I dithered about writing this initial piece or having a section with this type of content, which focuses on delving into the psychology of the narcissist. With years of first-hand experience dealing with narcissists; however, I decided that I wanted to share my knowledge to help others understand this personality disorder and avoid wasting years in confusion and pain.
Those with pathological narcissism have a unique internal configuration. Within every narcissist, lies an ineffective and heavily wounded true self. The true self is the narcissist’s original personality and soul if you like. At some point as a small child, the narcissist unconsciously divorced from his or her true self. The cause of this is not completely known. However, it can most likely be attributed to genetic predisposition, inborn character, lack of love or a perceived lack of love during the early years of development.
The narcissist was born with a highly sensitive temperament. Whilst this trait is often perceived as positive and associated with high empathy, in the narcissist’s case, the same sensitivity has become the cause of his or her maladaptive nature.
After the narcissistic wound incurs, the true self stops developing. The narcissist will therefore be forever stuck at this age, emotionally speaking. In its place, entered the ego. At the time, the ego offered an attractive, alternative vehicle of operation that would allow the narcissist to get their needs met and defend against vulnerability. The narcissist wants to move as far away as possible from their feelings as a helpless child.
As the narcissist continued to operate through the ego, the ego developed into a more established false self. The false self is everything that the narcissist always wanted to be; possessing the characteristics they perceive their original true self to lack. This projection is highly entitled, invulnerable and powerful. The same can be said for the covert narcissist’s false self; only it can be more difficult to recognise. As time passes, the narcissist simultaneously becomes more and more detached from their original true self. As a result, the narcissist cannot self-love, self-reflect, and lacks honesty with him or herself.
The narcissist’s ego entirely governs how the narcissist feels. Unfortunately, the false self is not self-sufficient but needs to be continually pumped up with recognition and praise from others. This is commonly known as narcissistic supply. The narcissist uses this supply to confirm his or her grandiosity and superiority over others and provide relief from deep-seated feelings of worthlessness and shame stemming from the original true self.
When the narcissist fails to secure enough supply, the false self attacks the true self’s wounds, telling the narcissist that they are useless, ugly and unlovable. This is unbearable and deeply painful for them, and what they have spent his or her life running from. As the narcissist is so emotionally undeveloped, they cannot distinguish between fact and feeling, leaving his or her ever more vulnerable.
As the narcissist ages, the false self is allowed to develop evermore as the narcissist does not possess the emotional tools to face their childhood wounds. The narcissist will go through life becoming increasingly numb and viewing their actions as if they are a third person looking on. The psychology of the narcissist means that the disorder is generally progressive.
There really is no one home. There is no genuine, feeling or reasonable person to reach within the narcissist’s construct. The soul of the narcissist is trapped in a mental prison of his or her own making. Sadly, nothing that you or anyone else says or does can ever change this.
If you found The Basic Psychology of the Narcissist interesting, check out Why Does the Narcissist Have So Many Friends? For further reading, Psyche Blog also covers the psychology of the narcissist with great accuracy and detail.