Dec 25, 2011

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) : How to recognize a narcissist

"The study of human nature may be thought of as an art with many tools at its disposal, an art closely related to all the other arts, and relevant to them all. In literature and poetry, particularly, this is especially significant. Its primary aim must be to broaden our knowledge of human beings, that is to say, it must enable us all to become better, fuller, and finer people." -- Alfred Adler

I found a most valuable website ( linked in the title header above) written by a self proclaimed layperson, who from the very start, states that she has no formal training nor degrees in psychiatry. However to me, someone who has read a great deal of academia and endless research regarding Personality disordered persons, characteristically abusive men, both batterersand of the emotionally abusive variety) sexual predators, child predators and even study in forensic psychiatry, I can conclude that this writer is extremely sharp and very well acquainted with not only the definitions of said disorders, but even more importantly, the practical application of potentially life saving information, especially for women and girls.

The website owner and writer's main focus is recognizing personality disorders, with an emphasis on  Narcissism this seems to focus upon men ( simply because she was a woman and NPD is statistically much more likely to occur in men than women.) although she is quick to point out that women also can have NPD and can create as much destruction in other peoples lives, not only as romatic parteners but as co-workers relatives including siblings and mothers, the latter who often pass the narcissitic or anti social PD gene and propensity to thier children.

I realize that at first glance, this may sound like a lot of  very depressing cerebral and analytical reading, perhaps even reminiscent for some of loathsome memories of required reading in
College or High school Psyche classes.  I assure you that this is differen, it has a highly practical  application for our lives, the lives, our children's lives - especially our daughters, but our sons as well,

In fact women and men of all ages would do well to familiarize themselves with this rarely talked about subject matter. It is indeed essential as any self defense course, if not more so.

The only reason that  I am posting about personality disorders in the first place is because personality disorders are extremely common in batterers, abusers and predators of all sorts, including sexual and homicidal predators.  As such, I naturally feel very strongly that every young women and girl should become familiar with the characteristics habits and traits that are tell-tale warning signs of the more dangerous   personality disorders, such as Narcissistic personality disorder and *Anti-Social Personality disorder,  the latter more commonly referred to as "Sociopaths" and/or "Psychopaths."

This information is as important to a young woman and/or teen as the information she would garner in a good self defense class. and again I am not speaking only of the physcial self defense moves but moreover the defensive thinking that is imparted to students who take a self defence course from an instructor that spends equal time on teaching students observation skills about other peoples behaviors when out in public places or even when dealing one on one with a stranger that they may be intimsdated by or simly uncomfortable with ( often not even knowing why, but the class will elaborate on honing these instincts)

* NOTE; The term anti-social within the phrase anti-social PD shouldn't be confused with the NOTION that the person with this disorder is anti-sociable - IE a loner dislikes talking to others etc.

 In fact, Sociopaths can exhibit an unuusal persuasiveness and charm, when they care to, and generally have something to gain in the short or long run. However this charm is superficial and facile charm and the persuasiveness goes hand in hand with a deceptive, manipulative nature, that conceals a total disregard for the rights needs, bounderies or wants of other people.

As well all sociopaths are not necessarily criminals, although many who manage "success" in a chosen career will and do resort to subterfuge and bullying and even terrorizing employees, co-workers etc.

Now, before you say to yourself  " Psychopaths! Narcissists! Personality disorders! Come on,  this sure doesn't concern me  or my family... I respectively ask you to reconsider and read on.

The reason is simple; the fact is that many domestic/partner/intimate violence situations, including a massive amount that end in homicides, often involve Psychopaths or Narcissist PD's, as the aggressors.   And contrary to oft-times reflexive assumptions, typically, personality disordered people, including sociopaths  more often than not, look just  like the rest of us. In fact, sometimes ( although this should not be considered a steadfast rule ) In fact, people with narcissistic personality disorder or ASPD may dress and groom themselves with expensive clothing and at the very least make a point to appear as an alpha male within  their presumed peer group.

As well, both NPD and ASPD persons can often be highly articulate, they often possess higher than average IQ's , despite sometimes having anxiety related issues related to testing, which can lead to misleading interpretation by school or prison official who may wind up dubbing the ASPD especially as learning disabled" when in fact this often stems from an emotional disability, or the result of an attention disorder concurrently existing within the same personality disordered male.

 And the higher the intelligence and verbal skills of the sociopath and or narcissistic - the more dangerous and deadly they can be as these traits are terribly misleading and few are taught about this and even fully grown adult women are often not aware of these tell take symptoms and thus cannot be expected to keep their children from becoming involved with a sociopath who looks quote normal" as did Ted Bundy and Joshua Komisarjevsky, the latter who in fact had an ongoing relationship with a much younger girl at the time of the Petit family murders. The young girl Caroline Meisal, had recently moved out of State, or was moved by her parents as she was still a minor during her relationship with the then 27 year old Komisarjevsky, as well he father was a minister!

This frightening fact - that a extremely attractive young teenage girl from a caring middle class family, wound up in a serious relationship"  with a considerably older man, that she knew was a  multiple felon-  In fact Carolyn purportedly met JK whilst accompanying a friend of his- also female- to prison to visit him! This can be the =Ill help fix him or I am attracted to his bad boy side.' But in the case of Ms Meisal I believe that she was chosen by Jk because of her looks, age and emotional immaturity that accompanies that age, which includes naivete.  As well being the product of a minister father, she likely had the concept of forgiving people as Jesus did,  and or giving people a second chance, ie not judging them, idealogy that had been inbred into her nature and this sadly made her a perfect target for someone like Komisarjevsky.

He seemed to have a life long atttraction  to younger "innocent" girls, they unilke a women his own age, would be more likely to get involved with someone who was basically a punk, a degenerate, a low life, and this is in fact exactly what J. Komisrajevsky was/is. 
This is a perfect example of the manipulative, charming and persuasive nature of the ASP Disordered male; Ms. Meisal later would declare that she knew "josh" had committed some crimes - burglaries is all she knew, but she assumed it had to do with drug addiction or something along these lines and she would later say' I didn't ask a lot about it I knew people make mistakes...."   Therein you have the main reason Meisal became involved with such a person. She was a teenage girl with a particularly trusting nature, dating joshau was akin to helping a hurt puppy in her eyes, insofar as her level of world experience etc.

 It might explain to a sane adult why someone would break into peoples homes over and over again, however despite having used this excuse one of many, to his parents Police and probation parole workers, he would soon prove this as the convenient lie that it was, when later bragging that the break ins which occurred only when the residents were in the homes, were a form of " extreme sport". 

This was already known to Police and many of Komisarjevsky's other friends, but unfortunately his naive parents who are the very definition of enabling and co-dependent, chose to believe as many would the first explanation, because as I pointed out, people by nature want to believe the best in people -  especially when they have a relatively innocuous appearance and give us a story of being abused troubled and damaged" ( I even think that Komisrajevskys time weathered lawyers fell for his act, judging by their extreme efforts to  quote save him from a death sentence - this went beyond the normal parameters of classic actions of an atypical anti-death penalty lawyer whose mantra is no matter what my client did they don't deserve to die.

Jeremiah Donovan et al Attorneys for JK were so off the charts in their tactics and their zeal, resorting to a veritable symposium of morally repugnant legal"  tactics that included constant attacks upon the surviving victim and the victims families, so much so that I have to believe even with my jaded eyes, that this guy fell for some of his client's lies and manipulation: Even when considering that these attorney's certainly were flailing, trying to make a name for themselves (off the backs of these victims,) ie if they got Komisarjevsky life instead they would be relegated to the pop culture book deal and interview making fleeting fame as Casey Anthony's lawyer, whose actions he will someday be held accountable for to a greater power than the American media machine.

The reason for the inverse relation between intelligence and dangerousness is simple; as a society and individually we are taught that educated people or simply those that sound educated or claim to be educated are people we can trust, they seem the last person who would ever be a criminals after all, or so we think, and  we continue to teach our children and young adults incorrect and life threatening information or lack thereof , concerning signposts for potential predators batterers stalkers and date- rapers, or simply out and out  sexual assailants who remember usually escalate slowly, they may decide to commit their first " kill " in order to destroy the DNA and or witness evidence.

Do we want this for our daughters or even for out sons as many a narcissist will latch onto a particularly vulnerable young man or boy and influence the young mans life in extremely negative ways. And because most young persons are not taught about personality disorders they may believe that the friendship is volatile or problematic because of something that they keep doing, which is usually what a narcissist or anti social PD wants their friends" and potential mates" to think. In fact they are excellent manipulators and they can really do a number on any young or adult person who for whatever reason has a slightly low self esteem or an extremely naive nature.

This is completely avoidable and once it has started there are intervention type of techniques for extracting our children or our siblings or our adult relatives from these sick attachments, as they cannot rightfully be called friendships or relationships, despite the victim believing just that.

Do we really want another generation of women possibly victimized  be it physically emotionally or financially by men (or less often women) with these dangerous disorders, simply because this is a subject that is difficult and can be upsetting at first because  females are nurturers by nature still, and this leaves us particular vulnerable because we are raised to believe that people are inherently good and everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt etc. etc . Thus, this can really make it very hard to accept and seems to pose a real spiritual tug of war within ourselves to process this to accept that there are simply evil people in this world, That cannot be fixed no amount of kindness or goodness or love will transform them

Now this word evil in this context is  not a eerie supernatural sense of the word evil, as this ascribes too much power to these individuals, and its not realistic. In fact many with PD'S  inwardly relish the idea that they are evil and bad men, because they cannot or will not achieve uniqueness or attention in any productive or positive fashion, Often when given chance after chance for this  by well meaning parents partners, relatives or "friends" they will ultimately resist mucking through all of those unnecessary RULES that the rest of humanity lives by. They believe that they are special although they will often tout themselves as persecuted damaged or even abused in order to gain sympathy and suck in a potential victim.
No they are not supernaturally evil they are in fact extremely predictable.

And this is where our empowerment comes from, and where we can empower our older children and or young adults as we see fit for age appropriateness. People with these Disorders are not mentally ill, this is not the same as having bi polar which is a mood disorder although one can have both a mood disorder and a PD, but it will be the PD that wreaks havoc in other peoples lives in possibly criminal ways. as such this is why I am giving this tutorial or sorts with the help of this excellent website by a women who I believe has recently passed on, although she left a veritable pearl of wisdom for us in her wake. 
I must reiterate, at the risk of the Personality disordered individual intimidating via perceived special powers of evil -   there is no such fanciful reality for people to fear, or as in the case of  sick people (often women who become enamored of "dangerous men such as serial killers in prison, to revere sadly enough.

In fact this brings to mind a very apt expression : " The Banality of Evil"  and It is most apropos here.

In summation, it translates into this; Evil people with no consciences are in fact usually very predictable, they are not mysterious, they all follow a certain group set of behaviors and share common traits - And as such, they can be identified and dealt with accordingly. This means avoiding becoming involved with them on any level. Keeping a  close watch upon them if they are a neighbor or a relative and in cases where we or a loved one is already involved to some degree with one,

Ridding our/their lives of them with the least bit of volatility violence or emotional destruction. I find that once a person understands that there is a name for the person that has so messed with their lives and heads, they are relieved and validated. As I said awareness empowers, it also takes away the notion that the PD acquaintances carefully supplants that we are the one who is the problem -  we are not loyal enough or supportive enough etc etc etc. All manipulative techniques that they all might as well have read from the same manual.

Often women who have the Kind hearts can become easy prey to these men, as they see kindness as a weakness something to be exploited, although it is rare that they know admit this openly.  They might admit it in some form if you pay close heed to their words and moreover their actions or their lack of normal action and interactions with other human beings.

Whether you have someone in your life with either NPD or ASP whether they are a relative a co-worker, or worse, someone that you have become romantically involved with,( often this is utterly unbeknownst to the person dating the NPD Or ASD, and yes this includes being married to one.

I ask all women of legal age to read the linked website and please please really consider the information that this writer is proffering. She makes no bones about the fact that she hasn't " degrees in psychology etc" however she has apparently lived through an involvement with a personality disordered person and wrote that website having survived it, but obviously also having amassed great deal of pain and destruction to her life and her inner emotional life. Fortunately she not only lived to tell about it, she came out of the other side of the tunnel with a vast amount of wisdom regarding a subject that all women -and yes men too- Need to be made aware of.

To me this information is as intrinsic to young women as sex education is for the appropriate aged Teen. And that age can only be determined by loving parents who will decide when they'd like to teach their daughter the hallmarks, the give aways of young men who have one of these personality disorders. This information unlike so much that young girls learn in school and outside by mentors etc. is information that may save their life in a prophylactic sense. IE when you see these traits or anything like them, in a boy or a man that you are dating, or otherwise involved with, extricate yourself at once. And unlike many other things that parents pass on the their children, once availed, they will also understand why.

That is, once they learn the actual real life application of all of that weighty information in the Diagnostic Statistical manual ie DSM or their  Psyche 101 0r 102 or advanced Psyche in high school and/or College. This, for those who have sat through what usually sounds like a lot of uninteresting drivel that we shall never use in our lifetimes. At the age of 17 I can tell you that none of it seemed to bear the slightest bit of  reality in my life then or even within the following ten years. Unfortunately this was because of the way it was taught. Had someone preferably a woman explained how this related to toxic relationships, abusive men- and women (less common but do exist) as well as the occasional personality disorder person that I would find myself working with, related to and unfortunately for me dating for a relatively very short time frame but long enough to nearly cost me my life.

In actuality we, and our children teenagers and adults, will need this information, but our schools most assuredly need a better way of broaching and teaching these essential teachings to our young people. I suggest in the meantime that as individuals we as adults first learn all that we can and then pass along these tough realities to the next generation, as well as friends and loved ones of more advanced years.

 This is a subject that needs to be talked about, and understood, as it can become life saving..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree that everyone, including young women, should become familiar with the characteristics habits and traits that are tell-tale warning signs of the more dangerous personality disorders, such as Narcissistic personality disorder. There's also some great information about narcissism on the following link. I'd encourage everyone to check it out: