Friday, December 28, 2012

Living With A Narcissist: One-sided Love

Here's how someone feels in relationship with a narcissistic Boaster:

I give. He takes.
I love. He is loved.
I pursue. He forgets.
I yearn for his attention…to feel prized...cherished.
It wounds, that our love is one-sided and the spotlight never mine.

It helps to understand that those stuck in the Narcissistic Boaster personality pattern:
  • Like to make powerful first impressions.
  • Give constant attention to how they look, what they wear, and what they say.
  • See their time as valuable. Others should give them the right of way in traffic, allow them to cut in lines, and serve them immediately in restaurants.
  • Are exempt from difficult or dull tasks. They deserve special assignments that lead to recognition.
  • Think that people should be happy to wait on them, follow their lead, and take their advice.
  • Assume that no one has a right to criticize them. It is understandable if they react with anger at such insolence.
  • Others should be glad to give to them without expecting anything in return.
  • Enjoy fantasies of glory, wealth, and love. 

The Pattern’s Interior

The Boaster pattern has a need for admiration but disdains dependency. The Boaster employs a nonchalant, coolly superior style to draw others' admiration. 

The Strength compass point is exaggerated with the need to be right about everything, but the person is less interested in judging other people than in being admired for one’s obvious superiority. 

An absence of empathy renders the Boaster indifferent to others' feelings. Yet there is present an extreme vulnerability to criticism or being ignored, together with a strong wish for love, support and admiring deference from others. The Assertion compass point warps into disparaging or dismissing people who are not enthralled, while the Love compass point deteriorates into entitled self-adulation. The Weakness compass point is shunned altogether.

Compass Growth for the Narcissistic Boaster Pattern:
  • Other people are well worth my attention.
  • I am learning to care for others.
  • I talk with others about my anxieties and bouts of depression.
  • I call myself on my pretension; my sometimes outright cockiness. And laugh.
Scripture offers this growth tool: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others” (Phil 2:3-4).


This is Evan, on the verge of understanding someone else’s point of view:
I’m walking with Sheri through the mall when she halts in front of a store window. Releasing my hand, she points excitedly, “Evan, look at that.” She darts a quick smile in my direction. “A sweater-set in yellow, just what I’ve been looking for.”
What could be more boring? I’m about to say so when I glimpse my reflection in the store window. Hair looking good. Summer tan still holding. I’m tucking in my shirt that is slightly pulled out when I catch a glance from Sheri.
Is that a hurt look?
She’s stopped talking, that’s for sure. Here I am hoping she won’t want to try it on…wait. Stop. Don’t be so selfish.
I close my eyes and pray. “God. Please help me see this from her perspective.”
A moment later it comes to me. I take her arm and smile. “Sheri, would you like to run in and try that on?”
Is that a flash of astonishment on her face? Then she beams. Literally lights up. Amazing.
“Why, yes. I would.” A shy grin. “I’d love your input. Want to join me?” 
I place my arm over her shoulder. “Sure. Let’s do it.”

For more on the Narcisstic Boaster Personality Disorder, see:

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