Posted in Adultification, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, Empath, Enabler, Machiavellianism, Oedipus Complex, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Projection, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS

Types of Personality Disorders

DSM-5 groups the 10 types of personality disorders into 3 clusters (A, B, and C), based on similar characteristics. However, the clinical usefulness of these clusters has not been established.

Cluster A is characterized by appearing odd or eccentric. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:

Overview of Cluster A Personality Disorders

Cluster B is characterized by appearing dramatic, emotional, or erratic. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:

  • Antisocial: Social irresponsibility, disregard for others, deceitfulness, and manipulation of others for personal gain

  • Borderline: Intolerance of being alone and emotional dysregulation

  • Histrionic: Attention seeking

  • Narcissistic: Underlying dysregulated, fragile self-esteem and overt grandiosity

Overview of Cluster B Personality Disorders

Cluster C is characterized by appearing anxious or fearful. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:

  • Avoidant: Avoidance of interpersonal contact due to rejection sensitivity

  • Dependent: Submissiveness and a need to be taken care of

  • Obsessive-compulsive: Perfectionism, rigidity, and obstinacy

Overview of Cluster C Personality Disorders

Symptoms and Signs

According to DSM-5, personality disorders are primarily problems with

  • Self-identity

  • Interpersonal functioning

Self-identity problems may manifest as an unstable self-image (eg, people fluctuate between seeing themselves as kind or cruel) or as inconsistencies in values, goals, and appearance (eg, people are deeply religious while in church but profane and disrespectful elsewhere).

Interpersonal functioning problems typically manifest as failing to develop or sustain close relationships and/or being insensitive to others (eg, unable to empathize).

People with personality disorders often seem inconsistent, confusing, and frustrating to people around them (including clinicians). These people may have difficulty knowing the boundaries between themselves and others. Their self-esteem may be inappropriately high or low. They may have inconsistent, detached, overemotional, abusive, or irresponsible styles of parenting, which can lead to physical and mental problems in their spouse or children.

People with personality disorders may not recognize that they have problems.

Continue reading “Types of Personality Disorders”

Posted in Alienation, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, Parental Alienation PA, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS, Sociopath

Asks no personal questions or asks very pointed questions.


You may walk out of a social encounter or a date and realize you have not been asked one single question about yourself, despite having learned a ton about the individual (see above). Pay attention to the degree of informational asymmetry: Does he disclose an enormous amount without asking or expecting you to reciprocate?

What’s going on: If nothing is asked of you and no interest expressed, then script delivery is the entire point of the encounter. If he asks a ton of questions but moves quickly from one to another, rather than allowing the conversation to organically unfold, he may be mining you for data, including information that can be used to gain a sense of your vulnerabilities. When chatting with a new target, psychopaths frequently strive to elicit information about stressors or life problems, so that they can ingratiate themselves with offers of assistance. This is an effort to gain your trust, of course. Continue reading “Asks no personal questions or asks very pointed questions.”

Posted in Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS, Sociopath

Repeats “confidential” information that he’s already shared with you.

The stories about the wife who took his fortune or the top-secret government contract may be repeated verbatim or near verbatim from one encounter to the next. Sure, we all have our pet narratives and canned stories that engender eye rolls amongst those who have heard them multiple times. So pay close attention to the nature of the information that is repeated.

What’s going on: If self-serving or self-aggrandizing information is repeatedly recycled, the individual is likely using a script, one that he’s forgotten that he’s already deployed with you. Psychopaths in particular are glib, and mendacity is their lingua franca. Sometimes they lie for no reason other than their own amusement. But they also lie to further specific agendas, and that is when they are most likely to go on auto-pilot in the delivery of false, scripted stories. Because people are interchangeable in the eyes of a psychopath or a narcissist—one-dimensional beings in whom they have no genuine interest—it can be hard for them to remember what they’ve said, and to whom. Continue reading “Repeats “confidential” information that he’s already shared with you.”

Posted in Alienation, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS, Sociopath

5 Things Psychopaths and Narcissists Will Do in Conversation

Individuals with psychopathic or narcissistic traits* frequently use false personas to interact with others, sometimes tailoring their masks so that they appear to share the interests of their targets. From small talk to bombastic speeches, any spotlight presents the opportunity to craft a mask, and to test, dominate, or even malign unwitting interlocutors.

Fortunately, there are conversational clues to such extreme duplicity: a person’s focus on you is too intense; his self-disclosure too early, too pat. The tactics below may read as at odds with one another (i.e. asking no questions or asking too many probing questions). But in context there is always a method to a psychopath’s conversational aberrance.

1) Confides in you immediately.

He was betrayed by a wife who took everything, but has succeeded in rebuilding his fortune. He’s on retainer with the NSA: Can’t get into it today, but you’ll be reading about it in the news this year. Yes, he is married, but only because his wife is highly unstable; she would fall apart if he leaves right now. Whatever the disclosure, it comes before he even knows whether or not you are trustworthy. And it involves a way in which he is vulnerable or powerful; wholly transparent or movie-star mysterious. Continue reading “5 Things Psychopaths and Narcissists Will Do in Conversation”

Posted in Borderline Personality Disorder, Pathological Lying, PERSONALITY DISORDERS

How to spot a liar | Pamela Meyer

Posted in Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), Parental Alienation PA, PERSONALITY DISORDERS

Anger, Feelings of Revenge, and Hate

What anger, feelings of revenge, and hate have in common is that they typically involve negative situations and lead to behaviors that can be disadvantageous to others. The review by Fischer, Halperin, Canetti, and Jasini (2018) takes a functional perspective on hate, in which this and other important similarities and differences between hate and closely related emotions are discussed. However, although their review compares anger with hate, and recently anger has been compared to feelings of revenge (Elshout, Nelissen, & van Beest, 2015), a comparison of hate and feelings of revenge has not yet received much attention in empirical and literature studies. In this comment, I would therefore like to extend Fischer et al.’s discussion by more specifically reflecting on differences concerning anger and feelings of revenge in relation to hate.

In what follows, I suggest that anger, feelings of revenge, and hate are characterized by a different focus. For example, the goal of anger is to restore or change the (unjust) situation. This can be achieved through coercion aimed at the anger-eliciting perpetrator, though not necessarily. Experiencing anger in third-party situations, where there is both a perpetrator and a victim, also motivates more prosocial behaviors focused on the victim (for a review, see van Doorn, Zeelenberg, & Breugelmans, 2014). The review of available studies on hate, as described in Fischer et al. (2018), clearly demonstrates that hate goes beyond this restoration goal. Instead, the goal of hate is to hurt and eliminate the hated target. Compared to anger, feelings of hate often involve deep and repeated violations of one’s (sense of) justice, which might explain a shift in focus: instead of observing an unjust situation caused by the other (anger), one observes an example of the other’s unjust nature (hate; Ortony, Clore, & Collins, 1988).

Although research on revenge is even scarcer than research on hate, the few studies that do exist seem to indicate that the experience of feelings of revenge (Elshout et al., 2015) is closely related to the experience of hate. Both hate and feelings of revenge are elicited by humiliation, seem to last longer than other emotions, and have the goal to apply suffering (Elshout et al., 2015Fischer et al., 2018). One might question whether “feelings of revenge” should be regarded as a separate emotion or whether this is actually an experience one would call hate. After all, it has been argued that revenge is an act of hate (Bar-Elli & Heyd, 1986). Unfortunately, recent studies measuring feelings of revenge did not include a measure of hate or compare characteristics of feelings of revenge and hatred (Elshout et al., 2015). Furthermore, studies measuring hate did not measure potential feelings of revenge.

Nonetheless, there are some indications that hate and feelings of revenge are not one and the same emotion. Elshout et al. (2015) suggest that feelings of revenge induce a focus on the self. That is, vengeful responses often result from offences that induce a self-threat, eliciting negative self-conscious emotions, such as shame and humiliation (Elison & Harter, 2007). Experiences of humiliation or ridicule can be regarded as an appraisal shared both by hate and feelings of revenge. However, it seems that hate is less likely to induce such a self-focus as compared to feelings of revenge. As mentioned previously, hate is an emotion with a focus on the innate nature of the other. It could therefore be argued that feelings of revenge involve an intrapersonal focus (Frijda, 1994), whereas hate involves an interpersonal focus. This might explain why revenge is typically an act that is performed by the person him/herself: in order to restore the self, one cannot let someone else do “the dirty work” (Bar-Elli & Heyd, 1986). When it comes to hate, it seems that others can perform “on behalf of” the person him/herself. For example, in cases of intergroup hatred directed at a particular outgroup, one member of the ingroup can perform a negative act towards the outgroup on behalf of the whole ingroup. In that sense, one could argue that feelings of revenge contain a more explicit personal aspect than hate (Bar-Elli & Heyd, 1986).

The self-focus that characterizes feelings of revenge is also important in explaining the enduring nature of both hate and feelings of revenge. On the one hand, hate generally lasts longer than other emotions because it is not so much a reaction to a specific event, but one that is based on the appraisals of the fundamental nature of the hated person (Fischer et al., 2018). On the other hand, feelings of revenge are generally a reaction to a specific event and last longer because they may involve more planning and there is not always an opportunity to act upon them. Research indeed seems to indicate that the opportunity for revenge is a key variable in differentiating whether feelings of revenge turn into behavior (Elshout, Nelissen, van Beest, Elshout, & van Dijk, 2017).

A synthesis of the literature described here makes clear why anger, feelings of revenge, and hate are judged as being closely related, but also suggests that what makes hate, anger, and feelings of revenge different is their focus. Anger focuses on changing/restoring the unjust situation caused by another person (e.g., van Doorn et al., 2014), feelings of revenge focus on restoring the self (e.g., Frijda, 1994), and hatred focuses on eliminating the hated person/group (e.g., Fischer et al., 2018). Though grounded in existing literature, future research is needed to empirically confirm the unique characteristics of these three emotions. Continue reading “Anger, Feelings of Revenge, and Hate”

Posted in Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), PERSONALITY DISORDERS

What leads certain people to seek vengeance? Sadism

People who enjoy hurting others and seeing them in pain are more likely to seek revenge against those who have wronged them, according to a new study led by a Virginia Commonwealth University psychology professor.

The study, “Personality Correlates of Revenge-Seeking: Multidimensional Links to Physical Aggression, Impulsivity, and Aggressive Pleasure,” found that sadism is the dominant personality trait that explains why certain people are more likely than others to seek vengeance.

“We wanted to paint a picture of the personality of the type of person who seeks revenge. We’re all slighted in our daily lives, but some of us seek revenge and some of us do not. So what kind of person is the person who seeks vengeance?” said David Chester, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences at VCU. “The core of what we found is that the person who seeks revenge is a person who tends to enjoy it.”

The study, which will appear in a forthcoming edition of the journal Aggressive Behavior, was conducted by Chester and C. Nathan DeWall, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky.

The researchers conducted three studies involving 673 students at the University of Kentucky in which participants filled out questionnaires that have been validated to predict a person’s real-life behavior. They were asked to say whether they agree or disagree to a variety of statements, such as “Anyone who provokes me deserves the punishment that I give” and “If I’m wronged, I can’t live with myself until I revenge.”

“A lot of people don’t want to admit to having certain traits or tendencies that aren’t really savory or socially acceptable, so you have to ask questions in a very specific way,” Chester said. “You’re not asking outright, ‘Are you a vengeful person?’ No one would say that they are. But instead you can use a little bit of subterfuge and get some insight.”

By gaining a deeper understanding of what drives certain people to seek revenge, researchers will be able to create profiles that could be used to identify those who are most likely to commit violence in the future and intervene.

“Not everyone when they’re wronged goes out and shoots up a school. Not everyone when they’re wronged starts a bar fight. But some people do. So identifying who is most at risk for seeking revenge is really important to do in order to intervene before they engage in harmful acts and start to hurt other people in retaliation,” Chester said.

“This type of information [revealed in the study] can be used to build a profile of the type of person to look out for,” he said. “If you know which individuals are most at risk of seeking vengeance against others, maybe you could intervene beforehand and prevent the acts of violence from ever happening in the first place.”

Chester, a leading scholar in the field of aggression research, runs the Social Psychology and Neuroscience Lab in VCU’s Department of Psychology, which aims to further our understanding of violent behavior, exploring the role of the brain and human psychology behind topics such as revenge, domestic abuse, psychopaths and related topics.

“Our real world goal is to reduce violence and to reduce aggressive behavior. The most common form of that is revenge,” Chester said. “When you ask murderers and terrorists and others who commit violence why they did what they did, the answer is frequently that they were seeking retribution for something that someone had done to them.”

“So if we’re trying to reduce aggression, we should start by trying to reduce revenge,” he said. “And one of the best ways to reduce revenge is to figure out who is most likely to do it.”

Continue reading “What leads certain people to seek vengeance? Sadism”

Posted in Alienation, Borderline Personality Disorder, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), PERSONALITY DISORDERS

The narcissist’s self-serving defenses can end up making them defenseless.

It’s supremely ironic. Narcissists are notorious for ruthlessly manipulating others to gain a strategic advantage over them. Yet they’re exceptionally vulnerable to being duped themselves because of their powerful psychological defenses, which—if recognized—can be vigorously used against them.

To adopt a common expression: “The bigger they [think they] are, the harder they fall.”

The DSM-5, the standard manual for diagnosing mental and emotional disorders, lists nine criteria for determining whether an individual is afflicted with this serious disorder. And this post will demonstrate how virtually all of these criteria indirectly suggest pathological narcissists’ curious susceptibility to others’ outmaneuvering them. For as rigidly constricted as the narcissist’s character structure is, their fabricated, super-sized “false self” still requires the assistance of others to remain securely (though artificially) inflated. Continue reading “The narcissist’s self-serving defenses can end up making them defenseless.”

Posted in Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Projection

What Is Reverse Projection?

Reverse projection means even if you’re no longer in relationship with your abuser, you may still thing well of her rather than face the truth- she abused you.  Being realistic will help you to accept that yes, you were abused, yes, things were bad & yes, you have been adversely affected by it all.  Once you admit these things, & only then, can you begin to heal.


And if reverse projection helped you to accept responsibility for being abused, that will create plenty of problems in itself.  It’s unhealthy to accept responsibility for being abused because you did nothing wrong!  Doing so creates a root of toxic shame inside, & toxic shame creates so many problems.  It destroys your self esteem, it sets you up to be abused by others, it makes you unable to accept help when you need it & more.  You also are carrying the abuser’s shame when it’s not yours to carry.  That shame needs to be laid square on the abuser, never on the victim.  Whether or not the abuser carries her own shame is up to her, but it is never your responsibility to carry it! Continue reading “What Is Reverse Projection?”

Posted in Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), PERSONALITY DISORDERS

Pseudologia Fantastica: A Fascinating Case Report

Using structural magnetic resonance imaging, Yang et al6 found a widespread increase in white matter (23%-36%) in orbitofrontal, middle, and inferior prefrontal subregions, and a 36% to 42% reduction in prefrontal grey/white ratios in liars.
This white matter increase may predispose some individuals to pathological lying.

Lack of attention, negligence,and abuse can contribute to individuals developing a
need to lie.
Narcissistic personality disorder is very similar to pseudologia fantastica in that the former often tells exaggerated stories about the self to obtain constant attention and approval from others and overcome the underlying inadequate sense of self. In pseudologia fantastica, the stories are even more extreme and often not even possible, whereas the narcissist tells stories that are within the bounds of reality.
Borderline personality disorder and pseudologia fantastica can both cause patients to lie and not be able to acknowledge the truth from falsehood. However, in pseudologia fantastica, the other prominent features of borderline personality disorder (eg, impulsivity, self destructive behaviors) are absent.
Histrionic personality disorder shows similar dramatization and the extreme need for attention found in pseudologia fantastica. However, the former also manifests other histrionic features such as inappropriate sexuality, seductiveness, selfdramatization, and suggestibility.
Pervasive developmental disorder, which can be a co-occurring disorder, can be differentiated from pseudologia fantastica in that the former, although it can involve the telling of stories, the stories have a more preservative quality than those stories of
a person with pseudologia fantastica.

Continue reading “Pseudologia Fantastica: A Fascinating Case Report”