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98 thoughts on “The Secret Façade of the Vulnerable Narcissist

  • November 23, 2016 at 8:52 pm
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    Thank you for writing an article in reaponse to my earlier comment! This is my situation & I’m too sick to leave. Thanks again & will keep reading your blog.

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      • June 29, 2018 at 11:04 am
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        Hi,

        With very much great efforts after 5 years of marriage with Narcissistic wife, escaped and survived. Fighting hard to get out of trauma but helpless. No help is available and still searching.

        [email protected]

        Reply
      • September 7, 2018 at 11:19 am
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        Aren’t we ALL narcissistic to some degree? Don’t we all have egos?? Where is the delineation between narcissism and insecurity?

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      • September 7, 2018 at 1:28 pm
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        No we are not all narcissistic. Narcissism is not the same thing as ego, they have two different definitions. Insecurity is the opposite of narcissism.

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      • February 6, 2019 at 12:30 pm
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        “Insecurity is the opposite of narcissism.”

        This is not correct. Narcissistic personality is constructed as a coping strategy over time to protect the developing ego from injury, an unsuccessful exercise. There is nothing “opposite”.

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  • November 29, 2016 at 1:57 am
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    Madam,
    I truly hope your clients have enough strength and wisdom to recognize that you either have personality disorder with the possibility to misuse your power, or you are an ignorant, illiterate, and incompetent “clinician”. Unfortunately,there are many ignorant people like you in the field of mental health/illness. Beside lack of knowledge you seem to have lack of empathy toward the population that you suppose to serve. I am amazed that your license has not been revoked.

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      • December 10, 2018 at 7:02 pm
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        Condescending and Passive Aggressive “Tone” was perceived from the words. “Thanks for sharing”.

        Albeit that comment was rather rude, but it sort of proved the point of “Lack of Empathy” with the rather limiting comment. This is just my experience quickly reading and digesting at first glance.

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      • January 16, 2019 at 7:59 am
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        Uh oh! Ms. Hammond, it looks like someone’s a little upset that you got their number! Poor guy is absolutely livid over you unmasking him….so much so that he would have you stripped of your credentials!!! Lol

        Excellent insight into this disorder! Thank you for such an informative article. It describes my momster perfectly!

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      • March 30, 2019 at 7:24 pm
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        Fun response! I have a monster, too. Then my brother married a clone of mom, X 10. I never expected to see such a textbook VN. I have been bullied by all three for 3 decades, causing deep depression. I am quiet, yet blamed for everything.

        I am the warm, fuzzy type, they are not. They have set out to destroy me so that this trait doesn’t exist – or I am wrong.

        Thank you for informative articles, it truly does help to know that you are not alone. It’s clear to me who has experienced some of these impossible people , and others that have commented here, without a clue of the damage these people can do.

        Great sense of humor, Lorie!

        Thank you all.

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      • January 24, 2020 at 10:04 pm
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        OK, no need to be overly rude, but I find myself thinking at least somewhat along the same lines as Resheh. Do you believe that narcissists are human beings on at least SOME level? Or would you round them all up into death camps if you had the power to do so?
        It may seem that my question is also rude, and maybe it is – if you’ve ever said or written anything that would indicate you would NOT gladly mass murder all narcissists, please show me and I will stand corrected.
        Can narcissists be cured? Or is it that, because they are monsters and not human beings, asking such a question puts me outside of decent society? If I understand you correctly I believe you would say that they don’t WANT to be cured and that they do not really suffer from any form of mental illness but are actually just totally devoid of morality. Maybe they actually ARE just purely evil – but how do we know for sure?

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      • February 16, 2020 at 11:05 pm
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        I can’t speak for everyone but I know that I hate the fact I am the way I am …. I would change it if I could.. and I try.. just leaves me feeling depressed in the end.. no one wins.

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    • April 1, 2019 at 11:24 pm
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      Yea. I noticed the views, perhaps it’s due to that She is a pro at dealing with Exhausted women, she wants to end it for them, she is not a Psychotherapist. And truth be told, maybe only a few super psychological individuals should take on the mental game of working a narc out. Wish me luck as I’m doing that now and most of the past three years 🙂

      Reply
  • December 1, 2016 at 3:23 pm
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    Sounds a lot like my roommate honestly. I feel like I’m walking on pins and needles when I’m around her.

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    • June 29, 2018 at 11:20 am
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      Same feelings was with me while I married to narcissistic wife for last 5 years. Still in trauma while I left her 9 months back with no contacts.

      Reply
  • December 5, 2016 at 4:44 am
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    Are there any resources to help parents whose child shows these exact characteristics? My mother has been dx with narcisstic behaviour so I know it’s in the family.

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  • March 30, 2017 at 7:53 am
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    Yes – a tragedy really…. my best friend is a vulnerable narcassist and I think the world of her and yet she’s dangerous and has hurt me many times already.

    people don’t understand or see like I’ve seen and it’s hard because i truly love this woman.

    And she will never know. Now I have to leave her because she is too dangerous and i hate even having to make this decision.

    I don’t know what’s worse – leaving someone you love or the fact they will never know that you left them BECAUSE you loved them.

    God help us all.

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  • April 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm
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    I read all your posts about narcissism and it seems as if you are dividing personality disorders into “bad” and “acceptable”. Narcissism being bad, of course. You write a lot about how to work with narcissists, how to divorce narcissists, and they come out as pure evil in your posts. But surely you, as a mental health specialist, must understand that narcissists suffer too, maybe even much more due to the very fact that they are narcissists. And can’t help their behaviour as sometimes don’t even realise it. And thanks to your advice other people might really fuck them up.

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    • July 27, 2018 at 4:47 pm
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      M, I agree with your comment that narcissists suffer too. As the child of a narcissist, I spent a lot of years wondering what in the world was going on – the whole family could tell something was wrong, we just couldn’t put our finger on what it was. In my 30s I learned about narcissism in a very accidental way and then began devouring all the information I could to learn about the disorder. This knowledge offered me the ability to feel compassion for my father and all he must experience every day – likely without even realizing it. But it also taught me that any relationship I decided to have with my father would be a toxic one – it allowed me to make an informed decision about how to proceed in a relationship with him and how to set boundaries. I am grateful for the knowledge that was shared by so many clinicians that allowed this compassion and understanding (to the extent I am capable of understanding). Without these, there would only be anger, frustration, and confusion.

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    • January 16, 2019 at 8:07 am
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      Narcissists ARE bad!!! I’ve never known a narcissist to suffer…at least nowhere near the extent of the suffering they take delight in causing others. Please stop excusing terrible people for their abusive behavior because “they don’t know any better”. That’s bullshit!!! They know exactly what they are doing because it is carefully calculated for their gain!

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  • May 18, 2017 at 1:03 pm
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    You can spot a few personality disordered commenters on this thread as they are hyper-sensitive to criticism and project their own inner anguish onto others in attempts to blame. Thank you for your many articles… so informative.

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  • June 22, 2017 at 11:30 pm
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    You’ve got a glaring spelling mistake:
    “Unlike GNs, VNs ae very talented in using false humility and shallow apologies….”
    Basic spelling mistakes and grammatical errors reduce a reader’s confidence in the author.

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    • December 12, 2019 at 1:50 pm
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      What’s Wrong with you copy and pasting to a notepad first? Are you not Capable of spell checking it? In my opinion,Anyone who gets irritated about grammatical errors and then posting about it really needs some self reflection. In my perception that means any Book of any type you read will be in question then because even published ones have errors. I know because I get caught up in them when I read. I Do Not however write the author and tell them their book stinks because of it. I overlook it. Oh, by the way, my post has errors in it and News FLASH so does yours🤪. Have a nice day.

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  • June 22, 2017 at 11:35 pm
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    And one more:
    “This is not my fault but someone else fault.”
    Should be “this is not my fault but someone else’s fault.”
    If you correct these, I’d like to share this with others on Twitter etc.
    Many thanks.

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  • July 10, 2017 at 3:14 am
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    Thanks Christine for your article.

    Unfortunately, I am going through a divorce with a VN.
    It’s hell living with a VN.
    Unfortunately, there is a child in the mix and the interim custody order is being abused to frustrate and punish me.

    After 12 years of abuse, I was completely broken. It’s only through meditation practice that I’ve lasted as long.
    And can you believe that I just realized that she is a VN? I’ve always had a suspicion that she was not well, but articles such as yours have made a difference. Labeling it has made it real!

    So, thank you again.

    The challenges are still ahead of me.

    A

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    • June 29, 2018 at 5:02 am
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      I, too, am in the middle of a divorce after 10 years married to a woman who I believe is a VN. She exhibits many of the behaviors described in the author’s article. Inattentiveness, unaffectionate, non-intimate, always well made up (make up, attire, accessories, etc…), nothing is ever her fault, concerns that I had about her behavior towards me throughout our entire relationship were never addressed by her and worse yet, she’d blame me and say “why would I want to be affectionate and intimate with you when you never do X, Y, or Z?”, always posting selfies to social media, and lastly and most importantly, grew up in a household with a cold, cruel and controlling mother.

      The marriage started spiraling out of control when she got a new job early last year. I was happy for her because she went from a workplace environment that she wasn’t happy with to one where she liked the people and felt like a more loose and friendly atmosphere. But I started to notice that she was more free with her affections and behaviors with these people. By her own admission she’s come home and tell me stories about her day and how they would all tease, joke – sometimes in a sexual nature and in a couple instances she described how they’d sometimes get flirty. These were all behaviors she NEVER exhibited with me in our relationship and it devastated me to see her being so free with them to people she’s known for such a short time. Late last year she went to a wine tasting with a group of coworkers on a weeknight to a restaurant in another small town 25 minutes away from us. We had worked out plans for her to Uber to and from the event since I needed to stay home with the kids. Around 1am I started looking at the Uber app and noticed drivers were disappearing from the map quickly(1am on a Thursday night in a small town isn’t busy enough for drivers to stay out all night). So I texted to tell her she may want to think about wrapping it up because drivers were getting scarce. No reply from her until after 3am. Turns out they all ended up going to a nearby bar around midnight. Her phone had died. One of her co-worker’s sons ended up picking them up and bringing them back to the co-worker’s home where they sobered up a bit and the the coworker drove my wife home and she got in around 4am. The next day I asked her about the night and she told me all of the above. I was upset for several reasons. With all the prior behaviors mentioned above and the the bad choices she made that night I told her that if that was how future outings were going to be then I didn’t want her to go to them anymore. Well, in her mind, I’m not trying to control her and at that point, when I started to finally push back against her behaviors towards me, was when our marriage was over. She no longer needed me because I wasn’t enabling her anymore. From then on out any discussion we would have turned into a huge argument. When the arguments would get heated, I’d turn to drinking and would start to say cruel things to her and yell at her. Finally, in February of this year I moved out. I needed to remove myself from the toxicity of her behaviors and focus on making myself a better person for me and my kids.

      It sucks because I’m lonely now. I don’t have much family left while she has a huge family and they all live withinn 10 minutes. And, of course, they’re all enabling her by praising her for how strong she’s being for herself and the kids and doing it all on her own (words said by her in our last therapy session).

      She filed for divorce on May 11. We had our custody and support hearing this past Wednesday. Divorce will be final on Feb 14, 2019. Happy freaking valentines day, right?

      It all boils down to emotional abuse, really. For 12.5 years I clung to the hope that she’d come around and open up to me and be more affectionate, loving, doting, flirty and intimate to and with me. And for 12.5 years I was told I was the problem that made her not able to be those things for me. It’s demoralizing, depressing and frustrating. I would literally shut down. Stay in bed all day. Not do anything with her or my kids. Not do anything around the house. And all that made it even more my fault, but how was I supposed to better myself while staying in an unloving and unwanting environment? I had to leave to find myself again.

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      • June 29, 2018 at 8:25 am
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        Thank you for sharing your story. It is wise to care for yourself before trying to care for others. I hope you complete your healing process.

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  • August 28, 2017 at 2:07 pm
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    I hate that every blog or discussion is about DEALING with a narcissist, instead of narcissism. I’ve been diagnosed with vulnerable narcissism after years of being suicidal. All I’m trying to do is find a place to share my feelings on the other side of this, but instead I see the pure hatred that people have towards people like me. I feel like narcissism is one of the only mental illnesses that people have no empathy for. What am I to do? I’m in psychotherapy, yet I can’t talk about my problems, because everyone immediately thinks that it’s just that I’m a dick, or that I have the grandiose version. No, I’m miserable and empty inside. I haven’t felt happy ever.

    But I’m sure this will just be seen as a form of passive-aggressive manipulation, right?

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  • September 22, 2017 at 10:05 am
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    Thank you for writing this blog. I have suffered in a romantic relationship with a VN for over 20 years. Over a year ago I stumbled onto the concept of NPD. Alarms immediately went off in my mind. I read voraciously about it. Yet, many articles described the grandiose narcissist, and some of those traits did not ring true with my narc. He is fairly introverted. I tried googling introvert and narcissist. At that point the articles became even more accurate describing my significant other. However, none of those articles nailed his personality like this one. I was so relieved to be able to identify and put a name to the behavior I had been dealing with. Sadly, I have also read that NPD is extremely difficult to treat, and there is limited success at best. Discovering this, along with escalating anger and aggression in my home directed at both me and my children, gave me the courage to leave. Many of us suffer in these relationships for so many reasons: fear of the unknown, vows we do not wish to break, guilt for breaking up a family, pity for the person suffering from NPD. After over 20 years with this person, I grieve many things, one of which is my inability to help him heal. But ultimately, I had to view him as something similar to an injured wild animal. I pity the suffering being, but my attempts to help were only resulting in injury to myself and my children. For our own safety and sanity we had to leave. I pray that someday there will be breakthroughs in treatment of this disorder. I know that it’s likely that as much as my children and I are suffering, he is suffering more.

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  • October 9, 2017 at 1:29 pm
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    This article explains my ex to a teeee. He is a bookcase covert narc. OMG! He is in therapy now for anger issues. I knew something was off with him going into 2 years in a relationship. I do have high self-worth and have a high tolerance for things- I may even be an empath. I feel for people deeply. He took advantage of that. Come to find I am a magnet for narcs. I met him online. He told me it easier from him to meet people online then on the street. He was open about his feelings and what people have done to him. He was always in victim mode. I never felt sorry for him,but I kept listening. He was paranoid as well. He had multiple relationships. He told me his ex-wife called him a sociopath. My ex-husband was the typical narc. Thats why I could not see the signs clearly because he had the traits of a covert. There were a lot of red flags, but I chose to ignore them. I do not like talking about myself and when I met him that was all he did. Then something change. I thought maybe he had Asperger’s or BPD. I knew he was egotistical. But, I felt that did not explain the crap I went through emotional with him and he knew I was getting closer to the truth because he would say stop analyzing me. I started to lose confidence in myself. He would be one way at home and another person when he was with his co-workers! He told me he different at home because that was his real self. His real self-was passive-aggressive, aloof, rude, talked a lot about himself,acting bored. He would say I want to be appreciated. He said “it is me against the world.” He also thought in white and black(splitting). He would gaslight me a lot. When with his co-workers, he was happy, fun, entertaining and loving life, but the reality was he was not like that at all.

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    • December 10, 2018 at 7:07 pm
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      As a person with BPD, Depression and GAD. I find that some of the Red Flags are a bit Generic and can be misconstrued and minimized. I’m sorry you had a bad Ex, but there are multiple reasons for people to maybe act like the ways you describe. Sometimes the Issue is so close but the Proven Allegations cloud the Big picture.

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  • November 17, 2017 at 11:16 am
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    Your description fits my wife to a tee. I have been married for nearly 25 years and have put up with a lot of abusive behaviors as my wife is a vulnerable narcissist as well as a compulsive shopper that has caused us to accumulate over $200K in debt. Additionally she seems to exhibit a lot of emotional immaturity, which I have heard is common with someone with Turner’s Syndrome (which she also has). My teenage/adult children, and my mother, all think that I should divorce her, although it won’t be easy. However, I think I might be able get her to go counseling. Should I try and get her help, or is this a lost cause?

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    • November 17, 2017 at 9:19 pm
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      I always vote for trying to see if she can’t get better with counseling before throwing in the towel. But put a time limit on her recovery so it doesn’t drag out for years.

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  • March 18, 2018 at 6:27 pm
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    Hi, I recognized myself in some of these points and I had no idea there was anything wrong with me at all 😮 What do I do? I don’t want to cause any sort of damage to anyone. How do VN typically hurt others?

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  • April 27, 2018 at 10:00 am
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    I just got diagnosed this week. After feeling suicidal, anxious, depressed, unhappy with life and jumping from job to job over the past 40 years, it now all starting to making sense. I was surprised at first to hear the Narcissist word in the diagnosis as I had associated the term with good looking, high achievers, people on would expect to find heavily enamored with themselves. However, the full list of symptoms, particularly relating to the NV sub-type, are a sure hit on some of the traits I had been observing in myself.
    I am fortunate to have found a therapist that after several intense interview sessions, was able to make this diagnostic. I think the road to recovery is going to be long, arduous and fraught with setbacks, but I am grateful for the opportunity to enjoy my family and lead a normal, care sharing life.
    I will never forget but forgive myself for past mistakes and if at all possible, seek forgiveness from many that I have hurt in the past.
    But I do look forward to the future.
    m.

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  • June 21, 2018 at 1:57 am
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    What a great article. My, now deceased, brother had all the symptoms and eventually turned on me and those supporting him. He lived in his own mythomanic world of situations and responded with defensive, victim stories, when people reacted to his strange behaviour. (My silly expression is “the world was in his head and his head not in the world”). The hurt and confusion caused was huge and friends and I had to walk away eventually, as we were accused of all sorts of transgressions. I find it strange that a person with this disorder has the ability to play on others guilt and empathy, yet display none of these emotions in their makeup.

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  • June 24, 2018 at 8:36 am
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    I highly suggest reading Dr. Edith Fiore’s “The Unquiet Dead”. This touches on the topic of entities. These are spirits which inhabit out souls- (and are responsible for most of our behavioral difficulties and problems).

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  • August 4, 2018 at 9:02 pm
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    I was so happy to read your article. It describes my wife all too well. I knew things weren’t right that I loved her and kept a since humor. She has been increasingly angry and finally acted out to Domestic abuse to the point where I have a protective order against her. I’m sitting here still hoping this works out. I keep thinking it was my fault. To make things worse, I am suffering from a life ending disease.

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  • August 14, 2018 at 3:18 pm
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    Wow, this is my mother to a T!

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  • October 26, 2018 at 4:17 pm
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    I’m extremely grateful for your post detailing vulnerable narcissists. With the fully fleshed out description I can now relieve myself from worry that I fit the profile; I’m simply shy. But then the trait seems to be a paternal trait affecting at least 3 generations.

    Let this be a cautionary warning to even bright people with high level education, training, and professional experience in affiliated fields—spend your energy on the best counsel instead of on misinformed notions and anxiety.

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  • December 28, 2018 at 1:15 am
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    Dear Christine,

    I feel like I met one of these people you describe.
    I met this handsome, introspective, refined man online. At first he was very easygoing and actively pursuing relationship but soon I noticed that he is constantly sad and unhappy. He had no friends (literally not a single one), was not in touch with his family because, he said, they were not nice to him since he was a child; they didn’t take him seriously. Plus, his Mom died when he was 12. He was very unsatisfied with his work and co-workers and especially with his evil ex. And yes, he was not very open about his feelings, almost never looked into my eyes. At the same time he kept initiate our dates and invite me for dinners (every 2-3 days). We would spend hours discussing music, serious movies and philosophical conceptions. Once, when we were in the store he bought flowers; I thought they were for me but no, he bought them to put in a vase at his home. He rarely complimented me, just once he murmured “you are so beautiful”. He said he was type 4 according to Enneagram. You know these Four types always feel envy to those more lucky in life…I now wonder if he was 4 or a real VN? I don’t know if this question makes any sense to you. For some reasons when I read your post I felt like it was about my friend who doesn’t let me go and doesn’t let me feel connected to him. What do you think?

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    • January 29, 2019 at 11:52 am
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      I think that the pain from a parent’s early death can cause feelings of guilt because the child could not do anything about what was happening. They haven’t let go of that guilt.The other family’s reaction to the death could be felt by this person while growing up and they saw that the cup was half empty instead of half full. They never let go of this idea and it is projected on to others as envy. They really want to be happy but they are in a “loop” of thinking they (and other that were affected) were victims and they need more from the world to make up for the pain and loss that they experienced.

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  • February 22, 2019 at 11:03 am
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    Hi, very good the description. I am a vulnerable narcissistic and agree with all. I would like only to complete with my point of view, because is rare an opinion like that. In this forums have in general only opinions of the “victims”.

    In general is Very rare someone bem a victim of a vulnerable narcissistic. First because we are not the type who are charming and attract the girls. We are aloft, smug, disinterested, bored, condescending, inattentive, and judgmental around others in the first romantic encounter and this is “boring” for the girls. They talk a Lot of shits like that don’t feel Emotional connection or others things that people want to a Second encounter. And besides that I don’t want in general a Second encounter too because they are in general worst that were online and I deserve more. And the rare that are of my interest because are Very beautiful don’t like of me because I AM short or ugly for her or another shit. We are not charminho like grandiose narcissistic. In fact, we envy them. We would like to be like them and not vulnerable. But we don’t have Idea How to grow outros low self steem to be like them. But this is the only motive for vulnerable narcissistic want to Go in psychologist. To grow self steem and charm and charisma and be like grandiose narcissistics. Because is the only way to Turn or fantasies in reality.

    I believe that grandiose narcissistics in general attract ALL the people but prefer empaths to manipulate. But vulnerable narcissistic in general don’t attract anyone. But when attract, we in general prefere another vulnerable narcissistics. Because we grow the ego and self steem of the other and have empathy for the other because we only have empathy for someone with are like us. My only relationship was with a vulnerable narcissistic like me and we were together for 7 months. The best relationship of ALL. The other women of my life in general was only one encounter. In general with hookers. Because I like of beautiful women and in general is easier beautiful hookers. Beautiful women in general don’t like of me. And the women that like of me are ugly.

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    • June 3, 2019 at 8:49 pm
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      I do agree with a lot you have said. I identify with only being interested in men, like myself, who are empaths, sensitive, etc. The difference, though, is maybe that I do want to be less calculated and find a way to enjoy life instead of trying to perfect it before I live it. My fear of loss and rejection is what keeps me from being bold in my life. And I do remember taking risks in the past. I will say I am not jealous of GVNs. I may sometimes joke that their lives must be nice, but I don’t really want to make myself a spectacle to appear happy. That’s what they seem to be from my vantage point. LOL. I just want to be happy, period.

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  • March 18, 2019 at 2:54 pm
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    Hi, I am a Recovering Vulnerable Narcissist. I used to fit the description laid out above. I have been in several relationships that has ended in disaster, and lost some people in my life that I truly loved. I wish I could turn back time and take back the things I have said and done. As with some VNs, I have some bitterness, but at this point its only with myself. Some of my ex-partners eventually forgave me, Some didn’t. The ones that forgave me was worth more than any money I could win in a lottery, I am truly grateful for it. The ones that didn’t forgive do not owe me anything. This is a regret that I will carry for a long time perhaps the rest of my life. I often wonder about the damage I caused these people, I hope they were able to recover from it.

    I learned that I was a VN through therapy which helped me. I also learned that some forms of narcissism can be helpful at times. I feel it is important that as a VN that you try to work on self-awareness so that you can decide if what your doing adds value to your life or value to the people who are around you, versus doing things to merely improve your own self identity or vanity. In self awareness you should be able to see when Narcissistic Injury and Rage can occur and take steps to avoid it so you don’t cause irreparable emotional harm to others. I do feel, however, that narcissism cannot be completely eradicated from ones personality. If controlled it can be used to drive one to do some really great things like helping other people, being successful in life , or simply having the will to chase an otherwise impossible dream.

    After a series of failed relationships I finally met someone that was willing to guide me and help me. That’s why I started talk therapy. We have been married for 20 years and have children. My narcissism has not been a problem in my marriage because I have become cognizant of the problems it can cause. My wife and I talk about it frequently with me being open to criticism if it should arise. However, I still am an ambitious person in my own career and like to keep myself fit and physically attractive. Are these things driven by narcissism? absolutely. But I think these things are acceptable.

    If someone you are close to is causing you to suffer because of their Vulnerable Narcissism then you should by all means take the steps to protect your self or other loved ones including setting up boundaries or even getting away completely from this person. But I would caution against painting all VNs as villains, and no I am certainly not trying to play the victim here. If you realize a person you are with is a VN and has not caused serious harm, help that person find counseling/ therapy. It can work if that person is willing. My wife is this person, I am super grateful for her, she needs to be given a halo. She saved me 20 years ago, and I work hard to earn this and her love. VNs would be lost without superheros like her.

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  • April 15, 2019 at 8:01 am
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    “The illusory relationship as being more significant than it is”

    [email protected]#*& you. Online relationships are just as real and just as valid as any other kind.

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  • April 24, 2019 at 5:56 pm
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    This describes my ex perfectly. We were only together a few months, but it took years to rebuild my self-esteem. He was introverted, intelligent, charming. But after a few weeks, it became all about him. His ex-wife/GF’s were all crazy, he wasn’t getting promoted in his job even though he was the most intelligent. He never wanted to hang out with my friends. Just me. Then the truth came out. Multiple affairs with multiple coworkers. Broke up a marriage and family. When I confronted him on the rumors, he ran away. He lied to people saying I told him he wasn’t good enough for me. Would only communicate via text for an ego boost. Finally just cut him off and blocked him. Found out later he was orbiting me on work related social media, but was too afraid to speak to me. I want to feel sympathy for him, but I’m not there yet. Maybe never will be. Grateful that he is no longer my problem. He settled down with his cheating partner/back up plan. She can take care of him now.

    Reply
  • May 26, 2019 at 11:23 am
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    In a relationship with a VN, finding it difficult to detach from him physically, the emotional connection is long gone. A few month ago he pulled a 10″ knife out of the kitchen and waved it at me while he was in a rage because I had confronted him on something.

    How dangerous overall, do you think the VN is as compared to sociopaths or psychopaths, he actually seems exactly like the personality that Thanateros described in the earlier post.

    I’m trying to come up with a plan to either get him to leave or leave myself, I have two dogs and a disability and would be much better staying in my home according to my doctors.

    Reply
  • June 2, 2019 at 3:15 am
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    I have long suspected my daughter was Passive/Aggressive but she went further than that, her brother and I have both been diagnosed Asperger and don’t always see what is happening – but I now see that we have been the enablers in her life. For the last 20 years we have all worked together in a family business and in that time its one problem after another, I have to now close down the business and find somewhere to live as its become untenable. She has been punishing us for years without us always being aware of it. Our possessions are broken, lost or simply moved, her business cars are run into the ground and expected to be fixed or get another (6 so far). we are manipulated and twisted until we lose our temper leaving us ill but there’s that little smirk at the side of her mouth her job is complete. 20 years we have picked up the pieces of her broken relationships, child custody and helping with her child but the list is to long to put to paper. I am frozen with indecision of how to disengage. The behavior I am now seeing is beyond cruel but my question is how dangerous are they.

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  • June 3, 2019 at 8:40 pm
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    Are there VNs who recognize they have issues, whether or not they believe they meet all the criteria for “VN?” If so, how does a sort of “self-aware” VN approach trying to get better? Do better? I’m not positive how I want to say it. I see some of me in your description of the VN, and without being super blame-y, I think it was modeled for me by my mother. However, I’m fortunate that I see a problem. She never has.

    I catch myself, sometimes, displaying her manipulative behavior. I actually think I’m much better at it … which sounds awful to brag about … but I think a VN is an accomplished VN when we can identify people with a predisposition towards empathy. It’s like we become actors, and we know the buttons to press to get what we feel we need.

    It’s weird to be saying this stuff. I’ll call myself a made-up name, I guess. But anyway, I want to be normal. Maybe it’s too late. Maybe normal sucks. I don’t know. I think I was 10 when I read about how to influence people. I’m not as nagging as my mother, by the way. I do think I’m calculated. I often find that my quiet observation and thought process about what I’ve observed and how I’ll deal with it is exhausting. I do believe that, in my case, I have somehow latched on to the VN’s tool belt in order to deal with what I feel will be a lifetime of rejection … or maybe my inability to remain happy with what I thought I wanted (the relationship) in the first place.

    Maybe I should find a therapist. There are probably exercises that would help me have healthier relationships … or at least a healthier relationship with myself.

    Reply
  • July 2, 2019 at 1:46 pm
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    I think my ex gf of 7.5 yeara is a vn.
    She wants to be loved on fb so she posts things and waits for the positive feedback.

    When she picked me up at the train station (first 5 years was a ldr) she would get pissed if i didnt tell her how beautiful she looks. I always do tell her so because she ia gorgeous to me though she does not get the same level of attractiness to her from other guys

    I am an empath. I love giving. I love making her feel amazing. To put my focus all on her. I love to wrap her with love. Give her positive reaffirmation and feedback. Tell her how shes wonderful. Help with anything she needs.

    I can see she has very low self esteem. She wants everyone to look at her and to admire her.
    We had so many on/offs. Its the thing that seems to attract us to one another. Her needing and me giving

    I dont have any issue of self confidence. I do very well with the ladies. Tall muscular I look good. But I do love women who really want me to wrap them with a blanket of love. Otherwise it wont work for me. Not in a controlling way but im certain I may have an issue myself if this is what I look for in women.

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  • August 11, 2019 at 2:21 am
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    Not sure why but the VN I was with would use the silent treatment or jump out of the vehicle if I voiced my concerns/feelings because he felt conflict was about to ensue. Or because I questioned him. He would get out and start walking at red light, at a fast food window, a busy intersection, and once while the vehicle was coasting through a parking lot. I figured it was a flight tactic to gain power of the situation but it looked more like a damn temper tantrum a child would throw. He screwed up and let me get to that uncaring place in that relationship, that place where I didn’t give a damn what he did, or how he felt, and got himself left 50 miles from home. He didn’t do that anymore.

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  • September 5, 2019 at 2:07 pm
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    So how do I start this? Not one to give my opinion on the internet but this is topic is dear to my heart!

    I love my wife more than anything in the world and the main reason is because of the constant struggle with her narcissism. Working hard in making our relationship work has thought me so much and like Carl G. Jung said:
    “There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

    We are still struggling in figuring out how to help her with this issue, and so I’ve been reading and scouting lots of advices throughout the net and that’s how I found your article. I found your article interesting in the fact that it well defines a vulnerable narcissistic, aka my wife. However, I had to mentioned to her that “while I find her tone a bit attacking and judgmental, I think this can help you see some patterns of behavior” in the email I sent her with the link to this article. One thing with narcissists is that you won’t get nowhere if you attack them.

    Thank you for your resource and time in putting this together, but I feel that your approach is too cold and defeatist. If I follow your words I would get a divorce. My question to you: what is your intention with this article? Help people to get rid of their a narcissistic partner/friend/family/etc. or to find a solution to the problem?

    For those who are reading my comment here is what people suffering from narcissism need: Self Compassion.

    This is a link that might help you the way it’s helping us!

    https://self-compassion.org/

    Reply
    • September 5, 2019 at 5:15 pm
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      Thank you for your comment. Everyone has to make a decision for themselves as to leave or stay. It is not for me to judge either way.

      Reply
  • November 19, 2019 at 5:59 am
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    So, this is my first time reading into vn or any kind of narcissism really…and frankly it terrifies me. I don’t know what I am. I had a (let’s call it an epiphany) lately over the possibility that I may have many traits linked in with vn. But does the fact that I can reach this conclusion rule out the possibility?

    Honestly I am petrified, I feel like I am tearing my relationship to the ground and I don’t know what’s going on. I’ve booked an appointment with my gp for I guess a referral for a psychiatric evaluation but I have to wait until Nov 27th for the day and the wait is consuming me…although I only booked the bloody appointment today.

    I don’t know what you can offer me here, or if you even end up reading this…but some kind of professional opinion before my appointment could probably really help me to put my mind at ease.

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
  • December 8, 2019 at 3:27 pm
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    The Inappropriately Excluded
    by Michael W. Ferguson

    “The probability of entering and remaining in an intellectually elite profession such as Physician, Judge, Professor, Scientist, Corporate Executive, etc. increases with IQ to about 133. It then falls by about 1/3 at 140. By 150 IQ the probability has fallen from its peak by 97%!”

    Actually, what makes a person a N is inaccurate self image. People who accurately know themselves as superior to average cannot be N’s. We must accept there are groups of superior people who are inappropriately excluded, and this is ultimately to the benefit of the N’s as they get to retain their self image of superiority when the truly superior people are disallowed a proper rank proportional to what their objective qualities as humans are.

    You see, a slightly above average person is superior to a significantly above average person. This is narcissism. Look at America’s Heads.

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  • January 24, 2020 at 10:42 am
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    I am currently going through a divorce with a woman who fits most of these characteristics. We have three lovely children, but I’m deathly afraid of all of how this is going to affect them. I don’t know how to handle this and it’s giving me high anxiety, something in which I’ve never experienced.

    There are obviously several other dynamics involved including financial hardship, her insistence on homeschooling even though we are currently unable to handle that, health issues and a house and mortgage.

    Do you have any links to articles or videos that may help me equip myself with the tools necessary to address this.

    Reply
    • January 24, 2020 at 11:48 am
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      I do have a podcast titled Understanding Today’s Narcissist that might be helpful, you can find it through most podcast sites.

      Reply
  • February 10, 2020 at 1:52 pm
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    This is my husband through and through. Very useful for me to find that “type” because the “grandiose” behaviour usually attributed to narcissistic adaptation did not fit his behaviour but this does!! For 20 years I have been falling prey to the narcissistic cycle as he used my own attachment insecurities to rope me in and make me feel guilty about his own perceived inadequacies. Happy now that my eyes have been opened but quite unhappy to find myself locked in a marriage with 2 kids. The question is, how do I live with this? I understand that fear of abandonment/rejection lies at the heart of the disorder. How do I reassure him on this point — thereby minimizing the passive-aggressive, stonewalling and other disruptive behaviours stemming from the emotional wound — without ending up completely vampirized? I have also recently found him trying his techniques on our young children and I want to protect them. This time I called out his game in front of the children to warn them and signal to him that I was not going to tolerate any of this. I also maintained some distance from him for the rest of the day. Surprisingly he didn’t act out or shift the blame as he usually does… but of course I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop… Any tips welcome.
    Another exhausted woman 🙂

    Reply
 

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