8 thoughts on “Why Narcissists Don’t Trust Themselves

  • August 27, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    What about the bipolar narc who divorces someone because the boundary they set was no more debt, then went on to spend 89,000 in six months while unemployed?

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    • August 28, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Count yourself lucky! My ex-narcissist also left me when I set boundaries that precluded putting up with any more abuse and mistreatment. So he went out and found someone to rescue from a more abusive relationship, so his abuse didn’t even seem abusive to her. Talk about needing therapy! I told them they deserved each other!

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      • August 28, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        I don’t know if they deserved each other, but I do hope they don’t harm each other.

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  • August 27, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    This was so poorly written that I had to comment. It is not so much that you folks don’t seem qualified and credentialed in mental health although that seems to be the case, but the level at which it is written is so overly simplistic and shallow. You have added nothing to the conversation with this.

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    • August 27, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      I agree with you that my article represents a simple point of view. And, in a world where things are often made overly complex, I think there is value in simplicity. Much more can be said about narcissism, and I hope the point I am making serves some people. And, yes, I’m a licensed therapist in practice for 25 years.

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    • August 27, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      I agree with your comment. It seems that anyone can publish on this site, whether credentialed or not (this is a comment about the site, not a comment about this particular author) I feel it is unhelpful and potentially dangerous, to use psychological terms like ‘narcissistic’ in contexts which do not align with the actual scientific use of such terms.

      Everyone, whether actually narcissistic or not, can have the tendencies outlined in this article. It does not mean they would meet the diagnostic criteria of being a narcissist however. I understand the author has provided their own definition of narcissist, to try and combat this issue, but I feel it would have been more helpful to outline to correct definition, then state for the purpose of this article that their definition will be xyz. Giving a contrast between the two, would make this more clear for the audience I feel. Otherwise, another term than ‘narcissist’ perhaps would have been better.

      It is common for people with other issues, such as depression, social anxiety or a history of emotional abuse, to internalize negative feedback given by others and incorporate this into their view of self. So if negative feedback is received, because of internalisation, they are often preoccupied tending to the hurt this has caused the self and trying to avoid it reoccurring, than addressing the true cause of such feedback.

      If however, they had not internalised, they would be more equipped to better see the true cause from the beginning and work at addressing it, so as to better learn ways to prevent it happening, rather than just withdraw to avoid it happening like the internaliser.

      I think the author of the article, has outlined the internalisation process well and the outlined strategy would be very helpful for internalizers. It may lead to a more helpful outward looking focus, which better addresses the issue, rather than perpetuating the cycle of negative self-esteem the author outlines.

      However, what I don’t understand and what I think negates from the valid points the article makes, is why this is only written in a way that relates to narcissists. Sure, it probably would be helpful for diagnosed narcissists. But the article reads, if you internalise negative feedback you are an ‘insecure narcissist’ and if you don’t care about negative feedback (whether warranted or not, that author does not specify this), you are a ‘secure narcissist’.

      So as a reader, unless you are a critical thinker, or have a basic understanding of psychology, or already use the healthy thought process described, you are left feeling that it is implied by the article, that you are either a ‘secure’ or ‘insecure’ narcissist.

      What the article does not make clear, is that you can be an internalizer and not be a narcissist (depressed, low self-esteem, social anxiety, other anxieties, left with unhelpful cognitive biases from learnt behaviour, or abuse) or you can be a person, who chooses to not care about negative feedback which was in fact not warranted (sometimes it’s actually not), without being a secure narcissist.

      For this reason, I feel articles which over-simplify, but hold on to serious psychological terminology are potentially dangerous. What happens to the depressed person who reads this, is an internalizer and now walks away thinking they are a narcissist? They may possibly now hold an even lower opinion of themselves. Any relevant and helpful points made regarding internalisation, may be lost to pre-occupation with the label which has now been implied upon them.

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      • August 28, 2016 at 12:02 am

        Thank you for your very thoughtful comments. I had hoped that providing my definition of “narcissist” was sufficient, but as I read your comment I realize there is room for misinterpretation. To clarify, I was writing about a person “who thinks of things only from his or her point of view without sufficiently taking other people into consideration.” Is this something that only “narcissists” do? No. Many of us do this.

        And for those who do, I hope that my suggestion is helpful. Try asking questions such as, ‘Am I considering other people as I make decisions? What do they need to feel more comfortable with me? How can I help others feel better?’ Notice that these questions are focused on other, not self. And this is part of the solution. It involves altering our “perceptual position” from that of “self” to that of “other.”

        As I said, in my private practice I do not label clients——maybe it would have been better had I not used labels in my article. Again, thanks for your thoughtful comments.

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  • February 3, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you for your article, this helped me a lot. I have some new insight & information to work with👍🙏❤

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