The Introvert's Corner

How to live a quiet life in a noisy world

"You're the Narcissist." "No, You're the Narcissist."

Some introverts claim extroverts are narcissists. Some extroverts insist introverts are narcissists. In reality, narcissists are narcissists. Read More

I think we are all just

I think we are all just "narcissists." :D
We are only pointing to ourselves.

How to Spot a Narcissist

I've written a couple of articles on narcissism you may be interested:

How to spot a narcissist:

This one deals with a subtle side of narcissism few people realize exists:

Thank you,

Dr. Sam

Introversion isn't narcissism, it's self-knowledge

And learning is so important, I don't see how it can be a bad thing.

And it helps you so much in your interactions with others. If you know yourself, your motivations and your worldview, you can understand and control your interactions with others, instead of having these things control you can potentially sabotage relationships.

Confusing Introversion vs. Extroversion with Narcissism

As an introvert, it always seemed to me that extroverts would be more likely to become narcissists than introverts. It makes more sense for them to need to be the center of attention and to boast and convince others of their importance in order to gain that attention. I never really considered the possibility of a quiet narcissist who isolates him/herself from others because he or she considers the rest of humanity inferior. That leads me to think that introverts will often mistake extroverts for narcissists, viewing their constant need for interaction and attention as inflated self-importance, and extroverts will often mistake introverts for narcissists, viewing their withdrawal as arrogance.

I don't know about this Narcissist label

In its extreme form, I can see why narcissism is a problem, but I think the label is being applied far too widely.

I was recently browsing some of the other blogs on this site, and had also come to the conclusion that it seemed kind of trendy to label everyone a narcissist.

I think that most people have a dash of at least some of the characteristics listed above. Maybe some people even find that they are expected to behave a bit like that to get ahead at work, even if it is not their natural tendency.

How many of us aren't "often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her"? Or like to have fantasies of unlimited success or power? How do you really know if someone lacks empathy for someone else in a particular situation, perhaps they are just not very good at demonstrating it or maybe they are just unable to help?

I find it very difficult to believe that introversion is a form of narcissism. As if one label isn't enough.

Many people are not envious

Many people are not envious of others or even wonder if others are envious of them. This alone is a red flag that some is seriously wrong. Many people refuse to behave like that to get ahead at work, even going to the extreme of quitting their job if this is the case. Empathy is very easy to identify, as when you feel it for another you feel their pain. I think you have a serious problem a that you are attempting to justify. You are living an empty, loveless life. You can change your destiny this instant if you just admit what you are.

Re: I don't know about this Narcissim label

Narcissism is real. If you dont know about it then is because neither your are one yourself or your have never met one. Living with a Narcissist for four years, I have learned that is real! There is a HUGE difference between belief in one's self and thinking too highly of yourself. Narcissist don't have to be always boostful; they can be the victim all the time and tell everyone about crimes that were done against them. ( The "white man" is holding me down is a classic used by black narissists). They are the people who seem to be one's living the "good life" (laughing, flirting, helping others in need), but people who know them personally are miserable! They will flirt with other women while you stand there looking dumb. Then you when ask them why, they make it seem as if you are the one with self esteem problems. They will convince you that you have problems and they tried to help but you didn't help yourself enough. They use your emotions to their advantage and leave you feeling empty. They will hurt and hurt again without thought to stop and comfort the other person until they get what they want.
They don't take responiblity for thier actions and when confronted, they turn the problems back on you. They will made you apologize just for bringing up the subject!
They see every mistake you make and not see their own faults. They can never see that they and others are on the same plane. They are ALWAYS different. Now this can be that they are higher than you or lower than you. For example: "I am such a joke because everyone is out get me". OR it can be " I am so better looking that they are being mean to me bacause their not me."


"The "white man" is holding

"The "white man" is holding me down is a classic used by black narissists"

You did not have to include this in your comment. It is irrelevant. It simply shows that you lack any real world knowledge. It was a simplistic statement that white people enjoy repeating, as means of taunting, far more than any black person I have met. It also trivalizes the reality of racism.

Ditto, RZ, on that side

Ditto, RZ, on that side comment's irrelevance. When I hear something like this, it's usually from a self-important narcissist who has trouble emphatizing with others' experiences with racism because of their own shortcomings; because they've lead sheltered, privileged lives; or because it threatens their weak egos too much to find the truth. Many of us, along with our ancestors, have been "gaslighted" our entire lives by those who had no problem hyper-aggressively placing their needs, physicial and mental welfare, interests, and personhood status not just above, but on TOP of ours, maliciously using the socially contructed concept of race with impunity. You've made interesting points here worth considering, but please, don't trivialize other issues with throwaway asides on complex subjects you don't appear to understand or care about.

the white man keeping black people down

Not that it has anything to do with the thread, but I'm a black woman who is tired of hearing black people talk about what the "white man" is doing to them. Not because I don't believe the white man has done a lot of damage to not only black people but every ethnic group out there. But, because the "white man" isn't now going to turn around in uncharacteristic benevolence and admit all his wrongdoing and fix every member of every minorities groups problems. So, the white has done this and that, now what are black people going to do for themselves because waiting around for the abuser to help the abused is just stupid.

It IS real.

I can tell you from experience that while the label does seem to be applied widely, I was in a year long relationship with a classic narcissistic female and never realized what was going on until I exposed her.

I thought Stacy and I (name changed) we had a wonderful relationship - she never complained about anything, she seemed to be happy (she said so if and when I brought it up), and she was sweet, caring, and kind. She was the perfect girlfriend - I was seriously thinking about putting a ring on her finger, it was that good. One warning sign is she was always apologetic and never wanted to show negative emotions - she rarely cried. The only time I remember her crying is when she had to tell me she got a ticket for talking on her cell phone in the car - it was almost as if she was ashamed.

Over the course of a month, she started acting erratic. She wouldn't answer my calls for a day or more, then when she answered, she acted like nothing was wrong or make it seem like I hadn't been calling. Or she'd hurry to get off the phone.

Well, this went on for nearly a week, when finally I decided to just drive out and see her and see what was going on. I was imagining she was depressed or unhappy about something. So, I take the 45 minute drive out to the desert where she lived, and boom. No car, no her, nothing. Her mom is there. I ask if she's seen her. She claims not to have. So I call her. I call her again. Nothing. Finally her mom calls her. She calls me back immediately. I asked her where she was - she said "at home".

At that point I get angry, and tell her that I'm standing in her living room, so if she wants to pop out and surprise me, now's the time. Instead of taking blame and fessing up to her lie, her immediate response is "Oh, why did you go out there?" She sounded disappointed and irritated more than anything else. I told her I wanted to see her and I was worried about her. So, she goes off and makes up this wild story about staying the night at a friends house, being too tired from work (she works at a major theme park), and not wanting me to worry. She was VERY defensive and rigid, rattling off details one after the other. So, I say, OK, and hang up. I go to the friends house. Nope, another lie, he says that he hasn't seen her in weeks. So, I call her back and leave an angry message saying that's it, we're broken up.

After we break up, she lets me go on for a week before she drops a bombshell - she thinks she might be pregnant. So, of course, I go way overboard trying to be the "nice guy", but she refuses to take the pregnancy test or call me back - she disconnects again. Now I look obsessive for trying to get ahold of her constantly.

So, finally she takes the test and its negative. I'm so relieved that I'm not even angry with her, I just want it all to be over.

Well, come to find out another week later, she was cheating on me - with two different guys, for OVER SEVEN MONTHS. We only dated for a year. I found this out from her MOM, worst of all. The kicker is, once the cat was out of the bag, I found out EVERYONE around her knew and was enabling her by not telling me. Tracy would have guys over on nights when I wasn't there, she would tell me she was working late then meet one of her guys in the parking lot of the theme park she works at to make out, she would lie and say she was driving home to the desert when really she was staying in the area and meeting one of them. All the while, I'm at home, thinking everything is great. One of the guys wrote me after it was all over. He said that he would ask her if she and I were broken up (they both knew who I was and that she was with me). He said sometimes she'd say no, sometimes yes, sometimes "it doesn't matter".

So, long story short, more and more info has been coming out on what kind of person she really is. In private, she's abusive to her mother, flying off into rages at the drop of a hat. Her father was abusive and abandoned them, then passed away. She lies compulsively about almost everything - even when caught, she wouldn't admit that she cheated, she kept trying to say I was insecure and paranoid and that I was the one that needed help. Then I find out she was slowly but surely lying to everyone around both of us, telling them I didn't like them and I talked about them to her behind their backs, when none of that was true.

Now, the only thing for me to do is disconnect completely - everyone she knows is on "her side" and has absolutely no sympathy for the fact that she was cheating and lying and running around on me, because they think so poorly of me - they almost seem to think it was justified. Further, she is very good about playing innocent and being the martyr, making everyone around her want to care for her and protect her. I just had to step away cos there's no way to convince anyone of the truth, really, when she's been at this for over a year, and I'm just now finding out how far she took everything. She would belittle and degrade me behind my back to everyone she knew, then act sweet and loving to my face. Also, she would rage incessantly at her mother for imagined slights and insults by other people. Last but not least, she waited less than a day before moving on and shacking up with one of the other two guys she was cheating with, and dropped me like a stone once she was exposed - all the talk of "being friends" and what not evaporated.

This disorder IS real, and it's not exaggerated. These people can make you feel like the scum of the earth - the way she manipulated events to make me the one to do the breaking up, then went and pretended to be heartbroken, when in reality she wasn't heartbroken, she was enraged inside at the perceived abandonment...even though SHE caused it and secretly wanted it. She also always wanted to meet alone to "talk" after the break up, so she could distort events and use selective truth to make herself look victimized.

NPD's are not really people - they hide the real "self" - that angry, vengeful, raging personality - behind a mask of whatever you want them to be, all the while setting themselves up for their inevitable exit. If you get involved with someone that even remotely seems like an NPD, run away immediately. There's no "winning" in this situation.


I oh, so, agree with you

Is it possible for

Is it possible for narcissists to have a productive support group?

Or rather, what motivates a narcissist to seek treatment?

I don't see much attempt to describe how the narcissist suffers, let alone any kind of sympathizing with the suffering of narcissists.

Most of what we see seems to be in terms of the damage that narcissists do to others, which leaves out many questions about what the narcissist experiences.

There is also the silliness of how labels are often used as a way to feel superior, if you catch the ironic humor in that point.

And, I'm sure there is always the possibility of a misdiagnosis.

One person I know has a certain empathic impairment and, in the past, could well have been accused of being a narcissist. However, that person, who happens to be an outgoing introvert, is actually relatively generous and considerate. It's just that there seems to be an inability to accurately comprehend the desires of others. It's kind of like offering a cough drop to someone who sneezes when others would recognize that a handkerchief was needed. A person with such an impairment grows to approach the problems of others in terms of what the understand best, which is themselves. Thus, they end up appearing self centered. More recently, I've been thinking that this is really something more in the proximity of autistic traits. But, this relatively happy person, who is in a long term relationship, used to catch a lot of flack for failing to properly account for the needs of others. As much as people have said that this person needed some help, a misdiagnosis of NPD would likely have been fairly unproductive.

Well, I suppose that there is such a thing as an introverted narcissist; but since NPD is most often described in terms of the effects on others, it's not surprising that some might see NPD as associated with extroversion.

Narcissist support groups

That is a scary thought, I wouldn't like to be the group leader!

Why are you stigmatizing?

"People with true NPD are rare and frightening creatures to be avoided if at all possible."

I know a couple of people who have got this diagnoses. They are not at all rare and frightening. I think it is you who are frightening, who stigmatize people the way you do.

This post is somewhat

This post is somewhat off-topic, but I just wanted to get some opinions on this article
It seems very condemning of introverts and perpetuates damaging stereotypes.

Some people actually do

Some people actually do capture everyone's attention when they enter a room. That is not always narcissism, but just fact.

Confusion between narcissism and self-love

Narcissists in the pathological sense are people with very low self-esteem who construct an image they deem ideal of themselves. They tend to have a very selective memory, give you the runaround or some hell when you confront them on their mistakes, crave relationships, in which they're often emotionally abusive.

About all the traits listed in the article point to extroversion as they put the focus on others and how to alter positively their impression of the narcissist.

Not saying all extroverts are hardcore narcissists but there's bond to be some traits since they wouldn't exist without others. Introverts as a rule just prefer to be left alone, unless they can find people aware of private space and boundaries.

High vs low self esteem in narcissism

I find it quite puzzling, all these recent researches about how narcissists now suddenly have high self confidence on all levels... instead of just showing off a mask. I mean this almost sounds as if it were something desirable to be - be a narcissist, then you'll have the ultimate self-confidence on all levels! This could almost become a new advertising slogan...

I don't know. I don't think this is true for all NPDs, only for the real psychopath (who hasn't got any feelings either). I think on some level they really believe in their grandiosity. On another level they don't. If you tell yourself a hundred time a day "I am confident, I am smart, I am special, I am great" over a time period of many years... well, one day you have brainwashed yourself so much that you will believe it.

And what exactly is the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem? People with self-esteem normally also have a healthy confidence level. However, the super-confident N. lacks in self-esteem... how does this go together?

Many of these folks are alcoholics, b/c there is something they need to numb (could it be the nagging feeling of failure, worthlesness and inferiority that tries to knock on their door from time to time although they try so hard to keep it out?). A lot of them, when they get middle-aged and their physical attractiveness fades away, fall psychologically into pieces. So where's their great confidence then? If they are so confident, why can they not bear to be critisized, ignored, to lose a game, etc. and why do they have to invalidate other people?

They use confidence as a weapon. It's a mecanism they apply to get what they want. In the same way as they apply flattery, seduction, rage, denigration etc. it's something calculated. And I think this is very different to a state of authentic confidence.

"People with true NPD are

"People with true NPD are rare and frightening creatures to be avoided if at all possible."

It's attitudes like this that have condemed these individuals to suffer as "incurable".

NPD is a mental illness. It is a cognitive disorder. It is NOT a character flaw.

Just a few years ago, Borderline Personaly Disorder was considered "incureable" too, and the people impossible manipulators. And then the attitude changed - because these people are suffering and just have maladaptive behaviors. Now that they're "worthy" of help, weird, BPD is suddenly.

Articles like this just perpetuate ignorance and misunderstanding and push the hope for proper treatment of NPD further away.

Narcissists cannot be in a

Narcissists cannot be in a self-help group because they have no capacity for self-reflection and cannot empathize with other people. How can you help someone like that? One of the chief problems with the narcissists in my life is that utter refusal to take responsibility for their own behavior. Therefore, if it is never their fault, there is nothing that needs to be fixed. My prediction is that such a group would devolve into a shouting match in a matter of minutes. They would all interrupt each other (because courtesy and consideration for other people, except from those who have something that they need or want, is non-existent. These are people whose sense of self and well-being seems to come from outside and never from within. There is a hole within that creates a driving need that can never be filled. The more they get, the more they want. The second meeting would not be attended at all. The narcissists would not see the point...they would not see the benefit for themselves in such an endeavor.

It is a fact that the very traits that make them a narcissist will keep them from coming to terms with the problem. Besides which, many of them think themselves terribly clever because they don't let other people "get," to them. At the same time, they consider us fools that are begging to be manipulated because of our vulnerability....and that is exactly what they do.

I did not know what

I did not know what narcissism was until my 3rd husband. It is after extensive therapy that I realized I had been married to 3 of them! Each abusing me in their own way. I love my husband, but he is emotionally abusive. Unless you have been around one, you don't know what damage they can do to you. You are frustrated all the time, wondering how can someone who tells you they love you 5 times a day, turn around and cheat on you, not once but 7 times in our 9 year marriage. It took me a long time to come to terms that he lived in a fantasy world with these women.
He has gotten us to the point finacially that I can't afford to leave, becaue he has been fired 3 times for thinking the rules did not apply to him.

I don't wish this life on anyone.

They're just harder to spot.

Hysterically funny thought - that introverts must be narcissists because they live more in their heads, therefore they think about themselves. This sounds the twist of thinking employed by narcissists....

First of all, NPD has as its characteristics a lot of Extrovert characteristics - OF COURSE these will therefore correlate! The reality is, that like so many other issues (mental health, personality, etc), the extroverts are the ones that are visible diagnostically. They show up in data, they express their symptoms, they seek professional help, or if they don't, they still are very apparent to friends and family.

Introverts don't. "The biggest narcissist is the biggest narcissist. Introvert or extrovert." Yep. But try to identify a covert (introverted) Narcissist - it's a very different presentation, in that it doesn't present!

"Introversion and extroversion are just two traits among the many--narcissism included--that make us individuals" Is Narcissism really a trait? Aren't we saying it's pathological? It's not the same as healthy self esteem - Narcissism may seem to be part of a spectrum of "self-love", but the quality of it is substantially different to what we would call "healthy".

Narcissism causes so much damage to others, to relationships and to society (think separation and the damage to children). Covert Narcissism tends to not only cause the damage, but very successfully keep the focus on themselves as the "victim" in the relationships they have destroyed, quite purposefully. There are plenty of introverts that are highly sensitive to others needs. The covert Narcissist mimics that for their own ends.

lack of empathy

just a reminder that NPD is a MENTAL ILLNESS, not a character flaw, or a term to fling around when you're unhappy with your partner. this condition you've all diagnosed your spouses with is a disease of mental/emotional functioning that deserves just as much compassion & awareness as any other illness. for all this discussion of empathy & the lack thereof, i see no empathy here for those afflicted with this condition

also please remember your diagnosis of someone close to you may not be as accurate as that of a mental health professional

but by all means plz continue this stigmatizing circle jerk about being the innocent victim of a narcissist

Well said

It seems to me, everyone claiming to have an ex that was a narcissist is playing the victim. Which by some of the same diagnoses criterion would make them the narcissist.

The fact is we all have these tendencies to a greater or lessor extent. This is why it is so easy to label someone or dish out a diagnosis that may not be accurate. That does not mean those traits are not present. I believe they are present in all of us. We all manipulate, belittle, wrest for control, want things our ways. (In fact disengaging is a form of control) When we read about narcissists we should use it as a spotlight on our own lives and examine what we can change. If you do suspect your parker is in the category of full blown mental illness seek professional help.

I find many of the articles I have read potentially damaging to relationships. When an author throws out terms like narcissists cannot change, and the way to deal with it is to leave, they are undermining the entire conflict resolution process. While this may be true is some cases or where there is in fact a mental disorder, by applying it in such a broad sense they are potentially sowing seeds that can make reconciliation impossible.

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Sophia Dembling is a widely published Dallas, Texas-based writer. Look for her next book, Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After, coming in January 2015.


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