is there hope for someone who is highly narcissistic yet falls short of actually having narcissistic personality disorder?
February 29, 2008 5:36 AM Subscribe
you're so vain, you probably think this post is about you…
posted by violetk to Human Relations (23 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
several years ago i was in therapy and have since become convinced that my father most likely has narcissistic personality disorder. unsurprisingly, i have a history of being attracted to and dating emotionally unavailable men and now i am beginning to believe my last boyfriend exhibited a lot narcissistic traits—just not to the extreme of a full-blown case of NPD: neglect in childhood and uneven parenting; highly intelligent, subtly arrogant and falsely modest but secretly thinks very highly of himself, and has a need to feel superior to others; incredibly charming and affectionate but then can switch it off and become completely devoid of emotion, almost inhuman and quite emotionally cruel; self-delusional, contradictory of the truth, a preposterous liar, and unable to recognize his own flaws and mistakes; needs relationships in which he is the hero or at least ones which make him feel superior; constantly searching for an idealized love, unable to sustain relationships for more than several months and yet always needing to be in one, etc. believe me, he's got the signs, so i won't go into all the details because they're only incidental to my questions. i ended up befriending his ex before me and in comparing notes, she told me that when i told her about my relationship with him, she felt that she was reliving everything she felt when he broke up with her. she was a psych major in college and also suspects the same thing of him.
anyway, i'd like to know if anyone else out there has dated, married, friends with, or been with any whatever capacity someone who exhibits a high level of narcissistic traits or narcissistic style but not full-blown NPD. what was your experience like? did you stay with that person, wanted to, or did you still have to leave them to keep yourself healthy? while i know that there is really the lowest rate of success in fixing people with NPD because of the very nature of the disorder and that the best one could hope for would be for the narcissist to learn systems of behaviours, is there more hope for those who fall below the clinical diagnosis of that personality disorder but (far) above what is considered a normal and healthy amount of narcissism? can they be helped through therapy should they ever recognize that they indeed need help? or are they just as hopeless as someone who actually has NPD?