Dragon slayers: the origins of grandiosity.

I thought this article fit on both my blogs. It’s something I was thinking about earlier.

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The Godship of Tom Cruise.

tom_cruise_scientology

I’m in shock. But I think I saw this coming.

How serendipitous I posted my article about Risky Business on the same day THIS little item about Cruise hit the news:

http://www.celebuzz.com/2015-07-29/tom-cruise-huge-penis-scientology-shroud/

I cannot repost the photos or text here (you’ll know why after you click it on), but if there was ever any doubt Tom Cruise is a grandiose malignant narcissist of the highest order, this removes all doubt. He’s either batshit insane or evil to the core. Shudder.

I wonder if he was always a crazy malignant narc, or if megastardom turned him that way. It seems the Church of Scientology agrees with his assessment of himself.

Here’s another article that goes into more detail about the unveiling.

I wrote about my own experience with Scientology in this article.

Narcissists in fantasyland.

kitten_sees_lion

We already know narcissists lie. It’s the one thing they’re all good at. I read a conversation today about the way narcissists lie even about things there is no reason to lie about, and that they also begin to believe their own lies.

Narcissists have been telling lies for so long and have gotten so good at it that they really do believe their lies are the truth. Sometimes they even become skilled at using lies to cover up other lies. To a normal person, living a lie and trying so desperately to cover the truth would be an unbearably stressful way to live. Narcissists are stressed out by this as much as anyone else, but they don’t know where their stress comes from. They are deluded and think their lies are the truth. They honestly don’t know any better so they can’t stop lying and they can’t stop the stress that comes from that.

Think of a young child playing pretend. The child may know the fantasy is just a fantasy, but while they’re in it they believe it’s the truth. Tell the child their fantasy is a lie and they will rage and get very upset. But for young children, living outside reality to some extent is normal. When an adult lives outside reality and creates a fantasy world they think is real, we call it crazy.

If you tell a narcissist to stop lying, they will attack or sometimes, withdraw or even disappear. This happens because: 1. They hate the truth because if they know you can see through their lies, you have blown their flimsy cover and that is terrifying to them; and 2. like a young child, they don’t want to leave their fantasy world–a dream where they are perfect and superior to everyone else. Because in reality they know they aren’t. In fact, narcissists have dismally low self esteem. They hate themselves–but are in love with the false self they created. That’s where their grandiosity and sense of entitlement comes from. They need a constant influx of narcissistic supply from you to keep their false image of themselves alive.

wizard-of-oz2

In “People of the Lie,” M. Scott Peck discusses a malignantly narcissistic patient of his named Charlene. After years of therapy (during which Charlene spent most of her time sadistically playing with Dr. Peck like a toy), in one session she told him about a dream she had of a “marvelous machine.” The machine did everything and was perfect in every way. Charlene proudly told Dr. Peck she had designed and built this marvelous machine herself. When Dr. Peck suggested this machine that did everything was actually an elaborate weapon Charlene had created in her mind to avoid facing the truth about herself, Charlene’s cover was blown and she reacted with unreasonable rage, attacking Dr. Peck for not agreeing with her about the perfection and beauty of the “machine” she was so proud of and what its true purpose was. She could not bear to face the truth and preferred to keep living in her fantasy world of delusions.

wizard
Wizard: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

The Wizard in The Wizard of Oz wanted to appear to be a powerful and ruthless tyrant, so even though he was actually a weak and unassuming little man, he hid behind a curtain, amplified his voice, and projected a scary image onto the far wall when Dorothy and her friends entered the Wizard’s castle. What gives the Wizard away as not being a true narcissist (I’d venture to guess he was probably a borderline) was the fact that when exposed, he took responsibility and showed true remorse for behaving the way he did. It’s still a good illustration of the way narcissists deny reality though.

Narcissists hate themselves and only want you to see what they want you to see. While perhaps done unconsciously, they construct a False Self which is a self of lies. This mask isn’t who they are but they sure get good at convincing everyone it is. Their abuse of others stems from the need to protect “the marvelous machine” they created. If they feel this cover may be blown by the truth, they attack, abuse and rage (or leave), because they’re so terrified you may see the emptiness inside or even worse for them, the vulnerable and defenseless True Self hiding in the dark corners of their unconscious.

I’ve seen narcissists talking to themselves, sometimes in public. It’s weird. It’s as if they don’t know they are talking to themselves. I used to point this out to my ex when he was holding conversations with himself, and he’d deny it or get angry. Could narcissism be a psychotic or dissociative disorder? Do they hear voices in their heads? Sometimes I wonder.

By telling themselves so many lies, they are abusing themselves as much as they abuse others. Only they never realize this. And they won’t ever let you tell them. They’d rather wander forever in the confusing labyrinth of their disordered minds where up is down, north is south, dark is light, yes is no, wrong is right, and they are gods. They can’t face reality because it might destroy them. Or so they believe.

Eight fun games narcissists like to play (and one they can’t play).

not_fun

Here are eight games that are lots of fun for one of the players: the narcissist who initiates them. And like the overgrown babies they are, if you refuse to play or appear to be winning their game, they will pout, whine or throw a tantrum until you concede or let them win. This is a humorous yet serious look at the many games narcissists like to play, from the website The Narcissistic Life. Don’t play these games. Let them sulk and whine all by their widdle selves. Take the ball and go home.

Games Narcissists Play
Written by Alexander Burgemeester

Narcissists are masters at playing mind games. They play to win and take no prisoners. They are poor losers and if they don’t win they will often react in a fit of rage and stomp away like a little child. The only way for the other person to win is to not play. You really have to be “on top of your game” to avoid them though. Here are some of the more common games that narcissists play:

#1 Ping-Pong:

ping_pong

When a person begins to understand how a narcissist works, he or she realizes that it’s a bit like playing ping-pong. Anytime a narcissist has to self-reflect about anything, they will immediately throw the ball back to the person they consider their opponent. Narcissists will always throw the ball back to the other person. They do this in the expectation that they won’t have to take responsibility for their behavior. Narcissists hope that by not taking responsibility for their own actions (by using blaming, shaming, projection, denial, etc.) their partner will do what they have always done-forgive the narcissist, make excuses for the narcissist’s behavior, claim the narcissist couldn’t help himself because he was having a bad day, and so on.

The narcissist is a moving target and you are always on the firing line. To get away from them (or expose them), you always have to keep an eye on the ball i.e., their actions and motives for playing their games with you. You have to stop wanting to play.

You can stop catching the ball and put it back in the narcissist’s court by setting boundaries and making him aware of his actions. He then realizes he has no one to play with anymore. He will either drop the person like a hot potato, try to punish the person, or run away.

#2 Gotcha!

gotcha

The narcissist can be a master of phony empathy. He appears to take you in, appears to understand what you are experiencing, and appears to genuinely be able to put himself in your shoes. These acts cause you to let your guard down; just when you think there is a genuine give-and-take in your relationship, he pulls a fast one on you-a “gotcha”- most often when you’re at a low point. He will suddenly tell you about his extraordinary new career move, a luxurious trip that he’s taking, or a huge shift in financial status that will make you feel even more diminished. Narcissists perfectly execute an unexpected psychological pounce; their purpose is to grind you down, to humiliate you, and make you feel small and inferior.

[My addition to this:  Covert narcissists like to play the mirror image to this game: when you’re doing well, have good news, and are in a great mood, they’ll be a Debbie Downer and tell you all about how depressed they are or about how they never get any breaks or all the awful things that have happened to them.  Or they might “caution” you about why you shouldn’t be too happy–the intention is to ruin your mood].

#3 Crazy Eights:

crazy_8s

This is a favorite game of narcissists…YOU are called crazy anytime you try to confront them, bring up past issues or behaviors, or expose them when they’re doing something appalling. The game goes like this: you are told that you have an overly active imagination, you don’t know what you’re talking about, they have no idea what you’re talking about, or that you’re simply making things up to cause problems. They’ll tell you that it’s obvious that you are the one who is crazy (and tell you that everyone around you agrees with them about you being crazy).

They will claim not to remember even unforgettable events, flatly deny they ever happened, and will never entertain the possibility that they might have forgotten. This is an extremely aggressive and infuriating tactic called “gaslighting”, a common technique used by abusers of all kinds. Your perceptions of reality are continually undermined so that you end up without any confidence in your own intuition, memory, or reasoning.

#4 Death by a Thousand Cuts:

whale_bullies

This is a really fun game that all narcissists like to play! It involves destroying your soul, your ego, your accomplishments and any belief system you have that does not agree with their beliefs. The way the game is won is for them to try to turn everything about you, and everything you do, into a complete failure. Extra points are given when they can take all the credit for anything good that has ever happened and put it all in their own pot. Double points are earned when they manage to put all blame for anything bad onto the other player.

#5 Twenty-One:

adult-children

In this popular game, you’re not allowed to ever reach the emotional age of 21. Even if you are 50 years old, you will still be treated like a child (a stupid child, a bad child, a silly child, etc.). You don’t get to have face cards and if you do get an ace, it’s only worth one point.

#6 The King/Queen Game:

royals
Artwork by Mike Reed

The most important part to remember about this game is that no one can know the rules except the king or queen. Either the king or queen gets to make up rules as they go along; they don’t have to tell the other players the new rules and they can change the rules whenever it suits them. They are the king or queen and, therefore, always win the game. You can be penalized for breaking the rules, even if they chose not to tell you the rules.

#7 Cat and Mouse:

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This is a kind of competitive patience (solitaire) game for two players. It is also known as Spite and Malice. The cards are arranged from low to high with the Kings being wild. Suits (the normal order of things and\or common societal rules) are irrelevant in the game. The game ends when someone wins by playing the last card of their “pay-off” pile. The game can also end if the players run out of cards, in which case the result is a draw.

Cat and Mouse (or Spite and Malice) is a perfect game for a narcissist because it is actually a form of solitaire, it requires “one upmanship”, and involves pulling out “better” cards to beat the opponent.
It involves a “payoff” and for the narcissist, that usually means hurting you somehow. They keep track of real or imaginary things you do, have done, or might do. This is their “pile” and they will pull a card from it and use it against you whenever possible.

#8 Liars Poker:

liars_poker

Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) play this game fantastically. They are accomplished liars. Their complete persona and their entire world are totally based in lies. Their positive attributes and alleged actions are all made up in order to get other people to give them their fix of narcissistic supply-praise, adulation and accolades.

#9 Keep Away:

narc_repellant

This is a game that you, yourself, must learn to play. It is important to recognize that the narcissist will never acknowledge that any games are being played; it is up to you to stop playing. To do this, you need to stop bringing up past events/behaviors because you will always be told you’re wrong, they are right, and that you need help. Don’t try to get them to acknowledge or take responsibility for their words or actions because they will always say they didn’t do it or it never happened.

If you are in a relationship, you can walk away from the toxic narcissist in your life. If your boss is an abusive narcissist, you can find another job. You can walk away from your parents, too, if they are abusive.
If you choose to stay, one way to stop playing their game is to not respond to jabs, barbs, pleas, put-downs etc. It is difficult to stop, but perhaps thinking of it this way will help: if you’re playing a game of catch with a ball, the only way to stop the game is to not catch the ball when thrown or not pick up the ball and throw it back. It is possible to stop playing games with a narcissist but just be prepared for an onslaught of negativity, accusations and histrionics. Ignore inciting words, do not respond back to inciting words, hang up the phone (with proper notice such as “I’ve got something I need to do “-not slamming it down) or leave the location where he is at. There are many ways for you to refuse to catch the ball or put the ball down and not throw it back. This is the game of “Keep Away”-you stay away, walk away, and refuse to play.

Reference:
http://postcardstoanarcissist.wordpress.com/games-narcissist-play/

The grandiose, deluded narcissist.

deluded

The website Sociopath World, a blog by and for sociopaths (and psychopaths), is full of intriguing articles and blog posts about sociopathy and related disorders, such as Narcissism.

Naturally, I clicked on the section on Narcissism and among many entries about remorseless criminals, sadistic murderers, and narcissistic psychopaths, I found this hilarious but sad little gem about Mary Roach, a long forgotten American Idol auditionee, a young woman who shows every trait of narcissism you can imagine and is pitifully deluded about her singing ability. If there was ever a poster child for NPD, Mary was it.

The 9 Psychiatrically Recognized Traits of NPD:

–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)
–Requires excessive admiration
–Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
–Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
–Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling 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
–Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

It’s only necessary to have five of these traits to be diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder; Mary appears to have more than five, if not all of them.

I decided to post about poor forgotten Mary Roach rather than another depressing article about a murderer, cult leader, or abusive parent, in part because the subject matter is lighter and even funny in its sad way, but to show just how deluded and out of touch with reality “normal” everyday non-criminal narcissists can be.

Given that reality shows are swarming with narcissists, Mary wasn’t that unusual on a show like this, but even in an environment where narcissistic traits are probably beneficial if not actually necessary, Mary’s particular brand of narcissism stands out for its complete disconnect from any semblance of reality.

I’m also posting the original write up from Sociopath World because it’s so spot on. (Some of the dialogue in the video is most likely scripted, but I have no doubt Mary is very high on the narcissist spectrum).

Famous narcissist? Mary Roach
A friend sent me this. Obviously it’s hilarious, but it’s also a really good example of what if feels like watching a narcissist at work (to all of your narcissist readers that this blog apparently attracts?). There’s something so blatantly ridiculous about the way they act and how disconnected they are from reality.

Mary is absolutely immune to criticism and when confronted with the truth about her singing, she immediately assumes that her critic has a personal issue with her that is driving the criticism as opposed to merely stating the obvious truth. One of the more obvious narcissist qualities is that when the judges start playing with her, she doesn’t fight it or immediately defend herself but plays along. She wants it to seem like she is in on any joke that they might be having and even if the joke is at her expense she would rather have the attention (even negative) than cede the spotlight. When they give her the goodbye, she keeps the conversation going, although it means rehashing their worst criticism of her. She also feels compelled to turn the tables and judge them for their appearances, as being smaller, thinner, prettier, and “hot.” She doesn’t need to criticize them necessarily — it is enough that they seem interested in her assessment of them. Of course they did not ask her for her opinions on them, but she manages to misunderstand a direct question and act as if she has some unique vision that warrants sharing.

It’s so funny to watch this because I know someone who acts exactly this way, even down to the little awkward mannerisms, especially the shrug at 4:50. The world is just not ready enough to appreciate their talents, but ain’t no thing. These people can’t be kept down for long by haters.