Narcissists in the News

Recently on several different news sites there were articles about an open debate which had broken out between psychologists about whether they could professionally weigh in on President Trump’s mental status.

This is an excerpt from one of those:

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is-trump-a-narcissist-the-guardian

via The Guardian online

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Both sides of the debate have valid arguments… so I don’t think this issue is going to get solved anytime soon (but then again I didn’t think Trump would get elected as POTUS, nor did I think Brexit would happen…).

The first article I read about this (which I think was probably on the BBC news website… which has increasingly become very tabloidy in its headlines and writing style) annoyed me enough to make me want to write a post about it, but then… my annoyance fizzled out and I lost all fuel to write about it.

My half-formed thoughts drifted away and so did I. This has been happening to me lately a lot… hence partly why I’m posting less frequently than I used to.

However I did notice that CZBZ of The Narcissistic Continuum, who has been absent from her blog for awhile, was fired up over having read an article about it and she wrote an awesome piece for her blog – Just Say It: 45 is a Narcissist.

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45 is a Narcissist - Narcissistic Continuum

excerpt from The Narcissistic Continuum – Just Say It: 45 is a Narcissist

The Narcissistic Continuum was one of the first blogs to write about NPD (long before it became a trending hot topic), and it is one of the best resources for information on the subject, particularly for those who are looking for a personal approach to the subject from someone who has had first hand personal experience of being in a relationship with a narcissist, and who has openly shared the rollercoaster ride to recovering from such a traumatic event.

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I enjoyed reading CZBZ’s perspective on the news article.

Many of the things she said echoed the thoughts which I had about the matter.

Reading about what other bloggers about Narcissists have written has helped me a lot, and writing about and discussing Narcissists on my blog has helped me to understand my own personal experience of Narcissists. I’ve also learned a lot from what others have shared with me about their own personal experiences of Narcissists, and also from those who believe themselves to be Narcissists who have shared their stories with me.

For some reason humans need to share their stories with others, for some reason sharing our stories helps us and can help others… if we can do this in a way which honours and respects everyone’s personal experience and view, then maybe we can figure things out together and separately in a way which makes humanity something that isn’t just an intellectual concept or something we need others to restore our faith in. We can be separately and together – humanity.

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the best apology

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Randomly related articles which I found interesting:

Cracked: The 5 Stupidest Ways People Try to Look Smart By Gladstone

The Splintered Mind: Belief Is Not a Norm of Assertion (but Knowledge Might Be) by Eric Schwitzgebel

Thought Catalog: What Everyone Desperately Wishes You’d Stop Doing, Based On Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type by Joshua Forte

Psych Central: What Is an Anxious Attachment Style and How Can I Change It? By Sharon Martin

and a bit of music just because…

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Share your… self… maybe…

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19 thoughts on “Narcissists in the News

  1. I haven’t had enough time or energy to write for a couple of years, so seeing your post was a lovely surprise! I’m so glad you still remember me! And also, thank you very much for referring people to my blog where I hope to add a few more articles about 45. Every day, another essay about 45 comes to mind—maybe other people are being triggered by the man, too. Hopefully my contributions will be useful.

    I am thinking about a new post explaining DSM-5 criteria for a personality disorder along with an explanation of narcissism as a trait. It makes so much sense to me so I’ll try to clarify some of the confusion without confusing myself. ha! Trait narcissism is the “new way” narcissism is being conceptualized and it challenges our earlier notions. (learn, unlearn and relearn, right?!)

    I listened to an interview this morning discussing 45 as a Malignant Narcissist. That seems more appropriate than concluding he has a NPD. Someone with a NPD suffers distress and impairment, distinguishing the NPD from normal narcissism. However, I don’t think 45 stays awake at night, beating himself up for being selfish. I don’t think 45 has episodes of shame-based self-flagellation, nor clinical depression with suicidal ideation (my ex). That would be a NPD and that would be a mental illness.

    I think 45 manifests a fair number of psychopathic traits. When Dr. Gartner suggested 45 was a malignant narcissist—bingo! Malignant narcissism is a combination of psychopathy + NPD and considered to be a mental illness. Sociopaths have zero empathy (narcissists do—it’s selective and transitory but narcissists are capable of empathy). It’s fair to say 45 is extremely self-serving, lacking a moral code against “harming others”. Those are psychopathic traits.

    What I’m not clear on is why psychologists feel the need to warn people about 45’s malignant narcissism. What are we supposed to do? It would be dangerous to remove him from office based on a diagnosis like malignant narcissism…so what is the point? I have my own reasons as to why it’s important for people to know about 45’s narcissism which has more to do with protecting ourselves from falling into a narcissistic bubble and doing things we’ll regret.

    I should read more from the psychologists signing Gartner’s letter to understand their purpose. Apparently, a lot more psychologists have signed the letter. Maybe Gartner’s greatest concern about 45 is military power? Malignant narcissists would destroy the world to prove their power over life and death and that is not someone we want in charge of nuclear weapons. (I don’t mean to offend any of your readers who may support 45…it can be a divisive topic. Which is of course—another sign of narcissism. ha! People love ’em or hate ’em with nothing neutral in-between!

    Hugs and Thank You!
    CZ

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    1. Thank you, CZ πŸ™‚

      I think it’s great that you’re writing again. Your voice, your blog, your perspective and personal experience of narcissists is unique, and immensely informative and helpful.

      Narcissists are still a hot trending topic and so is 45, therefore it seems appropriate that the two popular topics should collide and merge. He’s been a poster boy for pretty much every personality disorder for years, when a PD is discussed his name invariably comes up as an example, and quite a few professionals have used him regularly (before his run for presidency) as a public person they feel able to point to and diagnose even though they’re not supposed to do that.

      He does sometimes appear to be a manifestation of the collective conscious perspective of narcissism and sociopathy rather than being a real person, he’s mirroring the worst traits of society back at us and making us take stock of how we got where we now are with someone as surreal as he is in the position he is in.

      One of the most interesting articles I’ve read about a person like him in his kind of position is this one – http://christopherdickey.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/carl-jung-on-hitler-stalin-and_5.html

      45 could be Jung’s ‘medicine man’ – “There were two types of strong men in primitive society. One was the chief who was physically powerful, stronger than all his competitors, and the other was the medicine man who was not strong in himself but was strong by reason of the power which the people projected into him. Thus we had the emperor and the head of the religious community. The emperor was the chief, physically strong through his possession of soldiers; the seer was the medicine man, possessing little or no physical power but an actual power sometimes surpassing that of the emperor, because the people agreed that he possessed magicβ€”that is, supernatural ability. He could, for example, assist or obstruct the way to a happy life after death, put a ban upon an individual, a community or a whole nation, and by excommunication cause people great discomfort or pain.” – via the article I linked to above.

      For me 45 in and of himself isn’t that interesting, what is interesting is what his existence, presence, and antics reveal and expose about others, about the individual and about society, about politics, about our relationship with and concepts of power, about values, ideals, etc, and about the times in which we’re living and how we got here. He shows us the results of collective thinking and believing.

      In some ways he’s created a void, and we’re rushing in to try and fill it – what we fill it with tells us more about us than about him. We have been given a great opportunity to do those two trendy things – be authentic and be mindful. But will we do it?

      I look forward to reading your posts, no one blogs about Narcissists quite the way that you do. You could never be forgotten once known.

      Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

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      1. I love hearing from you! You always gift me with something new to think about, another way to look at things, a great link to study (thanks for the link!). I think of you as the guest everyone wants to invite for dinner because you always bring the best wine to share. πŸ˜‰

        As I was reading your comment, my daughter popped into my office and got me thinking as to why I’ve always felt comfortable with you. I think you’re both a lot alike…she loves astrology (she’s way too smart for her ol’ Mom) and she views life in a more woo-woo-ish spiritual way than myself. She said to me after reading your comment, “Maybe Ursula can get you out of your ANALYZER, Mom”. I’m sure you know what she means. She says things like, “Hey Mom. Imagine your sadness is a rose. Tie your rose to a balloon and set it free. Don’t you feel better, now?” and I say to her, “What stage of Kubler-Ross are you referring to? And oh by the way, you’re a beautifully strange woman.” We love each other like melted cheese and macaroni, she being the cheesy glue that holds my scattered bits together. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there but I wanted tell you that your intelligence and the way you treat people with respect and kindness, is very much like my daughter.

        I have dabbled a tiny-too-tiny bit in Jungian thought and picked up a brilliant book titled, “A Clear and Present Danger: Narcissism In the Era of Donald Trump”. You may have posted about it already and I wouldn’t know because I’ve been absent from blogging for awhile. But just in case, you may want to check it out…

        The link you posted gave me shivers because it repeats, almost to the word, exactly what “some” American people are saying about 45. Not all Americans, though. What catches me by surprise are those who have written about narcissism yet cannot see 45’s narcissism and disagree with thousands of psychologists warning people about a president who is likely to have a NPD. It always makes my head go tilt when people see 45 as “speaking for them” and “only wanting what’s best for others” without recognizing those things as Red Flags because of his history and status. And yes, that makes me question what I’m NOT seeing—how my life experiences have filtered my views. Maybe that is why I try almost-too-hard to stick to facts because there’s no way to determine who is right and who is wrong until 45 does something as narcissistic as lighting our planet on fire. By then, it’s too late so Thank GOD for psychologists who are willing to put their reputations on the line and settle the debate. Even so, even when reputable psychologists with clinical expertise dare suggest 45 has a personality disorder, people won’t believe them because “elites.”

        We are so pitted against one another…I can’t predict where this is headed. It makes me sad, very sad to know that people who claim to love my daughter, would prefer destroying Obamacare to making sure she had proper health care. The whole thing boggles the mind. Now where’s that red rose? ;-P

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        1. stop listening to the propaganda, two insurers pulled out and one stated Obamacare is in a death spiral. It was illegally forced upon us Americans and needs to be repealed and replaced..

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          1. It is baffling, isn’t it tony, that a nation as wealthy as the US, can’t provide medical care for those who are unable to work because of their health. Without consistent medical care, my daughter would be in a wheelchair—like many of the people with MS who were unable to get treatment for years because of their “pre-existing condition.”

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            1. not to sound inhumane and with deepest respect for your daughter, healthcare in America is not a constitutional right. If anything (like Trump is trying to accomplish) is to take it off the Federal’s back and place it squarely as a state issue, where I as well think it belongs. Social Security and Medicare are two disasters that have unfunded liabilities in the trillions. When the Federal gov’t gets involved its end results are always less than favorable.

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  2. I find the whole “is it a mental illness or a personality disorder” question confusing in spite of having thought about it a lot – it gives me a headache. I understand the difference – a person has no control over an illness while a “personality disorder” is about personality (and therefore has control?). However, it starts getting blurry after that. Many narcissists don’t know that they’re narcissists and/or think that there’s nothing wrong with them, but … isn’t that having no control??? I don’t know what I think about that. My ex-narcissist usually knew that what he was doing was wrong/hurtful/selfish/nasty/deceitful, but either couldn’t stop himself or was “proud” of having manipulated someone. In many ways, he demonstrated a mental handicap (a personality handicap?) – he just couldn’t function within socially acceptable boundaries. However, I agree that people should exercise caution – Trump isn’t “crazy” (in the stereotyped sense of the word) and tagging him with mental illness does stigmatise those who really are mentally ill.

    I have gone through periods of drifting (have more or less just had one) and find them valuable and regenerative. Usually I’m chewing on something and I need to just let whatever it is work itself through. If I try to hurry it, then I will usually make serious life blunders. This is probably part of the incorporation process that you are experiencing right now.

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    1. From my personal experience of being human… I’ve learned that humans have a tendency to make things overly complicated for various reasons. I think this may be one of those humans being human about a subject scenarios. Hairs are being split on an intellectual level. Maybe it’s a good thing, maybe not, maybe it matters, maybe it doesn’t, maybe we’ll all forget about it when the next big thing comes a long.

      We’re all ‘seasonal narcissists’ (TM @ you) every now and then for ‘reasons’ πŸ˜‰

      Totally yes about not trying to hurry something which needs to be taken slowly along! πŸ˜€

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  3. When I first started researching NPD I remember reading it was classed as a Personality Disorder, which is very different from a Mental Illness. ???

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    1. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      It seems with NPD the lines always end up getting blurred and confusion ensues. I also thought personality disorder and mental illness were different, so I’m in the ??? territory along with you.

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  4. What struck me today in the morning (like, whoa!) is that most of the time my train of thoughts revolves around comparison. I base my observations of the world, feelings, happenings etc. on what I already know, on the now moment, like from the level of my personal limit of perception, but at the same time as a side process of my subconscious thoughts I hear thoughts that instantly do comparison to others.
    Co dependency is one thing, yeah, but on the other hand, nobody can hear my thoughts, there is no need to compare anything inside my own head and that struck me, that even if we are as humans able to exist on our own we are still a part of the big family, subconsciously tied to each other. Maybe it’s a survival mechanism, etched inside the brain machine that runs on the background, who knows. But when I read your thoughts on sharing – it made a lot of sense to me, when we are thinking inside – it’s one thing, more subjective and oneself-sided, but when we speak out loud it suddenly brings out more clarity because we can hear it ourselves from a side perspective too.
    Being lost deep in the forest in the middle of the darkest night with a box of matches trying to find the way out – challenging and way time-consuming, but once the light comes out it all becomes less scary and more clear πŸ™‚ I do like the stars though, especially constellations (Orion is right above my head these days,with my favourite blue Rigel :)) and planets that are visible with binoculars, but that’s if the weather permits.

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    1. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      That’s a very interesting conversation which you were having with yourself – those are my favourite kinds of internal discussions! Have you noticed how those kind of wonderings can cause physical shifts as though the shifts in thought are changing the atoms in the body.

      I also love looking up at the stars at night. Jupiter is intensely bright atm and looks like two stars colliding imo using just the eye to look at it.

      There’s a silence deep in the forest which can be as dark as the absence of light, which can make even the sound of raucous traffic a relief to hear. Some experiences are terrifying while we’re caught up in them, but afterwards they may become reminders which soothe. They remind us that we are far more than we know.

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  5. what many fail to see is that narcissism or malignant narcissism is a spiritual disorder…..in other words it’s evil…plain and simple

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