In my work with victims of narcissistic abuse I am more typically than not requested the same query: “How do I know I am not the Narcissist?”
Once I requested my own therapist this question so a few years ago she answered “Should you were the narcissist you would not be asking that question, because narcissist’s won’t see that the problem is with them.” They’re too busy projecting the problems onto those around them.
Nonetheless our personal narcissism is a matter price exploring in more detail. For example: Why will we ask that question to start with. What’s it that makes us feel we’re the narcissist?
In talking to a consumer right now I had a big realization. She was telling me how she was all the time upset in her earlier boyfriends or partners. They just didn’t measure as much as her expectations. As we dug just a little deeper she explained how to deal with a narcissist she has wavered between emotions of superiority and emotions of inferiority. She has built her personal phantasm or concept of who she was which in her own reality positioned herself upon a pedestal. So in a way she was doing the identical thing a narcissistic personality would do. She sheltered herself from her feelings of inferiority by putting herself upon a pedestal. That pedestal created a false confidence.
So when the narcissistic personality comes into her life her false confidence is initially mirrored by the narcissist who displays to her the image worthy of the pedestal she has positioned herself upon. However as the relationship progresses her emotions of inferiority are triggered as he projects his own inferiority upon her. Now she is experiencing the feeling of getting her mate disappointed in her inadequacy just as she has been dissatisfied in past companions for their inadequacy.
What’s the distinction than between the narcissistic partner and the one who feels abused? Compassion and Empathy! The shopper I was talking to at this time, recognized with her companions emotions of superiority and also with his feelings of inadequacy. She had empathy for him. She did not wish to see him hurt because she knows how painful it’s to expertise those same kinds of feelings. A pathological narcissist could give a rip about his companions hurt feelings. He’s solely concerned with himself and his own needs.
The inverted narcissist, as Sam Vaknin calls it, is the proper match for the pathological narcissist. Because when their false selves meet, the phantasm of who they consider themselves to be is reinforced to a point where it could feel like Cinderella meeting her prince who takes her out of her hell gap, the place she is made to wear rags and sweep ashes all day. Out of the blue she is swept off her feet, she fits the glass slipper completely, and is carried off to the Castle adorned with stunning gowns and riches match for the queen she is.
Perhaps in this fairy story, Cinderella all the time fantasized herself to be a queen, however she lived the reality of being an ash maiden. She was ridiculed and condemned by those around her and made to feel unworthy of the good things in life. However she would show them someday. She would show them she was really a queen.
For these of us who come from painful childhoods where we were in some way made to really feel inferior, we are able to simply create fantasy worlds the place we escape into never never land. We imagine ourselves as fairy princesses and imagine our prince driving up on a white horse and sweeping us off our toes, carrying us from our humble reality to a great castle where we’re treated as a queen needs to be treated.
Within the psychic realm the psychosis of the pathological narcissist is a good match for the fantasy world of the inverted narcissist. Because on the planet of make imagine an ideal fantasy is created where the King and the Queen of never by no means land get collectively and experience off into the sunset. It’s such a gorgeous love story, in the beginning.
However all glass slippers finally break and so do the glass houses the “perfect” couple reside in. There love isn’t constructed on anything real, but somewhat an phantasm of perfection created by each parties. She is saying “be my prince” and he is saying “be my queen.” But as soon as they settle into the Castle the true selves start to emerge. The sentiments of inferiority begin to surface. Both partners do not really want to be discovered, less they danger losing their status upon that pedestal. “What if she finds out I am really a frog?” He would possibly think. And she or he may wonder “what if he knows the truth of me, that I am only an ash sweeper?”