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Old 06-05-2012, 02:01 PM
 
Location: California
313 posts, read 489,208 times
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I think it's inherent (right when they are born they are spoiled rotten jealous goblin people) because I know that I've experienced trauma in my past but I didn't suddenly decide that I should be a narcissist.

I decided at a young age that empathy, patience, honesty, and friendliness were good virtues to keep.

I don't think people can flip an internal switch and become narcissists just because they experienced trauma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Some new studies show that narcissism and sociopathy are characteristics inherent in people from birth, and the signs can be detected as young as two or three years old. Although this may be true, I have to agree with I'mcurious, based on observation, that it's caused by severe childhood trauma.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,172,988 times
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I think we can decide to copy (and "be like") one or both of our parents and other family members. Or we can decide to be different and "go the other way." (For various reasons.)...My Mom was outgoing and confident around people but my Dad had a tendency to be shy and self-conscious with non family members...But none of us wanted to be like my one Aunt (my Mom's baby sister) who was a total narcissist. It's funny because we didn't really say we didn't want to be like my Aunt but we all thought it and felt it. (Including my sons and other relatives too.)...She became the "poster child" of who we never wanted to "be!" Yet my Aunt remained oblivious to how we all viewed her...She lived in her own self-centered and narcissistic little "world." Our "story" and life with my Aunt would have made a good sit-com!
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:45 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,116,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisan View Post
Here is the thing. Overindulgence and neglect do happen. The problem, IMO, is that parents are led to believe that they are on the opposite side of a continuum spectrum and that the way to live life "happily" is to be in between these two, "balance." The thing is that I don't think there is a balance between these two behaviors and many parents are searching for this balance. They are trying too hard.
It's an old cliche that parents over indulge to compesate for neglecting the child's real needs, such as time, love, approval from the parent. There's this idea of the poor spoiled kid who has all the latest cool stuff but really just wants their parents to spend one door doing normal things with them.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:50 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,116,816 times
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Although animals work against their instincts of self interests in some situations, they, and we, being individuals, follow their primary role of surviving and thriving at any cost for the good of the species. Were all born like this, but our environment affects to what extend we allow our naturalistic self interested impulse dictate our thinking and ehaviour.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,172,988 times
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When I was young my parents told me that they had made a decision not to spoil me. (Before I was even born!)...They said it would be easy to spoil me because I was their only child. But they didn't want me to become a "bratty kid." Or grow-up to become a "snotty" or superficial adult who made unreasonable demands and turned other people "off!"...My parents made sure that I didn't get "too big for my britches." They wanted me to take pride in my skills and achievements. They wanted me to have confidence. But they also wanted me to remain modest and humble too. (Versus developing a "superiority complex!")
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:18 AM
 
30 posts, read 26,016 times
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Symptoms of this disorder may include, but are not limited to:
Reacting to criticism with anger, shame, or humiliation Taking advantage of others to reach their own goals Exaggerating their own importance, achievements, and talents Imagining unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance Requiring constant attention and positive reinforcement from others Easily becoming jealous Lacking empathy and disregarding the feelings of others Being obsessed with oneself Mainly pursuing selfish goals Trouble keeping healthy relationships Easily becoming hurt and rejected Setting goals that are unrealistic Wanting "the best" of everything Appearing unemotional The symptoms of Narcissistic personality disorder can be similar to the traits of individuals with strong self-esteem and confidence; differentiation occurs when the underlying psychological structures of these traits are considered pathological. Narcissists have such an elevated sense of self-worth that they value themselves as inherently better than others. Yet, they have a fragile self-esteem and cannot handle criticism, and will often try to compensate for this inner fragility by belittling or disparaging others in an attempt to validate their own self-worth. It is this sadistic tendency that is characteristic of narcissism as opposed to other psychological conditions affecting level of self-worth. [
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Over the rainbow
257 posts, read 237,477 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisan View Post
Narcissism - Is it a learned behavior? What about impatience - a learned behavior? What about unhappiness - a learned behavior?

I grew up seeing my own guardians chasing after their wants when it came to me:
They wanted me to behave.
They wanted me to be independent.
They wanted me to stop crying.
They wanted me to stop wanting something.

They chased after their wants when it came to meeting our needs:
They wanted to bring home money but wanted more.
They wanted dinner but didn't want to have to do the work.
They wanted a clean house but didn't enjoy housekeeping.
They wanted us to have clothes but wanted us to be happy with Walmart clothes because they couldn't afford designer clothes. Otherwise, they would buy them for us.

And because they didn't know when these wants would happen, they were impatient, unhappy and selfish. But they never knew they were. They believed that having what they wanted would make them happy. But, it was waiting for the wants that made them unhappy. Nobody likes to wait.

I only realized much later that they modeled these undesirable behaviors to me because I was doing the same thing to my daughter. I wanted the exact same things and I was not enjoying my time with her because what I wanted was not happening.

"The time it takes to reach our wants is no less desirable than the time after we reach our wants." Some wants never happen like reliving the past.

So I have decided not to teach my daughter to wait for her wants because the time she is living now is just as valuable. The only way to "teach" her this is by not waiting for my wants either and enjoying right now.
Some extreme traits.... we all have some degree of Narcissism. There is a range from Narcissistic traints to having an NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder):
Extreme infatuation with oneself, self-centered, expects to be recognized as superiorIs preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited power, success, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
Is convinced s/he is unique. Sees himself as “special” and should only have to affiliate with others of a similar stature
Fantasies of great romance. In love with being loved, can’t give love – emotionally unavailable. May propose love and marriage within only a few weeks of starting a relationship.
Takes advantage of others to achieve his needs. Uses a slow, insidious, breaking down of the self-esteem of his victims until there's next to nothing left, then discards them.
Demonstrates an excessive need for constant admiration or approval.
Exaggerates personal achievements while minimizing those of others
Powerful sense of entitlement – can rationalize selfish acts, special treatment and that rules frequently don’t apply to him
Very charismatic or charming at first, but can quickly switch from Dr. Jekyll to the dangerous Mr. Hyde without apparent cause andquickly instills fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and total confusion to the relationship.
Demands compliance with his/her expectations.
Is unable to demonstrate or understand empathy or compassion, but can feign empathy quite well.
Does not seem to feel real happiness or positive emotions.
Assumes himself to be more knowledgeable than those around him.
Quick to anger or feel insulted or slighted.
Rages with anger or inflicts the "silent treatment" when he is upset, slighted, punishing his family by ignoring them for hours, leaving them wondering what they did "wrong" to make him act this way
Nothing is ever her/his fault. Not introspective. Denies s/he has issues to work on – sees himself/herself as nearly perfect. S/He’s the victim.
May often take unnecessary risks
Frequently humiliates or abuses others, although he/she doesn’t see it as abuse
Is easily hurt and insulted. Sulks when he/she doesn’t get his/her way
Drives recklessly and/or way too fast
Exaggerates the truth or blatantly lies
Doesn’t acknowledge or respect other’s boundaries
Always wants to be in control
His/her need for attention, time, and space matter – yours do not
Can’t empathize. Has difficulty putting himself/herself in another’s shoes
Uses sex as a weapon – through withholding, controlling, or being overly demanding
Rarely recognizes the accomplishments or abilities of others
Doesn’t appear to have a conscience
Does not take criticism well and becomes defensive easily
Rarely expresses appreciation of others. Can’t apologize.
Shows no feelings of remorse or guilt for his/her mistakes or the hurts he/she dishes out
Wins most arguments through the use of rationalizing his/her behavior
Blames others for all his/her problems
Is often paranoid – thinks people are talking about him/her behind his/her back
Has a hard time accepting the opinions or ideas of others
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:23 AM
 
24 posts, read 33,828 times
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Wow, this just put a knot in me. Relating to this very closely. Realizing the problem is half the battle. Coming from a highly dysfunctional family myself I found myself doing the same thing. It was then I learned the art of letting go. I was paying this mortgage, bills, and all things only to realize it was not worth it in the end. Materialism is something worth letting go of because it is experience in life (sense of self, travel, trying something new, or being out of your comfort zone) that shapes who we are, not the things we own. Through bad glasses we have a distorted image of reality from the beginning. Once we realize the truth we can let go and move on with a new sense of self. I found spending a few months in Thailand most enlightening.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Over the rainbow
257 posts, read 237,477 times
Reputation: 384
Default Nature vs Nurture

Quote:
Originally Posted by furrypro View Post
I think it's inherent (right when they are born they are spoiled rotten jealous goblin people) because I know that I've experienced trauma in my past but I didn't suddenly decide that I should be a narcissist. ...
I don't think people can flip an internal switch and become narcissists just because they experienced trauma.
One explanation covers attachment studies, indicating that abandonment (real or perceived) by the parents, and particularly by the mother, creates much greater problems with later emotional availability than even physical abuse [probably avoidant attachment]. People are biologically driven to form attachments with others, but the formation of attachments is influenced by learning experiences. That said, not everyone who felt abandoned becomes a Narcissist (or have I just not noticed?). Two offspring from same biological parents, raised in the same environment, but perhaps influenced by different situations during development (a special teacher, a sports coach, etc.) can make different life choices.

So then is it a combination of Nature and Nurture? I tend to think so ... but I am not trained in the functioning of the brain. It's just the more we learn about the brain chemistry and prewired "predispositions", the more we'll learn about the impact of Nature. "Predispositions" are just that, a potential, not a given outcome. So, what triggers the predisposition? Could it be a the environment introduced a chemical later that caused a reaction? or, the influence of a person and behavior?
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
12,597 posts, read 10,725,246 times
Reputation: 14850
There were so many many pages to read, please forgive me for jumping rt in...and maybe repeating
what someone may have already posted...I didn't see it on page 1.

When we are under 3 years there is a "normal" way our brains develop. As in, we cry we are hugged, we are hungry we are fed.
IF we cry and are neglected or slapped, if we are hungry and not fed and screamed at...the normal synapses do not grow and connect as they "should". It is not like a bridge washed out that can be repaired. The bridge was never made. The is no bridge, there will be no bridge.
This is why narcissism is said to be incurable.

If a true narcisist appears to be normal, remembering a birthday...saying, Aw, if you are hurt..it is bec of learned reactions.
Even a rat learns if he rings a bell, food will drop down.
I am a daughter of a narcissist...trust me they need love and compassion.
They were damaged...it was done "to" them.

Sad, but true.
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