Friday, April 28, 2006

Narcissism in Women

Narcissism is a personality disorder. I know many folks who throw this term around, particularly when they are referring to men, who they feel are selfish and self absorbed. However, these issues are usually intermittent and are blurted out in anger, a la "You're sooo selfish, you're a friggin narcissist!"

Abusive behavior in men or women can be a function of many underlying issues. Most narcissitic personalities are men. Why, I don't know. But I have recently been intrigued with the personality attributes of the narcissistic female. Like her narcissistic male counterpart, the female narcissists holds deeply held and undisputed irrational underlying beliefs that affect her feelings and behavior.

True Charmers, they are there for you and you for them, because you serve a purpose in their life, because they only care about their self. They can be a wife, mother, sister, or daughter, if everything loops back to them, they are indeed, happy. You are no more than the object who provides her with whatever it is she wants and needs: love, admiration, money, encouragement, support, accolades, and anything in between.

This except was taking from "The Female Narcissist" by by Irene Matiatos, Ph.D. Dana, is the acronym used to describe the patterns and behaviors of a female narcissist.

"While she pretends to care, and indeed wants to care, the reality is that she doesn't care. Her world starts and stops with herself. She hides that fact pretty well from most people; especially those who are consistently meaningful to her (i.e., parents, husband, siblings, boss, etc.). Most of these individuals would be shocked to hear this, and in fact would think you're crazy!. . . She relies on her beauty and her charm. She feels good about herself as long as she "has it over" anybody she considers "the competition."

Parents are parents and too often love unconditionally, but friends and acquaintances don't. As a result, while new people "Dana" meets like her, the more they got to know her, the less interested they are in her company. Except, of course, for the young men, most of whom vie for her attention. Other than a childhood best friend with virtually non-existent self esteem, there are no friends. There are acquaintances and those who share her environment as well as the many men who surrounded her - all of whom she refers to as "friends," but there really are no friends. She explains this deficit by rationalizing that her peers disappoint her in one way or another. This one uses drugs, that one you can't trust, the other one is jealous of her, etc. There is virtually no recognition that the reason people who are not related to her or have no sexual interest in her do not like her given how she treats them!

Part of the price Dana pays to manipulate others is the exhaustion required to be "on" much of the time. When caught with her vigilant guard down, she is not nice: often impatient, short, arrogant and condescending, reflecting her near chronic bad mood. Shopkeepers, boyfriends who try too hard and all the not-too-important people in her life who will put up with it are the unwitting victims.

. .Jealousy is a huge issue. Her own envy is as cut off from her consciousness as Wisconsin is cut off from the Atlantic Ocean. While she has no clue regarding her pervasive jealousy, it is sadly evident to the sensitive observer.

With all these issues, the narcisstic woman (or man for that matter) cannot be trusted. They are not trustworthy - unless they are expending energy pretending to be trustworthy. So, at best, their trustworthiness is inconsistent. Like the male abuser, her moods are unpredictable. When frustrated, the energy demands of being "on" are too great. Her frustration slips away from her - and spills onto anybody unfortunate enough to be in the way.

When I read this I was chilled to the bone. I thought of at least two people in my life that fit these characteristics. I am overwhelmed. I have witnessed this behavior first hand. Some in high school, some in college, some in the work force and others in personal relationships. I often wondered how these folks could exhibit often identical characteristics and the same m.o. and now I know why.

Do you know any narcissistics? Were you one?


Msnhim said...


Sadly I now too many women that fit the description. I dont cosider them friends, just people I know.

Carmell said...

my twin... i never thought that maybe she really had a problem... i just thought that that was the way she was and i had to deal with it... makes ya think! thanks P!

P said...


I feel the same way, I have been running folks through my mind and it hits me like a lightning bolt!


Yep. The same way you read it is the same way I did. Funny, how, if you were to send her this page, she wouldn't even know that it was her. She would be like "Oh, good article", or "I know someone like that".

Miss Ahmad said...

in another book I read, it stated with women with narcissism are less likely to marry because of their inability to lead follow or get out the way.

this author stated that narcissist women want it to be all about them, therefore eliminating the option for a man to come into their lives and be a man/leader. They instead opt to argue and compete for power.

that was a heavy blow for me! I think there's a narcissist in us all, i know there's one in me, i just don't let it run my life!

The Sarccastik Variable Why said...

i don't think i do...if i do..i only associate w/them enough to get what i want...**oh snap**...that sounds like me....have good weekend...

P said...

Miss Ahmad:

I agree. Let me say that, first things, first, I am totally co-signing with you on the fact that there by the grace of God, there goes I.

One of the reasons why the article was so blinding, that, indeed, there were parts of it that stung to reality. I think, as humans, we do have to be careful not to be self serving.

We can think about the most intimate act of all, sexual relations. Ultimately, the goal is to 'get off'. Marriage is often generally a trade off - Getting something in return, and when it doesn't work, you close up.

You are right. There are always levels of narcissism in all of us. These folks, however, take the cake.

We just play around in the flour. :P

Sangindiva said...

Damn P-
There were some points that I thought-
heeeyyy... That sounds like me.
But I am glad to see it in black and white so that I can work on this aspect of my personality.
Great post as always... I always get so much from your blog! :)

P said...


The most important thing about this post is not to point fingers, or even be critical or judgmental. The point is to, like I mentioned in my comments, is to identify developmental opportunties for ourselves, and/or recognize character traits in other folks, not take it personal, and move on.

It's very hard for people (present company included) to take a hard look at your person and make some serious decisions. It's equally harder not to become captain save a ho, and think you can 'fix' another person.

So, you go, girl!

T. Cas said...

After reading this, I think I have dated a couple of narcissists. Very interesting read.

YouToldHarpoTaBeatMe said...

After reading some of those "characteristics", I think I might be one too. Dayum, P, this is scary, because I despised people who are like this, yet I couldn't see the lil' bit tweaking out of me.

Thank you for the informative post. Now excuse me while I go find an Altar and fall face down in front of it.

NegroPino™ said...

I cna't tell if they are joking or not but more than 1 person has told me this....I think its a bad thing. Cuz i do have feelings and I do care and do thing for other ppl if its within my means....I can be selfish and self-absorbed cuz its just ME in my life..i dont have any responsibilites. I can be a brat cuz nobody should tell me NO but I Dont put ppl down or hurt ppls feelings.

The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said...

I think there are small aspects of what was described in my "20-year-old" self. I was off the hook. But in the end, all I ever really wanted was a nice small circle of good, loyal FRIENDS and a good man by my side.

And yes, there was a person in my life kinda like the one described...but thank Goddess! "Ding Dong the witch is dead!" She's gone from my life now!

Great post...

Cocoa Girl said...

Great post, P! The topic is off the chain. I have known folks like this but none of those heifers have made it to my friend list.

BTW, I do care far much about me, myself and I, but I think it stops just beyond the point of selfishness, which is not good either:(

Dee said...

i 2 think some of us have a lil in us just a lil!!!!

I know a few and I just keep them at a distance!!!!

great post!!!

The Sarccastik Variable Why said...

alright p...where are you?