To Control Is To Cope -Narcissism and Its Creation

TO CONTROL

To deal with and to address the vagaries of life, human beings have developed coping mechanisms. These coping mechanisms vary in terms of the extent of their use, their impact on the user, the impact on others and the frequency of their deployment. Some coping mechanisms are regarded as ‘healthy’ and others as ‘unhealthy’ and some may be a hybrid of the two, dependent on the extent and duration of usage.

Distancing is a coping mechanism. You may distance yourself from a situation and people, but prolonged and extensive distancing may lead to isolation with the associated problems which such isolation can bring. Short-term distancing can allow recovery, re-charging and avoidance of an ongoing harmful situation. Longer-term distancing which is targeted on one or more chief proponents of harm can lead to near complete removal from toxic and harmful influences. No contact of course is a coping mechanism which incorporates distancing as a central tenet of it and is the most effective coping mechanism to apply with regard to your recovery from ensnarement with our kind.

Crying is another coping mechanism. The release of tension, held-grief, feelings of misery often evaporate as a consequence of somebody crying. You may be told ‘have a good cry, you will feel better’ and indeed many people have testified to the beneficial impact of doing so and thus crying achieves release and often acts as a signal to invite comfort from others. It is a coping mechanism deployed by people to deal with a stressful, worrying or hurtful situation.

Self-harming is a further form of coping. The distraction caused by the painful response of cutting (cutting being just one form of self-harming) enables an individual to relieve the pain of certain other feelings, it achieves a release, a distraction and also enables that individual to exert control in circumstances where they feel unable to exert control (or to the extent that would make them feel comfortable). Self-harming whilst a coping mechanism is regarded as a negative form of a coping mechanism.

Expression of feelings. Being able to ‘talk it out’ and ‘air your feelings’ is a coping mechanism also. The ability to talk to someone else who will just listen, even if they offer nothing in response or even just to talk to yourself about how you are feeling (be it generally or in relation to something specific) enables people to experience a sense of release, a lightening of a particular load and it often brings clarity in terms of understanding themselves and finding a way forward.

There are many coping mechanisms that humans deploy – some are conscious and others occur unconsciously.

Narcissism is one such coping mechanism and it is a powerful and invariably hugely effective, although its effectiveness does depend on the school of the narcissist and which particular outcome one is having regard to. The outcome of our narcissism is something that I shall address in a separate article.

Narcissism must maintain the construct (the false self) and imprison the creature (the true self).  Collectively this is the Self-Defence of the Narcissist. This Self-Defence is achieved through the The Prime Aims (fuel, character traits and residual benefits).

Central to this Self-Defence and the achievement of The Prime Aims is control. The narcissist must at all times have control of his or her environment and the people within that environment which of course includes you. Whether you are a stranger, an acquaintance, a friend, a colleague, a relative or a romantic partner. Whether you are a neighbour, a date, sister or brother, that man from the corner store or fiancée – you come within the fuel matrix of the narcissist and you have to be subjected to the control of the narcissist.

This control has to be exerted second by second of each and every day. Every passing moment must be owned and governed by the narcissist. We must exert control all around us, this has to be complete and total as if the very clouds were tethered by us. Why is that?

Because once upon a time the narcissist did not have control.

That lack of control meant the narcissist felt powerless, weak, vulnerable and exposed.

The combination of a genetic predisposition and the imposition of this lack of control created narcissism as the coping mechanism. These two ingredients combined and gave ‘birth’ to narcissism as a means of coping with the world, with the lack of control that the world causes for individuals. Many people have no issue with this lack of control, others have alternative coping mechanisms and then there is us – the narcissists. Around one in six of the human population of this planet became narcissists in order to cope with this loss of control.

Narcissism allows the imposition of control through manipulation. The imposition of control allows us to achieve the Prime Aims. The achievement of the Prime Aims allows our Self-Defence and thus we survive and we thrive.

Narcissism is a coping mechanism.

People believe that abuse is the ingredient in the formation of a narcissist. It is an ingredient, yes, but there are two ingredients in the formation of our kind. The first ingredient is the genetic predisposition, if you will this is the fertile soil which provides the basis for the narcissism to grow and flourish. The second ingredient is the lack of control (of which abuse is part of that lack of control) and this is the ‘seed’ which is placed in the fertile soil of the genetic predisposition and thus narcissism ‘grows’ as the coping mechanism. For some, the soil is there but no seed ever arrives and thus no narcissist. For others, there is no soil but there is the seed, but again with one essential ingredient missing, there can be no narcissism.

Genetic predisposition plus lack of control (at a formative stage of life) equals narcissist.

What does this lack of control (at a formative stage of life – i.e. childhood) look like?

  • Abuse. Whether it is physical, emotional, sexual or psychological, any form of abuse towards us amounts to a lack of control. We could not defend ourselves against the abuse and therefore this is a lack of control, over ourselves and over those who meted out abusive harm towards us. The abuse is an act of commission – we were beaten, molested sexually, told we were useless, insulted etc.
  • Isolated. Whether this was being locked in a cupboard under the stairs, prevented from playing with other children, kept apart from other family members, not allowed to participate in group activities of any nature, given silent treatments and treated as if we did not exist, isolating and ostracising us in some form again constituted a lack of control. We were not able to control our own interactions, someone else did this for us and to our detriment. We were controlled by another and thus lacked control.
  • Neglect. Whilst there may not have been abusive acts of commission , there are abusive acts of omission. Therefore we were not given a safe environment, we were not taught effectively (be it about ‘facts’, relationships, behaviour, responsibility), we were not emotionally supported, we were not fed, clothed or protected, we were not shielded from an abuser of commission and/or we could roam where we wanted. Once again we were denied control over ourselves because we were not provided with the assets, resources and tools to achieve effective control over our lives and this neglect (lack of control) exposed us to hurt, pain, disease, injury, loneliness and/or acts of abuse through commission.
  • The Golden Child. Everything we did was lauded and praised. It was invariably held up as a glowing and shining example of brilliance, even when it was not or the praise was excessive for a valid achievement. This meant we lacked control in the sense of earning achievements in a valid fashion. We had greatness thrust upon us without being ready for it, without having earned it and without appreciating it. Everything came to us too easily and this also amounted to a lack of control. We had no control over the outcome from our endeavours, we felt no compulsion to achieve and apply endeavour because whatever we did (bad, mediocre or good) was met with accolade, praise and the lavishing of ‘how brilliant’. We were denied the ability to control our own destiny.
  • Shifting Sands. Where we experienced Shifting Sands we had a lack of control because the environment around us at that formative stage lacked constancy. One day the sun shone and the next day, even though everything else appeared to stay the same to us, there was a thunderstorm. On Monday our painting was declared to be ‘Rembrandt in the making’ (a la Golden Child) and by Friday our painting ‘was the work of a moron wielding a potato for a paintbrush’. The application of black and white thinking by the aggressor created an uncertain environment, one of push and pull, idealisation and devaluation and we had no control whatsoever on which version was going to appear to us. There was a lack of control in our lives through uncertainty, unpredictability and those shifting sands.
  • B Graders. ‘It’s good but not good enough.’ ‘You can do far better.’ ‘You are not trying hard enough.’ ‘You are letting yourself down but moreover you are letting me down.’ These phrases and those similar to it encapsulate the loss of control felt by those who are ‘The B Graders’. Each time the hill was climbed and the summit anticipated, another hill suddenly appeared. The effort was okay, decent enough, acceptable but never that which met with approval. Keep going, learn more, be faster, swim stronger, climb higher, shine brighter. There was no control because we were never allowed a moment to settle, to cherish that which had been achieved and to reflect. We could not establish our own parameters of achievement and satisfaction but instead we were always beholden to the standards of another which ultimate proved to be unobtainable standards and thus we had no control.
  • The Facsimile. We were shaped to be precisely like the aggressor. Sometimes this was entirely at the behest of the aggressor and sometimes we saw how this individual behaved and decided ‘I want that power also’ (usually unconsciously but sometimes, such as was the case for me – consciously). Whilst you may think a conscious decision to copy the aggressor and thus seize power was a form of control, it was not – this was actually a product of the already establishing narcissism and thus a symptom rather than a cause. Where the aggressor caused us to be moulded just like them – forming our opinions, our views, our behaviours, our likes and dislikes, what we wore, what we ate, where we went, what we did and in some instances alongside this there was an unconscious decision to mimic and copy those behaviours and characteristics, we were once again denied control.

Thus, whether we came from an impoverished background, a gilded background, a seemingly run-of-the-mill background, any of those environments had the potential to cause a lack of control in our lives. Take this lack of control and add it to the genetic predisposition and thus our coping mechanism of narcissism was given birth to.

Narcissism became our way of coping with the world.

Narcissism allowed us to exert control.

A lack of control equates to a lack of power.

A lack of control equates to  being vulnerable.

A lack of control equates to being weak.

A lack of control equates to being worthless, meaningless and unimportant.

When we lack control, we start to fade and will no longer exist.

A lack of control now returns us to the lack of control then.

This must never happen for too long and thus we were formed from this lack of control adding to our genetic predisposition and in order to survive and thrive we must never, ever lack control for if this persists, well, then, it ends.

We must have absolute control. And that means absolute control over you, him, her, them but most of all YOU.

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191 thoughts on “To Control Is To Cope -Narcissism and Its Creation”

  1. Humour is my favourite coping mechanism.

    After such a horrible day yesterday with some of the more unevolved members of your brethren being so active, I share it with you and your readers HG.

    It’s so clever. Enjoy

    Brexit Yoga

    https://youtu.be/XqwEa6I1lwI

  2. HG,

    Thank you and congratulations on this very clear and well-presented article. It was great to read. You have a way of putting things in words that is very clear and relatable.

    I think it’s interesting that all the things you describe as being a lack of control can also happen to empathic children, yet the empathic child doesn’t develop into a narcissist. This is the case especially with your descriptions of ‘abuse’, ‘isolation’, ‘neglect’, ‘shifting sands’, and ‘b-graders’. So, therefore, natural temperament, or predisposition, is a huge component in the making of a narcissist or empathic person. This is the ‘soil’ that you describe.

    When it comes to the ‘golden child’ and ‘facsimile’ types of ‘lack of control’ you describe, I think narcissistic parents are able to strongly differentiate when it comes to who they treat as the ‘golden child’ and ‘facsimile’. Narcissistic parents have a sharpened or perhaps instinctive understanding of which child will fit the role better (according to the child’s temperament) and the parent doesn’t really change their ongoing treatment of these particular children. So, the ‘golden child’ is constantly treated as the golden child, while the scapegoat child is constantly treated as the scapegoat child, more or less. This creates a constant type of ‘coping’ behaviour for each child respectively, however, the parent has previously determined that the child’s natural temperament will fit the role before the coping behaviour develops.

    The constant and unwavering “dysfunction” that a narcissistic parent creates with these family ‘roles’ seems to be instinctive and unrelenting. They cover it up with a facade that looks benign, even commendable, because they may fear exposure, so that is the confusing part for the outside world and also the child. But behind the facade, the narcissistic parent is following their instinctive beliefs and ingrained patterns. It feels as though the parent really believes this is the ‘right’, or natural, thing to do, even though to an onlooker it looks like obvious abuse.

  3. I’ve always suspected that the creature is the narcissists real self and my interpretation of that, is to the narcissist whether consciously or unconsciously the weak, vulnerable not good enough person, that can be hurt, abused, taken advantage of unlovable and the list goes on. It does get a bit confusing though because what is the real narcissist, as we know behind the facade there is an individual lacking in empathy supposedly although i’m not entirely sure that’s the whole picture of what does or doesn’t make someone a narcissist, as I would argue other disorders also lack empathy. Anyway, back to behind the facade, let’s say behind the golden or bronze period or the seduction or the victims cloak take your pick of the type of facade, the picture perfect parent etc etc. There is the lack of empathy, the rage , the manipulation, the self absorbed person, the controller , the agressive nature in some cases, the infidelity etc so is the creature the dark horrible angry person that lies beneath, is that the real narcissist ? Or is that another facade beneath the nice facade ? That can’t be the creature as that is shown and does escape when it suits the narcissist , admittedly controlled publicly by some better than others . So the creature must lay beneath that? Meaning the nice facade is fake, the monster underneath is fake or just a rage reaction to a fear that the creature that is weak and vulnerable is being somehow threatened ? So the rage and all the disgusting behaviour has very little to do with the person it’s aimed at , and only do to with the threat of the narcissist being triggered by old wounds and exposing the real real self ??
    Is any of that correct HG, or is it a load of mixed up nonsense 🤔?

  4. My poor little girl. I knew from the early begging that she was damaged and I told her. I think I saw the damaged child inside her for a couple of months and this is the only think that I loved in her.(and of course her super butt).

    Then an insident happened where she felt exposure and weakness and the damaged child dissapeared along with our relationship. She returned to full narc mode as when we met, and she discarded me. Sad story

  5. HG-
    1. Do you think the Co-Dep has the same “soil” as a narcissist?
    2. I note you say in another comment that narcissism would already be forming prior to age 7.
    a. Is there a rough cutoff age for when the “seed” has to be placed in order for narcissism to occur?
    b. Is there a rough cutoff age for when the narcissism is fully formed?
    Thank you!!

  6. If a baby of 9 months developed an ear infection, and this lead to hospitalization and servere crying for months, and his parents were tired and almost had to drug him to sleep, and he could not be comforted in any way because of so much pain (which happened to my ex ML narc), could this be a foundation for narcissism? Not sure if any of the parents are narcissists. But he is also a very spoiled child; who got everything he pointed at, and in his parents eyes never did anything wrong. He had never suffered any consequences of his actions, whatsoever.

    Between the age of 7-13 he also got bullied a lot at school. He was very easy to tic off, so the other kids used to provide him into rage tantrums, almost every day. Was he already a narcissist then?

    Or which of these surcumstances would be the foundation for narcissism?

    1. 1. No.
      2. Spoiling the child however is part of the Golden Child impact.
      3. No, the narcissism will have been forming prior to aged 7 and continuing. The bullying would play a part as the lack of control element as it is abuse.

          1. Thank you HG! I didn’t realize it’s that early. That explains why my husband and my efforts didn’t bear any fruit with my stepdaughters; it was too late with their age.

  7. Dear Mr Tudor,
    Thank you so much for peeling back the layers of narcissism in a clear, concise, interesting and understanding manner
    I recently came across a list of 300 “famous” people from (Abe Lincoln, Einstein, Vincent Van Gogh, Picasso to Lady Gaga, the Rock etc ) who all had/have mental issues
    The “majority” stated they had clinical depression, bipolar, others had substance abuse included
    More and more famous people appear to be surfacing (along with athletes) suffering from depression, anxiety, now sexual abuse and paedophillia ( ex Cardinal George Pell)
    Not one mention of npd as a mental issue
    Interesting ….. are they using these “other” disorders because they know not what they, nor do professionals
    Luv to hear your thoughts on this
    Many thanks
    Luv Bubbles xx 😘

    1. It is a combination of misdiagnosis or there being no diagnosis and Mid Rangers using other issues to mask the NPD (although of course remember the mid ranger does not know they have NPD, they attribute the aberrant behaviour to something else because as always, it is never their fault.)

      1. HG,

        I understand what you’re saying about narcissists using other issues to mask the NPD and not admitting blame for their actions, so I agree with you on those points. However, it also makes me think about the individual’s behaviour in context with whatever life experience they’re in.

        I was reading a book on mindfulness and acceptance in psychotherapy recently and it discussed an interesting concept on contextual understanding. It made me think that personality disorders or narcissistic behaviours or empathic behaviours don’t manifest and appear in a vacuum, and therefore can’t be analysed without looking at the larger context, in ever-widening ripples, of the person’s experience and goals, and how that context is affecting the individual’s behaviour.

        I think that cultural influences, cultural beliefs, cultural expectations and social conditioning have a lot to do with how a person’s behaviour is ‘shaped’. Also, the economic conditions they grew up in and the educational expectations placed on them. I could go on. All of these factors, which are quite wide in scope, have some influence on a person’s behaviour. These influences may be channeled through parents and will therefore influence how the parents treat the child.

        In some people the influences may be mild, while in others, the influences may be stronger, again due to the context in which these influences are found.

  8. Great article HG and i must admit this very topics been on my mind a lot due to someone i work with and observing their family. Most are narcissisists in their family and all very successful.
    I do think the npd is a learned behaviour and a coping mechanism but i also believe there are individuals who their personality is more on the alpha side. The lack of empathy im on the fence about. One things for certain its in a certain part of the brain that governs the capacity to feel emotion but how it was damaged whether born that way or as a result of abuse during development is a question.
    Ive seen this lack of empathy firsthand and its scary bc an individual who lacks empathy is a wild card theyre very unpredictable!
    Control is at the core and why so many with npd will think nothing to do what it takes to maintain that control.
    I also wonder if the coping mechanism of npd is an ancient one from our ancesters during caveman days that resurfaces when triggered by environment and abuse.
    I mentioned this before years ago on here but i watched a documentary film on a type of monkey and their social dynamics and there was a lot of npd like behaviours from the alpha monkey and his favorites. The outcast monkey wouldnt get to eat and had their baby taken away for a time. It was alarming how cruel the alpha monkey was.

  9. HG, have you had time to research the Jezebel spirit and compare it to the traits of narcissism? I believe they are one and the same, and that the Jezebel spirit enters in during childhood when you are hurt. Being a greater narcissist, you may have eyes to see. You may find researching the Jezebel spirit very interesting. Having the awareness you do, you could even get delivered. Few Jezebels do, as they do not realize what they are, and think nothing is wrong. Jezebel is probably the worst demonic spirit or principality there is. Hope you can find the way home.

  10. As I see it, the Creature pushed aside the child forcing him to take refuge in the hidden depths.

    We were kissing. My eyes were closed when the child resurfaced. I saw him, in the eyes of the narcissist, as I unexpectedly opened mine. I had asked the permission to love him. And, if he did, I had promised to be good to him. I suspect no one had ever asked him something so unbelievably beautiful (I was under a « reverse » love bombing spell). He was utterly terrified. The sight of his fear was excruciatingly painful to me, so I closed my eyes again. Shortly thereafter, I heard the growling noise of the Creature returning. The narcissist pushed his tongue deeper into my mouth. He was in control again.

    To me, the true self is the captive child within. The Creature is the bully responsible for it. Then again, I am not a narcissist, I am just a empath with considerable Contagion as part of my makeup.

    1. Pavotdeschamps

      Are you sure you were not seeing what you were reflecting?
      What school of narcissist is he?

      I am curious due to your reference of Contagion.

  11. HG, this is why you are so successful. Your writing is brilliant! I find that when I’m interested in a subject and try to research it,  the articles I read leave me confuse and questioning the authors intent. I glaze over medical terms and frantically Google trying to understand. I usually get distracted by an ad and end up on Amazon shopping in the end. This is never the case with your work. 

    I was confused on how genetics played into this because we focus so much on the abuse. Thanks to your clear explanation, I understand your perspective and I want to know more. Thank you for writing this. 

    1. Mercy,

      I agree with your positive comments on HG’s article, but I had to laugh at this:

      “I glaze over medical terms and frantically Google trying to understand. I usually get distracted by an ad and end up on Amazon shopping in the end.”

      Lol – I don’t do the shopping thing but I do find myself “term hopping” – like in Wikipedia while searching for one term leads you down the track to another associated term, because you’re like “Ooh, what’s that about over there…” And then you’re so far away from where you originally started – while educational in itself; it’s entirely draining.

      It’s as if, for truth seekers, these little bits and pieces of knowledge are the same as shiny objects to a magpie…”Oh, what’s that shiny bit over there!?”

      At least we get the straight goods here in a way we can understand and apply – without all the distraction.

      1. WhoCares, I’m sorry if this comes through twice, I lost my first reply. I agree it’s draining! I have a journal of things I want to read more on, but it’s a endless list because of all the “term hopping”. I really do appreciate the way HG teaches. Now I’ve added genetic predisposition (shiny bit) to my list. I’d like more information on genetics and mental illness.

        1. Mercy,

          “Now I’ve added genetic predisposition (shiny bit) to my list. I’d like more information on genetics and mental illness.”

          Yes, I have several shiny bits on my reading list too! Genetics and mental illness are definitely fascinating ones.

  12. Wow what a brilliant article. HG you have a way of magically simplifying these complicated and sophisticated concepts for us so that we can understand narcissism. With my matrinarc and MRE sister, I knew the situations in their childhood when they didn’t have control. Being a daughter of a narcissist, I probably had the fertile soil for narcissism. I also experienced ALL of the seeds that you have enumerated. I do remember a point in my childhood where I was starting to become manipulative and to lie without batting an eye. At 7 I could lie about stuff and make adults believe me. I also remember the instances when the development got arrested. I was my mom’s flying monkey and I loved being able to please her so I was her little lieutenant spying on my relatives for her and damaging their stuff for her. One time my aunt caught me scratching my cousin’s refrigerator for my matrinarc because my matrinarc told me to, I was 8. I told my aunt that my mom told me to do it and she hugged me so tight and told me that I’m not a bad person and I shouldn’t do things like that because that is bad. I felt so ashamed. I was my matrinarc’s golden child too as I was her only child and I remember being so humiliated whenever she went to school to yell at my teachers because I only got bronze instead of gold etc. Those humiliations and the realization that she’s not a role model for me arrested my development of becoming a narc. That is why I’m really good at spotting liars by looking at them while they lie because I’m an expert at it but I just choose not to use it. I have always known when my MRE sister was lying to me but I didn’t always call her out because I was hoping that if I look at the longer term she might change. Now I know that they don’t.

    1. There it is….
      an example of the choice NOT to be a certain way. Whether narc or otherwise.
      Thank you mommypino for sharing your story and all the other glimpses into your private life/story that you post.

    2. Great examples mommypino ! That is amazing that you remember all this and the strengths you have developed from those stories.

      My sister use to tell me I was manipulative and that I was doing things behind’s people back – although I could not see me doing that – I am a very self aware person but I remember she was accusing me – and I have done it – it was totally unconsciously.

      I remember so many things I hope I could remember doing all those horrible things to her.

      Since I have spent time here – I also believed my development into Narc for arrested at some point.
      The lying too – I remember – thank you anyway for these details I am sure that they can help many of us reflect on ourselves.

      1. Thank you OMJ! It really is interesting how our personalities can evolve. We can be thankful to all of the people in our lives who has touched us no matter how briefly and has affected the path that we were going to be redirected differently.

    3. This story reveals a lot and is helpful to me. I have seen things like a parent arguing at school over dubious things, but I really appreciate the personal take, whole new perspective in light of the college scandal also, so thank you.

      Also reminded me of my husband’s mom saying that her father would put dirt in her mother’s drawers and say she did it but forgot (also gaslighting).

  13. Very interesting article, thank you.
    You are so self aware it’s refreshing to be able to read the alternative perspective and thoughts. The understanding I have achieved through your writing has been profound for me. It’s a journey for every one of us here to learn.

    Control is the narcissists coping mechanism, I have never once looked at it before in this light. Excellent writing HG.

  14. HG, I don’t know if you have heard about the college cheating scam that hit the news in the US yesterday. My opinion of what the parents did to their child by doing this is very harsh. While I understand they did it to help their children, I personally think they have done quite a bit of harm.
    I have two questions related to this type of situation.
    – If any of the children, regardless of knowing or not, were on a path of becoming narcissists, how would this impact their defense mechanism? The world, in many ways, has now been given a perception about them due to the actions of their parents.
    – For those children who didn’t know, I would imagine this can impact the sense of control for themselves, whether on a path to narcissism, empathy, or normal. How would this possible loss of a control situation impact those on the narcissistic path? On the other paths?

    1. Yes I saw it come up when I was perusing the news. I understand Felicity Huffman of Desperate Housewives ‘fame’ stands accused alongside others.

      1. This is difficult to answer because I do not know the children involved, have enough information about them nor know where they may stand on the path to narcissism.
      2. If the child was being promoted beyond its ability and now has to face a ‘reality check’ if you will, again, dependent upon where they are with regards to the formation of narcissism (if that was happening) this may well arrest such a formation.

      1. If the exposure of the college entrance fraud can arrest the development of narcissism, all the better.

        The icing on the entitlement cake is, not only did these high profile people knowingly pay to help their children cheat on their SATs, lie on their applications, bribe prestige universities in sums of up to US$500k, they also deemed their bribe a tax deductible “donation” and committed tax fraud. No ethical accountant would sign that return and TurboTax does not offer a deduction for bribes (lol).

        I hope the recipients of the bribes are held equally accountable.

        1. To be clear, any arrest would be very limited in scope, i.e. a very small number of people indeed.

          1. Thank you, HG. I understood your original intent and agree. I appreciate your clarification though.

          2. Noted, I wasn’t sure and therefore wanted to make sure. I appreciate your confirmation.

          3. As a foot note to this discussion, I attended a party last night and met a couple that told me they were so glad they got their bribes completed before the exposure happened. I thought they were being facetious, but when I laughed, they stated there was absolutely nothing wrong with what they did and that all parties were simply fulfilling a need. Understanding they are at the very least highly entitled, I asked what of the students that earned their way in and those qualified but rejected due to the limited available slots? Their answer, “That’s just the way it works.” Rightio.

          4. You’re welcome, FYC! I am enjoying the intellectual contributions in your posts.

          5. Nunya Biz, Thank you. I hope to add value here as I have received so much value and I love to gain knowledge of all kinds.

    2. I’m not shocked, but glad this cheating scam is finally being talked about. Its gone on forever and part of the reason that you can’t put much stock in only the education of someone to indicate intelligence. There are people in my little community that are known to have benefitted from this, so imagine how globally it is abused (especially with athletes). I also remember yrs ago watching an interview with Matt Damon where he relayed to a studio exec of some kind that he wanted to take time to pursue a degree. The exec asked him: what degree do you want? Damon expressed shock that it was implied that this could be arranged and the exec simply stated: we know people.

      1. Thank you, HG, for your response! That is curious about the possibility of an “arrest” to the formation if that was the track on.
        I didn’t know Huffman except in regards to her husband. I am very curious how his internal conversation is going right now. Lori Loughlin, though. She is the face of my favorite channel (Hallmark) and Aunt Becky. I wonder if her husband really knew it was wrong since the reports say he wanted to talk about it with someone while golfing and was discouraged.

        NA, thank you for sharing that about Matt Damon. That is crazy! The saying of “it’s not what you know but who you know” bothers me. I agree with you that buying acceptance has been an acceptable practice throughout the world. It is good that it is coming to light. Everyone puts stock in standardized tests and “prestigious” university education. There is a lot more to intelligence than scoring high on those tests or getting in to the best school, if any school.
        Maybe this will change things for the better for the next generation….

    3. Getting There,
      From what I have heard, in the case of Lori Laughlin and her husband Mossimo, the kids knew that they cheated to get accepted into those schools. One of the daughters said in her YouTube channel that she’s just going to college to experience the night life in college. She actually got a lot of negative feedback at that time for not appreciating the opportunity that she has which a lot of people do not and she had to apologize to her followers. It’s also interesting that Lori Laughlin was interviewed by Today in 2017 and said that she really wants her daughters to go to college so that they can experience the college life which she didn’t get to experience when she was young because she was too busy going to auditions. So her motivation was not what her kids wanted or what’s best for them but to make up for something that she didn’t have so it really was more about her.

      1. Thank you, Mommypino!
        I can probably understand what her daughter meant by “college life;” however, I wonder what Lori meant when she said it. Also, I wonder if it was an act of narcissistic trait behavior or blind love to push for college (separating the illegal acts from the goal). Was it because “I want to push you into college, when you are not ready or want, because it is what I didn’t have and want for me?” Or was it because she saw that her daughters may need a back up plan for what they want to do (acting, etc)? For example, my parents pushed college because they personally understood the importance of a degree. My dad was the first in his family to get a degree and he watched how his family had trouble with jobs, money, etc. My mom was the grandchild of very poor immigrants on both sides and was taught that a degree will help prevent a person from struggling in certain ways. That was a while ago, and yet I think that’s society pushes more for degrees now. I have heard personal account after personal account about kids having huge debt when they graduate for a degree they don’t use but it is basically hard to find jobs without that requirement now. I was talking to a friend yesterday about how technical trade is highly needed but few are being taught that that is a respectable field. There is also the option of taking time to do something else (military, mission, etc.) first and then pursue college if it is a want; however, not as many are encouraged in those areas either. Society’s pressure on kids is ridiculously high right now, in my opinion. My son is young and plays recreation soccer. I have already been told many times, by different people, that if my son wants to play in high school or college, he has to get into club soccer now. Really? He needs to practice 3-4 times a week, plus play a couple of games each week, and thousands of dollars are spent already?? Of course this is while he needs to do well at school, do other activities to show diverse abilities, save the world, and find a cure to cancer. (Last two were sarcasm.)

        Throwing back in the possible illegal activity, though. I feel horrible for those kids. It is a parent’s job to provide tools for the kids to be adults. If the child didn’t know the actions the parents took, what is (s)he now feeling that they thought they earned this on their own and now they are told they didn’t and potentially lose all that they did work for up to this point. If the child did know, that means that child has been taught that the parents thought so little of their abilities the whole time. Why would you damage your child’s self esteem like that? Is that based on a narcissistic trait of the parents? Also they have taught that cheating and lying is an answer to get what one wants. That is not a lesson a child should be taught to use for life!

        By the way, sadly I have to admit I quickly judged the actions of the coaches. When I read about the UT coach, though, I had to pull myself back. He has now destroyed his career and may go to jail for $100k. When I read that he put part of the money into the tennis program there, I had to wonder if he did it for non selfish reasons. UT is a big football school in a big football state and a lot of money goes to that program. What if he had trouble getting what he needed for his program because he is not football and considered this as a way to help all those tennis players who are working hard in the program and school? I am NOT condoning his illegal actions but now I wonder if it was based on selfishness or not.

        I apologize that I got on a soap box and this is long!!!

        1. Getting There, no worries about the length, I’m guilty of going on much longer tangents many times here.

          Understanding the motives behind people’s actions is always so complicated. Just as you illustrated about the coach. He aided in stealing those spots in those universities from other kids who really deserved and needed those spots but he used some of the money to help the kids in the tennis program that he was leading. Did he do it for the kids or did he do it for his own vanity or career to be able to say that the tennis program improved while he was coaching it? Regardless, the athletes under his program still benefited and the kids who didn’t get accepted in those schools because the spots went to the cheaters lost out. The coach just basically decided who would be the winners and the losers. He didn’t have the right to do that.

          I agree that it is not necessarily narcissism that is behind the behavior of Lori Laughlin. Many parents encourage and push their kids to go to college to prepare them for their future. And you’re so right about the situation now about the job requirements and the loans that students have to deal with. Looking at their situation, the dad owns a very profitable brand of clothing, the mom has a Netflix show, they have millions, the daughters are doing well with their YouTube channels and one has even started her own makeup line and the daughters expressed how they are not interested in academics, I cannot think of what benefit going to college will bring them except for creating an appearance of success. The daughters did not even plan on learning anything in college, they just want to experience the night life. If they didn’t learn anything from college and their family goes bankrupt, will they be able to rely on a piece of paper or diploma as a fall back? It’s what is in their brains that will help them. The daughters were already doing great earning money while doing something that they enjoy with makeup and fashion without any degrees. I cannot see any additional benefit of going to college for them when they don’t even plan on learning from it aside from creating a facade for success.

          1. That is an interesting thought on the coach and how it could look good on him and not be just about helping others. Thank you, mommypino! I know we never truly know people’s intentions when they do things.
            You are right – her daughters didn’t need college as they were on a track before all of this. They also didn’t need to go to USC specifically. Maybe it was all for facade.
            Thank you! You have helped me see angles on this that I didn’t see. I appreciate that!

          2. Thank you Getting There. I also want to say that I agree with you on the ridiculous pressure on the kids nowadays. It’s so expensive for the parents and hard on the kids. I have a nephew that just started college and he got accepted at a really good school but his mom worked so hard on his extra curricular activities. He is a wrestler and competed and won in Japan, he can speak Mandarin, and he had straight As and did all kinds of extra work to get extra points. Oh and he also plays violin. They also spent so much money to be able to keep their address in the Bay Area just so that they could keep going to this really fancy school. I went to his younger sister’s school play as she was the star (she played Charlie in their Willie Wonka play, I don’t know why they couldn’t find a boy to play it but it’s the Bay Area so I just don’t understand them) and they have such a beautiful stage with all kinds of expensive costumes and props. The amount of money that they pour on these kids is beyond belief. And when they get accepted they have to spend even more amount of money during college. It’s absolutely crazy. I wouldn’t spend that much on my kids. I will set aside what I can and think is reasonable to help them and if they want to go to a fancy school then they should study hard to get some scholarships or borrow money for that fancy ambition. People still do well without going to fancy university. So I totally agree with you and also I agree that college is an equalizer and helps people from poor backgrounds to surpass where they came from.

          3. Also Getting There, it’s really sad too that my second cousin, the mom of the two kids, ended up getting divorced with their dad because they grew apart because she was too busy with all of the school and extracurricular activities of the kids and he was too busy working to sustain their expenses. The high expectations are definitely not healthy.

          4. Thank you, Mommypino! I’m sorry about the divorce. Congratulations on the successes of the children; on the other hand, I agree that that kind of stress on all as unfair for all individually and as a family!

            I think that is a very good attitude you have for your children! I definitely agree and plan to apply the same with my son when he goes to college.

            I previously read (can’t remember the book) that childhood obesity can be tied to the lack of sleep children get now as they are always on the go, have many activities, need to finish homework, and their relaxation/socializing time comes when they should be asleep. I do wonder if the heart attacks and strokes of people in their 20s and 30s are due to growing up with all the stress of childhood and not learning an outlet. I can’t imagine the possible increase in individuals with depression or other mental health diagnosis as this continues.

          5. Getting There, I think that you have a good point on all of these affecting the kids’ health adversely. It is hard to avoid the pressure and especially with all the other parents around you doing all kinds of stuff with their kids which makes you worry if you’re not pushing your kids enough and might cause them to be left out. It is so hard to balance. Right now I just focus on my 4 yr old’s interests and make it grow from there.
            Thank you for the interesting discussion and good luck to your son and his soccer. 💕

          6. Mommypino,
            Thank you for the well wishes and the interesting conversation as well!
            4 years was a fun age! Enjoy!

  15. In case this information is helpful to anyone else who may be curious about genetics as I was, here is a compilation from various sources:

    Chromosomes come in pairs (one from each parent). All cells in the human body (except red blood cells) contain chromosomes. A gene is located on a chromosome. Genes specify certain proteins that make up each cell. Every factor of inheritance is due to a specific gene. Genes contain DNA. DNA is the basis of heredity. Genes contain two pairs of alleles. Alleles are responsible for gene expression. Generally speaking, a child is likely to share 50% of DNA with a parent or full sibling, however, due gene expression, a sibling can have far more or far less shared genes (more unusual).

    For a detailed explanation on this read: https://www.geneticsdigest.com/are-you-genetically-closer-to-your-parents-or-siblings/

    HG’s model is brilliant. This genetic information may further explain why one sibling may be a narcissist and one may not be even though they grew up in the same environment (and each sibling may have received differing levels of narcisstic abuse from a parent).

      1. HG, you are very welcome. You ignited so much thought with this post. It inspired me to research several new angles on the matter and I will comment further upon completion. I have an insatiable appetite for knowledge, so if you need an abstract on something else, let me know, I’m happy to help. After all, your works have been life-changing for me.

        1. That is appreciated and like you, I have an insatiable appetite for knowledge. Hence why I know so much generally and particularly about my kind and your kind.

          1. Yes, you do not have much in the way of a blind spot! Your self and other awareness is off the charts, and your intellect and wit are thoroughly enjoyed by all.

            Although I had researched quite a bit on narcissism (in scholarly and popular psychology journals) to better understand those narcissists I know, it was not until I found your works that everything became crystal clear. You not only devised a perfect framework defining narcissists and empaths, you precisely describe behaviors and even use exact phrases used by each school and cadre with chilling, pin-point accuracy.

            Your work has also given me new insight into myself (I most closely align with your descriptions of super empath, magnet cadre) and this has been quite helpful as well. I only wish I knew all of this years ago! Thanks again.

          2. As an interesting side note to knowledge, intellectualization is a coping mechanism attributed to the false self. It allows us to remain in our head reasoning with something emotional in an attempt to avoid pain. Perhaps this is one reason why we have a delayed pain resolution even after we understand the workings of something (such as narcissistic abuse). Something to think about 😉

          3. FYC- yep and in this case here it refers also to emotional thinking. Many of the pitfalls that HG refers to- falls into the rationalisation coping mechanism intellectuals empaths would easily be trapped in.
            Because once we understand – we think we can fight it and win.
            mislead by emotional thinking – we fall into rationalisation and try to cope because the truth is yet too painful to accept as it is.
            Often also – because we refuse to play victims – we use rationalisation as a way to pretend we are in control .

          4. Hi FYC
            I agree with you about how staying stuck in ones head/intellectualising instead of facing the emotion can hinder the recovery process, indeed, it pretty much halts it.

            It took me a while to relearn that. I haven’t always stuffed my pain but a series of life events and losing my best mentor (mother) led me to that place. I can recall saying to myself that I won’t crumble, won’t cry. And I didn’t for many years. Which in istelf is unnatural, I believe. Also, we are socially conditioned to repress difficult emotions though this is also dependent on other factors, like the culture you are raised in.

            Thanks for sharing your knowledge in this thread-and elsewhere!

            Will end with platitudes-
            Gotta feel it out
            The only way out is through

            Tappi T

          5. Hi Tappi, You are most welcome. Intellectualization is not a conscious choice (like all coping mechanisms) but something we subconsciously turn to to deal with life. I am sorry for your great loss. Actually, there is no “correct” way to grieve. I read a great quote on grief, just remembering it brings up a sea of emotion as I suffered a great loss two years ago, “Your grief is equal to your love,” and that is so very true.

            Psychologically speaking, you are correct, it is healthier to allow ourselves to feel our emotions and to know they will not overcome us. Doing so can be very difficult at times though. I would not have likely stumbled upon the definition if were not something I practice at times. It helps me not only to understand, but at times to help, but delaying or denying feelings does not bring growth or resolution. So, now I still try to learn everything I can (thirst for knowledge in general), but I am aware I cannot prevent emotional pain or grief so I make an effort to allow myself to feel as I go through it.

            Tappi, your mother is with you spiritually. Life offers us many mentors and I hope you find more to guide and uplift you. Wishing you much love and healing.

          6. Hi OMJ, Rationalization is a separate coping mechanism. Although both intellectualization and rationalization can coexist, they may not as well. I do like how you refer to the process of rationalization though. The empathic desire to love and heal is very strong and any tool that would assist in the effort may be utilized. The important thing we need to keep in mind is we cannot “fix” (I dislike that term as no one really needs fixing) anyone, but ourselves. Gaining knowledge can help us shift our perspective to enable us to take a different path and evolve ourselves. Many coping mechanisms are employed to gain control (or avoidance) when external stimuli threatens our internal state of being. You example of staying in a narcissistic relationship also includes a third coping mechanism—denial. OMJ, it sounds like you are very aware of your process. We can never change another, only ourselves. I hope your efforts are now turned towards healing the pain you endured. No matter how we cope, the answer is the same, when you know, you go.

          7. Hi FYC … I am still in the relation and do sometimes fall unto ET big time – than something happens and I get back to reality and distance myself from the situation, take a meta look at myself and comes back here and read and think.
            I have worked a lot with HG and it has helped me identifying the patterns – and also my own reactions and actions.
            I guess – it is my fourth Narc and I want this one to be my last one.
            I have codependent behaviours and I am working on this with meditation and other healing techniques .
            I don’t want to go yet and find another narc- I am staying and testing my progresses – with the help of my therapist who supports me facing me while I am being triggered.
            But everyday could be my last day-
            Either NC or being disengaged –
            I know both can happen.

          8. Hi Wiser Now, Thank you, and you are so very correct. I think it would be helpful for humanity, if a program were taught in high school regarding the importance, cause and effect of parenting and environment on children during the first 5 years. It is so crucial, yet very few people know about these developments.

          9. Hi OMJ, You are in a difficult position, but I can appreciate your struggle. I too am a meta analysis person and gain a great deal of understanding by such an approach and hope you do too.

            I’m glad you have both HG and a trusted therapist. I would understand if you need your narcissist to disengage, yet now that you are empowered by HG you are better prepared to seize the power to take action for a better life when you are ready. Choose you. You are worthy of your hopes and dreams with someone that will value you and cherish you for all that you are. Love yourself more. Time is precious.

            Wishing you strength and clarity, and know we all support you. You are worth everything.

        2. In advance, please forgive the length of this comment. As noted above, this post sparked interest to further research how these elements come together and operate. I could not have anticipated what I found. I will try to do justice to this many layered topic while remaining as brief as possible for such a broad and complex topic(s) area.

          With regard to your genes, we generally have more activated genes of the father than the mother. With regard to ASPD, psychopathy (high cognitive function) and sociopathy (lower cognitive function), variances existed between the two, with both having heritability but environmental influence having varied affect on both.

          Moving on to the maternal influence, the most enlightening and definitive work in this area that touches on both control and the lack thereof for the infant/child, is that of Donald Winnicott, M.D. He is the respected (and coincidentally British) pioneer of the true self/false self theory. Very worthwhile reading for anyone, especially so for those with a highly narcissistic mother. [HG, if you have not already read this I think it will be helpful for your book on the “creature”.] In short, we are born with our true self, we are absolutely aware of our feelings and emote freely. If allowed to cry, show anger, frustration, etc, we feel “safe” with our true self. As we mature we all develop a false self to enable us to behave appropriately to our environment. If instead, our true self behavior at birth through childhood is shunned or ignored or punished, etc., we learn to shift to a false self far too soon and learn to fear our true self and to avoid it. When denial of true self prevails and the false self completely compensates, narcissism (and other disorders) thrives.

          Now, consider brain development at this early stage of development. Scientists have determined the quality of a child’s experiences (good and bad) literally shapes the way their brain is developed. At birth, we have all of our brain cells (neurons) that we will have in adulthood, but it is the connections (synapses) between these cells that truly make the brain work. In early childhood, ages 0-5, over a million synapses are created every second. Surprisingly, even higher functions such as self-regulation, motivation, problem solving and communication are developed at the time. It is much harder (not impossible) to develop these skills at a later time. So, in applying the above theory of real/false self, at the time we are literally forming the all important skill providing synapses, scientists note that if we have a mother that does not affirm our true self we may actually NOT develop certain synapses. The reason I mention this is because fMRI scans of narcissists show different abilities to connect to certain parts of the brain. More research is required to see what the direct correlation may be.

          There are many layers that interplay with each other in our development. It is quite clear our mother’s play an exceedingly important role in our development.

          HG, thank you again for your excellent post, and for all your works, and especially for this blog that enables us to learn, share and heal.

          1. I hope the above information was not discouraging to anyone. I would like to add that Dr. Winnicott worked with both children and adults to retrieve the true self. He did so through an empathetic style of therapy that encouraged the patient to explore and express true self feelings without judgement or criticism. The false self remains (as it does for all of us), but the true self begins to surface and be accepted (instead of feared). His success was remarkable.

            Though very difficult, I still believe healing and change are possible. Yet I respect it may not be possible. Hope persists. Forgive me, HG, if my comments were annoying. My intent is to be encouraging and helpful.

          2. FYC,

            Thank you for your comments and explanations. I found them very interesting and informative. The human brain is amazing and fascinating, and the early months and years, when our brains are still in the highly formative stages, are crucial, I think.

          3. I think there is something to it that I spent a significant part of that time period raised by my parents alone, secluded on a farm with my grandmother. Crazy to think about.
            It has seemed to me the mother plays a significant role.
            Heartbreaking. Thank you.

  16. Amazing article, very clear and detailed as always.
    I’d love to hate the narcissist in my life, but I can’t. How can I hate someone who’s been neglected as a child by a selfish, alcoholic parent, and followed in their footsteps? It’s very hard to accept that there is no therapy, like EMDR, that can reverse narcissism. Not even if the narcissist really wants to. The true self does exist, so why is there no way to unlock and accept it? Thinking about it really drives me nuts.😤

    1. 1. Why bother trying when
      a. It cannot be unlocked because narcissism is a hermetically-sealed defence mechanism for the vast majority of narcissists; and

      b. Trying is very much contrary to your interests anyway.

      1. Yeah I know. I’m not trying, just thinking from a very safe distance with a very solid no contact regime. It comes from my naïve wish for everyone’s true self to feel loved and accepted.
        You’ve made very clear that there is no cure, that empathy cannot be injected. I understand. I don’t like it though.
        I’m good, I don’t come here as often as I used to, and I was very pleased to read something new.

        1. Hi Rachel, You may want to read the research I found in the above comment. The true self in narcissists is not gone, just primarily avoided as a strategy of survival (coping mechanism). The research also stated that only schizophrenics are completely in the false self and have zero recognition or presence of true self.

          As for no cure, personally, I doubt this, but I do agree it may not be known at present. After all, so many things were thought incurable until a cure was found.

  17. Empaths and narcissists are born., and they are raised in the same family. They perceive things differently, and their thought process is different. Narcissists want their own way, not getting their own way makes them manipulative. Empaths don’t think that way, they accept when they don’t get their own way, controlling the situation doesn’t occur to them. If an empath sneaks to get a cookie they weren’t allowed, they enjoy eating it – they don’t feel proud of themselves for how clever they were deceiving others to get their way. Narcissists feel power for getting what they want, eating the cookie is like vengeance.

  18. I like this one too HG. What has gotten me thinking is what you say about the lack of control being one of the two main ingredients in the creation of a narcissist, abuse being just part of this lack of control. I, like many others, thought it was the abuse which led to the lack of control that may create a N. I think it is common to think this because, in most cases, some sort of abuse is present in the formative years of a N. However, I know my ex N did not grow up with abusive parents (although they were not perfect at all). I believe it was his physical difference (a physical defect he was born with) that created this lack of control for him as a child. I witnessed how people looked at him sometimes already as an adult. I can only imagine how vulnerable a child can feel with people looking at you like that. I always admired his strength and his intelligence; the way he handled the others. I just did not know it was NPD at that time.

    Thanks!

  19. This article resonates and I find it fascinating to read about the origins and creation of something that has impacted on so many of us (narcissism). Exceptional writing and insights. Truly.

    I relate to HG’s childhood experiences on many levels. My parents were very controlling. I believe they had good intentions, however expressed these in unhealthy ways. Pressure to achieve and exceed expectations was intense and perfectionism became my life raft in this environment.

    As I built my career and began raising a family, I started with this mindset. Over time I have found one coping mechanism that serves me under all circumstances. You don’t have to rely on trusting or controlling other people when you can trust yourself. If I am true to my values in all actions and decision making, the thoughts, decisions and behaviours of others are irrelevant; I have the opportunity to choose my own path.

    People learn to treat you based on what you accept from them. It is really important not to settle for anything less than respect. If we can trust ourselves we have nothing to fear.

      1. I agree NarcAngel

        Internal, not external control of ones actions and behaviours. But it’s so hard to do in a world configured for control- the layers of control are mind boggling.

        There are often great posts but as I have dug my heels in re getting a WordPress account, I can’t press the like button for comments.

        I take a perverse pleasure in trying to leave as little a digital footprint as possible.

        1. Hi there TT,
          Your sentiments about WordPress are mine exactly!
          I choose to try and understand and then ignore the attempts of others to control me. I encounter this at work all the time. Many times, I have been asked to build the Golden Gate Bridge only so someone else can blow it up. I won’t bring what I have to a process where an outcome has already been decided. I value my integrity too much and I have found in return people learn to value this about me also. Living our own standards is what defines us as high value people or resources in any situation. I make no apologies for that.

    1. Interesting article, always good to see another perspective.

      What came to mind when reading this was Dr Bruce Liptons work on epigenetics. I guess it’s similar to the abusive parent you speak of, ie. environment and other external factors. I will need to revisit that again.

      1. Nn – Bruce Lipton writes extensively about addictions too – I find a lot of authors who are writing about addictions find their ways to people here – as eventually we get addicted to our Narc and as much as they don’t write about narcissism – many people here have had addictions issues.

  20. Thought provoking article HG..
    As far as my sister is concerned, she seems to fall within the golden child and facsimile categories of creation.

    It’s excellent of you to Illustrate that there are several ways one can develop narcissism as a coping mechanism or defence mechanism if you will.

    I don’t personally believe that this or any other type of coping mechanism is influenced by our genes, I know this is a prevailing viewpoint at this point in time. I do know from professional experience that a pregnant mothers emotional and physical state affect her growing child. Actually, I’d argue that we have known this for millennia. It is only in the last few thousand years that this knowledge has beeen gradually eroded. Yep, that good ol patriarchy is at least partially responsible for this. Stay on target Tappi, no tangents please….

    Also, epigenetics, a relatively new scientific field displays unequivocally how the environment directly influences gene expression- ie, which genes will ‘turn on’ and which won’t.

    As I was reading this, the psychologist William Glasser and his control and choice theories sprang to mind…. I must revisit his work as he has some very interesting things to say about control- that we live in a world of external control, forced control and that we are conditioned to being externally controlled. I read a couple of his books in the noughties!

    Thank you for this piece! It has inspired me to revisit and reassess Glassers work and also to read further on this topic and epigenetics as well.

    Hoping this makes sense to all. I condense my thoughts when I comment, perhaps I shouldn’t but I am conscious of taking up time- for yourself and your readers.

    1. You are welcome, thank you for sharing your thoughts also, it is always interesting to learn more about other people’s observations and opinions.

  21. Come to think of it, I knew I had actually brought up this perspective in the past, when I was in much better condition than I am in now.. Me and WiserNow discussed this in the comments on this post: https://narcsite.com/2018/02/25/the-five-fears-of-the-narcissist-4/

    I used the term “defense mechanism” but the jist was the same: I suggested to WiserNow that HG had overcome his emotional thinking with logic by developing a defense [coping] mechanism simply called “narcissim”..

  22. Love this one. Very informative. I find that narcissist will be very controlling about the information they reveal about their past, but if you have to deal with a narcissist long enough, they will drop hints and let you know what aspects of their upbringing led to their narcissism. As I was listening to this, I was thinking about how each one related to the different narcissist I have known, and what what revealed about their past.

  23. Fascinating and stunning and of course I have 5000 more questions but will drop it down a tad.

    You write about Matrinarc because of your mother, but what of the narcissist father? Is it possible for a narcissist to be a single parent? How do they discipline if they do at all? Would a Matrinarc actually commit suicide?

    Again, thank you.

    1. 1. Yes, a father can be a narcissist either in tandem with a narcissist mother or a normal or an empath mother or alone.
      2. Yes a narcissist can be a single parent. One child is likely to be the Primary Source in such a situation or there will be an IPPS who is a step parent or perhaps bf or gf who is not involved in parenting.
      3. The issue of discipline is expansive.
      4. A narcissist may commit suicide, yes, but it is very rare.

      1. Your insights have not only helped me sniff out toxic people more easily but have helped me understand myself better as well. As a former cutter and abuse victim I understand very clearly the idea of coping and reading this cuts through much of the rage I’ve been struggling with. Thank you.

  24. This is very informative and really gets to the heart of the topic of narcissism: what it is and how it was cultivated.. I think every one who is interested in the subject should read this article.. Well done, HG..

  25. Great article HG, you nailed it!

    I wonder, what if discarded victim becomes narcissist’s stalker? Does this happen? The victim hurts so much that is obsessed with revenge thoughts and hoovers and smears narcissist endlessely… and I don’t mean about natural emotional reaction a month after the discard. I am talking about obsessive ex who stalks narcissist for years… Does this happen often? Would be narcissist’s reaction? He loses control, the roles are reversed, he is the one who is chased. Is it something a true empath would do or is this ex also a narcissist or has other disorder?

      1. Nice to hear it, it would be very interesting topic.

        I know that after my discard for a few months I felt very hurt and revengeful. But at the same time I would feel embarrassed if someone or him knew I stalk him or smear him. So I haven’t done that. And after a year from the discard those hurt feelings started to fade. Today I feel that I know about him and his disorder almost everything and he is just a bore to me. I woudn’t bother smearing or stalking him today, I have better, more entertaining things to do.

        BUT I BELIEVE there are some victims who don’t let go. And chase narcissist months ans years after the discard even if they know he is a narcissist and even if they don’t want the relationship with him anymore. Victims who start to act like a controlling narcissist themselves.

        Waiting for your thoughts about this! Cheers.

  26. HG,
    Would a narc who has sex with practically everyone (and therefore gains most of his control in this manner) typically prevail from a sexually abusive upbringing? Yes I am narrowing it down to the most frequent behavior I witnessed (which was him seeking sexual comfort with MANY people) but to me this seemed to be the biggest way he exerted his control? I guess I am wondering if the type of abuse and/or neglect or whatever else was doled out has an implication on the type of way control is often sought.

    I hope you understand what I am asking. Thank you!

    1. Hello FFFTS, a change of name I note!

      No, a sexually abusive past does not guarantee that sex is used as a major method of seduction and manipulation.

      1. Yep, new name indeed. I’m continuing to try here.
        I am curious about what type of abuse or neglect would bring about manipulation through sexual seduction.
        A second thought was that he never got enough attention as a child, so…neglect maybe. Just remembering bits and pieces of things he said to me over the years and trying to piece it together to form my own analysis of what caused him to become like that.

        1. FFFTS
          So happy to see the name change. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. When you falter, get up and start over. ( I am saying this to myself as I type it to you)
          One day we can both change our names to FFFTS1 and FFFTS2

  27. Thank you for providing this most excellent and thorough examination of the creation of narcissism and coping through your eyes. It offers answers to many questions, and as with much of your writing – creates others, and leaves some of us thirsty for more of your insight into this fascinating subject. Great work.

  28. HG you have given us a great gift in this article.
    I was never able to articulate properly the genesis and conditions of narcissism- but in your very articulate and concise manner you have painted the picture so that now I can explain it.

    And then the narcissist never seems to understand that his coping mechanism engender and creates more suffering and expose him to more people leaving and therefore requires more control.

    This weekend my Narc ans I had that conversation because one of his IPSS told him he was some kind of autistic and that he would never be a good person and then we moved to his narcissism and his coping strategy – but in fact – narcissism is the coping strategy.
    Brilliant and thank you.

  29. Even without the trauma that creates it, narcissism would still exist. The world needs your kind. We wouldn’t want anyone who wasn’t narcissistic to be president of the U.S. Any president we had who wasn’t a narc was a complete disaster. Also, narcs are the ones drawn to the entertainment fields, and they are the only ones who can withstand the horrors of fame. Or who want it. Such beautiful things come from your kind, born of your pain or self-absorption or whatever. Your need for fuel is not what makes you broken. Or wrong. When it is vampiric is when you might want to see to it. We all have to see to those darker aspects of ourselves, that we don’t hurt others, or that we make amends when we do hurt others.

    Narcs think they will disappear without the fuel, but they won’t. They think they have no soul, but they do. Not everyone has a soul, but souled beings still outnumber those without in the world. You think you will be lost if you aren’t in control, but you won’t be lost, you will be free. The beliefs you developed (and I mean “you” in general terms) as an abused child were incorrect. I thought I had to become someone else because I was unacceptable to my father as I was. It was a mistake. I was 4, what did I know? But I had so much power, even then. I locked that 4 year-old me behind a brick wall; I didn’t even give her a chair. All of my life I heaped my pain upon her so I could continue to enjoy life and function. “I” did it. My narc father didn’t, the devil who offered me the deal didn’t do it; I did. When I found her, I simply corrected the mistake. The deal I made with the devil that I was unacceptable, I reneged. I let her out and let her live. She it was who loved the narc. I let her even though I knew it was bad. I stayed with her and did not abandon her again, or lock her up, and when she cried over him, I cried with her. When she forgave him, I forgave with her. When she begged him, I begged with her. We all got here, narcs and empaths, by abandoning ourselves, so just stop doing that. No matter what, do not abandon yourself again. That is the way to start back.

    Just in case anyone wanted to know…

    1. From your perspective, you are stating that narcissists also have souls, just like empaths.. Who, then, do not have souls?

      1. I’m not sure, Bekah. I am not sure I have ever personally encountered a soulless one myself. I just know I can see when a soul is present. I have begun to see people for who they are, past the appearance of their bodies. But the soul can be lost on the way, too. It can also be temporarily repressed, as by pharmaceuticals or warrior fugue or extreme trauma. A souled being out of touch with his soul is mentally ill. I can see the lack of her human soul in Ms. Clinton. She is inhabited by many other beings. Others of our American politicians are in a similar condition. This is way off topic for HG’s blog, though, and it is disrespectful for me to go on and on here about it, so I’ll stop there. Look for dead eyes. When I look at my horses to check for their health, I am looking first at their eyes, the brightness and spirit in there. When they are ill, their eyes are dull. It is similar for humans–the soul provides brightness and animation. Look for robotic attitudes and actions. The soul provides animation and creativity and unpredictability. All you need is one look in the eyes and you know.

        How narcs are grown or made makes them worthy of compassion and forgiveness–without allowing the behavior to continue. I am blessed with belief in God, so I can say that God created them, and so they exist for His purposes. I realized that my love for my narc was real. It had to be real. The more I loved him, the more he hated me. Similar to how Jesus loved the Jews and yet they caused his scourging and execution. Similar to how so many continue to reject Him today, but the sacrifice was made for you, and would have been made anyway even if you had been the only one in existence at the time and even if you had rejected Him as he was doing it. It is simply a metaphor, the relationship I had, for that very great story. So my love for him was real. His rejection of it was real. My pain is real. To be an example. To tell the story.

        And to get me further on my way, if truth be told. I had prayed to God to make me able to love like Jesus, so he sent me a narc.

    2. Caron
      I agree that the world would not be the same and that we can appreciate their contributions while not condoning (and looking for ways to curb) the destructive behaviours. Trying to eliminate any group is an unreasonable fantasy and just creates a new set of problems. More productive to learn to deal better with what we have and face than to fantasize.

  30. Very well broken down explanation. Although, the more I learn, the more I want to learn the specifics of my own narc. The questions of what made him this way gnaw at me. Which forms of control was he lacking in? I have a really hard time imagining those at the top of the list. If I had to make a guess, I would say “B Grader” and “the Facsimile” for him.

    Are those control examples listed in any specific order HG? They almost appear to be in order from most to least “harsh.”

    1. Thank you Joanne. No, they are not in a particular order although I understand why you have made the observation as you have.

  31. HG, This was a very enlightening post.

    You state, “For some, the soil is there but no seed ever arrives and thus no narcissist. For others, there is no soil but there is the seed, but again with one essential ingredient missing, there can be no narcissism.” This rings true, yet empaths may qualify on both counts (have a narcissist parent and some of the above seeds planted) and not become narcissists. Is this a different coping mechanism even if not a codependent? Or was the gene missing due to one non-narcissistic parent?

    Your answer would be most appreciated.

    1. It might be that the empath started out on the narcissist path but did not arrive owing to genetic predisposition and/or the solid interjection of a benign influence that arrested the impact of the toxic seed (think a grandparent for example who became heavily involved in that person’s upbringing) – co-dependence becomes the outcome as explained in Chained.

      You have slightly confused what I have written. The narcissist parent IS the seed. Thus if you have the soil (genetic predisposiiton) and the seed (Toxic environment through narcissist parent) thus a narcissist is ‘grown’. Where an empath is ‘grown’ you either have no ‘soil’ and no ‘seed’ or you have the ‘seed’ (narcissist parent) BUT you have different ‘soil’ so an empath appears rather than a narcissist.

      1. Hello HG, Thank you so much for your reply.

        Yes, I did misunderstand. I understand fully now (and am relieved). I have a narcissistic parent, so I must be missing the gene. I have read Chained and found it most interesting. One further question if you have time; given all people have narcissistic traits, how does this fit in your model? Thank you again.

        1. Narcissistic traits occur in everyone and they can be healthy, it is not automatically the case that a narcissistic trait equates to something negative.

          1. You are most generous with your time and it is appreciated. Thank you for your answers, HG, This post is among your best.

      2. HG I have also misunderstood what you wrote thinking that the soil is the genes from the narcissistic parent. So it’s not automatic that we have the soil because it’s not automatic that we got the genetic predisposition from the narc parent. The only way that I can explain why I’m not a codependent despite my arrested development on being a narc is because I probably don’t have the soil. But how about for those empaths who had two biological narc parents and were also abused? Wouldn’t that mean that they have the soil?

        1. Correct. If you have a parent who is a narcissist you still may not have the genetic predisposition to become a narcissist.

          1. Genetic predisposition but no environmental seed – no narcissist
          2. No genetic predisposition but there is the environmental seed – no narcissist
          3. Genetic predisposition plus environmental seed – narcissist
          4. Existence of narcissist as a parent does not automatically equate to having the genetic predisposition BUT it is an increased risk AND there will be the environmental seed present. Just because your parent is a narcissist does not mean you will become one, but you are at a greater risk of becoming one.

          1. Thank you so much HG! I looked up genetic predisposition for narcissism and studies say that there not one single gene that makes a narcissist. The genetic predisposition comes from a presence or several genes that increases the propensity to have entitlement and grandiosity. So even if both biological parents are narcissists, it still doesn’t automatically mean that the child inherited all of the genes needed to have a predisposition to narcissism or the soil. We can only get 50% from each parent and they may not be able to pass on all of the genes that create that predisposition. Just like both me and my husband have dark brown hair but our daughter has blonde which was a trait of my dad. Genetics is so complicated. Thank you so much for this article. You have simplified what psychologists have a hard time explaining about the ‘abuse’ that causes narcissism. You have simplified it by identifying the fundamental ingredient present in those various abuses, the lack of control. That is totally the key and you explained it so well that even if you are treated like a golden child you still have no control. You should get some academic recognition from your work. So brilliant.

          2. Thank you very much and for also your contribution with regard to the genetic component.

          3. Mommypino, Do you mind sharing your source? I would enjoy reading the article you found. Many thanks in advance!

          4. Hi QQ,

            I have read several articles. Here are some of them:

            “True, single genes rarely account for any behaviour or trait. An array of coordinated genes is required to explain even the minutest human phenomenon. “Discoveries” of a “gambling gene” here and an “aggression gene” there are derided by the more serious and less publicity-prone scholars. Yet, it would seem that even complex behaviours such as risk taking, reckless driving, and compulsive shopping have genetic underpinnings.”

            “The two dimensions of narcissism, intrapersonal grandiosity and interpersonal entitlement, are heritable and largely independent of each other in terms of their genetic and environmental sources. “

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3973692/

          5. Wow, I have a weird combination of crap. 2 narc parents, 1 (possibly 2) narc grandparents, 1 severely schizophrenic grandparent. 1 empath grandparent. I was the scapegoat of 1 parent, golden child of the other (neither made it a secret, no doubts and my sister confirms). Empath grandmother influence and secluded nature environment during key early development years. Sister didn’t have that, she is narc. Later heavy exposure to narc uncle (sexual abuser, not directly of me, that went to prison ) following father abandonment and psychological abuse from mother.

            Interesting picture.

  32. Once again I am slack jawed, in awe and teary eyed. I guess the saying “there but by the grace goes I” is true.
    Brilliant HG but so sad.

  33. Very interesting article. It gave me so much to think about… I also loved the concept of ‘natural response’ which you referred to when talking about your relationship with The Shieldmaiden. Narcissism could then be considered a person’s ‘natural response’ to external circumstances. Absolutely loved this idea – even though, I have to admit, I am a bit less deterministic than you are! Haha. Narcissism or not, you do have a great mind.

  34. Very good article, you explained it very well. I had intuition despite my limited intuition. That the narcissistic behavior was due to learned behaviors. And therefore, they can offer nothing more than what they have learned.
    But your article is much more enlightening, surprising. The victims experience in our own flesh, each and every one of the situations lived by the narcissist in his childhood. If for the victim it is painful, I imagine that for the narcissist in his early childhood it was also very painful.
    It says a saying, the little tree since small. It must be guided and protected.
    Unfortunately our narcissist were not trees because they did not let them grow properly. Rather our narcissists are Bonsais who have been prevented from growing correctly and since they were little they have been wired and twisted so that they take strange, complex and unnatural forms. Limiting and limiting their formation…
    I am so sorry for my little Bonsai …
    They cut it, abused it, mistreated it, annulled it, didn’t let it grow, made it small, weak and vulnerable.
    Impossible to correct this in the future and impossible for them to shelter us and give us their shadow.
    We thought that we were under sequoias but they were mistreated bonsais and damaged, twisted and deformed.

  35. Finally we have an answer about the creature! It’s the real you. Everything that created a narcissist here sounds a lot like my life, having a narcissist mother and a cerebral brother. I’m certain things were harder on my brother and sister than they were for me, I can tell from watching old home movies and from hints of things I’ve heard. I was mostly neglected and left on my own, and I kept busy playing, I had a good imagination. I’m sure I was subjected to things that shouldn’t have happened too, and I had recurring nightmares at a very young age. I think narcissist’s are very sensitive to taking offense to things that empaths brush off. They perceive the negative and empaths search for the positive. I did what I was told, believed what I was told, and thought everyone was better than me. I don’t think I had any coping method.

    I was paranoid I was a narcissist too after first learning about it, as I don’t want other people’s burdens, I think narcissists jump in to help out more because they get fuel from it. I go too overboard worrying about pets, even my daughters goldfish- I kept buying it bigger bowls worrying it was bored. I remember when I was 3 or 4 being at the zoo and couldn’t stand people throwing peanuts at a bear, and wandered off to a cement pond where ducks and swans were free to swim or fly away- that’s kind of deep for such a young age, lol. My job growing up was to be quiet and alone. An empath has no control and isn’t allowed to complain about it. We find out a lot about ourselves, learning about narcissists.

    I’m glad to finally have the answer about the creature. There is still so much to grasp about narcissism and their real self.

    1. Kel, I love your animal compassion. Don’t ever feel badly about it. I too have an extreme amount of worry and concern for animals. Someone has to.

  36. Very good article, you explained it very well. I had intuition despite my limited intuition. That the narcissistic behavior was due to learned behaviors. And therefore, they can offer nothing more than what they have learned.
    But your article is much more enlightening, surprising. The victims experience in our own flesh, each and every one of the situations lived by the narcissist in his childhood. If for the victim it is painful, I imagine that for the narcissist in his early childhood it was also very painful.
    It says a saying, the little tree since small. It must be guided and protected.
    Unfortunately our narcissist were not trees because they did not let them grow properly. Rather our narcissists are Bonsais who have been prevented from growing correctly and since they were little they have been wired and twisted so that they take strange, complex and unnatural forms. Limiting and limiting their formation…
    I am so sorry for my little Bonsai …

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1FDfwyjkrs&w=560&h=315%5D

    They cut it, abused it, mistreated it, annulled it, didn’t let it grow, made it small, weak and vulnerable.
    Impossible to correct this in the future and impossible for them to shelter us and give us their shadow.
    We thought that we were under sequoias but they were mistreated bonsais and damaged, twisted and deformed.

  37. Excellent article! Very accurate, and helpful medicine.
    In my humble opinion the ” genetic predisposition” is the absence of a heart, and a soul. maybe?

    I can t help but wonder.. are you of the red headed variety sir?
    I have learned to be cautious around those who are painted red.
    Temper temper..

  38. What do you do when you wake up one day and tell yourself “fuck that defense mechanism, it’s getting old ….”?

    1. I think that would be like someone getting up one day and going “Fuck that method of survival, it’s getting old…”.

    2. Yeah, it’s pretty instinctive, I can imagine.. One of my idiosyncrasies is not liking to be touched by anyone I don’t have an emotional tie to.. I could not imagine one day waking up and deciding “I’m gonna let that defense mechanism go and not feel weird when someone I don’t know well touches me..” It just doesn’t sound right and I can’t envision myself ever not cringing on the inside when someone I don’t know very well touches me..

  39. Thank you for your clear explanation. I’ve come to see my ex as a walking defense mechanism- who must control her “narrative “ – (storyline).
    She expressed several times her irritation with me because (blamed me) for screwing up her narrative with her ex and the kids (now young adults) because she was cheating on the ex half the time she was engaged with me. Forever blames me for her bad/no relationship with the ex or the kids. However she has never a) admitted her affair to the ex. B) apologized for her behavior to the ex nor c) attempted to make amends with ex or the kids.

    But still- it is my fault because I talked to others and the truth came out eventually.
    She controls the “ narrative “ for all time.

    Fuel and control.

  40. Very informative, HG, thank you.

    If one has the genetic predisposition, as you say, does this mean that no matter the circumstances they could never have been an empath? Even if feelings and expression were encouraged?
    And are empaths only created in a similar manner? Do you have any thoughts on the creation of an empath?

    1. 1. Correct.
      2. Correct.
      3. Similar.
      4. Chained deals with the creation of one school of empath.

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