Garden Variety Narcissism

By

Garden Variety Narcissism
Most people suffer from some degree of narcissism. Learn to discern the signs of narcissism in yours

There has been much written about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), which is an all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity, intense need for approval, admiration or adulation, self-importance and sense of entitlement, constant envy of others, arrogance coupled with rage when frustrated, and total lack of empathy.

This article is not about NPD. It is about the common, garden variety of narcissism, which is far more prevalent than NPD. In fact, most people suffer from some degree of narcissism.

The narcissism I am writing about here can be defined as a pattern of thinking that others' behavior is "all about me." The narcissist is self-involved, with a lack of caring and compassion for others when their fears and insecurities are triggered. You are being narcissistic when you take others' behavior personally and believe that you are somehow causing or controlling others to do what they do. You can see from this definition that the ego wounded self in all of us has some degree of narcissism.

For example, Sherrie is the mother of three children, ages five, seven and ten. Like most kids, sometimes they don't listen to her. However, instead of recognizing that sometimes kids just get resistant or preoccupied and don't listen, Sherrie takes it personally. "How can they hurt me like this? They don't care about me. If they cared about me, they would listen to me." Sherrie keeps getting hurt by her children because she is taking their behavior personally, thinking that it is about her rather than about them.

Norman feels hurt and angry when his wife, Natalie, doesn't feel like making love with him. Natalie works full time and is the mother of two young children, so she is often just plain worn out. Norman, instead of caring about Natalie and having compassion for her tiredness, takes it personally that she isn't feeling turned on. "If she loved me and found me attractive, she would feel like making love with me." Norman's ability to empathize goes out the window when he take's Natalie's behavior personally and then feels rejected.

Trudy is on a constant search for approval from her boss. If her boss is slightly critical of anything, instead of caring about the issue at hand, Trudy becomes defensive and angry. In her mind, her boss should care more about her than about the business.

If you find yourself frequently feeling angry, judgmental or annoyed at others, you might want to explore the narcissism of your wounded self. Often anger, judgment and annoyance toward others are coming from the narcissistic wounded self's belief that others are responsible for your feelings. Therefore, if another person does something that upsets you or doesn't meet your expectation, you believe you have the right to be angry at that person. "After all," says the wounded self, "if that person really cared about me, he or she wouldn't behave in a way that upsets me. "

This article was originally published at Inner Bonding . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

Forget The Past And The Future — Life Happens Now

By

We'd all love to know the future — to know that everything turns out the way we want it to. Some of us spend a lot of time thinking about the future and doing all we can to control it. Or we get caught up on thinking about the past and how we wish we had done it differently. Yet every moment we think about the past or the future we are not in the ... Read more

Eating Well Means Living Well

By

Over 50 years ago, due to having been a sickly child and adolescent, I became interested in nutrition. After reading the current literature, I changed my entire way of eating. I cut out sugar, refined foods and frozen and packaged foods, as well as anything with pesticides or preservatives. At that time, there were few health food stores that carried organic ... Read more

Is It A Demand Or Request? Ask A Marriage Counselor

By

Are you confused about the difference between making a demand and making a request? It's easy to be confused about this. Tina asks, "Margaret, what's the difference between a demand and asking for what you need in a relationship?" Demands Asking for what you want and need in a relationship is important, but it becomes a demand when the ... Read more

See More

PARTNER POSTS
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Most Popular