Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Things Highly Authentic People Don’t Do

Whatever it is, authentic people do many things right that makes them extremely likable and pleasant to be around. I am sure you’d rather connect with people who are real than people who pretend around you. Here are some key things highly authentic people don’t do so that you can learn how to live a more authentic life yourself.

1. They don’t fake their feelings.

Highly authentic people don’t hide their feeling or pretend they are feeling something they are not. If they are upset, they show it. If they like someone, they let them know. They express their feelings honestly and openly without fear or prejudice. Showing your true feelings allows others to know who you are and what you stand for. Authentic people do this all the time and it frees them from the burden of bottled up emotions.

2. They don’t worry about pleasing everyone.

Highly authentic people strive to show compassion and understanding to everyone, but they don’t strive to live up to others’ expectation or bother to please everyone. They know you cannot please everyone and you shouldn’t even try. Just be confident about who you are and what you do. This way you attract the right people who value you for who you are.

3. They don’t compare their journey to everyone else’s.

4. They don’t seek or need other people’s validation.

5. They don’t lie.

6. They don’t pretend to be someone they’re not.

7. They don’t dwell on the past.

8. They don’t let others make decisions for them.

9. They don’t blame others for their own mistakes.

10. They don’t get jealous over other people’s successes.

11. They don’t apply given advice without first considering their own gut feeling.

12. They don’t value material possessions over life experiences.

13. They don’t deny love and kindness to others.

14. They don’t keep a closed mind.

15. They don’t hang with toxic people.

Continue reading “Things Highly Authentic People Don’t Do”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Characteristics of Authentic People

1. They are real.

If you think about a definition of authenticity, it might be “not fake.”  An authentic $10 bill isn’t a counterfeit; it’s real.  An authentic painting isn’t a forgery; it’s the original.   In the same way, when we’re authentic, we are being who we really are – we’re not putting on masks or facades or pretending we are someone we aren’t.

2. They are transparent.

In matching up what happens “backstage” with what happens “on stage” authentic people recognize the reality of their faults, failures, and weaknesses.  Authentic people understand their shortcomings and that these challenges help to make them who they are.  They don’t dismiss them away but are honest with themselves about the difficulties they face in life.  To be authentic doesn’t mean you have to broadcast all of your weaknesses to the world but it does mean that you can’t simply pretend that they don’t exist.

3. They care.

The most authentic people I’ve ever met have had this quality in common: they care about me as a human being and a person.  We all know people who only care about themselves.  When you’re around them, they only talk about themselves.  When they listen to you, you get the sense that it’s a chore or duty that they have to put up with until they can refocus back on themselves.  Have you ever experienced that?

There’s a term for these kinds of people: conversational narcissist.  A conversational narcissist is a person who asks you a question about yourself, not because they’re interested in you, but because they want to use that question to tell you about them. This behavior is the antithesis of authenticity.  You could say that’s who they truly are – they aren’t putting up any facades or putting on any masks – maybe “backstage” all they’re interested in is themselves.  All well and good.  But it seems to me that authenticity has something to do with our concern for other people even as it does with how we think about ourselves. Continue reading “Characteristics of Authentic People”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Seeking Authenticity – What’s the true path to happiness?

What does the dictionary have to say? Merriam-Webster defines authentic as a quality of being genuine and worthy of belief. Hence, a person who is completely trustworthy is deemed to be authentic. Yet to be genuine requires a certain transparency, whereby others can witness the unfiltered personality, without any masking.

Most of us are too concerned with what others think of us. As such, we may disguise or manipulate features of our personality to better assure that others aren’t judgmental or adversely reactive to us. If I worry about what others think of me, then I manipulate my personality and communication, either to seek approval or avoid disapproval. This masks my true or authentic self. Although this personality trait is commonplace, it is far removed from authenticity.

There appears to be an inverse correlation between one’s sensitivity to what others think of them and the ability to be authentic. Authenticity requires a genuine sharing of our inner self, irrespective of the consequences. Very often, our actions in a given moment are intended to avoid certain consequences. And so we alter or mitigate our communications or behavior to assure that those consequences won’t be negative or problematic. These tendencies diminish our authenticity, and they constrain our growth and self-esteem.

Being authentic requires genuine sharing in the present moment. Ordinarily, though, our thoughts conspire in a tangle of excuses as to why we can’t do something. These are the consequences to which I was previously referring. This is the core of inauthenticity; our words or actions become disguised from their original intent since we choose to mask them. When this occurs, we literally subvert our genuine self. Continue reading “Seeking Authenticity – What’s the true path to happiness?”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Qualities of an Authentic Person

Authenticity is about presence, living in the moment with conviction and confidence and staying true to yourself. An authentic person puts the people around them at ease, like a comforting, old friend who welcomes us in and makes us feel at home.

There’s never any doubt or questioning the integrity of an authentic individual. Their behavior, in terms of ethics and morals, is as predictable as snow during wintertime in Minnesota. You know what you’re going to get.

Authenticity has faced something of a public relations crisis in recent times. It seems the word has lost meaning because it’s now ubiquitous in business, on personal blogs and even in style magazines. Everyone wants to be authentic. Though the people who preach its virtue often don’t understand exactly what the word means.

Authentic is defined as:

“not false or copied; genuine; real.” And, my favorite definition, “representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified.”

Continue reading “Qualities of an Authentic Person”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The Paradox of ‘Be Yourself’

The Paradox of ‘Be Yourself’

“Be yourself — not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.” — Henry David Thoreau

Our society tells you: “Be yourself.”

But what does that mean?

We want to be authentic, even if we don’t know what it is. That’s the paradox of the modern version of ‘be yourself.’ Rather than searching within, people are trying to match what ‘authentic’ means to others.

We’ve turned inner exploration into a guessing game.

Being yourself is not about standing out or being different from others. Being authentic is following your path, not comparing to others. When you try to be ‘different,’ you disconnect from what you want.

When being yourself becomes the new fad, self-development is no longer a meaningful journey. The mandate to become different turns you into anything but authentic.

Authenticity is about staying true to what you believe, not about your image— to be brave to express your genuine feelings and opinions.

Don’t confuse being genuine with permission to do whatever you want though. That’s what happened at the Venetian Carnival in the thirteen century. Instead of freeing authentic selves, masks liberate people’s darkest sides.

As Ruth Whippman says in this beautiful essay: “Authenticity is, at heart, the idea that we should make the way we behave on the outside match what we feel on the inside. But really, a functioning society depends on keeping a healthy distance between the two.”

Who Are You, Really?

“But pride is such a foolish mask.” — Paul Anka

 

Continue reading “The Paradox of ‘Be Yourself’”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Exploitation by a Narcissist

Question:

In his drive for Narcissistic Supply, would the narcissist be callous enough to exploit the tragedy of others, if this exploitation were to secure him a new Supply Source?

Answer:

Yes. I compared Narcissistic Supply to drugs because of the almost involuntary and always-unrestrained nature of the pursuit involved in securing it. The narcissist is no better or worse (morally speaking) than others. But he lacks the ability to empathise precisely because he is obsessed with the maintenance of his delicate inner balance through the (ever-increasing) consumption of Narcissistic Supply.

The narcissist rates people around him according to whether they can provide him with Narcissistic Supply or not. As far as the narcissist is concerned, those who fail this simple test do not exist. They are two-dimensional cartoon figures. Their feelings, needs and fears are of no interest or importance.

Potential Sources of Supply are then subjected to a meticulous examination and probing of the volume and quality of the Narcissistic Supply that they are likely to provide. The narcissist nurtures and cultivates these people. He caters to their needs, desires, and wishes. He considers their emotions. He encourages those aspects of their personality that are likely to enhance their ability to provide him with his much needed supply. In this very restricted sense, he regards and treats them as “human”. This is be his way of “maintaining and servicing” his Supply Sources. Needless to say that he loses any and all interest in them and in their needs once he decides that they are no longer able to supply him with what he needs: an audience, adoration, witnessing (=memory). The same reaction is provoked by any behaviour judged by the narcissist to be narcissistically injurious. Continue reading “Exploitation by a Narcissist”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The Narcissist’s Stripped Ego

Question:

Sometimes you say that the narcissist’s True Self has relegated its functions to the outside world – and sometimes you say that it is not in touch with the outside world (or that only the False Self is in touch with it). How do you settle this apparent contradiction?

Answer:

The narcissist’s True Self is introverted and dysfunctional. In healthy people, Ego functions are generated from the inside, from the Ego. In narcissists, the Ego is dormant, comatose. The narcissist needs the input of the outside world to perform the most basic Ego functions (e.g., “recognition” of the world, setting boundaries, differentiation, self-esteem and regulation of a sense of self-worth). Only the False Self gets in touch with the world. The True Self is isolated, repressed, unconscious, a shadow of its former self.

Forcing the narcissist’s False Self to acknowledge and interact with his True Self is not only difficult but may also be counterproductive and dangerously destabilising. The narcissist’s disorder is adaptive and functional, though rigid. The alternative to this (mal)adaptation would have been self-destructive (suicidal). This bottled up, self-directed venom is bound to resurface if the narcissist’s various personality structures are coerced into making contact.

That a personality structure (such as the True Self) is in the unconscious does not automatically mean that it is conflict-generating, or that it is involved in conflict, or that it has the potential to provoke conflict. As long as the True Self and the False Self remain out of touch, conflict is excluded.

The False Self pretends to be the only self and denies the existence of a True Self. It is also extremely useful (adaptive). Rather than risking constant conflict, the narcissist opts for a solution of “disengagement”. Continue reading “The Narcissist’s Stripped Ego”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Is the Narcissist Legally Insane?

“The narcissist’s perception of his life and his existence is discontinuous. The narcissist is a walking compilation of “personalities”, each with its own personal history. The narcissist does not feel that he is, in any way, related to his former “selves”. He, therefore, does not understand why he has to be punished for “someone else’s” actions or inaction. This “injustice” surprises, hurts, and enrages him.”

An examination of whether narcissists, and those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, are really responsible for their criminal behavior.

Narcissists are not prone to “irresistible impulses” and dissociation (blanking out certain stressful events and actions). They more or less fully control their behavior and acts at all times. But exerting control over one’s conduct requires the investment of resources, both mental and physical. Narcissists regard this as a waste of their precious time, or a humiliating chore. Lacking empathy, they don’t care about other people’s feelings, needs, priorities, wishes, preferences, and boundaries. As a result, narcissists are awkward, tactless, painful, taciturn, abrasive and insensitive.

The narcissist often has rage attacks and grandiose fantasies. Most narcissists are also mildly obsessive-compulsive. Yet, all narcissists should be held accountable to the vast and overwhelming majority of their actions. Continue reading “Is the Narcissist Legally Insane?”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The Dual Role of the False Self

Question:

Why does the narcissist conjure up another Self? Why not simply transform his True Self into a False one?

Answer:

Once formed and functioning, the False Self stifles the growth of the True Self and paralyses it. Henceforth, the True Self is virtually non-existent and plays no role (active or passive) in the conscious life of the narcissist. It is difficult to “resuscitate” it, even with psychotherapy.

This substitution is not only a question of alienation, as Horney observed. She said that because the Idealised (=False) Self sets impossible goals to the narcissist, the results are frustration and self hate which grow with every setback or failure. But the constant sadistic judgement, the self-berating, the suicidal ideation emanate from the narcissist’s idealised, sadistic, Superego regardless of the existence or functioning of a False Self.

There is no conflict between the True Self and the False Self.

First, the True Self is much too weak to do battle with the overbearing False. Second, the False Self is adaptive (though maladaptive). It helps the True Self to cope with the world. Without the False Self, the True Self would be subjected to so much hurt that it will disintegrate. This happens to narcissists who go through a life crisis: their False Ego becomes dysfunctional and they experience a harrowing feeling of annulment.

The False Self has many functions. The two most important are:

  1. It serves as a decoy, it “attracts the fire”. It is a proxy for the True Self. It is tough as nails and can absorb any amount of pain, hurt and negative emotions. By inventing it, the child develops immunity to the indifference, manipulation, sadism, smothering, or exploitation – in short: to the abuse – inflicted on him by his parents (or by other Primary Objects in his life). It is a cloak, protecting him, rendering him invisible and omnipotent at the same time.
  2. The False Self is misrepresented by the narcissist as his True Self. The narcissist is saying, in effect: “I am not who you think I am. I am someone else. I am this (False) Self. Therefore, I deserve a better, painless, more considerate treatment.” The False Self, thus, is a contraption intended to alter other people’s behaviour and attitude towards the narcissist.

These roles are crucial to survival and to the proper psychological functioning of the narcissist. The False Self is by far more important to the narcissist than his dilapidated, dysfunctional, True Self.

The two Selves are not part of a continuum, as the neo-Freudians postulated. Healthy people do not have a False Self which differs from its pathological equivalent in that it is more realistic and closer to the True Self.

It is true that even healthy people have a mask [Guffman], or a persona [Jung] which they consciously present to the world. But these are a far cry from the False Self, which is mostly subconscious, depends on outside feedback, and is compulsive.

The False Self is an adaptive reaction to pathological circumstances. But its dynamics make it predominate, devour the psyche and prey upon both the True Self. Thus, it prevents the efficient, flexible functioning of the personality as a whole.

That the narcissist possesses a prominent False Self as well as a suppressed and dilapidated True Self is common knowledge. Yet, how intertwined and inseparable are these two? Do they interact? How do they influence each other? And what behaviours can be attributed squarely to one or the other of these protagonists? Moreover, does the False Self assume traits and attributes of the True Self in order to deceive the world?

Let’s start by referring to an oft-occurring question:

Why are narcissists not prone to suicide?

The simple answer is that they died a long time ago. Narcissists are the true zombies of the world. Continue reading “The Dual Role of the False Self”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

False Self

False Self

Their false self is the perfect camouflage to play counterpart to their awkward and self-loathing reality. Expect most types of narcissist to be brimming with apparent confidence, and for them to be thoroughly charming and charismatic.

To they well-trained eye, however, they are not all they’re cracked up to be. A number of subtle traits are incongruous with their more lovable and admirable aspects. Often they will harbour disdain for those they believe beneath them (eg waiting staff in restaurants). They are extremely susceptible to criticism, which will invariably spark narcissistic rage – a foul explosion of anger and hostility, but that can die down and be forgotten (by them at least) as quickly as the outburst exploded. Their circle of acquaintances is wide but shallow (it is simply too tiring for them to continually invest the time and effort into developing numerous deep friendships), and instead they become expert manipulators at garnering positive attention from a wider spectrum whilst isolating and undermining any potential rivals or enemies.

Incredibly to many of the friends and acquaintances, they are pathological liars. This may be hard to believe at first, until one fully comprehends that their entire lives are one extended lie – the charade that obscures their real self. Continue reading “False Self”