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Envy, Vanity, Insecurity & Superiority

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Envy, Vanity, Insecurity & Superiority

Postby vcrpamphlet » Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:26 am

Envy - Is it possible for someone to have NPD without them ever having thoughts/feelings of envy?

Vanity - Is it possible for an NPD to be outwardly self-obsessed with their objectively known virtues (physicality, intellect, attractiveness, etc.) - where it's basically excessive vanity in isolation - and for them to also experience little to no insecurity in those areas? I.e. if rather the subject's vanity inflates during depression as a mechanism for buffering certain existential issues elsewhere?

Insecurity - How important is insecurity in the NPD construct? Surely it's possible for someone to qualify as an uber narc for displaying external masturbation of the objectively understood - but do these types have potential for full-blown NPD if they aren't falsifying anything to themselves, and can also experience emotional/cognitive empathy if they choose too?

Superiority - I've noticed narcissistic thinking styles tend to receive projections of vanity from other people quite poorly; as a display of superiority over themselves. Perhaps it's an Aspie thing, but that kind of response hasn't ever made sense to me, so I'm wondering, How much of a point does this perspective have? If empathy can be effectively switched-off by Person A and their vanity outweighs the engagement with Person B, for example, isn't that kind of unconsciously devaluing whomever's being interfaced with?

Competitiveness - Is anyone able to tease healthy from unhealthy? Again it's an area I feel blind to w/r/t other people, but I ######6 love challenging BS artists, so go figure. Is the distinction perhaps when it goes from useful to useless flexing?

Appreciate any input, especially interested in yours Zero if you're about.
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Re: Envy, Vanity, Insecurity & Superiority

Postby ViniStonemoss » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:16 am

vcrpamphlet wrote:Is it possible for an NPD to be outwardly self-obsessed with their objectively known virtues (physicality, intellect, attractiveness, etc.) - where it's basically excessive vanity in isolation - and for them to also experience little to no insecurity in those areas?


It could be that insecurities exist, but that they are not in touch with them.

vcrpamphlet wrote:I.e. if rather the subject's vanity inflates during depression as a mechanism for buffering certain existential issues elsewhere?


Yes. Typically grandiosity.

vcrpamphlet wrote:Insecurity - How important is insecurity in the NPD construct?


A lot.

vcrpamphlet wrote:Surely it's possible for someone to qualify as an uber narc for displaying external masturbation of the objectively understood - but do these types have potential for full-blown NPD if they aren't falsifying anything to themselves?


You may have a great deal of intellectual integrity, which does not mean you are able to evaluate yourself honestly.

vcrpamphlet wrote: and can also experience emotional/cognitive empathy if they choose too?


I see empathy as a default mode, that you can not choose to experience though you may choose to act on it or not. In the case of narcissism, it's more of an effort since the self takes precedence, the default mode is off. But you may "choose" to put some effort in.

Possibly, some qualitative differences as well...

vcrpamphlet wrote:I've noticed narcissistic thinking styles tend to receive projections of vanity from other people quite poorly; as a display of superiority over themselves. Perhaps it's an Aspie thing, but that kind of response hasn't ever made sense to me, so I'm wondering, How much of a point does this perspective have?


I'm not feeling this as a generalization.

vcrpamphlet wrote:Competitiveness - Is anyone able to tease healthy from unhealthy?


Unhealthy: you're tempted to cheat to gain an edge. Winning at all cost, even if it means dealing some damage.

vcrpamphlet wrote:Again it's an area I feel blind to w/r/t other people, but I f*cking love challenging BS artists, so go figure. Is the distinction perhaps when it goes from useful to useless flexing?


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Re: Envy, Vanity, Insecurity & Superiority

Postby vcrpamphlet » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:48 am

ViniStonemoss wrote:It could be that insecurities exist, but that they are not in touch with them.


So they don't have to be specific to the qualities someone's self-involved with?

Yes. Typically grandiosity.


Grandiosity is typically underscored by depression?

You may have a great deal of intellectual integrity, which does not mean you are able to evaluate yourself honestly.


Would you be able to answer it as a hypothetical then. What if the evaluation were adequately vetted and based on external feedback enough to call the vanity objective.

I'm not feeling this as a generalization.


You don't think narcissists are affected by excessive flexing?

Unhealthy: you're tempted to cheat to gain an edge. Winning at all cost, even if it means dealing some damage.


I mean in terms of social etiquette. Where would you say competitiveness breaches healthy challenge and becomes antagonistic?

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Appreciate the answers. :) What's the deal with Envy and NPD? Read that pamphlet thing Zero posted the other day with the diagnostic criteria, and it's listed as a major trait, so curious where vanity drifts from false-image and desire stuff and becomes more hedonistic/mastubatory in nature. I.e. the difference between an a-hole narc and a wanker one.
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Re: Envy, Vanity, Insecurity & Superiority

Postby ZeroZ » Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:31 am

I mainly posted that because the dsm 5 differs quite a bit from the dsm 4 and includes specific wording for deflated or vulnerable narcissistic adaptations that a lot on here identify with, but the truth is a lot of the diagnostic criteria has to be teased out it’s not usually So obvious.

Shame for instance may be experienced by intense anger at the person who is bringing that emotion, defensive mechanisms take over.

Grandiosity can take a lot of different forms

Competitiveness can be an all out mission to their own undoing or they can instead choose to avoid comparison all together for an underlying fear of failure, and instead find a way to complete with themselves, basically reinforcing their own grandiose ideas.

I suspect the self loathing vini mentioned in the thread is operating at a sub-conscious level most of the time and is what is responsible for the self destructive behavior. The alcohol abuse, drug problems etc.
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Re: Envy, Vanity, Insecurity & Superiority

Postby vcrpamphlet » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:38 am

ZeroZ wrote:I suspect the self loathing vini mentioned in the thread is operating at a sub-conscious level most of the time and is what is responsible for the self destructive behavior. The alcohol abuse, drug problems etc.


In terms of myself? 100%, but hardly call it sub-conscious, and there's more dimension to it than that. Can see where you're coming from though.

I've found addiction comes before self-loathing does - bends you more and more out of shape the longer you do it for. Something to do with the ongoing cognitive/emotional dissonance when you keep using after comprehending how mentally corrosive it is.

Can't say I agree with you about competitiveness, but amusing to see you keep bringing up the discord thing all the same (if that's what you mean).

Do you experience much anger? Had the demon unleashed for a few days when detoxing a few months ago (was supposed to be getting a letter from Mum's employer about aggressive behaviour as a non-client visiting her workplace, actually), but, withdrawals and drug psychosis aside, it's sort of a non starter. Experience envy less than that again - but I also relate to at least 5 NPD criteria to varying degrees (bipolar swings play a role), and shamelessness has pretty much maxed itself lately, so figure it's worth taking another look at.
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Re: Envy, Vanity, Insecurity & Superiority

Postby ZeroZ » Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:16 pm

Nope, nothing at all to do with discord, not really sure how I gave that impression. Either way I had anger problems more so in my younger years, I’m pretty chill now most of the time with occasional outbursts that seem to manifest out of nowhere.
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Re: Envy, Vanity, Insecurity & Superiority

Postby covertunsure » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:24 pm

vcrpamphlet wrote:Envy - Is it possible for someone to have NPD without them ever having thoughts/feelings of envy?


This is one NPD trait that doesn't resonate with me almost at all. Envy doesn't consume a significant part of my life. I do believe others are jealous sometimes, which is probably narcissistic, but it doesn't seem to affect my life to a significant degree, which means it's not pathological.

Vanity - Is it possible for an NPD to be outwardly self-obsessed with their objectively known virtues (physicality, intellect, attractiveness, etc.) - where it's basically excessive vanity in isolation - and for them to also experience little to no insecurity in those areas? I.e. if rather the subject's vanity inflates during depression as a mechanism for buffering certain existential issues elsewhere?


In theory, I think this would be classified as extremely healthy self-esteem or maybe cockiness, not narcissism, but I think almost anyone who's obsessed with themselves likely has narcissistic traits. I don't think there is an adaptive reason to be totally obsessed with yourself. It liikely means you constantly want to feel superior to others, which is narcissistic.

Insecurity - How important is insecurity in the NPD construct? Surely it's possible for someone to qualify as an uber narc for displaying external masturbation of the objectively understood - but do these types have potential for full-blown NPD if they aren't falsifying anything to themselves, and can also experience emotional/cognitive empathy if they choose too?


I don't know how important insecurity is to NPD, but it's not explicitly one of the diagnostic criteria, FWIW. I think it's far more important in vulnerable narcissism, which overlaps significantly with BPD, which is almost by definition a disorder of insecurity (in attachment, identity, self-esteem, emotions, etc.) Insecurity seems more specific to certain traits or situations, but I'm sure they overlap.

Superiority - I've noticed narcissistic thinking styles tend to receive projections of vanity from other people quite poorly; as a display of superiority over themselves. Perhaps it's an Aspie thing, but that kind of response hasn't ever made sense to me, so I'm wondering, How much of a point does this perspective have? If empathy can be effectively switched-off by Person A and their vanity outweighs the engagement with Person B, for example, isn't that kind of unconsciously devaluing whomever's being interfaced with?


If someone seems vain or full of themselves, I interpret their vanity as a direct personal affront and attack to me and my self-esteem/self-image; I feel they are trying to make me feel inferior. I do then devalue them in my head, but it's not very effective and I tend to launch into full-out anger or even rage at how they're "treating" me.

Competitiveness - Is anyone able to tease healthy from unhealthy? Again it's an area I feel blind to w/r/t other people, but I f*cking love challenging BS artists, so go figure. Is the distinction perhaps when it goes from useful to useless flexing?


I think competitiveness gets unhealthy when it results in maladaptive aggression toward the competitor. For example, if a businessman can't beat his competitor in business, he might try to blackmail him or set his factory on fire because he can't stand the idea of losing (a narcissistic injury), or simply because he's a psychopath and wants to win at any and all costs.
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Re: Envy, Vanity, Insecurity & Superiority

Postby vcrpamphlet » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:50 am

ZeroZ wrote:Nope, nothing at all to do with discord, not really sure how I gave that impression. Either way I had anger problems more so in my younger years, I’m pretty chill now most of the time with occasional outbursts that seem to manifest out of nowhere.


Competitiveness can be an all out mission to their own undoing or they can instead choose to avoid comparison all together for an underlying fear of failure

^ this doesn't haven't much logic to the question (by your standards) - other parts were specific to me, so if this bit was the same, that situation's the only link to comparison avoiding.

Healthy challenging is a bit like a sport, so interested in your take on behaviour externalised to the other party. Intentionality probably matters. At what point would you say it goes from productive (as in tennis players with a friendly on-court rivalry) to antagonistic?

How much of a factor was therapy in improving your anger problems? Gave it some more thought, and for me it gets redirected inwardly more so than being absent. In low moods I can bicker more than seems helpful, but it feels more like tension than anger (or just lower on the spectrum). I'm the direct cause of my own shame - which I guess flips on itself, after a while - so have no problem in understanding the dickhead side to my nature alongside more positive feedback when the addiction energy is redispersed.

We've all got a dickhead in us. For an addict, the relationship with him needs to be as realistic as possible.

covertunsure wrote:This is one NPD trait that doesn't resonate with me almost at all. Envy doesn't consume a significant part of my life. I do believe others are jealous sometimes, which is probably narcissistic, but it doesn't seem to affect my life to a significant degree, which means it's not pathological.


Jealousy had a function in keeping tribes together, so probably weirder to experience none than a little. Men are mostly just apes with flashy peacock feathers: if another one starts doing his dance in front of your girl, the "jealousy" motivating wedging him away needn't be the emotional kind (or hostile).

I think "healthy jealousy" comes from protection; unhealthy from insecurity. Envy seems more like jealousy doubled over by selfishness or greed - has expressions in virtue-coveting, object attachments, pessimism where there can be optimism; jealousy is less desire-based, more based on maintaining the most 'evolutionarily desireable' thing available to us (love, sex) once connection with a partner has been attained. Nothing wrong with that if you ask me.

Assuming others are envious of you based on little information probably is narcissistic; nevertheless situations occur where the thought will have obvious validity - and that too becomes excessively narcissistic (I guess it's possible to be excessively excessive? lol) if the observation becomes something of a focus. I reckon you can be just as narcissistic about the truth as you can with BS - and both seem to invite the same kind of response.

In theory, I think this would be classified as extremely healthy self-esteem or maybe cockiness, not narcissism, but I think almost anyone who's obsessed with themselves likely has narcissistic traits. I don't think there is an adaptive reason to be totally obsessed with yourself. It liikely means you constantly want to feel superior to others, which is narcissistic.


Is that just a technicality though? I reckon most people see self-involved cockiness as narcissistic. But say it's sub-NPD and there's some awareness of the outer repugnancy - like it's kind of being 'weaponised' to see what the effect will be - would you say that's primarily narcissism, or something like "depersonalised mischief" ?

I don't know how important insecurity is to NPD, but it's not explicitly one of the diagnostic criteria, FWIW. I think it's far more important in vulnerable narcissism, which overlaps significantly with BPD, which is almost by definition a disorder of insecurity (in attachment, identity, self-esteem, emotions, etc.) Insecurity seems more specific to certain traits or situations, but I'm sure they overlap.


Isn't there a sentiment out there that certain NPDs can be highly secure in themselves (without being psycopathic), and have a high - or maybe excessively high - self-esteem? Hardly applies to me though: had bad GAD in my late teens and developed an OCD/BPD type insecurity about sexual performance while sober (takes a while for some addicts to get back in the groove), and doing the Freud thing, it's pretty obvious that's mostly what my "narcissism" is compensating for (alongside the general futility that comes with being a chronic addict). Sex is fundamental to our nature, so lacking confidence means you'll lack something overall - if there's surplus energy (like bipolar-addicts tend to have), you'll eventually seem creepy. Ironically, doubt it would've developed that way without initially having the other qualities my attention drifts towards, in order to make up for it.

If someone seems vain or full of themselves, I interpret their vanity as a direct personal affront and attack to me and my self-esteem/self-image; I feel they are trying to make me feel inferior. I do then devalue them in my head, but it's not very effective and I tend to launch into full-out anger or even rage at how they're "treating" me.


Is that because they're effectively objectifying you? Not only are they acting superior: they're disrespecting/disregarding your own virtues, by focusing on their own. You aren't getting the respect you deserve; therefore they are being disrespectful. Objectively, they are being anti-social towards you.

The more I think about it, the more obvious it should be, to not behave this way.

I think competitiveness gets unhealthy when it results in maladaptive aggression toward the competitor. For example, if a businessman can't beat his competitor in business, he might try to blackmail him or set his factory on fire because he can't stand the idea of losing (a narcissistic injury), or simply because he's a psychopath and wants to win at any and all costs.


If people react differently according to a scale between acceptable etiquette and their own insecurity, from what you're saying, much more empathy is involved in the healthier kind.

I've read some of your other posts - are you a diagnosed NPD? I relate quite a bit a few things you've written about, but without meaning to compare, I might unconsciously be doing a CBT/vipassana-mindfulness thing to avoid the kind of reactionism/personal offense thing you describe. What's been your experience with those kinds of tools?
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Re: Envy, Vanity, Insecurity & Superiority

Postby justonemoreperson » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:04 am

vcrpamphlet wrote:
Healthy challenging is a bit like a sport, so interested in your take on behaviour externalised to the other party. Intentionality probably matters. At what point would you say it goes from productive (as in tennis players with a friendly on-court rivalry) to antagonistic?

How much of a factor was therapy in improving your anger problems? Gave it some more thought, and for me it gets redirected inwardly more so than being absent. In low moods I can bicker more than seems helpful, but it feels more like tension than anger (or just lower on the spectrum). I'm the direct cause of my own shame - which I guess flips on itself, after a while - so have no problem in understanding the dickhead side to my nature alongside more positive feedback when the addiction energy is redispersed.


"Competition" is a wide scope; it's the motive that makes the difference.

Most good athletes compete with others, but they see themselves ultimately competing with themselves.

If your prime motivator is being better than everyone else, then you're always going to fail, as there will always be someone better, stronger, faster etc. And, even if you do win, it's fleeting, as eventually someone will beat you.
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Re: Envy, Vanity, Insecurity & Superiority

Postby vcrpamphlet » Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:40 am

Does it always need to be about winning? I'm not describing it well, but there's a less binary middle ground between those two extremes, where stimulation/exercise have priority over narcissism.

Narcissism is involved, but reward-juju comes more from the de-personalised interplay (i.e. how it feels good to stretch different skillsets), such that winning isn't necessarily a factor...and distinct from the NPD rubric, in that reward is proportionate to the challenger - win/lose may not even come in to it; rather it's a win/win split between exercise and better exercise.

ifogg was an example of the kind of de-personalisation I mean. He's very clearly psychopathic/narcissistic, or whatever, but he relished having a challenger; and the closer to the mark a challenger got, the more he seemed to like them. Talent and ability is more interesting to him than his emotions are.

Emotions interest me more than him, and probably care more about crossing over the line than he does. Asking because dissociation increases when stoned and there isn't the person's facial feedback to remind me of their emotional state, and I tend to be insensitive as a result.

Bit more context: About a year ago I had a Nepalese housemate who played guitar, and when he learnt I played as well, he was keen to have a jam session. At the precise moment he realised I could do things he was unable to, his whole attitude tensed up, and after a few minutes he started going on about how he wished he could play the same.

Children experience that sort of thing all the time, like when marble collecting re-emerged in the mid90s, but it's a hard one to meaningfully empathise with. The world isn't really solid, in that way; more of a wade through subjective dream-pools, of extremely narrow perceptual biases. Reality is neural simulation through personality filter. If we comprehend how that applies to our own person, there can't be envy towards that which challenges us to stretch ourselves - rather we appreciate it (or them); without comparison, we like them more, for the pleasure of their talent.

Narcissism on the positive side - can't see any reason it can't have components of the negative (or that it can't slide towards the negative under influence of other variables). Someone in between, for example, might lack any thoughts of superiority and enjoy other people as much as themselves - but say they're also part-schizoid, spend most of their time alone and don't connect very easily, and they've got some depression: that 'healthy-competition' drive, which is a kind of aggression, might become part-hijacked by the depression; and because the person's part-schizoid and more detached than normal people are, they drift into inappropriate-conduct territory, merely because they were abnormally selfish at the time, and their native margins happen to be wider than the norm.
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