Thursday, August 16, 2007

On Being Perfect

A well worth reading article on narcissism written by Paul Lutus can be found at this link:

Here is the conclusion as a taste (a funny way to do it, I admit)


According to many mental health professionals, the biggest single mistake people make in dealing with narcissists is to underestimate how dangerous they are. A good percentage of prison inmates are narcissists whose impulses got out of control, and the only thing separating a typical clinical narcissist from iron bars is a fortuitous mixture of circumstances. Narcissists live in a perpetual state of barely suppressed rage, are frequently unbelievably reckless, and appear to be oblivious to the risk their behavior poses to themselves and to others.

I don't think anyone can doubt that the above examples of clinical narcissism are involuntary, on the ground that they are so destructive to the narcissist that no one would choose to engage in the behavior. In the Blind Fury accusation story, she very clearly wasn't thinking about the consequences of her actions. If she possessed the insight of a normal person, she would realize she had systematically fed her credibility like firewood into a bonfire of narcissistic rage, and the courts on which she had depended for her public rants will now see her coming.

As to the physics illiterate, so long as he persists in arguing instead of thinking, he simply won't be able to learn the topic, and his unwillingness to reëvaluate his own beliefs will cripple his intellectual development as long as it lasts. Which brings me to another point about narcissists — they tend to have a rather shallow grasp of most topics, because they can't bring themselves to sincerely ask questions, for fear of appearing stupid. This leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy, where the thing most feared becomes a certainty.

This is all trivial to see from an adult perspective, but the point is narcissists don't have an adult perspective. They have the outlook and instincts of a six-year-old child, forever. It is this hard-wired intellectual and emotional limitation that motivates mental health professionals to almost universally offer this advice: the best way to deal with narcissists is to get away from them, as soon as possible, before they destroy you. That is a lesson I am still learning.