Narcissism Is an Identity Disorder
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: