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Difference between narcissism and NPD?

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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby easyfromhere » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:58 am

Hi Pangloss, your little girl sounds like a perfectly normal baby, thats what babies do, scream til they are red in their face.... when you see this as a 'personality problem' then you are not seeing it as a baby doing what babies do. Some babies are more 'settled' than others. My three all different but turned out fine (well youngest is still young, but going good). Some kids are more emotionally charged than others. My eldest daugher was a big screamer, had to carry her around on my hip for years, lol.
Son was less vocal.... but carried him around anyway, lol, had the habit by then, they have both matured into well balanced young adults. I saw them as being individuals, not cookie cutter babies.
A baby can't tell you their skin feels like it has ants crawling all over it (ie, has allergies etc) or if they are more sensitive to sounds, lights etc.
With children, if they are problematic, I see it as "how do I update/improve my parenting skills to support this child's temperament".

Don't see your little girl as someone who may 'emotionally maul you', she is just a little girl, be supportive of her and do some Supernanny type child boundary setting.

I'd go for nurture more than nature.... the behavioural problems are handed down through the generations.

Check out my blog on this site and the other one thats linked (fareastofwest).
I've written stuff that works. Simply reword and rephrase the way you communicate.
Melody Beatties Codependent No More to read would be my suggestion and Supernanny on DVD/books.

Good luck
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby Pangloss » Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:22 am

Hi, thanks for the feedback. easyfromhere, my daughter is now 13, and my son 11.5, both close in age but very different in temperament. I love both dearly, my daughter is a lot more "together" and I relate more to her at the "young adult" level, whereas my son is still childish, but I could see the problems arising from a difficult personality, her inability to admit to mistakes, to apologize, to do her share around the house, blaming others for every minor thing that goes "wrong" in her life, tantrums, hiding and lying about poor grades, is driving family, friends and foes away. After a dozen years with both, and being aware of my husband's traits, I am seeing a nascent NPD emerging from daughter, but not son. I love her and will accept her for what she is and will be, but I am putting in more time to talk to her about character development, doing more to cultivate empathy, etc. My son is too empathetic in contrast, crying at movies, books, etc., and is rather "bullied" by his sister (she would take his sweets, cheat him of his pocket money, etc., nothing serious..) though they love each other and are very close.

I recall that my daughter was especially sensitive as a baby, she would scream for hours if a person who isn't a parent or her babysitter hold her. I do notice a difference from the day they were born.
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby Pangloss » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:24 am

Truth too late wrote:I'm sure others know about how a codependent and N work together. But, it seems like a bad fit if you're aware of your issues and working on them, but your husband isn't. If he was, I could see it working. At least things could be talked about. But, if he's unaware of his condition, I don't think it would be good for you.


Hi Truthtoolate, I suggested to K that he might be pwNPD but he just turned it around and accused me of having a PD...it's been like this for the entire marriage. We have tried some marriage workshops, counseling, arbitration, but they are all futile as K will not admit he may be NPD and therefore should seek help with the condition. He tells me that I have been the one who created all the problems in the marriage, and if I behave, maybe he'll have me back. :D

All the efforts so far have been mine, K will not talk to me or engage in any way, except angry outbursts or trivial conversations, we can never talk about feelings, problems of the marriage, etc. We have not dated one-on-one for years, or had any sex, though both of us are considered attractive by societal standards.

The NPDs who post here are already embarking on a self-awareness journey. K is the sort who can't read a book or string logic. He is teaching and working in the design field because it doesn't require rigorous reasoning, or highly effective functioning, eg. law, accountancy.

This is where I agree that Narcissists (eg. Donald Trump) are likely to be high achievers of some sort, or deluded themselves into believing they are high achievers, but pwNPD put up a Narcissist's demeanor but are fearful and struggling inside, as the Narcissist demeanor is yet another carefully constructed false self/illusion which the pwNPD is terrified to shatter, thus they will fiercely defend this demeanor even while their fragmented logic lead to poor decisions.

I know I have to leave the marriage, but I need to make a long term plan, get a stable job, find my own roof, settle education issues of the children. Ideally, K should try to help me, he will not pay a cent of alimony, so if I am better off on my own, he should have less to worry about, but of course being what he is, he tries to make any road I try to take hell....I am slowly trying to heal from this terrible marriage. I do have some questions for the NPDs here, as I still don't know how to persuade K to help me in bringing about a smoother separation, but that will be another thread.
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby heracles » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:10 pm

I look at this question very, very differently it seems than most people on this forum.

Most seem to see "mere narcissism" as on a continuum with "NPD", while I see "Narcissism" and "NPD" as very similar and/or overlapping concepts. There are separate articles on Wikipedia for Narcissism and NPD. The choice to have them that way makes sense to me. Both are quite substantial and both have very similar definitions and material. But I identify more with Narcissism and prefer to label myself as "a narcissist" because I feel I have more right to that concept than I do with NPD. NPD is part of a larger thoery---"disorder theory"---and I have serious doubts about that larger theory. I find the idea of some cadre of "experts" or "professionals" deciding what, or who, is or is not "disordered", and claiming that decision is "scientific".

I've admitted that a major part of my Narcissism is somatic, and yes, that does cause me much suffering. It's an addiction I have to deal with. So by that definition, someone who accepts NPD theory may say I have NPD. But I just don't see it as simple and cut and dried as that.

Narcissism covers the breadth and sweep of narcissism from ancient times, across many cultures, in their mores, art and philosophy. Narcissism is such a larger concept that NPD, which is narrow, pontifical, and (PSEUDO)technical. Now of course, if you've embraced American Psychiatric Association psychology, then you're not going to see it this way at all. But I'm interested in the philosophy of narcissism, the existentialism of it, in the very broadest sense of those words.

Am I "grandiose"? What a loaded word, like so many in NPD theory. Well, maybe I am. But maybe I'm aware of something very special deep within myself, some unrealized potential that because of other cognitive, emotional, and physical traits, and environmental limitations, I just haven't been able to realize yet. Maybe, I AM superior! And then, maybe I'm not. Why can't it be a very open question?

I think I am probably a somatic narcissist, and that's not good. At this point in my life, it may be impossible to cure, but maybe my old age will force a cure upon me.

As for "grandioisty" and "arrogance" and all that, I don't feel too bad about it. It's just who and what I am. (Remember, I'm a covert, so I keep it quite restrained.) I seriously and strongly suspect, that if it weren't for us "grandiose" and "arrogant' narcissists with "big dreams" of "glory", I can't imagine who horribly, nightmarishly dull, bland and bovine this world would be.
Intermittent, intense angst & sensucht . Covert somatic narcissism/Pseudo-Body-Dysmorphia. Secret, languid schizoid. Dysthymia. Gerascaphobia. Dorian Gray Syndrome. Avoidant. Iatraphobia. Psychiatraphobia. Self-Indentified. Just traits? High on the spectrum? Full blown? Doesn't matter to me. Not on meds. INTJ.
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby Truth too late » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:30 pm

heracles wrote:As for "grandioisty" and "arrogance" and all that, I don't feel too bad about it. It's just who and what I am. (Remember, I'm a covert, so I keep it quite restrained.) I seriously and strongly suspect, that if it weren't for us "grandiose" and "arrogant' narcissists with "big dreams" of "glory", I can't imagine who horribly, nightmarishly dull, bland and bovine this world would be.

I saw a tv show yesterday about the migration of early humans. It made a point which I thought was interesting. It said the migrants tended to be the ones who got bored, who didn't fit into the daily life of a larger community. They tested what lays beyond the next valley and that we are descendants of that genetic trait.

Maybe modern narcissists suffer from not having so many opportunities like that. We're forced into social contracts and community life. Maybe we're the ones who should take the one-way trip to Mars which scientists are planning? :) I can see being "special" that way.

It's interesting the way you differentiate between the philosophy of narcissism and the psychological disorder. I think it's beneficial to consider both. It helps me to think of the philosophical origin. Maybe "Nemesis" is the barely perceptible "noise/vibe" which cooperates with my false self to live within an inner narrative. Nemesis could be that aspect of my mind. "Echo" is my true self?
I never seen you looking so bad my funky one / You tell me that your superfine mind has come undone (Steely Dan, Any Major Dude)
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby creative_nothing » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:18 pm

Good point.

I guess all heroes were narcissitic. They were brave warriors who would go to Elysium for fighting in the wars.

Without wars(adventures) what narcissists are supposed to do?
Dx. GAD
Capitalism is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else.
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby solstice1962 » Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:57 pm

I don't know if it's been suggested on this thread before, but I'd rather the NPD label were done away with altogether. Obviously, psychologists think it has some usefulness and some Ns want it kept because it makes them feel that much more special. But it just makes me wonder what we did before it was conceived of in the 60s? Divide and rule is what we do to them; not them to us!
In the words of the song: "I am what I am. And, what I am needs no excuses..."
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby Truth too late » Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:28 pm

solstice1962 wrote:But it just makes me wonder what we did before it was conceived of in the 60s?

More people going through life without recognizing their problem? Giving names to commonly grouped traits seems useful to me. It's like the lights at the airport. It lets you spot it further way.

It doesn't mean you're going to steer your plane into the lights. As you get closer you'll circle for awhile, choosing a runway, gauging the wind speed and direction.

I understand how the label can be the end-all be-all if people let it be. But, if all there was was a smorgasbord of traits, I don't think I would have identified myself. It took the collection of traits as a common occurrence for me to see myself *and* understand how they work, the goal, why they developed.

Everyone's different. But, I don't see how anyone could begin to understand themselves if all we had was a smorgasbord of traits.
I never seen you looking so bad my funky one / You tell me that your superfine mind has come undone (Steely Dan, Any Major Dude)
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby Pangloss » Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:38 am

Narcissism is an umbrella concept that describes a condition where one is noticeably in love with one's "attributes" above the norm, whether those attributes actually exist.

If a Venn Diagram is drawn, then Narcissism is the larger circle within which resides a smaller circle of NPD. There might be other overlapping circles such as the Napolean Complex, Peter Pan Syndrome, etc.

NPD is not just a label as it summarizes a discernible group with distinctive traits, many of which are destructive, traits which do not hinder the pwNPD to function in society yet affect the mental, physical and emotional health those around the pwNPD in a negative way.

I do believe in the genetic evolutionary emergence of Narcissism, and NPD. I have observed my N is like a human GPS, if I were to be stranded in an alien chaotic, complex environment like the middle of a big city, he is almost instinctively tuned to the directions within, with or without a map.

This might be a huge evolutionary advantage when his neanderthal ancestors were venturing into unknown terrain to hunt for game while mine were gathering berries and minding the cave, but for the contemporary society where cooperation, teamwork and social interactions are vital for survival, these ancient skills are rather obsolete, except perhaps in times of war.

This is why it can be a disaster for Narcissists to take on leadership roles as it could lead to conflict, discord and wars. History seems to hold benevolent leaders (Nons) in higher regard, eg. Gandhi, Willy Brandt, Martin Luther King, over the likes of Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, etc.
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby Truth too late » Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:10 am

Pangloss wrote:This is why it can be a disaster for Narcissists to take on leadership roles as it could lead to conflict, discord and wars.

Before I was self-aware, people would sometimes say I should be in management. I would always say, "no, I'd fire everyone. I can't run this place alone." I thought I was joking about my high standards. I had no idea how correct I was.

In fact, before I made it a joke like that, I did test the waters as a project lead and got mad that my manager didn't back me as completely as I expected. So, my joke was more like passive aggression. I was a little sore that they weren't good managers, firing everyone who should be.
I never seen you looking so bad my funky one / You tell me that your superfine mind has come undone (Steely Dan, Any Major Dude)
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