Narcissism Is an Identity Disorder

who-am-i- (1)


Isn’t this obvious as the light of day? They have no clue who they really are. There’s no deep spiritual well from which they can express themselves. They’re as flat as a carboard cut out. My guess is that a narcissist would opt to be one if they could, because of the relief they’d feel over not having anyone expect anything from them. Just so long as everyone thought the cardboard cut out was attention worthy.


Identity is about SUBSTANCE and FABRIC; essence and spirit.


When is the last time you’ve heard a narcissist described with such depth? Their depth is a framework of abnormal constructs & structures.


Their “identity” although permanently FIXED in disorder, is a fragile, mobile, versatile little creature. Like taking off one mask, in order to wear another, they can quickly morph into what they think is cool and appealing about others. Hunters have a way to categorize their prey, knowing that certain targets will bring handsome rewards and with it a potential source of “identity” or supply.


Empathetic, loving – naturally confident targets who have been conditioned to see asking for things as “selfish” are the #1 reward to the human hunting prey.


It’s not that we like the role of “sitting duck” or “fish in a barrel” it’s just that we were raised that way, we learned to acquiesce, be pleasing, go along, keep the peace, nurture and care for others.

Anymore, I like to keep what’s special about us, kind of quiet. It’s probably one part defense of being concerned with boasting, but also, don’t want to advertise that we’d make good narc bait. I digress…


Identity Crisis’ in narcissists stem from their very primal question, “Who am I?” and their very narcissistically rigid answer, “I dont know! But WHOEVER I AM, I am the greatest!!! Right?” And then goes about the world seeking to make mirrors out of every other human being they come in contact with.


Ask any narcissist a simple introspective probing question, such as: “How are you feeling?” and watch the person avert the question, unable to probe any depths (because it isn’t there) and babble out something about “thinking or behaving”. They don’t feel things….Like self worth.

To compensate, narcissists develop what’s called a “false self.”


The severity and intensity of NPD comes from the desperate pursuit of a sense of self. Npds delusionally believe all the lies they tell themselves about who they are: as a famous quote says, if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the “truth.” If a narcissist tells themselves and boasts frequently enough that they are  ________________, then maybe just maybe they’ll be that. 


Most people just find hobbies and enjoy them. Narcissists BECOME them. Most people find other people or relationships satisfying and enjoyable, narcissists BECOME the other person. I suppose it stands to reason that when someone feels they lack something (a true identity) they’re always seeking it; always on the look out for it outside of themselves.


The opposite of the “false self” is the authentic self. The authentic self is the core of who you really are, not what people tell you you should be or the “you” defined by people who do not really know you: the doubters, critics, and others who see the part of you that you choose to show. It’s the you that you talk about to the people and know you best and whom you trust to be careful with your vulnerabilities.

Narcissists can’t afford to be vulnerable at all–especially not to themselves.


Remember, they need to believe the lie. So they make up a fictitious false self who is everything the narcissist is not: the entitled, superior, inflated, and grandiose self fed by the narcissist’s fantasies and what they can squeeze out of sources of narcissistic supply.


This mask, which the narcissist thinks is real, hides the insecure and damaged part of the narcissist and chases way feelings of depression, abandonment, and shame. It protects them from painful feelings. Affirmations of the false self keep the mask in good repair. If they’re not forthcoming, they’ll demand them in one way or another in the ways that make the relationship a wild ride on a rollercoaster (which no one understands besides other people who have a loved one with NPD).


The Narcissists success in maintaining this illusion makes you continually doubt yourself since you rarely receive validation of what you are going through. Even mental health professionals miss the boat. (Remember, you didn’t want to believe it either.)


It takes a lot of work to keep the fragile, superficial mask in good enough shape to protect against what Narcissists see as “attacks” from the outside world, e.g., complaints about their self-absorbed ways–especially those from formerly premium sources of supply like spouses and children. This destroys the illusion and might force the Narcissist to take a closer, more humble look at themselves. That’s why they protect the mask so aggressively in ways that make you continually doubt yourself. It’s extremely painful to have your feelings rebuffed by someone whom you feel/felt so much love for.


Also, life is dominated by doing, achievement, and performance rather than on intimate connections with others. This is one reason why you see so many narcissists at high levels in organizations or in careers in which they get a lot of attention such as politics, entertainment, and the ministry. The job perk of being important and lauded is too irresistible to avoid.


How the Narcissist’s Identity Shifts Affect Their Partner:


* What self-image they have is often low and dependent on the roles they play or whether or not they feel liked or loved at     any moment in time

*It’s hard to have a relationship with someone who is constantly changing their identities

*It contributes to no-win situations, blame and criticism

*It feels as if the narcissist is stealing your good qualities, interesting mannerisms, likes, preferences, friends, hobbies and very identity

*As the narcissist changes identity, their need for supply from different sources creates the need to engage in affairs, which betrays the relationship and breaks all trust bonds

*You never get to know or love a REAL person even though you’ve loved genuinely

   It creates the feeling that we loved a “fantasy” an “illusion” or shadow of a person, which creates a looming sense of self-doubt and embarrassment

*Not only will they steal your identity, they’ll leaving you with your own identity crisis that you’ll have to repair in a prolonged recovery 

Posted on August 19, 2014, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. But aren’t we headed for a narcissistic world/society? We are encouraged to be selfish and greedy. Money, goods, ‘toys’, and social isolation…contempt for ‘perceived weakness’… (kindness), which is not weakness at all…kindness is strenght but few recognise this. Instead of “might makes right” let us embrace “right makes might”.


  2. Careful. I am the 53-year-old VICTIM of narcissistic abuse and don’t know who I am. (Many codependents suffer from this.) Between enmeshment, repression, and seeking to please, I seem to have lost myself. This article may confuse victims into thinking they are narcs.


  3. Great article and so accurate. This completely describes the peculiar behavior that my favorite actress has displayed over the past couple of years. A couple years ago, she had mentioned in interviews about having some kind of identity crisis and a month or so later, had a new boyfriend (himself an obvious narcissist) and literally became his hobbies (surfing, photography, and social media). Almost every interview mentions her being an “avid surfer” and she’s constantly posting beach photos. I actually had to stop following her social media accounts over the summer because it’s so over the top. But I guess this is considered normal behavior for an actress.


  4. I too developed debilitating symptoms virtually from the time I met my ex narc and can relate to all that others have written. My ex narcs hobby of choice was surfing it came first. On our first “date” he left me sitting on the beach for nearly two hours while he surfed after eating the picnic I made. After our first fight he said to me. “surfing will always come first for me so you better get used to it”. You would think (and most other well self esteemed people I have told this to have said) “I would have been out of there, but I stuck it out for four painful years. I went on the trip he wanted to go on and endured a lot of trauma on that due to his addiction o adrenalin. This is coming across as me starting to sound like a victim. It took ages to wise up and I was still addicted even when he devalue and discarded me and moved on to a new partner with less than six months. The devastation was terrible. You are spot on about them having not one clue as to what they feel. For my ex anger was the only emotion really allowed he would rage in response to empathy being shown and most especially grief and sadness (of which I had masses), Enough said. Empaths are drawn to narcs like moths to a flame . We are taught to be nice, to adapt, to stuff anger. Healing and separation came for me when I was able to get angry and not cry all the time. In crying I was powerless, in being angry I could finally let him go and realise he was incapable of love.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I spent the past two years struggling and I mean struggling to get away from my narc, I knew him for a total of 6 1/2 years, but the past two I really knew I had to get away to save my own life. It was a constant roller coaster of abusive drama. I thought at the beginning his constant calls and attention were a sign of caring, I was very wrong. He used and abused me for so long and I let him. The last two years I felt so bad for my narc because he had a massive heart attack, and I couldn’t walk away when this happened, so I stayed to care for him for the next couple of years. I finally went NO Contact about a month ago and it has been brutal getting over, not being with him. I cry a lot, pray a lot. God is the only one who has pulled me through this, maybe in pieces, but God will help me pull things together. I deal with panic attacks I’ve never ever had before, heart palpitations, crying, wicked anger and violent thoughts of hurting him and wanting him to hurt. I know my narc already hurts terribly inside as he wished I let him die when he had a massive heart attack on many occasions. Then again I’m not sure if that was just a plea for sympathy or real. You never know what is real with them and the do not care!! They are horribly abusive, no character at all, cheaters, mis-leaders and they do not care at all!!!


  6. I am so sorry to hear of all the pain and suffering these people cause; I guess I was one of the lucky ones probably do to my age (45) and seeing others struggle with these types of relationships even though I didn’t know there was a disorder…until I ran in to mine. My story is a bit different because my narcissist never left me. In fact yesterday I was granted a harassment restraining order. It was so relieving and rewarding to hear the judge thunder at him about his abuse and harassment. I broke up with him because he was starting to make me feel crazy and bad about myself. Everything written above was the same for me EVERYTHING except he always chased me. We broke up in April and he used a “send-text” app to get around the block. He would contract friends, send cards, leave flowers and during this time DATING someone else. Gross. Although mine only lasted a years with 4 of those months me trying to get him to stop contacting me helped. He would text me 30 to 77 times a day! I had thousands of text messages. Even after the cops talked to him twice he kept it up; though they slowed to about 2-10 per day. I jump every time my text message alert goes off, even now. And I had 2 solid weeks after the TRO was served to get use to it the quite. I still look at my phone each morning…because they would start before I even got up. The hardest part for me is wrapping my brain around that they never loved us. How do people even exist like that? He was all words and no action. I caught onto his lies early. When he called me a ‘whore’ the first time; honestly I was in disbelief. That is was the furthest thing from the truth. I was more trouble that it didn’t bother me than him saying it. I think it must had worked on others before me and since he never cared to really get to know me he just recycled his old tricks. I get that he never loved me. He wore me out and I wanted him gone BUT what I don’t get is how do these people “all use the same lines” is there a manual they read? Really, is it from TV, movies….what, because they all act alike. I will say this, getting the restraining order was time consuming (court) and up until the day I officially had my hearing…I still wondered “did I take this to far” or “what would be the wrath of him” if I LOST! However when he sat in court and told the judge “so what, they were texts, cute gifts, cards and the only reason he was there was because he didn’t want this on this record, I realized he didn’t get it. I realize this restraining order was for ME….so I could get my life back. They are losers. They lie, manipulate, cheat, blame, nothing is ever enough. Take your poison somewhere else son, this life is not a trial run.


  7. Agreed. I am reminded how I used be and do so many things that just sort of fell away from me over the years we were together. I still haven’t recovered in that way. I used to be a hugger, now I rarely hug anyone. Same with board games. I came to really dislike them being with him. So many things that I have had to re-discover about myself. I don’t know if any of us ever fully recover from it. But we do take that chance, I think. The fact that we are here, trying to understand is the first step I think.


  8. I’ve been saying and thinking this for sometime now that these people are soul destroyers. Soul takers it’s as if I’m no longer the person I used to be ( all my good qualities, ) and he being like me pretending it’s his. Ways! Things his never been interested in ,or done in 15 years.! It’s like we’ve swapped roles ! I’m left saying who am I and doubting my every thought. Even after 2 years off seperation it continuing . I’m st ill trying to find me again. The devastation continues , was it worth leaving him ? Many. People don’t understand the damage this does to a victim , making getting hellp difficult and leaving wounds / devastation almost irreparable !! Evil Siick vile people !


  9. This is a great article! Everything you have said is what I’m feeling…so much confusion. Questioning my own integrity, my own sanity. On a few occasions he even said, “Have you noticed how much we have began to have the same mannerisms because we have been together so long”, and “I know you better than you know yourself”. I was so manipulated but I couldn’t see it clearly for 4years.Maybe I just loved him so much I didn’t want to believe it. I just thought if he could see just how much I loved him he would stop being abusive and love me back authentically. I had so much love to give but I guess it didn’t matter..I didn’t matter. But I’ll tell you what he really mattered to me…I’m now feeling so much shame feeling like a fool because I lived a lie his lie it’s just so cruel to mess with someones core, there mind, there soul.I I know I’m to blame as well I just wanted to be loved and so I guess I just let him walk all over me erased all boundary lines I truly feel pathetic. But I know in my heart I could never play games with someones life, nor use and abuse another human being and think nothing of it I would feel so guilty so bad if I did. You may think I’m simple but I like simple. I feel like I’m being punished for wanting love. I don’t know anything anymore I’m lost confused…like Dolly says in ,”Steel Magnolias”, I don’t know whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt”. Anyway thanks for listening. And Great Advice it really helps me sort through the loss.


    • I understand what you are saying and feel the same way. I am ashamed that I allowed this charade to go on for so long. I put my whole being into this relationship, and never stopped long enough to see how one sided it was. I always forgave and marched on all the while catering to his every whim, completely blinded by his words which I always believed.


    • Dane, my name is John and I think I’m just a ”normal” guy…, so hi, I wrote a huge reply to you on this and didn’t copy it, then my password failed, anyway, your comments, ” I just loved him so much” ” I had so much to give” and then ”I’m now feeling so much shame feeling like a fool because I lived a lie his lie it’s just so cruel to mess with someone’s core, there mind, there soul. I know I’m to blame as well I just wanted to be loved and so I guess I just let him walk all over me erased all boundary lines I truly feel pathetic. But I know in my heart I could never play games with someone’s life, nor use and abuse another human being and think nothing of it I would feel so guilty so bad if I did. You may think I’m simple but I like simple. I feel like I’m being punished for wanting love. I don’t know anything anymore I’m lost confused”

      – – – – – – – –

      All resonate with me so much, I just HAD TO REPLY, but what I’d like to tell you is simple – – – SIMPLE is good, SIMPLE is our lifeblood, we all want simple, at least normal people do, life should be simple so don’t let that one word or feeling shake your resolve….. my resolve is that I will not be taking her back a third time cos I felt all the things you did and was duped by a non person. God I was so pissed off this time, Mr Angry for 2 weeks and then I shook myself down, sought professional help, read all that I could (and I don’t even read my texts sometimes), feel as if I could be a therapist now I’ve read that much stuff…. Hard as it is – – -CHIN up girl, try and be strong and it will get better, read all you can… learn about ”it” then learn about yourself and you’ll come bounding out the other end stronger, fitter, faster, better, oh yeah just like the 6 million dollar man, or bionic woman, only fling that in cos I guess your from the U.S. I’m from Scotland so its worrying to think this kind of torture is happening all over the world… oh and BTW, she’s only gone 3 months, I still really annoyingly think of her every day, but the pain is gone, I’m told my eyes are sparkling again and I feel better, thinking about her everyday will wane and it will stop, it might just take a bit longer than I’d like, but I’m enjoying life again…. and I KNOW I’m stronger for it….. be patient and in no way harsh with yourself….. just prepare for a journey, and there is golden sands and a flat blue sea at the end…. some days it will be motorway (freeway) some days it will be traffic jams…. but YOU WILL GET THERE lady….

      good luck.. I’m on your side



      • Hi john
        I know this was written by you last year. I just wondered if you managed to stay NC and if you are pain free now?


        • Hi

          yes I have had NC at all and after reading all of the posts I’m not totally surprised now after a year she is still in my thoughts but much much less and is manageable….. Hopefully one day it won’t even register…. Hope you are in a good place or certainly a better place than you have been


      • Hi john
        I know this was written by you last year. I just wondered if you managed to stay NC and if you are pain free now?


  10. I especially can relate to the “hobby” thing. My ex was into anything electronic: amateur radio, building pcs (back in the day), etc. He spent all his free time on it so that it was not a “hobby” it was an all consuming obsession and the only thing he seemed to be interested in.


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