LEVELS of NARCISSISM (#2)


 

PREVIOUS: LEVELS of N (#1)

SITE: See great chart
re. Human Magnet Syndrome (scroll way down)

 

CORE attitude of unhealthy NARCISSISM :
“I am the center of the universe. Everything that happens to me & around me, good & bad, is about me. I cause everything
, so everything is up to me to handle.”

2. STABLE N
This category of the N continuum ↗️ was proposed by Kohut (1977) as less than full-blown narcissism (not yet NPD). Stable Ns have age-appropriate self-centeredness, but with areas of personality that are not fully developed.
EXP: Stable Ns generally function, day-to-day, with reasonably OK relationships, but also (secretly) conceited, selfish & vain, which shows up as being smug, withholding on occasion, & very concerned about the image they project.

However, shame
is the emotion that lurks behind most unhealthy narcissism, with the inability to process it in beneficial ways – to face it, neutralize it & move on. This weakness leads to the typical defensive postures, attitudes & behaviors of Ns.

🕯Extraordinary Ns & Productive Ns
“Ns may be either productive or unproductive. The most productive ones, who do change our world, have the charisma & drive to convince others to buy in to their vision or embrace a common purpose. They communicate a sense of meaning that inspires others to follow them.”
BOOK: “The Productive Narcissist~ Michael Maccoby

Strategic intelligence is their hallmark : foresight, systems thinking, visioning, motivating, & partnering. But narcissistic leaders can also be problematic.
EXP:  If the N boss or owner is an unrealistic dreamer with the illusion that only circumstances or enemies block their success, &/or they lack strategic skill – they’re fated to crash & burn. 

🕯Co-dependent Ns  / Co-Narcissists / Co-alcoholics
“….they act the way parents probably meant when they told us not to be “selfish”, but without teaching us healthy self-care”. ~ C. Whitfield.

‣ “Active” Co-dependents are missing a connection to their Innate Self, compulsively rejecting it (opposite of Ns). They revolve their thinking & behavior around other people, events, substances, & environments.
✴︎ Consciously, their inter-personal focus is only on others.

‣ Narcissists also suffer from this lack. In its place, they identify with the Ideal Self of a young child – an inflated, impossible image.
✴︎ Consciously, their inter-personal focus is only on themselves.

However, unconsciously, both types are other-oriented. Their self-image, beliefs & actions are aimed at stabilizing & validating their insecure, fragile ego.
Their dependency on external input is as great as that of any ‘substance’ addict. Both desperately want to be like, accepted & loved. And both types go about it the wrong way.

‘Classic’ Ns & co-deps do have different behavior patterns, but Ns can have some co-dep characteristics as well (play victim, do for others…..), while co-deps are less likely to use blatant N tactics, because they do have empathy, & overtly lack entitlement & exploitation.

ACoAs: As co-dependent caretakers, ACoAs shudder at the idea of considering themselves narcissists, & many are not NPDs . BUT – in spite of being ‘helpful‘, the underlying motivation for rescuing & people-pleasing is completely selfish, so narcissism is lurking.

❥ The main N motive is to control everyone & everything – with gifts & a smile or through gritted teeth – to prevent getting even a whiff of potential abandonment, regardless of who or what other people need & want.

As adults, “Children of the self-absorbed have to work particularly hard to form a healthy True Self, as they weren’t allowed to complete the required developmental tasks at an earlier age. Growing up with a destructively narcissistic parent, you’re likely to have an under-developed Self that needs serious attention.” ~ Nina Brown link

Generally, Co-Ns are functioning depressives, constantly anxious, seeing themselves as unworthy of anything good – so they obsessively work to please others, deferring to the opinions of others & taking on their world view.
They don’t know their own needs & beliefs, finding it hard-to-impossible to identify what they think & feel about most things, doubting the validity of their own thoughts (especially when these conflict with anyone else’s), & take total blame for inter-personal problems.

Co-Narcs may or may not start out as co-deps, but in a prolonged relationship with a NPD, they can end up with a trauma &/or fantasy bond, even Stockholm Syndrome – because of cognitive dissonance, gaslighting &  intermittent reinforcement.
REQUIRED: grief work & PTSD-trauma recovery

NEXT: LEVELS of N (#3)

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