The consequences of being fear-based or operating from fear are extremely varied and insidious. One consequence is that we tend to become narcissistic. When we’re caught in fear of being negatively impacted physically, financially, or psychologically we automatically divert our focus from others or the environment and bring it into ourselves. Obviously if our survival seems to be at stake we may not much care if we pollute or do something that has a negative impact on others. But even when the situation isn’t that extreme, we tend to draw our focus inward and ignore the impacts on others or the environment. We can also be drawn into a victim-like stance where we see ourselves as being unfairly taken advantage of or impacted by other people or circumstances . It’s been said that victimhood is the biggest addiction operating in our country today. It’s not coincidental that fear is operating so pervasively. When we’re fearful it is easier to view the world as being against us. We tend to look for things to go wrong and can feel very disempowered when they apparently do so. When we come from fear, anger, guilt sadness, etc. the result is that we become a source of negative energy. This energy can repel other people or draw a response in kind which adds more fuel to the victim fire as we experience even more loss and negativity. We may look for people who are willing to commiserate with us rather than support us in moving to a more positive place. When we come from fear we tend to be more judgmental and critical of those people and situations we fear. If we fear something, we want to make it wrong. Judgment can become a mode of seeing everyone and everything outside of us. I’m talking about being judgmental, not about exercising “good judgment” in the sense of making wise assessments leading to good decisions. Being judgmental is rampant and creates a lot of unnecessary separation and ill feelings. Love doesn’t judge. Fear does. Being judgmental is another epidemic in the modern world. When anything “bad” happens it almost seems more important to find someone to blame and judge than to do something creative and positive. http://www.yoursecretgarden.org/Articles/20.htm
Too many of us
are not living
because we are
living our fears.
People with NPD [Narcissistic Personality Disorder]… don’t seem to seek intimacy, but instead seek to be constantly filled up with compliments, admiration and respect for being a superior person. There are only two kinds of people in the narcissist’s life—those who are better (whom she envies) and those who are worse (whom she can put down so she can feel better about herself). As the relationship goes on, generally the less safe you feel. That’s a red flag that there’s something really wrong. A narcissist says: “Fear of intimacy has manifested a few ways in my life. The women whom I chase are out of my league (even if I don’t think so); cold, emotionally detached; or already involved with someone else. I figure the ones with husbands and boyfriends are better than the other ones. But a fear of intimacy keeps me setting things up so the relationship will fail. Even in my platonic relationships I can see it. I never tell anyone too much about me or give any one person too much information—the whole NPD shell hides our sensitive cores. Hard to answer about intimacy when one’s nature is to hold it back”. This is from Sam Vaknin, narcissist and author (Malignant Self Love-Narcissism Revisited): “I seek adulation and adoration instead of love. When people try to befriend me or to get close to me, I experience growing unease that borders on physical repulsion and, if they don’t relent, on panic. I know that people who are emotionally invested in me experience emotional absence, repulsion, deterrence and insecurity. I discourage them from developing emotional involvement with me by refusing to provide them with positive emotional feedback. I render their relationships with me as erratic and demanding as I can. I act imposing, intrusive, compulsive and tyrannical in the hope of driving them away“. By Randi Kreger, author of “Stop Walking on Eggshells” http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201202/problems-emotional-intimacy-typical-borderlines-and-narcissists
Hate is the complement of fear
and narcissists like being feared.
It imbues them with an intoxicating
sensation of omnipotence.
They say, “Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it.” It’s even worse when your desire for something and your fear of having it cycle from one to another, like it does for those with borderline personality disorder. They desperately fear abandonment and want intimacy. But the minute they have it, they’ll push you away because:
• You’re engulfing them and they need distance because genuine intimacy makes them feel flooded or overwhelmed. So they push you away by becoming remote, critical, or argumentative. But the distance makes them uncomfortable, so they draw you in … which engulfs them so they drive you away … and the cycle goes on and on.
• They fear abandonment so much they’re afraid to get close and make themselves vulnerable. So just when things are going well, BOOM! They will unconsciously create a “fault” in you, something so bad they must be away from you–at least for a little while until they need you again … at which point they will notice something so horrible about you they don’t want to be near you anymore–until they need you again … and the cycle goes on and on. Or…
• Since you’re probably going to leave them anyway, they push you away before you get a chance to leave them. But you don’t want to end the relationship and you come back, looking for the “old” BP and the loving times and you’re a wonderful person, and you get back together and things are great–until they’re convinced you’re going to leave them again which is crazy because you’ve promised them over and over you would never leave, but still they push you away again and the cycle goes on and on. By Randi Kreger, author of “Stop Walking on Eggshells” http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201202/problems-emotional-intimacy-typical-borderlines-and-narcissists
When I look at narcissism
through the vulnerability lens,
I see the shame-based fear
of being ordinary. I see the fear
of never feeling extraordinary
enough to be noticed,
to be lovable, to belong,
or to cultivate a sense of purpose.
If you’re in a relationship with someone with borderline or narcissistic personality disorder, you may be surprised to learn that the relationship may be less intimate than you think it is. It may be intense, time-consuming, long-lasting, and take up most of your mental space. But the most important test of intimacy is to ask yourself the questions, “Is this relationship a safe haven where I feel loved and accepted for being me?” and “Do I trust the other person and vice versa?” If the answers are “no,” read on. Many partners of BPs [borderline personality] and NPs [narcissistic personality] can’t distinguish between intimacy and intensity—the hearts and flowers and all the smitten singers you hear on the radio going tra-la-la about how their heart will burst if they can’t have the person they met two days ago notwithstanding. Many of the big romances onscreen and in novels are about people who barely know each other. Real intimacy has to do with trust, understanding and feeling understood. People who are intimate—and I’m not talking about sex—reveal vulnerabilities without fear that what we share will be used against them. Intimacy relies on safety, patience, mutuality, respect, constancy, and no secrets. Without healthy self-disclosure at the right time, there can be no intimacy. And that takes honesty about who we are and how we feel. The more intimate you are, the safer you feel and the more worthwhile the relationship. Intensity, on the other hand, has to do with secrecy, lack of trust, high drama, fear, lack of boundaries, and disrespect. Most of all, it serves to distract each person from working on their own issues because most of the time is spent in fantasy, the cycle of idealization and devaluation, bitter arguments followed up by apologies and sex. By Randi Kreger, author of “Stop Walking on Eggshells” http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201202/problems-emotional-intimacy-typical-borderlines-and-narcissists
When the healthy pursuit
of self-interest and self-realization
turns into self-absorption, other people
can lose their intrinsic value in our eyes
and become mere means to the fulfillment
of our needs and desires.
Narcissism is a personality disorder. It stems from childhood abuse. When children decide that the world, and the people in it, are bad and that they are good, they have a skewed vision of life. They see the whole world as revolving around them. They see others as objects to gratify their needs. They lack compassion for others. In general they are incapable of maintaining a healthy relationship because they have to be in control all of the time. Often, narcissists are very charming in order to seduce people into liking them. Their ability to seduce people is amazing. They appear confident and therefore exciting. They want you to fall in love and bond with them so they can finally emerge as their true selves without being abandoned. If you keep your eyes open, you can detect a narcissist’s need for control and his or her self-centeredness. If you make a mistake they will be critical and unsympathetic. They will hold you to a high standard and exhibit disdain for what they consider weakness or vulnerability. by Susan Peabody http://www.loveaddicts.org/narcissists.htm
When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens,
I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary.
I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough
to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong,
or to cultivate a sense of purpose.