I came across this brilliant post – Online Narcissism: Writers with NPD by Thomas Swan – which explores Narcissistic Personality Disorder expressed in writing on a blog and gives ways to spot if the blog you follow belongs to someone with NPD.
There are a plethora of online articles written about online Narcissists. This is a good one – How to Spot a Narcissist Online by Julie Beck.
Mostly they cover Narcissists who use Facebook and Twitter. Some are informative, insightful, and others seem to confuse Egotism and Narcissism with Narcissistic Personality Disorder which can lead to people misdiagnosing the disorder in themselves and others.
Someone who posts lots of pictures of themselves and takes a lot of Selfies may be Narcissistic but does not necessarily have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In my view the opposite is often more of a sign of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as Narcissists need to control how people see them so they are not as willing to post spontaneous photos of themselves, as these have to be vetted and studied to be sure they convey to those who look at them what the Narcissist wants them to see – their chosen identity.
Being Egotistical and Narcissistic is different from having Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The former is something we all have the natural ability to be, and a healthy dose of Egotistical Narcissism boosts our confidence, it’s a form of self-validation. An ego trip is fun, but it’s usually quite brief, we may only do it online, and the rest of the time we have both feet firmly planted on the ground. Someone on an ego trip will handle being confronted about it very differently from someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Those with NPD can’t, don’t and won’t come to their senses when confronted instead they go on the defensive which is usually an offensive offensive.
They’re the sort of online Forum member who attacks another Forum member then claims they were the victim of an attack when their victim defends themselves, then they report their ‘attacker’ to the Moderators, push to get them banned and publicly shames them in front of all the other members forcing their ‘victimiser’ to publicly apologise. They won’t accept the apology and will continue their campaign of online hate until the other person commits internet suicide to get away from them. (Please note: The story detailing this scenario comes from – Online Narcissism: Writers with NPD by Thomas Swan).
Confusion is an intrinsic part of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The person who has NPD is confused and they dump their confusion all over the place like a volcano spewing confusion lava. Those who interact with someone who has NPD end up confused, drowning in it and desperately trying to make sense out of nonsense which is often disguised as authoritative rhetoric. So it’s not surprising that those who write about the disorder confuse it with other personality traits and disorders. NPD often overlaps with other disorders and those who have NPD often have sub-disorders.
I have to confess that I like to play Spot the Online Narcissist. I do it mostly to test my own ability to recognise the signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Of course it’s an inconclusive test as I don’t know if the Narcissists I spot online really do have Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Online Narcissists may not be Narcissists at all, but are playing the part of a Narcissist online. That’s the internet for you, that’s our society for you, and in some ways to be successful in Social Media it helps to be a bit Egotistical and Narcissistic. It is encouraged by those who give advice on such things because your online persona needs to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, so studying what people are looking for, find likeable, attractive and interesting, and projecting that is a good method of becoming popular online. Too much and it’s too much and people get tired of your schtick, but get the formula right and you can be a Social Media star.
I follow a few Social Media stars who do a bit of Narcissistic and Egotistical schtick, especially on Twitter, and they are very entertaining, work very hard at it and deserve the attention. It’s creative self-expressive art. Do I think they have NPD? It can be difficult to tell unless you interact with them directly, and even then they may just keep the persona going, embodying it completely while online as performance art.
I was thinking about Online Narcissists and wondering how following or friending one might affect someone who is recovering from being in a relationship with a Narcissist.
Does a Narcissist who is hidden behind their online persona confuse those who interact with them through Social Media as much as they do in person? Do they get under your skin in the same way and mess with your head or does the detachment which being online gives offer protection? Does their blog, Twitter, Facebook or other Social Media outlet of self expression, their voice in writing, confuse and influence you and your self-esteem as much as when they talk to you in person?
If the Following or Friending leads to an online friendship which goes beyond casual online chats via comments and @’s, an online friendship which becomes involved and serious, with the potential to progress to something more, maybe even an offline friendship, then the answer would be – Yes. I have personal experience with this, and the experience actually inspired me and pushed me to examine the disorder more than I ever had before. So this person was a muse of sorts for me, albeit a negative one, and made me really see that there is a gift in the curse of being involved with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
But what if it stays casual?
What if all you’re doing is Friending someone on Facebook to connect with them a little bit more but not too much. You occasionally Like and comment on their posts, have a chat maybe via comments or PM, check out their TL, and very little else.
What if you’re just Following someone on Twitter, love their tweets, the style of which may ooze overconfidence or some other trait which is amplified and in your face. It’s entertaining, they’re a larger than life character and there is an amazing amount of charm about them. Something about them draws you in and maybe inspires you. You retweet and favourite their tweets, and sometimes chat with them via @’s or DM. If you have Favstar you might give them a TofD trophy… and you never wonder why they don’t do the same to you because you don’t think about those kinds of things and that’s not why you tweet. You just enjoy the social interactions and buzz of so much energy and stream of consciousness passing by your eyes.
And what if you are following the blog of a Narcissist?
Does it matter? Does it affect you? Do you even notice? After all bloggers are supposed to write about themselves, about their lives, and share their thoughts and feelings, and do so in a way which is creative and perhaps even exaggerated for effect and entertainment purposes. Bloggers are supposed to be a bit egotistical, it sort of comes with the territory. You have to think that people want to read about you, look at your posts, or you might not blog, at least not have a public blog. And if the blogger is a writer of fiction, short stories and such, well surely all authors, like other artists, have to be a bit Narcissistic or they would never share their work.
I think if you’ve never been in a relationship with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, then Following the blog of a Narcissist, won’t make any difference to you. It’ll inspire and entertain and that’s that. But what if you’re recovering from a relationship with a Narcissist and you follow a blog which is powered by Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
I suppose much depends on how intensely you follow the Narcissist’s blog, whether you read their every post, interact with them through comments, and maybe even email with them if they have provided one to go with their blog.
Is this kind of a relationship with a Narcissist harmful or beneficial? Or both? Or neither?
Again it depends on many factors. On them, what kind of a Narcissist they are, what type of NPD they have. And on you, how empathic and sensitive to absorbing the energy of others you are and how much others influence your view of yourself.
But what if the person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder is blogging about Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Not as a self-confessed Narcissist but claiming to be an expert in some way on the condition, claiming that they too have been in a relationship with a Narcissist, blogging about their experience, sharing the knowledge they have acquired from it and giving advice on how to spot a Narcissist and deal with them and heal from the relationship… only the Narcissist they write about is not a Narcissist at all, they’re a victim of a Narcissist. Then what?
That last idea comes from reading a blog post on The Narcissist’s Child – Beware of these sites! – which made me wonder a lot of wonderings.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is trending as a hot topic. Write a post on your blog about it and you’ll increase your stats, your blog hits, views and traffic. There are a lot of Narcissists, and a lot of people who have been in relationships with them who are seeking information on the disorder to help clarify their confusion and find a solution to heal the pain the Narcissist caused in their life. If you’re a Narcissist writing about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, claiming to be an expert on it because you have been a victim of a Narcissist, you will get loads of Narcissistic supply, the sort of attention and sympathy, maybe even admiration for your strength in adversity, that someone with NPD seeks, and you can create the sort of larger than life drama which Narcissists adore.
A hypothetical example:
If my Narcissistic mother had a blog and was aware of the hot topic of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, she would be all over it, writing about her experiences of being the victim of Narcissists. My father (who was a Narcissist) would get most of the attention from her in her posts, her relationship with him was a very dramatic story and she never shut up about it. I’d probably get a mention, those times when she needed a little extra sympathy and actually remembered that I exist, and she would accuse me of being a Narcissist and then write all about how much she has suffered because of my behaviour which I obviously inherited from my father. Poor poor her, but she is very strong and brave. And her mission is to save others from similar situations… but no one has had it as tragically dramatic as her which is why she is a saviour to all the other victims of Narcissists in the world and they’d better be grateful and praise her in their comments on her posts (no criticism of her is allowed, if you voice your contrary opinion aloud you’re a Narcissist)! (this hypothetical example is based on a not so hypothetical example – My mother does have a website and a blog and a Facebook page and they are typical of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. And, No, I’m not going to link to them).
If this issue affects or you would like to know more about it, this article is a MUST READ – 21 Signs of Online Destructive Narcissists in Forums & Blogging Communities by CZ.
Please share your views and share your stories – if you have a link, please add it in the comments. Thank you.
What a way to give me a complex! Hehe! I think due to the subject matter that I focus my writing, I have frequently feared that I would appear as NPD or even sociopathic!! But I gotta remind myself why I write: to make sense of that which makes little sense and to hopefully help others and learn from others along the way. Thank you for sharing all of this information. I need to take some time and read through the other info you have shared. 🙂
Thank you for sharing these helpful sites. I particularly like the one under the link: Beware of these sites. Very good food for thought, and the author also has a plethora of great blogs that she follows.
You rock. As usual. 🙂
Thank you 😀
There’s a lot of good information out there, just like with your blog, sources of understanding and ways to heal!
“They’re the sort of online Forum member who attacks another Forum member then claims they were the victim of an attack when their victim defends themselves, then they report their ‘attacker’ to the Moderators, push to get them banned and publicly shames them in front of all the other members forcing their ‘victimiser’ to publicly apologise.”
This is precisely what happened to me… I could not believe it at first but its stuck among my peers as the new normal – in a way I find understanding the behaviour of the ‘normal’ others most difficult – as if they have been brainwashed – for me this happened in October last year – and even now the Narc’ follows me around – commenting even on sites like this one – he has threatened me with legal action via the Defamation Act all in an attempt to stop me writing about it… its exhausting – but the sense for social isolation is strong – its difficult but I am realising that in the real offline world those ‘normal’ others are still my friends – they are all there – just muted online…
Unfortunately it’s an all too common story especially on forums. I have a couple of friends who have sworn off forums because of it, and they loved being part of those forums.
Were you a popular member?
Those with NPD tend to target people they view as threats to their own ambitions to be the most loved person in the world. They deliberately antagonise people they secretly admire and envy. They want to be who you are, they want what you have.
The subsequent behaviour of following you and harassing you means this person has written a starring role for you in their drama and you can’t leave until they allow you to do so. The fact that you keep trying to leave makes them hold onto you more because it is an affront to their identity and power. As you’re also writing about it, it means you’re giving them attention which adds to the drama they’ve created, and it nourishes them, they’re feeding off the whole situation. They actually enjoy the fact that you’re writing about them, even if it’s negative press, people pay more attention to negative press, you’re making them notorious, and the more they harass you the more you write about them.
Other people don’t like to get involved in these sorts of situations because they don’t want to make themselves a target, and if this person has NPD or a similar disorder then they will become targets. It’s a case of others not wanting to have done to them what is being done to you. Self preservation is a survival instinct that kicks in and is hard to override. Those people would like to intervene but just can’t risk it, and they hope you’ll be able to deal with it on your own.
People enjoy using social media, they want to have fun and relax because it is time off from the vicissitudes of life, it’s an escape from day to day reality, from dealing with difficult people offline who cannot be avoided… and online difficult people can be avoided more easily unless they target you specifically and then it’s a nightmare. But you can always go offline and that is partly why people don’t step in to help, they figure you can just deactivate your accounts and walk away from it.
It’s a tricky dynamic.
So what would be your ideal solution?
What would be my ideal…
Not to have thoughts in my head grappling almost constantly to understand what has happened to me, to not feel the weight of depression press on my heart when I realise again and again that I have not heard a word from my pilot peers.
There is a dilemma that I face with writing, while I understand what you say that my writing in a sense acts a fuel to this narc’ not writing and somehow absorbing what has happened to me, that sort of capitulation does not sit well with me.
In the beginning I felt or had an instinct that the group would see his behaviour as wrong, even one senior or respected person in the group saying such I think would have cut this person dead but the silence in a way did the opposite and in a way even amplified his attacks with the implicit acceptance of the group.
Partly I write to purge the happenings out of my system, something it is only partially successful at but at the very least I no longer need to remember any of it, knowing that it is recorded.
It also acts as a negative pressure towards the narc’ as some of my stuff now appears on a google search for his name. I did not expect this but find it pleasing that it does. He has recently written to me threatening use of the Defamation Act if I do not remove these references.
So my writing is both a therapeutic process and a purging one at that but in the end it is my threat to him, that even if I no longer appeal to our peers about his behaviour but do and will continue to publish it, not in an overt public place, these are discreet pages not linked to or from anywhere but free for people to find if they look. I see this as acting over time to protect me from him and his bile.
I discuss the affect openly among social groups like this, I am not scared to reveal I am a victim but I do not look for others to fix me. Discussions like this, your reply above these are amazingly powerful antidotes to the feelings I am now, thankfully, seeing dissipate inside me.
Articulating my experience also I hope will help others, as you have helped me, in relating something that seems to me to be so common and so similar for so many people I am shocked to find so much pain – if I can help even one person feel a little better then that would be the very best outcome from all of this.
That is what I want.
I completely agree with you about not wanting others to fix you. Admitting you’re a victim is not a gesture of helplessness, it’s the exact opposite, it is a powerful act because it frees you from the need to pretend that you are not in pain. Pain is an ally not an enemy. It shows us where we are wounded and once we admit, to ourselves and for ourselves, that we’re in pain we can then set about doing what is needed to heal the wound. It takes courage to do that, and when we do it, it shows us how strong we are.
It is important to write about the experience because it puts it into words which we can read, it makes it tangible, and as we write we may be able to see what we have missed, gain understanding, we may also see in our own words the solution. People usually have the solution to their problems within them, but when everything is stuck inside going around in a circle and making a lot of noise in our head, creating soup of our thoughts and feelings, it can be hard to see it.
It is valuable to share our stories because it frees us from the kind of silence which can be poisonous to our system, it is acknowledgement of our experience and of ourselves, and it may offer information to others who may be in a similar situation, as well as encouraging people who may be hiding their pain that it is important to speak out about it as all humans share pain, and through discussing it, getting it out into the open, we heal it, heal ourselves and help others heal themselves. And the stories of others often help us to find our own solutions.
Have you studied Group Dynamics?
There is a lot of information available freely on the internet about Group Dynamics. Studies which show how an autonomous individual may surrender some of his autonomy when in a group, often altering their personality within the group to belong yet when they are separate from the group they return to their individual personality.
If you compare the dynamic of your group before the Narcissist targeted you, and consider what role you had or had been assigned by the other members of the group, to the dynamic after the Narcissist did what he did, it may explain why he chose you as a target. My guess is that you were either an unofficial leader in some way of the group, perhaps due to being popular, or you were a rebel and too independent. Narcissists seek to gain the role of Alpha male within a group, to dominate and control it and to censor any challenges to their position. They also tend to use the divide and conquer power game, and their favourite tactic is to pick someone to be an enemy of the group, thus uniting the group against a common enemy, someone they have chosen and outed as an enemy or weak link as this means they are viewed as a saviour of the group and therefore they gain a position of authority within the group.
There are ways to outwit a Narcissist, however they often require that we go against our usual behaviour, that we don’t react in the manner which is expected. It takes mental flexibility and patience as Narcissists play the very long con.
I have done reading around the notion of Nature v Nurture – Judith Rich Harris – this tackles the issue of how people behave in different contexts and helped me understand my teenage children 🙂
Initially when this started happening I looked to academic studies on group dynamics to try to see where I was going wrong.
Click to access Final_BA_ROB.pdf
My place in the group was I think one of being in the background flavoured with some non compliance – if I am not a gregarious person, I am quiet and reserved and it takes me a long time to feel comfortable with a group, on average about 2 years.
I am blessed with aspergers !!
As such I feel always like an outlier – this narc’ targeting all started when I reached a place where I was happy inside this group and felt able to express my opinions.
I did this feeling that there is no point in moulding your thinking into a soup of group think – I prefer to say what I feel knowing that it lends texture to a debate – however I would never just stick contrary opinions in specifically to make discontent – my aspie literal mind simply can’t do that.
The timeline is here:
The attacks crept up on me, 2013 was a rubbish year on many levels but whats great now is that I feel inside my heart and the strength I know I have to survive.
When I look back I had already dialed these people out, I had sensed that they were wrong. Its with no little disbelief however that I look now at my ostracising from the group and even the loss of actual friendships where the old friend stopped communication and when asked why stated a whole list of things he could only have got from the narc’ that more than anything was upsetting.
Now however I feel I understand enough to know, I have enough perspective to realise that most of the group are fine with me in person and I am regaining the strength of my own self esteem to know I am ok too. I will be ok.
As for the narc’ – I will write and analyse what happened to me – I will talk in these places not for him or any wish to attack him but until I have healed and maybe helped others heal too.
His legacy inside me is already a deepening humility and sense of compassion for the beauty I find in life. I make this the focus of my journey forward.
Your aspergers is indeed a blessing as it gives you a certain immunity to the manipulations of Narcissists. It doesn’t make you immune to an attack from a Narcissist in fact it probably made it more likely that you would be the chosen target. Narcissists study people, like evil scientists studying test subjects in a laboratory, and through their studies they learn the most efficient ways to manipulate people and get into their heads and under their skin. The Narcissist would not know how to handle someone with aspergers because you are not wired to respond to subtle social cues which are the very things a Narcissist uses to pressure and push people into doing, thinking and feeling what they want them to. To a Narcissist you would be perceived as a threat because you can’t be controlled. Narcissists live in fear everything they do is an attempt to rise above that fear and overcome it. They feel powerless and they react to that by being power hungry, playing power games and trying to dominate others.
I have dyslexia, and it has also been a blessing where dealing with Narcissists is concerned. Again it doesn’t make me immune to attack, but it gives me the ability to see through their manipulations because dyslexia causes mental confusion and so I focus very hard on clarifying it. Narcissists cause confusion, thus I use the same skills I use to deal with dyslexia to deal with Narcissists.
Your description of yourself, especially in a group, tells you everything you need to know about why the Narcissist targeted you and did what he did. Someone who is reserved and quiet, who is not inclined to comply, who when they do express themselves does so in a straightforward manner, who is blunt, to the point and not likely to cater to anyone’s ego when speaking. All these traits scare the crap out of Narcissists and they deal with fear by trying to obliterate it and get rid of what or who they perceive to be the source of their fear – the threat to their existence.
You actually didn’t go wrong, what was wrong was that you didn’t go wrong. And that is why it is difficult to let go of and move on from this, because it is illogical, as everything concerning Narcissists and how they affect others is. It can’t be made logical, and it won’t make sense, not what the Narcissist did, nor what those in the group did because the group was influenced and thus manipulated by the Narcissist – thus their behaviour is illogical. And you will probably never be able to get any of the group to see what really happened because they would have to admit that they were conned, and most people find that a very painful thing to do and choose to live the lie rather than see the truth.
You’re very wise to approach this whole experience as inspiration for your life. To see the Narcissist as a very negative muse, offering a gift inside a curse. Otherwise you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to make sense out of the nonsense of a Narcissist.
Please don’t think that I have been too wise… I have tried to understand, to apologise, to appeal, to discuss, to be angry – it has taken its tole to the point where I have been paralysed with depression and nearly arrested because of my anger.
In fact nearly arrested twice during my 3 mile commute through London – it was that day when I phoned my doctor to start the process of gaining access to a counsellor. Im damaged by this.
My insight comes from becoming mindfully aware of what makes me feel good – I have had to search hard for these moments. Sometimes they are very subtle, letting someone into a queue of cars by slowing to open the gap, stopping to let someone cross then smiling, using little shops and talking to the shop keeper, visiting galleries, seeing movies… I realised that the world was full of little moments of joy and that these really do make an impact.
Having been pressed so low by the Narcissist the contrast was such that these little moments could bring me tears at times.
The realisation comes to me now so gently, that this time can be framed as a gift, he has crushed me in ways I no longer wish to spend time deconstructing but in doing so he has made me see beauty where maybe before I might not have.
Dyslexia, aspergers… these are beautiful things too, we are able to see the world in a way that others cannot, my job I realise is mine because I can see things a little differently.
I think maybe you are right about how this has made me a target and I have to accept that my bluntness can feel sharp too, unfriendly, or egotistical, Im not sure, I prefer mostly to observe and to be quiet.
That sense that we are trapped in a place no rational route forward kind of makes you have to look for an innovative solution, there is no easy to comprehend lexicon to aid understanding, the others, the group my friends, yours they are left unable to engage its too much for them, too much to ask.
Guilt is important to resist at this point, they may all have turned their backs on us, we may be left alone but its not our fault, we did not bring this on ourselves.
It sneaked up on us slow and quiet, dimming the lights, ushering people out the door with our backs turned… once the room was dark and empty, full only with the beating of our hearts……
Beautifully expressed! Thank you.
I’ve learned over a very long time to see the attack of a Narcissist and everything that entails as a sign that I am doing something right, that I am being myself, and like you said, our gift is to see things from a perspective no one else has, and by sharing that perspective we give something to the world. The world may not like it, but being liked is overrated especially if it means compromising who you are. In the short term it may be nice, but in the long term it’s just as damaging as being the target of a Narcissist. Just be yourself and if others don’t like who you are that’s their problem, don’t make their problem your problem. It’s taken me all my life for that to sink in.
With dyslexia you tend to be too painfully aware of social cues, but they don’t make sense because many of them contradict each other, you’re constantly flooded by who everyone wants you to be for them, other people’s needs, and you feel the pressure from society to be so many different things all at once, and everything you are is always wrong, that it overloads your system, so you get hopelessly confused. It creates great social anxiety and a retreat from people. Only alone can you be yourself, hear yourself and relax. It doesn’t help that most people assume that someone with dyslexia is stupid, that they have a disability… although sometimes that assumption is useful.
I grew up with Narcissists, I know the kind of damage they inflict, not just on their children but on everyone who enters their life. I have a behind the scenes view of what they do, because they forgot I was there most of the time and boasted about their tactics. If you have a sense of identity, which they don’t, not underneath, they hate you for it and try to destroy it because if they can’t have it neither can you. Thing is, even if they manage to destroy you, they can’t because you have more to you than a Narcissist knows about even with all their clever analysis of humans, you have something which a Narcissist will never have – a core self.
Your experience has brought you to your core self, and as you said, very gently you’re learning to see, know, heal, and understand. Your approach is instinctive and wise – wise as in natural wisdom born out of primal instinct. You’re very aware and seek more awareness, these are valuable tools in self healing, and this whole experience will be more than just about healing from this incident, it will enrich your whole life in a very deep and meaningful way.
Keep doing what you are doing, trust yourself and take care of yourself. Your knowledge will guide you, and your knowledge has great insight.
Thank you for talking with me today, I feel seen, a calm sense of connection, really a very pleasant way to start a week. You take care too.
Try – Maryanne Wolf’s Proust and the Squid
I’d happily send you mine, its fascinating.
Thank you 😀 truly and deeply!
This is truly inspiring… and moving… so true about guilt.. the guilt they leave you with is horrendous.. and we are conditioned to feel guilty….we truly recover when we can say that the guilt is not deserved.
Do you follow this blog – http://madelinescribes.wordpress.com/ – she has written a lot about a similar situation.
Wow! I write about narcissism as well – your post certainly has me thinking!
Lots of people do write about NPD, especially about their personal experiences of a relationship with a Narcissist, it’s very therapeutic, insightful and shares information.
But if non-Narcissists can write about Narcissism, so can Narcissists. It really made the cogs in my mind whirr when I read that post by The Narcissist’s Child.
My Narcissist does have a blog, but I won’t link it here. I’ll send it to you privately and then maybe you can share it, if you want to warn people against her, at a later date.
I have come across a few people who I think may have NPD – the differences between them and those who are simply narcissistic are subtle, but they’re there.
If you believe ‘Michael’ of “The Mirror” blog, (I’m sure he’s not the only person who’s come up with the idea) then Narcissism is multi-generational, which logically means that the child of a Narcissist is bound to be one. Unless they have successfully deprogrammed themselves. 🙂
I’m not planning on outing online Narcissists, that’s a bad idea on many levels. The only blog I’ve linked to in this respect was because the person claimed to be a Narcissist and their claim seemed correct considering how they behaved.
When I read the post by The Narcissist’s Child it set the cogs in my mind thinking about wolves dressed as sheep so to speak. Since Narcissists often accuse others of being Narcissists, and since NPD is a popular subject which draws a lot of attention online, and since many victims of Narcissists blog about their experiences with Narcissists, well, it occurred to me that such a thing would appeal to a Narcissist. That they could indulge their need for drama and getting attention and sympathy and validation and justification by blogging about their relationship with a Narcissist. It’s a bit of an ouroboros paradox.
I do think that there are signs which point to whether the blogger blogging about Narcissists has NPD or not. The phrasing and writing and other aspects of the blog itself would give them away. So I did a search and that’s when I found that great post by Thomas Swan. The comments on that post were interesting too, the writer had a discussion with someone about Samvak – one of the first people to blog about Narcissists and a self-diagnosed Narcissist – and whether he really has NPD or not. I saw a documentary about him a while ago.
I don’t think that a blogger who has NPD is necessarily doing any damage to those who follow their blog, when Narcissists are at their best they can be very inspiring. And I doubt if their worst would come out in such a controlled environment. When they are in control they are usually at their best. And the distance between them and others is a good buffer.
However if someone with NPD is writing about NPD… then they might do more harm than good. Especially if they are blogging about a relationship they had and using the medium to tear someone to pieces without that person being able to tell their side of the story and allowing others to have a balanced view and decide for themselves.
It’s an interesting dynamic.
I have to say that I enjoy checking out blogs created by those who have NPD (or whom I think may have it) as it fills in the blanks and answers questions, as I can observe them without them knowing that I’m doing it, even though since the blog is public they are aware of being observed but not as someone with NPD. I want to understand NPD, the cogs of it.
As for whether it is a disorder passed down through generations in a family, if you’re interested in that concept – Sanity, Madness and the Family by R.D. Laing and A. Esterson is a very insightful read. It focuses on a study of schizophrenia conducted in the 50’s/60’s, certain aspects can be applied to Personality Disorders. Or The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller (or any of her books, she studied poisonous pedagogy). Or my all time favourite – Going Mad to Stay Sane by Andy White – because it covers what it is like to be the child of Narcissists (I wrote about it the other day and quoted an extract from it – https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/the-absent-father-and-the-devouring-mother/).
Or if you don’t want to read psychological books, have you seen – Enlightened (2011) – TV series with Laura Dern which is a superb portrayal of a female with NPD, and there is one episode where they show the Mother and Father’s influence in shaping her personality disorder. Brilliant show!
Hi Ursula! I found your blog (among others) by following the “Slayer” awards and have enjoyed reading your entries. This particular entry peaked my interests as a forum manager and a blogger. The linked article by Thomas Swan was so good, including a problematic situation that was eerily similar. I kept thinking about your post today and came up with a few more ideas about “How To Spot a Narcissistic Blogger” or forum member. I hope to write an article and would like to link your blog (with an excerpt) if you’re comfortable with me doing that. You can email me here if you prefer: email@example.com
Thank you 😀
ABSOLUTELY!!! Share the link to your article! With an excerpt! Share any way you want to!
I am an information sharing junkie, not a hoarder of it 😉
People who have been affected by Narcissistic Personality Disorder need as much information, from many different sources, to help to clarify the confusion which Narcissists dump on them. We all have different stories about our relationships with Narcissists, there are different types of relationships with Narcissists – the social media one is lacking in depth coverage from a personal perspective so more on that would be brilliant – and every Narcissist, even though they share certain behaviours, is different, so the more access that victims of Narcissists have to more information of many different experiences and kinds of Narcissists the better they are able to find the words needed to break the silence which the Narcissist imposed on them.
I’m very interested in Narcissists who are blogging about their experiences of being in a relationship with a Narcissist, or posting on forums and support groups related to NPD, as this helps to elucidate that behaviour – projecting their wound and blame onto others while they play the victim convincingly and better than a real victim – which often confuses victims of Narcissists and has the victim thinking that maybe they are the Narcissist rather than seeing who truly has NPD. Real victims of NPD tend to doubt their ‘victim of Narcissist’ status and often think it’s all their fault. Narcissists who pretend to be the victim of a Narcissist have no doubt whatsoever – even if they remember to do a bit of false doubt – that they are a victim and they play the part with great drama and impact. They always slip up, most people with NPD always reveal who they are, but those slips are hard to spot if you’re caught up in their confusion, their charm and seeming confidence, and your own pain.
I am not on a witch hunt and do not plan to ‘out’ Narcissists who have blogs or other social media.
If they actually admit to being a Narcissist, self-diagnosed or otherwise – like Samvak or the person I linked to here – https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/how-to-piss-off-a-narcissist-without-even-trying/ – then I might link as a source of information for those seeking to understand the disorder and study it from a detached perspective.
If you ‘out’ a Narcissist in your article, I do not have a problem sharing the link to your article.
I’m not a fan of censorship, and all information is valuable.
Okay then, GREAT! I ask people if they mind being linked because they might prefer their anonymity…especially if I’m writing about online narcissists which is sure to cause some tension. One thing I don’t want to do is “stir the shite” any more than necessary, but your post pricked my conscience. Maybe my experiences can help people avoid similar situations on their blogs and/or forums.
AND, thanks for the Pissy Narcissist link!! What a &*#!!*&! You handled the situation so well, encouraging readers to pay attention to his narcissism as an object lesson. You didn’t defend yourself. I think that’s where most of us get in trouble–we try to defend ourselves or “over-explain”, which gives our attacker more attention. Besides, when narcissists are “on a roll”, they will twist reality to fit their feelings, beliefs, etc. As your blog proves, they will see whatever it is they want to see. Just curious but did this guy email you or try to talk with you about his post? (I’m assuming the writer is a ‘he’).
Thank you for asking. I appreciate it. I get where you’re coming from, I’m also careful where Narcissists are concerned, but being careful and keeping quiet because it might upset a Narcissist are different things. I don’t mind dealing with any tension which may come my way. If someone dishes it they’d better like the taste of their own dish 😉
And I agree your experiences shared will definitely be of help to those who’ve been in similar situations, the more information there is and the easier it is to find the more informed people can be and the more confident people will be about discussing these situations openly. Narcissists like to convince people to censor themselves, they rule by fear and get people to control and censor themselves or else. They win when we stay quiet, they tremble when we speak up and out.
I’m not really sure if it’s a he or she. And no the person never tried to directly contact me, which didn’t surprise me at all. Not all Narcissists like direct contact, certain types of those with NPD avoid it as much as they can because if they involve you directly you might ruin their drama.
I’ve learned not to react to anything a Narcissist does or says until I’ve considered it logically and then realised it’s illogical. If you react to them, when they accuse you of something or attack you, by defending yourself, they’ve got you on the end of the hook they had embedded in the attack or accusation. They study people, they know the basics of what makes people tick, they know that we react when provoked, and we usually react to an attack with a defensive move, and if they question us, accuse us of something, especially if it is wrong and unjust, they know we will respond by trying to prove them wrong and trying to explain our side of the story to them. Which ends in us getting frustrated and hopelessly entangled in their mess.
Not all of them do this consciously, which makes dealing with the hell they create harder as they believe the BS they are spitting out which makes their version more convincing to others, and even we end up doubting our version of events once they’ve finished complicating everything.
I look forward to reading your article 😀
The article is up! Thanks so much for the prompt. Writing about online narcissists is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I appreciate your thoughts and insights about online narcissists and the links you added.
I focused on pathological/destructive narcissists because they have done the most damage to vulnerable people online. But ‘trait narcissism’ studied in Facebook groups and such, is also a concern. I hope to address that topic this coming month, too! You’ve inspired me to pick up my NPD studies and dig a little deeper, helping me understand online conflicts a little better. It’s so shocking when it happens to you, especially if you’re fairly new to the net and don’t know how to handle cyber-bullies.
This is the link: http://n-continuum.blogspot.com/2014/01/21-signs-of-online-destructive.html
That is superb! A tour deforce! You have such a stunning mind, such an in depth grasp of NPD, so much heart and soul, and your writing style is magnificent!
If you don’t mind I’m going to put the link to your article on my top post on NPD – https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/are-you-a-magnet-for-narcissists/ – it gets a lot of views and everything you said can be applied to offline Narcissists as well as online ones. I imagine most people who read the post have already been to your blog as you are a great font of knowledge and your blog is well known, but just in case they haven’t I hope they will. Let me know if this is okay with you. That post has only had one troll, the rest is very positive feedback from very kind people seeking information on NPD.
I think the more people have access to clear and concise information about NPD and how to recognise and deal with Narcissists, the better able they will be to protect themselves and to spot signs. I definitely think that with the increased momentum and popularity of NPD as a subject which people want to know more about because it has affected them, more Narcissists will write about it. There is no way to stop that, but there is a way to counteract it. And you are doing it beautifully.
Being online and engaging in social media is great fun and can connect people in wonderful ways, as well as offering the ability to express ourselves in a manner which allows us to enjoy our healthy Narcissism… unfortunately when people are having fun being themselves and doing it boldly, it always attracts Narcissists. Some are of the less harmful variety (and I know you know what I mean by less harmful). The harmful kind can suck the joy out of the entire internet community and then demand more because they’re still hungry.
Brilliant article, I look forward to reading more. Thank you very much for sharing 😀
Thank you so much! I always worry about linking someone’s blog if my article is a disappointment. This article concerned me mostly because I have a few folks out there who don’t like me very much. Well, I can’t blame them. I don’t always like me, either. As long as you like yourself more than half the time, you’re doing pretty good don’t you think? haha
Let’s not worry about the trolls, the disgruntled, the anti-socials…let’s keep putting this information out there. It’s important. Most people aren’t willing or don’t have time to read books about NPD and that’s where bloggers like yourself do a great service educating the public. And, you are a fantastic writer, Ursula. I’ve read through several of your articles including “Are You a Magnet?” Excellent! You have a clear and concise style which I appreciate so much because my style can be rather rambling. I’m not a super-confident writer which means your validation is not only appreciated, it’s needed. 🙂
I hope to pull together a case study like the one Thomas Swan mentioned in his article. It’s been several years since the ‘take down’ took place so hopefully I won’t incite another cyber-war. I’m so happy to have found your blog through the Slayer awards!
Thank you 😀
Link is up.
We can’t go through life, offline or online, trying to avoid conflict because it finds us anyway, so we might as well be ourselves and face life head on. Took me ages to figure that one out, and I’m still learning it.
You have a very healthy attitude and it shines, so that’s going to attract unhealthy people who want to steal the shine for themselves. Those with NPD love shiny people, they admire them and despise them because they admire them. You know how it goes.
And like you said, we make mistakes, life is a series of experiments (that’s how I view my mistakes, makes them more fun to deal with), and we live and learn, and live some more and learn some more. And share what we’ve experienced and hope it helps somehow, helps us and helps others, it’s a bonus when it does.
There are a lot of people out there who are like us and have similar experiences. As a child of two Narcissists connecting with other children of Narcissists has been a blessing. We share certain traits, and it’s an interactive way for us to heal ourselves.
When we put ourselves out there and say ‘Hello’ to the world, especially on the internet… we have no idea who is going to respond. Mostly it’s people like us saying ‘Hello’ back, and that’s wonderful. Unfortunately there be dragons too who are very lonely in an unhealthy way and our ‘Hello’ is an invitation for misery to find company.
I’ve made mistake like you online, it’s a learning curve that is sometimes very bumpy and steep. I’ve learned to use the bad experiences as a negative muse for my self-expression… and like you, the good experiences are much appreciated and very encouraging 😀
If we did a rambling contest… I think we’d both be exhausted and decide to go to a tea shop and have champagne and cake (do they serve champagne in tea shops?) It’s fun to ramble because you find treasures along the way you didn’t know were there!
You are awesome (yes, I used that word and it is true)!
Hi Upturned, like you I am the child of TWO narc parents (snake eyes!)–I agree with you and CZ about the importance of ignoring the trolls
and just putting information out there. We help each other enormously when we do; I know that I read CZBZ’s blog for nearly a year before I worked up the guts to post a comment, and she has since become a close friend, and a real rock. CS
Lucky us 😉 on the parent roulette. Craps!
In many ways trolls and other sorts of beasties on the internet show you that you’ve made an impact. It’s one of those compliments wrapped up in a criticism.
The majority of people you attract give great comment and share with you their stories, and let you know that the information you have shared with them has benefited them, helped during a difficult time, to clarify confusion and is healing and empowering. That’s where the focus should be, on the good interactions which by far outweigh the bad ones. Especially as we benefit from the good interactions, they help us as much as we help them. It’s healing flowing both ways.
However negative interactions always get more attention, we notice what hurts us, pain tends to be louder than pleasure, that is partly why some use it as a way to interact online. If someone stabs us, well, hard to ignore really unless you’re in a Monty Python film – Black Knight in The Holy Grail 🙂
I had a browse of your blog, the Misplaced Guilt caught my eye, I’m going to dive into your blog ocean properly as I think I’ll find much treasure (I sound a bit N, sorry). Do I have to report my treasure find? I’m not particularly good at keeping treasure to myself these days. Do you mind if I link to your blog?
It is, for me, the breaking your own silence bit which is the hardest, on your blog and then making contact with others. ACONs have a real struggle with trusting others, and with revealing what has been hidden for so long… but the hardest step taken yields many unexpected rewards (and frankly most ACONs don’t expect any reward and are braced for punishment of some sort).
Thank you so much for sharing, truly 🙂
I didn’t realise how badly you’d been internet bullied, I ‘m reading your blog now and going backwards through posts. Glad you pushed through and weathered the experience with courage 🙂
[…] Online Narcissists – Does the Blog you Follow belong to a Narcissist? […]
It’s the zeitgeist isn’t it? I just wrote about this too! I found your blog through a link on someone’s blog who linked to my post (below). I had no idea this was such a hot topic, but it makes sense.
Thank you for sharing 😀
Great post! I enjoyed reading it, you have an excellent grasp of NPD, and you got it the ‘hard’ way, right.
It’s a topic which has been building momentum over the last decade or so. Not so long ago there wasn’t that much information about it.
The very first blog I read which dealt with it from a perspective with which I could relate – as in personal and not clinical – was written by a daughter of a Narcissist mother. She is no longer around, but her husband still keeps her blog open. I’m very annoyed with myself because I lost the link, and now I can’t find it via search because the results bring up too many alternatives which aren’t the one I’m looking for. So, yes, it’s very much a zeitgeist.
Sometimes I feel like I’m surrounded by them. I don’t know if it’s because I’m wary and overly-cautious, or if it’s a meaningful pattern, or something to do with genetics and family environment and the types of people I’m therefore attracted to in my life. My husband is NOT a narcissist but I see it in the ‘other women’ in his life, and see how his patterns of pleasing people, conflict avoidance, and ‘reading minds’ to anticipate needs have been shaped by them.
Narcissists are everywhere, not all people who display Narcissistic behaviour have NPD. Narcissism is natural and available to all of us. Social Media is an attractive environment for Narcissists and those with NPD. When you create a Social Media account, blog, Fb Twitter, etc you can create your own persona and reality and no one can stop you or intrude on your creation. If they do, you can disappear and start again. Society is pro-Narcissism. So… it’s more than a zeitgeist.
Nature versus nurture… in the end does it matter? Does anyone really want to understand? Or do they just want to talk about themselves?
My guess is you’re aware, which breeds wariness and a sense of caution, and your awareness makes you see very clearly… seeing clearly can be a blessing and a curse as you’ve discovered by noticing that your husband may be being circled by sharks.
Sorry, I’m in world weary mode tonight 🙂
I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog the other day. You have a lot of valuable information, and I enjoy combing through it. Thank you!
Thank you 😀
[…] real narcissist shifting the blame to the “narcissist” who is really the real victim? Here is that article. Make of it what you will, but it does raise an intriguing question. I think as blog readers, we […]
I have written about narcissism in my second blog and hits haven’t gone up or views. But maybe because I had not written about NPD, only narcissism and covert narcissism.
I am also in a couple groups on Facebook for people who have been involved with a narcissistic so it wouldn’t surprise me if the owner was your mother.
But a question popped in my head when you wrote this “If you’re a Narcissist writing about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, claiming to be an expert on it because you have been a victim of a Narcissist, you will get loads of Narcissistic supply, the sort of attention and sympathy, maybe even admiration for your strength in adversity, that someone with NPD seeks, and you can create the sort of larger than life drama which Narcissists adore.”
Imagine if someone didn’t know they were a narcissist so they were blogging about being a victim of one and bam they get sympathy for what they went through, I wonder what would they do with those people if they are not aware of their own narcissism so therefore they wouldn’t know about their supply.
I have gotten some sympathy and being told how strong I am and those were never comments I was expecting and I never saw myself as strong and one person even told me in my primary blog how she hates how my nex treated me. But in that blog I did get more followers and views when I started to write about my nex before switching to a different blog which has not been popular but I still get likes and followers. But since I stopped blogging about my nex in my primary blog, the followers and likes have stopped and I am not sure about the views because I didn’t pay attention. But still hardly any comments.
But I do read another blog and the author in it discovered she was a narcissistic so she self diagnosed herself with cover narcissism and then she was unsure about it because people were telling her she couldn’t be one if she was saying she is one. She has also been a victim of narc abuse and her parents were also narcs. But anyway she had started going to a doctor again and he said she has traits and he thinks she is on the narcissistic spectrum but the good news was she didn’t have NPD. She is also diagnosed with BPD. She also blogs about narcissism and started a second blog. Her blog was the one that made me discover that my nex was a narcissist and she told me about covert narcissism in one of her comments when i talked about my nex so I googled it and it sure fit him. At first I was unsure if he was or not because some of it sounded like him until I heard about covert narcissism. Then everything fell into place and it made more sense now. I also realized I was immune to his games and manipulation because of my lack of reading social cues and empathy so it was hard for him to control me and read his intentions. But he still got me because I fell for his lies when he convinced me how bad off I am and I still got hurt by him and he just found other ways. He found ways to try and control me and that was working because all he had to do was ignore me because he felt he was with a child instead of with an adult so I had to act mature enough for him so he wouldn’t ignore me. That really hurt then too. My interests were too childish for him, my excitement, my smile, everything. Then he discarded me. I never understood why he went silent on me all of a sudden but I remembered it really hurt and then i never understood why he came back and spoke to me again and then disappeared again. But I moved on.
Thank you for sharing 🙂
CZBZ of The Narcissistic Continuum has written many posts about Covert narcissists as well as online narcissists which are excellent, very detailed and insightful. There is one in particular about a covert narcissist on an NPD forum who used her ‘victim of narcissist’ status to not only get narc supply but also try and get the other forum members to buy her an expensive gift for X-mas. It’s a very insightful read and it might answer the question you asked – http://n-continuum.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/online-narcissists-case-study-called.html
Don’t worry about blog stats, especially if your blog is for personal use. The stats are really designed to help those who blog for business or professional reasons. For those who blog for personal reasons, the stats really aren’t useful, they can be interesting but can sometimes make you overly self-conscious. They can’t measure your worth, so don’t use them that way. You could get loads of views, but the stats won’t tell you who is viewing your posts, if they read what you wrote or not, who they are, why they’re visiting, what their story is… stats just count clicks, data, they don’t know anything about who is clicking. They’re impersonal, and for a personal blogger it can be unhealthy to focus on them.
If someone comments, that’s a personal connection and is worth far more (unless the person comment is trolling). Don’t worry if no one comments, it’s not a reflection of you, your blog, what you’ve shared, or anything like that, since you’re blogging about NPD it’s worth remembering that it is a sensitive subject, and people may not feel able to share their feelings, thoughts and stories. It can be very triggering to read about narcissists, there’s a lot of trauma and pain attached to it. Someone else’s experience may open our own wounds. It’s not something that is easy to discuss, especially not online in a public manner. When we share our story we also have to face it, and the pain may be too much at times. Remember what you’ve been through and are going through and that will help you understand others who are experiencing something similar better.
People online can be incredibly considerate, compassionate and caring. If they offer you sympathy, it’s a gift, accept it graciously and don’t worry about doing so – it does not mean you’re a narcissist fishing for supply. Be gentle with your judgments, especially those of yourself. It can be a wonderful community which offers support in a heart-warming manner. If someone offers sympathy, that can be lovely, and is often because they can relate to your story as they share a similar story. Always be aware that everyone you meet online has a story of their own, feels pain, is suffering, and when they reach out to you it is as much for them as it is for you. It’s a mutually beneficial interaction – sharing with others can be very healing for all. There’s a collective communion of consciousness to being online sometimes. Lots of beautiful souls in this world, narcissists are only a small portion, most people are kind, caring and inspiring.
The blog you mentioned which you read sounds like Lucky Otter.
There’s much more awareness about Covert Narcissists these days. The focus was mainly on Overt narcissists, but things have slowly shifted and there is much more being written about Covert narcissists now. It’s often referred to in other terms by psychologists which can make finding information about it a bit complicated.
This article refers to Covert N’s as ‘Vulnerable’ – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201111/two-types-narcissists-pose-somewhat-different-challenges
This blog post calls Covert N’s “passive-aggressive’ – https://www.firstwivesworld.com/index.php/my-narcissistic-ex-husband/item/8320-passive-aggressive-narcissists-are-eternal-victims
This blog has quite a few articles about Covert narcs viewed from a professional perspective – http://thenarcissistinyourlife.com/covert-narcissists-convince-us-they-are-good-people-7/
It takes time to figure things out, but we piece the puzzle of our story together bit by bit, sometimes we get closure, find answers… if we’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist, then we may have to accept that we may never get full closure or all the answers, there’s always a loose thread or something we just can’t quite figure out. It’s part of the disorder – if we can’t get closure or answers then we never let go of the narcissist and that’s what they want, for us to be stuck to them, with them even if we’re no longer with them.
Focus on yourself and keep taking good care of yourself!
Yep I was talking about Lucky Otter
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