Monday, March 19, 2012

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

An uncompromising--and uncomfortable--interview with perhaps the most
renowned (or at least vocal) narcissist.

A good insight, but it does raise some interesting questions regarding just
how cognizant a narcissist can be, and whether or not there is any hope
for changing...even if they should want to.

(Of course, if they knew that you knew their diagnosis, one that was
personally known to you would likely just pretend to be interested in change
so they could convince you to stay!)


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Who Better For the Job?

Talking with a friend the other night, the subject of the
'narcissist in positions of management' got brought up.

She voiced that she and her coworkers, having worked in
corporations for the last 25 years, continue to marvel at
the type of people who climb the ladder.

The disbelief that people who are so completely not
manager material (zero people skills, unliked by other
workers, no finesse, etc.) get bumped up the chain while
better people get overlooked. Not an isolated phenomenon.

Part of it harkens to erroneous messages we were sent
as kids, tainting our beliefs; The reality is that Good Guys
don't come out on top, and good things don't always happen
if you work hard enough. No matter how obviously corrupt or
ingratiating or matter how insincere and ego-
tistical and manipulative and back-stabbing...narcissists in
work situations will always float to the top.

Because all that matters is results, and the people they're
working for don't give a flip about morality or goodness.
Bottom line is all that matters in the working world, and even
a 'decent' top boss will still be swayed by the work output
of someone who stays late, obsesses over details, has no
real concerns or distractions of a loving family (or anyone
that cares about them,) and so on. They're living robots; the
perfect employee.

(Also, being abrasive is typically a tactic employed by socios
to throw off other people; mind games, pissing contest, psyching
you out, etc. They can flip it off to fool a superior and flip it back
on to intimidate coworkers.)

In fact, many times outright wrongdoing will be overlooked
and covered up for the narcissist if their work output is
deemed sufficiently worthwhile. At Citicorp in Tampa, a
sexual assault was covered up, never receiving reprimand
because the man responsible was considered 'irreplaceable.'
The military also has a history of allowing despicable vices to
some of their top minds, so long as they keep producing results.

And the draw of a heavy workload might seem incongruent with
the mentality; why do sociopaths and narcissists want to work
so much? What's the connection?

Well, in addition to being perfectionistic and self-aggrandizing
and obsessive, achievement serves as a replacement for real
emotions and human connectedness.  They will do anything
to get the kind of attention, power, and control that they relish.

They also tend to be very goal-oriented, without getting off
track with relationships, feelings, and other distractions. They
see their map of what they desire, and nothing else will stop
them. Succeeding, proving themselves, showing others up, having
a position over others; they are all rewards from the same plan.

So, long hours and extra tasks are their way of showing how
superior they are to everyone else (don't let the fake smile fool
you,) and the position of authority they get as a result is worth
all that effort. Any means to an end; they are relentless.

It's the perfect job really: who better to perform tasks than
someone without a full life of their own, someone who is not
prey to office politics since they feel no emotions, someone
robotic and unconcerned for the feelings of others, yet someone
who can mimic empathy to at least present the facade of being


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Definition of a Narcissist

((The text in italics is NOT based on the Diagnostics and
Statistics Manual, Fourth Edition-Text Revision (2000).
The text in italics IS based on
"Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited", fourth, revised, printing (2003)

An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need
for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning
by early adulthood and present in various contexts. Five (or more) of
the following criteria must be met:
  • Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion
  • Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation - or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply)
  • Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favorable priority treatment. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations
  • Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others
  • Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her
  • Arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted