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Does my Ex have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

D

DarknessFriend

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Jan 4, 2015
Messages
6
First of all, I believe this will be long so thank you in advance for bearing with me.

Two weeks ago my ex-boyfriend and I called it quits. We ended things because of him but the break up was mutual. While we were together I always had doubts about whether or not he was a narcissist or had any other mental illness. I was hoping you could help me see if he really had some sort of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or if it’s any other issue. I’ve been reading things all over the internet lately but I don’t know if I’m being biased or not.

So here are some of the things that I thought were very weird in him and considered them to be red flags:

• He actually believed he was intellectually superior to most people, even though he refused to be called an elitist.

• Whenever we came into contact with not very smart people he would get angry and feel like the world was full of “ignorants” and people who were praised without deserving it

• He felt threatened and had an inferiority complex with people who were as intellectually gifted as he was. He appeared to be a very confident and reliable person but a lot of the things he told me just made him seem a little broken. I can’t really describe it but it’s like he wanted to be confident without truly being confident.

• He suffered from depression 3 years ago and even had suicidal thoughts (all of this before I met him). Ever since then he’s been very philosophical about life and whenever something bad happens to him, even if it’s something little (ie: bad driving class; being served in a restaurant by what he considered to be a dumb waiter), he just goes into this negative spiral of thoughts where he realizes life is not worth living and is pointless because we will all die someday and the gifted people like him won’t be able to make a difference because the world idolizes “fools”.

• Since we were in a long distance relationship we would talk mainly through social media and skype. While there he was actually very caring and always listened to my problems and supported me, but whenever we were together “in real life”, a lot of times he would interrupt me and wouldn’t even let me finish what I was saying, it almost seemed like he zoned out on me.

• He told me he fights a lot with his mother and that he always made her cry but he said that was because she was a weeping woman who would cry for just about anything. He would tell me that usually his mother just wanted to talk to him about things and he would get mad and yell at her for not leaving him alone.

• I’m not sure if this is that big of a deal, but whenever we would have lunch or dinner together and share meals, he would always get the biggest pieces and slices of food for himself, without even asking me if I wanted them.

• He was a miser. For his birthday or Christmas, I would always go out of my way and try to give him exactly the things he wanted, no matter how much I spent. He, however, would always give me things that didn’t require him to spend much money or time. I would also buy him things just because I felt like it, without being his birthday or any other special occasions, and he never did the same.

• We disagreed on a lot of issues and whenever we argued about those, he would twist things and make me feel emotionally drained, telling me I was being irrational and illogical. Things usually ended up with me telling him he was right because I just wanted it to end. Everytime I tried to put a stop to the discussions he would tell me I was doing it because I was insecure of myself and my beliefs and I couldn’t be weak and leave the discussion just like that. He admitted that, during our arguments, he enjoyed picking on my weaknesses and push me to my limits, it was like he couldn’t stop until I surrendered and told him he was right. He also did this to everybody.

• Also, during these arguments, I would feel so frustrated and powerless that I usually lost my temper. What he would do then was telling me my emotional intelligence wasn’t very good and that he didn’t have to deal with my temper when he was just “trying to help”. I would end up apologizing. It was like a vicious cycle where he purposedly pushed my limits, I’d explode, then apologize for exploding and he would forgive me, although sometimes he said he was sick of it all.

• He was very insensitive at times. He once told me my sister was more attractive than me and that I wasn’t a top model but it was okay because he liked me for who I was. He said it was okay for him to tell me these things because it was the “rational” and “logical” thing to say, he didn’t want to lie to me. And because I took it as him just being honest I never really made a big deal out of it but it always bothered me how he would put rational and logical thinking ahead of my feelings. It really hurt at times.

• He wouldn’t realize when he did things that hurt me, I was always the one telling him something upset me. And he would be very reluctant to change them because that was “who he was”. None of these things included cheating or other girls, but things such as not treating me as a priority, not putting so much effort into the relationship as I did and so on.

Once, he started doubting his feelings for me because he would feel disconnected and not really focused on the relationship. I told him to think about it and come to his own conclusions and on the next day he told me it was just a phase he was going through and wouldn’t happen again. We stayed together for 8 more months and he even told me he was more and more sure I was the woman of his dreams and “the one”. But only a month after he told me this his doubts returned and he told me he felt disconnected again. This time I told him he wouldn’t do that to me again and so we saw each other on the next day and agreed to end things. He told me he couldn’t fulfill my demands of him and the relationship and that I deserved someone who could fulfill them, almost as if it was my fault of setting the bar too high. He wasn’t happy anymore and he didn’t feel emotionally connected to me.

Obviously, I was devastated because I was in love with him but I had to leave and have some self-respect. I believed I may have become co-dependent because I talked to him every day and talking to him would be the best part of my day. But I also feel like I’ve lost myself. All of a sudden I was afraid of telling him I liked something he disliked, I found myself trying not to disagree with him and convincing myself that he was probably right and I was wrong. Everything I did was thinking about him, almost as if I stopped living for myself and started living for him. My way of looking at the world suddenly changed because I wanted to please him. I didn’t want him to look at me as another “ignorant” with no brains.

With all this information, what do you guys think? Does he have NPD or some other mental issues? I recognized some NPD symptons but he could be so caring and sweet at the same time that it just confuses me. And he wasn't controlling at all, at least he never showed any signs of it in front of me. Was he emotionally unavailable? I really don’t know what to think of this and would appreciate any other insights. Thanks.
 
monopod

monopod

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No idea about NPD, but it sounds like you're better off with him as an 'ex', regardless.

:welcome: to the forum, by the way!
 
M

Mastiff mom

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I'm glad this man is out of your life. I can't tell you if he has NPD, but he certainly sounds abusive and selfish.it might be helpful to see a therapist-- not to figure him out but to talk about the effect these things have had on you and how you can heal. Hugs.
 
N

notrealname

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Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
766
He's very damaged with narcissistic traits, whether he has a full blown personality disorder or not is difficult to say. I would say people with PDs usually come off as very extreme (I met someone narcissistic enough to appear to have a PD and I would say they were so 'out there' in their emotional childishness - a 36 year old man who said 'I hate my sister, she's stupid and she can't even read' like a 6 year old would - that it was really, really obvious).

As for yourself, do yourself a favour and keep your head off the labels. Calling yourself codependent is like giving yourself a diagnosis that there is 'something wrong with you'. Some people even refer to narcissists and their opposites (codependents) as 'toxic people', which in my view has always been patently absurd when in both cases you're talking about people who have been abused or neglected in childhood.

Instead of giving yourself a label, think about what the label actually means. Codependent means 'has had experiences in life that has taught the person that one must work hard for love'. This usually comes from being brought up by one or two parents with narcissistic traits (who put their feelings first and were degrading toward the child to make them 'work for love'). This results in two beliefs: "I don't matter" and "Love is rare/hard to attain/must be worked for".

If you have low self esteem then someone else splitting the world into 'fools' and 'worthies' is tempting, because it actually goes with your beliefs and is a chance for you to gain proof you are a 'worthy' rather than a 'fool'. But if you can recognise that this view of the world is distorted - that there are no people who are more worthy than others - then you're ahead of the game.

Ironically, this means forgiving your ex. Not going back to him or trying to get him back, but recognising that you are both of equal worth. Don't make this into a one-up, one-downmanship, even if people encourage you to call the guy a prick. He didn't treat you properly and because you value yourself you will not allow him into your life again, but find it in your heart to have compassion for him because those kinds of distorted beliefs inevitably come from a neglectful or abusive background, and also have compassion for yourself because 'losing yourself', as you say, also suggests that there has been something about your past experiences that has encouraged you to need proof that you are 'good enough'.

See both of you as value-neutral, just two human beings struggling, as human beings do, and be kind to yourself and all those around you while making sure you protect yourself by staying away from those who can't change (and assume everyone can't - we can if we want to, but it takes self-motivation).

Good luck to you
 
D

Dottyone

Guest
I would say people with PDs usually come off as very extreme (I met someone narcissistic enough to appear to have a PD and I would say they were so 'out there' in their emotional childishness .
Most Personality Disorders do not have Narcissistic symptoms/traits nor are they emotionally childish.

I feel a bit offended, but I will say my piece in a sensible manner.
 
N

notrealname

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Messages
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Most Personality Disorders do not have Narcissistic symptoms/traits nor are they emotionally childish.

I feel a bit offended, but I will say my piece in a sensible manner.
Sorry, I meant NPD rather than just 'PDs', my typo. My mother had BPD when I was young and she didn't come off as extreme except in certain situations. What I was trying to say was NPD is narcissism stretched beyond belief. Narcissistic traits themselves are actually quite common, and I can recognise bits of a younger version of myself in some of what the OP has written.
 
N

notrealname

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Thanks, maybe I am being a bit touchy sorry..

x
Not at all, I can see how that would be offensive read the way I'd written it, just not concentrating tonight :)
 
LORD BURT

LORD BURT

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Sorry, I meant NPD rather than just 'PDs', my typo. My mother had BPD when I was young and she didn't come off as extreme except in certain situations. What I was trying to say was NPD is narcissism stretched beyond belief. Narcissistic traits themselves are actually quite common, and I can recognise bits of a younger version of myself in some of what the OP has written.
I think if we honest - it is in all of us to varying degrees.
 
D

DarknessFriend

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
6
Thanks for the replies, guys. I appreciate it.

He's very damaged with narcissistic traits, whether he has a full blown personality disorder or not is difficult to say. I would say people with PDs usually come off as very extreme (I met someone narcissistic enough to appear to have a PD and I would say they were so 'out there' in their emotional childishness - a 36 year old man who said 'I hate my sister, she's stupid and she can't even read' like a 6 year old would - that it was really, really obvious).

As for yourself, do yourself a favour and keep your head off the labels. Calling yourself codependent is like giving yourself a diagnosis that there is 'something wrong with you'. Some people even refer to narcissists and their opposites (codependents) as 'toxic people', which in my view has always been patently absurd when in both cases you're talking about people who have been abused or neglected in childhood.

Instead of giving yourself a label, think about what the label actually means. Codependent means 'has had experiences in life that has taught the person that one must work hard for love'. This usually comes from being brought up by one or two parents with narcissistic traits (who put their feelings first and were degrading toward the child to make them 'work for love'). This results in two beliefs: "I don't matter" and "Love is rare/hard to attain/must be worked for".

If you have low self esteem then someone else splitting the world into 'fools' and 'worthies' is tempting, because it actually goes with your beliefs and is a chance for you to gain proof you are a 'worthy' rather than a 'fool'. But if you can recognise that this view of the world is distorted - that there are no people who are more worthy than others - then you're ahead of the game.

Ironically, this means forgiving your ex. Not going back to him or trying to get him back, but recognising that you are both of equal worth. Don't make this into a one-up, one-downmanship, even if people encourage you to call the guy a prick. He didn't treat you properly and because you value yourself you will not allow him into your life again, but find it in your heart to have compassion for him because those kinds of distorted beliefs inevitably come from a neglectful or abusive background, and also have compassion for yourself because 'losing yourself', as you say, also suggests that there has been something about your past experiences that has encouraged you to need proof that you are 'good enough'.

See both of you as value-neutral, just two human beings struggling, as human beings do, and be kind to yourself and all those around you while making sure you protect yourself by staying away from those who can't change (and assume everyone can't - we can if we want to, but it takes self-motivation).

Good luck to you
Thank you very much for the reply.

Up until now I had no idea I could fall into the 'codependent' category but having a father diagnosed with NPD and now with this break up I started reading stuff and put two and two together. My father emotionally bullied me while I was growing up so it makes sense I developed these notions in my head. Actually, my ex and my father didn't have the best relationship because they had opposite beliefs but handled them in the same narcissist way.

Right now I'm trying to fight this notion of labels. I certainly don't look at myself as a victim. It's really hard but I don't have any doubts that I do not want my ex back, even though I miss him like crazy. I'm just trying to understand his behaviour and put some sense into things.

What always seemed weirder to me concerning him was the way some insignificant thing would leave him thinking the world sucked and that he was this highly wronged and tortured individual. Some little things may upset us but it's not very usual that they leave us almost depressed.

He also mentioned he enjoyed being depressed and liked to feel pain, that was very weird to me. I immediately told him that was not very normal. And I don't think it is, is it?
 
N

notrealname

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Joined
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Messages
766
Thanks for the replies, guys. I appreciate it.



Thank you very much for the reply.

Up until now I had no idea I could fall into the 'codependent' category but having a father diagnosed with NPD and now with this break up I started reading stuff and put two and two together. My father emotionally bullied me while I was growing up so it makes sense I developed these notions in my head. Actually, my ex and my father didn't have the best relationship because they had opposite beliefs but handled them in the same narcissist way.

Right now I'm trying to fight this notion of labels. I certainly don't look at myself as a victim. It's really hard but I don't have any doubts that I do not want my ex back, even though I miss him like crazy. I'm just trying to understand his behaviour and put some sense into things.

What always seemed weirder to me concerning him was the way some insignificant thing would leave him thinking the world sucked and that he was this highly wronged and tortured individual. Some little things may upset us but it's not very usual that they leave us almost depressed.

He also mentioned he enjoyed being depressed and liked to feel pain, that was very weird to me. I immediately told him that was not very normal. And I don't think it is, is it?
Sounds like he judges himself externally and that 'idiots are rewarded' actually means 'I don't feel rewarded and somewhere deep inside of me I feel like that might be because there's something wrong with me and I don't deserve rewards, but that thought is so unbearable I have to make it the world's fault'.

This is why he became profoundly depressed over minor things, the world around him was constantly feeding him messages on his own self worth.

As for enjoying pain - punitive parent. I sometimes enjoy pain if I think I really deserve it. Sometimes enjoying pain is because you feel so empty all the time you're glad you feel something, sometimes it's enjoying the sensation of penance - at least I'm being punished/cleansed. People who were punished disproportionally as children often crave punishment as adults and will inflict it on themselves. In the more severe cases this can result in self harm, but with me - and possibly your ex - it's just enjoying the misery, or being excessively self critical to feel that 'all is right with the world' - feeling worried when punishment is not there because you expect it so much it feels alien for it not to be there.
 
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