The Magical Fantasies of Borderlines and Narcissists

While we all fantasize, the trouble with narcissist fantasy is that the narcissist treads a fine line between what is magical thinking and what is real. As unhealthy as it is for the narcissist, it becomes gaslighting for his family members and contributes to their own confusion, frustration, and magical thinking.

Problems With Emotional Intimacy—Typical for BPs and NPs

Many partners of BPs and NPs can't distinguish between intimacy and intensity—the hearts and flowers and all the smitten singers you hear on the radio going tra-la-la about how their heart will burst if they can't have the person they met two days ago notwithstanding. Many of the big romances onscreen and in novels are about people who barely know each other.

Lack of Empathy: The Most Telling Narcissistic Trait

Narcissists don't consider the pain they inflict on others; nor do they give any credence to others' perceptions.They simply do not care about thoughts and feelings that conflict with their own.

Substance Abuse and Borderlines, Narcissists

Human beings have remarkably inventive ways to rid themselves from painful feelings. The more agonizing the emotion, the more resourceful one has to be. People with borderline and narcissistic disorders experience may experience a great deal of pain, so they get pretty savvy.

Shame Is at the Root of Narcissistic, Borderline Disorder

Toxic shame isn't about making a mistake. It's about feeling like you are a mistake: intrinsically bad based on the fact that you exist. If other people find out about your "badness," they will surely leave you.

Interpersonal Exploitation Typical of Narcissists

Sometimes the narcissist doesn't get everything she needs through more subtle means. She needs to take a more direct approach. Thus another narcissistic trait "Is interpersonally exploitative, that is, takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends."

Envy, Part of the Definition of Narcissistic Disorder

Narcissists must be superior to others in every single way. So when someone else has something they don't have that they want: admiration, status, skills, objects, etc.--the narcissist sees it as a major threat. Like so much else in the narcissistic mind, it is unconscious.

Why Some Narcissists and Borderlines Lie

Being truthful takes the ability to be honest with one's own self, because if you're not honest with yourself, you won't be honest with others

"My Wife Makes Me Feel Like a Zombie"

A reader asks, "I have been struggling with the roller coaster for 32 years. I go from trying to connect to trying to survive, to realizing (very recently) that I've become an emotional zombie where she's concerned. It breaks my heart. What do I do?"

Radical Acceptance Can Inhibit Suffering

To accept your circumstances radically simply means that you do it from the depths of your soul and in every bone in your body. Radical acceptance of your loved one's disorder means that you acknowledge that you can't change the disorder, you didn't cause it, and you can't cure it.

Black and White Thinking Is Both a BPD and NPD Trait

Being split black can happen out of the blue and can leave one reeling. One day you may be enjoying the "best" intimacy, sex, love, times of the relationship and the next you are dealing with a robot void of emotion, icy cold, and being completely ignored.

*Borderline Disorder Conference Now Online

Videos of the Nov 4 Atlanta Family Perspectives on Borderline Personality Disorder conference.

Two Types of Narcissists Pose Somewhat Different Challenges

All narcissists are typically self-absorbed, see themselves as superior, lack empathy, display arrogance and disdain toward others, and experience "narcissistic injuries" when others don't treat them as superior. However, clinical experience and the research literature indicate that there are two or more general subtypes: "vulnerable" and "invulnerable" narcissists.

Behind the Facade: The "False Self" of the Narcissist

Narcissists lack an identity; a sense of self. To compensate, they develop what's called a "false self." The severity and intensity of NPD comes from the desperate pursuit of a sense of self. NPs believe all the lies they tell themselves about who they are: as the quote says, if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the "truth."

Who Am I? The Conundrum of Both Borderlines and Narcissists

Imagine yourself an amnesia patient, adrift. Sense the paralyzing emptiness that must go with not knowing who you are. People with BPD and NPD have specific—and different—approaches for dealing with their identity crisis. This post is about the BP strategy.

*Borderlines and Narcissists Both Blame-Storm

Both people with borderline and narcissistic personality disorder get into rages in which they blame and criticize others. However, the rages have slightly different motivations. Keeping these differences in mind will help you anticipate the attacks and respond when they occur.

*Ten Tips for Staying in a Borderline Relationship

Many people want to remain connected to their borderline family member. Here are 10 hints you'll want to keep in mind to stay balanced.

*You're So Vain: Narcissistic "Grandiosity"

Businesswoman and real estate investor Leona Helmsley famously said, "We [rich people] don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes." That's a quote people with narcissistic personality disorder can really relate to. They are aggravated by having to deal with the "little people" all the time.

*What Borderlines and Narcissists Fear Most: Part B

In part A of this two-part series, I explained that a narcissist's greatest fear is losing narcissistic supply. Today I'm tackling the BPD counterpart, fear of abandonment. Fear of abandonment is the engine that drives borderline personality disorder. The real or imagined belief of imminent separation destabilizes all the other BPD traits.

What Borderlines and Narcissists Fear Most: Part A

Narcissists require others for "narcissistic supply." They fear losing it. People with BPD fear real or imagined abandonment. These twin fears incite behaviors that wound their loved ones and ironically drive them out of relationships with the people who need them so desperately.

Feelings of Emptiness: Not Just a Borderline Trait Anymore

I am faced with this excruciating emptiness daily. Is it covering up all of the intense and hot emotions brewing under the surface? I would almost feel better if it were covering up something, because I hate this void! I want to know that there is something other than this horrible black hole inside of me. Am I really just a blank page?

Pay Attention to Me! When Is It Borderline Disorder?

People with narcissistic and borderline personality disorder want to be the focus of your life. This can make it difficult to tell BPD and NPD apart when you really want to know what you're dealing with. With a little education, you'll know whether or not the person in your life is a narcissist or borderline (although someone can have both).

*I Deserve the Best: Entitlement in Narcissists

Narcissists think "I demand to be served, attended and catered to by the most senior doctor, the head waiter, the government Minister, leaders and senior executives and editors-in-chief. With my illustrious career and superior traits, skills, and talents I deserve my match and only the best and am entitled to the grandest."

On Splitting, Anger, and Getting Stuck

The BPD world can contain a lot of splitting.

The World of the Borderline Mother--And Her Children

Clinician Christine Ann Lawson, Ph.D. developed four distinct types of people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) in her book Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship (2000).

"Upbeat Dad" Lives the Sweet Life After High-Conflict Divorce

High-conflict divorces can ruin body, mind, and spirit. But there is a way to survive--even thrive. One combat veteran says, "It doesn't matter how bad things may be, forgiveness is the key to moving on and letting go of the hurt. Even if you're dealing with heartbreaking issues such as domestic violence or infidelity, it really works."

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