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Is the narcissist always aware of their desire for attention and adulation?

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Sometimes the narcissist does gain awareness and knowledge of his predicament - typically in the wake of a life crisis (divorce, bankruptcy, incarceration, near death experience, death in the family). But, in the absence of an emotional correlate, of feelings, such merely cognitive awakening is useless. It does not yield insight. The dry facts do not bring about a transformation, let alone healing. The introspection of the narcissist is emotionless, akin to the listing of an inventory of his "good" and "bad" sides and without any commitment to change. It does not enhance his ability to empathize, nor does it inhibit his propensity to exploit others and discard them when their usefulness is over. It does not tamper his overpowering and raging sense of entitlement, nor does it deflate his grandiose fantasies. The narcissist's introspection is a futile and arid exercise at bookkeeping, a soulless bureaucracy of the psyche and, in its own way, even more chilling that the alternative: a narcissist blissfully unaware of his own disorder. Question: If the narcissist becomes self-aware, if he accepts that he is a narcissist, isn't this the first, important step, towards healing? Answer: His narcissism defines the narcissist's waking moments and his nocturnal dreams. It is all-pervasive. Everything the narcissist does is motivated by it. Everything he avoids is its result. Every utterance, decision, his very body language - are all manifestations of narcissism. It is rather like being abducted by an alien and ruthlessly indoctrinated ever since. The alien is the narcissist's False Self - a defence mechanism constructed in order to shield his True Self from hurt and inevitable abandonment. Cognitive understanding of the disorder does not constitute a transforming INSIGHT. In other words, it has no emotional correlate. The narcissist does not INTERNALIZE what he understands and learns about his disorder. This new gained knowledge does not become a motivating part of the narcissist. It remains an inert and indifferent piece of knowledge, with minor influence on the narcissist's psyche. Sometimes, when the narcissist first learns about the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), he really believes he could change (usually, following a period of violent rejection of the "charges" against him). He fervently wants to. This is especially true when his whole world is in shambles. Time in prison, a divorce, a bankruptcy, a death of a major source of narcissistic supply - are all transforming life crises. The narcissist admits to a problem only when abandoned, destitute, and devastated. He feels that he doesn't want any more of this. He wants to change. And there often are signs that he IS changing. And then it fades. He reverts to old form. The "progress" he made evaporates virtually overnight. Many narcissists report the same process of progression followed by recidivist remission and many therapists refuse to treat narcissists because of the Sisyphean frustration involved. I never said that narcissists cannot CHANGE - only that they cannot HEAL. There is a huge difference between behaviour modification and permanent alteration of the psychodynamic landscape. Narcissistic behaviour CAN be modified using a cocktail of talk therapy, conditioning, and medication. I have yet to encounter a healed narcissist. The emphasis in therapy is thus more on accommodating the needs of those nearest and dearest to the narcissist - spouse, children, colleagues, friends - than on "treating" the narcissist. If the narcissist's abrasiveness, rage, mood swings, reckless and impulsive behaviours are modified - those around him benefit most. This, as far as I am concerned, is a form of social engineering. One last hope: Narcissism (though rarely) does tend to ameliorate with age and many forms of pathological narcissism are reactive and transient (Roningstam, 1996). Based on my book "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited" � 2003 Lidija Rangelovska Narcissus Publications Not according to my observations. My NPD mother definitely expected attention and special treatment, but rarely thought she was given enough. I don't think she had a real clue about how deeply she infected the entire family with her preposterous demands. In her mind, it was we who were selfish and unappreciative. My Mother had entire albums filled with nothing but pictures of herself, posing as a model would pose and she was totally complacent about it, as if everybody did it. In my situation, Jo insists that she DOES NOT want attention nor adulation. So, I'd say no, in this case she is not aware of her desire for it. She claims that she wants all the glory to go to GOD ONLY. On the surface, she appears to be directing people to Him, but in her mistreatment of me, I don't see the heart to please God at all. My child is quiet, reserved, and stays so much in the background. My brother's kids are loud, fighting, screaming, in the middle of the room. I saw my kid being isolated and alone, and thought, I should do something to make him feel part of the bigger family. My son is uncomfortable with attention so most of the time, I let him be. I said, "son, come in here and show everyone your scar you got this summer." My son held out his arm and even before anyone could lean over to look, my brother says very loudly, "YOU SHOULD SEE MY SON'S SCAR, IT'S REALLY BIG, COME HERE TOM." He grabbed Tom and pulled him over to where my son was standing. I kid you know, he grabbed my son by the shoulders, moved him out of the way and inserted his own kid. I forgot how much narcissist love to hang on to the spotlight and prevent anyone else from being in it.
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