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Not sure if over analyzing or not

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RoryDoe

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Feb 1, 2016
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Hello to whoever reads this, I was looking for someone to perhaps shed some light on what I view as negative aspects of my personality. I first became aware and started to question some of these behaviors about a year ago. I have found certain patterns to my behaviors, and want to know if they are reason for concern. Keep in mind that I am extremely narcissistic (inwardly) and so many of these statements may be inflated versions of the truth created in my mind. My moment of awakening was very sudden and worrying; I was sitting outside an ice cream store with my then girlfriend and her friend when a car crash, maybe at 30mph, happened not 20ft from us. Everybody around me reacted as one might expect, but I sat, completely unflinching, and did not even turn around; it was as if nothing had happened at all. I noticed this immediately, why had I not jumped with fright like everybody else? One answer I have is that I am so in control of myself that I did not allow the reaction to happen. The other is that I simply did not care. I find that I believe the first to be more true. I am constantly in a state of control. I control fluctuations in my voice, both of excitement and sadness to achieve a recognizable monotone (it has been pointed out to me frequently by people I know). I am exceptionally calm, my best friend, whom I have known for 10+ years, commented just the other day that she has no idea what it would be like for me to get angry. Moving on, I am extremely narcissistic. I consider myself much more intelligent that the average person, and to be honest I have to scores to back that up. I get very very irritated with unintelligent or ignorant people and this causes me to sometimes come off as arrogant. However, I am also very good at manipulating people to get what I want, or sometimes just to prove I can. I know what to say, when to say it. I can read people very well and have a gift for something that I can only describe as like "inception." That is, I can convince people to do things in such a way that they are convinced they thought to do it themselves. I use my skills in manipulation to create what feels to the other person like an incredibly deep and somehow life long, or even romantic, friendship. Give me a week with a cell phone and I can get people to tell me their whole life story, their family gossip, their sexual desires, anything. This is where I noticed a pattern. I found that since freshman year of highschool I can trace two of these instances every year. They are always female, and I found that they are always struggling with some aspect of their lives: friends, grades, family, etc. From my POV I help them. I say exactly the right things, understand them perfectly, and give them advice I honestly think will help. This course will last a few months, basically until they are back on their feet, and then I leave. I often come up with some BS about feeling some kind of romantic advance from them and not being interested or ready for a relationship. This causes a fair amount of anger from the other person, and rightly so, it's not nice of me to do, but after when I leave they are far better off then when I came. Despite this form of antisocial behavior I am not without friends. One would never describe me as a social butterfly, but I really enjoy the company of those more intelligent than myself. Finally, I am very comfortable with lying. I don't know if it can be considered pathological or not, but it seems to me I just lie whenever it is beneficial to me. I can create and remember very large and complex lies and feel no remorse in doing so. I have yet to be called out on these and only end them and finally tell the truth when it again is beneficial to me. I will even spin it so that the negative view of me lying eventually falls to my benefit.
So, if any of you out there, professional or not, has any ideas about what I am going through, I would really appreciate it.
Thanks
 
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Taheebo

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Jan 29, 2016
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So, basically, you don't feel bad for treating people the way you do, you just came here where a lot of people have been victims of people like yourself to what, brag? If I sound cold, that is probably because I don't have much sympathy for individuals like yourself.

You definitely have strong sociopathic tendencies. You haven't mentioned seeking help or talking to an expert. But then again, you say you are a narcissist and they rarely do. It seems that you are, in addition to being above everyone else, also proud of being a narcissist?
 
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RoryDoe

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Feb 1, 2016
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Well there's obviously part of me that understands it's bad, or I wouldn't put myself out here asking for people's advice. And, I have not sought professional help, clearly, or I wouldn't be posting on a web forum. But, as I point out in my title and intro, that is the point of my asking this entire question, do you think I should see a professional, or am I simply looking too hard at these things? The idea is if I get a decent amount of people who think that, yes actually, I should go see somebody about this, that I will. But thanks for your input.
 
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Taheebo

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And, I have not sought professional help, clearly, or I wouldn't be posting on a web forum.

Not necessarily. But OK.

What do you feel when you think about your lack of empathy?
You don't have an impulse to aid, you don't feel guilt or remorse, what do you feel?

Do you love people that are close to you?
 
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name?

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Bromley
You mean you heard a loud crash behind you and you didnt even turn to see what caused it?

What you describe as "self-control" sounds perhaps like a mixture of 'flat affect' and very excessive self-consciousness / preoccupation with how you appear to others. Image management.

My vote: yes go seek professional adice, face to face.


"What is the difference between the three personality traits of the dark triad?
All three traits are about trying to get away with putting yourself first to get what you want. But they each have a different focus.

Machiavellianism is most about manipulation for personal gain.
Narcissism is most about believing you deserve admiration and to be treated differently than others.
Sociopathy is most about being cold and insensitive to others needs
."

Source: What is Machiavellianism in Psychology? - Harley Therapy
 
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Taheebo

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And there I was, thinking it's too early to mention TDT...:D
 
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name?

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I'd never heard of it, just googled machiavellian character and that's what came up...
 
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RoryDoe

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Feb 1, 2016
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Teheebo: I wouldn't say I feel bad for them, I'm just objectively aware that what I'm doing occasionally has a negative impact on them. And love, you mean like family and stuff? No. That friend of mine who said she had never seen me angry, I do love her, I've also never tried to lie to or manipulate her.
Name?: I mean, it's not like I was confused as to what the loud crash was, I recall being very sure that it was a car crash based on people's reactions, I just didn't turn around to verify. I remember reading Machiavelli and being very impressed with his ideas, so perhaps that carries some weight to it.
Thank You
 
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Taheebo

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And love, you mean like family and stuff? No. That friend of mine who said she had never seen me angry, I do love her, I've also never tried to lie to or manipulate her.

What makes her an exception?

Do you like yourself? Why do you do the things you do? I do have my own assessment, but I'd like to hear it from you, if you are in the mood to explain. :)
 
Kerome

Kerome

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I have a slightly different perspective here, that you are holding onto a range of character traits to do with control and the primacy of intelligence which mean that you are not allowing yourself to feel a normal range of emotion. This means that you are missing out on a big chunk of your life, the relating with others in particular. Also the manipulation and lying show a tendency towards sociopathy. But on the plus side you do help these women, although you do give yourself leave to become fully involved in their lives. This indicates that you still feel some compassion.

So yes, I would advise you to seek the help of a professional. But try to find one who understands the value of emotion in giving colour and vibrancy to life, not just any dry psychologist. It sounds like you can still open yourself up to your deeper, emotional self, with the right help.
 
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RoryDoe

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Feb 1, 2016
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Taheebo: That's a good question. I've known her ever since I was little, so before my problems developed. Perhaps because we were even so close back then that I mentally excluded her or something.. it's a good question. I do like myself, I rationalize that although some of the things I do are perhaps not in great taste, that this is life and maybe I'm just better at playing the game. Why do I act this way? Another good question which I don't know the answer to. I'd suspect the need to control my expressions and emotions would stem from maybe bullying of some sort, but I was never bullied as a child, so after that I'm not sure. But, I'd be interested to hear what you have to say.

Kerome: An interesting concept and one that I have explored before, but perhaps having a professional's help would be beneficial to that. And I agree that, as you say, somewhere deep down these emotions are locked away, but how to pry them out it another problem entirely. Also, I have never been told I have such strong sociopathic tendencies as in these last few days...I will consider your advice, thank you.
 
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Taheebo

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Taheebo: That's a good question. I've known her ever since I was little, so before my problems developed. Perhaps because we were even so close back then that I mentally excluded her or something.. it's a good question. I do like myself, I rationalize that although some of the things I do are perhaps not in great taste, that this is life and maybe I'm just better at playing the game. Why do I act this way? Another good question which I don't know the answer to. I'd suspect the need to control my expressions and emotions would stem from maybe bullying of some sort, but I was never bullied as a child, so after that I'm not sure. But, I'd be interested to hear what you have to say.


Does this mean there was a time when you did feel things for (other) people close to you (family etc.)? It is hard for me to imagine you just recently became insensitive to other people, but I might be wrong. When do you think your problems started?

My guess is that she knows you very well and that puts her both in a position of 'power' and someone who grounds you, in a way. A sanctuary of sorts.

I'd also say that, judging, by the way you describe yourself, you get bored with people when/if you realise they are not on your level and since there is no real emotional connection to them, nothing really prevents you from doing what you want, even if cognitively you realise it's not that beneficial for them.

There is a difference between repressing your emotions but feeling them however deep inside, and actually not feeling things. I am sure you feel the need to control the negative emotions (anger, envy, self-righteousness) as expressing them might damage you and endanger your future plans but I am not so sure about positive ones (love, affection, empathy).

You mentioned a girlfriend. How is your relationship with women in general? How do you perceive them?

And men? Do you feel competitive with them?

What is your idea of fun?
 
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notrealname

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May 4, 2009
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Well...I didn't find the OP offensive at all. I could have written the first half of what he said.

And there I agree with Kerome that you not turning around for the car crash has more to do with emotional flatness than sociopathy. You said yourself it was more like having no reaction to just not caring. I do that sort of thing sometimes too. And I am very controlled. I do not easily express enthusiasm or anything else. Not sure if I would describe myself as calm as I do get anxious, but I have also been told no one can imagine me angry.

You don't seem narcissistic or sociopathic to me. You do seem like you need help. The stuff about 'gaming' people - tbh, I know loads of people like that. I don't really relate to that myself, except for that I do tend to see social stuff as a 'game', it's just that it's one I don't want to take part in.

I don't love anyone, including my family, although I assume I love them deep down. And I believe myself to be more intelligent than everyone I meet. I know at some level it can't be true....yet somehow I still believe it...And I'm not a sociopath. We have a lot of variance between us. I feel extremely guilty a lot of the time, so remorse hits me hard. But I don't see anything in what you have written that specifically makes me think you have a personality disorder (sociopathy or antisocial or narcissistic etc.)

In one sense, I don't think you're as bad as you might fear you are; on the other, it sounds to be like there is something wrong. I think your level of disconnection may mean you are missing out on life.
 
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RoryDoe

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Taheebo: I guess I'm not really sure, I just imagined that I haven't been like this my whole life... but to be honest I can't really remember. And, that is absolutely how it is, spot on, I get bored with people really easily. If they add nothing but emotions, then they add nothing at all. I think my relationship with women is pretty good. I would describe myself as a feminist, I'm always very careful during sexual encounters to only do what she wants. The girlfriend thing is interesting. Every time I have started dating someone, even the most strong and independent woman you can imagine, they end up completely head over heels, "I can't live without you" kinda people. This is something that even my mother has commented on, that girls seem to fall in love with me at a kind of exponential rate, slow at first but then all of a sudden they are asking about kids and stuff. =/
Men, meh, i think most of them are jerks controlled by sex drive. The ones that can't control that, I see them as weak. I never really feel competitive, period. Male, female, doesn't matter, I just do my own thing. And fun for me is doing extreme things, hiking the Grand Canyon, white water rafting, running a marathon, etc.

notrealname: I get your fourth paragraph completely. I feel like deep down I probably love my parents, because everyone else loves their parents, but I have very little proof of that. I was gone for an entire year in a very foreign country with very little internet access and very little contact with anyone back home...and I loved it, it was great to be away, I literally never missed them.

This missing out on life thing is becoming a reoccuring theme.. but i don't feel like I'm missing out. I don't like to go to social parties, but instead I read or learn to do something new. To me it seems like what is considered important in life is not the same for me.
 
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notrealname

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This missing out on life thing is becoming a reoccuring theme.. but i don't feel like I'm missing out. I don't like to go to social parties, but instead I read or learn to do something new. To me it seems like what is considered important in life is not the same for me.

I guess I'd say I think we're on the same 'spectrum' to some extent but I'm not quite far down it as you are. I am sort of envious of you in a way as you sound freer than I am. My emotions hold me back from getting what I want and find important (generally freedom, excitement, achievement in particular...the things you point out, I suppose). But I've learned to just accept I'm not who I want to be in that way and I'm going to have to accept my emotions if they're going to stop holding me back.

What I would say is that if you're not unhappy, why worry about it? It's only a problem for me because my disconnection is that little bit less than yours so I still feel, and that entraps me. So for me, I have to come to accept my humanity and accept I'm going to have needs in some ways and balance out toward that so I can be more productive in the things I want (work etc.) But for you, it sounds like you're not unhappy. So I guess there's nothing you need to do about it!

I'll let you know anyway that the personality traits you demonstrate are a known set of traits that are basically what we call defense mechanisms. The "I don't want to live without you" stuff you speak about in others is probably just a normal level of love. That's why everyone you meet is feeling that way, because that's pretty normal, run-of-the-mill stuff. Attachment will encourage those feelings, especially in the honeymoon phase, in order to provide the 'glue' that holds relationships together (thus propagate the species etc...) It's a kind of self delusion of a sort that encourages relationships to flourish, and it's a necessary one that most people experience. I guess what I'm saying is that those women are probably just pretty normal. Your level of detachment is unusual and is seen by psychology as a defense mechanism. However, not every defense is pathological. A 'disorder' is so called because the person's defenses are making them unhappy. If your defense works for you (as yours does) then there'd be no point in calling it a disorder.
 
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