I’ve read many blogs and web sites about narcissists, and one question that keeps coming up is, “do they know they’re narcissists?” Another, related one is, “do they know what they’re doing or why they’re doing it?”
The answer to both is yes. Narcissists know exactly what they are, and I think they also love it when you figure them out. They’re flattered that you know of suspect them of this nasty character disorder, even if it means it will be harder for them to continue using you as a source of narcissistic supply. They also like to read about themselves.
Several years ago, I realized my mother was a narcissist. At the time, I was pretty enraged at her (more about my relationship with her another time) and emailed her a copy of the checklist for narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) from DSM IV. She backed off with the manipulations after that for awhile. Nothing else had been able to shut her up until I sent that email. I don’t know if she was flattered or not, but she definitely knew I had her number.
About a year ago I worked for a guy with fullblown malignant narcissism. I left a copy of “People of the Lie” on my desk (not on purpose), and when I came back after lunch, I caught him standing there at my desk seemingly lost in the book. He was so engrossed he didn’t even see me approach my desk and didn’t look up until I said hello. He jumped a little, then commented about my having some interesting reading taste. For the rest of the day he seemed more cheerful than usual. The next day, he asked if he could borrow the book when I was done with it.
I recently purchased a copy of Dr. Simon’s book about malignant narcissism “Character Disturbance.” I live with my daughter, who allowed my ex (her father) to come inside my home even though I have a restraining order against him (she does not). Of course that’s another matter and a serious one which I won’t address here. I did find it humorous that he had found my copy of the book, which was lying on the coffee table in the living room (not where I had left it) with a page corner turned down where he had left off reading. My daughter told me he was asking her why I was reading it, and she told him because it was about him. She said he kind of smiled after that and said he might order a copy of the book for himself. Evidently he knows exactly what he is and likes it.
As always comments are welcome!
He liked the books because it was “about him,” that pretty much sums it up. Frightening, sad and pathetic at the same time. No remorse. No empathy only a pride in one’s ability to garner attention from and control others. I feel for you, I wish you the best.
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I agree. It is very sad and pathetic. He’s been showing some stalking behaviors lately because I’ve cut him off even though he claims to not care what I think of him. Of course he doesn’t care about my feelings, but like all narcissists he still views me as his property. I don’t have reason to think he’s physically dangerous (although I realize it’s just as dangerous to assume he can’t become so) but I do have a restraining order and he’s certainly dangerous in every other way. His invading my boundaries this way is a blatant and desperate form of manipulation and intended to intimidate. I had to put up with this shit for 28 years because I was too terrified of him to do anything about it until he did something that finally made me take action (the straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak). I’ll describe everything in a future post–but that’s a lot of work, both emotionally and time-wise. It’s a long pathetic story. Anyway, thanks for replying and reading my blog! I’ll check yours out too. I’m new to this blogging thing and it’s sure exciting when I get a new comment. 😀
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Reblogged this on myplace2spu and commented:
this is a very interesting observation and thought provoking topic!
So I wonder if there is another reason aside from supply is a reason they are so intrigued by reading material about themselves? A narc works so hard to hide behind the mask and play the cat and mouse games they do with their supply. Imagine finding your way of survival all spelled out and summed up so tidy in one place like a book. I am considering that the injured child inside them that never matured but that the mask was made for in the first place and the adult self has adapted ways that work so hard to protect it would feel not only supply but also a bit of validation and a bit of two fragments of personality becoming aware of each other like in one of… Sorry Ms..Luckyotter Mr. Vaknin’s YouTube video interviews (one you posted that was pretty moving, I think it was on the post about your daughter).But, what stood out to me in that interview was how he spoke about D.I.D, Bi-Polar, borderline all being on the “spectrum” of Narcissism because Narcissism is a spectrum personality disorder and how each of the those personality disorders has narcissism in their criteria, it’s quiet possible they “the big book of disorder writers” sorry I forgot the name just haven’t come to realize this same conclusion which I would have to agree with Mr. Vaknin on the topic has. In D.I.D A therapist would work to integrate the self’s separate Identities. even people without these personality disorders can have fragmented personality’s and it’s being aware of when you put up your brick wall to protect your vulnerable side that you find a balance between the fragments of self/s
I look at my mom and always see the lost child in her and then I am sharply reminded by her actions that she is choosing her idea of what has worked best for her to protect her “injured child self”. I believe that is why the narc is also very sensitive because they once upon a time had to survive and thats how they did it and it suited them and their innate personality. Maybe some more predisposed than others to latch onto that coping method but different than an addiction it happens at such a young age and while their brain is still developing it becomes a part of them; their personality, And of course it being on a spectrum because their are so many factors that play into each individuals upbringing and environment and such.
Thank you luckyotter for such a behind the scenes perspective and intriguing post.