Comparing narcissism and narcissistically wounded

foofighter

Jedi Council Member
Yesterday me and my wife had a discussion about the similarities and differences of narcissists and narcissistically wounded. Our conclusion was that the similarity was that both see themselves in everyone else, but the narcissist see others as reflections of themselves and the narcissistically wounded instead put themselves in others shoes, not as a way to feel compassion with their situation, but instead literally putting THEMSELVES in others' shoes, thereby being unable to see any form of manipulation of themselves that these other people do. The wounded would NEVER want to manipulate other people, so, putting themselves in everyone elses position, they cannot fathom how anyone else would want to. It just doesn't compute. And that is one of the main causes of continued misery for the narcissistically wounded.

The goal would then be to stop this automatic projection of self onto others, and start viewing people as separate and different from oneself, as a way to more accurately discern what is going on and why.

I think this realization makes it much easier to understand the problem for the narcissistically wounded, and begin to withdraw the projection of oneself onto others, and begin to understand that there are different people, with different points of view, some of which are not in our best interests.
 

T.C.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I think there are different degrees and types of narcissistically wounded. The first separation (IMO) is defined by Elan Golumb as something like, "you were either viewed as perfect and connected to the parent, or worthless and rejected".

I come under the first category so it's easier for me to talk about it. I think that the "connected" narcissitically wounded person, rather than putting themselves in others shoes, puts others in their shoes (albeit, in an imaginary and subjective way). I mean, it's quite a cultural cliché to say that girls grow up to be their mother and men grow up like their father, but it's often true, and in my opinion, it's because the child internalises the parent character; or to put it another way, the parent puts themselves into the child. Then, no sense of self develops.

Then, that happens in contact with other people. They have no self, so they fill that hole during contact with other people, with those peoples selfs. Become reactionary rather than actionary; lead a life of cause rather than effect.

That then cancels out any good intentions on their part because who they are and what they do depends on who their with.
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
foofighter said:
The wounded would NEVER want to manipulate other people, so, putting themselves in everyone elses position, they cannot fathom how anyone else would want to. It just doesn't compute. And that is one of the main causes of continued misery for the narcissistically wounded.

Narcissistically wounded people very often turn into full fledged narcissists themselves in later life - Elan Golomb mentions this in her book. It is like a disease that gets passed down the generations. So it is perhaps not accurate to say that the wounded would never want to manipulate others.
In addition to TC's observations on this topic, I would like to add that from personal experience I have observed two kinds of reactions of narcissistically wounded people. One type takes responsibility for everything that is happening around them and try their best to "fix" all issues. This sense of often misplaced responsibility comes from the early experience of having to "grow up" fast in a narcissistic family setup where the needs of the child are superceded by the needs of the adults.
The second type reacts to essentially similar dynamic in childhood by not taking responsibility for anything - blaming others and expecting others to "fix" all their problems.
I believe either type of the narcissistically wounded may turn into narcissists in later life though perhaps the first type has a better chance to get out of their narcissistic worldview due to their exaggerated sense of responsibility which in turn may lead them to actively seek a solution to their issues. Either way, the faculty of empathy is under-developed/dormant in narcissistically wounded people (assuming that the faculty is present in the first place). If this sleeping faculty is rekindled through life events and personal efforts, the narcissistically wounded have a chance of getting out. Otherwise, they are very likely to turn into narcissists themselves.
My 2 cents
 
T.C. said:
Then, that happens in contact with other people. They have no self, so they fill that hole during contact with other people, with those peoples selfs. Become reactionary rather than actionary; lead a life of cause rather than effect.

That then cancels out any good intentions on their part because who they are and what they do depends on who their with.

I think that in the matter of projecting oneself in another shoes have a lot to do with the emotional state. Since I am narcissistically wounded, I have the constant "guilt trip" inbuilt in my system. And it is an automatic emotional reaction but I can't say that this cancels out any good intention. It is not that I am unable to distinguish what is good and what is not, but rather I am unable to see what is emotionally bad in others. It was so prominent when I was watching the movie "Doubt" recently whereby it is so obvious that the character is psychopathic throughout the entire movie and in the end when she "cries", I automatically put myself in her shoes and are unable to see that she was being manipulative at all. All I see was myself being in remorse over what had happened (own guilt trip!). And that was a movie! What more in life where there are no clear indication whatsoever. I need to remind myself time and time again not to make the same mistakes, i.e shutting the guilt issue, which is really really hard!

[quote author=obyvatel]
I believe either type of the narcissistically wounded may turn into narcissists in later life though perhaps the first type has a better chance to get out of their narcissistic worldview due to their exaggerated sense of responsibility which in turn may lead them to actively seek a solution to their issues. Either way, the faculty of empathy is under-developed/dormant in narcissistically wounded people (assuming that the faculty is present in the first place). If this sleeping faculty is rekindled through life events and personal efforts, the narcissistically wounded have a chance of getting out. Otherwise, they are very likely to turn into narcissists themselves.
[/quote]

It is perhaps very true that if the narcissistically wounded are not aware of them being one and do not address the issues the course of being a full fledged narcissist is the natural end as it is just a simple learning process. Through my personal experience it takes a lot of personal effort and painful reckonings to come to terms with the cause of being a narcisstically wounded in the first place and taking the decision of wanting to get out of it. And on top of that learning to realize and accept how and what other people are and they are not how and what I projected myself onto them to be...
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
Starlight said:
And it is an automatic emotional reaction but I can't say that this cancels out any good intention. It is not that I am unable to distinguish what is good and what is not, but rather I am unable to see what is emotionally bad in others.

Hi Starlight,
In this context, take a look at a snippet from Laura's post here:
Laura said:
Nowadays, we are no longer opposed to the natural world out there as the sparring partner, we are opposed to a culture that has been slowly infiltrated and taken over by pathologicals. At the same time, this outer world that has been shaped by pathology, also represents a certain pathological state within normal humans - their lack of ability to see pathology in individuals that look like themselves - an intra-species predator.
This lack of ability in normal humans to see what is pathological in others feeds and sustains the pathological reality that we inhabit. Any good intention is canceled out as TC mentioned because of this "blindness" in us. Time and time again we see this both in the broader social context as well as personal experience. How many times have people started out with "good intentions" of helping others, making a difference etc only to either shrink in horror at the results of the efforts - or more commonly in a bid to protect themselves from feeling the horror taking refuge in rationalizing and justifying the "failure" in terms which are self-calming? There is no way out apart from tuning our "reading instrument" to get as close to seeing things as they are (without projections) as possible if good intentions are to be translated into commensurate results.
Regarding narcissism and its effects, you may want to read the Narcissistic Family by Pressman (one of the recommended big 4 psychology books) if you have not already done so. Perhaps I speak for many in this forum when I say that this book has been immensely painful as well as useful reference on this topic.
Welcome to the forum.
 

PepperFritz

The Living Force
Starlight said:
And it is an automatic emotional reaction but I can't say that this cancels out any good intention. It is not that I am unable to distinguish what is good and what is not, but rather I am unable to see what is emotionally bad in others.

When we act "automatically" and "mechanically" from our emotional programs, we are incapable of forming true "intent" in our actions. When we have no control over the behaviour, our explained "intent" is really just a way of justifying the behaviour. It is only when we are able to perceive a situation objectively -- rather than through the prism of our own subjectivity and mechanical programs -- that we are able to genuinely perceive our own "intent".

You know the saying: "Hell is paved with good intentions". Or the person who observes a disastrous situation of her own making, saying "I meant well", or "I was only trying to help". We cannot form a "good intention" when we cannot objectively perceive the situation before us. Because we simply do not know what is "good" for the situation and the people involved, including ourselves.

You may gain a better understanding of these issues by reading the following threads:

Helping: STS or STO?

Why The Secrecy?

Free Will vs Lessons
 

Joe

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
foofighter said:
Yesterday me and my wife had a discussion about the similarities and differences of narcissists and narcissistically wounded. Our conclusion was that the similarity was that both see themselves in everyone else, but the narcissist see others as reflections of themselves and the narcissistically wounded instead put themselves in others shoes, not as a way to feel compassion with their situation, but instead literally putting THEMSELVES in others' shoes, thereby being unable to see any form of manipulation of themselves that these other people do. The wounded would NEVER want to manipulate other people, so, putting themselves in everyone elses position, they cannot fathom how anyone else would want to. It just doesn't compute. And that is one of the main causes of continued misery for the narcissistically wounded.


That doesn't sound right to me. A narcissistically wounded person acts narcissistically to one degree or another. And in that respect is no different than a narcissist.
The only difference I think is that a narcissistically wounded person may have more of a possiblity to change than a narcissist.

foofighter said:
The goal would then be to stop this automatic projection of self onto others, and start viewing people as separate and different from oneself, as a way to more accurately discern what is going on and why.

I think this realization makes it much easier to understand the problem for the narcissistically wounded, and begin to withdraw the projection of oneself onto others, and begin to understand that there are different people, with different points of view, some of which are not in our best interests.

It sounds like you or someone you know is acting narcissistically and has come up with a theory to justify it.
 

foofighter

Jedi Council Member
Perceval said:
That doesn't sound right to me. A narcissistically wounded person acts narcissistically to one degree or another. And in that respect is no different than a narcissist.
The only difference I think is that a narcissistically wounded person may have more of a possiblity to change than a narcissist.
The confusion might be that (as TC pointed out) "narcissistically wounded" comes in two shapes. I was referring to the latter, i.e. "worthless and rejected". In my experience this and the first one, "perfect and connected", act entirely different, although both may have the same underlying problem: a lack of sense of self, or a lack of self-esteem.

It sounds like you or someone you know is acting narcissistically and has come up with a theory to justify it.
More like the opposite: the goal is to understand the behaviour, so as to be able to stop it.
 

foofighter

Jedi Council Member
obyvatel said:
In addition to TC's observations on this topic, I would like to add that from personal experience I have observed two kinds of reactions of narcissistically wounded people. One type takes responsibility for everything that is happening around them and try their best to "fix" all issues. This sense of often misplaced responsibility comes from the early experience of having to "grow up" fast in a narcissistic family setup where the needs of the child are superceded by the needs of the adults.
Yes, that is what I was referring to. Is there a specific name to separate this from the other type, so as to avoid confusion? I understand now that "narcissistically wounded" would refer to both types, so is not the right name.
 

Joe

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
foofighter said:
Perceval said:
That doesn't sound right to me. A narcissistically wounded person acts narcissistically to one degree or another. And in that respect is no different than a narcissist.
The only difference I think is that a narcissistically wounded person may have more of a possiblity to change than a narcissist.
The confusion might be that (as TC pointed out) "narcissistically wounded" comes in two shapes. I was referring to the latter, i.e. "worthless and rejected". In my experience this and the first one, "perfect and connected", act entirely different, although both may have the same underlying problem: a lack of sense of self, or a lack of self-esteem.

Yes, and that often means that they act narcissistically. There really isn't much difference in the way that you are describing it
 

anart

A Disturbance in the Force
Perceval said:
Yes, and that often means that they act narcissistically. There really isn't much difference in the way that you are describing it

I tend to agree. I'd also posit that there are a lot of other ways that narcissistically wounded people manifest narcissism than the two mentioned by Foofighter. Foofighter, it sounds like you might be trying to construct a theory around your own current situation or observations (which is what we all tend to do), when the observable facts about narcissism tend to indicate that 'it is what it is' - if one is a narcissist, they are forever and always the center of their own motivations, whether that manifests overtly or covertly. The defining characteristic IS the narcissism, no matter the mask it dons and removes as each day moves forward. 'Narcissistically wounded' individuals are narcissists - they've learned that this is the way to survive and there is really no discernible difference between the 'wounded' and the 'core narcissist' as long as their behavior IS narcissistic. The only obvious difference is that the 'wounded' have a larger possibility to change, if they become aware of their behavior, its source and how it affects others. The 'core narcissist' won't ever change, though his or her mask will adapt to maintain the underlying purpose. At least that's my current understanding.
 

foofighter

Jedi Council Member
anart said:
I tend to agree. I'd also posit that there are a lot of other ways that narcissistically wounded people manifest narcissism than the two mentioned by Foofighter. Foofighter, it sounds like you might be trying to construct a theory around your own current situation or observations (which is what we all tend to do),
You are right, I was trying to make what I and my wife was seeing understandable, and in doing so extended our conclusions to something beyond our own example, which was taking it too far. I see that now.

when the observable facts about narcissism tend to indicate that 'it is what it is' - if one is a narcissist, they are forever and always the center of their own motivations, whether that manifests overtly or covertly. The defining characteristic IS the narcissism, no matter the mask it dons and removes as each day moves forward. 'Narcissistically wounded' individuals are narcissists - they've learned that this is the way to survive and there is really no discernible difference between the 'wounded' and the 'core narcissist' as long as their behavior IS narcissistic. The only obvious difference is that the 'wounded' have a larger possibility to change, if they become aware of their behavior, its source and how it affects others. The 'core narcissist' won't ever change, though his or her mask will adapt to maintain the underlying purpose. At least that's my current understanding.
That makes sense. Thanks for explaining it!
 

Beau

Administrator
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FOTCM Member
foofighter said:
You are right, I was trying to make what I and my wife was seeing understandable, and in doing so extended our conclusions to something beyond our own example, which was taking it too far. I see that now.

You might also want to consider that your conclusions based on what you were seeing do not even fit the example. And what that means in the grander scheme of things.
 
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