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By | March 10, 2012 51 Comments

The brain of a narcissist

A researcher conducts a study that reveals just how much narcissists focus on themselves.

Read: The definitive fMRI test for narcissism, on PsychologyToday.com.

Link supplied by a Lovefraud reader.

Posted in: Scientific research

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Ox Drover

I thought this was a very interesting study and I hope that it will be something that can be replicated enough that it becomes a possible way to identify Narcissism on a legal basis, which could be used in courts, maybe family courts, to show that a person is so self centered they would not make a good or nurturing parent.

But there are narcissists of ALL LEVELS from a little bit to a LOT, so where is the “cut off” line between being a little narcissistic and a LOT?

As for psychopathy, the same wishes and concerns for a test to “label” someone in court for sentencing purposes might be handy, but it also smacks of “1984-ism” as well.

I will be interested too see Redwald’s take on this one….he usually has something enlightening to add to a post! Where are you Red? I’m waiting!

Sarah999

There are 2 reasons the person wouldn’t make a good and nurturing parent:
1) Because the parent is narcissistic.
2) Because of the possibility that the the child inherited the personality disorder. (It is nearly impossible to be a good parent a genetically born narcissist).

Ox Drover

Sarah, It is impossible to be a “good parent” to a psychopath too. LOL Sometimes it is damn near impossible to SURVIVE being a parent to a psychopath.

Sarah999

The book that is still waiting to be written is about normal parents (empathic loving parents) of psychopathic children.
Some children inherited the genes from the psychopathic parent (that is usually long gone). The normal parent, (usually the mother), winds up with a lifetime (or at least 20 year) BOOSTER SHOT of psychopathic insanity, that is extremely hard to shake.

Ox Drover

Sarah, it also skips generations as well…my son who is a psychopath had two grandfathers who were psychopathic and Frankly I don’t think either my former husband or I would in any way qualify as psychopaths, though my x husband did have some serious emotional issues due to his father’s psychopathy.

My P son Patrick is exactly like my P sperm donor and the two have NEVER met…even their hand writing is alike and the look of their hands, the way they speak and gesture. Spooky. Funny thing is that my son Patrick actually doesn’t look like my sperm donor, where my son C is the look-alike clone. Odd

skylar

Oxy,
oohhhh, very very interesting.
my spath looks like his mother and she is not a spath, his dad was a spath. BUT his hands look EXACTLY like his dad’s hands!!
A CLUE! Maybe the hands are a clue!
I’m taking a poll: anyone who has ever noted anything about their spath’s hands and who they take after, please post!

Ox Drover

Sky, UN scientific poll…there IS however, SCIENTIFIC evidence from researchers though that more of them are LEFT HANDED than would be found in the general population. It is also known that left handed people have brains that are wired differently.

One thing that interested me about left handedness…in identical twins (made from one egg and one sperm) if the twins don’t separate until after the 13th day, one will be left handed and one right handed. I knew some twins like that is the reason I happened to find out that little bit of trivia information. They are called “mirror image” twins.

Twins raised apart, both identical and non identical, do have a much higher rate of Pspathyness than would be found otherwise, so there is a proven genetic link.

skylar

Oxy,
here’s some more data about left handedness. Unscientific.
It’s called the disappearing twin. And as it turns out, due to new technologies, like ultrasound and MRI, they are seeing that many more pregnancies start out as twins or more, during part of the pregnancy. But in a certain number of cases, some of the fetuses are reabsorbed by the sibling.

So it is thought that this might be the cause of left-handedness in single births: the lefty won and the righty is gone.

These are theories and not enough data is out there.

http://neuroemotional.com/wb/pages/vanishing-twin-syndrome.php
http://charlestaylor.wordpress.com/2007/01/16/multiple-births/

read the comments on the second link – interesting.

Sarah999

Psychopathy may be linked to any number of physical characteristics….which is interesting….but we need only look at the charactetistics of the psychpath (and not the genetic links) to make a diagnoses. This is the one abnormality that is more accurately diagnosed by the victim, rather than a professional (who usually only sees the mask)

Sarah999

PS…in my case…it did NOT skip a generation. My x-son is a clone of his psychopathic father…(whose mother was a psychopath).

Ox Drover

Sarah, the thing is the victim must be EDUCATED in order to know what the heck they are dealing with….that’s part of the problem. The “experts” who have just studied it but not dealt with it, don’t get it, but the poor victim doens’t “get it” either unless they are educated about what they are dealing with. It is a catch 22.

Ox Drover

Thanks, Sky for the links. Interesting. I know in breeding rabbits sometimes there will be a baby that is absorbed, or even one that will sort of “mummify” in the uterus (they have a bifurcated uterus) and so the momma rabbit will not have babies because she thinks she’s preg and so won’t ovulate. When I’d get one like that and kill her because she was non productive, I’d find one of those mummified fetuses in there. Not sure if it happens with other critters though.

Sarah999

Yes ox drover…you’re absolutely right. Victims now are more fortunate, at least, because there is a lot more information (and validation), on sites likes these, and books about bullying and psychopaths…that didn’t exist 30-40 years ago. There is still no book about a normal parent trying to raise a psychopathic child! This is a remnant of the past (incorrect thinking) when all children were thought of as “blank slates” and parents were blamed if their child was a bully…a liar..manipulative…had rage attacks..no conscience etc.

Sarah999

Plus.. I think there should be a BIG push to EDUCATE children about abuse, bullying, psychopathy etc in schools..starting in kindergarten..and through high school..with age appropriate videos and role playing.

behind_blue_eyes

Left handedness, autism, ADHD, dyslexia and homosexuality are correlated. And all are more common in males than females, as is sociopathy.

skylar

And all are related to testosterone in the womb?
Reading the comments about the “surviving twin” theory, many of these people say that they had imaginary friends for a long long time.

My spath said, as a kid, he had an imaginary friend named Germany.

Ox Drover

I had an imaginary friend named “Military” and a pet pig named “tissue” LOL Not sure why I picked those words but I liked the sound of them I guess.

BBE–Yes, I have heard the testosterone levels in the womb are related to lots of things, including the ones you named. Interesting. There has been some studies done when it was necessary for other reasons to take samples, but ethics don’t allow samples to be taken for study ONLY as there is always a chance the sampling will cause abortion of the fetus.

Oh, BTW I read an article the other day that says that in certain areas dyslexia actually conveys a benefit. The person can’t see the specific, but they have a wider range in over all views of things…like in engineering etc. I have a friend who is dyslexic and he is an engineer.

behind_blue_eyes

Ox;

I agree with benefits to certain “disorders.” I am not dyslexic nor suffer clinical ADHD but on the continuum probably have an attention deficit greater than normal. My college entrance exams reflect this, as on the ACT, which test broad knowledge, I was in the 95th percentile while on the SAT I was only in the 80th percentile. Thus, my knowledge is broad but not deep. I was never a good programmer (takes too much attention) but when managing technical people my skill was organizational and the ability to see the big picture.

I have a friend for nominally is very intelligent but also has Asperger’s. Until I learned his, I found him at times very difficult, especially in any intellectual discussion, as his focus was always on the trivial while mine on the most pertinent.

My theory for ADHD is that having an attention deficit would be a strong advantage for surviving in the wild. I see much of this at play when I am out bicycling with my friends. I typically “see” more than most of them. I also navigate better than most and I am a safer rider because of my alertness.

Here is another interesting pair of correlated traits: those with very good aerobic conditioning as have high spatial awareness. In the wild, aerobic conditioning is a strong survival advantage and in the days before maps, so was spatial awareness. Thus, those with a combination of both would be more likely to survive. There is also evidence to suggest that aerobic exercise itself increases spatial awareness and alertness, as when running or cycling the mind needs to process information faster.

Ox Drover

ADHD runs in my P sperm donor’s family and is also associated with psychopathy, as is Bi-polar, left handedness and substance abuse. Got the substance abuse on egg donor’s side. I’m somewhat hyper, but not at all inclined toward substance abuse. Son C is very hyper, but very bright too, in 99% -tile on ACT but dropped out of HS, took GED and went directly to college at 16…ended up going to technical school and is a machinist/tool and die maker which requires EXCELLENT concentration. He is also very addicted to video games which he is very good at. I understand that ADHD kids are (he isn’t a kid but you get the idea). He’s an excellent and reliable employee. I’ve wondered if he may be a bit Asperger’s, but if so, not much.

Being very interested in genetics and having a fairly good family history, medically as well as good stories about who did what to whom, it is interesting to me how it all unfolded. I’ve seen genetics in temperment in cattle, dogs, horses, and people and it amazes me no end.

behind_blue_eyes

Ox;

Right, many with attention deficit disorders seem to have the ability to focus on one interest and typically only one interest. This is certainly a defining trait of Asperger’s.

My interest, being gay, is how all these highly correlate to the gay “community” and my growing belief that among male homosexuals exists a much higher incidence of sociopathy than in the general population, for the very same reason there is higher autism, left-handeness, etc… — high womb testosterone.

I mentioned once before that HIV seroconversion seems to support this theory. 50% of seroconversions are due to accidents or lapses in safer-sex behavior amongst those who generally practice safer sex. The other 50% are among those who repeatedly engage in unsafe sex despite the obvious risk. I saw a study that amongst those who are HIV+, at least 1/3 are sociopaths.

20years

Sarah999, I concur loudly with what you have written.

Normal parents, persecuted for the behavior of their genetically spath children, as though they created these behaviors in their kids.

And the poor parents if they are clueless, may beat themselves up for ‘failing” at parenting — OR feel very misunderstood by the experts and by judgmental onlookers… and may also be in an abusive relationship with the parent who is the spath.

Or as you say, may have skipped a generation and both parents have no clue what they are dealing with.

Or in many cases, the parents divorce and the kids end up with the non-spath parent who is now a single parent of a difficult child (or more than one!). The kids are acting out… is it because of the divorce? Or because of the genes? No matter what, experts are full of non-applicable advice.

Totally agree with the need for REAL bullying education at an early age — unfortunately, with bullying in the news now there are already a lot of bullying intervention programs which are well-intentioned, may help a little, but misapprehend what is really going on (still refusing to acknowledge that some bullies are sociopaths and irredeemable).

A lot of work to be done.

Ox Drover

BBE, That is very interesting about the high level of sociopathy in HIV+. While I think you may be right in the high percentage of at least “dysfunctional” gays, the problem is that it might not be taking all gays in to the number since so many gays remain in the closet so those “functional” but closeted gays might not be being counted in the numbers of total gays, which would skew the numbers.

I worked with and associated with a lot of gay people, mostly guys in both Dallas and Los Angeles when I lived there and most of them were younger guys who did live a pretty farked up life style at least on a relationship aspect…lots of drama, but I also knew some who were settled in stable relationships and lives. My granddaughter is gay and is in a committed relationship and what appears to be a “normal” life. I also know other “stable” relationships and committed relationships among other adults.

When you figure that 50% of the marriages of straight folks go bad (divorce) and 75% of second marriages do, being straight doesn’t convey much benefit I don’t think. LOL

Back_from_the_edge

I have been following this thread and this is a very interesting conversation. Ox: you sure hit the nail on the head when you said there should be some sort of ‘legal standard’ to define psychopathy within the legal system and process. While it does smack of the 70 and 80’isms, it is appearing that these types of people are starting to proliferate amongst our society and they are permeating our acceptable lifestyles and feel quite justified in doing the horrid things they do. While I know not ALL people with mental illness choose to be so ugly in their victimizations, there ARE some, in fact, I would guess MOST of them, who DO preach and support their behaviors very passionately, as we all know and have witnessed. A lot of these crimes (and that is truly what they are; whether done physically and/or emotionally or psychologically) are done intentionally there with making it an intentional act of inflicting harm/and/or injury upon others. In my State they call that ‘mayhem’ and ‘mayhem’ IS and can be made justified through the law here but it is not given the importance it truly deserves. Further, ‘mayhem’, in a personal context, is not recognized when it comes to psychopathy and it should be because ‘mind injuries’ can sometimes be worse than actual physical harm, if not equivalent thereto. It certainly is my wish that psychological crimes be dealt with in the same manner as any other violation that includes any other type of violence and/or violent behavior.

Their victimization DOES deserve a recognition within the legal world. Absolutely. I think too that it will be only a matter of time when their actions against those people who ARE good and ARE kind are recognized for what they truly are: abuse.

Thank you all for this very interesting discussion on this thread. I wish you all a wonderful week ahead filled with new resolutions and peace. ~ Dupey

I have a few thoughts on this test, but first:

Ox you are mentioning the left-handed bit again. I just wanted to mention that I dated ALL lefties until I actually started screening for right-handed men!!! I am right-handed, though I taught myself to write and throw a Frisbee with my left hand when I was a child (I thought I should be prepared in case my hand ever gets chopped off….yeah, weird kid, I know). Anyways, lefties are so noticeably different to me that I can sometimes I guess when someone is a lefty. After too many bad experiences with them, I started hoping that a cute guy/gal wasn’t left-handed, cause then I’d be automatically a bit reserved until I knew he/she was semi-normal.

I am sure there are lots of great people out there who use their left hands, but I have met a LOT of lefties that are just weird in a way that I’m a bit scared of.

nemo

Hi all,

I haven’t written for a while but considering I am left handed and, reasonably normal (if a bit weird), I was curious about what people had written on left handedness.

It is true that we do think differently, tying laces in the opposite way is just one of the more obvious differences. When I was younger I remember doing a small computer progam designed to put a dot on the top right of the screen, the whole class got their dot where it should have been but mine, being the only left handed person, was in the bottom left, the exact opposite of where it was meant to be.

Besides these differences though, I have never found left handed people to be worse, more anti-social, more self obsessed than right handed people. In fairness though, I have not made a study of it.

Perhaps tying in with power and those that seek high positions, a good many years ago now, a company were setting up a laser for micro brain surgery and, during the fact finding stages, realised that they would have to put a left hand trigger on their device because so many brain surgeons were left handed. Alexander the Great and Napoleon were also meant to be left handed, tying in with the whole “lust for power” trip.

Interestingly, the latin for “left” is/was sinistra, where we get sinister from. The left hand path was always associated with darkness and seeking power no matter what the cost.

Today, in many cultures, accepting something with your left hand or eating with your left hand is, at best considered rude, if not a mortal insult.

Hmm, I haven’t exactly put forward a positive case here but, honestly, any time I have been duped, wronged or in any way injured, physically or mentally by someone, it was by a right handed person, but then, only 10% of the population are left handed so that is to be expected. The point is, it would be nice to see some verifiable, if non-scientific facts on the subject : How many serial killers, narcissists, psychopaths, etc., are left handed?

Lastly, if I am not being rude to Panther or not asking too personal a question – choosing only 10% of the population to consider for a relationship and defining that population by what hand they use, seems non-accidental and if so, why would one deliberately choose to initiate a relationship with someone based on whether they were left handed or not?

Ox Drover

Nemo, there is only a small percentage of people who are left handed, I can’t rembember what it is something like 4-7% (I just made that up cause I can’t remember) but it isn’t much. Anyway, the left handedness in psychopaths is higher than that…again, I can’t remember the numbers just that it is HIGHER.

ADHD is also higher in psychopaths than in the general population, as is bi-polar disorder. So there are SEVERAL things that are connected with psychopathy, but having one doesn’t prove you have the others.

Genes for various things are connected to odd places, for example the gene for horns is connected in goats to the gene for sexual maturity…so if a goat lacks both genes for horns they will not sexually mature. If they have one gene for horns and one for no horns, they will not have horns but will sexually mature. So that is why you can’t “breed the horns off” goats like they did in cattle.

But all the things I mentioned are related to genes except possibly the handedness and I’m not sure about it.

behind_blue_eyes

Nemo;

I will second Ox Drover’s comments and add that while there are statistically higher aforementioned incidences, none are overwhelming. Thus, the majority of of psychopaths are not left-handed nor are a majority of left-handed people psychopaths, rather, a statistically significant higher percentage.

Such statistics make sense given that the predominant underlying cause to all of this, and some other traits as well, is womb testosterone level.

behind_blue_eyes

Ox;

I am not as optimistic as you regarding the gay community in general. Yes, there are many normal people, but as a whole, I still believe that there is a far higher percentage of sociopathic and otherwise toxic individuals in the gay community. While some of this may be driven by society, since homosexuality is in part attributable to womb testosterone levels, it makes sense more sociopaths would exist in the gay community, just as a higher percentage of gays are left-handed, suffer Autism and ADHD…

There do seem to be more stable lesbians than gay males, however.

czarinamom

When I saw the comment about s/p being left handed – I almost fell out of my seat. My ex was left handed and he used to brag about it – being so different and special. Now I know just how special he was. A user, liar, con artist, there are other words to describe him. I hope one day these people will be held accountable for their actions.

I saw him recently out with his new “conquest” – she has no idea what he will put her through. I am done. AMEN.

Hi Nemo,

I think I must have expressed what I said wrong. I don’t mean that I selected people based on them being left-handed. What happened is that after a few boyfriends, one day it dawned on me that they ALL had been left-handed. It made me wonder why I was somehow picking out lefties without even knowing they were left-handed. There are sooo many different theories and speculations one could put forth to try and figure that out. All I knew is that my exes hadn’t been good boyfriends (either cheating, stealing, lying, etc), and I had noticed that there was some identifiable, tangible thing that I could abstractly associate with my selection process. I thought that I should try dating a right-handed person just to see if it makes any difference. It may seem totally random and unscientific, because it is. The thing is, even AFTER noticing this, it kept happening. I’d get to know someone, start to like them, then look down one day and notice OMG another lefty!??!? I was asking myself HOW do I keep DOING this?!?!??!

It really was me grasping at straws Nemo, because at that point, I hadn’t figured out what the REAL red flags were, only that there was a correlation between my most difficult exes and which hand they wrote with.

My father is a P and a lefty and my ex is a spath and a lefty. It would be interesting to see a study of this.

I’m sorry if I offended you. Perhaps I got a bit ahead of myself thinking there was something to it.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

behind blue eyes – it irritates me when you make general statements about the gay community and don’t site studies that one could even look at to judge the veracity of the research.

Have you ever considered that these generalizations may be attributed to the ‘facts’ that relate to the part of the gay gene pool you hang out in?

silvermoon

Interesting. But, getting these uniquely gifted individuals to submit to testing like this? Good luck with that.

After surviving a 15 year marriage to a narcissist, I don’t need a scientific confirmation – I know when when I see it and all I’ll need is a taxi!

Adhd is a catch all and its really hard to rule out all the things that are misdiagnised as adhad. There are plenty of them.

Here’s hoping medicine and science will continue to explore these things and maybe, one day, figure it all out.

We are so early in our understanding of so many things in understanding the human brain. It really is amazing.

Fascinating. And every new piece of information provokes new questions.

skylar

silvermoon,
you said, “After surviving a 15 year marriage to a narcissist, I don’t need a scientific confirmation ”“ I know when when I see it and all I’ll need is a taxi!”

bwahahahaha! thanks for the laugh of the day!

It is very interesting that the word narcissism comes from the greek myth about a man who was obsessed with his reflection in a pool. The myth, is describing a personality disorder which we now understand as narcissism but I wouldn’t call it circular logic because the word is just a word but the definition is what matters. We define it scientifically by certain attitudes and behaviors. The greeks went a little further. They used a story that incorporated “red flags” which may not be obvious at first.
The reflection alone, is filled with meaning. Reflections are shallow, they are tricks between the eye and the brain. They are 180 degrees the opposite of reality. They are the left hand of the right or vice versa. The word reflection has a connotation of being absorbed in thought, so reflection of yourself means absorbed with thoughts about yourself.

One thing about narcissists that I’m sure we can all agree on is that they ARE pathologically absorbed with thoughts about themselves. So absorbed that they just can’t make room for any thoughts about anyone else.

Even my spath, whose ability to read people and manipulate their emotions is phenomenal, showed this self-absorption in that only his needs mattered. And he is incredibly needy. Everything he does or says is about getting people to care about his needs.

carriesguns

very very interesting conversation. probably not a long term one, as in our society the “hard”scientific data will win out in a short sighted cycle , with convenient pill therapy in lieu of deep and wide enough research- don’t you think?
and due to current findings in pregnancy hormone levels and subsequent developmental issues, don’t we need to put a spotlight on the emotional situation of the pregnant woman? since there is a definite correlation between emotions and hormonal levels- a vastly misunderstood 2-way street there, i think.
as to the genetic research- as the fifty+plus yr old daughter of a long line of farmers, much more attention should be paid to nurture, including nutritional standards. after all, high school chemistry taught me that the composition of an electrolyte solution was a primary factor in the quality of the electrical current carried, and i think we will soon all begin seeing brain chemistry as a direct function of that, and also the “genotype” – rather than being a fixed set of inherited directives, operates much more like a train-track type of progression directly related to the quality of the nutrients available for the switching mechanisms now known to be primary functions of genes….
in other words, the environment is a direct factor in producing ppaths and spaths…also adhd….with predisposition.
& if you step back and look at the cultural influences, at least in the u.s., we have become a culture that promotes sociopathic behaviors…
to the degree that during the late eighties and nineties, that became almost the standard for promotion in corporate environments, and sadly has had a huge ripple effect, consequently, on our entire culture.
just my observation/opinion… : )

nemo

Panther, first and definitively the most important, you did not offend me. I guess I was just asking for clarification. It seems that I did not make myself clear either. Sorry.

I have done a very quick study, both in asking a friend who is gay “how many left handed gays he knew?” and also a quick bit of surfing and, I am sorry to say that I have found no conclusive proof of anything. My friend, who I asked blindly, i.e. I didn’t tell him why I was asking, did not know a single left handed gay person. On the net, I found articles talking about left handed people being one of a twin in the womb but, again, I found studies showing that the incidence of this, i.e. one twin absorbing the other is actually far more prevalent than most people assume. Therefore, left handedness, in this context is a statistical chance. Being that a much larger than thought of percentage of pregnancies begin with two possible babies and end with only one, the other either being absorbed by the placenta, the other baby or indeed, the Mother herself, one would expect a percentage of these surviving babies to be left handed.

BTW Ox Drover, the % of left handedness in society is given as around 10%, though some reports say this is increasing.

The fact that some comments here involve the gay community in regards to psychopathy is sounding warning bells in my head. I have not seen or heard of anything linking gayness to any mental illness, apart from some of the more fundamentalist or hate inspired tautologies going around.

Being that as it may, I understand that this is primarily a personal blog and people are, quite rightly, giving their own opinions based on their own experiences.

My comment was that it would be nice to see actual statistics for this but I cannot seem to find any.

Though, I have obviously not exhausted my search.

Ox Drover

Nemo, BBE is a gay male and he is simply giving his opinion on the mental health of the gay community, he is not “gay bashing” any more than I am by saying “there are a lot of white, hetrosexual psychopaths” LOL

one/joy_step_at_a_time

being gay does not preclude one being homophobic. internalized homophobia is alive and well in the gay community. it is quite possible to bash our own kind.

nemo

Ox Drover and one/joy_step_at_a_time,

I understand that and fair enough but saying that one group of people behave, in your experience, in a certain way is a lot different to linking that behavior to mental illness, which is what seems to be happening here. In my opinion…

Hormonal secretions, chiefly testosterone, in the womb are linked to lots of this, but, and here is the salient part, nobody has any definitive proof.

Again I totally accept that what we have here is a discussion and it is from personal experience.

The thing is though, on the one hand you have studies suggesting that, one of these testosterone surges , if not sufficient, alters the babies “mind type” and pre-disposes them to be homosexual, in the case of males.

Well and good, it kind of makes sense, all fetuses are female at the start and it is the testosterone surges that initiate male characteristics and also sexuality.

However, testosterone surges promote more growth in the left side of the brain. Therefore, most males have a slightly higher developed right brain than left. In women it tends to be equal. More right side brain bias generally equates to less empathy. Hence woman are seen as predominantly empathetic and males as not really empathetic. As the left side of the body is controlled by the right brain, higher prenatal testosterone levels creates a highly developed right brain, thus a left handed male.

So, by extension, a left handed male would, one assumes, have had a larger than average dose of testosterone in the womb, which might be an argument for more psychopaths being left handed (if one assumes that testosterone has a large part to play in psychopathy), but not more gays being left handed…

Anyway, I realise I am getting caught up in the details here, so I am not going to belabor the point, which, to be perfectly honest about, I am beginning to lose track of… 😛

Having said all that, here I am, a heterosexual, left handed male who has, so it has been said, great empathy, so what do I know…

nemo

Ooops, correction to my above post, I, of course meant :

“testosterone surges promote more growth in the RIGHT side of the brain”, sorry.

Ox Drover

Nemo, as a heterosexual I am going to back out of this conversation because I think it has the potential to become problematic. BBE has a right in my opinion to express his opinion on this matter and I think his experiences as a gay male are much more insightful than mine could possibly be. Peace.

nemo

Which is basically what I said. Peace to you too.

skylar

Nemo,
What you wrote conflicts with what I have read.
I have read that homosexual males have HIGHER testosterone levels than heterosexuals.

And I’ve read that a boy who has several older brothers is more likely to be gay because as a fetus, he was subjected to more testosterone in the womb, from the previous male fetuses.

I’ve also read that testosterone increases a left brain dominance, not a right brain dominance.

It’s becoming obvious that this aspect of physiology is going to be complex – not a straight forward cause and effect.

I doubt we will ever have much control of anyone’s pre-natal hormone levels. Really, the only thing we have control of, is ourselves and how we treat each other and our children. That’s an immense power in itself, so maybe we should start there.

BBE’s experience is his own and I wouldn’t negate what he says as being homophobic. He’s just reporting what he has observed.

coping

I read the link and didn’t really understand it. Was it only a page (3 paragraphs) with a picture..?
The “technical” stuff about sociopaths and narcissists tend to confuse me. I am still working on a more emotional level.
I have a question. I realize this might be taken wrong by some people however that is not my intention… So let me see how I can best articulate this.
If we were people involved with sociopaths are we narcissists? We couldn’t change them. Why did I think I could? Is that narcissistic? Granted I didn’t know.. However this subject confuses me especially in the healing process. We talk about ourselves, our pain and try to understand.. So much is lost focusing on ourselves. Is that an n trait? Or is this survival? Healing? This subject matter confuses me.. Can we become so self centered we become an n?
In not sure if that made sence..

coping

I’m sorry. That blog made no sence. I’m very tired. I’ll think more about this later.. I had a point/question that was lost.

skylar

coping,
I saw your post where you asked for my email and I did ask Donna to send it to you, but she hasn’t responded. She may be offline for a while.

Narcissism, the word, is used in different contexts to describe different things. I think that the root of narcissism is the inability to see that we are NOT the center of the universe, which is the way babies perceive the world.

Any emotional maturity which allows us to see and feel what another person sees and feels is growth away from narcissism, but it is a journey and we are all at different places on that journey. So when I speak of my own narcissism, I’m talking about the part of the journey that I still have to travel. And when I say that it was my own narcissism that made me think I could/should take responsibility for what was the spath’s responsibiltiy, I mean that I thought I was more powerful than I really am.

Many of these behaviors are learned as children to cope with dysfunctional families. So if we are still working with the same survival strategies that we learned at our N-parent’s knee, then we are working with immature strategies which were appropriate for powerless children, but less so for adults.
That is another way of seeing narcissism.

I can see how this is confusing. I don’t know if I did a good job explaining it. The book “Why is it always about you?” is an excellent book that explains narcissism.

nemo

Hi all,

Obviously I am doing something very wrong here. I have not assumed any ones comments are homophobic.

Skylar, what you have read is different to what I have read, although I would say that, in my opinion, any testosterone differences is in the womb and not an adult, what ever their sexual preference.

I think I will take Ox Drover’s very wise advice and butt out now.

It has been interesting.

Thank you all for the posts.

Ox Drover

Coping,

There is a difference in a HEALTHY narcissism and an UNHEALTHY one.

The term comes from an old myth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissus_%28mythology%29

The term narcissistic means “lover of self”—but even the Bible talks about self love as GOOD it says “love your neighbor AS yourself” Well if you didn’t love yourself, you couldn’t love your neighbor very much, now could you.

Sure babies are very narcissistic because that is all they know until they mature and grow…like Skylar said.

We are not DISORDERED if we love ourselves in a healthy and normal way, a mature way. When you are SICK you love yourself enough to get medication, to follow the doctor’s orders, to go to bed and rest so you can get well. That is healthy love for self.

There are also DEGREES of Narcissistic thinking, some people are worse about it than others, that is why it is called NPD Narcissistic personality disorder.

A person who is THOUGHTLESS is sort of “narcissistic” and might eat the last piece of cake, not even thinking that you had had none, but the VERY narcissisticly inclined would maybe not even want the cake but would throw it in the trash JUST SO YOU COULD NOT HAVE ANY. Get the picture

Keep on reading and learning, but don’t ever feel bad taking care of yourself or [email protected] (((hugs))) God bless.

Sarah999

IMHO…There is NO such thing “Healthy Narcissism”.
For example.
1) A new born is less than 2 feet tall. We do not say he is “short”! A new born SUPPOSED to be less than 2 feet tall.
2) A 1 year old child old can’t add or talk . . . We don’t say he is dumb! At 1 year old he is NOT SUPPOSED to add or talk.
3) An infant cries or to get his needs met, we do not say he is selfish and narcissistic . . . He is SUPPOSED to cry to get his needs met.
It irks me when people apply a label of “Healthy Narcissism” to a child who is going through normal development.
Narcissism has NO RELATION to children going through a normal developmental stages. Just as we wouldn’t apply, short or dumb to children going through the normal stages of growth and intellectual development.
They are not short . . . they are children!
They are not dumb . . they are children!
They are not narcissistic . .they are children!

skylar

One day, my spath told me I was arrogant AND that other people had mentioned it to him. I was flummoxed. WTF? I had to actually look up the word because I had no idea what he was trying to say. Of course, now I know that he was projecting.

ar·ro·gant/ˈarÉ™gÉ™nt/Adjective: Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities

For me, that’s the definition of narcissism.
Today, I looked up narcissism:

nar·cis·sism/ˈnärsəˌsizÉ™m/Noun: 1.Excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance.
2.Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration.

So the definitions are close, in that they both have to do with a distorted sense of oneself as being better, more important, more entitled, more deserving of attention than what is reality. I take it a bit further and would add more capable, including more capable of assuming responsibility and making better decisions, than anyone else.

Whether it’s a good thing or not, is debatable. Yes, it’s a good thing for babies, I do agree. And I think it’s a good thing for teenagers too because they are trying their wings and need the confidence.

In A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives by Cordelia Fine, she says that people who perceive themselves and their abilities most accurately, are clinically depressed.

I thought that the article above was really good, so I googled Julian Keenan and found a video of him talking about narcissism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXoe9szaL9g

So maybe it’s not narcissism alone that makes spaths so disgusting, but rather the complete retardation of their emotional growth, so that they have all the attitudes of infants, including envy and cowardice.

callmeathena

Sky

Great thought. It’s the combination of them being so convinced of their superiority (and fooling many of us that it’s true) WHILE being emotionally incapable.

My spath’s daughter said, “he just doesn’t understand things the way most people do”. That alone would have been OK, if he didn’t LIE and DECEIVE and then PROJECT SUPERIORITY.

Duped !

Athena

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