Narcissism and psychopathy are closely interlinked personality ''characteristics/ types'' however, there are no types only tendencies. Such labels only perpetuate prospective ''problems.''
Excuse my language
If you have ever read a blog of mine you will know most are answers to questions — not this. I was having an conversation with a friend. One who I am most attracted to. As people we are subconsciously attracted to experience, which is the greatest part of being alive. For the most part of my life I have learned above all that with attraction I will experience disappointment. A repeated pattern, I intimately bond with those who are diagnosed as, or could readily fit the diagnostics of Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder/Borderline Personality Disorder — especially those which overlap into the Narcissistic Personality Disorder category. Disappointment has nothing to do with any other individual, and everything to do with myself — since we are attracted to our 'reflections.' If this is so, I was curious to know after all the core (feeling/healing/inner) work I had been doing, was I still attracted to the same personality 'type'.
After reading article after article on mental health and personal relationships I remembered reading a few times that to know if someone is a narcissist then simply ask them. The reason being that a study which looked across studies found that people scored themselves with the same level of narcissism as they where scored by the diagnostic questionnaire which is used to calculate a 'narcissism' score for clinical purposes. This was really not very large scale, using a few thousand individuals. However the Idea is still interesting. It is hypothesized that narcissists are happy to admit they are narcissistic — since they see nothing wrong with themselves due to their inflated sense of ego. Those who believe in 'covert' narcissism, would however argue against this. I'm personally unsure as to if I believe there is actually such thing as narcissist at all. To me its just a fancy way of calling someone an obnoxious t***, and I see no way in which such labels are useful (but of course that's only my own idea). Anyway curiosity killed the cat, so out of curiosity I had a short conversation along the lines of:
Me: ''So (NAME), just wondering, whilst your here — you're not a narcissist are you?''
Him: ''That's a bit random. Well I don't know, can you explain to me what is a narcissist Kim?.... What made you ask that anyway?''
Me: ''Almost everyone I have ever been intensely attracted to has been described to me as a narcissist — I like you, and I wanted to see if you where a narcissist, I read an idea that if I ask'd you you where, and you where, you would say so.... After all my reading I should know what a narcissist is, but I can't really describe what narcissism is. I think for a short explanation a simple way to put it is someone who cares more about themselves than anyone else''
Him: ''Well, based on what you said, I am probably not I don't think. I don't think I am the most important. For example you know (FRIEND), we are good friends. If someone started on me I'd probably ignore it, I used to get into fights a lot but I'm calmer now. But if anyone started on (NAME) I would jump in or fight up for him instantly because he is important to me — I'm not the most important no''
That sounded really sweet, however for someone to use fighting for someone whom they value, does that demonstrate lack of or presence of narcissism?
Me: ''That does not mean you are not a narcissist, it is more complex than that.''
Him: ''Well, how else do I know then? — I have been described as a psychopath though, lots of times''
Me: ''Hmmm, really? — what is a psychopath then?'' (neither of us knew) - is it just a crazy person?
I was then asked am I a narcissist, and of course my answer was the same, I don't know/ maybe. That is the story of how I became inspired to write this article. Perhaps my attraction is merely serving to guide me on my journey, time has yet to tell. As of yet I still don't know.
I know it looks as though I spelled F*** with one too many stars... I did not. It spells Forget. Forget them. I do not mean forget about people who are 'narcissists', I mean forget such labels. With personality 'disorders' being the subject of this blog, I realize that to say forget narcissists might well just be as controversial as to use the word F***. To clarify, here is what is meant:
Forget narcissism, and psychopathy. They are said to be separate, though related 'dark' personality traits. Reading between the lines of the symptoms and behaviors underlying both, to me they appear to be one in the same. They are also not real. What they are are are words. The word psychopath, or narcissist are conceptual and unhelpful labels. Boggling to me it is also; that people whom are diagnosed with personality ''disorders'' which distinctively display self loathing and low self esteem (such as Borderline/ Antisocial and Histonic) can at the same time be clinically labelled as narcissistic, when narcissists have high self esteem.
Narcissist or psychopath?
By definition a narcissist is a self centered, vain, and egotistical individual. Narcissistic Personality Disorder — serves to label for those who are 'extremely' narcissistic. Narcissists have low to no levels of empathy, and maintain high levels of self esteem along with self importance. Part of the diagnostic for NPD would be an individual who has excessive requirements to be adored/ affirmed due to overestimation of themselves and their abilities. There are many behaviors associated with narcissism including lack of interest in personal relationships, and potentially a limited capacity to feel emotion. Shamelessness, projecting shame, and distorting self image. Manipulation, gas lighting, exploitation, narcissistic rage and defense due to inability to process shame. Bold behaviour, and poor boundaries.
Psychopathy on the other hand, is a quote ''personality trait or disorder'' which is characterized by persistent antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited, egotistical traits.
Narcissistic Personality ‘’Disorder’’ is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior).I see the link that both are antisocial, and also that fantasy and grandiosity triggers dis-inhibited and bold behavior, I am unsure myself as to if they are actually different at all. Narcissism is in effect just perceived as a more calculated form of being antisocial. One of the key traits of a narcissist is an overwhelming need for admiration. Psychopaths also have a great desire for stimulation and attention although this is not highlighted in diagnostics for psychopathy because psychopathy is generally labelled to those who openly express aggression where as narcissists are said to be the smarter/ more the ‘’behind closed doors ‘’ characters. Both display a lack of empathy toward others, though both know what they are doing. The difference is the way they respond to what they know about themselves. A psychopath is less likely to admit to others that they are ashamed of their behavior, they have recognised it from an early age and are ashamed they can not change so are more likely to isolate themselves to the point of ‘’painstaking loneliness’’ to avoid exposure. Narcissist differ in that to avoid exposure they would gaslight, and convince themselves that there is nothing wrong with what they are doing.... ‘’people with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life or to anyone they meet.’’
In answer to the question- am I a narcissist, I still don't have a clue... there are many grounds on which after all my reading I don’t believe in such thing as a personality disorder, or that anyone can truly have lack of feeling, empathy, or love.