Are Narcissists Aware that they’re Narcissists?
This post is for the person who keeps asking me this question.
How aware is a Narcissist of being a Narcissist ?
Bottom line is – I don’t know…
“Everything was empty, dead, mute,
Fallen abandoned, and decayed:
Inconceivably alien, it all…
Belonged to someone else – to no one:
Till your beauty and your poverty
Filled the autumn plentiful with gifts.”
– Pablo Neruda
I don’t know if…
They’re the Narcissist that you say they are…
I don’t know them.
I don’t know you either.
You don’t know me.
So, I don’t know…
… if you’re a Narcissist asking this question…
… I don’t know if you’re not a Narcissist asking this question…
… asking this question about someone else who you think is a Narcissist…
… are they really a Narcissist?
… what if they’re not a Narcissist, you just think they are?
… what if you’re the Narcissist?
Narcissists often think others are Narcissists…
Narcissists see Narcissists everywhere in everyone…
… and prove it more easily than others who are not Narcissists prove such things.
… especially nowadays, with NPD being a Hot Topic and “Narcissist” being a popular accusation when others aren’t who we want them to be for us…
It’s all about us… why aren’t others complying with that!?! Why are they making everything about them when it’s all about us!?!
We’re all a bit narcissistic… it’s not all bad, but we may be unaware of our own narcissism and too aware of someone else’s.
What if I’m a Narcissist? Have you considered that? Are you aware of that possibility in your awareness equation?
Everyone thinks everyone else is the Narcissist… but who is the actual Narcissist?
What if neither of you is a Narcissist…?
What if NPD is a collective delusion?
Some people question the validity of such a diagnosis.
What if we’re all Narcissists?
Or what if no one is… we just don’t get along because we’re all egotistical?
Is that in your awareness of your version of awareness?
“We can stick anything into the fog
and make it look like a ghost
let us not become tragedies.”
― Buddy Wakefield
If you’re someone who thinks they’re not a Narcissist who thinks someone else is a Narcissist…
… is the person whom you think is a Narcissist aware that they’re who you think they are?
Are they aware of your awareness?
Are you aware of their awareness… of your awareness or otherwise?
Are you aware of yourself as you expect them to be of themselves… according to your version of who they are?
Are they really who you think they are… ?
Are you really who you think you are?
Are they just proving who they are to you based on your need to confirm your role for them in your life?
Have you accused them of such a thing?
If you did, did they deny it?
If they denied it… does that make them a Narcissist who is aware of being a Narcissist, yet in denial, gaslighting, manipulating, etc…
Or a Narcissist who isn’t aware of being a Narcissist, yet does those things which you call gaslighting, manipulation, denial, etc…?
or… are you the one doing that?
“It’s not denial. I’m just selective about the reality I accept.”
― Bill Watterson
Let’s try something out which is supposed to out a Narcissist or prove that someone is not a Narcissist.
Using that paragon of proof of virtue known as empathy, which Narcissists are in theory supposed to lack, but non-narcissists have a-plenty… to a fault, and often use to separate themselves from others – which empathy in practice does the opposite.
What if… you were in their shoes and they were in yours?
Are they being how you would be if someone accused you of being a Narcissist?
Wouldn’t you deny it…?
Fight the label?
So… if they fight the label…?
Try to prove you wrong about them… ?
How would the person who accused you of being a Narcissist perceive your denial?
See the problem?
Can you empathise… when empathy requires you to be empathic for someone whose side of the story you don’t want to see? Perhaps because it would mess your side of the story up, more than it already is…
I think I know why you keep asking me this question – You’re trying to figure your particular situation and relationship with a Narcissist out.
My previous attempts at answering your question haven’t satisfied a deep pit of need within you to get the answer which would perhaps satisfy such a thing.
Reminds me of something… I won’t go there. I’ll stay here instead.
The only answer which will feed that need that satisfies is one… you have to find it for yourself.
I can’t do it for you. My answers to your question… don’t solve anything for you. They solved things for me, but… You’re you and I’m me.
Our awareness of ourselves and others differs.
It is complicated, confusing and a total mind, emotion, body and soul messer-upper… to be made aware of ourselves through the conduit of a relationship with a Narcissist.
Do they know how deeply they tap into our worst fears, our deepest wounds, our no-go areas… They have a way of exposing our bits which we try to hide from ourselves, and from which we decide to remain stubbornly unaware – yet expect others to do what what we don’t? That’s something we may be hiding or hiding from…
Reality as you once knew it is in a distressing limbo. What distresses you the most is your own lack of willingness to see what hides inside of you. What you don’t want exposed and has been exposed by a lumbering, clumsy, Narcissist.
To be aware of your bits of which you’d rather be unaware… are they aware of the awareness they’ve forced upon you!?!
You were you… and that was your reality. What was that reality and identity based upon? Are you aware of that?
“Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don’t know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It’s that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don’t know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”
― Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky
Then along came a ‘Narcissist’… and suddenly you’ve been made aware of yourself in a way which has shattered everything you thought was real about you.
They made you painfully aware of what you never wanted to be aware of about yourself…
You hate them for doing that to you (you hate yourself for a million reasons… one of those is because of them, and perhaps all of those have now become about them) and you need them to be a certain way for you to… what?
Are you aware of what that ‘what’ is?
Because they made you painfully aware… they are now not allowed to be unaware. They have to feel your pain. Their pain. Which is your pain.
Welcome to narcissistic hell where everyone, including non-narcissists, behave like Narcissists.
Yet you expect them to be more aware of the ‘what’ which drives them than you are of the ‘what’ which drives you?
Even though you suspect they’re less able than you are of being aware… which is partly why you asked the question about their awareness… or did something else prompt that… do you know why this question is one you keep asking? Are you aware of that?
Yet you still want them to know about themselves what you don’t know about yourself?
Why? Are you aware of the why?
If they are aware of being a Narcissist… then what? What happens to your awareness based on their awareness?
If they’re evil… does that make you good? Or are you the one who makes them evil so that you can be good?
Does them being aware make your being unaware of them… okay?
Why were you unaware of them?
Usually us being unaware of them, of Narcissists, is due to us being typically human. We hope for the best and ignore the rest, or wish for the worst to bet well after a temporary illness.
And we cut others slack… because we need that kind of thing too.
We may paint ourselves as saints… but we’re aware that the picture is Photoshopped. Or maybe we believe what we see even after we’ve Photoshopped it. Live your dream, sacrifice reality – kill anyone who forces you to face it as anything other than how you want it to be. For the dream to become real… get rid of the witnesses who knew you before you became ‘dream’ you.
Did I mention narcissistic hell which allows anyone to enter, like Hotel California.
Does them being messed up, excuse your mess… because you were unconscious of it. And your think they were conscious of it?
You do realise Narcissists are humans like you are… we all want to run away from being human, whatever we are.
They may be messed up… but are you as tidy as you think you are, or as you think you could have been if it hadn’t been for them, or as you could be if… they would admit that all your problems with you are due to them, not you?
They’re evil according to your good…
Who is aware and who is not aware?
You relive the same thing over and over again.
You try to escape, but each escape attempt lands you right back at square one – stuck in a Narcissist’s nightmare.
Is it your nightmare or theirs?
A bit of both, maybe?
You try to turn back time using the power of hindsight… why?
To make things perfect? Ideal? To make things perfect and ideal for you according to you?
That’s quite narcissistic, isn’t it?
You don’t know where you are anymore, or who you are, or what to do, or… anything really.
They screwed that up for you… it’s all their fault!
Isn’t that what Narcissists do, blame others for everything that’s wrong in their life?
Is it different when you do it, from them when they do it?
Perhaps it is different because you were unaware and now are aware… and your awareness hurts like hell!
Is that why you need them to be aware even if they are not? So they can hurt as you hurt, feel the hell which awareness brings? Don’t you think they’d avoid that kind of pain and therefore prefer to remain unaware? Isn’t that what Narcissists do? Escape reality by blocking it out with being unaware of it?
Your Narcissist took your reality and made scrambled eggs out of it. Those scrambled eggs don’t taste the way such a thing is supposed to taste, and you’re worried you’re going to get Salmonella. Maybe you’ve already had a case of it and barely survived.
You’re hungry, starving… but you’re not going to eat that. But what else is there to eat for you to survive?
You’ve been replaying your relationship out over and over again. Trying to make sense out of it – a sense which helps you deal with the mess inside and outside.
Each time you learn a bit more about NPD, about Narcissists, you review your relationship with them, the interactions you’ve had with them, and… you’re trying to make sense of something which refuses to make any logical sense at all.
Plus… you want to exonerate yourself from something far more sinister, self-blaming and shaming – why you refused to be aware no matter how much awareness knocked at your door.
Memories are made of this…
… and can be faulty. A mess. Cognitive dissonance. Refusing to know what we know because it makes us feel… things we don’t want to feel. Too vulnerable, stupid, etc. Suppressed. Abject terror. Repressed. Don’t go there. Terror. Preferring our version of events or not. Illusions. Delusions. About us, about others. What is real and what is false. What is truth or lies.
Maybe everything is both real and unreal. What do we accept. What do we reject. Perhaps based on want rather than on need. We want this but we get that, we don’t want that. A wish rather than wish granted… granted in a not how we imagined it way due to us not being specific. We wished without being careful and hoped to get away with it rather than dealing with consequences. We need and want someone to blame who is not us. Life is full of traps and escape routes. Which one do we favour?
Do Narcissists know what they’re like or are they completely oblivious?
Do we know what we are like or are we oblivious?
Are they deliberately doing what they have done to you, and are still doing to you, or do they do what they do without being aware of how painful it is to you?
Who is the hero and who is the villain? According to whom? The victors write the story of history, but are they telling the truth? Do we care? Do we care to be aware?
Do you know what you do to others, and are still doing to them, or do you do what you do without being aware of how it impacts others?
Are they aware or are they not aware?
Are you aware or are you not aware?
Why did you get involved with a Narcissist?
How can you be sure that they’re the Narcissist?
Maybe you’re the Narcissist.
Narcissists often think they’re the victim of Narcissists and are surrounded by Narcissists – and rarely question that perspective. If they do, and wonder if perhaps they’re the problem and not others… that question will soon fade away, be lost under a pile of supportive bias.
I don’t know.
I could be a Narcissist.
If I am… am I aware of it?
Are you aware of it?
Think about it.
Being aware is painful…
Beware… be aware…
Take care of yourself…
… stop trying to take care of others or getting them to take care of you…
The healing you’re seeking… that is in the wound.
That wound is yours.
Whether it was caused by a Narcissist or anyone else… it’s your now.
Are you aware of it?
“And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast”
– Hotel California lyrics.