However, because narcissists are principally motivated to pursue their own interests, have lower ethical standards, and are willing to transgress social norms, they can put the institutions they lead at risk. We report three studies showing that individuals who are more narcissistic are more willing to lie, cheat, and steal than those who are less narcissistic.
A number of longer measures currently exist to assess narcissism, and many of them are have high reliability and validity. Thus, we believe that this single item measure should only be used when it would be difficult or impossible to include a longer narcissism scale. For example, single-item scales can be useful for studies in which every single question counts in terms of time or participant attention levels (e.g. online studies, large nationally representative surveys, field studies in which a single page on a clipboard is an ideal survey length). In addition, this measure might be useful when using interactive electronic data collection techniques such as text messaging, EMA, or smartphone surveys, in which each number or response given takes effort for participants. Yet, in typical laboratory settings, we recommend the use of longer narcissism scales. Future studies will help us better understand the predictive properties of the SINS, but for now, the SINS is one useful tool that can help to assess the complex aspects of narcissism with one single item
Individual differences in the Big Five traits were measured with the Polish version (Topolewska, Skimina, Strus, Cieciuch, & Rowiński, 2014) of the 20-item International Personality Item Pool (Donnellan, Oswald, Baird, & Lucas, 2006), with four items per trait: Openness/Intellect (e.g., “I have a vivid imagination.”), Conscientiousness (e.g., “I get chores done right away.”), Extraversion (e.g., “I am the life of the party.”), Agreeableness (e.g., “I sympathize with others’ feelings.”), Neuroticism (e.g., “I get upset easily.”) where participants were asked their agreement (1 = strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree). Items were averaged to create indexes of each trait.
Psychopathy was measured with the Polish version (see Rogoza & Cieciuch, 2019) of the Levenson’s Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (Levenson, Kiehl, & Fitzpatrick, 1995). The scale has 17 items (i.e., Factor 1) measuring individual differences in callous, manipulative and selfish use of others (e.g., “For me, what’s right is whatever I can go away with.”) and 10 (i.e., Factor 2) measuring impulsivity and limited behavioral control (e.g., “I find myself in the same kinds of trouble, time after time.”). Participants were asked their agreement (1 = strongly disagree; 4 = strongly agree) with the items which were averaged to create indexes of both factors.
Machiavellianism was measured with the Polish version (Pospiszyl, 2000) of the 20-item MACH-IV (Christie & Geis, 1970), where participants were asked how much they agreed (1 = strongly disagree; 7 = strongly agree) with statements such as: “It is hard to get ahead without cutting corners here and there” and “People suffering from incurable diseases should have the choice of being put painlessly to death.” The items were averaged to create a Machiavellianism index.
Narcissism was measured with the Polish version (Rogoza, Rogoza, & Wyszyńska, 2016) of the Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry Questionnaire (Back et al., 2013). The scale has nine items measuring individual differences in admiration (e.g., “I show others how special I am.”) and nine measuring rivalry (e.g., “I secretly take pleasure in the failure of my rivals.”) where participants were asked their agreement (1 = disagree completely; 6 = agree completely). Items were averaged to create indexes of each aspect.
Individual differences in the perceptions of the COVID-19 situation were measured with the S8* scale with all 40 items (Rauthman & Sherman, 2016). The scale was translated into Polish by three independent experts and then back-translated into English. The scale has five items for each of the eight dimensions: Duty (e.g., “A job needs to be done.”), Intellect (e.g., “Situation includes intellectual or cognitive stimuli.”), Adversity (e.g., “I am being blamed for something.”), Mating (e.g., “Potential sexual or romantic partners are present.”), pOsitivity (e.g., “The situation is pleasant.”), Negativity (e.g., “The situation could elicit stress.”), Deception(e.g., “It is possible to deceive someone.”), and Sociality (e.g., “Social interaction is possible.”). Participants were asked how much each statement applied (1 = not at all; 7 = totally) to the COVID-19 pandemic. Items were averaged to create indexes of each aspect.
Individual differences in compliance with governmental restrictions to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus were measured with a single item (in Polish). Participants reported the percent (1−100) to which they complied with the restrictions implemented by the Polish government. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886920303883
What is Real?
I have identified four distinct stages in the journey to wholeness.
Our lives become (or continue to be) a carefully constructed illusion based on how it looks, what people will think, and what we imagine will get us the love and security we so desperately crave.
This is why grandmothers continue to “make peace at all costs” rather than saying what they see, need and want. Some have called it the disease to please.
Pretending that everything is okay when in our hearts we know that is not true can only go so far. We go along to get along. We smile in public and cry in private. We live a lie, and it eats at our souls every day.
Women think if we ignore it, maybe it will go away or time will heal all wounds. The thing is, time doesn’t heal buried pain. It has to be unearthed and acknowledged before it will pass away. Pain that gets buried alive poisons the rest of our lives.
Divorce is a harsh word when applied to our mother-child relationships, isn’t it? But it happens whether we acknowledge it or not. Divorce occurs when all communication has broken down and attempts at reconciliation fail.
It is the most painful dark night of the soul. With divorce comes all the drama of severed relationships, he-said she-said finger pointing, and drama triangles where people talk about each other, but never directly to one another so healing could occur. We might as well lawyer up and some do. It’s called Grandparent Rights.
Last is the place of acceptance. There is no anger, no angst, no more bargaining. It is where we accept what life is handing out right now and the fighting is done.
You have decided what you do and do not want, what you will and will not stand for, and are making decisions to move forward with or without the resolution you may have hoped for. You are free to stay or go because you have become dedicated to reality at all costs. https://sixtyandme.com/how-to-divorce-your-adult-children-and-restore-your-sanity/
As another birthday (or Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or holiday) passes without word from your adult child, you feel more hurt than ever. Doesn’t my child have any empathy? you ask yourself. Doesn’t she care about what it’s like for me, not hearing from her today?
It’s very sad to think that your own flesh and blood could feel less concern about leaving you alone on a special day than a stranger might. And a lack of empathy is one possible (but not required) criterion in the diagnosis of narcissism. But before you rush to pin the label “narcissist” on your adult son or daughter, consider the following.
Hurt People …
There’s a pithy saying that’s all too true: Hurt people hurt people. One of the most difficult ideas for parents to wrap their minds around is that, despite your best intentions and honest efforts, your child feels hurt somehow by the way you relate to him. And that’s why he doesn’t want to be close.
We have research on this, and it’s true across the board. Adult children cut off their parents only as a way to protect themselves. It’s not to punish you, or because they don’t care about you. It’s because they’ve been hurt too many times.
That’s an extremely painful and confusing reality for most parents to grasp. Especially if you’ve tried your hardest to love and protect your child all her life. And yet it’s possible to do your best and still unwittingly do damage. It’s part of human relationships, and none of us can ever really escape that risk. Especially parents.
Children learn how the world works through the almighty lenses of their caretakers, and research rooted in attachment theories shows that. When a caretaker attunes appropriately to the child’s feelings and needs, the child subsequently experiences safety and security.
However, in narcissistic families, children experience repeated incidents of their parent misattuning, misaligning, or downright ignoring their feelings. The parent does not validate the child’s emotions; the parent validates whatever is in the parent’s best interest.
The narcissistic parent may punish children for crying, shame them for experiencing fear, and even quell them when expressing ‘too much’ happiness. In other words? Children learn that their feelings are erratic and unsafe. They learn that they are a source of problems.
For this reason, many children grow up believing that feelings must be suppressed. To achieve this suppression, we see many children of narcissists struggle with substance use, eating disorders, self-harm, and other impulsive or compulsive lifestyles.
After all, if they’ve experienced compounded years of condemnation for having feelings, why should they feel safe within their own emotional selves? In many cases, this can cause a child to form the narcissism defense mechanism. (In other cases, children will form the codependent defense mechanism).
There are a few signs of narcissistic behavior that parents should watch out for:
- Inflated ego: The narcissist has a huge ego. Narcissistic adult children demand that you do what they want, try to control you, and push every boundary. Every time you give them what they want, they demand something else. They say your job is to make them happy.
- Need for validation: A narcissist needs constant admiration. Often, they need praise for simple tasks, like making an appearance at your birthday party. You may find yourself giving your narcissistic adult child an inordinate amount of praise over something that’s a normal and expected part of family life.
- A sense of entitlement: The narcissist feels entitled to things they should have to work for. For example, they may demand ridiculous things like financial support well into adulthood. Or, tasks they should be doing themselves, but you find yourself performing…such as doing their laundry and folding their clothes, filling out their job applications, calling into work sick for them, or fixing their breakfast or lunch to take to work.
- Exploitation: A narcissist acts without conscience, thinking only of themselves. They lie, trick and steal to get what they want. This exploitation can be glaringly obvious or very subtle, so be on the lookout if you feel used. This may manifest as their throwing temper tantrums, blackmailing you by withholding their love or your grandchildren, trying to entice you with sweetness and affection when they want something, and blaming their behavior on you.
- Distorted thinking: A narcissist occupies a fantastical world where he or she is the greatest and most important person in the universe. In order to maintain the fantasy, narcissists lie. They often deny things that are obvious. They may make up fantastical tales to support the fantasy.
- Unpleasant personality: Contempt and belittlement are the narcissists’ tools of choice. When they feel threatened by success, they get mean. Watch out for those who are constantly putting down other peoples’ accomplishments. You may find your narcissistic adult child talking badly about their friends behind their backs, but pretending to care for them when these same friends come around.
There is an old story dating approximately 4,000 years ago about how God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Issac on an altar. Abraham and his wife Sarah waited decades for their only son together and since the human sacrifice was prohibited, this request seemed unusual. The story talks of the faith that Abraham had as he placed his son on the altar only to find that God had given him a lamb in replacement. With great relief, the lamb was sacrificed instead.
However, this story is very different when the altar is narcissism. In this case (and for the purposes of this article), it is the adult narcissistic child (ANC) who sacrifices their parent. Occasionally there are others who come along the way as a substitute sacrifice, but mostly it is the parent who is continually chastised by their ANC. It is as if the narcissist remembers every punishment they received as a child and in retaliation, enacts similar acts.
Once narcissistic personally disorder becomes evident, there is a painful realization that things have forever shifted. There is no compromise, no grace, and likely no forgiveness. Instead, there is isolation, demands, and manipulation. So what can a parent in this situation do? Here are a few suggestions:
- Live in the present. One of the biggest temptations is to look backward and wonder, “what if,” or “if only”. Second to that is to look too far ahead and try to predict the action of the ANC. Neither of these is productive. Narcissism is part biology, environment, and choice, so as circumstances change, so can the shape of the narcissist. Living in the present requires a bit of disciple but it is worth it. Even when the ANC has chosen the silent treatment, that is likely to be modified when they find they need a different response.
• Avoid over or under complimenting. As a general rule, parents like to praise their children. Normally narcissists love to admired but when the ANC receives compliments from their parent, it seems belittling to them. Rather, extend applause for only the things which the ANC brings to light. For instance, if shown a letter of recommendation, praise them for that. Just be careful not to take any credit for their accomplishments.
• Love or respect. A wise counselor once told me that when it comes to narcissists, the choice is to have either their love or respect, but not both. However, knowing which is more significant, is an individual decision. To earn their love means the parent watches their ANC’s mistakes and does not highlight them. Winning their respect means the parent achieves something the narcissist values.
• Patience is a virtue. Nagging the ANC does not work. It only frustrates them and causes unnecessary friction. In time, most ANC’s return to the nest especially when life has failed to glorify them and they need the unconditional support of their parent. Waiting them out with open arms is difficult and likely one of the toughest tasks of parenting yet. There is no guaranteed reward at the end, but it is worth the effort.
• Don’t expect remorse. Part of the definition of narcissistic personality disorder is the inability to demonstrate any real form of remorse, sorrow, or forgiveness. This is especially true when it comes to the relationship between the parent and the ANC. The ANC will not admit to wrongdoing, flawed thinking, an error in judgment, or poor decision. To expect such awareness is to not recognize the limitations of the disorder.
• Be careful of significant others. When the ANC finds a mate, it is essential that the parent show happiness for them regardless of the quality of the decision. Any indication of disapproval will be met with swift isolation that could last for years. At all costs, this should be avoided. https://pro.psychcentral.com/exhausted-woman/2017/08/sacrificed-at-the-alter-of-narcissism-parents-of-adult-narcissistic-children/
Narcissists cast dark shadows over our lives, especially when we are very young. Deep inside, instinctively, we know that we must survive. Many of us go along not only to get along but to stay alive psychologically. Some young children in highly disturbed narcissistic families become hyper-vigilant – always surveying their environments for danger, threats, visceral feelings of being completely unsafe. Other children are less aware of the dynamics in the family on a conscious level. They distract themselves with activity, telling themselves that everything is all right. In our earliest years our minds normalize what we are experiencing. It is the rare person who as a small child knew that there was something fundamentally wrong, unjust, and highly disturbed about one or both of our parents.
Narcissistic fathers cannot parent. They are emotionally unavailable to their children. They go through the motions of interacting with them. They may give greater attention to a child whom they perceive will become a star, a standout in the family – this is another narcissistic supply for the father. He doesn’t care about the individuality of this son or daughter. He sees potential in them that can be nurtured and eventually will reflect his greatness.The kids who don’t make the cut–the ones who are less attractive, (Blind / Deaf – CDD), highly sensitive, not socially skilled—-are set aside for neglect and constant ridicule. To the narcissistic father you are either his possession or you don’t exist. This man constantly appraises the value of his children to him. He sets unapproachable goals. Everyone must be at the top of the class or else. These fathers will take a son who has athletic capability and make them work out to the point of exhaustion and injury to fulfill their dream of having a son who is a professional athlete. Andre Agassi, the great tennis champion talks about his cruel narcissistic father’s forcing him from early childhood to practice hour after hour without let up. He didn’t care that his son hated tennis. Father prevailed. And yes, Agassi became a great champion but at a great price–years of abuse and agony.
There is an accumulation of truth about your narcissistic father. Some of his children recognize early that they are being used to prop up their father’s ego supplies and his grandiose self vision. Others identify with the father and spend their lives as his living servants. Those who wake up to the truth that the father is a merciless narcissist, sever this toxic relationship and begin the healing process of fulfilling their birthright of becoming a free separate individual. Some turn to professional psychotherapy and grieve for the real father they never had. There are other healing paths–meditation, hatha yoga, journaling, the forming of meaningful close relationships with individuals who care deeply about the real you. Those who go through this passage discover that they are finally free to lead their lives on their terms. They thrive, discover creative gifts that have been left dormant and gain confidence and inner peace by embracing their real selves. https://disinherited.com/media/free-yourself-narcissistic-parenting/
It is widely assumed that narcissists are envious. Nevertheless, evidence supporting this claim has remained elusive. In five studies (N = 1,225), we disentangle how grandiose narcissism predicts divergent envious inclinations. Specific facets of narcissism and forms of envy shared the same underlying motivational orientations (Study 1) and distinctively related to each other (Studies 1 to 5) via differences in emotional appraisal (Study 4). Moreover, envy was linked to opposing social consequences of different narcissism facets (Study 5). Specifically, hope for success related to narcissistic admiration, predicting benign envy, which entails the motivation to improve performance, translating into the ascription of social potency by the self and others. In contrast, fear of failure related to narcissistic rivalry, predicting malicious envy, which entails hostility, translating into the ascription of a proneness for social conflict by others. These results converged with envy measured as a trait (Studies 1 and 5) or state in recall tasks (Studies 2 and 4) and as response to an upward standard in the situation (Study 3). The findings provide important insights into narcissists’ emotional complexities, integrate prior isolated and conflicting evidence, and open up new avenues for research on narcissism and envy. Copyright © 2016 European Association of Personality Psychology