the time, it just doesn’t work. Maybe I am narcissist, because I don’t have losers and bums as my friends. I don’t need to be associated with pieces of shit and I don’t need their burdens. I hate psychology and I hate all psychologists. I live my life the way I want it and I don’t bother no one. And everyone always wants to be my friend and then tell me that I have issues. I don’t care. 😀 😀 😀

  87. It took me 20 years to figure out that my partner is a narcissist. He exhibits all the usual behaviours and for me has been a relationship of confusion – telling me he is committed and then behaving as though he is not (I could fill pages with stories you will all be familiar with). Up until recently I really wondered whether I was going crazy. The most difficult aspects are lack of empathy (which can be quite well disguised),selfishness and the need for constant reassurance. I am changing the way I respond to him which is severely upsetting the balance, but for my sake is completely necessary. I empathise with any of you in this situation, I would not wish it on anyone.

  88. A lot of this is good. Unfortunately, people tend to accuse others of narcissism most frequently when they suffer from it themselves – as apparently evidenced by the comments below.

    It’s good to recognize a narcissist, and I think you gave good advice on how to prevent attracting them – uncompromisingly requiring reciprocity in relationships. Narcissists are attracted to listening ears and individuals who will dedicate themselves wholly to other people. To avoid being taken advantage of, these listening ears need to prioritize their friendships based on who is there for them in good times AND bad, who will accept their compassion and advice, and who has gone out of their way to be present to them. Right on.

    However, some of the examples you gave are disturbing. Like I said earlier, every narcissist I’ve met are usually shouting loudly about how selfish everyone else is. Calling your “blood brothers” narcissists because they wouldn’t share their vulnerabilities with you is definitely going too far. Possibly, these “blood brothers” have prioritized THEIR friendships based on reciprocity, and you didn’t make the cut.

    Your reaction – demanding that they cross lines of emotional intimacy that they didn’t want to, and getting aggressive when they didn’t – is a big red flag. It’s possibly the reason they isolated themselves from you. Threatening them with the label “Narcissist” is still a threat, not diluted at all by the fact that a Ph.D. is saying it.

    It seems that an emotionally healthy individual would be able to offer their struggles as a gift, not a dark secret. Any vulnerabilities associated with these struggles need to be resolved on our own. Darkness should never be the “test” of a true friendship – that is a fundamentally selfish perspective. Friendships should be about self-giving, not demands.

    Reciprocity should mean: you share your struggles as a message of perseverance and hope, not as a message of darkness. Darkness steals from the other person, and no one has the right to do that. In my experience, people flee from dark secrets, not because they are narcissists, but because they (rightfully) fear darkness, and fear that the person with whom they are speaking has let it in, let it define their narrative.

    On the other hand, if you share your struggles in an attitude of hope, and strive to be there for another person, you have the right to expect that they will make time for you, that they will encourage you, and they will not only talk about their own struggles and achievements. If (by THEIR decision) they share their struggles with you, then they qualify as best friends – not by declaration but by action.

    Friends are like wet sand – the harder you try to hold on to them, the faster they slip away. This is for a reason. Let’s stop accusing and start thinking about what their reasons might be.

    • Summer,

      For the most part, you are right on target. I appreciate your good insight and sharp intelligence. I do agree that individuals should choose how much to share with others and prioritize those relationships. I think that the reason we think a little different on this matter is because I have not disclose more information, and really don’t care to, except that those relationships are around 25 year old where they swore loyalty and commitment to helping each other to grow in a bond of close unity. They repeated that mantra over and over but did not put flesh on it. I soon saw that this “loyalty” was similar to company loyalty. It is a nice sounding mission statement that hardly anyone adheres to but looks great on a wall. Lots was said about being teachable to one another but when that became tested, there was great resistance and eventual marginalizing of the correctors who were trying to help everyone to grow. One sign that can be present when narcissism exists is consistent refusal to look weak on any front. Between “loyal” deep friends, that should not be an issue because it is suppose to be safe to disclose. In my case, it was not safe to be honest because it was seen as a sign of weakness, therefore ostracizing became the process of reaction.

      I hope that makes better sense.

      Thanks for sharing your quality input and thoughts.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

  89. To Ann321,

    I hope you’re still there. Thankyou, not only for your response, but for your words that rang so true. I honestly never thought about him in terms of boundary issues. In fact, when I met him 7 years ago I was talking to a threrapist/ professor I’d met in college about… BOUNDARY ISSUES! At the time it was about my family; it is indeed true that we recreate our interpersonal relationships over & over. Even more amazing is that I found the very letter I’d sent to that therapist when I was “done” and not surprisingly, pregnant w/ his child. I’d told her that “he was the hardest issue to talk about” and thanked her for all that she had taught me about boundaries. I offer this, not as a slight to her, but to illuminate how it bespeaks the insidious nature of him/ the narcissist. I mean, who is to know if he saw that struggle in me when we met? Did he prey upon it, or did it just fit w/his puzzle piece? I suppose I straddle the fence because I must; how can I conceive of having conceived, if you will, this beautiful blue-eyed ginger w/ a pseudo-monster? This is such dangerous terrain. I envy those whose likewise encounters do not involve affairs of the heart. I admit, my resovle weakens at times, but per your urging, Ann321 (and what my mind seeks in spite of my heart), I have researched a therapist in my locale to further “cement” my boundaries and in the interim, it behooves everyone involved w/ such a person to hear and heed, as I try (and add to your ipod playlist) the words of Christina Perri “I know I can’t take one more step towards you, ’cause all that’s waiting is regret … I learned to live half a life and now you want me one more time–and who do you think you are, running ’round leaving scars, collecting your jar of hearts and tearing love apart? You’re gonna catch a cold from the ice inside your soul …and it took so long just to feel alright, remember how to put back the the light in my eyes, i wish I had missed the first time that we kissed, ’cause you broke all your promises, and now you’re back, you don’t get to get me back …so don’t come back for me, don’t come back at all…don’t come back at all …who do you think you are?”

    • Nicole,
      Good for you! In seeking help, you have taken a very positive step towards reclaiming your life! In this world of 7 billion people, there’s no reason why you should have to feel alone.

      Your daughter needs a HAPPY mom, it’s the most important gift you can give to her. Don’t let this person rob you of your joy. We all have issues, we are all flawed. That’s part of the journey is to learn about ourselves and to grow. It’s clear you’ve outgrown this man and your need for his approval. Stay positive! Give yourself pats on the back along the way; those are really the ones that matter.

  90. Ann321,

    You touch on such familiar points. I’ve often joked about half of those 7 billion being men and yet…

    More seriously, she is the reason I need to follow thru w/ this therapist, and moreover, the reason I need to get over him. The absolute last thing I want is for her to grow up and be vulnerable to bad relationships, let alone types like her father. My own happiness is so secondary.

    What I don’t understand is how,from what I gather was your first post on 7/12, you have come so far? I mean, it seems you clearly have a level of understanding about what people like me are going thru, but how do you shake it off so quickly?

    In fact, I’m sorry and a little ashamed even to say that, but for her, I would let it go on like this w/him. That sounds so pathetic I know.

    I need to email that therapist right now before my conviction wanes… Again, thankyou.

  91. Nicole,
    It would be natural for the attachment to be much deeper for you because you have a child together. Plus, I was only with this man for a year and a half. I attribute a good deal of my recovery to the realization that the man I thought I loved does not exist. It was an act, a sham, a con. He is a lowlife, and no one who I would choose as a partner had I known who he really was. Whenever I feel I miss him, I remind myself loud and clear that he was an illusion. I try to use my head and not my heart… when it comes to him. I’ve had to harden my heart to him. The space in there is too precious to waste on the likes of him.

    Also, I am blessed with some positive people in my life who help keep me strong. A good support system really helps when you’re going through something like this. I’ve had to reach out and build these relationships too. I’ve felt isolated and alone too. There are many people who would be grateful to have a person like you in their lives. But we never find them as long as we are with the wrong people. Now you have more opportunity to nurture healthy relationships! Maybe you could join Match.com or something like it, and just meet people casually, to get out there and have some good experiences? Lots of nice normal people do that these days:)

    Do I miss the man I thought he was at times? Absolutely. But my goal is to keep busy, stay productive, and focus on my own life. Strengthen my own ego for a change! He took so much of my strength, energy and attention when we were together, it’s been wonderful to be able to focus on myself! I have to say, exercise has helped tremendously too. Initially, I could barely walk or move when I found out what he did to me. I was fetal. But I have physically willed myself to MOVE! I joined a gym and take classes. Endorphins, they’re a good thing!

    You can and will get strong! We’re all just human, so be gentle with yourself. When you’re less depressed, and thinking more clearly, distancing yourself from him will be so much easier. Sometimes medication helps, there’s no shame in that. Be well, Nicole. You’re on the road to recovery. You’ve taken the first steps! It’s only going to get better from here. :)

    • I agree with this response, except when it comes to Match.com. My experience with that was a disaster over the course of a year. Most just after one thing and no commitment. Whoever does those ads for them and eharmony are the rare exception and how do we know they don’t end up divorced in a year or two? I recommend a meetup.com group. These are interests group where you meet with a group of people with similar interests. See how someone is in a group first before going one-on-one with them. One of the signs of narcissism is they rarely have many, if any, friends. So they tend to stay out of these types of social groups.

      • I never go on match.com after i met one there….only saw for 2 months and worst mistake of my life. Trying to be strong and never reply to his emails now. He dumped me when I got non compliant but now he harasses me.

  92. It sounds as if the writer is merely describing ordinary people. A rant about human nature! We are all sinful, jealous, ambitious, competitive envious and tend to put ourselves first. Even parents, who claim to live for their children – when push comes to shove, they put their own interests first (e.g. marrying someone who dislikes their child – the kid will be told to just cope with it).

    Narcissim is bad when it goes with a lack of empathy. Then you have a sociopath or psychopath who deliberately harms other people just because he or she can.

    • ATB
      That is the best way I’ve read and ever heard someone discribe narcissim it can have a board scope however with no empathy you are quite right and thank you

      UEL

  93. Hi,
    I have read a lot about narcissicm and I have never read or heard that a narcissist can be better if they get help. A narcissist concider himself as healthy and dont admit he is sick. Am I right?

  94. I was married for 22 years my husband controlled everything I was not allowed to see my family , I don’t know? husband left after I tried to ask him to change. He proceeded to send divorce papers ! But says he made mistake didn’t mean to, for 22 years he was a angry man but wanted evrthing his way , he contolled evrything money what we wore , what we ate, he wud say we wer ungrateful didn’t deserve things etc I have 4 children , I feel evrthing was related with materialistic things , I believed he was s good father bcos he Provided us with evrything. But wen I asked him to change he took all money from banks and left, I do love husband but don’t trust him any more, he took me to courts tried to stop payments for the children. But I blelieve he needs help what do I do

    • Eagle,

      It has taken you 22 years to wake up! He is not a good father just because he is a good provider. He is extremely selfish and does not care about his kid’s mommy! That is a horrible daddy… based on his treatment of you. You’ve given him 22 years of your precious life. Now sue him and get what you deserve!

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.
      http://www.DrSam.tv

  95. Dear Dr Sam,

    When we who have suffered extreme narcissists research HOPE on the Net all we find is DESPAIR !!! Is it not an EVEN MORE EXTREME FORM OF GRANDIOSITY TO SAY IN 99.9% OF CASES THAT THESE PEOPLE CANNOT BE CHANGED OR HEALED EVER NO MATTER WHAT: AS IF THEY ARE INDEED GOD LIKE SO MANY OF THEM THINK !!! Personally I don’t feel this is the way to go.If we referred a Narc we love to anything we who love them read on the Net WHY WOULD THEY FEEL ANY HOPE, WHEN THEY ARE TOLD THERE IS NONE JUST AS WE ARE TOLD !!! They are an EXCEPTION TO EVERY RULE – IN SHORT THEY ARE NOT HUMAN !!! I feel Extreme or Pathological Narcissism has become DEMONISED to the point we are supporting their cult status and GOD COMPLEX and US VERSUS THEM MENTALITY. For example the celebrated (at least in his own mind Narc Dr Sam Vaknin) loves to present himself – a Narc of course – as a HUMAN VAMPIRE WITH NO SOUL – yet he writes so extensively about this WITH SO MUCH EXTRAORDINARY INTELLECT AND INSIGHT AND PASSION and EMOTION HA HA HA – SO MUCH EMOTION FROM A MAN WHO SAYS HE HAS NONE FOR OTHERS !!! He could easily change if he wanted to – as in ‘legalistic’ terms everything he writes shows CLEAR INTENT AND FULL AWARENESS OF ALL THE HARM AND FEAR AND SUFFERING AND ISOLATION HE IS PROPAGATING IN THE VICTIMS – he CHOOSES to be a Narc TO BE FAMOUS !!!!!! He could easily change BUT DOES NOT WANT TO – that’s not Narcissism it’s just a simple con, AND LOOK HOW EFFECTIVE HIS FEAR TACTICS ARE !!!

    So many BELIEVE HIM AND SEE HIM AS THE NUMBER ONE AUTHORITY ON NARCISSISM – he wins we lose !!! Surely we ‘victims’ can be stronger and wiser and MORE DISCERNING than to buy into the theory THE NARC IS TOO POWERFUL TO FIT THE CATEGORY OF HUMAN BEING WITH RESPONSIBILITY TO OTHERS !!! I remember reading once Dr Vaknin saying in one of his writings that VICTIMS OFTEN BELIEVE NARCISSISTS ARE OBSESSED WITH THEM AND STALKING THEM WHEN IN FACT THEY HAVE LONG GIVEN UP ANY INTEREST IN THE TARGET ??? If he admitted THIS IS WHAT NARCS CHARACTERISTICALLY DO, THEN HE MIGHT ALSO HAVE TO ADMIT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF THE DEEP EMOTION THAT BRINGS THEM BACK (as SELF-SERVING AS IT IS WHERE EMOTION EXISTS SO DOES THE SOUL, AND THIS CAN BE BUILT ON FOR HEALING).

    I can personally vouch for the fact that the Narcissist WILL AS PART OF HIS SICKNESS OFTEN HARASS OR STALK A TARGET MANY MANY YEARS LATER. Yet, we are all uniquely unique in terms of our personalities – how we behave and experience emotion is different inside every heart, just as no two people LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME (apart from twins) no matter how similar. Narcissism is a CONTINUUM from Mild cases to the MOST EXTREME. How does Sam Vaknin KNOW WHAT THE INDIVIDUAL NARC IN MY CASE IS DOING – whether he is in fact using secretive ways to contact me pretending not to be himself yet leaving clear evidence it is him – HE DOES NOT !!!

    I don’t know where it was that I read SHAMING THE NARC WILL NOT WORK AS THEY ARE ALREADY FILLED WITH THE DEEPEST INTERNALISED SHAME AND SEEMINGLY INTRACTABLE DESPAIR IN THE FALSE SELF. PLAYING THE VICTIM WILL NOT WORK EITHER AS THEY ARE TO THEMSELVES THE BIGGEST VICTIM OF ALL. Reach the TRUE SELF – THE SUFFERING INNER CHILD, and we have a shot – yes it’s slim but it’s a shot, is what that writer said.

    Shouldn’t someone who loves a Narc or indeed who loves anyone with serious issues that are causing PAIN be given SELF-DETERMINATION AND HOPE AND THE TOOLS TO FIGHT FOR WHO THEY LOVE? Shouldn’t we try to fight with HOPE rather than DESPAIR which becomes nothing more than a self-fullfilling prophecy? Apparently THREE THINGS CAN HELP THE NARC which is what I read in that article and never forgot:- CORRECTIVE DISAPPOINTMENT; CORRECTIVE RELATIONSHIPS AND CORRECTIVE ACHIEVEMENTS? Reach the WOUNDED INNER CHILD and we have a shot !!!!!!

    We connect with others I believe (even sick people) TO HEAL BOTH OURSELVES AND THEM AND THERE CAN BE NO HEALING WITHOUT HOPE. If every Narc was rejected immediately, the word SUCCESS would have to be removed from the Dictionary as there are SO MANY Narcs or those with narcissist traits out there in the world, it is truly incredible and mind-blowing stuff. I believe SOCIAL EVIL AND SUFFERING is out-of-control and that’s what creates increasingly THE SUFFERING SELF-CENTRED NARC OF THIS WORLD.

    It’s a tragic tragic symptom and indictment of SOCIAL EVIL – of THE LACK OF LOVE IN THE FAMILY PEOPLE ARE BORN INTO AND IN THE WORLD THEY GROW UP IN, and is a vicious cycle we need to look at from a different perspective in order to make inroads into defeating this pathology.

    DESPAIR AND DEMONISING DOES NOT WORK.

    In many cases with Narcs we are dealing with Sexual (and other) Addiction AND LIKE ANY ADDICTION, IN TREATING IT AS A FAMILY SYSTEM PROBLEM, the addiction can be arrested. How can people who compulsively pursue so-called Narcissistic Supply to the point THEY WOULD RATHER LOSE EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE EVEN THEIR PHYSICAL LIFE RATHER THAN CHANGE AND WHOM 99.9% OF PEOPLE BELIEVE CAN NEVER BE HEALED – not be seen for what they are – ANOTHER PATHOLOGICAL FORM OF THE ADDICT ??? Isn’t what the Narc does exactly what the junkie does – pursues that NEEDLE NO MATTER WHAT AND WHO IS DESTROYED BY IT ??????

    WHEN WE TREAT NARCISSISM AS ADDICTION – we are restoring HOPE FOR CHANGE, and replacing THEIR POWER WITH OUR KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM to approach them differently. We are replacing THE EMPTY FEAR TACTICS OF PEOPLE LIKE VAKNIN with known understanding and clinical approaches to addiction.

    AA works for the alcoholic. Addiction treatment can work for the Pathological Narc too !!!!!! When I read about Narcissim I see very little difference between anything they do and THE KNOWN STAGES AND BEHAVIOURS OF OUT-OF-CONTROL ADDICTS.

    Demonising any addict WILL NEVER HELP him. Just my thoughts. I had a sibling many years ago who overcame drug addiction through THE TOUGH LOVE OF US HER FAMILY ESPECIALLY OUR LATE MOTHER. WE THOUGHT IT WAS HOPELESS FOR MANY YEARS BUT ONCE WE INTERVENED IN THE APPROPRIATE WAYS – realizing she was A POWERLESS ADDICT AND WE HAD BECOME THE POWERELESS ENABLERS – and taking known accepted steps to help her by helping ourselves, things began to change. SHE IS HAPPY, CLEAN, ALIVE AND WELL TODAY !!!!!!

    Please be gentle with your response, as I write sincerely from a suffering heart and much life experience. My intentions are to make the world a better place – A PLACE OF GREATER HOPE, UNDERSTANDING AND COMPASSION regarding Narcissistic Personality Disorder, for sufferer and victim and the family systems of both – not a more divisive one.

  96. I have a man friend he is 69.He is nice looking and takes pride in his attraction to women. He has had 3 failed marriages and two failed ” friendships ” with other woman. He and I have had sex on several occasions which he claims is not as good as it could be.Nothing I do comes up to his standard. He has very little empathy for anyone . he is very critical of me and other “humans” as he refers to them .He enjoys living alone at this time in his life. He gets hot and cold in out relationship . Telling me he does not have any feelings for me but than he seems to want to rekindle our relationship. He is self centered and insists I should think as he does and considers my talk as babbling . He is a linear thinker ,so he claims. He does not want to “do” emotions. He can be very rude and hurtful and never apologies.He is not considerate of my needs at all . He gets very depressed at times and blows off the handle at the least little word said wrong . Looks like I am dealing with narcissist. Yes????

  97. “Now sue him and get what you deserve”? She said he gave them eveything they wanted. How will sueing them for more materialistic things get her anywhere? You cant sue to get love and respect. PhD? hmm.

  98. I’ve just been reading through your posts, which I have very helpful and informative.
    Here is my dilema, I have a wonderful boyfriend who has been acting oddly these past few weeks prioritising her over his buisness and me. His ex who has a 3 year old with him (very brief relationship) has been blackmailing him for money, babysitting, looking after her event horses (she is on benefits!!!!!!). This has increased to a point where he almost bankcrupt and I have found out today that he is now selling himself for sex in order to raise more money that she is demanding.

    I have known this woman since she has been a child and has a narc personality that you have been describing had has been diagnosed as bipolar. As our relationship has developed the demands for money and time have increased.

    I feel like walking away from him but am wrought with guilt as he is due in hospital for major heart surgery next month and know that she will ‘drop him like a stone’. He will have no money, no way of paying his rent and only his 83 year old mother to look after him (who is also not well).

    Any advice?

  99. “Another extreme narcissist stopped calling me when I got my Ph.D. I believe that, in his insecurity, he could no longer look “better” than me and be the focal person. As a result, he felt threatened that I had a more powerful image than he did. I think it is silly because I do not care about whether people have degrees to validate their intrinsic value as a human being.”

    Now how could this possibly be true? Why did you get a PhD? You got it because you wanted to improve yourself. Well, every improvement you make to yourself raises you in comparison with others. This is because if it is possible to improve yourself in comparison with who you WERE, it follows that in doing so you are improving yourself in comparison with who you AREN’T.

    A human has no “intrinsice value.” Value for what? Value to whom? Human “value” is a measure of skill level, responsibility to others, celebrity, renown, etc.

    I am a narcissist, by the way, and I earned a PhD in order to lord it over people. Why would I want to improve myself if all that work just makes me as boring and mediocre as everyone else? I don’t give a shit about my “intrinsic human value”! That sort of value and dignity is cheap because everyone has it! Why would I want to work hard towards accomplishing special if it just gets cancelled by the fact that the 6 billion crab lice infesting this planet are entitled to equal respect?

    • I accuse you of unconscious insincerity and false humility. By the way, the fact that you mention your doctorate after your name is a tell tale sign of narcissism. You are only supposed to list credentials when that information is germane to the context, e.g. a publication, a resume, a business card, etc. The only exception to this rule is that of a medical doctor, who according to convention is permitted to sport “Dr.” before his name in any context.

  100. An interest in psychology is a quest for power over others. Professional expertise consists in mastery of a subject, so it follows that the profession of psychology consists in mastery of the human subject. I regularly leverage my psychoanalytic training to control my wife and family, for example. I take great interest in what makes them tick because the insight enables me to overcome their infuriating irrationality. The difference between me and you is simply that I am more honest with myself about the sadistic nature of the fascination with the human mind in general. Nobody wants to understand people in order to help them! Unconsciously, everyone hates other people for existing in a world that once belonged exclusively to the child in the arms of its mother. If I could, I would burn the entire world to a crisp because of the hell other people have created for me to suffer in! Again, the difference between me and you is that I’m honest with myself about these feelings.

    By the way, on an atheistic world view, what’s inherently “wrong” with being an antisocial narcissist?

    • James…

      Nothing, unless you are not happy OR you are making the ones close to you miserable. The world does not revolve around you…and if you think it does, well, that’s why the rest of us label dysfunctional personalities and behavior as such yours accordingly.

      All atheists are not narcissists or sociopaths.

  101. I havent checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last handful of posts are truly good quality so I guess Ill add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend.

  102. Hello James. I can see, leaving aside WHETHER YOU ARE A NARCISSIST OR NOT, that you ARE FULL OF ANGER. Me too !!! And would you agree that BENEATH ANGER – anyone’s anger – IS SO MUCH PAIN AT THE THINGS PEOPLE HAVE DONE TO ‘MAKE’ YOU – AND ANYONE – SO INCREDIBLY ANGRY? You IDENTIFY WITH THE HARM AND PAIN THAT HAS CAUSED SO MUCH ANGER. Why? Because beneath that anger is UNBEARABLE PAIN. I also get angry from trauma and IF I LET MYSELF GO DEEPER I KNOW I WOULD NEVER STOP CRYING THERE IS SO MUCH HURT THERE !!! SO THE ANGER IS LIKE A DEFENCE-MECHANISM FOR PAIN TOO DEEP TO BE FELT AND SURVIVED ??? If something didn’t HURT US and REALLY WAS NEITHER HERE NOR THERE TO US and we were okay with it we would ignore it and it would NOT MAKE US ANGRY – IT WOULD NOT MAKE US ANYTHING.If you take away the “narcissist” label just for a moment AND ASK WHY WOULD YOU GET SO INCREDIBLY UPSET THAT DR SAM HAS A PHD OR INDEED HOW OR WHY HE USES IT NEXT TO HIS NAME – you will see that YOUR VALUE AND WORTH AS A PRECIOUS HUMAN BEING HAS BEEN SO ATTACKED THAT NOW YOU ATTACK BACK – and the defence is so-called “Narcissism.” His PHD is NO REFLECTION ON YOU OR ANYONE – IT IS ONLY A REFLECTION OF WHAT HIS ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS ARE. And what he is saying I think IS THAT WE ARE ALL BORN FULL OF INHERENT WORTH THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT WE MIGHT OR MIGHT NOT MATERIALLY ACHIEVE LATER. But yes – the world is a cold cruel heartless place for many THAT TREATS MANY OF US NOT WITH LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE BUT LIKE WE NEED TO PROVE OUR VALUE WITH THINGS LIKE PHD’s I agree, and if we haven’t got one we don’t REALLY matter like those who do. But that WOULD NOT BOTHER you if people RECOGNISED YOUR VALUE would it ??? Really YOU ARE IN A LOT OF PAIN THAT OTHERS ARE DEEMED VALUABLE WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN TREATED AS FAR LESS SO. ME TOO HA HA HA AND I’M NOT A NARCISSIST. If you can see that inside WE ARE ALL HURTING HUMAN BEINGS and see that YOU NEED LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE AS WE ALL DO – the anger will begin to subside. I want to reach out in these posts and UNDERSTAND MORE rather than judge and use labels – see if we can find common HUMAN ground – the “narcissists” AND the “victims?” WHAT CAN WE DO TO COME TOGETHER FROM TODAY AS HUMAN BEINGS NOT ADVERSARIES? WHERE CAN WE START? :)

  103. I just want to inject some humour into the Narcissism debate – if this is possible? It truly is a SIGN OF A HEALTHY AND ROBUST (ON THE INTERNET AT LEAST HA HA HA) democracy when ALL HELL IS BREAKING LOOSE FOR EVERY SUFFERING PERSON THAT HAS POSTED THE APPALLING DETAILS OF NARCISSISTIC ABUSE HERE, and yet NOBODY has their right of reply removed. As a sometimes Law Student I AM DEEPLY IMPRESSED AT THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS AT WORK HERE (I say this only HALF in jest). If we were a squabbling jury the Judge would send us all home (and shut us all down) WITH NO CHANCE OF A UNANIMOUS VERDICT !!!!!! When I can NO LONGER LIFT MY HEAD TO FACE ANOTHER DAY OF NARCISSISTIC ABUSE at the hands of two individual Narcs I love and multiple State ones I am embroiled in traumatic unconscionable conflict with , I read these Posts and realize I am still alive, and grateful for that, and I SMILE :) Because being able to post here, regardless, is still a TRULY DEMOCRATIC PROCESS, as infuriating as the Narcs continue to be. A burden shared is INDEED HALVED !!! Thank you Dr Sam :)

  104. I just read the article about “How to Spot a Narcissist” and was shocked! This article describes my husband! My husband is a narcissist and verbally and emotionally abusive to me when things don’t go his way. The sad thing is that he is a Christian minister. I’m not sure I have the strength to pray and stay with him. I’m not working and have no money to get away from him. I need some help as to how I can cope until I can get out of this.

  105. You’re absolutely right, Sammy, I do have a great deal of pain. After wasting 15 years of my life earning a doctorate in English, there’s absolutely no promise of a career for me and no prospect of a job I wouldn’t loathe doing; and since I refuse to take a menial and humiliating job, I simply suck of the system and live at home with my father. That’s why I’m up all night spewing hateful venom into the internet. The only point I would like to make is that my hateful venom is real and not just a displacement of some other more genuine emotion. Since I can’t succeed, I curse people who can, and if it were in my power, I would destroy such people. I deserve success as much or more than this jerk writing about narcissism. I have an IQ of 157 and was declared a genius by my teachers when I was quite young. After only 4 years of studying the piano, I was selected from a pool of 200 applicants for admittance to the performance programme at University of Toronto. Whatever I choose to learn, I learn with astonishing rapidity. In sum, a person with a 157 IQ and PhD has no business looking at the prospect of working at Wallmart with those all those pathetic losers who really don’t deserve better. What aggravates this situation, however, is that I am equally unwilling to work 9-5 in an office because I absolutely won’t tolerate supervision. I won’t tolerate some ignorant, mediocre bastard looking over my work as if I were a slave, or a pet, or a child. I should be looking over his work, and possibly also having sex with wife and daughter.

    • Emotional IQ is priceless.

      Having said that, there ARE some remarkable pharmaceuticals on the market these days that can help alleviate conditions such as yours.

  106. Cool article it’s definitely. Friend on mine may be awaiting for this content.

  107. I hope my experience might help/shed some light for those in pain from narcissists behavior….

    I was lucky, my narcissist ex Husband only took about 5 yrs of my life. Took time to rebuild my self confidence, grieve, grow and be happy again, but here i am now TRULY happy, self aware, confident and in control of my life that i cant believe my luck. I was deeply happy single but met my man and we soon could not deny the joy we brought to each other – we have just got married. I completely love my husband, real trust, relax and be myself, no eggshells, no fear, just deep daily joy that I KNOW and love him for everything he is and him me. We listen to each others hopes, needs and fears and dreams in almost daily conversations that turn ideas into action that make us BOTH happy. We constantly plan things likely to bring MUTUAL JOY – and do them. Together 4 yrs, some learning, frustrations sure, a few never to be repeated mistakes – but not one second of doubt that all he EVER wants is to see me happy. THIS IS WHAT YOU (and kids) DESERVE and need if you choose to stay in a relationship. Anything less and you are living a wasted ghost of a life. 

    By the way, I spent a few years being very happy on my own eventually and got really confident making my own challenging plans and focussing on making them happen, so much so that friends wanted to come along for the ride. I got to be quite the healthy risk taker and loved it. Oh the contentment of not really  needing a friend to help but just wanting friends around because of the simple mutual joy of companionship and learning, no neediness! 

    I wouldn’t wish what I went through on anyone, but surviving that hell eventually made me realise I could do ANYTHING…. so I followed my dreams using the strength I was forced to find…. and they came true. I put myself first for a while to learn who I was again, understand it all and then finally liked myself and ONLY then was I ready, willing and able to give my trust to others. Now I got myself in order, I’m available, willing and able to put other people first a lot and spread some real love. It felt selfish at first but the cliche that you have to love yourself first before you can truly love others is so right. Just don’t stay self absorbed for too long! You need to just DO and have a go, feel the fear, suck it up, do it anyway. Fall over, get up, do it again better. And again. 

    Victims of narc partners still stuck in it have to park their self love/respect/judgement just to get by and this is when the house of cards has already come tumbling down but you dont even know it. I even had to learn some narc behaviour myself to survive, I lost some of my humanity briefly RIGHT there. The hard hard FACT is that they have a destructive, miserable mental disorder that is virtually untreatable- if you step back for just one second – can you rely on THAT for your happiness and well being? Only now do I know I was nuts too hoping I could fix it. I am fully expecting the boffins to find the dud gene that is responsible in the brain wiring for this disorder. I KNOW I didn’t marry a ‘bad guy’ its way more complex. But can you imagine ANY narc stepping forward to give blood for such a trial, well they might if you told them it was to find out why they are always right even when they’re not LOL. 

    Your own happiness, mental and emotional wellbeing are the bedrock from which security and confidence about your future will come. You will feel like you are stepping into the abyss, but do it. You are stepping into YOUR new life :-)  Leave and be you, dont let narc behaviour make you fear yourself. Don’t hate them or fight them either, it’s not even ‘them’ it’s a problem in the brain that you can choose to let bleed the life out of you or not. My ex didn’t like or love himself, or even understand himself at all, despite the Narc front and faked self love. So much so that he was scared to look under his own skin for fear of what he would find. Hate. I got this out of him in one truthful conversation once, oh I felt pity alright. Poor man, lost soul. He still continued to try and destroy my life, to lie, cheat with no remorse. Doesn’t change a thing. Except maybe I felt no need for revenge as he was, and sadly always will be a shell of a man trying to fill it by sucking in the souls  of others. Forget empathy, that button in their brain is off and cannot be switched on.

    Understanding the narc and their personality/reasons feels so important to the victimized partner, I had that for ages. It was like being blind and then suddenly being able to see. The reasons they made me so unhappy were utterly UNimportant in the end. even if you DO understand the narc (who does not even WANT to understand himself let alone you) it does not change the fact that you are unhappy one jot. Period. Focus that same mental energy you spend on looking for answers instead on what you can do to make yourself happy and secure. Narc behavior will try to break your spirit, how can it be right to be with ANYONE who breaks your spirit and makes you FEAR. You HAVE TO stay true to yourself even if you make a few mistakes or even lots. Making mistakes you learn from is a WHOLE lot better than losing yourself. Be brave.

     If you are with someone who makes you deeply unhappy you need to LEAVE AND DO WHATEVER IT TAKES to feel happy and confident about yourself. Forgive yourself, allow yourself time to grieve and dont let guilt rule you. FORGET what the Narc in your life thinks of you, it DOES NOT MATTER ANY MORE. This is a hard but ABSOLUTELY essential thing for you to learn too. As they clearly don’t demonstrate care about YOUR basic happiness or wellbeing, then why on EARTH would their opinion of you be of any value? Remind yourself of this EVERY TIME they try and make you feel bad. 

    Let’s assume you have left. Yes you may have bad circumstances or money woes, just breath in the clean air and start to think about yourself, just you. You got some kind of shelter and a bit of food I’m guessing at least. Now work up from there with no one allowed to bring you down. You didn’t ask for this to happen but you sure can ask for help. No guilt or shame allowed here! None you hear me, your crisis is way too important to worry about face. You gotta get your life back for goodness sakes. My true friendships deepened and got stronger as a result of taking help, how cool is that. I lost a couple if friends too who couldn’t/didn’t want to handle it and be there. That’s ok, maybe they had their own issues. I was not much fun im sure! I felt badly betrayed for a while but I still hope they find someone wishing to step up to the plate when they need it. 

    Then you will try things, baby steps, some will work and you start to be a real person again. How can your kids develop whole, healthy personalities if you haven’t got your own intact any more?
    To all those feeling stuck and scared to leave: being poor, homeless, jobless, insecure is a WALK IN THE PARK compared to what you are putting up with now. You all seem to KNOW they can’t change already and your life is a spiral of hell so leave. You may not be ready to admit that yet. Staying with a Narc is like being an alcoholic in Denial. You love it and cant leave it but it is slowly, inexorably destroying you. Get on the wagon fast, you have nothing to lose if you can just realise you are living a lie. The love has GONE from them and it was probably never there. Don’t destroy yourself chasing a lost dream.  Let’s say by some miracle they change for good forever and can suddenly make you truly happy, hey you can go back to them if that’s what you really want! 

    You WILL be strong and you WILL be happy. I know that with all my heart for every one of you dealing with a narc. Because you can leave and you will make it happen. I did.

    I am wishing you all the best on your own personal journeys to joyous lives that every one of you deserves. 
    You will only find the light at the end of tunnel when you take that first step out of the darkness.

    In love, respect and eternal hope.
    S

    • Lifeshouldbehappy – Great comment and summary! You did a great job summing up all you went through (and as one married to a narc can totally relate to). Your writings on the relationship feelings was right on. Also, it is so encouraging to see how you made the successful change out of the control and life of that relationship and into your own well deserved world. I can totally relate to that and hope to do as well too. I have seeked out professional help which has helped me to see my relationship in the true light and I also have a path to living well and healthy on my own in the near future.
      You did a wonderful job putting in words such a life draining experience. And then you came out of it with such success. Good for you and I hope to do as well.
      Thanks for that inspiring comment of yours!

    • Wow., S
      I dont know where to begin but by Showing great Gratitude!!
      Thank you for those wonderful words.
      Everyone single word in you reply was truly amazing , inspiring,
      Wonder, constructive, and so real.
      You nailed it correctly …
      You answered my questions and doubts..WOW!
      Can’t describe how complete I feel after truly reading it.
      I will read this when I tend to let my exNArc back in.
      We have a child so! is constant struggle! But thanks I am stronger after reading this !

    • i totally agree with you i left my Narc back in July it is now the end of Sep with No contact since… my life and mind is clearer and makes sense again- This is usually a red flag-Narcs make no sense, their logic is off(pay attention to this) there are days when i still feel sad from who he “pretended” to be and the good times but i have my little 5 minute cry and i pray and continue moving forward…he has left messages on my voicemail of how he is with someone else-“idealizing” her and how “great” she is!! at first i felt a sense of jealously but now i feel a sense of compassion for her because i know that her time is growing short,he is already weighing other options im sure.i know she feels like he is the best thing walking but in time that elated joy will turn into utter devestation they usually start to show their true colors (the devalueing process)after 90 days….i thank God for freeing me from that bondage because thats exactly what it is…its not love at all!!!! I behoove you!!! if you are in this situation RUN like your trying to save your life..because you really are!!!

    • thank you so much for sharing your story. I am standing in the gap for my daughter who is in a narc relationship and can’t even see it. It’s very hard to stand back and watch the one you love become someone you don’t even know anymore. My heart breaks for her. She has turned her back on everyone who loves her or has tried to open her eyes to what this relationship is doing to her. I did’nt know the name to what she was going through until talking with a friend, she meantioned he sounds like a narciccist; so I’ve done some looking into it and it scares me to know this is whats happening to my daughter.Not being able to help your children,is a parents anguish. Praying she will see the light and cry out for the Voice of Truth to show her the way out of the darkness. Right now its all about him. noone else knows what their talking about. She will defend him, no matter who she loses because of it. Thanks again for sharing your story. It gives me hope to know she can find a way out…. When will she get there? What else will she have to go through? Only God knows.D

    • S, your story was truely touching and an eye opener. Thank you.

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement. I’ve been suffering in a 4 year relationship (fortunately not married or with children together). I was looking for information on how to trust your partner after being cheated on (repeatedly) and stumbled into info on narc. I read the list of how to spot a narc and WOW, it is a picture perfect description of my BF. Came to this site today to learn about how to proceed – can they be cured, can I help him? I’m not sure how to remove myself from him. I do really care and know of the traumatic childhood he survived (Having met his Mom, I think she is narc also and he worships her, I’ve always thought trying to gain her love and approval after she abandoned him and one of his brothers as a pre-adolescent). But, just knowing and being able to identify the issue is such an immediate relief. I’ve blamed myself and wondered what’s wrong with me (he’s been very good at, after doing me wrong – cheating and keeping me hanging on and waiting to hear from him) somehow turning it around and I end up apologizing to him and seeking him to forgive my impatience, while I tried to make everything right again. I wondered how he could so easily turn his back on us, so immediately, and apparently with no feeling. I am a shell of the person I once was. I wonder if I am now showing my own signs of narc – or something that is not who I am, used to be, want to be. I am fortunate in that it is I who have the income, we live a state away from each other now and it’s up to me to bring him here or go there to visit, as well as helping him get by since he remains unemployed. But, still it’s hard to just walk away. Is there some support group for victims of narc, or recommended resources? I think I need a coach. I’ve been suffering through this alone as I wanted to spare my family and I’ve been too embarrassed to tell my friends. I feel sympathy for him but I also feel relief and hope that I can get back to being myself – the lack of self-esteem and self-love I have developed through my involvement with this person. I wondered what was wrong with me that he could be so cold and uncaring after all we’ve been through together. I’ve tried so hard to understand and work things out with him. I can actually already divorce myself emotionally from him a bit and at least understand and stop blaming myself. I have my sights set on moving forward to a better life, with less stress and depression and gaining back my self esteem. I’m not sure how to get started, whether too just immediately stop all contact. I know you said “run for your life” and I know that I must but I do care. This will take time. Thanks again for all of your insight and encouragement. Best wishes to all who are experiencing the pain and anguish of being involved with a narc.

    • I read this article I am with the type of nar. you described and have trouble leaving him. I have three kids and he is working about 3 hours from where we live where he continues to work. He tries to control me in every way. He makes my life hell and I do have the funds to be on my own. I do have three children that love him even though they abused them. I found out about this and got him out of the house. The good side is he is paying for the mortgage and all of the bills and I don’t have to live with him. I am better off with him since I don’t have to live with him but I still have to protect myself financially to make sure he doesn’t destroy me. My mom just left me a nice inheritance so now I have many choices of what to do. But he does not care about my happiness or the chidren., He has a fake personality put on and I am his front. Once I am gone he has no shield as I am on to him now. Shirly

    • I married my ex in college and his narcissism was not as prevalent. We were married for almost 17 years and had three children together. Now, he is remarried and as someone above writes, “idealizing” her. What I am wondering about is the damage a narc can cause his children. He seems to also idolize our son while he ignores our daughters and pawns them off on his new wife. He lavishes presents on our son and not our daughters. Have you ever dealt with that with your narc? We have been divorced for three years and the idea of totally moving on is very appealing, but just as allusive. With three children, I am tied to him. At my home, my children are surrounded by warmth, love, security and structure. I just feel like I am fighting an uphill battle against the derisive and decisive means of my ex-narc. Thank you very much for sharing your story and opening up to us all. You are appreciated!

  108. Wow, LifeShouldBeHappy. Thanks for your story. I found this after doing a google search on narcissists. I have made the unfortunate mistake of opening up my house to one of them and his poor wife. They’re newly married too. The poor girl has no idea what big steaming pile of crap she has just stepped in.
    The guy thinks he knows “EVERYTHING” yet several times he did not understand the meaning of fairly common words. I had known their family from childhood and reconnected to him last year briefly, so I was trying to be friendly and show hospitality as they were thinking to move to our area. I offered to let them stay at my place until they check out the area and are sure they want to move here and find a place of their own. It only took one day for me to realize what a huge mistake this was. Everytime he opens his mouth, some (usually extremely subtle) insult comes out. Anything to make him look better and others look worse. Now we both avoid spending time with him and cannot wait for the day he will be on his own. He is a moocher that hasn’t held a job for years, and his wife supported him part of the time. Ugh, I didn’t even know that a-holes like this existed. And you know what? I do not believe that most of them can change. I think very very few of them will actually ever become normal, because in their mind they cannot possibly see that they might be wrong. There’s a dark, ugly insidiousness about these people, and now I know that I want nothing to do with them. I’m sorry they were “damaged” as kids, heck others have had tough childhoods, so what… it doesn’t give anyone the license to become living vampires that suck the life out of everyone around them. UGH!

  109. and I have wondered whether I should confront him with his problem, but I think I have enough drama in my life. I’m fighting a life threatening illness myself. It would be nice if I could know that he might change, but I’m not going to place my family in his line of fire when he gets vindictive, because these types can get really vindictive and go into a rage when they’re exposed for the POS a-holes they are. I wish I could protect his wife from all the pain she will have to deal with, but she’s the one that said “I do” without doing her homework, so it’s going to be her problem now. So uncomfortable to have to deal with them though… seemed like such a nice friend at first, but now I can’t stand to see him.

  110. I don’t think your friend ignores you because You got your phd… that’s rubbish. If anything they will take over you for that same reason.

    I think you’re the real narcissist…. was this article about you to grow some ego?

  111. Thank you for your article. I must admit I was searching for something completely off subject, but then came to this, not actually thinking this had anything to do with me, or had any relation. But after I started reading it, I (as like you said, us narcissists live in a self-logic filled world) understood this was me.

    I definitely live in a safety bubble personality fit to comfort me, forcing me to be outgoing, and many other things depending on situation. I am definitely traumatized, (something I can’t come to admit to myself, still) and I intricately hide any true emotions. i suppose I must lie to myself daily, without understanding how that is possible. Ironically I understood myself to be quite an actor, but I never suspected I had good practice.

    But other than to thank you, I came to inform you of another aspect of my particular case, which you may or may not have heard of. I am a certain case where whenever anyone asks personal questions that scratch the surface, I immediately spill some traumatizing event in my life, to make them (and myself) aware I do not harbor any bad feelings or contempt for the event anymore. This furthers my false sense of self-security.

    I do wish to get help, though at this point in my life I feel as though I can live without it (probably a bit of my disorder convincing me there). I am fourteen, and although I have this part of me, I believe it isn’t a fruitful time in my life to anny up to my dad that I have emotional problems. Once again, thank you for your article, for it gave me something to evaluate my disorder by.

  112. I have this narcissist partner. we’re almost 3 years together now and we have a 6 mos daughter now. Don’t know what to do anymore because not only that he’s narcissist but beats me the hell for so many times. Do I have to leave him? Will he change? does narcissist change? Getting tired of treating my swelling bruises and all his lies and cheats.

    • Julia if he is beating you please make a plan to get out NOW. Call the cops next time he hits you and get out as soon as you can with your child. He will not change, he will only get worse.

    • Narcissism is the least of his problems and the least of yours. If he is being physical with you, take your daughter and LEAVE. Plan ahead so you have somewhere safe to go. You cannot fix him by staying, you only enable him by being there and tolerating it. Obviously abusers need counseling, but again, you are not his counselor, you are his enabler in this situation and you and your daughter are at risk of being harmed if you even attempt it.

      Leave.

  113. Hi, I just wanted to share this with anyone who reads this because I have serious suspicions that my mother is a narcissist. I still live with her and just talking to her makes me feel deep suffering and rage. It’s very painful, my mother has always been extremely selfish and I had believed that’s how everyone was. I behaved in very unhealthy ways most my life, as well. I’ve learned some hard lessons from drug abuse, and realized narcissism in myself which I’ve been working very hard to improve with self-help and support groups, and am only now beginning to uncover the layers of where this is coming from.
    She is NOT a bad person but there is something happening inside of her. She would never, EVER admit it. She thinks she is always right, even when she doesn’t know what the hell she is doing or talking about. It’s like she is so scared of losing control and her grip of other people, that nobody can ever get inside to reach the real person inside. She never gets angry. She sulks and gets condescending because anger seems to be beneath her. She thinks only weak people get angry, so getting angry with her is useless.
    All my life I thought I was the only one with the problem. Nobody believes me because she is always so helpful for everybody. They just tell me I’m spoiled. I am now beginning to learn to take care of myself, and I have to do it sneaking behind her back because if not she will become arrogant with me because I’m not doing it “the smart way”. The smart way, of course, is always giving her all my problems to fix. She needs to feel useful. What is best for me is irrelevant. It is very subtle, her controlling behaviors, it is an insatiable need to be needed. She only does nice things in order feel good about herself. She needs people to tell her how wonderful and helpful she is, every day. She cannot live without people needing her, calling her asking for help, advice. She says it is to help but I can see the ego stroking and the way it changes her. She does not realize she is a slave. She cannot be alone. She is glued to the phone. It was far worse when I was a child, so I know she will never change. I just cannot believe my family never said anything to me, nobody ever told me anything. People only judge me but they don’t know how she makes me feel. Weak and totally useless without her. It is truly an extreme selfishness, it’s incomprehensible. It is my deepest wish to separate from her and be independent, so I can taste what life is really meant to be like. I know this is not a life, this is hell. It is not right to tell kids they cannot live without you and keep them on a leash, afraid of making mistakes and having a life. I hate the way my life is and how I feel about myself. I have never felt like a human being, more like a pet. Please pray for me to find the strength and courage to get out of here and with the right people. I NEED to go, this is raping my soul. This is devastating me to realize she is a narcissist! I am afraid for my life and future…

    • I’m in the exact same situation that you are, and I will pray for you. I’ve also dealt with the rage, the confusion and the pain. Nobody believes me either. They believe my mother who lets them know that I’m emotionally unstable/crazy.

      Maybe you’ve already seen this blog, but if not hopefully it will bring you as much comfort as it has brought me.

      http://narcissists-suck.blogspot.com/

    • hey Iwant2bfree,

      I can relate to your situation – but rather than my mother, it was a very old and close friend, who i ended up living with for a while when we went to college. Other friends who had not known him for so long were the first to realize the problem, and it was very difficult for me to see because of our closeness. I would humor him and go along with things, and this is what i realized in the end did the most damage to everyone — it allowed him to carry on his charade and put me and others in his power.

      I just wanted to tell you that I think your ability to see your mother objectively means you have already won the hardest part of the battle!! Despite being so close to her, you are aware of what is going on, and that you must separate — don’t take for granted how hard that can be to achieve, and know in your heart that you will be o.k. because you have managed to come this far. You will be free of her!! but for now you must do your best to continue analyzing her to figure out if there is anything you can do — as suggested by this article, perhaps there is an emotional wound she has hidden from you?? realize that YOU DID NOTHING TO DESERVE THIS and don’t let it hurt your self worth– there was something that made her the way she is and it is certainly not you. You have already separated from her mentally and I can imagine that took great strength. Show her that her ways no longer have the power to drag you down because you can step above them. You are hurting because she is your mother, and it is completely unfair that she makes you feel this way, but it is probably her that is MUCH worse off deep down. For me with my friend, it helped to think of him as “sick”, which was very sad, but at least it helped me to not feel so much pain because of it (and to stop taking the things he did personally), and i tried to help him get better — at the very least i stopped responding to his ways, which upset him and put distance between us, but at least i wasn’t fueling his behavior anymore. i wish you the best of luck with your mother, but first and foremost, you have to look out for yourself — you are smart and self aware and that is all you need to be ok!! you don’t deserve to feel so badly because of someone else’s shortcomings

    • Iwant2bfree,

      Sounds like you are describing my mother. I’m the 47 year old daughter of a narcissistic mother. I lost my father 4 years ago to Lou Gehrig’s disease and am just now coming to terms with the fact that my mother is in capable of loving me for me.

      Since my dad’s death, my family has literally fallen apart. Of course, mother doesn’t see that. As a result of my her manipulations, my brothers and I aren’t very close. One brother hasn’t spoken to me since our father’s memorial service.

      Once I realized my mother had NPD, everything she ever told me became suspect. I used to trust my instincts. Now I don’t. Haven’t been in a relationship in a little over two years because, well I discovered that I kept getting involved with narcissistic men.

      I’m seeking therapy now. I also just purchased a book by Dr. Karla McBride called, “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.” Dr. McBride specializes in this area. Here’s the link to her website: http://www.willieverbegoodenough.com/

      Most therapists would tell you to limit your involvement with your mom as much as possible until you heal. Narcissists will suck the life out of you if you let them. Also don’t be surprised if mom gives you silent treatment or plays the passive/aggressive game with you. My mom did and has.

      I wish you the best of luck.

  114. When you give the description:

    “In order to survive, this child had to construct a protective barrier that insulates him/her from the external world of people. He/she generalized that all people are harmful and cannot be trusted.”

    This sounds more like a Misanthrope than a Narcissist, at least to me. Misanthropy can be a legitimate view/opinion to hold, without one being a Narcissist.

  115. WOW
    I have just split after 2 years with the PERFECT, sensual, aluring, beautiful , intelligent Female NARC!

    Oh dear, I should have known from the beginning, it was sooo sooo perfect Love, I was in Heaven! She has a child of 13, who has also adopted these traits, she cannot see it. But I could, then I started to look at our relationship more, he stayed up till what ever time he liked, 1 am, even if he had school, if I said anything, I was just glared at by the both of them . .

    I soon realised she seemed to be bored, not in the bedroom , our sex life was fantastic, but no energy to do anything, go cycling , running, the gym, I just thought maybe she is just aging!

    If I challenged them on anything, I would be shot down in flames, I was corrected constantly on how I spoke. But boy, if I corrected them on anything, their head would spin a full 36o degrees.

    I decided to speak to the DAD, to Discuss the son, he then said he agreedwith what I said, and did I know about all the infidelities or suspicions, I did know about one, but he started reeling off so many things that I was upset. A few weeks later, I challenged her on one telling her that her husband had told meand it was a bit upsetting, she immediately said, oh not again, I want you to leave! I had just built a massive summer house for a workshop and kitted it all out with tools.
    So, no hugs, saying its fine, do not worry, just anger, and no comments saying she was going to have words with her husband. In the end, she said I had made something up about a guy that was in her life years before that I could have not possibly known about. I was the bad guy. I know the husband was jealous of us, but I was soo shocked she backed him, and he had instigated it!

    She was also very skinny, attractive skinny, but this is another sign of a Female Narc. She also took great delight in attention from other men, giving them all hugs if we left a party!

    She would not so any menial tasks, ocassionally, like it wad beneath her, and she obviously had a little history regards infidelity.

    I left, I had a secret house that i had not told her about, after getting taken for a large amount before, so moved in there!

    Well, i went a little nuts running after her, sent flowers to work, sent her poetry, i could not believe someone that cared for somebody ( or so i thought)could just turn them off emotionally like a light switch!

    I was just ignored, it was the most horrible sinking feeling I have ever had, I felt suicidal for real, saw her person and told her, hoping she would help me, she just said its your fault and I wish you to leave and thats my final decision. I nearly did myself in for real, I needed help ,serious help and she had been the one I had always trusted with my life, I would have taken a bullet for that girl!

    All the times I had been with her over the two y
    ears, someone had been sending me texts saying she had slept with this person, or that person. Thats how i found out about one of them. Then this second time, nearly 2 years down the line, she says, oh not again? I wish you to leave.!

    Not heard from her at all, she does not answer her phone, reply to emails and I do not know where she is, but guess she is at her parents house. They agreed to see me last week, then I rang them to confirm and they told me to get lost, she even controls them!

    I am worried about her and still love her, its hard, but for the last 2 weeks, i have been doing 30 miles on my bike every day, some work and slowly my self esteem is coming back! Its so painful to still love someone that has treated you bad to then find out its caused by an illness. I wish I could get her to listen and get treatment if possible. Now I wonder if a NARC is really capable of love, or is it all a show, she use to be an actress too! still is :-) That I would love to know from her. She wanted to get married..
    Thesad thing is that the son is adopting these traits, will he also have a mask when he loves his mum?

    I absolutely adored this person and loved the boy. .Its frightening!
    I nearly took my life because of it, only last week! I had nothing left inside me!
    Not one message to say are you ok? oh well!

    I feel like doing a web site showing evidence of her illness, infidelity and the way I lived my life around her!
    Can Narcs Love?? does anyone know, and is there varying degrees of Narcs?

    Panda

  116. The author’s viewpoint boils down to personal preference, supported by anecdotes, labels and innuendo.

    The premise of the article is that a particular self-image or value system is better, or more “healthy”, than the alternatives.

    This premise is specious. Many individuals whom the author would characterize as “narcissistic” get by fine, and are no less content nor more harmful than individuals whom he would not characterize as “narcissists”.

    The premise is specious, and the underlying logic faulty, because:
    1. the author’s logic is necessarily circular because controls cannot exist without assuming the proof (that his definitions of “narcissist” and means of testing as such are correct).

    2. the author cannot objectively test for narcissism because narcissism is, by definition, a social disorder, and unless the author is from the planet Mars he cannot exclude his own social functioning as fatal bias.

    The article is merely a conflation of personal anecdotes – which are likely colored by his own insecurity.

    Given that the individuals the author has identified as having undesirable social traits are committing no fundamentally evil acts, it is most probable the actual issue is the author’s personal demons – a sense of vulnerability and fear at people who do not satisfy his outsized need for empathy and social approval.

    This is why he feels compelled to stigmatize and label those who do not satisfy those needs.

    The logical course of action is not to impose one’s views of “normal” behavior on the world at large, but develop the maturity and flexibility to deal with people who do not share one’s values.

  117. I have read through many of these articles and it is still unclear to me if I am being selfish or if it is the person I am with. I believe that I am trying to have a healthy relationship with them. I try to talk with them on subjects and I find no resolve. I feel like I’m asking for so much when I just would like for them to understand me and and have a heart felt apology. I am a bit of a emotional wreck, I’m sure of that. I ask for things to be clean through the house and it to be kept clean. Again, I think that I am just trying to be healthy by asking for these things. I have the hardest time bringing anything up in conversation, even if I say it in the most polite and positive way. I can’t seem to get them to just acknowledge my feelings on certain things. When we have conversations I try to look at it from her perspective and acknowledge that I have faults and there is something that I did that I can work on. Then, when it comes to them recognizing my feelings it just does not happen. This situation is so hard to understand because I want to have a great relationship with this person and I love the person that she can be, but sometimes the conversations that we have are based on both of our actions I feel that I am the one always trying to be positive and try harder. It’s a difficult thing to try and understand a relationship from the inside and would just like to know if I need to stop asking for so much or “run like hell.” Please reply to this comment if you read it. Any output is good output!

    • Obviously the relationship has communication problems. If its a long term relationship you might benefit from counseling even if you’re the only one who goes.

      Keep in mind there may be different value systems that will never get resolved. I am for not the best house keeper in the world, nor is it my top priority. I am also attention deficit, so no matter how much I would like to be the best housekeeper in the world I probably won’t be.

      But in keeping lines of communication open, for example, I would ask you, if a neat house is a priority for you…are you pulling your own weight there? If you are, and things are still not to your liking then consider or not how well you are matched with your current partner.

  118. If you care about others enough to have doubts then by definition you are not a narcissist.

  119. So your friend stopped calling you when you got your P.H.D.? Did he tell you that or did you assume that?

  120. It’s funny that when you refer to the narcissist, you describe you use “he”. Why not she? Or it? Or douche bag? Yes, douche bag breaks all gender barriers.

    • Never mind, you do switch it up… but still douche bag still works!

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