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Born narcissists?

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Born narcissists?

Postby funky » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:16 pm

If a man with npd impregnated a woman who wasn't disordered, then left before the baby was born, and was never heard of again, do you think that it is possible that the baby could still become narcissistic - I mean, if it was raised by its mother and a non-disordered stepfather, and was parented well?

Do you think that it's possible that a baby can be born lacking the full range of emotions? I know that narcissism has a genetic component, but where does that restricted range of emotions come into it? Could that be purely genetic? Some babies may become emotionally stunted as a result of their upbringing, but as I say, do you think that others can be born like that?
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Re: Born narcissists?

Postby BlueFlower » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:08 pm

Hi Funky;

I really think the majority of those with NPD were raised improperly. Factors like baby's temperment, parent's attunement to their child, culture, family, finances, and genetics all contribute to a person's development. All of it interplays so variables are all different. And how the child perceives it's own environment (nurturing or not) also affects outcome. Guess the issue is too complex for a simple answer, but I would think that a child would have the best odds at being "normal" if it had empathetic, attuned parents and a stable environment. Not sure if a "limited range of emotions" is genetic or not. How a child tolerates frustration and whether or not they get their needs met also factors into the NPD equation. JMO. I don't think I answered your question tho; sorry.
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Re: Born narcissists?

Postby margharris » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:07 pm

I would think inheriting a couple of genes on the Aspergers/Autism spectrum could create a child with NPD symptoms. The checklist for Aspergers contains a lot of narcissistic behaviours. You might look for some physical clumsiness.

My own mother doesn't believe she experienced any parental lack but is NPD. She is uncoordinated so I have thought there may have been a genetic component there. My grandmother did tell me she had panic attacks and suffered from vaginismus. So I think it is highly likely that the trauma of a birth would have had granny shut down for months. It took her ten years to conceive.

My mother can only tell a story of her childhood anyway so you really have to discount her word. If you start to question she will deny.
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Re: Born narcissists?

Postby Greatexpectations » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:31 pm

Yes I do think a proportion of narcissists are born rather than made.
My mother is a narcissist, she was not abused. In fact I visited her at Christmas she was more than happy to reminisce about her childhood, she talks about it fondly.
Her mother was a kind woman, her father was almost certainly a narc. He did not have a great deal to do with the children (1940s) that was 'woman's work'.
He was described by my sister who remembers him as "a strange kettle of fish". My mother does not have anything bad to say about her father, she seemed to maybe admire him even his odd ways she can laugh about.
I asked my sister why she thought mother was so cold, she said mother takes after her father. I think she's right.
My mother has no empathy. She was a cold, cruel, self absorbed, 'mother' I was neglected, an invisible child, the scapegoat as was my eldest sister, middle sister is the golden child.
The idea that narcs have always been abused and are deeply unhappy beings is not true. My mother is happy, content, has never been depressed. She's just managed to inflict all that c##p on everyone else.
F##k it.
A friend of mine, a truly lovely girl, friendly, vivacious, attractive, slim, blonde married this strange bloke. I don't know, why nobody can understand it.
Anyway 10 years on she wants a divorce. The husband is a somatic narcissist a real strange chap obsessed with his body, fashion. He thinks he looks good, like ultra trendy, but actually he looks real odd.
They have two children both boys. One is 'normal' and has always protected his mum against his dad who could be jealous and violent (n rage). The other son seems to be like his dad a narc, he would hit his mum, like dad did. One lad takes after mum, one after dad.
There is definitely a genetic predisposition.
They are now separated.
The somatic father's behavior is very disturbing. For instance, when he sees the boys he has shown them his body asking them to "admire him". My friend is quite rightly trying to stop any unsupervised access.
My ex NPD husband did have a abusive childhood his emotional needs were not met by his N parents, but I do suspect a genetic predisposition there too. He had five siblings, four are Ns.

Narcissists can be born, it is not always caused by abuse.

margharris
I would think inheriting a couple of genes on the Aspergers/Autism spectrum could create a child with NPD symptoms. The checklist for Aspergers contains a lot of narcissistic behaviours.

I think there is some truth in this.
A ex partner of mine has a son, he is hard to like I did try, I really did. He is a only child. Very young for his years, self absorbed and lacking 'emotional intelligence' fidgety, clumsy, greedy, selfish, intelligent and very attention seeking. The kids at school named him Joe 'no mates' Smith as everyone disliked him. He told his dad, dad was upset for him, but he just thought it was funny I think he was sorta proud of it.
I cannot decide, if he is Aspergers, Narcissistic, or maybe has 'Only Child Syndrome'. He seems to have no empathy.
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Re: Born narcissists?

Postby BlueFlower » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:02 am

These are all interesting observations. I've read Narcs can also be created by parents that spoilt them; praised their "ordinary" accomplishments and objectified them. Love was based on achievement; although I think many young Ns figure out they get supply from accomplishment.

Regarding abuse: My ex-N seemingly idealized both his parents. However, in quieter moments confessed to hating them both--his father for horribly abusing his family; mother for allowing it. In public, it was all bragging about how awesome his parents were. (all BS) So I would question anything a narc would say regarding their relationship with those that raised them. (Funny sidenote: Ex would vilify me for having contempt for my NM, when HE HIMSELF tried to kill his father by burning his house down. WTF?)

I have also seen many "only" children display narc/aspie traits. I agree that seems to be similarities in narcs and aspies. Don't know if there has been any studies conducted, but it would be a good research topic. Although they both have a lot of quirks, aspies can be quite loveable while a narcs behavior is maddening.
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Re: Born narcissists?

Postby funky » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:20 am

I just go round and round in my head about it - I suppose that I'm just looking for someone/thing to blame outside myself. It's simple enough, really - I inherited narcissistic traits from dad, but they're much stronger in me.
Then it's a chicken and egg situation. Narcissistic traits would have made it difficult for mom to like me, even though she loved me, and low-level narcissistic traits in dad would have made my own worse. That's it, really. My paternal grandfather boozed away his wages, could be violent, and had affairs. (Not that dad was anything like that - he worked hard for his family, and was, in many ways, a genuinely nice, funny man.) I suppose that disordered traits go back down the generations, hitting some people, missing others.
Blueflower, I think that you're right that all of those factors you mentioned will interplay in differing degrees - please don't apologize because there isn't one simple, straightforward answer that you can give.
Margharris - your mention of clumsiness was a slightly eye-popping moment for me - my family have joked about my clumsiness - it also seems to be linked to being left-handed. (There was a thread about left-handedness once in the schizoid forum, and quite a few people there were 'caggy handed'. Also, apparently, there is a higher incidence of mental illness amongst left-handers.) Plus, quite a few narcissists have written that they also have ocd, and apparently that is on the autism/aspergers spectrum.
Greatexpectations, - the lad that you wrote about, who is dislikeable and has no friends - does he ever try to 'butter up' his parents/teacher? You know, being a bit of a teacher's pet, or trying a bit too hard to impress his parents? I was a bit of a creep, sometimes - I'd leave insincere 'I love you' notes on my parents' pillow, for example. I've occassionally seen it in other children, and somehow, you can sense the insincerity, and they do seem shallow & dislikeable, somehow.
Thanks for the posts, everyone, interesting reading.
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Re: Born narcissists?

Postby Greatexpectations » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:35 am

Blueflower
My ex-N seemingly idealized both his parents.

Mine did too, he saw them through rose colored glasses. All BS. He never admitted they were anything but perfect, even when he was in hospital for suspected accidental poisoning his 'mother' refused to visit her youngest son whining "I can't I would be too upset" boo hoo. For all she knew the situation could have been serious (turned out it wasn't) but 'mum' still couldn't be bothered to get off her backside and visit.
He made excuses for her, as always (sigh).
Mind you he was a histrionic N so he milked the event for all it was worth. Just Loovveedd the attention.
My narc mother's description of her parents matches my two sisters description of them, grandma as soft and kind, pops (grandpa) as odd, mean and frugal. So maybe her recollection of them is not too far off the truth.
Bluebell: "I've read Narcs can also be created by parents that spoilt them;"
I agree, Joe in my previous post was horribly spoilt, babied and indulged by his grandmother who looked after him much of the time as mother worked full time. He did not seem to be a unhappy child. He was obsessed with sport, in a extreme way.
"Although they both have a lot of quirks, aspies can be quite loveable while a narcs behavior is maddening." Yeah bluebell, thats what makes me think he's not aspies, as he is not loveable.
Like with BPD I think as crazy and difficult as they are they can still be lovable, but narcs, to me are not lovable creatures.

Funky;
Joe did not suck up to teachers or anything they found him very irritating, as a compulsive attention seeker he would not put his hand up in class to answer a question, but always shout out, it HAD to be about him. He was often sent out the room.
Funky you wrote;
"does he ever try to 'butter up' his parents/teacher? You know, being a bit of a teacher's pet, or trying a bit too hard to impress his parents? I was a bit of a creep, sometimes - I'd leave insincere 'I love you' notes on my parents' pillow, for example. I've occassionally seen it in other children, and somehow, you can sense the insincerity, and they do seem shallow & dislikeable, somehow."

Years ago a friend of mine had a son who was/is exactly like this, at school he was a secret bully (of children smaller and younger than himself) but a goody goody, 'apple for the teacher' type. He was called out on his bullying nature several times by the relevant kids parents, the teacher remarked how hard it was to believe as he was "such a nice boy". The neighbors children hated him, even my friends own sister did not like the boy. He was a horrible horrible child in a covert way, sly, insincere, unpleasant, bullying, sneak. My friend once remarked that he "Took after his grandfather" (who was almost certainly narcissistic)
You know the scary thing about him, he is now a policeman, yeah a policeman {{{ SHUDDER }}} YUK YUK YUK.
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