Friday, March 30, 2018

Discerning Narcissism in Language


In Statement Analysis advanced work, we move from detecting deception to content analysis.  Once we know if the subject is deceptive and have obtained a great deal of content (what happened), we then are able to move to the psycho-linguistic profile:

The subject or author's background, experiences and his motive or priorities in the statement.  What emerges from it all?  The dominant personality traits of the subject. 

First, the subject does not exist to us.  We are only looking at his statement and even exclude external information, such as his record or file may indicate. This is done to keep us from being influenced.  Then when we have completed our analysis, we add in this external information to get to know him well. 

Narcissism is a word that is thrown around far too much and can lose its meaning.  Like "misogamy" and "homophobia", politicians have all but destroyed this meaning in the public sphere. 

I give two examples in explanation. 

1.  Misogyny 

Misogyny is not disagreeing with Hillary Clinton. 

 Misogyny is frightening.  

I exchanged a series of letters with a rapist who, when he could not physically rape his victim, he mercilessly beat her, attempting to disfigure her.  Even more chilling is that when he saw the inflected physical damage, he became sexually aroused.  

Female police officers have consistently reported a "glee" in the eyes of some violent male suspects when they see they are about to become physically engaged with the female police officer.  They noted "delight" and deep hatred.  

Misogyny produces violence. 

It is sometimes seen in the language where the perpetrator assigns blame for his own actions to women in general,  as if the rape victim is not his sole target, but his mother, and all women, are targeted.  Some will overtly, not even covertly,  blame women for society ills.  This sounds like a caricature but only to those who have not seen in interviews or arrests. 

2.  Homophobia

Homophobia is not disagreement of sexual behavior based upon religious or natural views.  I have seen some disagree with another, who assigned "homophobia" to the motive of disagreement, rather than the actual political issue.  That's not a deep seated fear of homosexuality.  It is a disagreement of a topic.

Homophobia is frightening. 

I knew a man who had been sexually abused in childhood by men, which led him into a series of predatory vicious attacks on homosexual males as he lured them by "posing" as one seeking sex from strangers.  The  hatred is both personal (from self) and acute.  It is a deep seated fear that can be discerned in the language. Like misogyny, it is chilling and  it is dangerous. Yet, like misogyny, the meaning has been altered for the purpose of exploitation. 

Self serving politicians and those who follow them, have damaged the meaning of these words.  

Narcissism 

This is another word thrown about carelessly and anyone who shows self confidence or even self interest can be labeled as such.  It too, is used by politicians (or political narrative) to tear each other apart. 

In our psycho- linguist profile we do not diagnose in our final reports.  

Diagnosing is a sure way of having your reputation damaged on the witness stand by a defense attorney, and, rightfully so. We can note the traits, particularly as the author below has done, and write (and use) our observations in the investigation process without diagnosing. 

In our reports, when narcissism is discerned, we use it in a descriptive manner that will aid the investigation and the interview process.  In this manner, it is invaluable. We might include, "note the narcissistic like traits here..." or use phrases that will not cause a defense attorney to challenge our qualifications such as,

"here we note the element of an apparent high mindedness.  This subject has a very high opinion of his opinion..." or use words such as "selfish" or even "extreme focus upon self..."

It can bring the interviewer/investigator into clear focus of not only what questions to ask, but how and when to pose them. Narcissists in interviews are fascinating and can be provoked into admissions simply because they must justify their action. Why?

Because they did it; and since they did it, it "must" be right, or justified. 

Ethical licensed psychologists trained in analysis do not have a need for a diagnosis within the analysis. A solid diagnosis requires further interviewing (collateral) and is separate from the analysis of a statement.  Narcissistic like traits is enough to strategize. 

Useful Practical Information   

Some narcissists recognize themselves but generally only on the surface.  Even being diagnosed and the self-disclosure will not alter the personality.  This is why we always bring subjects into the free editing process of speaking without interruption. 

Some narcissists dedicate their lives to exposing narcissists.  They do not consider that their own words (and sometimes photos, camera angles, focus, etc) only heighten this projection.  

Children are naturally narcissistic which is why they must be taught human empathy.  This is why in both Employment Analysis (screening) and in theft investigations, we seek to discern basic human empathy from the subject, as a protective element against theft in hiring. 

The following is an article from Psychology Today by Joe Navarro.  

It is practical and a useful guide for the outworking of actual  narcissism and coping.  The author does not write to impress peers, but to inform.  This is an example of talent in instruction. 

We offer seminars and in home training.  For those trained in Statement Analysis, the logical next step is the profile which is used in identifying anonymous authors and threat level assessments.  

For training in deception detection or the general  Statement Analysis, please visit Hyatt Analysis Services.    

This course is a prerequisite for further training.  We offer specialized training for Employment and other areas where unique needs are met. With this in mind, Sex Crimes Units should carefully consider advanced training. It is challenging work, but it serves the needs of justice, particularly for those who understand victimology and the behavioral analysis of adult victims of childhood sexual assault, and how their language too often is declared deceptive when it is not.  

Joint Advanced Seminars are also offered with Handwriting Analysis by Steve Johnson, a talented expert in both Statement Analysis and profiling in Handwriting analysis. 






How Narcissists Really Think

Knowing how the narcissist thinks can help you understand 

toxic individuals.

by Joe Navarro 

Posted Sep 01, 2017

We often hear the term “narcissist,” but in reality, what does that mean? Does it merely describe someone who likes to be the center of attention, or likes the way he or she looks? Or is there more to it? The psychiatric literature defines narcissists as possessing specific traits, such as having a sense of entitlement or requiring excessive admiration. But what are narcissistic individuals really like on a day-to-day basis?

Anyone who has lived with or worked for a narcissist will tell you: Narcissists view themselves entirely differently — i.e., preferentially — compared to others, making those around them less valued. And there’s the rub: Everything must be about the narcissist. We don’t mind that a 2-year-old needs constant attention. That’s appropriate for the developmental stage of a 2-year-old. But we do mind when a 40-year–old needs that level of appreciation — and when achieving it comes at our expense.

Narcissists victimize those around them just by just being who they are, and they won’t change. That statement may seem extreme, until you listen to the stories of those who have been victimized by a narcissist. Then you realize just how toxic relationships with these individuals can be.

Work for a narcissistic boss, and he or she can make you physically or psychologically ill. Live with one, and it could be worse. In researching my book, Dangerous Personalities (link is external), I talked to scores of individuals who have been victimized by the narcissistic personality. Listening to story after story of stolen childhoods, destructive marriages, and burdensome relationships, I heard the same refrain: Narcissists see themselves as being so special that no one else matters. No one. Over time, the behavior resulting from their defining pathological traits will cast a wide debris field of suffering.

I have learned from the victims lessons that no medical book can teach, and they are lessons for all of us.

How Narcissists See Themselves

1. I love myself, and I know you do, too. In fact, everyone does. I can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t.

2. I have no need to apologize. You, however, must understand, accept, and tolerate me no matter what I do or say.

3. I have few equals in this world, and so far, I have yet to meet one. I am the best _______ (manager, businessman, lover, student, etc.).

4. Most people don’t measure up. Without me to lead, others would flounder.

5. I appreciate that there are rules and obligations, but those apply mostly to you, because I don’t have the time or the inclination to abide by them. Besides, rules are for the average person, and I am far above average.

6. I hope you appreciate all that I am and everything that I have achieved for you — because I am wonderful and faultless.

7. I do wish we could be equals, but we are not and never will be. I will remind you with unapologetic frequency that I am the smartest person in the room and how well I did in school, in business, as a parent, etc. — and you must be grateful.

8. I may seem arrogant and haughty, and that’s OK with me; I just don’t want to be seen as being like you.

9. I expect you to be loyal to me at all times, no matter what I do. However, don’t expect me to be loyal to you in any way.

10. I will criticize you, and expect you to accept it, but if you criticize me, especially in public, I will come at you with rage. One more thing: I will never forget or forgive, and I will pay you back one way or another — I am a “wound collector.”

11. I expect you to be interested in what I have achieved and what I have to say. I, on the other hand, am not at all interested in you or what you have achieved, so don’t expect much curiosity or interest from me about your life. I just don’t care.

12. I am not manipulative; I just like to have things done my way, no matter how much it inconveniences others, or how it makes them feel. I don’t care how others feel — feelings are for the weak.
13. I expect gratitude at all times, for even the smallest things I do. As for you, I expect you to do as I ask.

14. I only associate with the best people, and frankly, most of your friends don’t measure up.

15. If you would just do what I say, things would be better.
As you can imagine, it is not easy living with or working with someone who thinks or behaves this way. The experience of those who have done so teaches us the following (and if you remember nothing else from this post, remember this): Narcissists overvalue themselves and devalue others, and that means you. You will never be treated as an equal, you will never be respected, and you will in time be devalued out of necessity, so that they can overvalue themselves.

Tolerating the Narcissistic Personality

Knowing the traits of the narcissistic personality and how narcissists view themselves is useful, but so is knowing what can happen when you associate with them. Some, like children, close relatives, or the elderly, may not have a choice. In those cases, it is up to friends, relatives, teachers, coaches, associates, and co-workers to support them as best we can.
And there are those who choose to stick it out, because of finances, circumstances, or because they are in a complicated relationship or marriage. To them I say, beware: You will pay a price. I say this from experience and from talking to many victims. Those who choose to live with or work with a narcissistic personality must be prepared to accept the following:

1. Accept that you are not equals, because narcissists feel that they have no equals.

2. Those feelings of insecurity, dismay, disbelief, or incongruity you are experiencing are real and will continue.

3. Because narcissists overvalue themselves, you will be devalued. Gird yourself to be repeatedly degraded.

4. You will be talked to and treated in ways you never imagined, and be expected to tolerate it.

5. The narcissist’s needs, wants, and desires come first — no matter how inconvenient to you.

6. Be prepared for them to turn on you with indifference at a moment’s notice, as if any past positive interactions did not matter. You may question your own sanity as they turn on you, but that has become your reality.

7. When narcissists are nice, they can be very nice; but if you still feel insecure, that is because it is a performance, not a true sentiment. Niceness is a tool for social survival — a means to get what they want, like needing a hammer to hang a picture.

8. You will lap up the narcissist’s kindnesses, because they don’t come often. But niceness for the narcissist is perfunctory — merely utilitarian.
9. Be prepared for when the narcissist lashes out not just with anger, but with rage. You will feel attacked, and your sense of dignity violated.
10. Morality, ethics, and kindness are just words — narcissists master these for practicality's sake, not for propriety.
11. Narcissists lie without concern for the truth, because lies are useful for controlling and manipulating others. When you catch them in a lie, they will say that it is you who is lying or wrong, or that you misunderstood. Prepare to be attacked and to receive counter-allegations.
12. If it seems that they can only talk about themselves, even at the oddest of times, it is not your imagination. Narcissists can only talk about what they value most — themselves. That is their nature.

13. Narcissists will associate with individuals you would not trust to park your car, because they attract those who see narcissism as something to value (e.g., the power-hungry, the unscrupulous, profiteers, opportunists, and social predators).

14. Never expect the narcissist to admit to a mistake or apologize. Blame is always directed outward, never inward. Narcissists have no concept of self-awareness or introspection. But they are quick to see faults in others.

15. They expect you to forgive and forget and, above all, never to challenge them in public. You must remember that they always want to be perfect in public. Don’t embarrass them or contradict them, or you will pay a price.

16. Get used to losing sleep, feeling anxious, restless, less in control, becoming increasingly worried, perhaps even developing psychosomatic ailments. Those insecurities are your subconscious talking to you, telling you to escape.

17. Lacking both interest and true empathy in and for you, narcissists absolve themselves of that pesky social burden to care, leaving you deprived, empty, frustrated, or in pain.

18. They will be unwilling to acknowledge the smallest thing that matters to you. In doing so, they devalue you, leaving you feeling unfulfilled and empty.

19. You will learn to deal with their indifference, in one of two ways. You will work harder to get their attention — with little reward to you, because it won’t matter to the narcissist — or you will become resigned and empty psychologically, because narcissists drain you, one indignity at a time.

20. You will be expected to be their cheerleader at all times, even when it is you who needs encouragement the most.
This is the unvarnished truth about how narcissists see themselves, how they will behave, and how they can make you feel. I wish it were a better picture, but survivors of these personalities will tell you that it is that bad, and that toxic. 

As Stuart C. Yudofsky explains in his book Fatal Flaws, the truly narcissistic personality is “severely flawed of character.”

You might be asking, “What can I do?” Conventional wisdom advises seeing a trained professional for guidance. That is wise, but not always available. In my experience, the only one solution that works is to distance yourself from the individual as soon as you recognize them for what they are, and as soon as it is practical. As your psychic wounds heal, you will see your life improve and feel your dignity restored. As painful as distancing yourself may be, it is often the only way to make the hurting stop and to restore your well-being.


To see the full checklist of the traits of the narcissistic personality, or of the social predator, please consult Dangerous Personalities (link is external) by Joe Navarro with Toni Sciarra Poynter (Rodale, 2014).

16 comments:

Nic said...

Now I know where the word "girdle" comes from. :0)

Narcissists need "supply" (emotional response) be it negative or positive. Once they are cut off, be prepared for a smear campaign while they seek out supply elsewhere. If a boss/coworker or spouse, the choice is to either find another job or in the case of a spouse, realize it isn't "you", they were DOA (they are dead inside/have no empathy) and that any "life" that was between [you] was just you giving them what they needed. What you feed them (the adoration, fighting, etc.) is what makes them "feel" relevant/, i.e., nothing personal, it's all about them and getting what they need. Once you starve them of what they need (supply), they abandon [you], i.e., the marriage, and in most cases already have someone else/a new life set up leaving their estranged spouse bewildered and blind-sided (and themselves looking like a victim). Worse case they use the kids as ponds to get a different sort of "supply" from [you], or make you fight [it] out in court/deplete you of all your resources because your misery is what makes them "happy".

Sadly I have had a lot of experience with narcissists in my life and I have watched friends fight their narcissistic ex-partners in court. What I have learned is the sun still comes up every morning and, in my own case, the people who I thought I could count on, were DOA.

Anonymous said...

Nic, well put.

When they go though, it is the BEST thing that could ever happen.

It makes me want to vomit when I think about my narcopath ex touching me. I always felt so repulsed by him on many levels. All he was doing was "feeding" the giant black hole insids him. If you listen to your gut feelings you wont stay with a narc for long. They send out signals almost immediately that they are big phonies. I have attracted many narcs who fed off the wounds from abuse I received in childhood. I am so happy God opened eyes to what love actually is. It makes me so angry when I think of the utter sleazebag cowards I was involved with, but God has shown me what they all are--pieces of dogshit.

Nic said...

Hugs to you, Anonymous @ 2:20. IMO, narcissism is a disease. The only way to combat narcissism can be summed up in one word: boundaries. A narcissist can only take what you give them. If you give them everything, they leave you with nothing. If you set boundaries and stick to them, they will look for narc supply from someone/place else. It's an easy concept, but a very hard one because boundaries are based on what we "need" and want. If we look to others for this, that, or the other thing, then we are open to their abuse. If we accept personal responsibility and look within ourselves for our own needs and fulfill ourselves, they cannot feed off of us. Personal responsibility is key. A narc will only take (and gladly so) what we give them. Being empathetic/a fixer puts a big bullseye on [our] back. Learn to let others help themselves and be clear about your own boundaries (speak up for yourself/be confrontational) and what you expect in an intimate relationship. Most importantly, do not be so quick to jump in so quickly (love bombing is a huge red flag) and there is less likelihood you will come up against a narc for long. Some are more stealth (covert) than others. That's why time and boundaries is so important. jmo

Lucia D said...

I’m sure I have been guilty of misusing the title of narcissist. From what I have read we all have some of the tendencies. But full blown narcissistic personality disorder is relatively rare. I’ve read between one and 6 percent of the population. And more than half of those are men. One of my friends is in the process of divorcing a narcissist (his wife), and she is not content to part ways peacefully! It’s not even enough for her to try to take his money and his children from him. She wants to destroy him. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Anonymous said...

Lucia, Im sure you have no idea what her side of it is.

Lucia D said...

If you want to
discuss it, Anonymous, I’m willing. But disclose yourself at least far enough to be distinguished from all other anonymous posters.

ima.grandma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Missy said...

My mother is severely narcissistic. It is an extremely draining thing to deal with, because her manipulation is so smooth and constant, and the need for attention and reaction is non stop. There is no dignity in a relationship with a narcissist. I began setting very strict boundaries with her 18 months ago, and it has been like holding up a cross to a demon.

Anonymous said...

You cant set boundaries with narcs--you have to totally get them out of your life. The whole boundaries thing is New Age mumbo jumbo--it doesnt work with narcopaths.

Deejay said...

Overt Narcissists. Then there is a second side of the trait called a Covert Narcissist. They have a lot of the same over-the-top self-centeredness, but it comes from deep insecurity and emptiness. This person constantly chases after attention and affirmation to fill the void, but never succeeds. The theory is that either trait starts with bad parenting- the child was told either they were the center of the universe (overt) or cruelly ignored to the point of damage (covert).

Projects subtle air of Smugness/Superiority. Self-Absorption.
Lack Of Empathy for others.
Childish Passive-Aggressive behavior. Dreams of revenge.
Highly Sensitive to perceived slights.
String of difficult/broken relationships.
Exaggerated role in all life stories- drama, lies.
Takes undue credit/ complains excessively about a lack of credit.
Uses and then drops people- easily attracted to the excitement of affairs.
Desperate need to attract/collect admirers and attention.

The two similar but divergent themes-
Overt- I deserve to be more important because I was born special.
Covert- If I can convince you I am special, maybe I will become lovable.

Nic said...

Anonymous said...
You cant set boundaries with narcs--you have to totally get them out of your life. The whole boundaries thing is New Age mumbo jumbo--it doesnt work with narcopaths.


Boundaries are not "new age mumbo jumbo". If kids are involved you cannot "get them out of your life". God speed if [you] share custody with a narc.

Nic said...

Most importantly, boundaries apply to life/people in general. It's about knowing how to say "no" and not worrying about how that makes the other person feel, or "worse" worrying that they might not like you afterwards.

(Oh well!)

Alex said...

I don't think bad parenting has much to do with the creation of narcissism. I think they are born, not made. JMO

Alex

Habundia said...

I think narcissism is the combination of nature and nurture, i dont believe baby's are born narcisists, i do believe they are born with personality traits which by environment and parenting can turn into a narcistic adult. I do believe parents have a big influence on the personality development of baby's, toddlers and children.

Lucia D said...

I agree with Habundia. Dr Drew always says "genetics loads the gun and environment pulls the trigger".

Habundia said...

Often you see that growing up these kids (narcistic adult) have been raised by parents who always talk right what is wrong. Their child did nothing wrong it was always others who were wrong.
Its often mothers who enable the child to behave like they do. Like when they are accused of misconduct (sexual abuse, fysical abuse, emotional abuse) those mothers always claim their child didn't do IT "they are not that kind of person"
It always wanna make me slap those "mothers", not that i do, but it makes me furious. So in theory those mothers (parents) are as much to blame (guilty) for anything that their children do.