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Topic: I believe I'm a narcissist and it's destroying me

Jason Bourne started this discussion 5.8 years ago #1,393

I have a great deal of self-confidence and see myself as extremely attractive, intelligent, charming, and easily capable of captivating a woman's interest.

And I mean I can back this up, it's not like it's completely irrational beliefs: I'm studying engineering at a top university, have had women falling for me since middle school, at every job there's been a girl with a crush on me, I can tell I'm attractive based on what I see and what girls have always told me and how they've acted around me, etc. etc.

Yet I feel too good for any girl: I feel like I'm settling if I pick any one girl. She's either not attractive enough or not smart enough, etc etc.

But then I see other people who I see as "beneath me", ugly, insecure, nerdy, stupid people, how they are in relationships and I feel jealous and envious. But then I tell myself that I could have a relationship if I just decided to settle for any girl that came by, but it doesn't matter in the end because ultimately they are happy with their significant other, where I'm alone in my perfection.

Outside of seeking therapy (I seriously think that therapy is going a little overboard here I can figure this out on my own), what would be the first steps for dealing with my narcissism and going back to thinking "yes I am attractive/brilliant, but that doesn't mean I'm better than everyone else, and that doesn't mean a woman I'm dating needs to be perfect"

I mean what is the cure for narcissism? Can a narcissist cure himself or is that not even feasible, and I would need outside help (assuming I am a narcissist, I think I am but I mean I'm not a diagnosed narcissist so.)

Cassandra joined in and replied with this 5.8 years ago, 12 hours later[^] [v] #0

What I've read about narcissists is that they actually feel such shame that they cannot face their selves as less than perfect or they feel that they'll crumble into shamed nothingness.
The facade of perfection is critical to survival.
I've seen forums (sorry, don't remember any names) for narcissists where they describe what works for them in regards to healing.
I remember that some people were making serious progress.

Olivia G joined in and replied with this 5.8 years ago, 1 hour later, 13 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

i beleive you have made the first step by realising that you are narcissistic. Many narcissists are so sure of themselves that they will deny having any sort of disorder, which in turn will prevent them from ever improving.

Being in love with a narcissistic man for 20 years now and we have 3 children, i can tell you it is an emotionally draining experience. he is manipulative, unempathetic, arrogant etc. HOWEVER, looking back to when we were 17, when he was a young attractive ladies man, with enough charm and 'alter egos' to satisfy anybody, he has changed significantly.
he used to think himself incapable of love, or incapable of being loved and i felt he always had a constant fear of getting too close to me in case one day i decided to walk out on him. he did not trust anybody, and me being slightly codependant and not really..in touch with my emotions, he looked down on me for a long while.
but i told him that he needed to learn to trust me if he was ever going to change.

i know it is hard to hear critisism for narcissistic personality's, but i am not trying to make you feel bad or guilty- im really not. please dont jump to conclusions. if you are anything like my husband, you will be an attractive intelligent man that somewhere in his childhood has been hurt and felt unworthy and thats not your fault.

i think the second step in changing would be addmiting that you need help; "I seriously think that therapy is going a little overboard here I can figure this out on my own". no matter how much you think you can, you CANNOT do everything alone! you are not God. you need to learn to respect other people for having something that you dont whether its empathy or open insecirities. it doesnt make them weak, it makes them strong because they can admit who they are and not feel ashamed.

and i am almost certain you have read this thinkning 'hmmmm this woman doesnt really know what shes talking about', but i am telling you i do. respect my knowledge and take my advice.

i hope you all the best in the future.

Jason Bourne (OP) replied with this 5.8 years ago, 7 hours later, 20 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Who do I seek for help? To me it seems completely out of the question to tell anyone I have usual contact with about my insecurities, since I've spent so much time building up this facade and fake projection of who I am. I lied about my experience with women and relationships in order to complete this "perfect" image of a man who is emotionally, intellectually, physically perfect. But I'm not emotionally perfect I don't know what love is and I don't know what it is to have a woman care about you and stick by your side and tell you she loves you.

My mentality thus far has been "fake it till you make it", where sure I've lied about my relationship experiences but so long as I can attract women and have them practically begging for me to ask them out, why not keep up the image I've made until it becomes reality? This seems like a better course of action in my mind, rather than telling people the truth about my own insecurities. That idea scares me, letting my friends know that I've got the dating experience of a middle schooler.

Why do I feel the need to have everyone think I'm perfect? Maybe I SHOULD seek therapy haha

Olivia G replied with this 5.8 years ago, 14 hours later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Have you ever thought that the reason you don't know what its like to have a woman care and love you, is because you have never let anyone? you let them get close enough so that they can keep interest and see all your good characteristics (of which i am positive there are many) but never close enough so that they could possibly get a glimpse of you you really are, and somebody knowing who you really are and being emotionally intimate is painful for you.

It is fair enough if you do not know what love is that you should find it difficult to recognize it. I'm not suggesting you tell everyone about everything! god no, everybody has only a few people/person that they tell everything to. My advice would be to look out for that friend that has stuck by you and always been there for you, supported you in everything you do and has made large sacrifices to benefit you at her own expense no matter how much you have pushed her away or let her down. This is the kind of person that would love you. the kind of person that would be relieved to finally find out why your such a prick! (but would love you anyway)
As for girls not being good enough for you, thats just something you'll need to get over im afraid! somebody will come along that is 'satisfactory' one day. someone who can be really rather annoying at times but is a good mother and wife, pretty enough to be taken out in public and intelligent enough to have an academic discussion ;)
and you will want to love her, and when you WANT to love her, you will learn to. It will be difficult but it will be worth it.

But also, you shouldnt under-estimate the human mind... people are very good at telling when there is something not quite real about somebody's personality- they might not know what it is, but they can sense it. it is almost impossible not to feel uncomfortable around a narcissist (if you spend enough time with them that is). After about.. a year of knowing my husband, i could tell exactly when he was lying/exaggerating about something, when he was bragging for attention and applause, when he was trying to manipulate me or other people, or when he was asking 'how are you?' or 'What did you do today?' not out of interest, but just because he knew that what he should be saying. Of course, naturally i still gave him all the attention he wanted and pretended to believe his stories with awe, because i knew thats what he needed to keep him happy. So i was never as oblivious as he thought, and still thinks i am!
So your good friends and family probably have some sort of inkling that you hide your real self from them, and i know its hard to imagine, but they probably know the real you better than you think.

i believe you should seek therapy- stick with it, and it will help you know yourself better and how to change yourself to make you happier.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Cassandra replied with this 5.8 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I guess you feel that need because you feel the opposite. Middle ground is healthy ground. But I never forgot what I read, I think it was by that Sam Vaknin guy (spelling?)
He said he didn't just feel like a shameful person, he felt like disconnected, shamed, floating molecules. Like if he got down to what he really was, it wasn't cohesive, it would make him panic because there was nothing solid to him.
So that facade of perfection is survival.

(Edited 15 seconds later.)

Lega joined in and replied with this 5.8 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Who do I seek for help? To me it seems completely out of the question to tell anyone I have usual contact with about my insecurities, since I've spent so much time building up this facade and fake projection of who I am. I lied about my experience with women and relationships in order to complete this "perfect" image of a man who is emotionally, intellectually, physically perfect. But I'm not emotionally perfect I don't know what love is and I don't know what it is to have a woman care about you and stick by your side and tell you she loves you.
>
> My mentality thus far has been "fake it till you make it", where sure I've lied about my relationship experiences but so long as I can attract women and have them practically begging for me to ask them out, why not keep up the image I've made until it becomes reality? This seems like a better course of action in my mind, rather than telling people the truth about my own insecurities. That idea scares me, letting my friends know that I've got the dating experience of a middle schooler.
>
> Why do I feel the need to have everyone think I'm perfect? Maybe I SHOULD seek therapy haha
Yes, haha.
Are you being honest to yourself here? To me it sounds like you want to be a narcissist and you're shaping your story around that wish. Do you really think anyone believes your life is so black-and-white? What about your problems, your insecurities, your failures? All I got from reading this was that you're successful, you have women begging for your attention and you're in a top university. You're exaggerating so much that it's unbelievable!

Let's pick berries a little. I'm in the 9th most respected university in Europe, I represent the whole of Finland in a martial art sport and have been in a world cup in 2010, I've scored A's (or since the grades go from 0-5, 5's) from all of my exams so far, I have debated multiple subjects with well-respected professors, I know how a human mind works and know how to manipulate people and I've been to army.
Now the reality is that the university I'm in is a really big one and they haven't made any major breakthroughs in the subject I'm studying. I have been on a break from sports for a long while now and have gained weight. I've gotten such good grades from the university only due to the extra work I've done and due to picking less courses than I should have picked. I'm also drowning in work. I have never debated with any well-respected professors, I've only questioned whatever the lecture has been about a couple of times and I've been wrong every time but once -- and even then I was only partly right. I have no idea how a human mind works. I've only read a few articles and the rest of my knowledge is based on what I've come to realize from experience, I have never studied psychology. Everyone in Finland has to go to army and it's nothing to brag about. Every fatty fat fat jellyman survives Finland's army. Had I been there 50 years ago it could have been something to brag about.

Now what I could do is just mention that I'm in a top university and lalala everything is good but it would be bullshit. I think that's what you're doing.

Olivia G replied with this 5.8 years ago, 3 hours later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but seeing as you have no psychological knowledge and no experience, i don't really think its necessary to make such aggressive accusations...

Lega joined in and replied with this 5.8 years ago, 5 hours later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but seeing as you have no psychological knowledge and no experience, i don't really think its necessary to make such aggressive accusations...
You're right. Offensive language and accusations are not needed, psychological knowledge or not.
I suppose apologies are in order, Jason Bourne. I'm sorry.

Z joined in and replied with this 5.8 years ago, 23 hours later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Humility is an incredibly important strength. You can get a lot of mileage out of arrogance, a lot of achievement, but the joke is that all the work you put into putting that facade up is the punishment: you never get to experience trusting someone and them trusting you back, because you're too up your own ass to have the kind of emotional maturity that the good stuff requires. Here's a secret: intention is a thing. It's a thing, that matters, a lot. So, if you want to start being less of a self-absorbed prick, catch yourself doing it, and remind yourself you would rather make people matter to you. That you'd rather go through life like that; seeing people as something worthwhile, even when they're fat, even when they're nerdy.

In my experience, even as fallible and stubborn as folks can be, there are always things I can learn from them, and always ways they can improve my life that I would never have seen if I wrote them off on my first instinct. This is a choice anyone with confidence has to make: whether or not they want to make other people matter. In my experience, life is better if I do.

Also dude, never forget: you can lie to other folks all you want, but you'll never lie your way out of your insecurities. Those take humility to really deal with, and how great life could be without them is what you will never experience so long as you keep cobbling shit together and pastiching it over with arrogance (in case that's what you're doing, it seems to be a popular cop-out).

(Edited 14 minutes later.)

Mary joined in and replied with this 5.8 years ago, 8 hours later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Great Post!

Cassandra replied with this 5.8 years ago, 4 hours later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

I wish Z would gather all his (or her) past posts onto one thread. I can't find some that were really helpful.

(Edited 12 seconds later.)

Jeff joined in and replied with this 5 years ago, 9 months later, 9 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I'm a narcissist and I stumbled onto this post doing a google search. I appreciate the replies, they are helping me a lot. Its crazy for me to think that everyone else isn't fooled by my narcissistic tactics and they actually see right through me. I'm realizing that most people actually can see through me. I might as well be open with them then and let my insecurities show. Don't know how I came to realize I was a narcissist, I was so blind for many years. Glad my eyes were opened.
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