There’s something I have to say right here at the start of this post. Why I’m saying it will become apparent as you read on.
Let me address something. I know I’m not a narcissist. Believe me when I say this because I have checked and rechecked with therapists and my psychiatrist. I’ve asked my wife a hundred times if I’m like my mother and my father.
And I’ve read the DSM V (the manual used by mental health professionals to make a diagnosis of a mental health problem in an individual) description for narcissistic personality disorder so many time that I nearly have it memorized. Every source I consult confirms my lack of narcissistic personality disorder.
I’m sure that you have questioned whether you’re a narcissist. You’ve probably asked your spouse or a therapist about the possibility that you have narcissism. They’ve probably confirmed that you do not.
It’s very important given the next thing I’m going to say that you feel certain you are not a narcissist like your parent. If you harbor any illusion that you are a narcissist, please don’t read on.
OK. Here’s what I have to say, and you may not like it.
Even though you are not a narcissist, you have adopted certain narcissistic traits from your parent. You behave sometimes, in small ways, like your narcissistic parent.
My Concern with Appearances
Yesterday was Saturday. My wife and I went to watch one of my son’s games. As we were driving to the field, a man came walking out of a convenience store carrying a 12 pack of bottled beer. Walking behind him, and getting into the same car as the man was a boy. I took the boy to be the man’s son.
My youngest son, in the back seat, asked my wife a question. Before she could answer, I interrupted.
“Isn’t it sad to see that kid having to watch his dad buy beer that he’ll probably have to watch him drink,” I said.
My wife replied, “Yes honey, that’s sad,” real quickly. Then answered my son’s question.
In a low voice I said, in a condescending tone, “Yes honey, that’s too bad. That poor boy has to live with an alcoholic father. Not only that, but the father didn’t even get the boy a soda in the store.”
My wife said, “What did you say?”
“Oh,” I said, sweetly, “I was just talking to myself.”
“No,” my wife said. “You weren’t talking to yourself. You’re angry that I didn’t have a conversation about the man and the beer.”
Our kids hate it when we fight. So I didn’t want my son to think we were fighting. Or more accurately, I didn’t want him to think I was the cause of the fight. I wanted to appear the rational parent while my wife played the part of the crazy person.
Little did I realize yet that I was reenacting behavior I had seen my mother engage in again and again.
The Effects of a Narcissistic Upbringing Continue
My wife told me I was being passive-aggressive. I told her I wasn’t and reminded her I didn’t want to fight.
She got mad and said I always make passive-aggressive comments and then deny that I made them.
U“Sorry dear,” I said without meaning it.