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Author Topic: COMPARISON: Narcissistic Personality Disorder vs BPD  (Read 11616 times)
enlighten me
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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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magic78
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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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magic78
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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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