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Divorcing Borderline Psychopath

News Borderline Psychopaths Marital Infidelity Recommended Links Marriage and family conflicts Female Sociopaths Borderliners and sociopaths in marriage Movies depicting BPD Understanding Borderline Rage
How to select a lawyer How to communicate with a Defense Attorney Negative Politeness Diplomatic Communication Six ways to say No and mean it Office Stockholm Syndrome Rules of Verbal Self Defense   Double High Authoritarians Fighting direct verbal abuse
The Techniques of a Female Sociopaths The Good Wife Unfaithful Bonfire of vanities Anger trap        
Female bullies The Fiefdom Syndrome Learned helplessness Films depicting female sociopaths Psychopaths in Movies Groupthink Quotes Humor Etc

Introduction

When relationships start to fail people first begin feeling vaguely uneasy about their marriages, sensing that something is wrong. Then this stage progress to the level when they are confiding their worries. First to their spouses, then to relatives and then their friends. At some point when they decide it's over and begin the process of “grave dressing”—preparing an orderly process of ending of the marriage called divorce. At this point there is the whirl of emotions that spouses feel, as well as complex process of working out a divorce settlement including financial matters and deciding on custody of the children, if any.

Probably the most emotionally abusive relationships and traumatic divorces involve divorcing a sociopath or  borderline personality (which often is just a politically correct term for Female Sociopath).  That can be even harder if spouses were partners in business... Living with or being married to someone with Borderline or Narcissistic qualities is one thing. Divorcing them is quite another. People with these disorders initially appear very convincing and charming to lawyers and judges. And while you know them better, in court they are judged by appearances. Which means that these “persuasive blamers” can successfully leverage false accusations,  manipulate others, launch damaging verbal  attacks, and do everything they can to get their way. The courts are way behind in understanding how highly manipulative individuals portray themselves as innocent victims. The same is true about  most attorneys. You might benefit from buying a relevant book for them After they read it they might have a better understanding of how to represent you in court.  As events unfold, you will be left wondering how well you truly know the person you used to love.

T. Van Egmondon November 5, 2015

After they read it they had a better understanding of how to represent me in court

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

I bought this for 2 of my attorneys. After they read it they had a better understanding of how to represent me in court. This book was invaluable to helping me understand why my days in the courtroom didn't even sound like my case. My adversary was a master at manipulating the system and had the capacity to twist any fact or event. Must read if you end up in court with any borderline personality disorder.

For a sociopath neither stable personality, not reality does not really exist. Everything including current personality is built on lies, and carefully woven together to entrap you or judge or jury.   In Lovefraud Blog  post  When women are sociopaths-psychopaths the author aptly noted:

There is actually very little research data available regarding sociopathy in non-criminals and in women. The little research that has been done reveals that sociopathy in women entails two or three main features that are similar to those found in men.

Namely, female sociopaths lack empathy and enjoy manipulating and exploiting others. Violent and impulsive behavior is less common in sociopathic women. This fact may make them more dangerous, as they more easily blend in with the rest of society.

The key traits of sociopathic females

A recent study of adolescent girls in detention performed by Crystal L. Schrum, M.A. and Randall T. Salekin, Ph.D. of the University of Alabama and reported in Behavioral Sciences and the Law, revealed the core qualities that best described young female sociopaths. The teens were callous and lacked empathy, had a grandiose sense of self worth and were conning and manipulative. They were also likely to engage in impersonal sexual relationships. Importantly, the researchers revealed that female sociopaths did not necessarily have “shallow emotions.” Again the lack of impulsivity ... make a female sociopath more difficult to spot.

... ... ...

The case of Michelle Drake also illustrates something else about female sociopaths. The courts are more likely to go easy on them. This attitude of the courts may reflect the fact that many people excuse the behavior of female sociopaths and feel sorry for them. Look at the cases of women in the news lately. We don’t know if the women involved are sociopaths, however, these cases do illustrate the double standard that exists in how we judge female as opposed to male antisocial behavior. Several women teachers have been found guilty of sexually exploiting students.

They were treated very leniently for the same crimes that would have put a man in jail for many years.

As they are preoccupied with self-satisfaction, marital infidelity is typical for those types and produces deep emotional wounds of mistrust, betrayal, sadness, loss of confidence in people. The excessive popularity of internet pornography with even major Hollywood studios producing "soft porn"  increased probability that one of spouses not completely satisfied with the current relationship will seek happiness and sexual satisfaction through another woman, or another man. Social networks, such as Facebook, also serve as a contributing factor.

If you are trying to divorce your partner who used to have periods of uncontrollable rage and a truly astonishing ability to twist words and reinterpret reality,  you might be dealing with Borderline Psychopath.   For such people false accusations like  getting "false restrictions stay away order" for non-existent violent behaviour,  "false drug possession charges" are pretty common and you need to be aware of this danger:

jay September 17, 2015

its as if you just read me the story of my last 8 months. she did the gifts, paying, for everything, cooking, massages, i love you, the promises, the lot and all over the top!!!

after literally 4 months to the day all the good things were replaced with dishonesty, lies, deceitfulness, cheating, abuse, manipulation, mirroring, mimicking etc etc etc long story short…. now I find myself facing false charges of assault & battery, false restrictions stay away order, two false drug possession charges, and a police investigation on me for being a drug dealer!

All from slander, lies , character assassination and absolute bullshit stories. 8 months ago I was a tax paying, mortgage holder and business owner. now I’m potentially a violent drug dealer and prison inmate.

oh and she is HIV+ from intravenous drug use and/or sex work and didn’t mention it ever in 8 months! my test results came back clear so far but wont know for 6 months for certain.

i was blissfully unaware that such despicably evil women existed . the devil is alive and well that’s for sure, she is living in the suburbs of Sydney Australia….

Physical violence is less common for female psychopath, but verbal abuse as well as more subtle patterns of emotional blackmail and projection are very common. Divorce just amplifies those pre-existing behaviors to the degree, when they became really dangerous. Even when people are warned about this danger, they still routinely underestimate the pathology with which they are dealing.

And all that means that you have a typical high-conflict divorce, which can be real living hell.  Try to depersonalize the harassment and compartmentalize your life. High-conflict divorces generally involve extended litigation, often crossing over from the family law arena into civil and criminal cases. Litigation cost large amount of money and can last for years. Sometimes the end of the litigation in  high-conflict divorce cases is brought by not a real resolution of the conflict, but by running out of money by one or both parties. 

Borderlines frequently sacrifice  their children in order to get even.  In court custody cases children become the sacrificial objects, are placed in the middle of arguments or worse, used as hostages. In custody cases, the narcissist may withhold (payment, child support, property visitation) because of exaggerated entitlement fantasies, but the borderline will be the one to withhold custody payments and refuse to participate if fair property division out of a desire to get even. For this purpose they are more then ready to sacrifice themselves, their time, their money, and their children.

It goes without saying that borderline personality disorder is a potent source of unending conflict because most borderlines do not have healthy boundaries. Unfortunately it affects the other party sanity too. Even a mentally stable person when attacked during a high-conflict divorce often exhibits patterns of  behaviors associated with mental illnesses  (Relationships and Divorces with Someone Who Suffers Borderline Personality Disorder angiEmedia):

Borderline projections can be very destructive and because most borderlines do not have healthy boundaries, situations can escalate and cause more unnecessary hurt and damage all the way to very serious false criminal allegations that can cost innocent people their jobs, children, and even their lives. For more on this, read up on BPD Distortion Campaigns.

Divorce Can Intensify the Emotional Abuse

When you divorce someone who suffers from BPD, the emotional abuse does not necessarily end there. It can result in a high-conflict divorce costing you more than you bargained for, not just in terms of wasted money and time, but in very deep psychological wounds. The borderline ex is prone to litigate over everything and to refuse to cooperate with court orders, reasonable requests, and common sense. She or he will likely make even straightforward property settlement issues costly, dragging out the legal process by refusing or avoiding to comply with court decrees to return property, split retirement accounts, repay money owed, and more. He or she may manipulate others by crying poor, telling others that you have lots of money stashed away and have always been mean with money, when in reality they themselves have a much higher income and have more savings than you. Again, this kind of behavior is projection and also a way to humiliate and dominate you.

Another way Borderlines can mess with your mind and emotions is to try and suck you back into the marriage if it is the early stages of your divorce or separation. Be sure to set your limits and be prepared to stand your ground and stick to your boundaries. Borderline behavior will swing unpredictably, one week they may call and want to talk for hours, the next week they may block off any and all communication from you.

No doubt this will be very frustrating so it will be important that you have good legal representation – preferably an attorney who is familiar and understands what drives high-conflict divorces – and a supportive network of family and friends that you can trust.

Most importantly, do your best to disengage from the situation. If you have tried every avenue to reasonably communicate with your Borderline and they continue to be unresponsive, do not persist by sending more communication thinking that they might not have received the others you sent.

Otherwise the Borderline may distort the truth and accuse you of stalking and harassment.

Also the backstabbing is a common practice. You ex might go to really dirty trick including hiring surveillance on you to prove his point.  Please change your passwords, change locks, and buy a couple of books such as Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder on Amazon.  And be ready for a bitter protracted fight.

Learning the ropes

Divorce is a painful process even under the best of circumstances. Divorcing manipulative spouse is especially challenging. Such people usually (at least initially) appear convincing and often charming to lawyers and judges. They are perfect actors for playing the role of victim. Many are not only really "charming and convincing" in court but demonstrate amazing skills in leveraging false accusations. Generally they attempt to manipulate others and like typical psychopaths do everything they can to get their way because they understand judicial machinery better then you and are ready to go lower then you to achieve their goals.  So you can study behaviour of psychopath as a close analog of behaviors that you might face in court. That might help to deal with this difficult situation.

Typical traits

To understand techniques used by female sociopath you need to keep in mind that they can use any known technique of entrapment of the victim. And this capability is amplified by their typical traits which make them perfect in the role of seducers and entrapment artists.  If you think that they would never attempt film your intercourse with them and use it later to blackmail you, think again.  Among traits that are often present  as a constellation and  that you need to be aware of are:

  1. Compulsive, pathological lying. Difficult to spot if you feel sympathy or affection to the individual, but it always demonstrates itself  in some self-contradiction and inconsistencies of their life stories. Especially about the facts of personal history; invented past and or excessive boasting about his successes (often of sexual nature), or excessive playing their misery, loneness, etc. If you are very attentive this is trait that is one of the easiest to spot despite all smoke screen that such person erect before you.  Such a behaviour is somewhat similar to "creating artificial reality" an artistic product, if you wish. Similar to writing a novel or painting.  This tendency to create artificial reality represents a consistent trait rather than an episode. Kind of manipulation of reality that MSM are notorious for in presenting foreign (and sometimes domestic) news.  To the pathological liar his own lies are reality, so he walks securely, is open and amiable inside this artificial reality environment of his life and past.  Extensive, very complicated fabrications may be evolved. They have no troubles to lie then they appeared in court, False accusations are to be expected...  Often the pathological liar lies not according to a plan, but spontaneously when the impulse seizes him/her.  Under oath such a person  can falsely accused other party of serious offences. For example, using or even distributing drugs or a women can accuse her husband that he has sex with their underage daughter.
  2. Manipulative, arrogant, callous  behaviour is a norm, but is typically well masked. Complete lack of remorse and empathy are also masked and are difficult to spot. They are probably more manipulative and cunning then professional con artists.  Actually they are professional con artists. Their personality attributes typically include superficial charm, unreliability, untruthfulness, and insincerity. Pathological egocentricity, selfishness, and related to those traits rejection of authority and discipline. Along with deriving pleasure from criminal behavior, they “really like getting away with it”—that “the ones who have intelligence, they don’t want to get caught.”
  3. Unreliability, untruthfulness, and insincerity. Please understand that betrayal and backstabbing are natural, typical behaviors for them, and they resort to it in situation were normal person would never do such thing. For example petty stealing when having money to buy particular item. As they have complete lack of remorse and empathy they can do really bad things smiling... If you observe such episodes several time this is an important warning signal. As Ian Fleming said (via Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger) “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action”
  4. Prone to fly into rages (See Borderline Rage ; "natural emotion is consciously controlled and used as a sharp weapon)
  5. Inability to accept any responsibility for their actions. Typically they has little or no concern about the consequences of their actions. They are natural born risk takers, "life gamblers" if you wish. For them life is a giant casino with games in which they can go "all in" risking everything.  They motto is "I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time." (You Only Live Twice )
  6. "Courage under fire." In high tension situations, that happens when police is on the scene or during court proceeding, they typically maintain their cool,  behave rationally and are not prone to panic even in the face of dangerous to them revelations.  They can masterfully deflect of destroy "difficult", "sure win" questions  of your council.

To understand what those short description really mean is not easy. Words does not communicate the whole picture here. That means that need to watch several movies such as "Dangerous liaisons" which spells out well the process of psychopathic seduction.

Idealize-seduce-devalue-discard cycle

As narcissists are often sex addicts, narcissist managers represent direct danger to female subordinates, such as secretaries due to their propensity to seduce. To seduce just to prove that they can. The other person is just a tool designed to increase their self-word, another "conquest". Paradoxically this is also true for females, which also are often sex addicts in their own right and like to "collect trophies". While people typically view seduction narrowly as purely sexual in nature, but  actually the concept is wider then that. Wikipedia gives the following definition: 

Seduction is the process of deliberately enticing a person, to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; to corrupt, to persuade or induce to engage in sexual behaviour. The word seduction stems from Latin and means literally "to lead astray". As a result, the term may have a positive or negative connotation. Famous seducers from history or legend include Lilith, Giacomo Casanova and the fictional character Don Juan. Seduction as a phenomenon is not the subject of scientific interest, although similar, more specific terms like short-term mating, casual sex or mating strategies are used in evolutionary psychology.[1] The Internet enabled the existence of a seduction community which is based on pseudoscientific discourse on seduction.

Seduction, seen negatively, involves temptation and enticement, often sexual in nature, to lead someone astray into a behavioral choice they would not have made if they were not in a state of sexual arousal. Seen positively, seduction is a synonym for the act of charming someone — male or female — by an appeal to the senses, often with the goal of reducing unfounded fears and leading to their "sexual emancipation" Some sides in contemporary academic debate state that the morality of seduction depends on the long-term impacts on the individuals concerned, rather than the act itself, and may not necessarily carry the negative connotations expressed in dictionary definitions.[2]

Which most commonly is discussed in the context of Narcissism, but has much wider applicability. see  Classic cycle of sociopathic relations (access-seduce-devalue-discard)

Blaming the victim

Blaming the victim is the essence of devaluation. Female sociopath lie so easily that  after they methodically and systematically destroy the relationship, they can present her former partner to the outsiders as a worthless, horrible human.  Also after they are in relationship for some time, t hey are never satisfied and are always looking for a new better target. Always. And having no moral principles (in other words being naturally promiscuous)  they behave opportunistically, if they have a chance to get a new "fresh" partner, who looks to them more promising then the old one, of only because of the excitement of a chase.   Feeling Like Spilling Your Guts to the Narcissist?

Remember: Pointing fingers at narcissists is difficult for Non-Ns. We want to be fair. We want to be honest. For every finger pointed at the N, we have three pointed back towards ourselves. So in order to feel good about ourselves, we can admit to having flaws, shadows and defects, too. But we CANNOT, SHOULD NOT, DO NOT need to admit this to the narcissist. It’s not good for YOU and it’s definitely NOT good for the narcissist.

When narcissists feel threatened, they cannot stop themselves from using whatever ammunition they have to defend themselves. Some narcissists regret their behavior afterwards but not nearly as much as we regret having trusted them. 

See Films depicting female sociopaths

Female sociopath look at relations, including divorce as on war and take no prisoners

You should remember  famous saying that "War is a continuation of policy by other means". that suggest the value of  your own "war plan" as measure that help to counteract their plans. Of course plans are ruined at first contract with reality, but that does not diminish their importance.  Read one or several books ob the subject. Go to the library and study the topic like military study their craft. It can save your life.  That fact that you have found this page is good, but you need more efforts.  Much more efforts. 

Emotional stability is one an important features of such struggle. Much like in military campaign you need special measures to maintains you emotional stability. One important  tip is to maintain or even upgrade a little bit, just a little bit, your psychical appliance. Buy new clothing if you need it. Maintain approaches. Appearance transmits back into your internal emotional state.

That also  might help you to avoid some common presumptions, mistakes and pitfalls typical for "normal" people, when they are face such a situation. Especially it this is your first encounter the judicial (it's judicial, not justice as you soon find out it's not about justice ;-) system.

Knowledge here is a real power and helps to avoid a nasty surprise of the mean, dirty tricks used against you. Expect a character assassination. Like in real warfare, be ready that opponent will use dirty tricks against you to win in court. Prepare for false accusations. Beware of traps. Try to minimize communication and practice Negative Politeness.

First of all, like in real war, there is a "fog of war" over the whole situation (i.e., you are facing incomplete, dubious, and often completely erroneous information and high levels of fear, doubt, and excitement). Here keeping daily log might be of tremendous help as it might slightly help to see though the fog. Still the level of uncertainty is high, which complicate rational assessment of the situation so delays with the reaction and keep your cards close to your chest. This simple tactic might in many cases be not detrimental, but advantageous.

Actually studying war tactics which were discussed for example in famous Clausewitz On War (available free from clausewitz.com) and The Art of War  is not a bad idea. Among them (cited from Wikipedia):

There are several good books on the subject that you should definitely read. Stakes are so high that any additional ammo worth much more then its nominal cost. See a list of suggestions in  Toxic managers: The Problem of Corporate Psychopaths. But again, you should took information provided with a grain of salt. Among those that IMHO deserve your attention are:

Watching films that depict psychopath also provide some additional insight and this way of study should not be overlooked.  Unlike real events you can watch the film over and over again and that's might help to enhance your understanding of specific tricks and attack methods. See Psychopaths in Movies  and Films depicting female sociopaths

Smear campaign

This is an intentional, premeditated effort to discredit our reputation, and character to get advantages during divorce proceedings . This also satisfy their longing for revenge.  Here is relevant (long) quote from SociopathHell.Com

A Smear Campaign is the epitome of a sociopath caring about absolutely nothing!
...With a smear campaign, the Sociopath strategically starts recalling all the things you have ever shared with them regarding your own personal experiences (i.e.: triumphs/failures), any and all things shared about people closest to you, or anyone you had a relationship with prior to them. They then take this information and set out to destroy you emotionally and mentally and sometimes financially. If you have children with a Sociopath, they will also use the children to try and destroy you.

They do this for fear! Fear of being found out for what they truly are, cardboard, empty, vile, viscous individuals. They also do this also as revenge.  The more they are exposed, the less likely to find additional sources of their supply.  And by supply, I mean, whatever they need from an individual for their own personal gain and nothing more. Exposing them, and limiting their supply source  places them in unfamiliar territory! They have a grandiose thought process, whereas, they will never believe ultimately there are consequences to their actions and/or verbal warfare., and therefore they think they have an endless supply of their ‘needs’. By placing them in this fear of exposure, this is where we see the darkest side of a sociopath. The hollow, soulless individual they actually are. A Narcissistic Sociopath are the master’s of ruination~ and they will do whatever they think necessary to protect their (clouded/distorted) image they have of themselves.

Some of  the more common  tactics a sociopath uses for his smear campaign are:

There is no easy way through the smear campaign. You will even begin to question your own sanity! And this is exactly what the Sociopath wants you to do. During this stage of smear, you will want to ask the Sociopath ‘why are you doing this’, ‘why are you saying these lies about me’. You will continually be on the defensive , but this has no bearing on them. If anything, your questions will just be the fuel they need to continue this emotional assault.  This is the most damaging of stages with a Sociopath. You think the devalue stage is the worst…..and no doubt, it is also very emotionally and/or mentally destructive. The devalue stage is geared specifically toward you, the individual. During the smear campaign , this is not only geared toward you, but also geared to destroy whatever relationships you have with other individuals and/also your career. Remember, the Smear Campaign is for total ruination! Tips for surviving this (because it is {or will be survival  if you haven’t gone through it yet}. These tips are to stop the Sociopaths supply source of your ruination.

Money extortion

Extortion is a crime in which one person forces another person to do something against his will, generally to give up money or other property, by threat of violence, property damage, damage to the person’s reputation, or extreme financial hardship. Extortion involves the victim’s consent to the crime, but that consent is obtained illegally.  Sometimes the whole marriage is an elaborate money extortion scheme and divorce is just a final act of the drama. This open happens when a younger man marries older woman. See Advice for Protecting Elderly Relatives from Sociopaths and Gold Diggers

Typically, as in those examples, extortion involves threats of future violence or harm rather than immediate violence or harm, but extortion can involve immediate violence.   The classic case of extortion of "protection money" schemes. Which sociopaths successfully adapt to divorce proceedings.   Often they use children as a bargaining chips.

Selected Amazon Reviews for Splitting by Bill Eddy

One of the few relevant books on the subject is Splitting by Bill Eddy. Here are some of the relevant Amazon reviews of the book:

ef on July 17, 2011, See all my reviews

If three of the last five words in this title have meaning to you, get this book, it WILL save your life, July 17, 2011

Does your partner have periods of uncontrollable rage? Bizarre behaviors? A truly astonishing ability to twist words and reinterpret reality around you? Wild mood swings? Hair trigger temper? Have you been desperate enough that you spend your free time surreptitiously Google-ing psychological disorders to try to "poor mans diagnose" what you're dealing with?

Clearly you have. If you're reading this, you're probably doing research Right Now in the vain hope of getting an answer to the one question you've been asking yourself night and day for as long as you can remember: What Do I Do?

If that sounds like you, get this book, it will save your life.

On second thought, clear your browser cache, erase cookies and search history, and beg a friend to buy this book for you so it does not get shipped to your home address. I'm not kidding. Read the title again.

Amazon Customer says:

I really wish he'd had a guide during that period, but instead he went through major trauma inflicted by the aggressor (stalking, parasuicide to gain sympathy, threats, vandalism, showing up unannounced, illegal entry...you name it). The aggressor is not always the male in the relationship, which is what I learned when the ex continued the craziness even after I married my husband. If I could go back in time and give this book to him prior to his marriage I would, based on your review.

People REALLY SHOULD take such extreme precautions when dealing with people with borderline or narcissistic personalities, because nothing is out of the question once they've lost control of their victim.

MarkA on September 10, 2011

Helps educate you to lower risks of arrest, abuse investigations from false allegations & help custody efforts

After having gone through the first years of post separation & divorce, I can definitely agree that PROTECTING YOURSELF is top priority when separating...

Educate yourself while quietly documenting the spouse's behaviors, quietly and confidentially seek the advice of a few family law attorneys who have experience with high conflict cases, carefully consider your options and prepare accordingly.

Decades ago the hot-button threats by disordered spouses were claiming you were a closet homosexual or having an affair. These days such allegations are ho-hum and ignored in most courts. What has replaced them? Claims of DV (against the spouse) and child neglect, abuse or molestation. Why?

To unfairly gain advantage or keep the upper hand in the court's custody and parenting decisions. Those are extreme hot-button issues and agencies are just waiting for a call to jump into action, this is the one time where the allegation is presumed valid at first and the presumption of innocence is set aside at first. An innocent spouse or parent (you) can be arrested and charged with some very serious offenses.

If your spouse has threatened to make false allegations in the past, then that means it has been contemplated and therefore you are at heightened risk. DO NOT FOOL YOURSELF THAT YOU ARE NOT AT RISK!

William Eddy presents information that will help you to avoid many common presumptions, mistakes and pitfalls us Nice Guys and Nice Gals are likely to make when we first encounter the judicial (not justice) system.

Sorry, but normal common sense does not apply in court and the truth does not always prevail. Courts, including family/domestic court, make decisions based on written laws, case law which has modified the application of written laws, and the latitude allowed for the case-by-case discretion by judges. That is why this book is so helpful, in addition to your family law attorney's legal advice.

To echo the excellent advice in another comment: If that sounds like you, get this book, it will save your life. On second thought, clear your browser cache, erase cookies and search history, and BEG a friend to buy this book for you so it does not get shipped to your home address or appear on your credit card or bank statements. I'm not kidding.

Read the title again. PROTECT YOURSELF.

Stan Yarbrough:

Poor sucker:

... Borderlines will immediately begin with a character assassination and side-setting of as many people as possible, and will split up all players in the game into black and white pieces.

You are black, WILL have the second move and will remain behind as long as your bank account holds out because nothing is more important to the BPD than the process of proving to the world that you are wrong, bad and probably belong in prison away from all of the white players, including only those of your children that believe the stories. It might include a custody battle with accusations of child abuse, when in fact the real abuse are the lies and deceit that are wielded upon your impressionable and confused children.

The narcissists are the worst because there is absolutely no self reflection in the process. If a borderline is not narcissist, then there is a possibility to change the game during one of the many "woe is me" moments.

Absolutely DO NOT GIVE UP and do not do anything stupid. Truth does not matter in court; it is only about going through the motions. Tell your attorney to go for the jugular and spare no expense on getting your kids. However, do not fight dirty directly. Do not talk bad about your BPD ex to your kids or ANY of your common friends. Only talk about truth, including his/her mental disorder...

Now, read this book. Own it.

If you are smart enough to use this knowledge to your advantage, you will win. After 5 years of pure hell from BPD people in my life, I have finally recovered but it took everything including relationships, money, nearly all property and two jobs.

BPD splitting is war and reading this book is the first step in a good battle plan.

Patrick J. Atkinson (Bismarck, ND United States) - See all my reviews

If this titlte clicks with you at all, read it!, July 15, 2011

 "Splitting" is the professional term used to describe what happens when a person with a diagnosable personality disorder suddenly, and almost always for reasons beyond their own control or understanding, redefines their lover, partner, spouse, or friend from being "savior / saint" to "demon / monster".

This "split" can occur in a matter of a few minutes, and within hours or days the memories of years of positive, loving, supportive relationship can be involuntarily rewritten by the person engaged in the "splitting" process, to be something totally different. Loving times are rewritten to have been false memories of times of anger, argument, and hostility. Special moments are forgotten... edited out... completely.

The person who suffers from the personality disorder often knows something terribly wrong is happening, but is not sure what, so the process continues to negatively cycle downward. I Hate You, Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality

At the end of the "splitting" process, the person suffering from these personality disorders has completely rewritten years of relationship, with very little the affected companion can do. Since the affected companion still often loves the person who has been "splitting", the mis-steps, hurt, anger, sadness, and confusion.

This book is very helpful in that it tells the reader how to protect him/herself when this happens to your partner. While there maybe nothing you can do to stop or reverse the "splitting" process that your affected partner is going through, you can take care of, and protect, yourself.

move alpha (columbia, missouri) -

Excellent guide to managing high-conflict divorce, February 17, 2012

This review is from: Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder (Paperback)

This is a very useful guide to getting through a high-conflict divorce. Not a substitute for a good lawyer or therapist (one should have both), but a helpful supplement. Highly recommended.

Scott  A must have for nasty divorces, September 10, 2013

If your even thinking of divorce you should get this book to be prepared for what potentially could happen. Hold off the divorce for a year, get prepared. A year is a long time when your suffering but it can get rougher than you can even imagine.

Rainboja - See all my reviews

Relief's in sight, October 2, 2011

One of the most difficult things for me to understand, both during and after the break-up, was why we always ran the same pattern, why the anger was never modulated for the degree of offense and most especially when she acted in a certain way, why she said that I was.

Now I have my own issues, but this review is how the book has been so very helpful. Once I began (very late in the process) to get a hold of what was going on, I was able to begin to depersonalize the harassment and compartmentalize my life.

These were two major benefits and supports for me getting my feet back underneath me. She has been very successful in court, I have had to prove my ability to parent and have been under the microscope while she has been immune from even following court orders.

Now I know she never will, and apparently, the court doesn't seem to notice or care that she continues to divide and harass and etc. So, it's the lawyers, judges and therapists who have to learn about these personality types and bother to take a few extra moments to see beyond the surface of a family break-up. Thank you so very much, Mr. Eddy.

Joellen Whatman - See all my reviews

Splitting is very informative. Must Read., June 28, 2013

Living with or being married to someone with Borderline or Narcissistic qualities is one thing. Divorcing them is QUITE another. I never expected him to flip the way he did or become so incredibly evil. This book is a must read BEFORE the mention of divorce. AND its a must read for your attorney.

Attorneys deal with these personality disorders every day and don't realize it. Get this book in the hands of your attorney and if he/she won't read it FIND ANOTHER ATTORNEY who will.

OR end up like me without anything from a marriage of 25 yrs. starting completely over.

Eunice Leonard "5570leon" (Louisiana)

Splitting, April 27, 2013

This was a very informative book about Borderline Personality Disorder.

 I highly recommend it to anyone that is dating, thinking about becoming engaged to, or divorcing a high maintenance, demanding, blaming woman.

These people make everyone's life miserable. Although I feel sorry for anyone with this type of mental illness, the reality is that you can never do enough to meet their needs, and their needs are all that matter to them. I read this book to get a handle on the behavior of my daughter-in-law. Frankly, there is too much pain and trauma that affects everyone when involved with a person like this. Life is too short.

Read and take heed; run away with all speed:)

MA.Mom - See all my reviews

I wish I had known about this book seven years ago when I divorced my ex!, April 6, 2013

I purchased the kindle version as well as a hard cover because the kindle version couldn't display the charts very clearly. If you are in a situation where your ex can't let go of his/her anger and has made countless claims that bring you to court, you ABSOLUTELY need to read this book.

I've read many, many books about high-conflict divorces, but Splitting is THE ONE that has helped me the most. I've been fighting the same claims for the past 4 years and I finally can see the light at the end of the tunnel because of the insights I've gained from this book.

Barb Beller, December 20, 2012

This book is a must for anyone considering divorce from a narcissist or a person w/ borderline personality disorders. First, the author is a lawyer, a psychologist and a mediator with years of experience helping the partners seeking a divorce.

Each chapter has useful lists (e.g. clearly defining the characteristics of narcissists and borderline personality disorders, preparation before the divorce, numerous legal issues, etc.)

In addition, this clearly written for the layperson. It's easy to read and guides the partner seeking a divorce step-by-step.

The book can save the reader time, and some legal fees with preparation work. It also alerts you to possible harmful reactions from the narcissist.

r3VOLution (California) - See all my reviews

 Impressed!, May 1, 2013

I found this book packed a lot of great advice and examples in an easy to read and engaging format. The book was organized in a way that the anecdotes were clear and concise and led right to the strategy for dealing with that type of problem.

The author spelled out explicitly what you can expect from the personality disordered individual that is wreaking havoc in your life. He also gives great ideas about how to counter it and prepare for it.

I really appreciate the explanations about how to present yourself to the court, attorneys, and court facilitators; he cautions you against using diagnoses and suggests illustrating a prevailing pattern of negative behaviors in your ex.

There is a lot of wisdom contained in this book and I think this book will give those of us dealing with extreme divorces a better foundation and understanding of what we are up against to have confidence in dealing with the system and with our ex.

Rockofinder - See all my reviews

Check this out if you have been deceived in marriage., February 22, 2012

This review is from: Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder (Kindle Edition)

I could not believe that after 8 years my son was divorcing. This book helps everyone understand such lying, deceitful and erratic behavior of his spouse. I recommend this book for anyone (or for family members) who is going through a difficult divorce with someone who lacks compassion and exhibits borderline or narcissistic behavior. It can relieve anxiety and help cope with these unusual circumstances. The book provides helpful advice and a guidelines to assist people through this emotional time.

K Ellzey - See all my reviews

if you have an aggressive accuser, then this book will help, November 26, 2013

I am divorcing a sociopath (all sociopaths are narcissists). This book is about flamboyant narcissists, not so much about those that con or manipulate. I can see a lot of value in reading the book, but it is not addressing dimensions that I will have to deal with in court. If you are dealing with a narcissist and have children, I think this book suits your needs well. I encourage the authors to go further and cover other aspects of personality disorder and how the court system may or may not deal with those affects.

... ... ...

Still, I appreciated the straightforward, calm voice of the book; the suggestions about how lawyers operate; and strategy to move forward through muck and mire. Even if you don't have kids, read those sections.


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[Feb 03, 2021] Why are grandiose narcissists more effective at organizational politics?

Feb 03, 2021 | www.sciencedirect.com

"We report the results of three studies that show: (1) those higher in narcissism are more likely than those who are lower to see organizations in political terms (opportunity), (2) they are more willing to engage in organizational politics (motive), and (3) they are more skilled political actors (means)."

[Nov 22, 2020] Dividing Your Assets in a Gray Divorce by Mary Kane

Notable quotes:
"... High-earning older couples also may have more complicated financial situations than younger couples, with both partners sometimes owning multiple 401(k)s, pensions and IRAs, making it hard to split everything equitably. And increasingly, divorcing clients own annuities, which are challenging to divide, says Jeff Kostis, president of JK Financial Planning, in Chicago, and a divorce financial planner. Every annuity contract can be different, and in some cases, couples may need to trade off other assets to avoid cashing out an annuity and losing much of its value. ..."
"... Some couples are tempted to simply split plans themselves. Or at the end of a long mediation session, with retirement plans last on the list, a couple may simply agree to a 50-50 split. But it's not that clear cut. ..."
Mar 07, 2020 | getpocket.com

For older couples who decide to split up, divorce can look very different than it might have in their younger years. Children often are grown and out of the house, so child support and custody aren't an issue. And breakups after long marriages can sometimes seem amicable rather than contentious; partners simply grow apart and decide to go their separate ways.

But with gray divorce on the rise -- the divorce rate for adults over 50 has doubled since the 1990s, according to the Pew Research Center -- both partners need to understand how to correctly split up retirement plans and other assets. One partner may offer to be generous, but that's not necessarily helpful. You need to follow specific rules for dividing 401(k) plans and IRAs, or one partner could take an unnecessary financial hit or face an unexpected tax bill. And the closer you are to retirement, the more crucial it is to get it right. "You can't afford to make mistakes," says Diane Pappas, a divorce financial analyst and owner of Solutions for Divorce, in Boston.

High-earning older couples also may have more complicated financial situations than younger couples, with both partners sometimes owning multiple 401(k)s, pensions and IRAs, making it hard to split everything equitably. And increasingly, divorcing clients own annuities, which are challenging to divide, says Jeff Kostis, president of JK Financial Planning, in Chicago, and a divorce financial planner. Every annuity contract can be different, and in some cases, couples may need to trade off other assets to avoid cashing out an annuity and losing much of its value.

If you're facing a gray divorce, start by accepting that regardless of what agreement gets hammered out with your estranged spouse, your finances are going to take a hit, Pappas says. Be realistic: You had one household, with a set amount of income. You're splitting that into two households, on the same amount of income. "Something has to give," she says.

You'll also need to accept that retirement plans are among the assets you'll need to divide. Partners who hold retirement plans don't always understand this, says Peggy Tracy, owner of Priority Planning, a tax preparation and financial services practice, in Wheaton, Ill. "They're shocked they have to share it," she says. "They feel they are entitled to all the money." She has to explain that yearly contributions to a 401(k), for example, came from a couple's mutual income, and a partner is entitled to a share.

Divide a Plan

Some couples are tempted to simply split plans themselves. Or at the end of a long mediation session, with retirement plans last on the list, a couple may simply agree to a 50-50 split. But it's not that clear cut.

For both 401(k) plans and pensions, you'll need a qualified domestic relations order, which is a judicial decree recognizing a divorcing spouse's right to receive all or a portion of the account owner's qualified plan, says Colleen Carcone, a director of wealth planning strategies at TIAA, in Boston. The QDRO is submitted to the plan administrator. A portion of the plan can then be transferred to the divorcing spouse's name.

When you split a 401(k) plan with a QDRO, you get a one-time divorce-related break. If you take some of the cash out, perhaps for a down payment on a house, you will owe taxes on the distribution but not the 10% penalty for taking an early withdrawal under age 59½. If you roll the money immediately into your own newly established IRA, you won't owe taxes or a penalty.

Before splitting a 401(k), be sure to check a partner's paystub to ensure he or she doesn't have an outstanding loan that's being repaid through paycheck deductions, Tracy says. And change your beneficiaries, if you don't want your ex-spouse named for your plan.

For employer pensions, be aware that each employer has different rules on how or whether the pension can be split, Tracy says. Plus, you'll need a professional to determine its value before you can divide it, a process that can take two or three months. Until you have that information, don't set terms for splitting the pension, she says.

QDROs don't apply to IRAs . Division of IRAs should be detailed in a divorce decree or separation agreement. The agreement then has to be submitted to the IRA custodian. "You just can't sign a napkin over drinks," says Dave Stolz, a certified public accountant and financial planner, in Tacoma, Wash.

Understand the tax rules for splitting an IRA to avoid unexpected penalties. You can't take a one-time penalty-free distribution from an IRA because of a divorce, Pappas says. Take some cash out and you will owe taxes on the distribution, plus the 10% early-withdrawal penalty if you're under 59½. But if the money is rolled directly to an IRA, there is no penalty or tax.

All retirement plans aren't equal. A partner receiving traditional 401(k) assets will owe taxes on any distributions, so it's not equivalent to getting the same dollar amount of Roth IRA assets. Roth IRAs are funded with after-tax contributions. Planners usually separate Roth IRAs from other retirement assets and split them in half, says Tracy.

If your finances are especially complicated, you might consider a collaborative divorce. Each partner typically hires his or her own attorney, but they jointly use a financial planner and coach. The goal is to divide the finances to best meet each partner's goals, Kostis says. Sometimes that may mean unequal divisions of individual assets such as 401(k) accounts or cash accounts, so one person has a more secure retirement and the other has cash to purchase a house.

For example, Social Security benefits can't be included as a marital asset, by law, and the actual benefit can't be divided. A higher-earning spouse will have a bigger benefit than a spouse who may have worked part-time to care for children. The higher earner might agree to provide monthly support payments for a certain period of time to make up the difference, Kostis says. Or the couple might choose to trade off other assets, perhaps from an investment account. "You set your own rules," Kostis says.

To find a collaborative divorce team, do an online search for "collaborative divorce" and your state. In Illinois, for example, you can find professionals at the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois . Find a divorce financial analyst through the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts .

[Oct 11, 2020] Is Donald Trump a Narcissist-

Oct 11, 2020 | www.youtube.com


Beth Hackett
, 2 weeks ago

Am I missing the review of Pelosi? Would love to see that one as well.

[Oct 11, 2020] Is Donald Trump a Narcissist- - Insidious Maladaptive Narcissism - YouTube

Aug 17, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Question Everything -- Thought Provoking Ideas , 1 month ago

"Smart people learn from everything and everyone, average people from their experiences, stupid people already have all the answers." – Socrates

ViskaDrake , 1 month ago

This is the best video, a huge video, maybe even the greatest video of all time and trust me nobody knows videos like I do.


Question Everything -- Thought Provoking Ideas
, 1 month ago

"The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence." --Charles Bukowski


aimeemarsh1
, 1 month ago

My mother was a narcissist and she was highly intelligent and easily made lots of money. Narcissist are often high achievers.

subete a mi barca , 1 month ago (edited)

I'm the most beautiful, tremendous, huge, spectacular, unbelievable, unbeatable, magnificent narcicist of ALL times!!! No one has ever seen one like me! And Obama is jealous. D. T

Karen Campbell , 1 month ago

If the plane crashes...we can assume that everyone at the minimum as a bad day. 😂🤪


Denise M
, 2 weeks ago

Whatever a narcissist achieves is always with devastating damage to everyone around them.


Sarah
, 1 month ago

His dead pan sense of humor is top notch. No one can claim to be offended, the Dr. is so subtle. Another great analysis!

Daisy June , 1 month ago

How did Trump cause the problem ( example of the pilot) in the first place? Most politicians are covert narcissists. They pretend to be nice but are even more evil.


Co Charles
, 2 weeks ago

He recognizes that all politicians lie and we continue to accept those liars as standard actors in politics. You should have reviewed his conversations before getting into politics.


Yumna Amir
, 3 weeks ago

The dry humor is too notch! Would be interesting to analyze Ivanka Trump


jiminy_cricket777
, 1 month ago

This talk of adaptive narcissism, healthy narcissism, healthy grandiosity, etc. This is an error in thinking. Kohut was wrong, Kernberg is right. Narcissism is always and already a pathological defense. That it doesn't always turn into a full blown personality disorder doesn't mean it's sometimes healthy. It may help one get by in late capitalist neoliberalism but that says more about the ways in which narcissism has infected the cultural milieu that we all live in than it does about the supposed adaptiveness of narcissism.

John G , 2 weeks ago

Of course he is a narcissist, as is virtually every politician, surgeon, celebrity, CEO......it comes with the territory. Most also have varying traits of psychopathy...as do most people..so it depends on degree. Now if you are talking about a full blown narcissistic psychopath all I can say is.....leave Hillary alone!

Glorindellen , 1 month ago

My sister is a narcissist. One of my favorite quotes from her is "but what if I really AM more interesting than everyone else?"


Beth Hackett
, 2 weeks ago

Am I missing the review of Pelosi? Would love to see that one as well.


Louise Colombi
, 1 month ago

Do narcissistic people know they are narcissistic? I didn't know there were two types, grandiose and vulnerable. Very interesting. Thank you!


bobsteroni777
, 1 month ago

Of course, he's a narcissist. So is Pierre Trudeau, Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, John Brennan, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and every car salesman ever. An interesting side-project would be going into the narcissist tendencies and traits of Machiavellianism in the mass-media and "news"/ journalism industry. Some truly grandiose sense of entitlement within the ALT-press that is interestingly coupled with a well-focused derision and merciless quality of scapegoating certain classes of people and a ghastly tendency to be sure they "know the story" before actually having to research it. This came into play in the falsified hate-hoaxes that are now so prevalent today in driving the Left.


Tisha Hayes
, 1 month ago

Thank you for your clear explanation of narcissism and how it may be applicable to certain people in positions of authority. I do not feel obligated to comment in regards to the individual who this may be about; If people are observant and honest in their appraisal they should be capable of drawing some conclusions.


tay0365
, 1 month ago (edited)

Wow!!! After listening to the doctor, it seems someone like Obama, and Hillary Clinton were actual Narcissist with the way each were cold to people around them, each thought they were entitled to win in anything they did, each thought they were the smartest person in any room they entered, each made decisions that cost lives, yet they both thought they both did nothing wrong, and both made good decisions. Very interesting, would never have thought them to be Narcissists, but could have been as bad or worse then Trump, who at least had success, and had a reason why he would act the way he did.

Machiel van Rheenen , 1 month ago

Dear Dr. Grande, I do really admire your objective professionalism, especially on this subject/object. You, to me at least, are the anti-trump. I'm strengthened by the knowledge of minds like yours existing in this weird day and age. Also; when you summarize the different traits between the grandiose and vulnerable types, I tend to fear being type A but with the traits of type B. Makes no sense. Also, is me/myself, trying to scrutinise myself/me, a narcissistic trait in itself? :confused-emoticon Enjoyed your educated perspective as always. Thank you.


Mana Hava
, 1 month ago

Narcissistic is good as a leader, All famous, leaders are narcissistic, All human is narcissistic in some degree

Scott Bros , 3 weeks ago (edited)

Personality order/disorder matters but above that the motivation to push citizens rights over the Elites gaining popular support OR gathering power via the Elites over the population are the main factors for president or any public office... These two sources of power are the only sources of power....no mater how they are balanced or imbalanced per politician..


rcharle fReese
, 1 week ago

nearly always fascinating. Yet looking at this case, it appears as though you, Dr Grande are simply subtly cheering more negativity. Some of it is off the charts. re: assuming multiple photos - including 2 famous public figures proves they "know eachother" and the subsequent quick cut away on to more negativity. . it reminds us of msm news reporting . But sorry, coming from you it's disappointing. We don't need to look hard to find the Pres running on (and on) verbally, it's vexing. Most of us surely see a degree of bombastic narcissism. So sorry to see you pile on (even tho subtly). We've voted a long time to see someone who's not afraid of his own supporters. thank you Pres for true & positive change, aimed at all factions. . and Dr Grande here's to you finding value in it.


Sathandra D
, 1 week ago (edited)

I had a neighbor with narcissism followed by dementia. It was hard! I work from home, guess who came knocking everyday to be driven somewhere, regardless of whether or not I was busy with work or with another person. Good thing is, she paid well, though there were plenty of times she came knocking asking for it back with some boohoo story - you can't believe how many times a friend of hers has died... I took care of her for months, no way to get a day off even if you are hiding your car/not answering the door, they are persistent. I never understood narcissism until then. How much they like a person could depend on looks alone. They introduce them self's with their full name, yet never bother to learn the names of the people they interact with every day.... The good thing about my neighbor, she called Trump the baboon on TV. I'm sure he was talking too much about him self for her to like him. It's remarkable to see Trump behave in the same manner as 'the crazy lady'. I can't imagine anyone working directly with him. Honestly, dealing with a narcissist is really hard. They lie, constantly, even about non-important things. There is NO reasoning with them, no logical thinking capabilities, no normal conversations, they talk (about them self/their lives, not much else) , you listen. it's their way or the high way. Even if that would mean crash and burn said airplane

B. Boston , 2 weeks ago (edited)

I have a good example of this if I was told the truth: My husband thought he was about to lose his job in another country and there was an issue in the country's only hospital with the HVAC my (now ex-) husband was responsible for. The surgery had to be shut down. Crystals found in the lines had to be sent away to another country to a lab to be tested. It took three weeks and it took him several days or more to find them and decide this might be a clue to help explain why this would happen. It seems the crystals blocked the lines, but I don't think they ever knew the reason why it happened. No one had a clue. All aspects of the equipment had to be inspected thoroughly, including all the electrical and gas lines, motors, computerized aspects, duct work, etc. Lots of testing and cleaning. The surgical equipment and the surgery itself relied on the HVAC working perfectly. Some people had to be flown to the USA for surgery. It was a dangerous time. No one knew in the end how it occurred, but my ex, who was very methodical, slow and thorough, got everything up and running again after about six weeks and he was a hero, until other issues caught up with him

. While he kept all books, I never saw him read anything much, possibly dyslexic, learning by doing, but everyone has always thought he is one of the best in his trade, apparently, and it seems wherever he goes, he is known, despite there have always been issues with management and even fraud.

I think I know how this is possible? I admire the Industrial HVAC trade. In California he had the same reputation for years, or so I was told, until he was apparently sited for working too slowly, but it seemed he often wasn't working at all. He seemed to feel they were going to fire him, so he needed time to jump ship again. He came home big-eyed one afternoon to tell me the HVAC in a local hospital where he cared for all the HVAC equipment had the same issues as the one in Bermuda where the HVAC in the surgeries wasn't working properly and they had to shut down maybe three of five surgeries.

The NICU had to have 24/7 nursing care staff at each child's cot, for days, and they brought in portable generators while he tested everything and sent crystals to a lab for testing a little nearer by, so I think it only took a couple of weeks or so, maybe three, once the issue was found, but not entirely resolved as to how it would happen in the first place. It generated a lot of work and once again he was the hero because he fixed the problem. IF what he told me was true.

He is very reassuring and sounds so professional, and he had a fair amount of time to negotiate employment with another company, but I think he didn't want to leave, he was forced to. He refused to tell me what company he moved to. I know he was easily embarrassed by not getting the deal he wanted with whom he wanted.

There were other times I believe he put people in danger, or caused "accidents," he could tell himself lies about, not only causing upsetting harm to myself and our young ones, walking the knife edge of murder, and other times soul murder, but mostly murder of our well being, through deliberate harm. I have thought of how much psychological abuse and coercive control we endured, and how much he liked to hurt me emotionally, but much of his behaviour centred on him most likely losing control of addictions like gambling and drinking and trying to fit in with a younger crowd, and then having anxiety around getting caught and messing up responsibilities which he wanted so as to appear "normal," but didn't want to infringe on the self-centred life he preferred. He also watched some part of YouTube, it seemed, where he could find about 36 hours steady worth of either graphic fatal auto or air crashes, or this many hours of live suicides, or simply of Top Gear, etc. which was watched a little less. I think anxiety caused him to lash out, even if methodically.

He always seemed to have a plan to harm in advance, if he needed to lash out. A small one for me was when he explained how to pop a person's tires without them deflating until long after, which by that time I wanted to know why he wanted to know that and how, and he smiled his sickly open-mouthed smirk and I swear showed me the exact same nail and screw as he later used on my vehicle during the family court nightmare of false narratives he got away with for two years. I still don't think they get it.

If our daughter told of him smashing her arm into the car door, he waited two or three weeks and smashed her head into the ceiling by braking hard, so that we could not say anything for the false accusations that might come our way, but daughter had a headache for three days, and so many other things that were safer not to speak about.

Meg Gallucci , 1 month ago

I cannot really imagine adaptive narcissism. My mother was a vulnerable narcissist, and I recently met up with a grandiose narcissist. The latter is a successful individual on several levels, and I suppose he might be termed adaptive, if any narcissist might be. But his behavior is harmful to others, and I know that from experience. I do not see his isolation from others as a sign of a successful life overall.

cynt1908 , 1 month ago

When you're raised in a narcissistic household, chaos and toxicity seems normal. Or the status quo. This might explain why 40% of Americans feel like America is great again.

[Jul 18, 2020] Narcissists, Psychopaths, Manipulators Are More Likely To Engage In -Virtuous Victim Signaling-, Study Finds -

Jul 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Elizabeth Nolan Brown via Reason.com,

New study links virtue signaling to "Dark Triad" traits. Being accused of "virtue signaling" might sound nice to the uninitiated, but spend much time on social media and you know that it's actually an accusation of insincerity. Virtue signalers are, essentially, phonies and showoffs - folks who adopt opinions and postures solely to garner praise and sympathy or whose good deeds are tainted by their need for everyone to see just how good they are. Combined with a culture that says only victimhood confers a right to comment on certain issues, it's a big factor in online pile-ons and one that certainly contributes to social media platforms being such a bummer sometimes.

So: Here's some fun new research looking at "the consequences and predictors of emitting signals of victimhood and virtue," published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The paper -- from University of British Columbia researchers Ekin Ok, Yi Qian, Brendan Strejcek, and Karl Aquino -- details multiple studies the authors conducted on the subject.

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Their conclusion? Psychopathic, manipulative, and narcissistic people are more frequent signalers of "virtuous victimhood."

The so-called "dark triad" personality traits - Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy - lead to characteristics like "self-promotion, emotional callousness, duplicity, and tendency to take advantage of others," the paper explains.

And "treated as a composite, the Dark Triad traits were significant predictors of virtuous victim signaling."

This held true "even when controlling for factors that may make people vulnerable to being mistreated or disadvantaged in society (i.e., demographic and socioeconomic characteristics) as well as the importance they place on being a virtuous individual as part of their self-concept," the researchers note.

They point out that virtue signaling is defined as "the conspicuous expression of moral values, done primarily with the intent of enhancing one's standing within a social group."

Meanwhile, victim signaling "may be used as a social influence tactic that can motivate recipients of the signal to voluntarily transfer resources to the signaler," they explain. More from the paper's theoretical background section:

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An emerging literature on competitive victimhood documents the prevalence of victim signaling by various social groups and provides evidence for its functionality as a resource extraction strategy. For instance, victim signaling justifies victim groups seeking retribution against alleged oppressors. Retribution often takes the form of demanding compensation through some kind of resource transfer from nonvictims to the alleged victim. Claiming victim status can also facilitate resource transfer by conferring moral immunity upon the claimant. Moral immunity shields the alleged victim from criticism about the means they might use to satisfy their demands. In other words, victim status can morally justify the use of deceit, intimidation, or even violence by alleged victims to achieve their goals. Relatedly, claiming victim status can lead observers to hold a person less blameworthy, excusing transgressions, such as the appropriation of private property or the infliction of pain upon others, that might otherwise bring condemnation or rebuke. Finally, claiming victim status elevates the claimant's psychological standing, defined as a subjective sense of legitimacy or entitlement to speak up. A person who has the psychological standing can reject or ignore any objections by nonvictims to the unreasonableness of their demands. In contrast to victim signalers, people who do not publicly disclose their misfortune or disadvantage are less likely to reap the benefits of retributive compensation, moral immunity, deflection of blame, or psychological standing and would therefore find it difficult to initiate resource transfers.

The effectiveness of victim signaling as a resource transfer strategy follows the basic principles of signaling theory . Signaling theory posits that the transmission of information from one individual (the sender) to another (the receiver) can influence the behavior of the receiver. Signals can refer to any physical or behavioral trait of the sender, and are used by the senders to alter the behaviors of others to their own advantage.

Their results suggest that:

The authors stress that they "do not refute the claim that there are individuals who emit the virtuous victim signal because they experience legitimate harm and also conduct themselves in decent and laudable ways."


[May 30, 2020] Low self-esteem, narcissism and belief in conspiracies are strongly linked

May 30, 2020 | www.unz.com

anon [161] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 29, 2020 at 6:39 pm GMT

@Kevin Barrett Psychologists from the University of Kent carried out three online studies. Hundreds of people completed questionnaires on conspiracy beliefs

They showed conspiracies are likely to be attractive to narcissists

But while low self-esteem, narcissism and belief in conspiracies are strongly linked, it is not clear that one causes the other, they add

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3482408/Believe-conspiracy-theories-probably-narcissist-People-doubt-moon-landings-likely-selfish-attention-seeking.html

Kevin Barrett , says: Show Comment May 29, 2020 at 8:35 pm GMT
@anon The people who hate conspiracy theories have such low self-esteem that they have to keep running rigged studies designed to make themselves look good and their victims look bad.
Iris , says: Show Comment May 30, 2020 at 2:10 am GMT
@anon

They showed conspiracies are likely to be attractive to narcissists

Indeed. Only a full-blown narcissist amd raving psychopath would dare presenting such a ludicrous conspiracy to the largest gathering of nations:

[Apr 18, 2020] Malignant sociopathic narcissist means by definition a person who has no empathy

Apr 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

John , Apr 17 2020 15:42 utc | 27

Okay... he's not a psychoapath, Don. I'll settle malignant sociopathic narcissist, which means by definition and demonstration that he would not know empathy were it to leap up and smack him in the face. Liar? We can soften that too. He is a serial fantasists living in the worlds he creates and like a spoiled child demands, raging when his wishes are not instantly gratified.

His dictatorial moments would be familiar to anyone who ever worked at his jumped up mom 'n pop real estate shop. His blustering, bullying, blaming, bragging, bloviating, and berating are on display each day now at the late afternoon campaign commercial live-from-the-White-House. He's all yours Don.

[Sep 06, 2019] Narcissists the Compartmentalized Life by Zari Ballard

Sep 06, 2019 | www.thenarcissisticpersonality.com

Narcissists & the Compartmentalized Life (Part 1/2)

... .. ...

Invariably, online definitions describe compartmentalization as a defense mechanism that a person uses to keep certain beliefs and relationships separated from one another so that they don't conflict. For those who are particularly good at it, like narcissists and sociopaths, it means being able to get away with just about anything including keeping one lover from ever finding out about another or from lies ever becoming truly tangled.

Compartmentalization is what narcissists do before, during, and after a Discard. Compartmentalizing is how the narcissist keeps partners (or only certain partners) from ever meeting his friends and family members. Compartmentalization is the perfect explanation for how the narcissist can just leave you without giving a fuck why your history with a narcissist means absolutely nothing why he appears to simply vanish during a silent treatment and why he's so adept using the Cell Phone Game to keep you at arms length even when you think you are "together".

Imagine the narcissist's twisted head as being like a building that contains a whole bunch of empty rooms – or compartments – to which he is the only key holder. Over time, the narcissist fills these compartments, each with a single scenario from his life and each scenario having little or no knowledge about the existence of the other compartments. By carefully keeping tabs on the contents of each compartment and by controlling all levels of communications and interaction, the narcissist keeps the potential for conflict and confrontation to a bare minimum as he moves from one to the other. The biggest benefit, of course, to compartmentalization is that the narcissist can behave one way while visiting one compartment and behave completely differently when visiting another.

And since the narcissist is a pretender extraordinaire and master chameleon, the fact that he's has to basically lie through his teeth during each visit isn't even an issue. In fact, that's the easiest part of the strategy!

In another article series on this site called A Sociopath Exposes the Narcissist , I use actual pieces of blog posts written by a very popular online sociopath to prove my point about how a narcissist thinks . To prove my point about compartmentalizing, I'll use yet another blurb from that same blog:

For me, my Game Theory is not only one fashion of handling life, it's also the concept of compartmentalization. As many people have commented, trying to keep everything in order (in regards to the lies, half-truths, manipulations, "games," etc.) would be exceedingly difficult (for a sociopath/narcissist). And it would be, if the sociopath's mind operated as a normal person's. Everything in my mind is organized sort of like folders (compartments) and folder groups that you might find in, say, Windows Explorer; everything has its place. When a situation presents itself or I am with a certain friend or friend(s), I simply "open" up that folder and behave accordingly.

When one's mind is organized in such a way that no thought co-mingles with others, you don't have the problem of "remembering all of the lies," because you have everything you need neatly stored away, waiting to be accessed at the right time.

This same concept of compartmentalization applies in all walks of (my) life, whether it be love, friendships, work, etc. Another benefit to compartmentalizing is that it enables oneself to keep track of "friend circles", thus ensuring that none of these circles cross in any way; this can allow for you to more easily adapt to any number of given situations per friend circle. For example, for each different personality, I just find another lover (in addition to or instead of one you may already have). I find myself involved in many different circles, but almost as a ghost; I can walk in and out of these circles almost unnoticed and never be missed.

To imagine life as a narcissist, we must imagine ourselves moving in and out of these compartments whenever it served a beneficial purpose. A narcissist might have separate compartments for you, his other girlfriend(s), his work relationships, his family life, his guy friends, his time at the gym or in the band or at the bar or home alone at his apartment.

Then, when it's convenient, he just moves in and out of the little rooms like a snake, carefully closing the door behind him when he arrives and also locking it tight when he leaves.

He might be giving you the silent treatment while hanging out in the compartment next door and you won't even know it. Or he can be having a regular sex life with three different women who all think that they're his only girlfriend. When a person is a pathological liar and has no empathy, sympathy, guilt, or remorse, compartmentalization is the way to go!

The fact that a narcissist is capable of having a long-term relationship with one person while carrying on a similar affair with one (or more) other persons is a constant source of angst for all of us. And I believe it's not the cheating itself that is the biggest issue but rather the narcissist's lack of conscience/emotion that appears to go with it. How does he do it without feeling a single thing? When confronted with an affair, my ex was able to fake remorse for only a day or two before he threw up his hands in exasperation and screamed "Get over it! I just didn't think it was any big deal!" Excuse me? No big deal? This way of thinking, of course, isn't normal because even an asshole knows that cheating is hurtful. But the narcissist, in his non-emphatic way of thinking, doesn't see it that way. So, as hurtful as my ex's response was to me, he was actually telling me a snippet of truth but at the time, I sure didn't see it that way either and it caused me great distress.

In Part 2 of this article series I'll go into depth about the lack of emotion and empathy in the narcissistic personality and how it works in perfect sync with the art of compartmentalizing.

[Jun 20, 2019] Narcissists Are Drawn to Power -- Some Societies Have Ways to Make Sure Dangerous People Never Wield It by Steve Taylor

Notable quotes:
"... But the third are the narcissistic and psychopathic leaders, whose motivation for gaining power is purely self-serving. ..."
"... Narcissistic leaders may seem appealing because they are often charismatic (they cultivate charisma in order to attract attention and admiration.) As leaders they can be confident and decisive and their lack of empathy can promote a single-mindedness which can, in some cases, lead to achievement. Ultimately though, any positive aspects are far outweighed by the chaos and suffering they create. ..."
"... Every potential leader should be assessed for their levels of empathy, narcissism or psychopathy to determine their suitability for power. At the same time, empathetic people -- who generally lack the lust to gain power -- should be encouraged to take positions of authority. Even if they don't want to, they should feel a responsibility to do so -- if only to get in the way of tyrants. ..."
"... Instead, anyone with a strong desire for power and wealth is barred from consideration as a leader. According to anthropologist Christopher Boehm, present-day foraging groups "apply techniques of social control in suppressing both dominant leadership and undue competitiveness." ..."
"... If a dominant male tries to take control of the group, they practise what Boehm calls "egalitarian sanctioning." They team up against the domineering person, and ostracize or desert him. In this way, Boehm says, "the rank and file avoid being subordinated by vigilantly keeping alpha-type group members under their collective thumbs." ..."
Jun 20, 2019 | www.newsweek.com
Jimmy Kimmel Says Trump Shows Signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Throughout history, people who have gained positions of power tend to be precisely the kind of people who should not be entrusted with it. A desire for power often correlates with negative personality traits: selfishness, greed and a lack of empathy. And the people who have the strongest desire for power tend to be the most ruthless and lacking in compassion.

Often those who attain power show traits of psychopathy and narcissism. In recent times, psychopathic leaders have been mostly found in less economically developed countries with poor infrastructures and insecure political and social institutions. People such as Saddam Hussein in Iraq, MuammarGaddafi in Libya and Charles Taylor in Liberia.

But modern psychopaths generally don't become leaders in affluent countries (where they are perhaps more likely to join multinational corporations.) In these countries, as can be seen in the U.S. and Russia, there has been a movement away from psychopathic to narcissistic leaders.

After all, what profession could be more suited to a narcissistic personality than politics , where the spotlight of attention is constant? Narcissists feel entitled to gain power because of their sense of superiority and self-importance.

Those with narcissistic personalities tend to crave attention and admiration and feel it is right that other people should be subservient to them. Their lack of empathy means they have no qualms about exploiting other people to attain or maintain their power.

Meanwhile, the kind of people who we might think are ideally suited to take on positions of power -- people who are empathetic, fair minded, responsible and wise -- are naturally disinclined to seek it. Empathetic people like to remain grounded and interact with others, rather than elevating themselves. They don't desire control or authority, but connection, leaving those leadership roles vacant for those with more narcissistic and psychopathic character traits.

Different types of leader

Yet it would be misleading to say it is only psychopaths and narcissists who gain power. Instead, I would suggest that there are generally three types of leaders.

The first are accidental leaders who gain power without a large degree of conscious intention on their part, but due to privilege or merit (or a combination). Second are the idealistic and altruistic leaders, probably the rarest type. They feel impelled to gain power to improve the lives of other people -- or to promote justice and equality, and try to become instruments of change.

But the third are the narcissistic and psychopathic leaders, whose motivation for gaining power is purely self-serving.

This doesn't just apply to politics, of course. It's an issue in every organisation with a hierarchical structure. In any institution or company, there is a good chance that those who gain power are highly ambitious and ruthless, and lacking in empathy.

Narcissistic leaders may seem appealing because they are often charismatic (they cultivate charisma in order to attract attention and admiration.) As leaders they can be confident and decisive and their lack of empathy can promote a single-mindedness which can, in some cases, lead to achievement. Ultimately though, any positive aspects are far outweighed by the chaos and suffering they create.

What is needed are checks to power -- not just to limit the exercise of power, but to limit its attainment. Put simply, the kind of people who desire power the most should not be allowed to attain positions of authority.

Every potential leader should be assessed for their levels of empathy, narcissism or psychopathy to determine their suitability for power. At the same time, empathetic people -- who generally lack the lust to gain power -- should be encouraged to take positions of authority. Even if they don't want to, they should feel a responsibility to do so -- if only to get in the way of tyrants.

Models of society

This might sound absurd and impractical, but as I suggest in my book, The Fall , it has been done before. There are many tribal hunter-gatherer societies where great care is taken to ensure that unsuitable individuals don't attain power.

Instead, anyone with a strong desire for power and wealth is barred from consideration as a leader. According to anthropologist Christopher Boehm, present-day foraging groups "apply techniques of social control in suppressing both dominant leadership and undue competitiveness."

If a dominant male tries to take control of the group, they practise what Boehm calls "egalitarian sanctioning." They team up against the domineering person, and ostracize or desert him. In this way, Boehm says, "the rank and file avoid being subordinated by vigilantly keeping alpha-type group members under their collective thumbs."

Just as importantly, in many simple hunter-gatherer groups power is assigned to people, rather than being sought by them. People don't put themselves forward to become leaders -- other members of the group recommend them, because they are considered to be experienced and wise, or because their abilities suit particular situations.

In some societies, the role of leader is not fixed, but rotates according to different circumstances. As another anthropologist, Margaret Power, noted : "The leadership role is spontaneously assigned by the group, conferred on some members in some particular situation One leader replaces another as needed."

In this way, simple hunter-gatherer groups preserve stability and equality, and minimise the risk of conflict and violence.

It's true that large modern societies are much more complex and more populous than hunter-gatherer groups. But it may be possible for us to adopt similar principles. At the very least, we should assess potential leaders for their levels of empathy, in order to stop ruthless and narcissistic people gaining power.

We could also try to identify narcissists and psychopaths who already hold positions of power and take measures to curtail their influence. Perhaps we could also ask communities to nominate wise and altruistic people who would take an advisory role in important political decisions.

No doubt all this would entail massive changes of personnel for most of the world's governments, institutions and companies. But it might ensure that power is in the hands of people who are worthy of it, and so make the world a much less dangerous place.

Steve Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Leeds Beckett University , U.K. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article . Views expressed in this article are the author's own.

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[May 13, 2019] One of the major reasons narcissistic sociopaths are dangerous is that they lack empathy for others

May 13, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

MindandHeart -> ADamnSmith2016 , 13 Sep 2016 06:57

ADamnSmith: Yes, I'm a psychologist. You've pretty much nailed it. I'd add that one of the major reasons narcissistic sociopaths are dangerous is that they lack empathy for others.

[Apr 15, 2019] Narcissism impairs the ability to see reality

Apr 15, 2019 | www.nydailynews.com

"Narcissism impairs the ability to see reality," said Dr. Julie Futrell, a clinical psychologist... "...Advisers point out that a policy choice didn't work? He won't care. The maintenance of self-identity is the organizing principle of life for those who fall toward the pathological end of the narcissistic spectrum."

... ... ...

The psychological warning signs? "Scapegoating ..., degrading, ridiculing, and demeaning rivals and critics, fostering a cult of the Strong Man who appeals to fear and anger, promises to solve our problems if we just trust in him, reinvents history and has little concern for truth (and) sees no need for rational persuasion."

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The American Psychiatric Association says that anyone exhibiting five of the following nine egotistical traits has Narcissistic Personality Disorder .
  1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
  2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
  3. Believe that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with other special or high-status people.
  4. Requires excessive admiration.
  5. Has a sense of entitlement.
  6. Is interpersonally exploitative.
  7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
  8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
  9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

[Mar 11, 2019] Walrus on narcissistic leaders.

Notable quotes:
"... What is killing the Army is exactly the same disease that is killing the American economy and has killed American politics, and it is spreading internationally. That disease is the promotion or election of officials, be they Generals, CEO's or Congressmen who have a variant of narcissistic personality disorder. ..."
"... Such folk self select for high office because they will do anything to get ahead without the slightest qualm, and that includes lying, cheating, character assassination, backstabbing and outrageous flattery of their seniors. They mimic whatever behaviors they need to exhibit to get ahead, but they don't "own' those behaviours. ..."
"... Isn't the medal quest a game tailor made for narcissists? ..."
Mar 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"The idea has been allowed to take hold in the army that general officers are a race apart, not subject to the norms of ordinary life and that nothing should limit their ambition, not even common sense. " It seems quite clear from this and other articles, that the ROE are about covering General officers backsides, and nothing else.

What is killing the Army is exactly the same disease that is killing the American economy and has killed American politics, and it is spreading internationally. That disease is the promotion or election of officials, be they Generals, CEO's or Congressmen who have a variant of narcissistic personality disorder.

People so affected may be intelligent and hard working, but they cannot empathise with anyone. Normal human emotions, shame, love, fear, embarrasssment, etc. are a mystery to them.

Such folk self select for high office because they will do anything to get ahead without the slightest qualm, and that includes lying, cheating, character assassination, backstabbing and outrageous flattery of their seniors. They mimic whatever behaviors they need to exhibit to get ahead, but they don't "own' those behaviours.

At the core of them, there is a gaping hole where empathy for their fellow humans should be. Furthermore, since only a narcissist can or will work for a more senior narcissist, once the infestation starts it multiplies and filters up and down through the organisation. Based on what I've read about the levels of frustration, lack of morale and junior officer turnover, I believe, it may be safe to say that Petreaus and McChrystal are afflicted this way and most probably many officers below them and elsewhere in the Defence Forces as well.

Since McChrystal no doubt thinks of his troops as no more than a pack of valuable hunting dogs, why would he possibly consider muzzling them with restrictive rules of engagement to be a problem? "I mean it's not as if we actually have to succeed in doing good in this god forsaken country, it's not as if the troops have to care about what is happening, I just need to construct the illusion of success in Afghanistan sufficient to get my next promotion. Why can't the troops see things that way as well?" If you wish to read about an extreme example of this type of behaviour look no further than the case of Capt. Holly Graf, whose narcissistic abilities allowed her to rise to command of a Navy cruiser. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holly_Graf

To put it another way, the disease that permitted Goldman Sachs to sell bonds to investors while at the same time secretly betting that the value of said bonds would fall is one and the same as that affecting the Army. The absolute give away, which I have not yet heard of in the Army, is the mistreatment of subordinates. Of course the reason for the infestation of these folk in senior management is our well meaning efforts to end discrimination. Unfortunately discrimination on grounds of character is now forbidden, and solid evidence of good character provided by peers and subordinates is the only way to avoid promoting narcissists. To put it another way, there are people I was at school and university with who were rotten then and are rotten now, but today such evidence is inadmissible in promotion decisions. If you want a depiction of a Narcissist in high office, look no further than Australias current Prime Minister:

"The third example highlights Rudd's nascent contempt for most of the people who work for him and occurred days after his stunning election win. Staff who had gathered for a briefing on their responsibilities were told their Great Leader would address them. They were all on a high after the victory, but their excitement soon turned to dismay. They didn't get a version of the true believers speech; instead, Rudd had one clear message: if any of their bosses stuffed up, it would be on their heads. They were the ones who would pay the price. He told them they would be given their lines every day and their job was to ensure they and their bosses stuck to the script. They were not to put a foot out of line. Or else. No mistakes or deviations would be tolerated. Thank you and good night. Oh and the f-word, which Rudd loves dropping almost as much as the c-word, featured prominently in his little lecture. Old hands who had worked for previous Labor administrations didn't hang around for very long after that. One referred to him not by name but as "the megalomaniac from Queensland"."

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/rudd-revenge-on-alp-agenda/story-e6frg6zo-1225858519372

There is no cure for this disease until moral character is once again assessed before promotion decisions are made. Walrus

Posted at 01:07 AM | Permalink

Reblog


walrus , 9 years ago

Thank you all for your comments. I think I need to expand a few thing s alittle further.

Narcissism is not "Self Love", narcissism is a love of "reflected" love from others. Narcissus fell in love with his reflection in the pool. While Narcissism is an essential part of all our personalities in the NPD disorder the demand for constant narcissistic stimulation from other people consumes all other desires.

Now many people who suffer from this condition sublimate this need through hard work and apply great intelligence to it as well. However there is a huge cost because of the character defects Narcissism causes - chief of which is an inability to empathise with normal human beings.

There has been serious discussion in management theory that NPD sufferers can be valuable sometimes as managers can make ruthless but necessary business decisions. However that cynical observation has to be balanced against the damage and loss of staff and morale such a manager inevitably causes.

A classic example of Narcissistic behaviour was provided recently by the Chairman of an Airline, that for a whole year had ruthlessly worked to lower wages and employment conditions for its workers. At Christmas time she gave some Forty senior managers each a $600 bottle of wine (Penfold Grange Hermitage). Can anyone not imagine the multiple negative effects of such a gesture on the ordinary airline staff?

It is too big a task to catalogue the everyday examples of people with this condition. The movie stars and celebrities for example whose private lives, as seems normal with Narcissists, are a smoking wreck. Tiger Woods is a classic case.

However when we start talking about elected officials, or would be elected officials like Sarah Palin, we can see the serious implications. Australias Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for example has micromanaged a series of massive policy failures at home and now craves his narcissistic sublimation by impressing foreign dignitaries on every available occasion, earning him the nickname "Kevin 747" for his propensity to jet off overseas to speak at the U.N., confer with President Obama, etc. His bad, narcissistic, style of decision making has cost the nation a lot of money.

In the case of President Obama, what can we say about some one caught making an off the cuff remark about "The Special Olympics" or who was caught ogling a girl who was not much older than his own daughters? Do we see a pattern here?

I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the "Suicidal Statecraft" that destroy nations is a by product of narcissistic leadership - for example "The Habsburg Provocation" to "The honour Of France" that started the Franco - Prussian war.

At the General Officer Level, what can one say about Patton? A brilliant charismatic leader and strategist? What does the incident of the shell shocked soldier say? McArthur? Petreaus? The supposedly sleepless McChrystal? I don't know.

By way of contrats, and Col. Lang will take me to task on this, I was struck on reading Gen. Schwarzkopfs autobiography, by his apparent high degree of empathy with the average soldiers, even if he appeared far more uncompromising with the officer corps. I also was struck by his solution to logistical squabbling between Corps commanders in the lead up to Gulf war One - a field promotion of his logistics Chief from a Two Star to a Three Star General. Such a solution would be anathema to a narcissist.

Norm Mosher , 9 years ago
I am amazed at a discussion of narcissistic personality disorder that to this point, at least, has not mentioned today's poster child for this disorder -- Sarah Palin.
anna missed , 9 years ago
It would seem that narcissism is rooted in the notion of individualism, in that it expresses a love for the self over the group. Interestingly and ironically, wasn't it the Catholic Church that championed individualism in the post dark ages era, as a mechanism/method to disassemble the collectivist mentality of Germanic tribalism -- while at the same time replacing it with their own hierarchical social/religious authority structure.

I think what Walrus says is essentially true, but would be better said by including the social context by which narcissism or the cult-ification of individualism could be seen as generating its own kind of social order, or social hierarchy based upon meritocracy, or the illusion of merit when equated with raw power.

Or perhaps in better words, individualism or narcissism must be seen in the context of being its own hierarchical social structure, with its own construct of social (not individual) values that are internalized an acted upon by its participants.

And maybe, this why the "effects" of narcissism are so widespread and endemic in all of our institutions.

Sidney O. Smith III , 9 years ago
At least in the civilian world, there is an aspect to this personality trait that is not emphasized in Walrus' comment. A few -- not all -- of those with a narcissistic personality traits are brilliant. Megalomania is one of the pathways to creativity, albeit it usually ends w/ some kind of tragedy.

You can bring these people down, imo, and beat them at their own game but expect career sacrifice and do not expect fanfare. And I would never under estimate their extreme talent.

Can't say about the military world nor do I want to know. But it sure seems to be that General Bragg at Chattanooga fulfilled a lot of Dr. Dixon's categories in the article mentioned by S.Henning.

I don't understand all this hoopla about the greatness of Confederate Generals. Seems to be painting with too broad a stroke. Foote does a magnificent job debunking the myth as he continually details the shortcomings of various Confederate Generals. Where was Joe Johnston when Pembleton was suffering in the beleaguered city? Why isn't Ft. Bragg named Ft. Longstreet?

Maureen Lang , 9 years ago
Arun,

Re: SST wardrobe malfunction- seems it's just too much to ask that these seals, statuary, etc. be left as they are by prudish pols (John Ashcroft, anyone?)

Personally, my idea would be if a change simply must be wrought, let's go in the other direction & have Virtus' appearance match the one on the 1776 VA four dollar note:

View Hide
VietnamVet , 9 years ago
Rules of Engagement are simply the manifestation of tasking a bureaucracy, whose only purpose is to killing the enemy, to construct a puppet popular secular colonial government. It can't be done. "Winning Hearts and Minds", all over again.

There must be something that draws people to power who never learn from the past. On the 35th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, there have been news stories that comment on the Vietnamese culture and their resistance to foreign Invaders. Yet, not one has mentioned the real hard nosed fundamentalist culture that has defeated every invader and has never been conquered, the Afghans.

Arun , 9 years ago
Off-topic, but it would seem that Sic Semper Tyrannis has had a wardrobe malfunction - at least according to the Virginia Attorney-General
Patrick Lang , 9 years ago
RoyG

Yes. pl

Roy G , 9 years ago
Well put. I didn't know about Holly Graf, and found her story interesting.The Wikipedia article about her included this:

Captain Graf's awards include a Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Meritorious Service Medal with one bronze service star.

I'm not military, but that's some fairly heavy heroic hardware, especially for a seaman, no? Isn't the medal quest a game tailor made for narcissists?

Stanley Henning , 9 years ago
The leadership conundrum is a crucial issue. It also brings to mind Norman Dixon's Psychology of Military Incompetence (1975), which I used to recommend to officers working under me in situations that reflected the problem. There is a good summary of this book at the following link:
http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/publications/pointer/journals/2004/v30n2/book_review.html
JohnH , 9 years ago
Unfortunately I think that narcissism has always been the flip side of leadership. Most of us don't need the fawning adulation of our peers. And most of us have enough self-awareness to preclude us from exuding the self-confidence necessary for selection as a leader.

Narcissism and the accompanying tendency to put self-interest above public interest is why the founding fathers instituted a system of checks and balances. Unfortunately, leaders find ways to circumvent or disable checks on their authority over time.

rick , 9 years ago
HOW DO THESE MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE GET THEIR JOBS????

Oh. Wait. Never mind. The Americam People are the victims here...that's right.

I forgot that for a minute and in forgetting that it seemed for a second like the American People might get the behavior out of politicians that they consistently reward at the ballot box. How silly of me.

J , 9 years ago
Walrus,

We have had to witness this plethora of Narcissism being carried to the extreme ever since 911. Instead of holding accountable those responsible for failing to do their duties, the Narcissists in both our Congress and White House decided to create 'more' Narcissistic 'castles in the sand' with their DHS, TSA, NORTHCOM, etc.. I can understand to a point DOD deciding to create NORTHCOM, but I had always thought that was what NORAD was for. Alas, no NORAD accountability, heaven forbid. Let's create more $$$ sank-holes like TSA, and America's very own version of an internal NKVD force known as DHS (as what many of my fellow Americans refer to DHS as).

While the Narcissists in our White House and Congress eat their crumpets and drink their tea, everyday people who do show signs of human life inside them (i.e. emotions, moral instincts,etc.) continue to be downtrodden by these bands of Narcissists who have in effect altered the food chain. Accountability and responsibility are not in their Narcissist dictionaries.

Jane , 9 years ago
Our moral instincts are not logically consistent. A recent classic experiment shows that people would, without hesitation, hypothetically choose to flip a switch causing a speeding train to ploy into one person rather than into a group of people. But if the only way to stop the train was to shove the fat man next to them into its path they wouldn't do it even though doing so would produce one death rather than many.

It seems probable that in a combat situation a person of normal instincts would even more strongly favor the guy next to him and and tend to kill more freely to protect him even though in an insurgency situation the ultimate success would seem to rest on generating s little hatred among the populace as possible by killing as few bystanders as possible. Hence both the restrictive rules of engagement and the sickening taste they leave in the mouth of those required to act to risk a buddy for a bunch of strangers.

You can reach restrictive rules of engagement by either route: a deep empathic understanding of the human emotions of the insurgent population OR by an ant farm view which simply assigns no value to human life and emotions -- your own side or the others -- but simply sees ROE as the best means to success.

alnval , 9 years ago
Col. Lang:

An intriguing thesis and one with which I'm sure many would agree.

To keep it from turning into a never-ending and unresolvable debate, Walrus' argument would be strengthened significantly were he to describe the behavior and measurement techniques to be used to assess 'moral character' and the criterion to be used to determine the validity of the assessment results.

[Dec 10, 2018] An editorial on Trump's methods

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I have seen this kind of methodology many times before in the world of sole owner entrepreneurial business. In that world egotism is king and the owner/wheeler dealer stands alone surrounded by underlings and consultants. For him they are nothing. They are expendable assets who exist only to serve his egocentric will and interests. They are there to be useful to him and can be disposed of whenever they are not. Trump operates exactly that way. Subordinates are disposable at will. Institutions mean nothing to such a man. He needs a secretary to run errands for him, not a chief-of-staff who will inevitably wish to be a "player." Anyone who takes the job is a fool. ..."
"... So, why has Trump done this? My present theory is that DJT is displeased with Dunford and wishes to hold over his head the threat of quick dismissal . This is a close analogy of the way people like Trump operate in business where it is routine to undermine subordinates for the purpose of creating insecurity leading to prostrate submission to the throne ..."
"... entrepreneurs are often know-it-all types who would have great difficulty surviving in a business that didn't consistently permit them to have their own way, all the while tolerating their difficult personalities. It seems many entrepreneurs rely on family members to varying degrees. ..."
"... I have no way of knowing if Trump's intuition is based in part on B movies, but it is surely based on his many-decades of experience in real estate development, primarily in cut-throat NYC, which likely accounts for his pugnacity and desire for loyalty. Long ago, someone sagely warned me that the first 3 letters of "contractor" spell CON. ..."
"... Considering the fact that this often goes under the title of intuition (with intuition also defined as educated guess), I am afraid there is very little "educated" in Trump's intuition, or "feel" for that matter. ..."
"... The other descriptive that I like is that these, usually men, wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night thinking of nothing except how to maintain their position. ..."
"... I have fought the notion that his constant creation of insecurity on my part was intentional. I've harbored these thoughts in my own personal wilderness for many years, but have never heard someone else discuss the same issues before. Sometimes a diagnosis has a clarifying value in its own right! ..."
Dec 10, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

IMO Trump has no real use for a chief-of-staff in the White House.

I heard Anthony Scaramucci (the little guy who was in the WH for a couple of days) say on TeeVee yesterday that Donaldo has his own way of doing things that involves establishing a "hub and spokes" system and that he needs people he trusts and who accept his personal judgment, judgment based on his own "feel" for situations.

I have seen this kind of methodology many times before in the world of sole owner entrepreneurial business. In that world egotism is king and the owner/wheeler dealer stands alone surrounded by underlings and consultants. For him they are nothing. They are expendable assets who exist only to serve his egocentric will and interests. They are there to be useful to him and can be disposed of whenever they are not. Trump operates exactly that way. Subordinates are disposable at will. Institutions mean nothing to such a man. He needs a secretary to run errands for him, not a chief-of-staff who will inevitably wish to be a "player." Anyone who takes the job is a fool.

In this context the case of the Trump announcement, a year in advance of his term's end, of a replacement for the CJCS, General Joseph Dunford USMC is interesting. Trump has announced that General Mark Milley, the present US Army Chief-Of-Staff, will succeed. The question is - why announce now? And why announce this now with a "footnote" to the effect that the "transfer" date will be announced at some future unspecified date? Milley is a loquacious, big, and energetic man who is reportedly quite good at the backslapping, locker room chit-chat that Trump is comfortable with. He undoubtedly has made a good impression on Trump in personal contacts and impression is all important in dealing with Trump.

OTOH Milley is really not like Trump. He is an Ivy League product of Princeton and Columbia Universities, is widely read in history, is personally as brave as a lion on the battlefield and has a record of working well within the institutions of the armed forces for systematic re-structuring of the Army. I will guess that the president doesn't really know much about Milley. IMO he will inevitably and quickly be displeased with Milley when he is CJCS.

So, why has Trump done this? My present theory is that DJT is displeased with Dunford and wishes to hold over his head the threat of quick dismissal . This is a close analogy of the way people like Trump operate in business where it is routine to undermine subordinates for the purpose of creating insecurity leading to prostrate submission to the throne. pl

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-looking-at-several-candidates-for-chief-of-staff_us_5c0e5a81e4b0a606a9aae141


Walrus , 8 hours ago

Great analysis. I don't see Trump as malicious in his behaviour (nor perhaps do you), it's just the way he has successfully navigated the property development shark tank. He loves his country and I think he will be forgiven for a lot if he succeeds in perhaps not completely draining the swamp but desiccating and shrinking it a bit.

Trumps is not the only way to do business. There is an Australian property development billionaire (Frank Lowey) who seems to have succeeded in that field by crafting exceedingly subtle "win/win" solutions, not the "win/lose, sturm und drang" Trump productions.

Pat Lang Mod -> Walrus , 6 hours ago
I don't see him as malicious either. He has an occupation induced personality deformity. I agree that if he succeeds in some of these initiatives, a lot of this will be forgiven and forgotten. Yes you can do this on a win-win basis. In my experience the Guggenheims do that.
DianaLC , 11 hours ago
I had never heard of the "hub and spoke" method of business management. Very interesting. You wrote: "He needs a secretary to run errands for him, not a chief-of-staff who will inevitably wish to be a "player." I have worked in that "secretary" position for a very small consulting firm. I can still hear in my head my name being yelled and having to drop everything to run in and figure out what new and important task I had to accomplish.

I had been hired to proofread the consultant's documents because no one nowadays teaches "correct grammar." I did that, but much of my time was spent finding things and information and people that he needed.

BTW, whatever happened to Nixon's secretary?

akaPatience , 5 hours ago
I pretty much agree with this assessment of entrepreneurs. It's been my experience, not only as part of a mid-western mom and pop commercial real estate company, but also as a resident who literally lives on a Main Street lined with small businesses, that entrepreneurs are often know-it-all types who would have great difficulty surviving in a business that didn't consistently permit them to have their own way, all the while tolerating their difficult personalities. It seems many entrepreneurs rely on family members to varying degrees.

I have no way of knowing if Trump's intuition is based in part on B movies, but it is surely based on his many-decades of experience in real estate development, primarily in cut-throat NYC, which likely accounts for his pugnacity and desire for loyalty. Long ago, someone sagely warned me that the first 3 letters of "contractor" spell CON.

I'll never forget the very first time I visited New York as a young girl, and a SoHo shop keeper mocked me for speaking too slowly. It's a different world, lacking in gentility...

smoothieX12 , 6 hours ago
and who accept his personal judgment, judgment based on his own "feel" for situations

Considering the fact that this often goes under the title of intuition (with intuition also defined as educated guess), I am afraid there is very little "educated" in Trump's intuition, or "feel" for that matter.

Pat Lang Mod -> smoothieX12 , 6 hours ago
Yes. Intuition is high speed reasoning based on a massive store of data and experience. "Fingerspitzengefuhl?" The problem with Trump's "feel" is that it is based on B movies and similar quality sources. In the military context this describes someone in whom knowledge has become capability and who understand a battlefield by looking at it.
Bill Herschel , 6 hours ago
As long as you include all organizations under the umbrella term "business" this is exactly accurate. Spend some time in an academic department.

The other descriptive that I like is that these, usually men, wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night thinking of nothing except how to maintain their position. Trump must be a very worried man at this stage. Worried and explosively temperamental. Who can he please? He needs to toady to someone, and thus far the only people he's been able to toady to are VVP and Kim. So, more campaign rallies and appearances on Fox. Not enough to keep him going. Wartime President?

Pat Lang Mod -> Bill Herschel , 6 hours ago
I was the Professor of the Arabic Language and Middle East Studies at West Point. That is the oldest college of engineering in the US. It is not the same. There, my colleagues were trying to screw me. It was not the bosses, head of department, dean, etc. In the entrepreneurial sole owner setup the owner seeks to intimidate you to hold power over you.
MP98 , 7 hours ago
You're right about the technique for getting rid of subordinates. I worked for many, many years in a piranha tank and saw this behavior up close.

It was explained thusly: "He was sold to the board and has a friend on the board, so I'll make his life miserable until he gets the message." Outright firing (except for cause) can get messy

Pat Lang Mod -> MP98 , 6 hours ago
I understand but I am talking about companies where there is no board, i.e., private companies which choose not to have an executive board.
MP98 -> Pat Lang , 6 hours ago
Sole proprietorships usually have another dark side - family members. Your analysis of Trump's "style" seems spot on. Every day (sometimes every hour) is a new "adventure."
Walrus , 8 hours ago
BTW, according to his autobiography, Herman Neumann, (Herman the German) VP for aircraft engines at GE, had a sign on the office wall behind his desk: "Feel Insecure".
widowson , 11 hours ago
Col. Lang:

I appreciate all the insights this site provides, but none maybe greater, personally, than your comments above: I've spent the last 15 years working at single proprietor consultancies in a sales capacity, and my current boss treats me exactly as you pointed out above.

I have fought the notion that his constant creation of insecurity on my part was intentional. I've harbored these thoughts in my own personal wilderness for many years, but have never heard someone else discuss the same issues before. Sometimes a diagnosis has a clarifying value in its own right!

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Divorce Movies Worth Watching by Alison Heller

1.Take This Waltz (tone-contemplative and quiet): This 2011 movie starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen follows a young wife as she meets and becomes enchanted with a handsome and rather forward stranger. She's been happy enough in her marriage, but the stranger is suddenly everywhere: on her flight, in her cab, coincidentally living down the street. Is it fate or something a little less magical? Although the story arc is a familiar one - temptation, seduction, decision - director Sarah Polley goes a little deeper by extending the movie past the wife's choice and exploring how the end of a relationship informs the beginning of another. This is a thoughtful and lyrical examination of individuals in retrograde and whether their patterns of behavior are ever broken.

2. The Good Wife(fast-paced and entertaining): Okay, so this is a small screen offering that's also about a Chicago law firm, but TGW started out as the ultimate separation story; the whole thing kicked off with Alicia Florrick rebuilding her own life and career after the betrayal and broken promises of her husband, fallen politician Peter Florrick. In recent seasons, there's been some not-so-neat rekindling between the two, in addition to the extra-marital temptation - for Alicia - of Will Gardner. Because all three characters are sensitively written and acted and complex and likable, the yo-yoing is more engaging than annoying. TGW gets bonus points for divorce lawyer David Lee - hilarious, acerbic and manipulative - in my opinion, one of the most entertaining characters on television (with interesting, high profile cases to boot).

3. Blue Valentine (dark and depressing): Admittedly, this list is a Michelle Williams fest, but only because she deserves it. (Full disclosure: I watched Blue Valentine because I was blown away by her performance in Take This Waltz.) Blue Valentine, and its well-publicized scene of Ryan Gosling (also excellent) threatening to jump off the Manhattan Bridge, examines the demise of a relationship by interspersing the couples' last moments together with scenes of their doomed start. It's a character study as much as anything else, but it also sensitively shows how you know - and why - the end is the end is the end. Sometimes two people are just... toxic. (This one is also the most depressing on the bunch, though - if you're looking for even an ounce of hopefulness, a tiny little sprig of a bud on a tree that might possibly signal spring somewhere, look elsewhere.)

4. It's Complicated (light and comedic; real estate porn): Nancy Meyers uses all the standard rom-com tricks in this very watchable movie about a California bakery owner who has an affair with her ex-husband You'll laugh, you'll feel good watching Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin - because it's impossible to feel bad watching Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin - you'll drool over everything from the food to the home décor. (Even the messiness of getting back together with an ex and keeping it a secret from three grown children appears kind of... fun and, in a way, not all that complicated.) It's Complicated examines the issue of "closure" and its complications: how much of a relationship's demise is timing or youth? Is there maybe always something - a little spark - remaining between two people who have once been in love? So, there is some food for thought, but it's certainly not forced on you. It's possible to watch the entire movie at face value, for the fun performances and that house-my goodness - that amazing house and don't even get me started on the garden.

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