Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode 24 · 3 years ago

The Addiction of Narcissism

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

One of the hardest types of people to deal with is a narcissist in the middle their addiction. They are completely exhausting. The combined selfishness of narcissism and addictive behavior is overpowering, relentless, callous, and frequently abusive. This destructive blend of arrogant thinking in that they are always right and that they do not have a problem leads to devastating consequences.

There are many parts to the addicted narcissist and their road to recovery. The point of this article is to recognize the injurious behavior so more reasonable expectations can be established during the process and for the family.

Origins. In both addicts and narcissists, shame is the common denominator. Stage two of Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Development which occurs between 18 months and three years old has shame as the negative outcome. Not all narcissists or addicts have trauma during these years, but it can be a good place to begin. Because there is a strong concurrence, about 50% of narcissists are addicts of some sort. Some studies suggest that fetal alcohol syndrome in a child is a sign of a female narcissist.

Enablers. There are frequently two enablers. One bolsters the ego of the narcissist and one unknowingly encourages the addiction. The narcissistic enabler minimizes all signs of addiction and fosters feelings of superiority over others. The addiction enabler is likewise blind to symptoms of addiction therefore justifying financially supporting it. Both are needed to maintain the self-image of the narcissist.

Sometimes, the victim of narcissistic abuse is the sole enabler. This person naively empowers both behaviors to continue. They have been told that the addiction is in their minds and they are the one to blame for it continuing. Saying like these are common. “No one else sees what you are seeing, you are the crazy one.” “If only you would do…, then I won’t have to…”

The Cycle. The addiction cycle is comingled with the narcissistic abuse cycle. It begins when the narcissist feels threatened. They become angry and take out their frustration on a victim. Sensing resistance from the victim, they retreat to their addiction. The drug of choice reinforces their idealistic fantasies, perception of omnipotence, and extravagant schemes. However, this results in the enablers retreating from the narcissist. Now confused, the narcissistic ego feels threatened and the cycle repeats.

Step One. The most difficult step is to get a narcissist to admit to their addiction. This is the first mandatory step of all addictive recovery which is particularly problematic for a person who believes they are above others. Not only are they reluctant to admit there is a problem, but they refuse to allow someone inferior to point it out. This is why confronting a narcissist about their addiction usually results in substantial rage.

Rehab. The only rehab a narcissist willingly attends is an elite facility.  Even there, they expect special treatment and believe the rules are for others. During group counseling sessions, they are bored and view it as trivial. Sometimes they become intolerant and even abusive towards staff members. Instead of taking the time to heal, they look for loop holes in the system, complain about inefficiencies, become single-minded about insurance/costs, and blame others for having to be at rehab.

Recovery. A narcissist is unwilling to wait the prescribed time period to see if the recovery is effective. Instead, they expect immediate results and others to comply fully with their miraculous healing in a very short time period. Unfortunately, because the narcissist has grandiose beliefs about self, they rarely learn during treatment thus making their prognosis poor.

Relapse. It is not impossible for a narcissist to recover from an addiction. In fact, when they see it as damaging to their image, they are able to eliminate the addiction almost instantly and without emotional consequences. However, they do return to the addictive behavior later as a way to demonstrate they ultimately have power and control over the drug of choice.

Just because the narcissist feeds off illusions of grandeur, doesn’t mean the family support system needs to strengthen that belief. A family can be supportive while having reasonable expectations for the narcissist’s prognosis. It is far more loving to accept someone within their own limitations than to insist they become someone they are not.

 

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...grow with christinecom forward slash narcissism. That's grow with Christine dotcom forward slash narcissism. This master class will change your life again. That's grow with Christine Dot com forward slash narcissism. This is understanding today's narcissist, brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. So for today I'd like to talk about the addiction of narcissism again. I'm sure this sounds like a strange topic, but the reason I'm going through this is because...

...we seem to be in our society addicted to narcissists like we already know that they need massive amounts of attention, and yet we give it to them over and over and over again. So we're going to talk about Tom Today. And Tom was finally realized that he was married to a narcissist the and this wasn't his first Rodeo with being married to a narcissist. In fact, he had done it again and unfortunately again. So this was marriage number three for Tom. The narcissism and his first wife was super obvious. She was obsessed with power and controlling his life and money and wound up alienating her from wound up alienating him from their kids. His second wife was so preoccupied with their appearance that he lost track of the number of plastic surgery she actually had,...

...and wife number three was on a sixth month silent treatment streak with him. Six months not saying a word, including during holidays and birthdays. Sounds lovely right. Well, if you're married to a narcissist, neither one of those scenarios are going to sound all that strange to you. In fact, they may sound all too familiar. But Tom was a successful entrepreneur. He started for companies, all of which continued to function well. And while he was really able to see the narcissism and in his employees, and even used it to his advantage, like putting them in sales positions or putting them in positions for which they seemed to thrive, somehow he had missed this ability in his own personal life. Now, with divorce number three on the horizon, Tom decided it was time that he needed to figure out why he seemed to be...

...addicted to narcissists and his personal life. So, looking back over his marriages, tom began to see some similarities and how their relationships started when the balance of power shifted, and even what caused him to stay. His Ego was boosted each time he was attracted it to a narcissist, because all of them were a challenge to win over in the beginning and having caught his and having caught their eye, he felt like he was confident, like he was significant and he felt physically attractive, because they all were very attractive women. But there was a danger in being lured in by a narcissist. What looks good now can have devik stating consequences later, as Tom found out three times later. So here's how this happens to even a smart, intelligent man who clearly...

...knows how to handle situations, but in his personal life he was lacking in this area. So one of the first ways it happens is through this magnetic attraction. The problem with people being lured in by a narcissist is that it is more like indulging in crack cocaine than in taking a refreshing drink of water. The drug, like the narcissist, looks so appealing and promises to deliver this amazing high, and it does the first go around. Once it is lit up, it immediately excuse an exciting you fork, I can do anything feeling. Tom Experienced this right from the beginning and all three of his relationships, but it's short lived. Fantasy. was shocked back into reality around month three to six of the relationship, when the narcissistic crack wears off and the rage starts to enter. Tom Felt completely deflated, yet he desired the narcissistic...

...drug even more intensely, which is why he had this magnetic attraction to it. He couldn't seem to help himself, even though people warned him. The second thing I want to talk about is control tactics. So each of Tim's wives employed a different type of control tactic, yet all of them utilize rage to shift that balance of power. Tim was drawn in by the idea that if he did just this one little thing, which was whatever the narcissists happened to demand, the fantasy of the narcissistic drug would return and they would have that euphoric relationship again. I want more, I can't stand it. Is a struggle. That is exactly what the narcissist is trying to intend entice,...

...but it's also this abuse tactic called push pull. So the narcissists will intentionally draw in a person with their charm and then they push them away by a ignoring and then they pull them back in with gifts and then they reject when there is non compliance. Tim's third wife was so talented. Tom, I'm sorry, Tom's third wife was so talented at this that she had tom accepting responsibility for her behavior. So I just want to say it's a controlling tactic. Right. So we have the magnetic attraction at the very beginning. That looks so good you can't help yourself. And then what keeps you locked in places as a controlling tactics. The third part is kind of hard to hear. The third part is meets a need. Of course, none of this...

...is possible, the magnetic attraction or the control tactic if the narcissist wasn't meeting some hidden need. So Tom's own brokenness, stemming from his relationship with his mother, who also happened to be a narcissist, set the stage for him to marry the like kind. His desire to be validated by a person with nearly impossible standards fed his own ego and comforted his mother wound. His wive's instinctively knew this and took advantage of his brokenness for their own feeding of their insatiable narcissistic ego. So the magnetic attraction and the control tactics do not work if there isn't a need that is being met. Here's the problem. Once I have those three things, this is number four, the addiction starts to...

...form. Before too long, the Lore of the narcissists becomes just like an addiction, just like crack cocaine. The drug takes control of the person, just as the narcissist takes control of the other person. But the drug and the narcissist are fickle. The first high of engagement is never repeated, despite the increased dosage. The deliverance of euphoria is promised, but it is never achieved. Yet the other person craves it more and more. It is a cycle that is so hard to break because it means giving up on ever feeling that same level of high again. It is so difficult to see that it actually took tom three rounds of marriages before he finally woke up to what he was doing, and the last one is very difficult. Number five is hitting...

...rock bottom. Once the narcissist drug has gained complete control, Tom lost sight of all of who he wants. Was this lass of identity caused him to hit rock bottom. The choices at this point are simple and clear. He has to either remain this way or change something. Anything. Remaining means allowing the attention hungry addiction or the narcissist to win. Changing means rejecting the drug and the narcissist and its effects. But desiring the change is not enough. It requires a lot of hard work, of self evaluation, accepting responsibilities, setting new boundaries, asking for support and lots of determination. So the addiction...

...of Narcissism, it actually takes five simple steps and it happens. And so it's that magnetic attraction. Then it's cemented with some controlling tactics, but none of that would actually happen if there wasn't a need that was being met. Then the addiction forms that obsessive pattern, back and forth, and finally the person hits rock bottom. In the end, Tom was finally ready to do the hard work of breaking free from the N Narcissistic Drug Addiction. He no longer wanted to engage in another relationship like his previous ones. He was willing to be in no relationship at all just so he could stop this pattern. He went through many hours of therapy, he worked consistently on his woundedness. He was very determined and he persevered so that Tim Find Tom finally became this...

...better version of himself and wound up entering into a much healthier relationship years later. So I say that as encouragement because that did happen and it can happen to you too. But you've got to see the addictive cycle of narcissism and how it has totally engulfed your life and taken over in an extraordinarily unhealthy way before you can finally get out of it and do something different. Thanks for listening to understanding. Today's narcissist with Christine Hammond brought to you in part by Psych Central dotcom. For more information, visits grow with christinecom.

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