[DWJ] narcissistic personality disorder site

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Fri Jan 26 12:53:49 EST 2007

> Actually, one of the children of such a mother was going for treatment (in
> her late fifties!) during which her inability to love her mother was being
> a major issue both for her and for the shrink, and I inadvertantly cut the
> Gordian Knot for them when I was told this in a despairing way.  What I
> said, or rather exclaimed, was, "But *nobody* could *possibly* love your
> mother -- she's a complete cow!"  This seemed to be what was needed, for
> some reason; what I couldn't understand was that she hadn't noticed it for
> herself.

Interestingly, that appears to be a classic symptom of dealing with a 

Which, I supposed, means that one comeback is "Well, I can't be doing a 
very good job at it, or you wouldn't have noticed!" I'd think humor, in 
particular, would be a good thing.
> >Hm... Well, I'd say dealing with the charge calmly is probably one's
> >best bet. Since adolescents have a fair share of narcissism (it's a
> >developmental trait of the age), it's going to be tough going. Nothing
> >much you could say in the heat of anger, definitely-- my best bet would
> >be to tell them go look it up in some psychology books and write up the
> >charges, and we'll discuss them later.  In the cold light of a standard
> >psych text and having to do homework about it, it might be easier to
> >deal with.
> Ah, but that's specifically mentioned as being typical disordered-mother
> defence tactics: "We'll talk about this later when you're calmer", right?

Hm... The classic recommended tactic would be, I think, the remark "I
guess I can see why you feel that way." Which of course sends a teenager
screaming over the edge but doesn't fill the qualifications of
narcissism. "You know, I do consider my needs more important than your
wants sometimes, and right now I'm asking you to do this because *I*
want you to. I can see why you don't want to do it, but I still need 
you to do it" is another one that makes the adolescent foam at the 
mouth but doesn't fufill the qualifications. Of course, the odds that 
one will think of these things during the sort of screaming slanging 
match that such an accusation will come up in is absolutely zilch, I'd 
think. So "Wow. That's a powerful accusation. Can you get me more 
information about that and we'll talk about it when I'm calmer" might be 
about the best I could do.  Frankly, I'd stick with "I've always thought 
of myself as codependent instead!" or "If I'm narcissistic I have to do 
a better job teaching you to take care of me!" to try and break the 
situation with humor.
> I just felt that it was all very well making the claim that the child can't
> win, but equally the mother couldn't, going by that particular website.

Considering that narcissism is a classic symptom of adolescence, 
basically you CAN'T win. :)
> I find myself remembering the moment in *Three Men In A Boat* when J reads
> the medical textbook and realises that he's got everything in it apart from
> Housemaid's Knee: I suspect that any adolescent who found that site might
> well decide that his/her mother was a clear case of narcissistic
> personality disorder, given that almost any mother will occasionally and in
> particular sets of circumstances have done things that could be taken as
> looking like some of the examples given. 

That's one of the unfortunate things about that kind of situation. I 
guess in an extreme situation you could offer to go to counseling or 
something. Of course, if the situation is that extreme, you'd probably 
WANT to go to counseling by that time, just because you wish you could 
sit back and let someone else deal with the kid. 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net 
"History doesn't always repeat itself. Sometimes it screams
'Why don't you ever listen to me?' and lets fly with a club."

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