Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tiger’s Transgressions

Famous golfer Tiger Woods has confessed many sins of late, after the tabloids were hot on his trail.

His selfish behavior put his wife and children at risk, threatened his employees’ livelihoods, eroded the trust of his wife and left a legacy of disillusionment for his children. In his own words, he said he felt “entitled” to the pleasure of such misdeeds. How could he say such a thing?

There is a simple answer. It’s called “Narcissism.”

Someone with Narcissistic Personality disorder (NPD) has at least 5 of these symptoms:

.has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

.is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

.believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

.requires excessive admiration

.has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

.takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

.lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

.is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

.shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

If you are living with a person with NPD, you will likely find them blaming you for behaviors or feelings (i.e., "YOU made me do this," or "YOU made me feel this way.")

They will seldom if ever take responsibility for angry behavior and hurtful acts. They will have an attitude that demonstrates "the world revolves around me" and "you need to cater to my ideas, opinions, thoughts, and feelings."

But you may think that you can just talk to them. But, those with NPD have an extreme unwillingness to reflect on his/her own behaviors. In other words, when you talk to a normal person who has offended you, they might realize they are wrong. Narcissists will be far too busy determining how you are wrong to consider their part. If there is an apology, it will be an explanation and there is likely a false motive behind it. 

Finally, they lie. A lot. About everything and nothing. Lying is as easy to them as the truth. It is all about what they think others think of them. For instance, if a Narcissist thinks of herself as one who does the appropriate thing, and that includes sending you a card, she may lie and claim she mailed one to you. If you explain you never received it, then she will say that is the mail’s fault, or yours. Why? Because the reality that she has failed to live up to the “false self” is more than she can handle.

Those with NPD usually cannot turn lose of their adult kids and cause a lot of problems in marriages. Almost all folks with NPD die abandoned by those who cannot fit into their fantasy world.