Our partner

Shame

Narcissistic Personality Disorder message board, open discussion, and online support group.

Re: Shame

Postby Greebo » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:32 am

Ah we’re not of incomparable ages though whether I can give a helpful answer remains to be seen.

covertunsure wrote:How do you guys conquer or manage shame, assuming you have it, and assuming you are able to manage it?


Typically I deal with things that I’m ashamed of or that otherwise bother me by owning them or wearing them on my sleeve.

For example, when I was 15/16 I wrote an erotic story about one of the girls in my year. ‘Story’ is perhaps the wrong word, it was just an erotic description of her in the shower. The story got stolen from me and deceminated throughout the school which as you can imagine caused some considerable upset and mortifying embarrassment for the girl in question. Personally I felt very much like a sex offender which was something I struggled to reconcile with my own self perception at the time. So every girl I was with over the following 2-3 years, I’d tell them about it in a ‘know who you’re getting into bed with’ sort of way. Over time I realised both, that most other people had a far more lenient view of the event than I did and in my own perception it gradually changed from a purpetual stain on my character to something spectacularly stupid I did when I was young.

Lesser stuff I just stayed with the emotions associated with the thing I was failing to reconcile until I was able to own it. I don’t mean rationalise it, cook-up some justification or excuse or pretend that it is any less unpleasant than in fact it was.

When I was younger I used to have really awful discoid eczema and I do mean diabolical. During first stint at uni doing chemistry, due to stress and exposure to irritants it was at its height. It would cover large areas of my body, weep, split, bleed and become infected from time to time. Perhaps not as bad as acne as it wasn’t all over my face, though from a heterosexual perspective I’ve never found acne that unattractive. Anyway I used to constantly display my eczema if only for the simple reason that wrapping or covering often made it worse. Most people didn’t find it as repulsive as I anticipated they would in any case. In some cases, like when a girl would try to dance with me, I’d lean in and ask if they were sure they were okay with me touching them and show them my hands, they’d do things like nuzzle my hands or put my split and bleeding fingers in their mouths to demonstrate that they didn’t care.

What I’m driving at is that imperfections that you own and don’t try to hide, make excuses for, make others view in a specific way or get them to indulge/tolerate, tend to cease to be imperfections and become character. At the very least they are stripped of a great deal of their power to harm and influence us.

There is obviously a flip side to this which is correcting and improving those things that you think worth working on. I wouldn’t go trying to perfect anything though. It’s the striving which is important.

And perhaps relatedly, how do you deal with rejection?

I feel $#%^ for 30 minutes or so, then I move on.

Partially this is due to the fact that I tend to place heavy emphasis on personal agency and the primacy of choice. In fact you could briefly incapsulate my worldview as ‘nobody gets to choose the hand they are dealt only how they play it’ or ‘everybody has problems, the choice is between succeeding in spite of them or failing because of them.’

Imperfection and free will are built in. I don’t approach people with the expectation that they’re going to like me. In my view, while it’s clearly influenceable it isn’t controllable, they’re going to be them, I’m going to be me, we’ll react as we react and the result will be what it is. Or to put it another way while I’d like to be attractive to the people I find attractive, not at any price. They have to be able to make the choice to reject me. In fact I won’t even buy drinks for anyone but my friends on the basis that if I have to buy someone with drinks, trinkets or praise, they wouldn’t be worth the price. Who knows, maybe you’ll find this whole post wonderfully patronising.

With Narcissism generally, not just npd, people often get trapped in a narrative where scenarios have to play out according to set roles and scripts else they get cranky. Recognising the narrative and it’s power, both in the past and present, goes a long way to combatting it.

The other factor, which is something I’ve had to learn the hard way given my obsessive temperament, is that I work hard not to allow myself to become one dimensional. If I’m rejected I’m not being cast out of the light and back to a lonely existence of professional competence (or porn and video games as the case may be). There are many aspects of my life which rejection cannot touch. Sometimes that’s things like my relationship with my friends or the thrill of going for a ride or the pleasure I get from my critters, other times it’s simple stuff like the crisp air on a winters morning or the light filtering through the trees on my drive to work. You have to learn to love the little stuff, because the big stuff like ideals and achievement will never love you back.
Greebo
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 282
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:52 am
Local time: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:05 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: Shame

Postby justonemoreperson » Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:45 am

Seems like a fairly healthy way of dealing with shame, Greebo. Turning it into an advantage.

Shame was, and still is, the hardest concept for me; I never got it. Even though I can describe it now and discuss it, it still seems like a made-up idea. Like it's some sort of wind-up that everyone is in on but me.

As a kid, my parents would ask me if I felt ashamed of myself and I had no idea what they were on about. I could follow their reasoning when they'd talk about how I upset people, and whether or not what I did was wrong, even if I didn't really care about it, but shame was a mystery.

I'd ask them to explain what it meant but that just seemed to upset them more; I think the realisation that I didn't feel ashamed over 'bad' behaviour was a lot for them to come to terms with. I get why now, as it's probably the most useful tool a person can have, if calibrated properly.

In adult life, it still remains an elusive concept, although I've studied it and I think I get it. I know that there's certain behaviours and ideas that are best kept to myself, but for pragmatic reasons.

I met a guy I worked with years ago. We got on well and still keep in touch through facebook, and we met in London for a few beers while I was working down there a little while ago.

At one point he said, "We were talking about you the other day; mostly good," but he said it with a rye smile on his face, emphasising the "mostly." I told him that's more than I expected.

He went on to say that he had no idea what it was about me that he liked, and that it was probably my complete lack of shame over anything.

I'd been fired from a job where I was the manager of a department. I used to have someone who'd do most of my work for me and I'd just do the front-man job of talking to people, which I have an uncanny talent for. When that person left, my incompetence in the role became quickly obvious.

I'd 'work at home' and spend all day taking drugs and playing computer games. I sacked a contracting company in favour of a company owned by a friend of mine, because he owned a villa in France I could use whenever I wanted.

I'd make blind decisions which affected people and switched them back when it suited me.

Years later i went to a reunion for that company and the same friend came to me and said he was surprised I'd turned up. Then he pissed himself laughing when it was clear that I had no idea why that would be.

I sometimes speak to people I've known as if nothing's wrong, when I have wronged them but have had no idea that it upset them. I forget things that I caused that were devastating to them, which makes them feel ignored, I guess.

Shame would have helped. It probably would have been my greatest teacher, if I could have gotten my head around it.

It's funny how narcissism can be caused both by an excess of shame and also by a complete lack of it.
I'm not arguing; I'm explaining why I'm right.
justonemoreperson
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 11145
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:02 am
Local time: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:05 am
Blog: View Blog (1)

Re: Shame

Postby ViniStonemoss » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:11 am

justonemoreperson wrote:It's funny how narcissism can be caused both by an excess of shame and also by a complete lack of it.


This is not how it works. You can be "shameless", while, at the same time, acting out based on unconscious shameful affects. In fact, this is pretty much always the case with NPD.

For whatever it's worth, I always thought you fit that bill - not NPD proper but the mechanism.
ViniStonemoss
Consumer 5
Consumer 5
 
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:14 pm
Local time: Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:05 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Shame

Postby justonemoreperson » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:17 am

ViniStonemoss wrote:
justonemoreperson wrote:It's funny how narcissism can be caused both by an excess of shame and also by a complete lack of it.


This is not how it works. You can be "shameless", while, at the same time, acting out based on unconscious shameful affects. In fact, this is pretty much always the case with NPD.

For whatever it's worth, I always thought you fit that bill - not NPD proper but the mechanism.


You'll need to explain that; I don't see what you mean.
I'm not arguing; I'm explaining why I'm right.
justonemoreperson
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 11145
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:02 am
Local time: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:05 am
Blog: View Blog (1)

Re: Shame

Postby ViniStonemoss » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:19 am

justonemoreperson wrote:You'll need to explain that; I don't see what you mean.


I would but I need to sleep first.
ViniStonemoss
Consumer 5
Consumer 5
 
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:14 pm
Local time: Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:05 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Shame

Postby covertunsure » Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:53 pm

I started writing a reply to you last night, Greebo, but I was on my phone and accidentally deleted everything. Very frustrating. So here goes again. I hope I don't miss anything I captured last night.

Greebo wrote:What I’m driving at is that imperfections that you own and don’t try to hide, make excuses for, make others view in a specific way or get them to indulge/tolerate, tend to cease to be imperfections and become character. At the very least they are stripped of a great deal of their power to harm and influence us.

There is obviously a flip side to this which is correcting and improving those things that you think worth working on. I wouldn’t go trying to perfect anything though. It’s the striving which is important.


This might be true, in theory, but I have no evidence in my past to give me confidence that this is the case; thus, it's all faith, and hard to actually fully believe. OTOH, I guess there is no alternative. Either one lives in a painful, fantasy world of attempted control and manipulation of others' actions, perceptions, and impressions, or one accepts the things that cannot be changed (or changed much).

Thing is, accepting one's limitations is antithetic to narcissism. Grandiosity, one of the biggest (if not the biggest) components of narcissism, means you believe you're above everyone else, super-special, transcend human limitations and imperfections, etc. I feel physically unable to accept my limitations; it's too scary. Although they obviously play out in real life and I can understand them intellectually, applying that understanding in a true internalized, emotional way and in my day to day life and behavior is a whole different story. I am not sure how to simultaneously accept my limitations while loving myself. The world feels too scary, judgmental, and cruel for that. Not to mention, it would mean I'm not as "special" as I'd like to think.

Greebo wrote:
And perhaps relatedly, how do you deal with rejection?

I feel $#%^ for 30 minutes or so, then I move on.

Partially this is due to the fact that I tend to place heavy emphasis on personal agency and the primacy of choice. In fact you could briefly incapsulate my worldview as ‘nobody gets to choose the hand they are dealt only how they play it’ or ‘everybody has problems, the choice is between succeeding in spite of them or failing because of them.’

Imperfection and free will are built in. I don’t approach people with the expectation that they’re going to like me. In my view, while it’s clearly influenceable it isn’t controllable, they’re going to be them, I’m going to be me, we’ll react as we react and the result will be what it is. Or to put it another way while I’d like to be attractive to the people I find attractive, not at any price. They have to be able to make the choice to reject me. In fact I won’t even buy drinks for anyone but my friends on the basis that if I have to buy someone with drinks, trinkets or praise, they wouldn’t be worth the price. Who knows, maybe you’ll find this whole post wonderfully patronising.

With Narcissism generally, not just npd, people often get trapped in a narrative where scenarios have to play out according to set roles and scripts else they get cranky. Recognising the narrative and it’s power, both in the past and present, goes a long way to combatting it.

The other factor, which is something I’ve had to learn the hard way given my obsessive temperament, is that I work hard not to allow myself to become one dimensional. If I’m rejected I’m not being cast out of the light and back to a lonely existence of professional competence (or porn and video games as the case may be). There are many aspects of my life which rejection cannot touch. Sometimes that’s things like my relationship with my friends or the thrill of going for a ride or the pleasure I get from my critters, other times it’s simple stuff like the crisp air on a winters morning or the light filtering through the trees on my drive to work. You have to learn to love the little stuff, because the big stuff like ideals and achievement will never love you back.


Based on your entire post and the bolded part especially, it sounds like you aren't particularly narcissistic; is that correct?

Regarding expecting others to play roles and being upset when they don't, totally totally resonates. For example, I'll stare at someone out of the corner of my eye because I want (need) them to look at me, give me attention, see me as attractive. Of course, I know from countless experience that this only makes them not look at me, whether because they feel uncomfortable, or more often in my head, it ignites a power struggle where I keep staring at them so I don't "lose" and can "reject" them first.

As far as rejection not touching certain parts of my life, that's more proof (to me, unless of course you tell me otherwise) that you're not particularly narcissistic. :) For me, rejection is all-encompassing. It says "you're not worthy of this guy [(and my brain takes it further)...therefore unworthy of anything], you're worthless, you're not very attractive, you're a piece of $#%^," etc. It ruins my already piss-poor work ethic, my mood, my anxiety, everything. Why would I want to work on anything or do anything if I'm a worthless, not-particularly-attractive POS? Also doesn't help I'm kind of (not exactly, but let's just say I've never, err, climaxed with another human being) a virgin at my age and feel chronically
and universally rejected.

-- Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:02 pm --

justonemoreperson wrote:Seems like a fairly healthy way of dealing with shame, Greebo. Turning it into an advantage.

Shame was, and still is, the hardest concept for me; I never got it. Even though I can describe it now and discuss it, it still seems like a made-up idea. Like it's some sort of wind-up that everyone is in on but me.

As a kid, my parents would ask me if I felt ashamed of myself and I had no idea what they were on about. I could follow their reasoning when they'd talk about how I upset people, and whether or not what I did was wrong, even if I didn't really care about it, but shame was a mystery.

I'd ask them to explain what it meant but that just seemed to upset them more; I think the realisation that I didn't feel ashamed over 'bad' behaviour was a lot for them to come to terms with. I get why now, as it's probably the most useful tool a person can have, if calibrated properly.

In adult life, it still remains an elusive concept, although I've studied it and I think I get it. I know that there's certain behaviours and ideas that are best kept to myself, but for pragmatic reasons.

I met a guy I worked with years ago. We got on well and still keep in touch through facebook, and we met in London for a few beers while I was working down there a little while ago.

At one point he said, "We were talking about you the other day; mostly good," but he said it with a rye smile on his face, emphasising the "mostly." I told him that's more than I expected.

He went on to say that he had no idea what it was about me that he liked, and that it was probably my complete lack of shame over anything.

I'd been fired from a job where I was the manager of a department. I used to have someone who'd do most of my work for me and I'd just do the front-man job of talking to people, which I have an uncanny talent for. When that person left, my incompetence in the role became quickly obvious.

I'd 'work at home' and spend all day taking drugs and playing computer games. I sacked a contracting company in favour of a company owned by a friend of mine, because he owned a villa in France I could use whenever I wanted.

I'd make blind decisions which affected people and switched them back when it suited me.

Years later i went to a reunion for that company and the same friend came to me and said he was surprised I'd turned up. Then he pissed himself laughing when it was clear that I had no idea why that would be.

I sometimes speak to people I've known as if nothing's wrong, when I have wronged them but have had no idea that it upset them. I forget things that I caused that were devastating to them, which makes them feel ignored, I guess.

Shame would have helped. It probably would have been my greatest teacher, if I could have gotten my head around it.

It's funny how narcissism can be caused both by an excess of shame and also by a complete lack of it.


I relate to a lot of this. They say narcissists are very opportunistic and tend to seek get-rich-quick (or at least make a quick-buck-fast) schemes. I'm definitely like that in many ways, and I'm extraordinarily lazy and unmotivated. I've blown and been fired from several jobs because I was too lazy and lax. My boss at one job was a hypocritical asshole. He could set a horrible example and arrive late, but I couldn't. I once called him out on it, saying, "Oh, you're here early" kind of sarcastically, and he called me the obscene equivalent of a donkey's behind. When I was fired, I was actually happy for a bit. I said "this is my motivation to do something different! This is awesome" rather than being devastated like most normal people. Of course, I basically just slacked off at that point till I found another job. I took a Big 5 personality trait test and my conscientousness percentile is 3%, lol.

That said, it seems our conscious experiences of shame are totally opposite, and while I'm not judging you for this because by definition we all have some pathology in this forum, I do have a fairly strong (although admittedly sometimes flexible) sense of ethics; for example, I don't think I would give my friend with a free place to stay a contract, unless he were equally qualified and I let my managers know of our relationship and probably that I get something out of it.

BTW, do you have NPD?
covertunsure
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 523
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:02 am
Local time: Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:05 am
Blog: View Blog (1)

Re: Shame

Postby justonemoreperson » Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:52 pm

covertunsure wrote:
That said, it seems our conscious experiences of shame are totally opposite, and while I'm not judging you for this because by definition we all have some pathology in this forum, I do have a fairly strong (although admittedly sometimes flexible) sense of ethics; for example, I don't think I would give my friend with a free place to stay a contract, unless he were equally qualified and I let my managers know of our relationship and probably that I get something out of it.

BTW, do you have NPD?


I was diagnosed with AsPD. So, I think the mechanism for the narcissism is different.
I'm not arguing; I'm explaining why I'm right.
justonemoreperson
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 11145
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:02 am
Local time: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:05 am
Blog: View Blog (1)

Re: Shame

Postby xdude » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:42 pm

justonemoreperson wrote:I was diagnosed with AsPD. So, I think the mechanism for the narcissism is different.


I perceive it as different. I am not going to say it is better, different.

I am going to throw out an idea, that could be utter BS, but throwing it out. It lands where it lands.

Something about the difference has to do with how much a person internalizes input, vs the other side of the coin.

Take two kids in a situation of being criticized. One hears you (I am) are an utter failure, while another hears you are being abusive, it's your problem. And there is a world in the middle too.

Just as we humans vary in say height, we vary in how we process inputs.

Now to go out on a very small limb...

I believe people with compensatory NPD do tend to internalize, but also they probably had their egos shredded over and over. I can't prove that, so yea, it's just a thought. They do have the will power though to try and fight it, to 'succeed', and overcome. Problem is they really did take those messages to heart on a deep level, and so it's always in the back of the mind. I am an utter failure. Shame! They don't go the BPD route of giving up trying, because they do have will power to fight it.

I admit I am rather envious of AsPD types on some level. Their ability to just see through what is BS, and not internalize is appealing in some ways. On the flip side, I tend to prefer people who are emotionally affected. I enjoy the emotional side of life too. There is the intellectual way of looking at sunsets, and the emotional way. I find the later way more fulfilling.
We do NOT delete posts

Read the forum rules before posting here. If you are having any doubts about what you are posting, if you are thinking in the back of your mind, "I am going to want to delete this, or these details, later", remove those details, or step back and don't post until you are sure.
xdude
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8662
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:41 pm
Local time: Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:05 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Shame

Postby Manners73 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:43 pm

I'm a bit confused when it comes to shame because on one hand I'm utterly shameless and then on the other hand I can be quite shy and guarded so there must me a certain amount.
England's Glory
User avatar
Manners73
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 2248
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:46 pm
Local time: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:05 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Shame

Postby Wally58 » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:01 pm

The book of Genesis describes the first occurence of shame after the fall from grace in the garden of Eden. There was no reason for, or instance of shame before that.
Shame kept me from saying 'no' when I should have said no. It kept me drunk and masochistic.
I could not handle criticism at all. It would sent me into rage.
A counselor said that my intolerance of criticism was from having a large ego with very little self-esteem. Ego does not mean that you necessarily feel good about yourself or who you are. Ego can be a defense and justification against feeling poorly about yourself.
Alcohol gave me bad judgement and remorse. For awhile in the beginning alcohol seemed to help, but later when it turned against me, I could not stop abusing it.
Maybe it never worked for me or was my friend but it told me it did work and it was my friend? Anyway, I couldn't imagine life without it. It lied to me.
I don't take compliments well, never have. Pride and vanity can be just as dangerous. I was warned about arrogance in sobriety. Dignity is a man-made value and I have a gallows-humor about having any semblance of self-dignity. :mrgreen:
I do know right from wrong, but it may have been distorted in the past. I try to remember and practice the Golden Rule in my daily doings. I have to be able to live with myself.
Best of luck to you. :D
We do NOT delete posts

Read the forum rules before posting here. If you are having any doubts about what you are posting, if you are thinking in the back of your mind, "I am going to want to delete this, or these details, later", remove those details, or step back and don't post until you are sure.
Wally58
Moderator: Consumer
Moderator: Consumer
 
Posts: 1188
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:47 am
Local time: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:05 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

PreviousNext

Return to Narcissistic Personality Disorder Forum




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 25 guests