“What is narcissism? It’s not what you think it is: It’s not ego. It’s not self-love. It’s self-loathing. Envy. Insecurity. Self-destruction.

The key to understanding the narcissism myth is not that he fell in love with himself, but that he failed to recognize himself in his own reflection. In other words, true narcissists are not self-aware.

A real narcissist is dissociated from his or her true self; he feels haunted by chronic feelings of loneliness, emptiness, and self-loathing and seeks to replace that disconnection with a sense of worth and importance fueled by others.

Narcissism is also marked by a profound lack of empathy, a fundamental inability to understand and connect with the feelings of others. Taken together, these are the traits psychologists measure in diagnosing what’s known as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).”

The Mirror Effect  Dr. Drew Pinsky and Dr. S. Mark Young

“Narcissistic people create images of themselves to broadcast to the world, trying desperately to have those images be loved by the general populace or by their peers. Deep down, they are insecure and don’t think much of themselves.”

Dave Roy. Curled Up With A Good Book

About Andrea

Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

  • janice

    I have diagnosed a few of these in my extended family. Some have left the family via divorce – YEAH!!! Fortunately none of them were my parents. nnBet the back story to this post is ‘interesting’ in a twisted sort of way.nnHope the job is going well – it is Friday!! The weekend is especially special when you are working and kids are in school.nn I love you.

  • Thank you, Janice!nnI’m glad your dysfunctional relatives have left your family. What a relief that must be!nnI’m extremely thankful that my life is full of functional, fun, loving, interesting, intelligent, generous, fabulous people. Like you. nnYet, I’ve caused myself ridiculous amounts of pain, spinning in the extreme confusion and frustration of dealing with a tiny number individuals who are consistently and obviously aggressive or passive-aggressive towards me, but who absolutely refuse to own it. nnUntil yesterday, I absolutely did not believe for a single second that it was possible for an otherwise intelligent person to be unaware of their own consistently aggressive or passive-aggressive behaviour and feelings.nnThis week, an acquaintance of mine claimed to be just that, and a third party assured me that, in fact, some people are just not self-aware. That they can’t identify their own feelings. They don’t see their own obviously aggressive or passive-aggressive behaviours. They don’t understand the very obvious patterns that make their feelings so blatant to the vast majority of people.nnI always assumed such people were being dishonest (ridiculously, since their feelings and motives were so obvious from their consistent behaviour). Although I could never understand why they didn’t make more effort to hide the feelings they so adamantly denied.nnAnyway, I decided to google this idea of not being self-aware, and I came across the quotes I posted here. I was completely blown away to find such perfect descriptions of these difficult people.nnThis discovery rocked my world. I was (and am) absolutely thrilled. nnMaybe because my frustration in dealing with what I now know are cookie-cutter narcissists is that I’ve been spinning my wheels trying and trying and trying to apply logic to these situations and no matter how I look at the situation, I never considered for a second that these people could really be unaware of their feelings, patterns, behaviours. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make a bit of sense of it. So I just kept spinning.nnAnd now, maybe, despite their obvious aggression towards me, I can finally stop spinning and realize, as Sheree always tells me, “They’re just not there yet”.nnI could light a city with the energy that could save me.nnHoping your weekend is sunny and crisp and full of functional, fabulous people like you.nnLove,nAndrea

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