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Is narcissism nature or nurture?

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Re: Is narcissism nature or nurture?

Postby NimplyDinply » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:05 am

covertunsure wrote:Agree with NimplyDimply, definitely both. Narcissism runs in my dad's side of the family. But I seem to have the most dysfunctional, vulnerable form. I was born extremely sensitive and I think I couldn't handle the constant feelings of differentness and rejection. This interacted with my narcissistic predispositions/traits to create a completely ###$ up beast. If I hadn't been born temperamentally sensitive, I probably would have just turned into your vanilla oblivious highly successful overt narcissist, but I'm stuck in a mental purgatory for life.


It's been speculated before on here that the difference between coverts and overts is that coverts have a "sensitive" temperament while overts have a "callous" temperament. Not sure if true, but it's interesting.

Your background sounds tenacious. Sorry you're going through such a rough time. :(
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Re: Is narcissism nature or nurture?

Postby covertunsure » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:43 am

NimplyDinply wrote:
covertunsure wrote:Agree with NimplyDimply, definitely both. Narcissism runs in my dad's side of the family. But I seem to have the most dysfunctional, vulnerable form. I was born extremely sensitive and I think I couldn't handle the constant feelings of differentness and rejection. This interacted with my narcissistic predispositions/traits to create a completely ###$ up beast. If I hadn't been born temperamentally sensitive, I probably would have just turned into your vanilla oblivious highly successful overt narcissist, but I'm stuck in a mental purgatory for life.


It's been speculated before on here that the difference between coverts and overts is that coverts have a "sensitive" temperament while overts have a "callous" temperament. Not sure if true, but it's interesting.

Your background sounds tenacious. Sorry you're going through such a rough time. :(


Thanks, Nimply. Yes, if you count bursting into tears on a public bus to be sensitive, you're probably right, lol. That was because I either correctly or incorrectly interpreted a look away from someone as rejection, and he was my type to a T. I concluded I'd never have anyone that attractive.
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Re: Is narcissism nature or nurture?

Postby MeAgain » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:58 am

Most all narcissists start life as shy temperamental children. We are usually the runts of the litter. Overt narcissists have just suffered that much more abuse than Coverts. Their ego defences are stronger. So they appear better adjusted. Psychologists have long understood this. To be quite frank, I wish I'd been abused more when I was a kid. I'd be less aware of how crap I feel inside.
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Re: Is narcissism nature or nurture?

Postby SamGabor » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:14 am

I think in certain cases it is nurture, because due to the abnormal behaviour of the caregiver, a child can misinterpret the whole world. It starts to be an actor.

In my case, it was not nurture but my idea. And yes, my mother did enable it in a way, but I was so good at imitating and no normal person would think about this possibility.

But yes, when I was acting totally irresponsible because I was playing a drug dealer, she was I think too kind. My father kicked me out of the house (for a very good reason), but I went to my mother and she was constantly trying to save me and made excuses for me.

If at one point she would act like how my father did, I think I would have stopped in time.
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Re: Is narcissism nature or nurture?

Postby donshone90 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:44 pm

usually say that girls are more learned and taught to be in nurturious and they less develop narcissism than boys,but i think it can both be nurture and nature,but nature is probably in higher percent...

I dont know much about brain work,but i heard that some infantile brain damage cause narcissism...
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Re: Is narcissism nature or nurture?

Postby HelloKitty73 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:25 am

I used to think it was completely nurture, but it isn't. How do I know? I know this because psychopathy and narcissism runs in my family. I am a narc with psychopathic tendencies. There's another in my family who I also believe is blurred, but leans more toward narc (not diagnosed). There's also a total narcissist. Another close relative is a diagnosed psychopath (not a narc). I see psychopathic and/or narc tendencies (I can't tell exactly yet) in another family member too.

It's important to note here that each of these individuals were raised in different ways. Some in a cruel, hard environment and others in a softer, easier environment, yet all have these issues. Genetics has to play a big role.
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Re: Is narcissism nature or nurture?

Postby covertunsure » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:30 am

HelloKitty73 wrote:I used to think it was completely nurture, but it isn't. How do I know? I know this because psychopathy and narcissism runs in my family. I am a narc with psychopathic tendencies. There's another in my family who I also believe is blurred, but leans more toward narc (not diagnosed). There's also a total narcissist. Another close relative is a diagnosed psychopath (not a narc). I see psychopathic and/or narc tendencies (I can't tell exactly yet) in another family member too.

It's important to note here that each of these individuals were raised in different ways. Some in a cruel, hard environment and others in a softer, easier environment, yet all have these issues. Genetics has to play a big role.


Very true. My uncle is a suspected sociopath, or at least anti-social tendencies. He stole business money from another relative to fix up his house, seems to rationalize everything he does, etc.

My father, his brother, has narcissistic traits but isn't full-blown NPD.

Their father, of course, has very strong narcissistic traits, as well as schizoid traits, perhaps.

And then there's me. I'm lucky enough to have inherited these wonderful narcissistic traits as well.

So yes, I think it's highly heritable. Actually, it's proven to be. It's the most heritable trait, according to studies. E.g. http://www.news-medical.net/health/Heri ... ssism.aspx
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Re: Is narcissism nature or nurture?

Postby halalula1234 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:46 am

I believe its nuture.
I have a friend who is a narc who is currently angry at me and I am not sure when or if he will ever be back.

He grew up without a father and his mother talking badly about his father , she seems like a sweet lady who does all she can for her son. She even still cleans his room and do everything for him even though he is now in his early 20's. He has his way with her and is pretty much spoiled by her. I felt like he doesn't have a warm or close family environment , so he compensate by meeting up with a lot of people and try to get admiration and his narcissistic feed from them. He is very good at selecting out the good / nice people who will let him have his way and becomes a victim (as i've been observing his past few friendships). But if those people does something that he does not agree with he behaves badly towards them (me for example) and throws a tantrum. This time however he was so angry and told me to leave his house, which was a first, so I am now giving him space and not planning to contact him. Lets wait and see if he still wants to keep me as his supply or perhaps he felt that he's drained me enough.
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Re: Is narcissism nature or nurture?

Postby onceandforall44 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:52 pm

covertunsure wrote:
NimplyDinply wrote:
covertunsure wrote:Agree with NimplyDimply, definitely both. Narcissism runs in my dad's side of the family. But I seem to have the most dysfunctional, vulnerable form. I was born extremely sensitive and I think I couldn't handle the constant feelings of differentness and rejection. This interacted with my narcissistic predispositions/traits to create a completely ###$ up beast. If I hadn't been born temperamentally sensitive, I probably would have just turned into your vanilla oblivious highly successful overt narcissist, but I'm stuck in a mental purgatory for life.


You and I are very similar and I didn't realize that covert has the sensitive side and an overt has the callious side. I'm def. covert . My dad is very narissist but my mom is ok with it. I am too very sensitive and had no love from my father growing up. I never knew how to deal with a relationship- there wasn't any in my house. I had a crappy childhood always trying to please them but never enough. Now I struggle as an adult just to make sense of it all. I agree I too am a ###$ up beast.
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Re: Is narcissism nature or nurture?

Postby KingPing » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:23 am

I think my brain is differently wired than others - at least my brain chemicals are put together differently - so I had that set for me. But on the other hand things that happened in my environment finally made me become a narc. So yes - both factors have to come together in order to make someone a narc. At least in my case that is what happened.
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