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Author Topic: COMPARISON: Narcissistic Personality Disorder vs BPD  (Read 11179 times)
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« on: March 01, 2009, 07:21:26 PM »

Both are personality disorders, and they share some of the same symptoms, so how do you tell them apart?
 
Finding anything positive about narcissism is difficult, since most T find them very resistant to treatment. Here is a very negative view, but one that I found very informative... .
 
Narcissism
Joanna M. Ashmun.
www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/NPD/index.html
 
Narcissistic individuals feel that they are special and unique in ways that others aren’t. They lack empathy to a stunning degree, and are amazed when others protest their poor treatment of them. They expect privileges and indulgences, and they also feel entitled to exploit other people without any trace of reciprocation. Their behavior is contemptuous towards others, a dismissive attitude towards other people's feelings, wishes, needs, concerns, standards, property, work, etc. In their minds normal rules don’t apply to them and they will break them when they feel they can get away with it, yet they expect others to follow them. And they criticize, gripe, and complain about almost everything and almost everyone almost all the time. Narcissists have little sense of humor. They don't get jokes, not even the funny papers or simple riddles, and they don't make jokes, except for sarcastic cracks and the lamest puns. Narcissists are not only selfish and ungiving -- they seem to have to make a point of not giving what they know someone else wants.
 
 There is only one way to please a narcissist (and it won't please you): that is to indulge their every whim, cater to their tiniest impulses, bend to their views on every little thing. and do not expect any reciprocation at all, do not expect them to show the slightest interest in you or your life (or even in why you're bothering with them at all), do not expect them to be able to do anything that you need or want, do not expect them to apologize or make amends or show any consideration for your feelings, do not expect them to take ordinary responsibility in any way. Once they know you are emotionally attached to them, they expect to be able to use you like an appliance and shove you around like a piece of furniture. If you object, then they'll say that obviously you don't really love them or else you'd let them do whatever they want with you. If you should be so uppity as to express a mind and heart of your own, then they will cut you off -- just like that. Once narcissists know that you care for them, they'll suck you dry -- demand all your time, be more work than a newborn babe -- and they'll test your love by outrageous demands and power moves. In their world, love is a weakness and saying "I love you" is asking to be hurt, so be careful: they'll hurt you out of a sort of sacred duty. They can't or won't trust, so they will test your total devotion. If you won't submit to their tyranny, then you will be discarded as "no good," "a waste of time," "you don't really love me or you'd do whatever I ask," "I give up on you." These people are geniuses of "Come closer so I can slap you."  
 
Psychology Today
 * Overreacts to criticism, becoming angry or humiliated
 * Uses others to reach goals
 * Exaggerates own importance
 * Entertains unrealistic fantasies about achievements, power, beauty, intelligence or romance
 * Has unreasonable expectation of favorable treatment
 * Needs constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
 * Is easily jealous

www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/narcissistic.html
 

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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2009, 07:00:33 AM »

    Here is a very negative view, but one that I found very informative... .

    No doubt. Smiling (click to insert in post)   The late Joanna Ashmun and the late Kathy Krajco, popular blogger/ abuse victim advocates, had some strong opinions about narcissisism.  And the blogger Sam Vaknin's material on narcissisism is frightening.  But, like the other PDs, I think NPD is best viewed as a spectrum of severity with a huge number of people being "subclinical".  In many cases we can learn to communicate in a way to reduce relationship struggles and we can learn to understand the tendencies and how to step back and not become emotionally injured.  
     
    I saw this description from Jeff Ball, Ph.D. that I thought it was more straight forward.

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder describes persons with an exaggerated sense of self-importance or uniqueness, and a preoccupation with receiving attention. Narcissists will often overstate their own achievements and talents, or focus upon the special nature of their problems. In essence, the narcissist's fragile self-esteem is revealed by their preoccupation with how others regard them. Features of a narcissistic personality include a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. There is also a need for constant attention and admiration, and either a cool indifference or feelings of rage, inferiority, shame, humiliation, or emptiness in response to criticism, indifference of others, or defeat.  ~ Jeff Ball, Ph.D..
     

    How to Distinguish NPD from Borderline Personality Disorder

    pwNPD traits differ from pwBPD traits in that pwNPD traits have a relatively stable self-image, and lack self-destructiveness, impulsivity, and abandonment fears.
     
    Otto Kernberg MD (Cornell) differentiates between the person with NPD and those with borderline personality disorder (BPD) on the basis of:
     
      (1) their relatively good social functioning,

      (2) their better impulse control, and

      (3) their "pseudosublimatory" potential, namely, the capacity for active, consistent work in some areas which permits them partially to fulfill their ambitions of greatness and of obtaining admiration from others.  Highly intelligent patients with this personality structure may appear as quite creative in their fields:  narcissistic personalities can often be found as leaders in industrial organizations or academic institutions; they may also be outstanding performers in some artistic domain.  Careful observation, however, of their productivity over a long period of time will give evidence of superficiality and flightiness in their work, of a lack of depth which eventually reveals the emptiness behind the glitter.  Quite frequently these are the "promising" geniuses who then surprise other people by the banality of their development.  They also are able to exert self-control in anxiety-producing situations, which may at first appear as good anxiety tolerance; however, analytic exploration shows that their anxiety tolerance is obtained at the cost of increasing their narcissistic fantasies and of withdrawing into "splendid isolation." This tolerance of anxiety does not reflect an authentic capacity for coming to terms with a disturbing reality.

    Except for instances of severe forms of NPD, these individuals are more capable of high, sustained achievement and will have a more successful work history than the person with Borderline Personality Disorder.
     
    Both persons with NPDs and BPDs place great importance on attention; however, unlike borderlines, who "seek nurturing attention because they need it, narcissists feel they deserve admiring attention because of their superiority."
     
    Persons with either Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder tend to have have weak interpersonal relationships, struggle to love others, have difficulty empathizing, are egocentric in their perceptions of reality, and have a great need for attention.  Unlike the borderline personality, however, because the personality of someone with NPD is more well-integrated, people with NPD are less likely to have episodes of psychotic states, especially when under stress.
     
    A key distinguishing feature of BPD is neediness; in contrast, for NPD an important discriminator is grandiosity.  Likewise, persons with NPD are less self-destructive, have better impulse control, a higher tolerance for anxiety, and are less preoccupied with dependency and abandonment issues than are BPDs.
     
    Finally, the self-mutilation and persistent overt rage that are often characteristic of the borderline personality are absent in NPD.
     
    Kernberg, O. (1984). Severe personality disorders. New Haven: Yale University Press.
     
    Ronningstam, E. (1999). "Narcissistic personality disorder."  T. Millon, P. Blaney, & R. D. Davis (Eds.), Oxford Textbook of Psychopathology (pp. 674-693). New York: Oxford University Press.

    How to Distinguish NPD from Antisocial Personality Disorder
     
    The narcissist's key characteristic is grandiosity, whereas that of the antisocial is callousness.
     
    While persons with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) share tendencies to be tough-minded, glib, superficial, exploitative, and unempathic, NPD does not necessarily include characteristics of impulsivity, aggression, and deceit.  In contrast to the person with NPD, the person with ASPD may not have as great a need for the admiration and envy of others.  And, unlike the person with ASPD, someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder usually does not have a history of childhood Conduct Disorder nor of criminal behavior as adults.
     
    "All antisocials are assumed to have a narcissistic personality structure, but not all narcissists are antisocial.  The most important differential features are the more severe superego pathology [in the ASPD]"that is, lack of concern and understanding of moral functions, and the impaired capacity to be involved in mutual, nonexploitive relationships found in ASPD.  Interpersonal and affective manifestations (anxiety and depression) are more pronounced in NPD, while [ASPDs] show more acting out, particularly with drug and alcohol abuse.  Narcissists are usually more grandiose, while ASPD patients are exploitive, have a superficial value system, and are involved in recurrent antisocial activities . . . .  Exploitiveness in antisocial patients is probably more likely to be consciously and actively related to materialistic or sexual gain, while exploitive behavior in narcissistic patients is more passive, serving to enhance self-image by attaining praise or power.
     
    Unlike a person with ASPD, the person with NPD has "not learned to be ruthless or competitively assertive and aggressive when frustrated."
     
    A critical distinguishing feature is that in Antisocial Personality Disorder, there are no feelings of guilt or remorse:  ". . . even after being confronted with the consequences of their antisocial behavior and in spite of their profuse protestations of regret, persons with antisocial personality disorder have no change in behavior toward those they have attacked or exploited or any spontaneous concern over this failure to change their behavior."
     
    Ronningstam, E. (1999). "Narcissistic personality disorder."  In T. Millon, P. Blaney, & R. D. Davis (Eds.), Oxford Textbook of Psychopathology (pp. 674-693). New York: Oxford University Press.
     
    Kernberg, O. (1998).  Pathological narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder: Theoretical background and diagnostic classification. In E. F. Ronningstam (Ed.), Disorders of narcissism.  :Diagnostic, clinical, and empirical implications (pp. 29-51). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.
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    « Reply #2 on: March 05, 2009, 09:59:55 AM »

    I can definitely see how they can be confused sometimes.

    My wife can and does give - she can be very compassionate, especially with children, people in need, etc.

    She finds it hard to sustain, though.  She's easily frustrated, her expectations of others are high, and she expects a lot of recognition for her efforts. She will quickly feel like she has "given too much", can do no more, etc.

    It does strike me more as a childlike emotional capacity rather than NPD.
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    « Reply #3 on: March 05, 2009, 10:52:37 AM »

    There are NPD tendencies in all of us. It is when it it affects someones ability to function in life that it would seem to be NPD.

    Most BPD's have a touch of narcissism in them, since they have such immature emotional ways of thinking and responding, and we know that children are notoriously self centered. I guess the difference is that someone who is BPD is capable of showing some compassion or real caring, without the undertones of buttering you up or manipulating you like a pwNPD might.

    Selfishnesses not necessarily NPD. Marriage Builders talks about the roles of giver and taker, and how if we are give too much, we often end up with a lot of resentment, so we swing to the opposite extreme to make up for it.

    When one gave too much, didn't feel it was appreciated, they try to take too much

    or vice a versa... .

    When one took too much and felt guilty, they shift and give too much to make up for it. Which then causes resentment about how much they are giving and not getting, so they then decide to become selfish again and take, and on and on and on the pendulum swings  

    I'm not sure if a NPD is capable of true giving though, unless there is some benefit for it in them... .I think they always have ulterior motives, and are more greedy and grasping, while being totally unaware of anyone else having real needs or wants or desires that could oppose them.

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    « Reply #4 on: March 05, 2009, 01:25:57 PM »

    Excerpt
    I'm not sure if a NPD is capable of true giving though, unless there is some benefit for it in them... .I think they always have ulterior motives, and are more greedy and grasping, while being totally unaware of anyone else having real needs or wants or desires that could oppose them.



    I think NPDs are people with mental illness, just like BPDs, and that it's easy to see the negative behavior and forget the pain it stems from.

    I can't imagine what the childhoods and interior minds of people with NPD must be like. Painful. 'Cause we're not just talking about selfish egomaniacs, we're talking about people with diagnosable mental illness.

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    « Reply #5 on: March 05, 2009, 02:29:15 PM »

    My recent undiagnosed gf is mainly BPD. I think she does have moments of true caring like others mentioned. But she can't sustain it. And she seems self absorbed because she struggles so hard with just taking care of herself that she has little left to give anyone else. I do not think she is consciously manipulative, or that is rare anyway.

    My ex NPDgf was VERY different. She seemed caring in the initial infatuation stage, but I believe that even that was manipulative. EVERYTHING was about her. I think it was all about her getting narcissistic supply ( attention). I don't think she really had a conscience and she had no insight. She never apologized about anything.

    I think that all of these disorders vary in intensity as Skip says -----------there is a spectrum.

    My NPDex was severely narcissistic, while my BPDgf was on the mild end of the spectrum with BPD.

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    « Reply #6 on: March 06, 2009, 11:58:29 AM »

    I've been pondering some of the ways BPDs differ from each other ... .I sometimes think that what a given BPD will do is bounded by what they would do "anyway", in an extreme situation - where they "had to" or felt justified doing it.

    E.g. if they would tell huge whopping lies if they "had to", then they will tell you huge whopping lies.  If they would get physically violent if they "had to" or because you richly deserved it, then they will get physically violent. If they would cheat when their partner "deserves it" or doesn't live up to expectations, then they will cheat.

    Because emotionally they feel like almost every situation is extreme - they "have to", or like you totally deserve their worst because of how awful you are to them. So the difference between them and other BPDs is merely going to be in whatever their "worst" happens to be.

    Just my poorly expressed armchair psychology about why some BPDs cheat, some don't, some lie, some don't, etc.
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    « Reply #7 on: March 09, 2009, 10:43:21 AM »

    Hi Gang-

    A year and a half  ago, I went to a therapist convinced that my wife was NPD. I asked him to meet with her. 

    He did and said "good news/bad news " she's not a narcissist though she has very strong traits - she's a borderline . Wow.

    I was off and running in the reading and research department and then joined this board. I highly recommend psychoanalysis as it helps you figure out your own issues but an analyst is also very well versed in the personality disorders and will give you lots of insight into the  BPD in your life.

    While in analysis, one of the examples he gave of the difference between the two disorders is the following:

    1) a narcissist will go to all of the childrens games, plays, etc and take credit for everything the kids do.

    2) A borderline has such a changing sense of self they will look to the children to help them define themselves. When the kids can't do that , the BPD treats the children as nothing more than little pockets of need that interfere with the BPD's quest for unconditional love.

    My metaphor for a borderlines love and attention is that of a lighthouse on the shore.

    When you are in the beam of light/love/attention it is real and genuine. The problem is the light swings away to focus on something/someone new and leaves you in the dark... .until it swings back again.When you are once again in the light and you question why your BPD left you in the dark , as you know, they get defensive and cranky and projective and have no idea ( no constancy) that they ever left or why you are angry or suspicious or cautious .

    BPD's can love and do have empathy.  However , with no timeline in their brains ( no constancy) their love and empathy are very hit and miss.  When you don't take them back with open arms -each and every time - you are abandoning them in their minds and the cycle begins again.

    Noah          
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    « Reply #8 on: October 12, 2010, 11:17:17 AM »

    FYI, from wikipedia:

    An NPD diagnosis requires 5 or more of the following:

    *Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

    *Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

    *Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).

    *Rarely acknowledges mistakes and/or imperfections

    *Requires excessive admiration

    *Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

    *Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

    *Lacks empathy: is unwilling or unable to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.

    *Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

    *Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitude.

    I don't know if my wife could ever be diagnosed with this without the therapist/dr. hearing from a lot of people who know my wife. My wife is very insecure, so when I brought this up to her, she thinks there's NO way she fits any of these, "I'm not a narcisist!" But easily fits some of the symptoms, even if she doesn't see it. I can imagine NPD being a much harder diagnosis for a patient to accept.

    To accept BPD, at least to my wife, it was a relief. Like, I do these "bad" behaviors, I don't like them. Oh wow, there's a whole LIST of the things I do, and there's a name for it. But for NPD, it would take the person doing exactly what the list says they won't: admit fault.
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    « Reply #9 on: October 15, 2010, 03:39:57 PM »

    My MIL is primaryily BPD, but exhibits strong NPD too... .

    BPD - criteria require 5 or more:

    Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.

    A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

    Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

    Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging[/b] (for MIL it's spending in excess, erratic driving and disordered eating).

    Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.

    Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood[/b] (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

    Chronic feelings of emptiness

    Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger[/b] (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).

    Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms


    On the flip-side here, while she shows empathy, it's usually not *genuine* (it's learned IMO) if you consider all surrounding the empathy expressed; she has, through decades of self-help workshops, empowerment groups, and therapy to make her an even better person, learned how to express empathy... .but, as I said, when you balance it to everything else she is saying and do at the time it is expressed, it's not empathy but looks like empathy - so maybe it should be bold?

    With my MIL it seems that which side of her PD dominates is determined by who she's engaging with... .for example, if it's DH, her golden child, it's pure BPD driven by fear he'll abandon her - she praises him endlessly, needs him so much, he is her hero, her very reason for living; if, on the other hand, it's me, his big-bad wife, it's almost purely NPD with sprinkles of BDP mixed in - she expects praise, expects I recognize her as brilliant, strong and successful, see her as superior and admire her as she demands - I am expendable and disposable and she let's me know it, failure to comply means war.  Now that war can be waged at me or DH or both of us - but it will come and toward each of us different.

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    « Reply #10 on: November 06, 2010, 08:41:12 AM »

    A difficult thing about "PDs" in general, and specifically about this PD, is understanding where the line of pathology is drawn - which is higher than most think - this term gets kicked around pretty liberally on message boards.  There are some websites out there droning on about malignant narcissistic husbands and fathers -- but this term, which was coined in 1964 by social psychologist Erich Fromm, is meant to describe "severe mental sickness" representing "the quintessence of evil". He characterized the condition as "the most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity" -- basically the likes of Josef Stalin, Saddam Hussein, and Adolf Hitler.
     
    There is a difference between "being narcissistic" and having NPD and a "malignant narcissistic". Smiling (click to insert in post)
     
    This is not to suggest that there are not narcissists or NPD personality types. There are -- and NPD tendencies/traits may better describe your loved one than BPD tendencies.  It is to say that that making a dual diagnosis may be more confusing than helpful for your purposes.
     
    The two criteria often cited at bpdfamily as "NPD" are "lack of empathy" and "portray a perfect image to others" (e.g., acting like mother of the year in public events with the family).  Both of these issues may just very well be accounted for in the definition of borderline personality.  Empathy is key criteria in the diagnosis of BPD -- in the DSM-5 it will be rated from healthy functioning (Level = 0) to extreme impairment (Level = 4).  Mirroring (lack of identity, self-direction) could explains the false image portrayal.
     
    The overlap of the PD descriptions in the DSM IV are not all that neat and tidy. In a 2008 study, the comorbidity of BPD with another personality disorder was very high at 74% (77% for men, 72% for women).  They attempted to fix this is the DSM-5.0 (2013) but the solution was tabled and will be studied further.
     
    Comorbid w/BPD--------------
     Paranoid
     Schizoid
     Schizotypal
     Antisocial
     Histrionic
     Narcissistic
     Avoidant
     Dependent
     OCD
     More info
    Men-----------
     17%
     11%
     39%
     19%
     10%
     47%
     11%
      2%
      2%
    Women-------
     25%
     14%
     35%
      9%
     10%
     32%
     16%
      4%
     24%

     
    When asking differential questions about multiple personality disorders, it is important to understand why you are asking the question and how you intend to use the information. Without this perspective and focus, the data may be overwhelming, confusing and misleading.  Examples of focus would be:
     
    • What is the difference/is there a difference between a BPD and a BPD/NPD with respect to treatment for a child?

    • What is the difference/is there a difference between a BPD and a BPD/NPD with respect to using communication tools with your spouse?

    • What is the difference/is there a difference between a BPD and a BPD/NPD with respect to emotionally detaching from a toxic relationship?

    • Are we just looking for a more toxic sounding name that is commensurate with how much pain or hurt we feel?  A mildly borderline individual can wreck a lot of damage in a relationship - even more so if we were not standing on firm ground the entire time - it doesn't take a lot more than that.

    Some helpful hints for sorting through this.
     
    • General and Specific There are definitions for "personality disorder" as a category and then there are definitions for the subcategories (i.e., borderline, narcissistic, antisocial, etc.).  Start with the broader definition first.  Keep in mind that to be a personality disorder, symptoms have been present for an extended period of time, are inflexible and pervasive, and are not a result of alcohol or drugs or another psychiatric disorder - - the history of symptoms can be traced back to adolescence or at least early adulthood - - the symptoms have caused and continue to cause significant distress or negative consequences in different aspects of the person's life. Symptoms are seen in at least two of the following areas: thoughts (ways of looking at the world, thinking about self or others, and interacting), emotions (appropriateness, intensity, and range of emotional functioning), interpersonal functioning (relationships and interpersonal skills), or impulse control

    • Spectrum Disorders  An extremely important aspect of understanding mental disorders is understanding that there is a spectrum of severity. A spectrum is comprised of relatively "severe" mental disorders as well as relatively "mild and nonclinical deficits".  Some people with BPD traits cannot work, are hospitalized or incarcerated, and even kill themselves.  On the other hand, some fall below the threshold for clinical diagnosis and are simply very immature and self centered and difficult in intimate relationships.

    • Comorbidity Borderline patients often present for evaluation or treatment with one or more comorbid axis I disorders (e.g.,depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa). It is not unusual for symptoms of these other disorders to mask the underlying borderline psychopathology, impeding accurate diagnosis and making treatment planning difficult. In some cases, it isn’t until treatment for other disorders fails that BPD is diagnosed.  Complicating this, additional axis I disorders may also develop over time.  Because of the frequency with which these clinically difficult situations occur, a substantial amount of research concerning the axis I comorbidity of borderline personality disorder has been conducted. A lot is based on small sample sizes so the numbers vary.  Be careful to look at the sample in any study -- comorbidity rates can differ significantly depending on whether the study population is treatment seeking individuals or random individuals in the community.  Also be aware that comorbidity rates  are generally lower in less severe cases of borderline personality disorder.

    • Multi-axial Diagnosis  In the DSM-IV-TR system, technically, an individual should be diagnosed on all five different domains, or "axes." The clinician looks across a large number of afflictions and tries to find the best fit.  Using a single axis approach, which we often do as laymen, can be misleading -- looking at 1 or 2 metal illness and saying "that's it" -- if you look at 20 of these things, you may find yourself saying "thats it" a lot.   Smiling (click to insert in post)  A note in the DSM-IV-TR states that appropriate use of the diagnostic criteria is said to require extensive clinical training, and its contents “cannot simply be applied in a cookbook fashion”.

    • Don't become an Amateur Psychologist or Neurosurgeon  While awareness is a very good thing, if one suspects a mental disorder in the family it is best to see a mental health professional for an informed opinion and for some direction - even more so if you are emotionally distressed yourself and not at the top of your game. 

    I hope this helps keep it in perspective.   Smiling (click to insert in post)
     
    Skippy
     


    DIFFERENCES|COMORBIDITY: Overview of Comorbidity
     
    Additional discussions... .
     
    Personality Disorders
     
    Borderline and Paranoid Personality Disorder
     
    Borderline and Schzoid/Schizotypal Personality Disorder
     
    Borderline and Antisocial Personality Disorder
     
    Borderline and Histrionic Personality Disorder
     
    Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Disorder
     
    Borderline and Avoidant Personality Disorder
     
    Borderline and Dependent Personality Disorder
     
    Borderline and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder
     
    Borderline and Depressive Personality Disorder
     
    Borderline and Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder
     
    Borderline and Sadistic Personality Disorder
     
    Borderline and Self Defeating Personality Disorder
     
    Other
     
    Borderline PD and Alcohol Dependence
     
    Borderline PD and Aspergers
     
    Borderline PD and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
     
    Borderline PD and BiPolar Disorder
     
    Borderline PD and Dissociative Identity Disorder
     
    Borderline PD and P.T.S.D.
     
    Borderline PD and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
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    « Reply #11 on: November 24, 2010, 08:46:06 AM »

    I see a lot of myself in that caricature.

    I am in one-one therapy and also in (separate) relationship therapy, as I have a lot of self-destructive habits I would like to break. I've never been diagnosed with a personality disorder but am aware I have a lot of severe issues from my upbringing. If I lived in a country with better mental health care perhaps I would have been diagnosed with complex PTSD by now - I don't know.  

    I see myself in that description above but I am very self-aware and motivated to change.

    I think I have some disordered traits but I don't think I have a full-blown personality disorder.

    I witnessed a lot of violence against my schizophrenic father from my mother, and my brother and I were severely neglected and verbally/physically/emotionally abused.

    I suppose what I am trying to say is that the behaviour Randi describes may have a range of causes.

    Annie xoxo
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    « Reply #12 on: December 23, 2010, 08:16:50 PM »

    This is from the current DSM.IV section on Borderline Personality Disorder 301.83: Differential Diagnosis (the traits that distinguish one disorder from another.)

    Excerpt
    Although Paranoid Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder may also be characterized by an angry reaction to minor stimuli, the relative stability of self-image as well as the relative lack of self-destructiveness, impulsivity, and abandonment concerns distinguish these disorders from Borderline Personality Disorder.

    From the DSM.IV section on Narcissistic Personality Disorder 301.81: Differential Diagnosis:

    Excerpt
    The most useful feature in discriminating Narcissistic Personality Disorderfrom Histrionic, Antisocial, and Borderline Personality Disorders, whose interactive styles are respectively coquettish, callous, and needy, is the grandiosity characteristic of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The relative stability of self-image as well as the relative lack of self-destructiveness, impulsivity, and abandonment concerns also help distinguish Narcissistic Personality Disorder from Borderline Personality Disorder. Excessive pride in adlievements, a relative lack of emotional display, and disdain for others' sensitivities help distinguish Narcissistic Personality Disorder from Hislrionic Personality Disorder. Although individuals with Borderline, Histrionic,

    and 'arcissistic Personality Disorders may require much attention, those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder specifically need thai attention to be admiring.

    Hopefully that helps Smiling (click to insert in post)
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    « Reply #13 on: January 04, 2011, 08:39:15 AM »

    The following is from my notes for my next book. This is all preliminary. *NPD: More sold sense of self less fragmentation No risk of psychosis, more tolerance of being alone; better employment. The narcissist expects you to revolve around them; The BP wraps her world around you and you are her universe. *NPD: Developmentally NP better off: higher functioning. Empathy and compassion less than BP.*BPD: First impressions: BP immediate emotional connection and a rush of knowing the other person very well and being intimate. Now that may sound like BPD. HOWEVER It might SEEM that way with NP, but if you think about it it’s more charming and you’re impressed with them and think you must be special if this wonderful person is paying attention to you…there is a false intimacy and you realize you know much more about them than they know about you. NP opinionated and judgmental, phony. May ask questions about you but doesn’t really care about the answers. *BPD: BPs more inconsistent, *NPD: NPs more consistent. *NPD: NPs idealized vision of themselves with low self esteem shows through when there is some kind of failure or narcissistic injury, while BP ‘s low self-esteem could come through at any time. *BPD:  too needy and NP not vulnerable or sensitive enough. *BPD: more vulnerable to abandonment while NPs get off on new sources of supply. *BPD: BPs have I hate you don’t me abandonment/engulfment dance, lots of changes and moodiness, while relationship with NP is more consistent  
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    I had a borderline mother and narcissistic father. Author of stop walking on eggshells, The stop walking on eggshells workbook, the essential family guide to borderline personality disorder, and the upcoming book stop walking on egg shells for partners
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    « Reply #14 on: April 20, 2011, 09:43:17 AM »

    This is an area that interests me a great deal. My first H was definitely NPD; my current bf is diagnosed BPD, he has no N traits. There is an enormous difference between his behaviour and my H's. There is a lot less difference between how being in a r/s with either left me feeling. The biggest difference is in the likelihood of either accepting that they have a problem and therefore being able to start seeking treatment etc. The Narcissist is very unlikely to do so.

    As to whether it matters, i am not sure. It seems that the people on this site are in r/s with a range of disorders. However we can still all relate to how each other feels in an abusive r/s and that is what this site is for.
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    « Reply #15 on: April 20, 2011, 09:51:24 AM »

    From what I have read thus far there are obvious indicators of both.

    Ironically enough (or perhaps not so ironic at all) is the fact that my wife is a Social Worker (MSW). We have a copy of her DSM-IV and I have done some research there, online and off.

    It was odd. The T was hesitant, almost reticent to actually come out and say it. Even pretend to punch himself in the head for introducing the possibility of using the "N" word. My assumption: he knows he has to tread very carefully with W. He was the reason I first started looking into BPD. He introduced it in a general way early in our counseling but always backpedaled from it. Never a diagnosis. Once, after having introduced BPD into a session again, I pressed him on what it means and what it would look like. His response was that it had to do with the intensity of the symptons and whether or not it was the primary defense mechanism.

    My assessment has been that he is afraid if he "diagnosed" W would reject it (she has rejected most of his assessments) and/or she would latch onto the diagnosis and it would be counter-productive.
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    « Reply #16 on: April 20, 2011, 09:54:24 AM »

    One of the biggest differences between an exNPD partner and my BPD H is how much the NPD was concerned with what others thought of him.  BPD H doesn't really care what people think of him, his driver is his own critical voice... .you blew it again, stupid. Bam bam bam.  He beats himself up.  He will play a fool and be silly and doesn't care if anyone thinks he is silly.

    exNPD got really upset one time because his fancy sneakers had a tiny tear.  He was upset that they were all he had to wear at the time and really concerned that someone would notice.  I thought, oh brother, who cares?  He was very concerned what others thought of him and was never silly a moment in his life.
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    « Reply #17 on: May 07, 2011, 05:57:04 AM »

    Are many pwNPD traits gifted?

    Mine was a doctor by age 24.  In some ways, they seem to have the world by the a _ _.  Looks, brains, whatever.  Makes me wonder if they do this and get away with it because they can.  
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    « Reply #18 on: May 07, 2011, 07:32:07 AM »

    Mine is an absolute math genius.  Straight A's through her Master's in Math.  Often they're over-achievers from childhood, trying to get approval from emotionally detached parents.  
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    « Reply #19 on: May 07, 2011, 08:01:57 AM »

    Mine has a shrewd mind and is also a musician. 
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    « Reply #20 on: May 07, 2011, 08:46:45 AM »

    My xBPDbf was brilliant, absolutely genius.
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    « Reply #21 on: May 07, 2011, 09:43:25 AM »

    Mine,too. Musical genius. Genius at making me feel like cr*p, too.
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    « Reply #22 on: May 07, 2011, 10:17:33 PM »

    Hmm… Valedictorian from high school, Yale grad and lawyer… Speaks 4 languages… Came from a very, very wealthy family… never saw a “public school”… Had the world at his hands… But so sadly, he is seriously ill with BPD and NPD… is emotionally stunted in development… I loved and absolutely adored this man but, I can’t “save” him… Love is clearly not nearly enough…  intellectual giftedness seems to have little to do with this… So hard to wrap my head around…
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    « Reply #23 on: May 08, 2011, 01:23:29 PM »

    Multiple graduate degrees from Ivy League schools. Works like 60 hours a week and does tons of volunteer work, does community activism, gives tons of talks on various panels at schools and organizations... .Runs a mental health program! He's peoples' therapist! 
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    « Reply #24 on: June 14, 2011, 07:35:47 AM »

    Ive always believed that my d16 is more NPD than BPD.

    She has always been Me,me,me and looks down her nose at others.She worked at a fast food place for 4wks, and in that time wanted to only serve the customers and refused to work in the kitchen or mop the floors, which the staff took turns doing. Needless to say she was sacked! She has now applied for another job in a different line of work with a more senior position, and has stated her reason as leaving her last job as... ."I didnt agree with the managers low standards"  She has no intention of working her way up the ladder, or working behind the scenes. Actually the only thing she told me about her job was how many customers had congratulated her on her doing such a great job... .Total NPD!
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    « Reply #25 on: July 18, 2011, 07:01:26 PM »

    I have a uBPDm and a uNPDd and I can tell you that they are quite different.

    My uBPDm could be reasoned with when not feeling threatened, she would at times be willing to admit to mistakes. My uNPDd was never ever wrong. ever.

    uBPDm is much more manipulitative, uNPDd would never be bothered to waste his time.

    uBPDm spends countless hours ruminating about what others have done, uNPDd spends countless hours thinking about himself and how fantastic he is. Once I listened to him congratulate himself for not being a pedophile. For over an hour.

    uBPDm has a sadistic streak, uNPDd doesn't. (although I don't know if that's related to their PDs or just how they are.)

    uBPDm's mood swings cycled rapidly and could spin a 180 on a dime; she could literally be mid-rage and turn it off instantly to answer the phone. If uNPDd woke up on the wrong side of the bed, he would be a pathological jerk for at least a day or three.

    uBPDm would make a point of remembering birthdays, anniversaries, etc. uNPDd couldn't be bothered to care about anything that didn't involve him.

    HTH
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    « Reply #26 on: July 18, 2011, 09:17:38 PM »

    I've been exposed to both, so I'll try to add to this.  I think that pwNPD lack the ability to empathize with other people as opposed to pwBPD who many times do have this ability.  From my experience, the pwNPD appeared calm and in control most of the time (not counting raging episodes) while the pwBPD was highly anxious and out of control... .The only other thing that I can think of is that the pwBPD did a lot of self-harming and was actually suicidal whereas the NPD didn't self-harm and was not suicidal at all.
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    « Reply #27 on: July 19, 2011, 08:35:18 PM »

    I think there's confuusion between what sometimes get called "high functioning" pwBPD and pwNPD.  I suspect that NPD and BPD exist on some sort of spectrum, with the behaviors associated with low-functioning BPD (self-harming, inability to control impulses and behaviors regardless of situation) at one end, and those associated with NPD at the other end.  Or maybe it's a triangle with BPD, NPD, and ASPD at the points, or some other geometric shape with other spectrum-B disorders at the points/corners, and some sort of scatter plot of likely thoughts and behaviors explaining the differences. 

    From what I've seen dealing with my "high-functioning" BPD/NPD stepmother and my sometimes N-ish (but, I'm pretty sure, not NPD, at least not on his own) father, the similarities lie in needing others to build and confirm a sense of one's own identity, and in a resulting insecurity and extreme sensitivity to criticism (or perceived criticism), which they tend to deal with through projection/blaming/raging or cutoffs/silent treatment.  And yes, I think that both are quite vulnerable to feelings of shame, perhaps because criticism feels like an attack on their core being rather than a commentary on their actions, words, etc. 

    One difference, I think, has to do with identity: pwBPD have trouble figuring out who they are at all, secretly fear that they're bad in some way, and keep looking to other people to provide a sense of identity and/or to reassure them that they're really good people.  They tend to approach relationships hoping that the other person can provide them with an identity, fill them up, make their life complete, and fearing that the other person will find out who they really are -- empty, bad -- and reject them, leaving them all alone with their intolerably empty, bad, selves. The internal seesawing between this particular hope and fear (which, projected, results in the classic "I hate you; don't leave me" contradiction) is more real to the pwBPD than any actual interaction with actual people, which is why their reactions can seem to have so little connection to others' words and actions (put quite simply, what seem like reactions to external events aren't; they're reactions to internal events that have only the slightest connection, if any, to external events.  pwBPD very easily get caught up in shame spirals, which can quickly become rage spirals). 

    pwNPD, I think, start with a much more positive -- in fact, often too positive -- sense of themselves, and are mostly looking to others to confirm that identity, or at least not say or do anything that contradicts it.  If someone doesn't provide them with the attention and confirmation of their identity they expect, in the moment or in general, I think their first choice is probably to write the person off (even if that person is a member of their own family), and turn their attention to someone who is willing to play the role they expect.  They're much more likely to do the leaving (or the ignoring) than a pwBPD.  The rage, projection, etc. are likely to come out mostly when they don't have the option of just ignoring or leaving the person or situation (e.g. when a family member, boss, etc. is trying to get them to be responsible in some way that they don't feel like being).  It might also show up when people they experience as an extension of themselves (especially spouses and children) don't behave in ways that confirm that expectation, but, even then, I think they're more inclined to get out of the situation that challenges their picture of the relationship, then quickly reinstate their fantasy of the relationship as their internal reality.  If the breach is permanent and instigated by the other person (e.g. a divorce), then they may do some permanent blacking/scapegoating. 

    In general, I think pwNPD are quite capable of maintaining what they believe to be a relationship (positive or negative) with people they rarely see or communicate with, because the relationship they've constructed in their head is at least as real to them as the actual relationship.  If anything, they've got too much ability to maintain object constancy (the clear sense of another person and their relationship with that person even when the person is absent), because they don't really see the person with whom they have the relationship as a fully separate and independent human being in the first place.  By contrast, pwBPD have too little ability to maintain object constancy; they need constant reassurance that other people see *them*, and have trouble maintaining any sense of a relationship even during normal absences and silences.  Of course, they don't see the other person very well, either, because they're too busy projecting their fears (as opposed to the pwNPD's more positive thoughts about themselves). 

    Black and white thinking is more BPD than NPD, I think (though pwNPD definitely hear criticism as more extreme than it is).  And pwBPD are more inclined to ruminate over perceived wrongs (including being left/abandoned), and to try to punish the wrongdoer (which is how I suspect bluecup's mother might have seen her behavior with the boxes: losing the contents of the box was a logical consequence/just punishment for "abandoning" her by moving away).  pwNPD will just move on. 

    Both are quite aware of other people -- and in fact are inclined to treat most people as the audience for their lives, I think.  The sudden switching might well be more BPD than NPD, because pwBPD feel they have more to hide.  On the other hand, I don't think low-functioning pwBPD have the self-control to switch; so maybe the people-as-audience thing is more NPD?  Perhaps BPDs think more of other people as potentially threatening judges, or spies who might discover the "real them," than as an audience?  My stepmother definitely wants/needs an audience beyond the romantic relationship that is, for her, an essential component of identity (in fact, she wants/needs an audience *for* the marriage), but that might be an N characteristic. 

    I agree that pwBPD are probably more empathic -- mostly because they seem to have a stronger need to get particular people to behave in ways they want/need, and so put a lot of energy into trying to understand others well enough to manipulate them.  pwNPD seem to have more trouble understanding others and their motivations (perhaps because the rest of the world is either an extension of them or irrelevant), and what they need from others is, in the end, more superficial (it's relatively easy, I think, to fool a pwNPD with insincere praise; by contrast, it may be hard to get a pwBPD to believe even completely sincere praise; on some level, the pwBPD is always going to be looking for the criticism or doubt hidden in the praise, and may in fact "hear" the exact opposite of what you meant). 

    As I said, there are no bright lines, and I'm sure my view is skewed by my own experience (which doesn't include any encounters with either a full-blown Narcissist or a self-harming, completely dependent, out-of-control Borderline). 
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    « Reply #28 on: July 19, 2011, 09:12:36 PM »

    I actually spent a bit of time putting together a chart of the characteristics listed in the info section of this site comparing NPD/BPD/ASPD because I was trying to figure out what my ex has!  There are a lot of shared traits. 

    21 shared by all 3

    34 shared BPD/NPD

    28 shared by BPD/ASD

    27 shared by NPD/ASD

    I came to the conclusion my ex has some sort of PD but I can't quite be sure which one.  But what does it matter.  The behaviours are the same whatever the label. He is one huge pain to try and co-parent with.  So now I read about all three PD's to find out how to handle him.

    Happy to send copy of the document I put together listing all traits and the ones that are shared if you email me personally.
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    « Reply #29 on: October 07, 2011, 11:44:54 AM »



    The most helpful/insightful book I've read on NPD is called "Loving The Self-Absorbed: How to Create a More Satisfying Relationship with a Narcissistic Partner " by Nina Brown.

    The book is brutally honest and really opened my eyes. I'm going to read it again.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

    Book review here

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    « Reply #30 on: October 11, 2011, 04:30:16 PM »

    Some partners of Borderlines show narcissistic traits. Some people call this co-dependency- but underneath this is something more sinister- since Borderline is a deficient identity and partner seeks to "fix" this.

    Since Borderlines have a deficient sense of identity, they appear victimized- and since Narcissists have a grandiose sense of who they are, they appear savior-like, so the two go together in spectacular, pathological fashion of want and need.  Some therapists say that the mirroring behaviors of Borderline *compliance (*in the beginning stages) do really provide entrapment for a Narcissist.

    Borderlines are chameleons, and they evaluate the *needs* of others in order to attach or “fuse” to them in enmeshment, but the Narcissist needs a safety zone of protection (control) that disallows for fusion unless it is done in perfection- which is realistically impossible.  Therefore the pathology exists in fantasy thinking that each objectifies the other in neediness that has nothing to do with reality.  The ideal person does not exist except in the ideal. Therefore the couple spends most of their time trying to dance around reality- a disaster waiting to happen.  Both people are trying to prevent their schemas from being triggered- and both people are choosing the other to work through the uncomfortable feelings about loss of control and re-work the compulsive coping mechanisms that were put into play from early childhood.

    Narcissists were very lonely children, and they overcompensate for this with entitlement schemas of subsuming other peoples personalities. They consider others to satellite around them. They do not like to be rejected or ignored and overcompensate for this with controlling behaviors that may fit the Borderlines deficiencies.  Borderlines are satellite objects that seek a place to land. Narcissists subsume the satellite and try to control it. They demand much from Borderlines, as the Borderline represents and encourages the pretend perfection fantasy that prevents both parties from feeling their defectiveness schemas. Borderlines are chameleons. The Narcissist spends much of the relationship controlling the Borderline to act in ways that mirror back to the Narcissist their entitlement and sense of worth.  Therefore much is at stake in the relationship- and belies a “loaded” relationship bond that can never be secure.

    The Narcissist:

    •  Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. (The Borderline pretends and provides this.)

    •  Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by other special people. (The Borderline pretends and provides this.)

    •  Requires excessive admiration (The Borderline pretends and provides this.)

    •  Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations. (When the Borderline erupts in unstable self, this is a trigger switch.)

    The Borderline:

    Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. (When the Narcissist withdraws to protect the grandiose self from exposure to defectiveness schema- this is a trigger)

    Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable sense of self. (When the Narcissist withdraws the grandiose- "you can count on me" self, this is a trigger.)

    Affective instability due to a marked reactivity. (When the Borderline feels engulfed and controlled by the Narcissist's grandiose self, this is a trigger.)

    Since BPD is a persecution complex, the fantasy of “human doing” rather than “human being” implodes and the Narcissist withdraws, causing the Borderline to frantically cling while simultaneously searching out a new attachment for survival. The Narcissist finds this publicly humiliating and suffers intense inferiority and internal shame.

    Failures to reconcile usually bring about renewed efforts to overcompensate and find new mirroring objects for both parties- unless a depressive break-through occurs to suffer the abandonment depression and to stop seeking outside of themselves for the fantasy object to mirror their worth.

    If the Narcissist does not get help, the narcissist who is feeling deflated may re-inflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading the Borderline. Most narcissists would rather be distracted by the actions of others than suffer through the loneliness of self containment. Hence the "exaggeration of their own importance" in the life of others as a pathology that keeps the compulsion moving toward and then fighting to get away from the needy people who soil their perfectionism.

    It's up to a good therapist to discuss different ways to get basic emotional needs met without compulsive behaviors that distort how much other people are devaluing or depriving the Narcissist.  Excessive self-assertion of "I'm right- he/she is wrong" extends to manipulation of fantasy and it's just another way of exploiting someone else problem's and not the reality of their own.  

    With therapy they can become aware of their schemas and realize that external validation of their perfectionism mirrored in the eyes of another person creates a "busy-ness" that doesn't get resolved- ever- with mirroring behaviors- unless the idea is presented that external need for someone elses actions to constantly test the fantasy is appreciated.  Human "being" rather than Human "doing."  The therapy then becomes internally focused (driven) and assessed in a realistic manner- and that means abandonment depression and being alone without anyone else to blame, addressing the compulsive behaviors of "fixing" mirrored objectified partners and letting go of the relationship pathology.


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    « Reply #31 on: October 11, 2011, 05:01:12 PM »

    pwNPD tend to be higher achievers than pwBPD.  It is usually easier to spot pwNPD than pwBPD.

    For example many but certainly not all national politicians and senior execs at large companies have many NPD traits.  Think of the boss who takes all the credit for good work done by those under them and if anything is wrong points fingers in all directions except themselves for not catching it.  I would almost guarantee most of the disgraced CEOs would fit in this category.

    pwBPD are often harder to spot as they often appear normal to almost everyone.  Since intimacy is often what triggers their bad behavior it is possible only those closest to them have much of a sense there is a problem.  Events like moving in together, getting married or having a kid together can send them into unimaginably bad behavior. 

    pwNPD tend to react logically in the sense they consistently want to win and they consistently define winning the same way.  pwBPD want to win too but they tend to be inconsistent in what they want and how the act.  In a war between pwNPD and pwBPD the pwNPD usually gets destroyed over time.
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    « Reply #32 on: October 11, 2011, 05:20:17 PM »

    Some partners of Borderlines show narcissistic traits. Some people call this co-dependency- but underneath this is something more sinister- since Borderline is a deficient identity and partner seeks to "fix" this.

    So, I have wondered about this for a long time.  I started to read about NPD when I first started dating my ex, then realized he is more BPD with NPD charactaristics.  When I read later that pwBPD often are attracted to folks with N traits... .I started thinking about that in terms of my own personality style and behavior.  Scary at first, because if you read a lot about classic NPD stuff ala Sam Vankin etc., on the internet... .it's so over the top and so NOT ME that I couldn't relate to it at all.  But if you bring it down a notch and do not buy into the malignant narcissist kind of model... .then yes... .I can see how my behavior, what is often call codependence, is actually the perfect N fit for my ex who is more borderline.  After all, it is agreed that N's are more higher functioning and that they had issues later in childhood, whereas a pwBPD was deprived of attachment and nurturance at a pre-verbal stage, making this more stuck in child like behaviors. I was more the adult, more the parent, I had much more a sense of self than he had.

    Since Borderlines have a deficient sense of identity, they appear victimized- and since Narcissists have a grandiose sense of who they are, they appear savior-like, so the two go together in spectacular, pathological fashion of want and need.  Some therapists say that the mirroring behaviors of Borderline *compliance (*in the beginning stages) do really provide entrapment for a Narcissist.

    It felt so good when my ex bf fell in love with me in such a mirroring way.  It was bliss.  I also am not completely stupid or without self insight.  I worried something wasn't right, the idolization stage was as worrisome as it was compelling. I was torn the whole time between what was really healthy and what was likely to blow up in my face.  I hope this say's something about my overall sense of reality testing... .thought I did choose to take my chances and move down a path with him.  

    Borderlines are chameleons, and they evaluate the *needs* of others in order to attach or “fuse” to them in enmeshment, but the Narcissist needs a safety zone of protection (control) that disallows for fusion unless it is done in perfection- which is realistically impossible.  Therefore the pathology exists in fantasy thinking that each objectifies the other in neediness that has nothing to do with reality.  The ideal person does not exist except in the ideal. Therefore the couple spends most of their time trying to dance around reality- a disaster waiting to happen.  Both people are trying to prevent their schemas from being triggered- and both people are choosing the other to work through the uncomfortable feelings about loss of control and re-work the compulsive coping mechanisms that were put into play from early childhood.

    When I was younger especially, I am aware that I nursed a lot of fantasies of about "perfect love".  Obviously I still do or I probably would not have gone through the last five years with this guy.  Ideal love, special love, perfect love... . In real life, things are a little messier, grittier, and less 'special'  and more boring than I think I expected or wanted or dreamed of in terms of love affairs and relationships.  If I were disappointed or jilted, especially when very young... .I felt so put out and put upon, how could this be happening to ME?... .not that I felt being mistreated or jilted was okay... .but in even ordinary relationships, I feel I had some pretty grandiose ideas about how I would always feel (cherished/special) or be treated by a loved one.  In a regular relationship, I was the one who grew bored and I was the one who initiated the end.  Always.  I did so gently and with aplomb... .I was not bombastic or histrionic or cruel like my exBPDbf... .still, I was the one who grew weary and chose to leave. Always.  When my ex with BPD kicked me out this summer, it's the first time I have ever been left or booted out of a relationship, ever, in my life.

    Narcissists were very lonely children, and they overcompensate for this with entitlement schemas of subsuming other peoples personalities. They consider others to satellite around them. They do not like to be rejected or ignored and overcompensate for this with controlling behaviors that may fit the Borderlines deficiencies. (bingo... .the triangulation was my biggest trigger... .which was basically being rejected and ignored in a way that was for me so humilating) Borderlines are satellite objects that seek a place to land. Narcissists subsume the satellite and try to control it. They demand much from Borderlines, as the Borderline represents and encourages the pretend perfection fantasy that prevents both parties from feeling their defectiveness schemas. Borderlines are chameleons. The Narcissist spends much of the relationship controlling the Borderline to act in ways that mirror back to the Narcissist their entitlement and sense of worth.  Therefore much is at stake in the relationship- and belies a “loaded” relationship bond that can never be secure.

    My ex w/BPD actually begged me to take on the role of agent of change in his life, he begged to be subsumed  by me, he wanted me to envelope him with my 'life, my sense of self, my values and beliefs'.  I was again astute enough to think "Oh my god, this can't possibly work and can't possibly be healthy long term and he's going to end up hating me"... .but I allowed myself to get cajoled back into a realtionship with him several times with him using this and his own personal growth as the bait.  In my heart, I knew it could only lead to bad. I was not comfortable having that much 'power' over another or being asked to have that kind of influence over another human being. It was just... .wrong.   I told him that was my opinion... .that we would be better off to respect eachothers differences and part ways... .but his abandonment fears kept him deeply hooked into the idea that he had to have me. And of course... .as expected he ended up hating me for it and blackening me for it and humiliating me for agreeing to do the very thing he begged me to do, to stay with him, to stay true to my own values and boundaries, to expect him to at least be in agreement with the boundaries that I considered deal breakers... .and he said he wanted nothing more than that.  Still I knew it would come back to haunt me. That I would sign on for such a thing speaks to my own childhood issues and my own sense of entitlement and denial and grandiosity.  I remember I caught myself uttering a phrase I had never used before in my life before engaging deeply in this relationship with him... .the phrase was... ."HOW DARE YOU?"  Spoken with shock and disgust.  Guess who use to say that to my ex all the time when he was growing up?  His NPD mother!  Interesting.  He basically begged me to be his mom. I agreed. He got to hate me for it. Cycle complete. And yet... .I think on some deep level I believed I was "special" enough to make this work.  Bingo.  

    The Narcissist:

    •  Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. (The Borderline pretends and provides this.)

    •  Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by other special people. (The Borderline pretends and provides this.)

    •  Requires excessive admiration (The Borderline pretends and provides this.)

    •  Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations. (When the Borderline erupts in unstable self, this is a trigger switch.)

    The Borderline:

    Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. (When the Narcissist withdraws to protect the grandiose self from exposure to defectiveness schema- this is a trigger)

    Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable sense of self. (When the Narcissist withdraws the grandiose- "you can count on me" self, this is a trigger.)

    Affective instability due to a marked reactivity. (When the Borderline feels engulfed and controlled by the Narcissist's grandiose self, this is a trigger.)

    Since BPD is a persecution complex, the fantasy of “human doing” rather than “human being” implodes and the Narcissist withdraws, causing the Borderline to frantically cling while simultaneously searching out a new attachment for survival. The Narcissist finds this publicly humiliating and suffers intense inferiority and internal shame.

    Failures to reconcile usually bring about renewed efforts to overcompensate and find new mirroring objects for both parties- unless a depressive break-through occurs to suffer the abandonment depression and to stop seeking outside of themselves for the fantasy object to mirror their worth.

    If the Narcissist does not get help, the narcissist who is feeling deflated may re-inflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading the Borderline. Most narcissists would rather be distracted by the actions of others than suffer through the loneliness of self containment. Hence the "exaggeration of their own importance" in the life of others as a pathology that keeps the compulsion moving toward and then fighting to get away from the needy people who soil their perfectionism. (this is basically codependent behavior, I love to hate you, let me fix you so I can really love you)

    It's up to a good therapist to discuss different ways to get basic emotional needs met without compulsive behaviors that distort how much other people are devaluing or depriving the Narcissist.  Excessive self-assertion of "I'm right- he/she is wrong"  (this is a "parental" position, by the way... .almost inexacapable if you hook into the dynamic with a BPD... .and always a dead end) extends to manipulation of fantasy and it's just another way of exploiting someone else problem's and not the reality of their own.  

    With therapy they can become aware of their schemas and realize that external validation of their perfectionism mirrored in the eyes of another person creates a "busy-ness" that doesn't get resolved- ever- with mirroring behaviors- unless the idea is presented that external need for someone elses actions to constantly test the fantasy is appreciated.  Human "being" rather than Human "doing."  The therapy then becomes internally focused (driven) and assessed in a realistic manner- and that means abandonment depression and being alone without anyone else to blame, addressing the compulsive behaviors of "fixing" mirrored objectified partners and letting go of the relationship pathology.

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    « Reply #33 on: October 13, 2011, 06:46:43 AM »

    It still amazes how the Greeks were spot on with the dance between a pwBPD and a pwNPD, in the myth of Echo and Narcis. My ex even had a tat of Echo... .
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    « Reply #34 on: October 13, 2011, 08:45:15 AM »

    As I journey down this twisted path I have more and more realized that my own personality traits -Narcissitic most likely, really helped me choose my partner.

    It has not been easy to acknowledge vow I "completed" my partner and vice versa.  I love how succintly you both discussed the roles we play and entertained the possibility that not just one partner has personality disorder issues to address but at some level we both do.  i would love to explore the concept of co-dependency as it relates to narcissism a bit more too.  
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    « Reply #35 on: October 13, 2011, 09:08:29 AM »

    Makes sense that codependents have narcissistic traits.  If I look deeper and am honest with myself, I certainly do.  That's why this r/s was so powerful.  It filled that need like none other.  

    This will be a discussion for my T and I.  
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    « Reply #36 on: October 13, 2011, 09:13:43 AM »

    Aren't codependents inverted narcissists?

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    « Reply #37 on: October 13, 2011, 01:32:09 PM »

    Most partners of Borderlines show narcissistic traits. Some people call this co-dependency- but underneath this is something more sinister- since Borderline is a deficient identity and partner seeks to "fix" this.

    Yes, people with narcissistic traits are often attracted to people with BPD. I find this on the Internet all the time from people who are no longer getting their needs met from their BPs. Instead, they get their needs met from other nons who want help. NOT EVERYONE! But I a not surprised when I see it.
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    « Reply #38 on: October 13, 2011, 01:39:21 PM »

    Aren't codependents inverted narcissists?

    No.
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    « Reply #39 on: October 13, 2011, 04:01:15 PM »

    Aren't codependents inverted narcissists?

    Maybe some of these terms are so vague that there's no way to really define our terms... .I suppose some of these terms could mean anything... .or at least mean different things to different people because terms like inverted narcissism or malignant narcissism are not found in a dictionary or the DSM... .

    But, when I hear that codependents and people who are narcissistic or have narcissistic wounds or traits tend to match up with someone who has BPD or BPD traits... .I think of of it being in general pretty accurate, and if the concept of an inverted narcissist is someone who is not so much self absorbed in the traditional "I'm better than anyone else" NPD sense... .but an inverted narcissist in the sense that a codependent thinks they can fix anyone else, knows better than others, has to rescue or correct others... .which is grandiose in it's own way... .and is therefore expressing a type of narcissism but it's inverted (other directed instead of self directed)... .it is still arrogant in its own way... .meaning, there's a certain arrogance or grandiosity in thinking only "I" can rescue someone, only MY love will make a difference... .do you know what I mean?  I always thought the term inverted narcissism was implying that kind of thing... .and it did seem to match up with the darker side of what we consider 'codependent traits'... .right?  

    So isn't the idea of a inverted narcissist close to what we think of as codpendence?
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    « Reply #40 on: October 13, 2011, 04:18:11 PM »

    Are there any statistics on the probability of significant improvement for a BPD entering therapy?

    --Argyle
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    « Reply #41 on: October 13, 2011, 04:21:09 PM »

    Aren't codependents inverted narcissists?

    You know, that is kind of how I look at it.

    Ever since learning about Co-Dependency following my ex leaving me, I've labeled myself a Co-Dependent. But what I've also noticed is that I DO have some narcissistic traits, but I'm far from a full blown Narcissist.

    My question is, is it possible to be a Co-Dependent with Narcissistic traits? Sometimes I scare myself into thinking I have things like NPD or BPD just because I exhibit a small portion of the traits, but then I come into a realistic view and realize how far off I am from those things. I am also an undiagnosed ADD, which I've also discovered since my break up and have realized that it's because of that that I'm attracted to very turbulent relationships.  
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    « Reply #42 on: October 13, 2011, 04:31:17 PM »

    Here is an editorial on STEPPS, a 20 week program that can be used in additional to DBT or other behavioral therapies. DBT programs are often a year (once a week).   Usually there is some general talk therapy too... .no question that this is expensive and intensive process.

    This editorial reports 40% of patients with borderline personality disorder remit (remission) after 2 years, with 88% no longer meeting Diagnostic Interview for Borderlines—Revised or DSM-III-R criteria after 10 years

    Oh.  Google is good to:

    www.borderlinepersonalitysupport.com/fact-sheet-on-borderline-personality-disorder.html

    Remission in most studies is defined as a decline in the number of DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder a patient meets, from five or more of the nine possible criteria (which constitutes a diagnosis) to four or fewer.

    About 50% of patients with Borderline Personality Disorder go into remission within two years. Reasons for remission vary but involvement in therapy/treatment is key.

    In one study, the rate of remission was 30% after one year, 50% after two years, and 75% after six years, with only six patients relapsing.

    Once in remission, few people relapse.18

    So, I guess that there may be some hope with treatment.

    My understanding is that co-dependents and narcissists do tend to share a belief in fixing people/ability to control people outside themselves.  So, they have that in common.  My BPDw does seem to exhibit traits of both.

    --Argyle
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    « Reply #43 on: October 13, 2011, 05:23:26 PM »

    Are there any statistics on the probability of significant improvement for a BPD entering therapy?--Argyle

    Not really.
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    « Reply #44 on: October 14, 2011, 05:07:42 AM »

    There is a wealth of material that discusses the variety of shapes and forms these two personalities can take- especially concerning their differences and their bonds to one another.  Joan Lakhar Ph.D has been writing on this subject for many years, even before the advent of the Internet.

    bpdfamily.com/book_review/joan_lachkar.htm

    Contrary to popular belief, Narcissists and Borderlines are not evil or untreatable, they just need to make sense of their behavior if they wish to accept reality. Making sense of the behavior is what object relations theory (Klein) and the psychology of the “Self” (Kohut) is all about.  

    Lakhar makes a point to defuse stigmatization with “although I use the terms borderline and narcissism as distinct entities, neither disorder is the same across individuals or even in an individual over time. Discussion would be impossible, however, without making certain abstract distinctions between them in order to frame the conflict.”

    Rather than lumping them into one big wastebasket of broken humanity as a statistic, Lakhar realized that the anxiety of this arrested behavior each person experiences is as different as snowflakes, but these differences must be respected as qualitative differences in order to be assessed.

    In her theory, Lakhar felt that Narcissists were more concerned with mirroring that was “Self”-directed while Borderlines were more concerned with becoming a part of something = “Object”-directed.

    The Narcissist has been taught that they must be closed off and carefully protected from engulfment by others- and he/she inflates in much the same way a puffer fish does for protection. The Borderline is more like a remora, a clinging, parasitic, part-self, other-directed persona that seeks to attach and go along for the ride.

    The real construct here is the extent to which people control or allow themselves to be controlled by others.

    There are so many people who are brilliant theorists that it would be a shame not to at least delve into one or two of the ideas about arrested development to see where the origin of the problem begins.

    James F. Masterson spent 40 years of his life detailing the differential diagnosis of Narcissism and Borderline and even went so far as to contribute a differential diagnosis on their high and low functions. In his 1981 book, the “Narcissistic and Borderline Disorders” he details many case studies and differentiates the developmental theory of both personality types as well as treatment outlines.  

    Borderline failure to separate/individuate during the pre-oedipal period causes a lifelong view of “other-directed” actions. The same is true for Narcissists; however, Narcissists “subsume” others into their intrapsychic World as extensions while Borderlines (part-time selves) fuse to others in the mistaken belief that they will become whole persons.

    Both partners wear masks of “false selves” to hide their vulnerable true selves. Narcissists are gullible, and instead of seeing their perfect “false self” reflection in the Borderline as fraudulent, they believe that they have found a fellow narcissist who shares their World view and compunction for perfection.

    Both partners present themselves as misunderstood in life and now share each other’s World view- but the Borderline does this as a Trojan horse offering in order to slip inside the Narcissists protective outer. The Narcissist unwittingly subsumes the Borderline as a part of themselves and gives rarely allowed access- thinking that the Borderline has the same protective outer that demands rigid rules for membership. Alas, not only does the Borderline *not* know these rules- they cannot even try to implement them- and the Narcissist becomes aware of dis*ease* between them (a.k.a. red flags of odd behavior) Something clicks in the Narcissist, that this person really wasn’t who they said they were and control issues arise when the Narcissist tries to get the Borderline back in line with the idealized self that was initially presented. When this fails (as it always does) the anxiety turns persecutory for the borderline and the Narcissist withdraws.

    Eventually, the Narcissist comes to a painful process of understanding that the borderline actually mirrored the Narcissist and the Narcissist actually mirrored their own self.  Judging the amount of shame that arises during Smear campaigns, distortion, and the blame game are all narcissistic injuries in the aftermath of the broken mirror.  (Note: One does not need to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder to have narcissistic traits. Narcissistic traits can be healthy unless they subsume others.)

    Fortunately there are many books that stay away from the stigmatization of the “all or none” characteristics to personalities- these books concentrate on the quality of behavior instead.  Schema therapy by Jeffrey Young Ph.D, was created n 1994.  It is a beautifully modern interpretation of the diagnostic manual which applies to everyone who struggles with abandonment, mistrust and abuse, dependence, vulnerability, emotional deprivation, social exclusion, defectiveness, failure, subjugation, unrelenting standards and entitlement. These eleven "lifetraps" are lifelong patterns or themes that replicate the DSM diagnostics. They are self-destructive personality traits and yet they struggle for survival. The end result is that we manage to recreate the conditions of our childhood that was most harmful to us because we are familiar with the feelings.

    Young’s theory is tightly woven into a structured, systematic model of therapy themes, called Schema.  Both Narcissists and Borderline personalities are behaviorally dissected in a way that shows distinct differences to how they view themselves and how to approach them in treatment. Add that to the 30 year old Masterson approach and the treatment options keep encouraging people to get at what ails them in talk therapy.  The understanding of the wants and needs of people vs. fantasy/reality is confronted.  The end result is reality testing and truth.

    There are, unfortunately, a plethora of books and blogs that do stigmatize, born out of frustrating personal events and without much introspective clarity for the whys and hows of getting involved with the Borderline or Narcissistic personality and the reasons for continuing to stay with them. (Yes, there are reasons.) According to Joan Lachkar, “it’s not that people are crazy, it’s just that each partner stirs up some un-developmental issue in the other that desperately needs to be worked through.”

    In 1988, James F. Masterson M.D. released his brilliant analysis, “The Search for the Real Self, Unmasking the Personality disorders of our age.” In the preface he writes: “This negative attitude about the difficulties of successfully treating borderline and narcissistic patients survives to the day in many areas where therapists have not become aware of the newer discoveries. It often continues to be the prevailing attitude in lay circles and in the media, which is one of the important reasons I wrote this book. Not all, but many patients, given the proper therapeutic support, can and will overcome their developmental problems and their real selves will emerge.” ~ Masterson

    Masterson knew that we all had bits and pieces of maladaptive coping mechanisms- and a little bit of family history went a long way toward understanding, but it wasn't all or none.  There was a possibility of acceptance and change.

    Lachkar’s “The narcissistic/borderline couple: new approaches to marital therapy.” is now in its second printing.  “Listen for the theme,” Lackhar says. “At the core of the dynamic flow between narcissistic/borderline partners is a duel between omnipotence and vulnerability.”   One partner withdraws and the other chases, one partner closes in (engulfment) and the other flees… Both people are desperate for love but unable to trust it.  It is a dance. Again, The real construct here is the extent to which people control or allow themselves to be controlled by others.

    Investigating and treating the behavior of both parties offers less stigmatization of the separate personalities and more treatment avenues - and this is what the Masterson institute, Jeffrey Young and Joan Lachkar specialize in.

    Whether it’s object relations therapy, or Self psychology or Schema therapy, there is no such thing as a NON.  We are all human beings and we all need to work on our separate issues in the aftermath of the relationship. Understanding your partner’s negative life patterns will allow you to see your own- Young calls these self defeating maladaptive coping mechanisms “lifetraps” and he even has information on his website. It’s not enough to turn your back on a Borderline- you have to confront your reasons for being attracted to this cipher in the first place.  Young’s book, “Reinventing your life” is also a good start.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

    amazon.com/James-F.-Masterson

    amazon.com/Schema-Therapy-Practitioners-Jeffrey-Young

    amazon.com/Reinventing-Your-Life-Breakthough-Behavior




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    « Reply #45 on: October 14, 2011, 08:30:34 AM »



    It’s not enough to turn your back on a Borderline- you have to confront your reasons for being attracted to this cipher in the first place.

    I couldn't agree more. My BPDex has been a blessing in disguise for me. People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Without this experience I would have never realized how much I needed to heal my own dysfunction. I had to come face to face with the fact that little Ms. Perfect was indeed emotionally broken and not so perfect. I had my own damaged script that I applied to relationships hoping the other person could rescue me making me realize what a truly emotional mirrors my ex and I are. Both starved for love, both wanting to control and both not trusting love or feeling worthy of it.

    This stuff is deep and heavy.

    HG

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    « Reply #46 on: October 14, 2011, 09:20:15 AM »

    Again, to all the brilliant analysis on this thread... .thank you and please post this in tools or get it over to the "Staying" boards...

    This thread really helped me tremendously in the last couple of days to process what "my world" with my uBPD spouse is/was all about.

    And it encouraged me to delve further into self-analysis which has enabled me to obtain a slight measure of inner peace.

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    « Reply #47 on: October 14, 2011, 10:34:33 AM »

    Randi, do you think most of us partners of BPDs are Narcissitic?  I used to think I was, especially because I have a uNPD father and a uBPD mom (agreed upon by al siblings & cousins).  

    My uBPD has accused me of all the traits of NPD since I moved in with him; a former boyfriend of mine who has tremendous power & wealth (socio-economic) had once accused me of not being vulnerable -he ended our relationship to be with a stripper.  

    Recently I took various PD tests which I answered in 2 different ways.  One as I would if it were my husband asking me the questions and the other as if it were just me asking me... being brutally honest with myself.  

    I was surprised.  I expected to be "normal" in my first response (as if with my uBPD husband) but instead I was "moderately histrionic and highly narcissitic".  

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    « Reply #48 on: October 14, 2011, 02:37:58 PM »

    I would go over the questionnnaire with a therapist or a good friend to give you some objectivity.If you do have narcissistic features, you can work on them. If you're willing to work on yourself you can accomplish anything.
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    « Reply #49 on: November 17, 2011, 07:41:54 AM »

    hi all,  its taken me a loong time to try to work out the dynamics of pd's in my life, both current and past.  this was because i could never work out the difference between an NPD and BPD.  but now that i get it things feel alot clearer for me and i wanted to share my understandings.

    ok... .an NPD has a false image of themselves that they maintain with their own beliefs, material goods and the attention/praise of others.  any attempt to question this 'image' or its values results in a narc attack steming from defensive behaviour.  this can involve; withdrawal,sulking and the silent treatment, accusations, anger and/or avoiding the question by changing the subject.  they demand that others be their distraction/entertainment so they don't have to face their authentic self.  the NPD's only interest is strengthening this image to continuously convince him/herself that they are this person and not the loss of self that dwells beneath this pd. 

    the NPD prefers not to show emotions whereas the BPD is often over-expressive emotionally.  in the greek myth narcissisus gazes into the lake at his own reflection while echo dies from his neglect.  what they don't mention commonly is that narcissisus insists that echo only interact with his reflection and any attempt to interact with his true self is met with hostility.  the lack of authentic emotion and neglect kills echo (and her inability to walk away).

    a BPD can be mistaken for a NPD because both have a lack of true empathy and compassion.  BUT, the BPD has an intense perceived fear of abandonment that causes alot of anxiety and consumes all their attention and will do almost anything to avoid being reminded of that connection to their authentic self as it contains so much perceived pain.  so while a NPD has created a false identity in order to interact with the world, the BPD is running from their true self, and/or clinging to/suffocating others in hope of finding themselves there.

    so perhaps the difference is that the NPD has created a false image in order to interact in a perceived safe way with the world, whereas the BPD is constantly looking to others to live their self through in a safe way.  why are they mistaken for each other?  because of the feeling others have in relationship with them.  they both use people and are unable to see the other for who they really are, only what the pd 'needs' from them.

    does this make sense to anyone?
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    « Reply #50 on: November 17, 2011, 09:22:52 AM »

    Wow! You all are all so insightful, concise and articulate! Thanks for laying this all out there in understandable terms. :-)
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    « Reply #51 on: November 17, 2011, 10:41:13 AM »

    so perhaps the difference is that the NPD has created a false image in order to interact in a perceived safe way with the world, whereas the BPD is constantly looking to others to live their self through in a safe way.  why are they mistaken for each other?  because of the feeling others have in relationship with them.  they both use people and are unable to see the other for who they really are, only what the pd 'needs' from them.

    does this make sense to anyone?

    I agree with that description. Having a bipolar (uBPD) mom and uNPD exH, here are other differences that stood out to me:

    * While both were invested in their "image" (what other people thought of them), the "images" they created were very different. uBPD mom prefers the victim/poor me image, while NPD exH built up the image of a debonair, intelligent, high class guy. He told me that he was British when I met him and even used a fake British accent. uBPD mom seemed to really BELIEVE her image while uNPD exH put his image out there for others to believe.

    * uBPD mom was very low functioning. uNPD exH was very high functioning (in fact much of his image depended on doing well in his job). I've never heard of a low-functioning narcissist. (But it seems BPD can happen either way.)

    * Yes to "the NPD prefers not to show emotions whereas the BPD is often over-expressive emotionally." My uNPD exH very carefully controlled his displays of emotion. It seemed impossible for him to do or feel anything spontaneously, and spontaneous displays of emotion actually seemed to disgust him. uBPD mom, on the other hand, constantly reacted to whatever emotion she was feeling in the moment. Near zero control of emotions, and if she did manage to control some horribly negative emotion for which she considered you responsible, you better believe you were gonna get an earful about it later.

    * uNPD exH seemed to know what other people thought of him might be different than what he thought of himself, and he just didn't care. ("Yeah, they think I'm an idiot at work, but they just don't appreciate what a genius I really am." Also, uNPD exH could attribute acts/thoughts to the appropriate actor/thinker. uBPD mom has neither ability. She cannot imagine anyone thinking any differently of her than she thinks of herself. Also, she can't "match up" actors/thinkers and the actions/thoughts. She once demanded that I tell her what my Uncle J was thinking when he asked a question about personal finances six months previously. I told her that if she wanted to know that, she'd have to ask Uncle J (the appropriate thinker/actor). How the hell was I supposed to know what someone else - someone who I rarely talk to - had been thinking half a year ago? She wouldn't even tell me the question/s he asked; I guess because if she knew them, I should know them too.
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    « Reply #52 on: November 17, 2011, 11:21:06 AM »

    Excerpt
    Yes to "the NPD prefers not to show emotions whereas the BPD is often over-expressive emotionally." My uNPD exH very carefully controlled his displays of emotion. It seemed impossible for him to do or feel anything spontaneously, and spontaneous displays of emotion actually seemed to disgust him.

    that caused me to see the differencies there also.  uBPDm is very able to laugh at the expense of others (when it makes other appear stupied), whereas if i ever made the the NPD i know spontaniously laugh, he would catch himself, stop laughing immediately and snip at me.  neither are nice to be around.  NPD's are so cold and BPD's are so out of control.  so different, yet with similar results felt by others.
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    « Reply #53 on: November 18, 2011, 06:44:14 PM »

    I think there are a lot of overlapping traits.  They are both in the cluster B personality disorders, and share characteristics.  If you google the dsm criteria for personality disorders you can read the list of symptoms for each.

    I think co-morbidity is probably common, but also someone can have BPD with narcissistic tendencies.
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    « Reply #54 on: December 16, 2011, 09:56:50 PM »



    Just some food for thought.

    BPD is about abandonment, right?

    They abandoned you - and now you are in a meltdown trying to deal with it. You have gone to every length to keep them, but they are utterly selfish. And doesn't it feel good when they validate you. It is/was the best feeling in the world. You felt whole again.

    How come you cannot love someone that does not play games with you?

    Normal people would just walk away knowing they were abused.


    Just something to think about.
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    « Reply #55 on: December 16, 2011, 10:05:36 PM »

    Well... .you might be half right, but some of us DID walk away, and I know i can love someone who doesn't treat me like that because I have before and I will again. There's a lot of reasons why we feel extra hurt because of these relationships in particular but I don't think you should compartmentalize everyone into that category because every situation and relationship is different just like the people who engage into them. What exactly brought you to this general conclusion if I may ask?
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    « Reply #56 on: December 16, 2011, 10:43:14 PM »

    I think you are making some assumptions that do not apply to a lot people on these boards.  Many of us stayed too long for unselfish reasons.  Many of us can and do love people who do not play games with us.  Certainly not everyone here is in a meltdown.
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    « Reply #57 on: December 16, 2011, 11:27:04 PM »



    Just an experiment.

    You may THINK you are not displaying all of the BPD points (such as low self esteem, and frantic fear of abandonment, substance abuse, etc)

    However, rather than go by your gut feelings (I am not!), write down in a clinical manner what exactly you did when you were abandoned. What steps you took - calling, driving by, checking up, texts etc.

    Now look at what you wrote - see anything?

    You have to take your emotions out of the picture. Facts only. You can then apply this to all of the 'symptoms' of BPD.

    Remember most crazy people do not know they themselves are the crazy. 
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    « Reply #58 on: December 16, 2011, 11:33:32 PM »

    I wondered this myself. And I went to therapy for it and brought it up many times.  My therapist, who is actually trained in these things pointed out that I am nowhere near any personality disorder.  Slight codependent tendencies that I've shown in this and other relationships but nothing even remotely close to BPD.  you're generalizing far too much.  

    I will say I see some truth in what you are saying though.  It's as if our BPD exes set up a situation where we will feel what they felt at the original core wound.  Then they get to watch how we react. This is all subconscious.  I know because I did this with an ex of mine (to a much lesser degree and much less harmful results). Again, it was nowhere near BPD, but it certainly wasn't healthy. Using other people to figure out our parents' problems... .maybe.

    I will readily admit that I have had my own abandonment issues as well.  But I also have spent long amounts of time single and even enjoy it. Not all abandonment issues stem from a serious personality disorder.  Our dysfunctions "fit" though.

    In addition, the difference between someone such as myself and someone with BPD is not only the clinical diagnosis and criteria but the repetition of the same behaviors. 
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    « Reply #59 on: December 17, 2011, 01:25:34 AM »

    Bob, are you wondering if you might have BPD or are you really concerned that everyone here has BPD?

    Anyone can look like they have something like BPD when under extreme stress.

    I work in behavioral health. All humans can experience abandonment/engulfment fears situationally. Having a strong reaction to abandonment does not qualify a person for having a personality disorder. In fact, all nine symptoms of BPD is commonly seen in the normal population. To be a personality disorder Those symptoms have to be 5/9, and they must be showing up as a pervasive and enduring pattern from adolescence through adulthood in a way that profoundly affects and impacts a persons life and those around them.

    There are no doubt people on this site who may qualify for having BPD and their partner is NPD. There are also people who have codep traits, depression, anxiety, etc. Most on this board have spent an inordinate amount of time scrutinizing and questioning themselves about such things, and look into it by speaking with professionals, taking diagnostic tests, and asking for feedback here. I know I have. I do not qualify for a dx of borderline personality disorder, or any personality disorder. I do have some codep issues that are mine to work on, not thrilled about it but it is what it is.
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    « Reply #60 on: December 17, 2011, 06:51:34 AM »

    When my ex dumped me I drank too much and wanted to die, but I didn't call him all the time (or at all) or drive by his house. I did stop by once to dump a box of things he left in my apartment outside his door but didn't see him or talk to him. He of course started calling me again "just to chat" after a few months. But I never called him and eventually changed my phone number when the "chats" became wearying. Though, being dumb and blind, I did give him the new number after I coerced him into returning the money he owed me after new charges showed up on my credit card for something purchased when we were still together. I was furious but after I got my money it was like, welp, whatever. What a messed up relationship.

    I don't think my factual recounting of actions taken after the break-up shows much evidence of BPD on my part, personally. But I'm not a doctor.
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    « Reply #61 on: December 17, 2011, 11:58:52 AM »

    Just an experiment.

    You may THINK you are not displaying all of the BPD points (such as low self esteem, and frantic fear of abandonment, substance abuse, etc)

    However, rather than go by your gut feelings (I am not!), write down in a clinical manner what exactly you did when you were abandoned. What steps you took - calling, driving by, checking up, texts etc.

    Now look at what you wrote - see anything?

    You have to take your emotions out of the picture. Facts only. You can then apply this to all of the 'symptoms' of BPD.

    Remember most crazy people do not know they themselves are the crazy. 

    Hi Bob,

    There are 9 criteria to BPD diagnosis.  Most humans specifically under extreme emotional stress will show several of these characteristics.  It is the pattern of behavior over significant time, not a one-time big stressor (pstd) that must be observed.  Your point is valid in this context and one of the reasons BPD is so very hard for trained professional to diagnose.

    I think this post could be triggering to many on this board; as such, let's all be mindful to not react (great answers thus far) and Bob, I ask you to be a bit more self-reflective in your questions moving forward in this post.  I am going to stress right now, I do not want to see anyone disrespectful or I will have to close this thread.

    Peace, SB
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    « Reply #62 on: December 17, 2011, 03:04:02 PM »

    I think this post could be triggering to many on this board; as such, let's all be mindful to not react (great answers thus far)

    Triggering, that would happen to someone with emotion regulation issues. Now, an N or an AS would simply ignore this.

    Spend some time on a BPD board (as I am sure you have mod), they don't view themselves as evil. The whole idea of someone just moving on days later, that's N and AS. That's someone that never invested. B, i suspect they can love.

    My issue at this point is with NPD. B is super sensitive, N feels nothing. N can move on. B, gets stuck.  B hurts.
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    « Reply #63 on: December 17, 2011, 10:43:17 PM »

    Just an experiment.

    You may THINK you are not displaying all of the BPD points (such as low self esteem, and frantic fear of abandonment, substance abuse, etc)

    However, rather than go by your gut feelings (I am not!), write down in a clinical manner what exactly you did when you were abandoned. What steps you took - calling, driving by, checking up, texts etc.

    Now look at what you wrote - see anything?

    You have to take your emotions out of the picture. Facts only. You can then apply this to all of the 'symptoms' of BPD.

    Remember most crazy people do not know they themselves are the crazy.  

    You are not at all wrong here. However, a diagnosis of mental illness is not the same as dysfunctional behavior or bad behavior or FOO issues.

    But, you are exactly right about a good way to clean up our own act and address our own issues.  Anything else is just EXCUSES!

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    « Reply #64 on: December 29, 2011, 09:40:17 AM »

    The two criteria often cited at bpdfamily as "NPD" are "lack of empathy" and "portray a perfect image to others" (e.g., acting like mother of the year in public events with the family).  Both of these issues may just very well be accounted for in the definition of borderline personalty.  Empathy is key criteria in the diagnosis of BPD -- in the DSM-5 it will be rated from healthy functioning (Level = 0) to extreme impairment (Level = 4).  Mirroring (lack of identity, self direction) could explains the false image portrayal.The overlap of the PD descriptions in the DSM IV are not all that neat and tidy. In a 2008 study, the comorbidity of BPD with another personality disorder was very high at 74% (77% for men, 72% for women).  Hopefully this be straightened out in the DSM-5 (2013).

    Both BPs and NPs have empathy problems. I wrote about it in my NPD series. I have every book about BPD for consumers on the market. Two are by therapists and one is by two "reporter" like people who have obviously gone thru the NPD ringer. The books by therapists are:Enough About You, Let's Talk About Me by Les CarterThe Object of my Affection is in my Reflection by Rokelle Lerner.The other one is Help! I'm In Love with a Narcissist by Carter and Sokol. If you get just one, get this one. I would urge the mods to review these or somehow put them in a place where people can see them.
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    « Reply #65 on: January 30, 2012, 08:34:36 PM »

    Things such as:



    • Impulsive and risk taking behaviour


    • Self harm


    • Suicide Idealisation




    tend to be more BPD characteristics whereas NPDs will have differing traits such as:



    • Believing they are 'special' or elevated from others


    • Fantasise about power / get 'drunk' with power


    • Deliberately take advantage of others




    There are a lot of cross-over traits as well, and the chaos they cause to those around them can be very similar, but they're typically driven by different motives.
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    « Reply #66 on: January 31, 2012, 06:39:22 PM »

    Still trying to grasp the differences, particularly in relationships.  How can one tell when you are dealing with a narcissist versus a borderline?  I see that people on here can tell but I am still having much difficulty.  I posted a similar topic on the leaving board but I think it may be more appropriate here.

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    « Reply #67 on: February 10, 2012, 04:53:38 PM »

    This is some very valuable information. I have a family member that was diagnosed a Borderline decades ago but fits NPD 100% or very close. The uBPD in the family does have some very similar traits like severe verbal abuse beyond anything I've ever seen from anyone. Yet the self-centered non-concern for anyone but themselves clearly falls dead center on the uNPD. It appears that ALL interests are totally concerned with themselves, and they really don't care about anyone else. Hard to believe, and while sometimes there is lip service to caring about others their actions show that this is nearly nonexistent.

    BPD does have some caretaking aspects, sometimes to a finatically dysfuntional degree which would never appear in the uNPD experience I've seen. Both can be very manipulative. The NPD really is much closer to a sociopath (APD) but the BPD could never be confused with that diagnosis. The NPD does however have a "hurting" component just like BPD which I don't believe is present in APD. That's what I've seen but as someone said it's not an exact science and even professionals miss this.
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    « Reply #68 on: February 11, 2012, 06:14:45 AM »

    perhaps their are no differencies, they are the same pd.  NPD and BPD could be the same thing?   perhaps what we call BPD is just NPD with a fear of abandonment?  hence the confusion.

    because the more i think about it, the more i think they are the same pd.  what is termed a BPD waif, could actually be a narc with a victim persona that they subconsciously created so they can mask (from others and themselves) the real NPD.

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    « Reply #69 on: February 12, 2012, 10:56:15 AM »

    perhaps their are no differencies, they are the same pd.  NPD and BPD could be the same thing?   perhaps what we call BPD is just NPD with a fear of abandonment?  hence the confusion.because the more i think about it, the more i think they are the same pd.  what is termed a BPD waif, could actually be a narc with a victim persona that they subconsciously created so they can mask (from others and themselves) the real NPD.

    While they have some similarities, they are not the same at all. Not even the American Psychiatric Association has laid out what is what. First they wanted to take it out for DSM-5 despite the fact that it is the best known PD, then they put it back in. Most clinicians can't define BPD, let alone know what the real differences are--I mean, they know the very basics, but they only know the treatment differences, not the concerns of family members. They hate treating BPs, but they don't treat N's at all. Of course the fact that N's don't present for treatment makes that pretty simple!
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    « Reply #70 on: February 12, 2012, 03:27:04 PM »

    I think I have dated/lived with both types, one of my ex was clearly more Narcissistic, the other one a typical Borderline with huge abandonment issues. Both were verbally very abusive, and both became physically violent too.

    The Narcissist had a better self esteem and was actually nice, affective and funny between the abusive periods, the Borderline guy was abusive every week and got irritated without any warning (I now understand it was dysregulation). He also accused me of leaving him, being nuts, having issues, being stubborn, when he was mean and distant and I had to leave to protect my ego.

    Typically The BPD guy used Silent Treatment every week, isolated himself in his office, and the attacks just kept coming with no warning, there was no effort to restore any peace in the house unless I took full responsibility for his dysregulated mind and bad mood, so mentally I lived with a teenage son. The NPD was able to talk and express his feelings and that helped to clear the air but of course he expected everyone to show that he was special 24/7.

    I really don't know which one is worse. They are similar, especially when it comes to abuse, and anger/raging. They don't understand they use severe verbal abuse and that it destroys relationships. I saw a counselor with my BPD who gave him advice how to communicate but he never learned how to be respectful or express his emotions. 
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    « Reply #71 on: February 13, 2012, 12:58:45 AM »

    Excerpt
    While they have some similarities, they are not the same at all. Not even the American Psychiatric Association has laid out what is what. First they wanted to take it out for DSM-5 despite the fact that it is the best known PD, then they put it back in. Most clinicians can't define BPD, let alone know what the real differences are--I mean, they know the very basics, but they only know the treatment differences, not the concerns of family members. They hate treating BPs, but they don't treat N's at all. Of course the fact that N's don't present for treatment makes that pretty simple!

    i guess we will respectfully differ on those opinions then randi.  the only difference i see are that BPD's attempt to live through others and express rage or depression at the reolization that they are actually separate, while NPDs are more aloof and a bit more emotionally distant knowing that they are separate to others.

    but both are ego centred, serving their own emotionally unmet child-like needs, with the same results on those around them and both manipulate others to their own satisfaction, with absolutely no conscience for the affects of their behaviour on others.  i think the amount of discussions within and outside of institutions shows that perhaps pd's are trying to be separated, when in fact they merge.

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    « Reply #72 on: March 16, 2012, 12:20:30 PM »

    I read somewhere (can't remember where but it was online) that some BPDs can have a narcissistic 'shell', i.e. they maintain a narcissistic type persona until they are threatened or hurt, then the borderline traits come out. It's like using narcissism as a defence mechanism. It's different from having true NPD.

    I'm not sure how true this is but it might explain why some people seem to be both. In terms of my ex/friend he definitely has traits from both disorders and they can seem to change dependent on the situation. He has seemed very needy and easily hurt at times, and other times he has seemed very aloof and arrogant, and he has spent most of his adult life without a relationship. I have a hard time believing he is NPD because of the high level of emotion he has expressed at times, however, other times, he claims he can't feel anything at all.

    CB
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    « Reply #73 on: May 20, 2012, 01:19:24 AM »

    My T started telling me about BPD about a year and half ago but it took me this long to really get my head around the idea that my mother might have BPD.  Now in having made several posts Narcissism keeps coming up so I am starting this workshop today.  I am really thankful for this workshop and expect that there will be many ah-hah moments.  Thanks in advance to everyone who contributed! 
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    « Reply #74 on: December 02, 2012, 06:58:40 PM »

    I think Randi Kreger's 10-part series on the difference between BPD and NPD is worth reading: www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201110/what-have-you-done-me-lately-entitlement-key-narcissistic-trait

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    « Reply #75 on: December 13, 2012, 03:33:20 AM »

    Ms. Kreger definitely knows what she's talking about here. Very few of us have seen a side by side comparison of the 2 (BPD vs. NPD) over an extended period of time. There is a big difference in the general modus operandi but I can't deny some overlap.

    All NPD actions are self serving, or nearly all. Even those that appear to be helpful and caring for others are generated by a desire to manipulate and confuse. BPD people, from my experience, just are not that way. They don't think they're better than others, they're just out of control children who may hurt you but it's more collateral damange when they're throwing a raging fit.

    NPD people tend to be more calculating of the negative effect of their actions and purposely inflict it, yet the real hallmark in my opinion is it's all about #1, nobody else really matters (parents, kids, friends, anyone). It would be much more likely for an NPD to be successful in some business endeavors due to the extreme manipulative quality. BPD would be more out of control with inability to hold a given course until reaching a desired outcome.

    I don't know if this makes a lot of sense to others, but I've seen the 2 disorders much closer than I ever would have wished, yet they are people that deserve consideration, just not at the expense of losing yourself in the process. It does help to distinguish the 2 for the reasons given because this can help you manage the situation and stand back, looking at it from a distance with more perception.

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    « Reply #76 on: August 21, 2013, 12:53:08 PM »

    I have a question about comorbidity. If the pwBPD has NPD as well-how does that affect the drug treatment? This site has displayed a statistic about male pwBPD that implies a 47% co-occurence of narcisssism which I feel was true of myxSO. So have there been any studies about that? How well does DBT work when both BPD and NPD are present?
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    « Reply #77 on: August 23, 2013, 04:12:07 PM »

    I think once there is a diagnosis - which could be BPD and NPD, or some other combination - the treatment plan is designed for the individual.  The key is for the individual to get a diagnosis, and work with the therapist - it's usually some form of long-term talk-therapy.
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    « Reply #78 on: October 27, 2015, 06:21:44 AM »

    Narcissism

    Joanna M. Ashmun.

    www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/NPD/index.html

    Narcissistic individuals feel that they are special and unique in ways that others aren’t. They lack empathy to a stunning degree, and are amazed when others protest their poor treatment of them. They expect privileges and indulgences, and they also feel entitled to exploit other people without any trace of reciprocation. Their behavior is contemptuous towards others, a dismissive attitude towards other people's feelings, wishes, needs, concerns, standards, property, work, etc. In their minds normal rules don’t apply to them and they will break them when they feel they can get away with it, yet they expect others to follow them. And they criticize, gripe, and complain about almost everything and almost everyone almost all the time. Narcissists have little sense of humor. They don't get jokes, not even the funny papers or simple riddles, and they don't make jokes, except for sarcastic cracks and the lamest puns. Narcissists are not only selfish and ungiving -- they seem to have to make a point of not giving what they know someone else wants.

    There is only one way to please a narcissist (and it won't please you): that is to indulge their every whim, cater to their tiniest impulses, bend to their views on every little thing. and do not expect any reciprocation at all, do not expect them to show the slightest interest in you or your life (or even in why you're bothering with them at all), do not expect them to be able to do anything that you need or want, do not expect them to apologize or make amends or show any consideration for your feelings, do not expect them to take ordinary responsibility in any way. Once they know you are emotionally attached to them, they expect to be able to use you like an appliance and shove you around like a piece of furniture. If you object, then they'll say that obviously you don't really love them or else you'd let them do whatever they want with you. If you should be so uppity as to express a mind and heart of your own, then they will cut you off -- just like that. Once narcissists know that you care for them, they'll suck you dry -- demand all your time, be more work than a newborn babe -- and they'll test your love by outrageous demands and power moves. In their world, love is a weakness and saying "I love you" is asking to be hurt, so be careful: they'll hurt you out of a sort of sacred duty. They can't or won't trust, so they will test your total devotion. If you won't submit to their tyranny, then you will be discarded as "no good," "a waste of time," "you don't really love me or you'd do whatever I ask," "I give up on you." These people are geniuses of "Come closer so I can slap you."  

    Im still not sure, because the quoted passage above EXACTLY models her abuse, actions, behaviour and comments "you don't really love me or you'd do whatever I ask," - she has literally said this to me in one form or another, repeatedly over three years.

    Yet her overwhelmingly NEEDINESS trumps the Grandiosity, but the Gross entitlement is there too.

    And the total LACK OF EMPATHY - she basically daily told me she didn't care about me, for two years. Yet would continue to ask, demand, beg for money AND made sure i felt obligated, guilty or fearful NOT to send her more money.
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    « Reply #79 on: October 27, 2015, 06:33:32 AM »

    I've been pondering some of the ways BPDs differ from each other ... .I sometimes think that what a given BPD will do is bounded by what they would do "anyway", in an extreme situation - where they "had to" or felt justified doing it.

    E.g. if they would tell huge whopping lies if they "had to", then they will tell you huge whopping lies.  If they would get physically violent if they "had to" or because you richly deserved it, then they will get physically violent. If they would cheat when their partner "deserves it" or doesn't live up to expectations, then they will cheat.

    Because emotionally they feel like almost every situation is extreme - they "have to", or like you totally deserve their worst because of how awful you are to them. So the difference between them and other BPDs is merely going to be in whatever their "worst" happens to be.

    Just my poorly expressed armchair psychology about why some BPDs cheat, some don't, some lie, some don't, etc.

    This also EXACTLY models how she would behave. Joanna M. Ashmun. original passage in the first post, and this... .

    so i don't know whether she is BPD or NPD

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    « Reply #80 on: November 03, 2015, 02:51:42 PM »

    Some folks out there seem to think that those with BPD are also narcissists.  This just seems counterintuitive to me, abut apparently it's common to find NPD in folks with BPD.

    Can anyone shed light on what this might look like?
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    « Reply #81 on: November 03, 2015, 03:02:52 PM »

    I'd like to know too.

    Lifewriter x
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    « Reply #82 on: November 03, 2015, 03:38:36 PM »

    I'd like to know too.

    Lifewriter x

    I honestly have no real idea since it seems so contradictory, but this is why I ask:

    My ex constantly talks about how he deserves "the job" ... ."the relationship" ... ."the money" ... ."the body" ... ."the education" ... ."the house" ... ."the location" ... .Anything and everything that others understand to require hard work and delayed gratification, he thinks he deserves YESTERDAY, without any real idea of how to achieve that goal.

    He doesn't have a professional job, but he works within a professional organization, so he never states what he does within that organization unless someone presses him for it.  Once they find out, he immediately thinks they're judging him for it and hates them.

    He thinks he has great talent in a particular area, but, while he's good, he's simply not professional material, and never will be.  He simply doesn't put in the work or have the drive to learn about and from those who came before him.  

    He goes after mates, dates, and friends who have something to offer him:  money, rides, erotic capital, social capital, unconditional validation despite sometimes criminal/unethical behaviors -- he wants his mates, dates, and friends to be everything he's not.  He has no problem discarding them when they've given him something to temporarily satiate his need.

    Diagnosed with sex addiction, he has raped (yes, raped) a number of people he desires sexually because they're what he is not but desires to be.  This gives him sick validation.  He'll wait until someone is somehow incapacitated and take advantage.  That's rape, folks.  They're always people who wouldn't ordinarily consent, but he justifies his behavior by saying their body language during the act showed they loved it.

    Projects his sexuality onto others.  If he's feeling hetero, everyone is hetero. If he's feeling gay, everyone is gay.  If he's feeling bi, everyone is bi. If he's feeling non-monogamous, then monogamy is unnatural.

    Anyone who speaks out against his behaviors or rejects his advances is split black as coal, and it's never his fault. He's been fired from every job he's ever had (none of them "good" jobs -- he can't get one of those).  As soon as someone says something, or he perceives that they've said something, that isn't 100% PC or positive, he lashes out, thinking they're speaking against him.

    He has been diagnosed with body dysmorphia, but he actually loves his body as much as he hates it, and says things like he's proud that he can give sexual pleasure to men and women.

    Constantly talks about how the place where he lives -- the place he had to return to when things didn't work out -- is full of rednecks, uneducated bigots, etc. etc. etc., acting like he's above them. At times, he even talks about his family in this way.

    He ruuuuuns to mommy every time he wants something or things don't work out, and she gives him whatever she can.  This includes letting him live with her as an adult with no expectation of contributing to expenses.  The rest of his family, when he does something stupid or bad, and call him out on it, are shunned.  Until he needs something, particularly validation, in an environment with little other supply. Then he loves them again and buys little gifts and things to get back on their good side.  Otherwise, silent treatment.

    Oh, and with me? He pretended to have a reeeeally bad memory (to help him with his lies), but when I was split black and really called him out, his memory was phenomenal. He remembered details of things I had said in passing and immediately used those to gaslight me.
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    « Reply #83 on: November 03, 2015, 03:46:57 PM »

    I can see why you might be wondering about NPD given the sense of entitlement you are describing. I don't know much about NPD, but my interest is because an old flame of mine once told me that he would pass by opportunities to date 'ordinary' girls because he only wanted the best looking ones and they generally didn't want him. He said that he would only feel confident if he had the really special girl on his arm. Does this sound like NPD? I'm not sure, because he's aware of his lack of confidence.

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    « Reply #84 on: November 03, 2015, 03:52:36 PM »

    I can see why you might be wondering about NPD given the sense of entitlement you are describing. I don't know much about NPD, but my interest is because an old flame of mine once told me that he would pass by opportunities to date 'ordinary' girls because he only wanted the best looking ones and they generally didn't want him. He said that he would only feel confident if he had the really special girl on his arm. Does this sound like NPD? I'm not sure, because he's aware of his lack of confidence.

    Lifewriter

    YES!  Mine does this, too!  He thinks he's not masculine enough, so he rapes straight men.  He thinks his body isn't good enough, so he tries to bed as many people with his desired body type as possible.  It's gotten him into SERIOUS trouble before already.  He covets.  He wants everything he's not.  He would make me feel soo bad about my body because it wasn't the kind of body he desired for himself. 
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    « Reply #85 on: November 03, 2015, 04:04:25 PM »

    This old flame of mine crushed my sense of being sexually and physically attractive. He wanted me to wear specific underwear, specific perfume, said he really wanted to date a 'goth' (he wasn't even vaguely goth himself and nor was I). I felt like I just wasn't good enough for him. No other man has ever left me feeling sexually inadequate (apart from the one who was so drunk that he fell asleep mid coitus). He said he didn't think of me in 'that' way and that he could see no romantic future for us. Yet, he was sexually interested in me when it suited him and then totally disinterested. I could never tell which way he'd go. He said he wanted a polyamorous relationship. Said he wanted to find a sexually uninhibited woman who would teach him the ropes and bring him out of his shell sexually, yet he said he could see him still wanting to be with me. He wanted me to give my express permission to this. He said he preferred images of women to actual women because the 'look' in their eyes during sex was the important thing. And he's really into Japanese cross dressing men.

    How could I ever have thought this man was interested in me? Lx
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    « Reply #86 on: November 03, 2015, 04:08:46 PM »

    This old flame of mine crushed my sense of being sexually and physically attractive. He wanted me to wear specific underwear, specific perfume, said he really wanted to date a 'goth' (he wasn't even vaguely goth himself and nor was I). I felt like I just wasn't good enough for him. No other man has ever left me feeling sexually inadequate (apart from the one who was so drunk that he fell asleep mid coitus). He said he didn't think of me in 'that' way and that he could see no romantic future for us. Yet, he was sexually interested in me when it suited him and then totally disinterested. I could never tell which way he'd go. He said he wanted a polyamorous relationship. Said he wanted to find a sexually uninhibited woman who would teach him the ropes and bring him out of his shell sexually, yet he said he could see him still wanting to be with me. He wanted me to give my express permission to this. He said he preferred images of women to actual women because the 'look' in their eyes during sex was the important thing. And he's really into Japanese cross dressing men.

    How could I ever have thought this man was interested in me? Lx

    Pretty sure mine was cheating on you with me, then.  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) He said early on that monogamy was his thing, then said during the discard that he's not attracted to my body type, that he wanted to open our relationship, that he's too young and still wants to have fun, that he's attracted exclusively to a certain type.  He wanted sex with me when HE wanted it, and I always felt like crap because he'd reject me when I'd initiate.  He also said he saw no future with me.  All this from someone who the first month was all over me several times a day.  But when he tried to recycle, which lasted only a few days, he was back to saying the same thing he had said in the beginning ... .only to change his mind as the week wore on.  Honestly, though? I know what he's up to, and the things he's up to are sex offenses that I honestly wish I could report without looking like a psycho stalker.  He really does try to victimize people sexually, and has on numerous occasions.
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    « Reply #87 on: November 03, 2015, 04:16:08 PM »

    I have wondered this also.

    There are four types of pwBPD. The queen, witch, waif and hermit. My ex wife was a waif type and my exgf was the queen type. I would say my ex wife was BPD with HPD traits wheras my exgf was most likely BPD/NPD.

    I have wondered if this is typical.
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    « Reply #88 on: November 03, 2015, 04:31:03 PM »

    It sounds like we're both well out then, Creativum. Thanks ever so much. This discussion was just what I needed because my old flame is difficult to shake off. He's been giving me the 'I still love you routine' and I've been in so much conflict emotionally. Everything in his behaviour suggests he feels nothing of the sort for me. What he loves is the love I feel for him. He wants to see the love and adoration in my eyes again. Well, I've got news for him... .it isn't going to happen.

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    « Reply #89 on: November 03, 2015, 04:34:54 PM »

    Hi enlighten me

    What were the main differences between your ex-wife (waif - poss BPD/HPD) and ex-girlfriend (queen - BPD/NPD)? I'd like to hear how this may look in practise.

    Lifewriter x
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    « Reply #90 on: November 04, 2015, 12:54:44 AM »

    Hi Lifewriter

    The main differences where my exwife never really argued and bottled things up. She also played the pity card a lot and always seemed ill. My exgf would start arguments all the time and believed she was always right about everything. She also thought she was amazing at everything she did.
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    « Reply #91 on: November 04, 2015, 01:01:37 AM »

    Okay, enlighten me, that makes sense.

    Lifewriter x
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    « Reply #92 on: May 05, 2019, 01:46:11 PM »

    I believe I have significant NPD traits, though therapists have told me it is far too mild to qualify as NPD. I believe my wife has significant BPD traits, but she has never been willing to be evaluated (my intro post: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=336283.0).

    So I feel I have significant personal experience with the differences, although of course it draws only from these single examples.

    Some of the big differences:
      - I care about fame & public success. She only cares about not having people she knows perceive her negatively.
      - I don't mind doing things myself, I'm not triggered by how attentive she is to me at a party, whether she is there to help me in a moment of stress, etc. I'm comfortable taking care of myself. She has a deep need to feel like someone else is always available to help her.
      - While we both get bothered by people contradicting us, I care much more about being perceived/respected as an expert, whereas she cares about having her authority respected. I'd be much more bothered by "you don't know what you are talking about" from an adult, while she'd be bothered by "No, I won't do what you say" from a kid (I wouldn't care).
     
    Similarities:
     - Triggered by criticism, blame.
     - Unwilling to admit being wrong, accept responsibility, apologize (if I did bad, I am bad, I am completely bad).
     - Think our own perceptions are absolute objective truth.
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    « Reply #93 on: August 31, 2019, 05:10:35 AM »

    Reading an excellent book on narcissism right now (Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare)

    The similarities between BPD and NPD very very close. So close it’s hard to tell the difference. Someone correct me if I’m wrong but from what I understand the behavior is almost identical (idolize, devalue, discard, push/pull, silent treatment ect) The only difference it seems is that NPD’s have have no empathy and their behavior is intentional and pwBPD do have empathy but no emotional control and their behavior is purely an emotional response and they do feel remorse for their behavior.

    If that is the case how do you distinguish between the two. Was
    my ex a narcissist or a pwBDP. How would anyone know?

    Anyone have any experience here?
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    « Reply #94 on: August 31, 2019, 08:44:28 AM »

    Reading an excellent book on narcissism right now (Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare)

    The similarities between BPD and NPD very very close. So close it’s hard to tell the difference. Someone correct me if I’m wrong but from what I understand the behavior is almost identical (idolize, devalue, discard, push/pull, silent treatment ect) The only difference it seems is that NPD’s have have no empathy and their behavior is intentional and pwBPD do have empathy but no emotional control and their behavior is purely an emotional response and they do feel remorse for their behavior.

    If that is the case how do you distinguish between the two. Was
    my ex a narcissist or a pwBDP. How would anyone know?

    Anyone have any experience here?

    I don’t know much about narcissism, but my ex could definitely feel empathy- he apologised on several different occasions. He also felt lots of shame and it was palpable.

    I’ve never met anyone with lower self esteem than him - he despised himself and made that clear to me when (I think) he was splitting. I’m not sure a narcissist would display that kind of behaviour - even a covert one? They make themselves out to be victims (which my ex also did) but I don’t think they would acknowledge that they are the problem. My ex struggled with acknowledging he was the problem BUT I could tell he did know it was him, and on rare occasions he would admit that it was his own behaviour that caused him trouble. That said, he refuses to get help still, because he’s in denial and he does show narcissistic qualities at times - not getting help I think being one... I think it would be a step too far admitting that he is as flawed enough to need help. He tries very hard to be absolutely perfect - including his looks and work, his possessions etc.

    It’s a shame, because he’s aware enough of things that are going on with him and how they hinder his life...
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    « Reply #95 on: August 31, 2019, 01:26:57 PM »

    I think when I read these terms, it is distinguishing a personality disorder from having traits.

    NPD versus narcissism for instance, the amount of narcissitic traits someone has will vary, you get very narcissitic "non disordered" people for example, who do not fit the criteria for it as a personality disorder.

    BPD with high amounts of narcissistic traits? Sure. But not to take that as necessarily mainstream or automatic. BPD and NPD, ive never heard of anyone having two diagnosed personality disorders.

    Where it gets even more muddy is where the lack of stable identity part of BPD is strong. Observing narcissism can be more linked to whoever the other person in the relationship is being emulated. My ex behaved entirely differently depending on whom she was spending time with. The chamelon like qualities does not discern if the traits picked up are narcissistic or not, they get picked up completely. Those were those moments where I noticed "this isnt you" as if she was 'role playing' someone else.

    So ColdKnight, the answer is, she could have been BPD with narcissitic traits. There is also overlaps in the cluster B group with antisocial personality disorder that can be hard to separate from the others.the lack of empathy for instance matches with narcissism.

    In terms of how difficult the relationship with my ex was, to detach from, like fizzingwhizbee alludes to - my ex did feel shame, regret, not so sure about empathy but her actions were mostly also driven by impulsivity on emotional states. When I say not sure about empathy, this applies to NPDs too, they have empathy - for themselves. My ex did show moments of concern, worry, for me, but I never felt it was at a level of really understanding. Feeling sorry for herself was empathy in abundance, but again, key point - for herself. Matches up with narcissism and self-centredness.

    Ive often come across on other boards with pwBPD make comments like "im so tied up in my own problems and emotions, thats why I dont have time for anyone elses". This really is narcissistic traits speaking in my opinion. It is not the lack of time, it is an inherent lack of concern for the other.

    So to answer in my own experience - her core of BPD was extended to having the traits of whoever her friends were, her family members, or who she was in a relationship with. Due to having a lack of stable self identity. Remorse and regret sure, but remember the issue of shame involved - the regret and remoarse get blotted out with defence mechanisms, feeling them is momentarily.
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    « Reply #96 on: August 31, 2019, 02:47:14 PM »

     Paragraph header (click to insert in post) This is a self-published junk psychology book. It's generally best to not read junk psychology as most books seamlessly intertwine valid psychology concepts with urban myths to give the urban myths validity. When the reader sees bits and pieces of the valid psychology that they have seen in reputable sources they are then inclined to believe the books junk concepts overall.

    If you want reliable layman's understanding of NPD, read Nina Brown.

    Loving The Self-Absorbed: How to Create a More Satisfying Relationship with a Narcissistic Partner
    Author: Nina Brown, EdD
    Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (June 2003)
    Paperback: 192 pages
    ISBN-10: 1572243546
    ISBN-13: 978-1572243545





    Most of these junk books approach the subject in a backward way where the diagnosis is based on how someone makes us feel and on a cookbook interpretation of the DSM. The DSM actually has a disclaimer to not use it this way.

    What do I mean by this? Let's use a medical example. You have a headache. You go to a medical book about brain tumors and see that headache is listed as a symptom. You then conclude you have a brain tumor. You then read that radiation is a common treatment, so you go hang out near the baggage screening at the airport.

    Sound ridiculous? No one would actually do this for a medical problem.  But people often go this route for mental illness where the patients somehow know more than the doctors.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

    Why are different mental illnesses named and defined to begin with?
    Answer: to know which treatments to use (simple answer).

    Why do we want to know what PD? Unfortunately, too many of us want to find peace by blaming our partner for a relationship where why we got treated erratically and unmercifully dumped. OK. We're wounded. The relationship WAS bad. But that does not make us experts.

    What should we want to know? I think the first thing is to understand is if the person was mentally ill or if it was just a personality conflict.
    https://www.bpdfamily.com/content/traits-personality-disorder

    I think the second thing is what was pathological in the relationship and what was just bad stuff - on both sides.

    Then we can start to make sense of it - our role and our partners role. Remember, no matter how troubled our partner may have been, we were 50% of the relationship dynamics and we had free will. In other words, we were willing and active participants in the dysfunction.

    When we encounter high conflict or destructive relationship behaviors it is important for us to know that the problems can be caused by a broad range of things on both sides:

        immaturity,
        short term mental illness (e.g., depression),
        substance induced illness (e.g., alcoholism),
        a mood disorder (e.g., bipolar),
        an anxiety disorder (e.g., PTSD),
        a personality disorder (e.g., BPD, NPD, 8 others),
        a neurodevelopmental disorder (e.g., ADHD, Aspergers), or
        any combination of the above (i.e., co-morbidity).

    How often is "any combination of the above?"   In an NIH study of 34,653 people*, of those that had clinical BPD,

        74% had another personalty disorder,
        75% also had a mood disorder, and
        74% also had an anxiety disorder.

    When I look back at my relationship of 12 years ago, I see a lovely person with some life long struggles and a life path with a lot of seriously injured partners. One committed suicide. When I look at her mom, there were five marriages - she has all the wedding albums, but the husbands faces are cut out (a red flag, maybe).

    Clearly she had issues and it ran in the family.

    At the time I got into the relationship, I was fresh off a divorce and I jumped for the warmth and appreciation that I got from the new girl. I thought I was pretty smart, but in the postmortem, I learned my EQ wasn't as good as I thought. I couldn't tell that this was a flawed person, and I didn't know how to respond to conflict in a constructive way. My understanding of human nature needed some work, for sure. I needed to grow up.

    I've since learned many life skills. I use them daily. It has helped all my relationships (romantic, friends, business, etc.).

    I have also become a student of what qualities in a partner and in me are needed to have a solid relationship. I found some mentors with 30+ year happy marriages and it helped me greatly.  I think I have a much better understanding.

    Going back to the book. I can tell you from reading 10 pages of the book that it full of ill informed ideas and immature life skills. Ask yourself, does doingn things like "reverse gaslighting" or "creating a false self" or "devaluing the narcissist" sound even remotely mature? Look at the title; "Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare". Is that a worthy goal in life?

    This book reminds me of a member we had 5 year ago who dealt with his meth addiction by becoming an alcoholic. His argument? I'm in a much healthier place.  

    I guess, in a way, this is a true statement.
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    « Reply #97 on: August 31, 2019, 06:31:13 PM »

    I have a sister who is a full-blown narcissist and I can tell you that they are distinctly different from somebody with BPD. Narcissists are mean and devoid of empathy. In fact, they are downright cruel. They believe they are special people to be admired, and have a sense of entitlement which has to be seen to be believed.

    The self-loathing that is a hallmark of BPD, and which they will even admit to at times, will never be seen in the narcissist. A narcissist never admits to any of their weaknesses. In fact, over the course of our lives my sister has said on numerous occasions "I don't say sorry."

    She has a completely different set of rules for herself vs. others. For instance, if she texts somebody and they don't get back to her in a timely manner, she becomes angry and they are punished. However, it is common practice for her to never respond to any texts from people and think nothing of it. When I have pointed this out to her, she says "well that's because it's my style," or some such, as if the double-standard is ok. She will never look at it from the standpoint that the other person could be needing something or simply disappointed and hurt that she ignored them. Again, zero empathy. I could go on.
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    « Reply #98 on: August 31, 2019, 06:34:11 PM »

    This is something I have been thinking about.

    Mainly from watching dozens of videos on youtube all of which seemed to nail it.

    I see BPD in my wife - need for validation etc - push pull - violent rage

    but I see many traits that cross over to NPD territory - lack of empathy - the amount of violence and pain she has inflicted without remorse. Her later apologies dont seem sincere. Entitlement - rules are for other fools to follow - not her. Pumping up her modest achievements to make them seem grander than they are. She is attracted to and impressed with very successful business people - billionaires - wants me to become rich and give her this prestige and lifestyle - wants me to be one of them.

    But then she openly has low self esteem and admits that. Something that a narc wouldn't really do. She also talks about her childhood with some objectivity - she was the black sheep her sister golden child. But she cant make the link between that trauma and her adult disregulation. She does not acknowledge any disregulation.

    The entitlement thing has been so difficult to live with as it has led to very humiliating situations.
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    « Reply #99 on: August 31, 2019, 08:46:45 PM »

    Interesting topic. Could it be that all cluster Bs are somewhat closely related in any case? Some more, some less?

    I remember explaining some problems  to my very experienced T, her telling then that your partner seems to have many , many narcissistic traits, in addition to BPD. I went then completely on defence  and denial...
    I did not want to hear it as I thought that I perhaps could  ‘ handle ‘ BPD . But not NPD ( as not treatable, so they say).

    Well , I was of course wrong, as I cannot/ could not ‘’handle ‘ BPD either  - I do not think anyone can. But my T was right, - indeed looking back ( or now), at least ‘ my’ ex indeed has a huge portion of NPD, perhaps APD, too.

    On the other hand, what difference this it would make, with a diagnosis here or there ( often even a prof cannot make a ‘ one’ diagnosis).

    There won’t be probably any one single explanation and/or diagnosis for the all the misary  we are going through / have faced.
    And it always includes ‘us too - why on earth we let this all to happen ?






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    « Reply #100 on: August 31, 2019, 10:57:33 PM »

    Excerpt
    The similarities between BPD and NPD very very close.

    BPD and NPD are very different disorders. theyre very different in terms of their diagnostic criteria, theyre very different in terms of the psychology theories of their origin (how one comes to develop NPD or BPD), and theyre very different in how they manifest in relationships.

    you can read about the diagnostic criteria, as well as in depth explanations about the traits here:

    https://bpdfamily.com/content/borderline-personality-disorder
    https://bpdfamily.com/content/narcissistic-personality-disorder

    Excerpt
    If that is the case how do you distinguish between the two. Was
    my ex a narcissist or a pwBDP. How would anyone know?

    is the question youre asking really "did my ex hurt me intentionally, or did she have remorse"?

    its a complicated question, made more complicated by the fact that being in it ourselves means we have our own biases, not the least of which are our hurts. in dysfunctional relationships especially, it is more complicated than "intentional or not intentional". it can be both or neither. its not the best measure for trying to identify your exs flavor of personality, or, necessarily, the best way to try to understand what was happening in your relationship.

    is there a specific incident or incidents that youre wondering about, trying to better understand? itd be good to open a new thread and get some perspective on it. with a lot of help and outside perspective, i came to a pretty good understanding of what went on in my relationship.

    PS. the full title of the book is: Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself. there are lot of good lessons we can learn from and after our relationships. how to "out narcissist a narcissist" is probably not one of them.
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    « Reply #101 on: September 01, 2019, 01:31:21 AM »

    ColdKnight  Welcome new member (click to insert in post) thanks for your thoughts, I think you shared some interesting ideas. I haven't much to add so I'm just supporting your discussion - I think it's a good idea to have the distinction of BP/NP traits in our mind.


    You then read that radiation is a common treatment, so you go hang out near the baggage screening at the airport.
    LMAO this example Skip.   Love it! (click to insert in post)

    I learned a lot from this post. Thanks Skip - inspiring and informative. I was looking over resources recently to support an issue in my life and Arabi's books were on the list. I went with a different one (phew). Great to be part of this sharing on this.
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    « Reply #102 on: September 01, 2019, 08:14:47 AM »

    I have a sister who is a full-blown narcissist and I can tell you that they are distinctly different from somebody with BPD. Narcissists are mean and devoid of empathy. In fact, they are downright cruel. They believe they are special people to be admired, and have a sense of entitlement which has to be seen to be believed.

    The self-loathing that is a hallmark of BPD, and which they will even admit to at times, will never be seen in the narcissist. A narcissist never admits to any of their weaknesses. In fact, over the course of our lives my sister has said on numerous occasions "I don't say sorry."

    She has a completely different set of rules for herself vs. others. For instance, if she texts somebody and they don't get back to her in a timely manner, she becomes angry and they are punished. However, it is common practice for her to never respond to any texts from people and think nothing of it. When I have pointed this out to her, she says "well that's because it's my style," or some such, as if the double-standard is ok. She will never look at it from the standpoint that the other person could be needing something or simply disappointed and hurt that she ignored them. Again, zero empathy. I could go on.

    Do you think NPDs are more likely than BPDs to try and achieve prestige etc through pushing their children to play musical instruments to a high level - try to get into prestige schools etc. And punish them physically when they are not up to standard?
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    « Reply #103 on: September 01, 2019, 02:30:57 PM »

    Do you think NPDs are more likely than BPDs to try and achieve prestige etc through pushing their children to play musical instruments to a high level - try to get into prestige schools etc. And punish them physically when they are not up to standard?

    My narcissistic sister is consumed by prestige, so she only wants the best for her children. She has never been physically abusive to the kids, but she is an extremely emotionally abusive person. When she does not get her way - when her children or husband do not act in the manner she expects - she will punish them severely by ignoring the whole family and holing herself up in her room. She also has no problem walking around and acting like they don't even exist. They could say something to her and either receive a snide comment or get no reaction whatsoever like they aren't even in the same room. This is the sort of behavior that the husband/children have come to expect when they don't meet her expectations. She is the most toxic person I've ever known.

    Very few friends and acquaintances have seen her true side. She hides it well. She is almost like 2 people - the pretentious, phony person the world sees, and the real her that only family sees. She has a mentality that she is special and she looks down upon people she views as lower class, etc. Every Christmas, like many people, she sends out pictures of her family taken by a professional. Everything has to be perfect to convey that they are the the epitome of happiness so as to be the envy of all. But when she receives the photos of others she actually criticizes them, making snide comments about what the kids are dressed in, the mother's hair, etc. It's appalling.

    If there's one example I could use to highlight the lack of empathy and downright cruelty of a narcissist it would be this: My mother was dying of cancer. At the time she had maybe a month left, and she was in terrible pain and agony. My sister came to visit her one last time with the kids. We went out to pick up dinner. I got my mom seated and she took maybe a few bites and that's all she could handle. She was really uncomfortable, so after 20-30 minutes she asked if I could help her back to bed. I said of course. My sister said to her "I can't believe you're going to go back to bed, you just got out here. You haven't even really spent time with my kids." Think about that for a minute. Here's a woman who has stage IV cancer throughout her body, and that wasn't even a thought to my sister. All she cared about was her expectations. Disgusting.
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    « Reply #104 on: September 01, 2019, 03:34:26 PM »

    HI Crushed,

    You may not even want to go down this rabbit hole and I won’t be offended if you don’t but I’m going to ask.

    Are there things you can point to in the past that may have caused your sisters NPD?

    What to you think caused her NPD?
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    « Reply #105 on: September 01, 2019, 04:04:59 PM »

    HI Crushed,

    You may not even want to go down this rabbit hole and I won’t be offended if you don’t but I’m going to ask.

    Are there things you can point to in the past that may have caused your sisters NPD?

    What to you think caused her NPD?

    I was raised in a dysfunctional household with an alcoholic mother and a father who was almost never home due to business. My mother was a Jekyll and Hyde type - as nice as can be sober, awful when drunk. She was also a histrionic/BPD type personality. I am only recently delving into my family dynamics and why I allowed myself to be taken in by my BPD ex. I had never before been in a relationship with one, and I don't want to repeat it. I was, however, abused by the women in my household my entire childhood.

    When I say abuse, it was emotional abuse, not physical. I was teased relentlessly by the 3 sisters, presumably because I was the only boy and there were no parents around to stop them. They would call me "little girl" over and over as I would tell them to "stop it," and ultimately they would make me cry. This started when I was very, very young. Once they made me cry, they would continue, and my crying would eventually turn to anger and I would chase after them to try to get them to leave me alone. They would run into the bathroom, all 3 of them, slam the door, then tease from outside the door. I was an inconsolable mess a lot of the time. It was horrific. There was no love from them at all.
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    « Reply #106 on: September 02, 2019, 03:19:14 AM »

    My narcissistic sister is consumed by prestige, so she only wants the best for her children. She has never been physically abusive to the kids, but she is an extremely emotionally abusive person. When she does not get her way - when her children or husband do not act in the manner she expects - she will punish them severely by ignoring the whole family and holing herself up in her room. She also has no problem walking around and acting like they don't even exist. They could say something to her and either receive a snide comment or get no reaction whatsoever like they aren't even in the same room. This is the sort of behavior that the husband/children have come to expect when they don't meet her expectations. She is the most toxic person I've ever known.

    Very few friends and acquaintances have seen her true side. She hides it well. She is almost like 2 people - the pretentious, phony person the world sees, and the real her that only family sees. She has a mentality that she is special and she looks down upon people she views as lower class, etc. Every Christmas, like many people, she sends out pictures of her family taken by a professional. Everything has to be perfect to convey that they are the the epitome of happiness so as to be the envy of all. But when she receives the photos of others she actually criticizes them, making snide comments about what the kids are dressed in, the mother's hair, etc. It's appalling.

    If there's one example I could use to highlight the lack of empathy and downright cruelty of a narcissist it would be this: My mother was dying of cancer. At the time she had maybe a month left, and she was in terrible pain and agony. My sister came to visit her one last time with the kids. We went out to pick up dinner. I got my mom seated and she took maybe a few bites and that's all she could handle. She was really uncomfortable, so after 20-30 minutes she asked if I could help her back to bed. I said of course. My sister said to her "I can't believe you're going to go back to bed, you just got out here. You haven't even really spent time with my kids." Think about that for a minute. Here's a woman who has stage IV cancer throughout her body, and that wasn't even a thought to my sister. All she cared about was her expectations. Disgusting.


    How do you know that? Do you live with her?

    if you go and look at the comments on NPD/BPD vids on youtube there are loads of adults saying their mum or dad was a narc and physically abused them and they were glad when their parent died.
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    « Reply #107 on: September 02, 2019, 07:08:29 PM »

    As someone with a BPD xw and a NPD m (both confirmed by trained mental health professionals), this is my wheelhouse.

    The big difference is that someone with NPD has a well-defined sense of self.  Now, that sense of self is false, destructive and toxic, but someone with NPD has a self-conception of what they are.  Someone with BPD will, at minimum, have to actively define their selves after successful treatment, and will likely have difficulties with that for life.  Without treatment, all you can count on is the information on their birth certificate.

    In terms of the cause of my mom's NPD, it has to do with the unique internal cultural circumstances of the African-American experience.  Colorismhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_based_on_skin_color#United_States is a big deal, particularly among women.  My maternal grandparents were lighter-skinned Black folks, while my mom is noticeably and dramatically darker than them.  I didn't find out a lot until I was grown, but she was treated noticeably worse than her fairer skinned siblings and cousins, and has held a grudge against the whole family, even the following generations that ended up darker. 

    She was denied clothes, opportunities for better schooling and, most importantly, attention from higher status men.  Her mother thought that the best she could do was end up a maid or have some sort of crappy job.  She was bitter that she married a West Indian man, and let me know it as a kid growing up.  Despite doing well in her life, she never let go that bitterness, and made a point to cultivate a high status image.
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    « Reply #108 on: September 02, 2019, 08:15:09 PM »

    I haven't read all the posts, but my DD20 is absolutely not narcissistic.  Having read on this board for several months now, I've tried to apologize for ways I may have hurt her feelings, trying to parent well and deal with a dx of ODD....and she refuses to accept it....ever.  She says she knows she has been most of the problem, almost all of it, and that I have been an amazing parent in light of it all.
    When there has been pain on both sides (even if unintentional in any way), for someone who has been in pain to consistently say the above (she's said this over the past 8 months, consistently, anytime we've talked)....they aren't self absorbed and selfish AT ALL.  I admire her sometimes, and so much.

    Also, she has a huge thing for the underdogs...be they animals, small children or situations where even an adult is being pushed around.  She will throw herself in the line of fire in unimaginable ways.
    She is very much BPD, and not a narcissist.
    Just my observations and thoughts.
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    « Reply #109 on: September 03, 2019, 05:34:15 AM »

    Paragraph header (click to insert in post) This is a self-published junk psychology book. It's generally best to not read junk psychology as most books seamlessly intertwine valid psychology concepts with urban myths to give the urban myths validity. When the reader sees bits and pieces of the valid psychology that they have seen in reputable sources they are then inclined to believe the books junk concepts overall.

    If you want reliable layman's understanding of NPD, read Nina Brown.

    Loving The Self-Absorbed: How to Create a More Satisfying Relationship with a Narcissistic Partner
    Author: Nina Brown, EdD
    Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (June 2003)
    Paperback: 192 pages
    ISBN-10: 1572243546
    ISBN-13: 978-1572243545





    Most of these junk books approach the subject in a backward way where the diagnosis is based on how someone makes us feel and on a cookbook interpretation of the DSM. The DSM actually has a disclaimer to not use it this way.

    What do I mean by this? Let's use a medical example. You have a headache. You go to a medical book about brain tumors and see that headache is listed as a symptom. You then conclude you have a brain tumor. You then read that radiation is a common treatment, so you go hang out near the baggage screening at the airport.

    Sound ridiculous? No one would actually do this for a medical problem.  But people often go this route for mental illness where the patients somehow know more than the doctors.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

    Why are different mental illnesses named and defined to begin with?
    Answer: to know which treatments to use (simple answer).

    Why do we want to know what PD? Unfortunately, too many of us want to find peace by blaming our partner for a relationship where why we got treated erratically and unmercifully dumped. OK. We're wounded. The relationship WAS bad. But that does not make us experts.

    What should we want to know? I think the first thing is to understand is if the person was mentally ill or if it was just a personality conflict.
    https://www.bpdfamily.com/content/traits-personality-disorder

    I think the second thing is what was pathological in the relationship and what was just bad stuff - on both sides.

    Then we can start to make sense of it - our role and our partners role. Remember, no matter how troubled our partner may have been, we were 50% of the relationship dynamics and we had free will. In other words, we were willing and active participants in the dysfunction.

    When we encounter high conflict or destructive relationship behaviors it is important for us to know that the problems can be caused by a broad range of things on both sides:

        immaturity,
        short term mental illness (e.g., depression),
        substance induced illness (e.g., alcoholism),
        a mood disorder (e.g., bipolar),
        an anxiety disorder (e.g., PTSD),
        a personality disorder (e.g., BPD, NPD, 8 others),
        a neurodevelopmental disorder (e.g., ADHD, Aspergers), or
        any combination of the above (i.e., co-morbidity).

    How often is "any combination of the above?"   In an NIH study of 34,653 people*, of those that had clinical BPD,

        74% had another personalty disorder,
        75% also had a mood disorder, and
        74% also had an anxiety disorder.

    When I look back at my relationship of 12 years ago, I see a lovely person with some life long struggles and a life path with a lot of seriously injured partners. One committed suicide. When I look at her mom, there were five marriages - she has all the wedding albums, but the husbands faces are cut out (a red flag, maybe).

    Clearly she had issues and it ran in the family.

    At the time I got into the relationship, I was fresh off a divorce and I jumped for the warmth and appreciation that I got from the new girl. I thought I was pretty smart, but in the postmortem, I learned my EQ wasn't as good as I thought. I couldn't tell that this was a flawed person, and I didn't know how to respond to conflict in a constructive way. My understanding of human nature needed some work, for sure. I needed to grow up.

    I've since learned many life skills. I use them daily. It has helped all my relationships (romantic, friends, business, etc.).

    I have also become a student of what qualities in a partner and in me are needed to have a solid relationship. I found some mentors with 30+ year happy marriages and it helped me greatly.  I think I have a much better understanding.

    Going back to the book. I can tell you from reading 10 pages of the book that it full of ill informed ideas and immature life skills. Ask yourself, does doingn things like "reverse gaslighting" or "creating a false self" or "devaluing the narcissist" sound even remotely mature? Look at the title; "Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare". Is that a worthy goal in life?

    This book reminds me of a member we had 5 year ago who dealt with his meth addiction by becoming an alcoholic. His argument? I'm in a much healthier place.  

    I guess, in a way, this is a true statement.


    Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading this reply & I agree the title of the book is slightly Narcissistic in it's self. It's a sales pitch basically.
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    « Reply #110 on: September 03, 2019, 05:36:33 AM »

    I think my ex was BPD with NPD traits. She could go from self loathing to having a massive sense of grandiosity. She could switch from been loving & caring to nasty & evil!
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    « Reply #111 on: September 03, 2019, 12:49:47 PM »

    In my own experience, I gathered that some of the narcissistic stuff I saw in my XW, was more of a run-of-the-mill coping mechanism: she grew up poor and was frequently disrespected by classmates for her family situation and income.

    She compensated for that by really cultivating this image of herself as a sophisticated workaholic mom & health nut kinda thing.  But when it suited her, of course, she could also play up that she came from humble circumstances and wasn't materialistic.

    I see that as irritating and immature maybe, but not necessarily a PD.  Lots of people do stuff like this.  one can see old classmates at a reunion talking up their careers, and over-dressing to signal financial success... whatever.

    However, her abandonment fears were easily triggered and leas her to make irrationally and self-sabotaging decisions and act out unhealthy behavior.  To me... THAT was sign of a personality disorder.  The other - personal image - stuff maybe got exaggerated when combined with it, but it wasn't NPD. 
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    « Reply #112 on: September 08, 2019, 10:58:12 AM »

    I thought this was a stunning note. Thanks Skip.

    (3) their "pseudosublimatory" potential, [...]

    They also are able to exert self-control in anxiety-producing situations, which may at first appear as good anxiety tolerance; however, analytic exploration shows that their anxiety tolerance is obtained at the cost of increasing their narcissistic fantasies and of withdrawing into "splendid isolation." This tolerance of anxiety does not reflect an authentic capacity for coming to terms with a disturbing reality.

    I think it's useful because it tells us that something that appears to be a mark of emotional maturity (skill of distress tolerance) is actually an act of 'writing off' by the person simply because they can't cope with the disturbing reality—of whatever that stimulus is. To assume someone is processing a distressing event automatically, just because we're used to doing it, or we're used to being around people that do (seem) to do it—I think that's quite a grave error in our judgement of a person's state of being.
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