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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
Question: Which of these characteristics have you had periodically throughout your life?
Identity: Excessive reference to others for self-definition and self-esteem regulation; exaggerated self-appraisal may be inflated or deflated, or vacillate between extremes; emotional regulation mirrors fluctuations in self-esteem.
Self-direction: Goal-setting is based on gaining approval from others; personal standards are unreasonably high in order to see oneself as exceptional, or too low based on a sense of entitlement; often unaware of own motivations.
Empathy: Impaired ability to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others; excessively attuned to reactions of others, but only if perceived as relevant to self; over- or underestimate of own effect on others.
Intimacy: Relationships largely superficial and exist to serve self-esteem regulation; mutuality constrained by little genuine interest in others’ experiences and predominance of a need for personal gain.
Grandiosity: Feelings of entitlement, either overt or covert; self-centeredness; firmly holding to the belief that one is better than others; condescending toward others.
Attention seeking: Excessive attempts to attract and be the focus of the attention of others; admiration seeking.

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Author Topic: POLL: Wonder if you have Narcissistic Personality Disorder traits?  (Read 3416 times)
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« on: June 26, 2007, 10:45:15 AM »

":)o I have any unhealthy traits?  "How do I resolve these traits so that I and others around me have a better life? Will the conventional therapeutic tools such as individual therapy, group therapy and self-help programs benefit me?

This is an important and a brave question to ask, as are questions about having traits of BPD, codependency, depression, etc.  This is really where the rubber meets the road on whether we want to live a healthier life.  This is where we dig in and attempt that ever difficult task of seeing ourselves.  

And it is a difficult task.  

Awareness Most of us are very good at this - our capacity to notice things. Many of us have focused a lot of energy on becoming very aware of our partner's, children's, or parent's flaws.  This is awareness.

Self-awareness Self-awareness basically describes a situation where the light of awareness is turned onto ourselves. While awareness is our ability to take note; self-awareness is our ability to take note of ourselves. Self-awareness is the ultimate enabler. Without living knowledge of ourselves there would be no hope for conscious, positive change. Thanks to self-awareness we can take a good look at ourselves and our lives and see what is working for us and what isn't. This awareness plants the seeds of change in our subconscious mind. It plants in us the drive and motivation to choose to do things differently.

The motivation for breaking bad habits , for example, comes from a self-awareness of the detrimental effects the bad habit is having in our lives. The self-motivation to change also comes from a vivid self-awareness of what we want for ourselves and our future, and a lucid recognition that we simply won't be able to have it if we don't leave our bad habits behind.

Self-awareness vs Imperceptiveness Many members at bpdfamily lament about how a pwBPD in their life is in denial - unable to be self-aware.  Well, self awareness is very challenging - even more so for an emotionally immature person.

How many time have you read this:

No NPD here because I empathize with other people and don't feel entitled.  I'm good.

I would say safely that you are not a narcissist.  Having a healthy high regard for one's self does not make one a narcissist. The NPD must be held in high esteem by others at all times, at any cost. I'm not concerned.

Is this self-awareness or imperceptiveness?   Is the mental health like a pregnancy test (yes/no)?  Or are the real questions:

  • ":)o I have any unhealthy traits in this general category?

  • "How do I resolve these traits so that I and others around me have a better life?

  • "Will the conventional therapeutic tools, individual therapy, group therapy and self-help programs benefit me?

Good luck!


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TEST: Myers-Briggs - How are you different from others

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POLL: Are you codependent?

POLL: Fear that you may have Borderline Personality Disorder traits?

POLL: Fear that you may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder traits?


Kongs Ann
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2007, 05:32:42 PM »

I don't have a narcissistic disorder, but I did test high for some of its traits, but I can't say that I understand it. All I know is that I do intellectualize as a form of a defense mechanism, and it was something I learned when I had to fend for myself in an abusive childhood. No one took care of me... .There is a lot of it here on the board…  :P

I am into my good looks, but I don't need them to go to the store or walk the dog, but once I was into them in a big way to hide my low self-esteem. I used to get dressed as my therapy (and not trashy), if I looked better I would feel better about myself.  It gave me confidence when my beauty was admired, it help distract me from the damage I felt from my childhood, but I was not a flirt nor a prowler for men.  After I worked on my hang-ups I am now more into having a man who truly loves me for whom I am.  I can tell when a man looks at me for sex as oppose to a man who connects with me on a spiritual level.  Ummm, I am intellectualizing.  

I have been asked a couple of times by experts if they could write about me, but I always turn them down because I don't want the attention. My Christian-psychological-upbringing did not allow me to develop the taste to manipulate people as a sport, or to get my way.  I do love to go inside of my head; the benefit is I come up with so many solutions to my problems that I get respect from my peers. I've been told I am a "smarty pants" (warmly), but dBPDH never liked how smart I was. Hated it because he could not control me when I was right (I really was), he got frustrated because it made it harder for him to knock me down.  I had so much faith in myself, I did not argue, I just keep trucking all the while wondering what was eating at him. He always made me feel bad, and I seconded guessed myself: "Was I mean. Unloving, Rude to him". He was always angry that I exercised my freedom of consciousness and freewill that he could not control.  

What I think he liked about me, he was a typical man who liked a beautiful woman, and SEX... .he could care less about my brains. Darn my once low self-esteem problem. This is an interesting post, it gave me something to explore for about five minutes  (The last statement is a joke of what a Narcissist would say).  Smiling (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2007, 07:44:59 PM »

According to this web page www.mental-health-today.com/narcissistic/transcripts.htm :

"But a BPD with narcissistic traits (overlay) is likely to be attracted to the cerebral narcissist".

In other words, if you are attracting lots of BPD's with strong Narcissitic traits, you might be a cerebral narcissist!

What is a cerebral narcissist? It's different from your "everyday" somatic narcissist. Cerebral narcissists are not necessarily into good looks, status symbols, manipulating people. They are described as someone who "... .uses his awesome intellect, or knowledge (real or pretended) to secure adoration, adulation and admiration." (www.healthyplace.com/communities/personality_disorders/narcissism/journal_21.html)
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2007, 09:04:42 AM »

I will admit that I am a Cerebral Narcissist,  not officially diagnosed,  but I have evaluated my behavior and thought processess after discovering that my stbxw is uBPD,  I believe that she is also extremely narcisistic,  nearly everything has to be her idea, or her way.

When we met,  everything fell right into place.   I needed someone to appreciate me,  she needed someone to need her. Same religious background, and she became a zealot.

My parents fit this pairing,  I believe that both of my brothers have relationships that fit this as well.  

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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2007, 10:23:21 PM »

Have taken some of the informal online PD tests and have above average narcissistic traits, and if further sub-classified according to the linked articles, would be cerebrally narcissistic, but that's just because I am very bright.   Also tested mildly above average on one of the cluster A disorders, maybe avoidant? Whichever one makes you kind of a general oddball.

Both BPDexGFs were, or seemed to be attracted to my intellect and verbal skills. Fed my narcissistic tendencies like nectar. Ex #2 (the really bad one), on our second date, would reward me with a passionate kiss every time I got the top score on the bar trivia machine. I usually win at least some money in the bar trivia games when playing solo but had certainly never been treated like that.

She was smart as hell too, with a raw but unfocused intelligence, which appealed to me even more than her looks. Her impulsivity killed our bar trivia efforts, though, as she couldn't stand to analyze through to get the right answer, and would physically INSIST that her first impulse as to an answer was 100% correct.

After reading the Vaikin article, lots of stuff makes more sense.
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2007, 06:30:07 AM »

The article I cited also says:

"A BPD who also has HPD (Histrionic) will be attracted to both kinds of narcissists.

But a BPD with narcissistic traits (overlay) is likely to be attracted to the cerebral narcissist.

A BPD who is also codependent would be attracted to the type of narcissist that her parent was. "

So there you have it cerebral narcissists. You can attract the following (on my interpretation of the above paragraph):

*BPD's with N traits;

*BPD's with Histrionic traits (though you'll have to compete with non-cerebral narcissists for these); and

*BPD's that are also codependents - you'll have a 50/50 chance with these, depending on whether their parent was a cerebral narcissist.

I'd be interested to know how the author (Sam Vaknin) arrived at such precise conclusions. I'm sure he is a very clever man (he is a cerebral narcissist after all), but he gives no evidence for these comments.


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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2007, 10:17:20 AM »

I find this topic very interesting.

My exBPD BF claimed (and often!) that one of the main reasons he was attracted to me was because I was his intellectual equal (we met doing a quantum chemistry course and he was most likely the most competent person there, and we both have been invited to join high ranking research groups at our uni, me as a fresher and he in his senior year).
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2007, 09:42:54 AM »

So, I've been giving this a lot of thought lately - especially after I came to the conclusion that my ex is both BPD and NPD.  Stronger in the BPD category, but also has a heavy dose of NPD.  And I'd always suspected this, from the moment I met her.  Always looking at herself in the mirror, taking photos of herself, an unhealthy concern for how she looked when she went out in public, what she was wearing, etc, etc.  She is extremely attractive yes, but seems to ride on this feature a little too much.  Using it to her advantage as a way to manipulate men into getting what she wants from them.  I like to call it "helpless hot girl" syndrome.

Anyway, while doing my researching on NPD, I'd also read that NPD's and BPD's tend to be drawn to one another.  I've asked my T about this, as I started to suspect that perhaps I was NPD.  She told me that yes, I probably have some N traits (most people do) but that I am definitely NOT NPD as I maintain a very strong sense of empathy and compassion for the feelings and well-being of people in my life.  NPD's lack this completely.

According to everything I've read, NPD's are incapable of real love.  They THINK they are.  But what they're actually doing is confusing love with narcissistic supply/adoration.  If someone adores them, puts them on a pedestal (i.e. puts up with their bull___) then they see this as the greatest thing ever and believe it to be love.

But it's not love.  They're incapable of Love.  

BPD's apparently, as I understand it, are very similar.  Also incapable of love.  In their case, they confuse CONTROL with love.  Having control over someone's emotions is equated with love for a BPD.  But, again, it's not REAL love.

I don't know how NPD I really am.  In some ways, I definitely think that I have Cerebral NPD traits, however I don't think it taints my ability to maintain empathy with the important people in my life.  I do know however, that my ex left me to be with a guy who is well known for being NPD.  

If, according to all that's out there, that Narcissists are incapable of real love.  And, if you think that the BPD you are/were in a relationship with is/was someone you were deeply in love with.   What do you think was actually going on?  Was it love or was it adoration/idolization?  Was it control?

I dunno, I've been thinking of this a lot lately.
Kongs Ann
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2007, 02:03:15 PM »

I took a DMV test that said NPD showed up for me, but I did not have all of the criteria for it to be considered a disorder, and I was non-violent.

Still it allowed me to understand what made me tick, and this helped me to get to the bottom of my hang-ups that were a by product of a uBPD/NPD... .adoptive mother.  

I've since learned that when someone grows up with a person(s) with PD(s):

1) It will show up in you because of the exposure in the environment,  

2) It will show up as hang-ups,

3) The reason the people you pick to be in relationships with,

4) Residuals will pass on to your children... .(even if you don't think so),

5) Your children can pass it on to their children.  

What was good was that I have always been a conscious driven person, and even during the worst times in my life.  So I've learned in part on this board, books, lectures, T, movies, people, friends, family, and from my soul that the bottom line is when you try to figure out someone: "Are they conscious driven, or are they non-conscious driven people. This will help with who they are, and what their POV's are.


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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2007, 09:30:04 PM »

Yeah, I would admit to being a "cerebral narcissist." But, I do get tired of all these armchair diagnoses and the "pidgeon-holing." I am curious, if the label or Dx "cerebral narcissist" comes with a judgemental eye from the non-cerebral narcissist? If so, what is the differecne between someone who DOES have a higher intellect (and yes folks, there are smarties and less than smarties in the world, let's not even debate that... .need examples? Asimov, Sagan, Einstein, Piaggliucci, etc... .and no, I am not saying I belong to that high a level or group) and someone who has obvious greater physical attributes? Why is it that those with higher IQ's (and the ability to USE them i.e. WISDOM) are turdized? While the meatheads who throw an oblong ball down a field and beat the hell out of others are held up to be heros? And again, I am an athlete. I grew up in a household of professors and academics. I was born and raised to use the intellect I was fortunate enough to get through those genes. So, I am not sure I like the idea of "cerebral narcissist" to begin with. I do not go around waving a flag of "Hey world... .my IQ is_____" or "Here you go with this theorum, I figured it out!" But i do feel thatr in many MANY situations, my intellect is more advanced than many around me. I am sure it could even be illsutrated, as is what we do when we have athletic competitions.

Okay, that said, yes, I have unfortunately attracted a BPD (and possibly two. The first was certainly a BPD poster child through her behavior and actions, and her upbringing sure stacked the deck in favor of her being BPD, but I will never know for sure) and it was hell on earth!

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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2010, 06:45:18 PM »

Quite interesting post.

I've been wondering what my PD would be, as to find out about myself. When I read the opening post about Cerebral Narcissists I got a bingo! moment. I haven't read all posts nor linking pages, but as little as I have read I think I am a Cerebral Narcissist.

One asked about "real love" for Cerebral Narcissists, well if I am one then the answer is I don't know. Am I capable of real love? I don't know. I would ask back, are you? Besides what is 'real love'?

I have allways relied on my brains to solve things, allways looking to understand, I consider myself to be more intelligent than most of my friends. That doesn't mean smarter. I "bow" before some friends I consider with superior intelligence than I do.

I think of myself above average in brain matters, but not high enough to be uberintelligent, nor lower enough to be pleased by common absurd things all the time. I fell like I'm in the borderline between high IQ and standard IQ that I don't belong in neither "place". And that really sucks!, because I blame myself of not being capable of doing stuff when I can solve logical problems and are considered samrt by my friends.

If that is Cerebral Narcissism then call a doctor as I am sick.


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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2011, 03:28:20 AM »

My story is the same as most people on her is . the honeymoon was amazing then the push and pull started. she could just not  have one person in her life. she would run to her ex girlfriend when i was not enough for her and then run back to me when the ex was to much for her.

she would tell me  one day how amazing i was

how she loved are life together

loved doing everything that i loved doing.

she remodeled my house .

the inside and the outside.

the neighbor loved her because she did there yards also.

i love the attention she would give me .

when the hell started she would tell me that she hated me

that she cheated because i mad her mad.

that she double the value of my home and how i did not like it or care

how my dog hated me.

you name it she said it.

i told her one day that she fed my ego and this is why i am so addicted to her.

the push and pull put me in the mental hospital.

she devalued me to everybody her son put me in the hospital with physical abuse.

I have been out for 6 months now.

i seen the forum about lonely child and it made sense to me . she was so much like my mother . they could of been twins.

but then i see the forum and it always talks about vulnerable narcissism . now i know the reason she got me was she was all about my ego

i would of did anything for her to tell me i was great as i wished my mother would of.

i became so addicted to her that i gave up my own life for her life.

me and both of her exs have never been able to let her go. i alway thought it was a trama bond or addiction.

i am rambling . sorry

i know i am codepent. that is a giving . but is the vulnerable narcissism what keeps me hooked to her .

god if she came back i would be crazy enough to take her back just for the ego bust. i never cared if she loved me i never cared if she cheeted. i just wanted her . sick very sick.

does anybody have any information on vulnerable narcissism or a book that i can get to give me information.

thanks everybody

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« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2012, 03:26:30 AM »

In therapy, I began to vent about my experience-thinking that I had been crossed by a Narcissist. The therapist said, "Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are."  Let's be honest-Are you an Echo? Or are you a Narcissus? What was your hook in the relationship with a person who had a deficient ego?

In the BPD relationship dynamic, I had to admit that I was a Narcissist. Most people who get pulled into the idealization with a Borderline have to realize at some point that the Borderline (Echo) is mirroring Narcissus's voice in order to offer something worthwhile. In the meantime, he gazes into the reflecting pool of her face while he admires himself in her eyes. (change genders if need be for your particular experience.) Since a person with BPD doesn't have a cohesive identity, they are chameleon-like and changeable. They are an Echo of others.

When Echos leave and go off to mirror the voice of someone new- the narcissistic injury to Narcissus is severe. (A Narcissist seeks to be understood by special people and desires an ideal love. Perfect mirroring is his Achilles heel.)

If you are wondering what the difference is between the two disorders, one says; "I am." The other says "Who am I?"

Remember, judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are. When you look to yourself and then to your partner, you'll find the answer.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

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