The Myth of Borderline Narcissistic Personality
What is Narcissism?
Most of us have heard the word narcissist or narcissism used in conversation perhaps we even used it ourselves to describe someone of a selfish, self-centered ,self-absorbed or self-obsessed. The term itself comes from a character in Greek mythology named narcissus. Narcissus was a young and beautiful man who ended up falling in love with his own reflection. Narcissism can become dysfunctional. It can happen when narcissistic traits end up causing problems in someone's personal relationships, affect other people around them and prevent them from perhaps achieving their personal goals.
Narcissistic personality disorder also known as NPD is one of a group of ten types of personality disorders. NPD can only be diagnosed by a qualified health care professional. In order for a to receive a diagnosis and treatment, they will have 5 or more of the following characteristics number:
1- A grandiose sense of self-importance it's that person who feels like they're the most important person in the room and you find yourself giving them all of your attention.
2- A fantasy and preoccupation with unlimited power and success - it's that person who is constantly talking to you about their dreams of being rich, successful and/or famous.
3- The belief that they are special and unique and can only be understood by other high-status people. For instance, that friend who's always asking for the manager at a restaurant route to waitstaff.
4- A requirement for excessive admiration, things are usually going really well as long, as you treat the narcissist with admiration and approval. However, as soon as you express any kind of criticism or lay down a boundary, a conflict arises.
5- A sense of entitlement - they don't believe rules or laws apply to them. For instance, that friend of yours on game night always seems to win by cheating.
6- Interpersonally exploitative - this may be that friend who is always around so long as it benefits them but disappears as soon as you might need them .
7- An impaired sense of empathy regarding the feelings and means of others - this may be the person that you dated, who act surprised when you are hurt or upset about something that they said or did.
8- Envious of others – narcissists are believing that others are envious of them. This could be that friend who always feels that people are jealous of their successes or possessions.
9- Showing arrogant or snobby behaviours and attitudes - this could be that friend who always comes across as very smug.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline personality belongs to the cluster B personality category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual so it's in the same cluster as an antisocial histrionic and narcissistic personality disorder. This cluster is the dramatic, erratic and emotional cluster characterized by:
· Efforts to avoid abandonment – where the other party displays NPD traits
· An unstable relationship pattern – with narcissistic partners
· Identity disturbance – usually an effect of years-long gas lighting experienced through narcissistic abuse
· Impulsivity and at least two areas that could be self-damaging – encouraged by the narcissistic abuser
· Suicidal behaviour threats, ideations, gestures – also encouraged by the narcissistic abuser
· A chronic feeling of emptiness – a result of years-long narcissistic abuse
· Intense and inappropriate anger and paranoid ideation or dissociation – a result of years-long gas lighting inflicted by a narcissist
Borderline Vs Narcissism- The Myth of Borderline Narcissistic Personality
Borderline personality disorder is commonly misunderstood and carries of a lot of stigma. It would not be wrong to say that everyone has a unique personality with their own characteristic. A personality disorder is a long-standing life pattern. It means that the person has a different way of thinking and relating to the world.
In a narcissistic relationship, one partner is an abuser and another one is the victim. Narcissistic abusers use their partners purely because of their misunderstanding of social and moral values, which got implanted in their minds at a young age when they were not required to put any effort into achieving anything they wanted. A narcissist gains or/and regains their personal goals through domination and control over borderline victims. On the other hand, by constantly being abused, the victim’s personality becomes fragile and insecure, which results in social anxiety, depression, lack of trust and often suicidal behaviours.
The borderline people are victims of narcissists, while narcissists are always the abusers. Narcissists, as opposite to Borderlines, are self-centered, manipulative, lack empathy, are jealous and arrogant. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, borderlines keep the relationship with the narcissists going as the result of the basic human need to be accepted. Narcissists, with age, get more and more determined not only to strip their victims of their right to safety; they often go as far as to unable their victim to meet physiological human needs, such as shelter, food or sleep. To a narcissist, their borderline victim is a servant figure, needed only as long, as the narcissist doesn’t find a more prestigious person to achieve their need of self-actualization.