Psychiatrist Otto Kernberg points out that there is normal and pathological narcissism. Normal narcissism is narcissism in which a person can be proud of himself and what he has accomplished. But with pathological narcissism, a person constantly runs to two extremes: either feels his own inferiority or sees himself as the best.
Each of us has a certain amount of healthy narcissism. Research shows that this type of narcissism can motivate people to improve themselves in life.
But when the desire for profit or success turns into a strong desire for attention and approval, narcissism, this already goes beyond normal narcissism. The pathological narcissist perceives others as an extension of himself. So everyone he interacts with must always be perfect. In personal life, narcissism manifests itself in a cycle of devaluation and idealization that leads to toxic relationships.
The narcissist chooses his romantic partner based on whether or not the partner affirms their self-esteem. Therefore, as a rule, the narcissist is not inclined to learn much about the other person. If the other person has an authoritarian status and is attractive, then the narcissist may rush things in a relationship. True, his interest is often superficial, so the pathological narcissist often suddenly loses interest in relationships once he decides to start this relationship.
Narcissistic abuse can take many forms and is not always immediately noticeable. It can be gaslighting (when the narcissist causes the victim to question their own ability to make decisions or take some kind of action), victim mentality (the narcissist believes everyone owes him money), a cycle of idealization and devaluation. Narcissists in their late 40s, 50s, and 60s may “wake up” with a sense of losing their own identity due to their inability to develop lasting and satisfying relationships. Many patients also suffer from inner emptiness, a sense of helplessness.
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