Category Archives: Life

Geek, nerd or ‘other’?

I finally got around to watching Firefly last month, for the first time. The series was strange but great. Firefly has attracted geeks galore, as you may know. Many movies and TV series have attracted geeks and I’m also an avid fan of some of them.

I’m going to Comic-Con in April (with the same girlfriend who dressed up with me to see The Force Awakens), which has been on my to-do list for a few years. Comic-Con attracts geeks too, and I’m geekily excited!

Nerdy? Maybe. Geeky? Maybe. Or maybe I’m both. Or neither. Yes, there are differences, as this article explains: http://www.wikihow.com/Tell-the-Difference-Between-Nerds-and-Geeks.

I actually don’t care what category I fit in. Geek and nerd have always been derogatory terms but in this Big Bang Theory era, we’re actually becoming more ‘cool’. And if I’m wrong, it doesn’t actually matter anyway.

At school, I always worked extremely hard to get good grades and to generally just succeed in life. My school friends affectionately called me a nerd, because I got A’s for most of my subjects (except sport, of course).

Other peers called me a square and I got teased with the L7 sign a lot. In the 90’s, the definition of the word ‘square’, wasn’t what the dictionary says.

I never thought I was a nerd, because there were plenty more people with fewer social skills and much more intelligence than me. And I hated math and science. I wasn’t cool but I wasn’t uncool either.

I always tried not to be a square, because I was ashamed of caring so much and trying so hard. Unlike a nerd, I was semi-social and not 100% introverted.

I still put 110% into everything I put my mind to. I still care about getting the absolute best results out of myself that I can. But I’m not as much of a perfectionist now – I’ve learnt to loosen up a lot. (Back when I was young, perfectionism and OCD just about tore my brain apart.)

Nowadays I’m surrounded by nerd and geek friends who I absolutely love to bits. They bring out the little inner nerd and little inner geek in me and I love them for it.

I realise now that I’m neither nerd or geek, and by definition, I’m not a square either. I’m just an enthusiast for all things. But you can call me what you like, I don’t mind.

Cool? Not really. But I reckon the geeks and nerds are the ones who make life most interesting and most fun.

 

 

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Literary Idols

Literary Idols

During a recent conversation, a friend asked me which authors inspire me the most and how. Here’s the answer to that question…

When I was very young, Enid Blyton captured my imagination with her Magic Tree tales. So fantastical and brilliant were her creations that I lived in these bizarre worlds for days on end. I loved to escape into the magical places she’d crafted. For me, Blyton’s enchanted tales were so adventurous and so believable that it was easy to tune out to everything else around me.

As I grew a bit older, I became interested in Roald Dahl’s tales. His unusual stories, where the main child character was always the champion, amused me no end. I found his writing was funny and a breeze to read. The antagonist was always someone so wretched that I wanted to get to the end to discover his or her horrible demise. By the time I grew out of Roald Dahl stories, I had read everything he’d ever written for children.

I then moved onto Paul Jennings. The quirkiness of this author’s plot lines and his bizarre characters completely drew me into his strange tales. In every one of his stories, I was compelled to solve the mysteries, and I loved discovering their answers.

By late primary school, I was enjoying a phase of horror fiction. My Goosebumps binge lasted for a while. The hardly-scary children’s stories by R. L. Stine appealed to my interest in terror and all things grim.

A. Montgomery was another favourite author at this time. I frequently ‘chose my own adventure’ and went on multiple versions of discovery within a single story. The mystery and novelty of these stories kept me hooked for some time.

As a young teen, I found myself engrossed in the works of Isobelle Carmody. Her Obernewtyn Chronicles had me charmed with the dystopian fantasy / post apocalyptic genre. (I also began to appreciate huge-arse books!) Carmody creates such believable fantasy worlds, deep characters with multiple dimensions and gripping plot lines. Her stories explore philosophical notions and the very soul of humanity.

In high school, I also discovered John Marsden. I found myself easily able to connect with his Australian stories and characters. Marsden’s tales deconstruct harsh realities and plunge right into human chaos. It was from reading this author’s books that I began to form a real attachment to characters in stories generally, and I grieved if they died.

As an adult, I’ve read countless novels and am inspired by numerous authors. Gillian Flynn is high on my list of revered artists. I love her gritty, crafty plots and her sharp, evocative writing style. She writes scenes with such efficient use of language. Scenes that make you want to throw up while simultaneously keeping you transfixed, turning page after page until the end. I know of no other author that can delve so deeply into the mind of such disturbed characters and write them with such accuracy.

So where do these inspiring authors leave me? They leave me with a hope of creating my own excellent stories. Stories that transcend the ordinary standard out there and soar to heights yet unreached.

If I can convince my readers to suspend their disbelief, no matter how absurd my story world is… If I can take my readers on a magnificent adventure full of mystery and discovery… If I can infuse my own quirkiness and make my readers smile… If I can create multidimensional characters that stand the test of time… then I will be a happy writer.

If I can shed light on, and create hope about, harsh realities… If I can make the boring old familiar topics of thought fresh and interesting again… If I can write with grit and precision… If I can keep my readers hooked and wanting more… then I will consider myself a successful writer.

Now that’s a long bill to fill, but I wouldn’t want the challenge to be any easier.

The best novels are always the result of the hardest challenges. I know, because I’ve been lucky enough to meet a couple of the literary heroes I’ve mentioned here.

 

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The Spoon Theory

I’d love for all of us to stop judging others on what they do and don’t achieve in life, whether they’re ‘normal’ or ill, or whether they’re ‘like us’ or not. Here’s why: we all carry a unique and limited number of ‘spoons’ to use each day. Let me explain.

The Spoon Theory is a genius analogy coined by Christine Miserandino.

The theory is especially relevant to me because I have a gut condition called Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction. This illness, along with depression, anxiety, a moderate pulmonary stenosis and an underactive thyroid, affects how much I can and can’t do on a daily basis.

The Spoon Theory is a fascinating, simple concept about the limit of physical resources a sick person has. By physical resources, I mean energy stores, muscular strength, the quality of sleep I’m able to get, and bodily malfunctions.

Anyone who sets out to understand the Spoon Theory will benefit from knowing about it, not just those with an illness or those who live with chronically ill people.

 

Time to read

I’ve shared the above two links, hoping you’ll read them now, before continuing with this post. Even if you consider yourself healthy and ‘normal’, please still look at them.

 

More than just a body

As well as the physical capacity of a person, the Spoon Theory can also be applied to a person’s mental and emotional reserves. It certainly applies to all three aspects for me, as I struggle daily to maintain homeostasis within my whole being.

In this age when depression is more widely and openly discussed, and there is greater public awareness about mental health issues, I think this is an important point to remember.

 

Spoon supply

Each day, week, month, brings with it a varied amount of spoon supplies. Life is ever changing and for me, there are rarely a reliable number of spoons at my disposal each day.

If I’ve had more sleep, I have more spoons to use. If my body is being less symptomatic, I have greater concentration and more energy. If my son has been well behaved, I have more mental space to be mindful and keep my depression in check (resulting in a lower likelihood of depressive ‘slumps’). This can also apply to people who are quite well.

So many elements in life use up one’s spoon stores – not just illness. Relationship issues, children, work and many other things take away from each person’s supply. Sometimes those ‘other things’ deplete a person’s spoon supply so much that it leaves them with no spoons to use for him- or her- self at the end of a day.

 

Effects of The Spoon Theory

Maybe, given my medical condition, I aspire to achieve too much, but I’m determined to experience as much as a motivated healthy person in this life. I’m ambitious in spirit but poor physical and mental health has always limited what dreams I can realistically accomplish.

Because of the Spoon Theory, I’m a lot more okay with my limited capacity than I used to be. Discovering the theory brought some freedom into my life. I was able to lower the lofty height of ‘the bar’ I’d always set for myself.

My loved ones have all read about the Spoon Theory and it’s really helped them to manage their expectations of me. This has resulted in a happier, more relaxed Jodie. The funny thing is, when I’m feeling so well supported, I can generally give more back.

 

Got a spoon?

And that’s why I’d love us to stop judging others based on what they do and don’t achieve in life, whether they’re ‘normal’ or ill, or whether they’re ‘like us’ or not.

Everyone has their own number of spoons. Everyone has their own capacities and weaknesses to face, and strengths to deal with life’s challenges.

Why don’t we start thinking about whether we have a spare spoon we can lend to someone (sick or healthy) who doesn’t have as many as they need?

Being given a spoon is one of the greatest gifts anyone could bestow upon me. Thank you to everyone who has ever given me one of their spoons. I’ll always be grateful.

 

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Dumb Things that Happen

The clock is ticking. Time might be my enemy today.

I notice a couple in their SUV, pulling out of a driveway. I wonder if they’re nice, normal people and then decide to take the risk and ask them to give me a lift.

I’m really hot and tired by this stage and I’m worried about getting back to my sister’s house in time to make my appointment, which is an hour’s drive further north than I’ve already travelled.

Today, I have a medical appointment at a hospital three hours north of where I live. I left home early with my three-year-old, in a luggage-packed car and plenty of time on my side. I’m about to get the quickest answer to prayer I’ve ever received.

Let me back up for a minute.

I’ve driven to my sister’s house where my son and I are staying for two nights. After dropping my son off at his Granddad’s to be babysat for the day, I park on the lawn, unlock the front door, drop my handbag (with everything in it) inside the front door and return to the car to unpack.

I’ve taken everything out of the car and piled it up outside the house.

I grasp the lever on the front door. It won’t move. A feeling of dread plummets into my tummy. The door has made a vile move against me on this busy, hot day and self-locked. The bitch!

I pat my hands around my jeans pockets, searching for my mobile phone. I have no phone, car keys, nothing. They’re all in my handbag inside the house. A whispered curse escapes my lips. Of all days, this cannot be happening today!

Panic turns into quick thinking and I start knocking on neighbours’ front doors until I find one who’ll not only open their door to me, but also let me use their phone.

I call my husband. My husband calls my brother-in-law. My brother-in-law calls me. He’s in Perth with the spare key, working. The only other spare key is with my niece and she’s at school. Fortunately, the school isn’t too far away.

I have to leave everything (including my unlocked car and several valuables) and walk to the school. Well, that’s where I think I’m going.

It’s 11am, 33 degrees celsius and I’m already feeling too hot. I’m puffing, I’m scared of burning and also worried about passing out (I have a history of heat exhaustion).

The school feels like a light year away. I’m not even sure I’m heading in the right direction. After about ten minutes, I discover I’m heading in the wrong direction and turn around. And that brings me back to the couple pulling out of a driveway in their SUV.

The couple clearly thinks I’m strange but respond kindly to my request for a lift and take me to my niece’s school. I thank them repeatedly then wait at reception in the air conditioning while the key is being retrieved from my niece in class. I’m feeling impatient but try to relax.

The key is finally in my hot little hands and I start walking back. Two minutes pass and I’m already completely over the heat so I squash my pride and employ my hitchhikers thumb. Another risk.

No one stops. I hope someone is going to pick me up and take me back to my sister’s house – not some unfamiliar place to slaughter me. I try not to think about all the possible things an evil person could do to me.

I’ve been whispering prayers in my head up until this point.

This time I literally pray out loud for the very next car to pick me up. Two seconds later, a car approaches. The driver stops and invites me to sit in the passenger seat. There’s a cute Chihuahua in the back seat. The nice old lady drops me back at my sister’s house.

I unlock the house door, again, go inside, drink copious amounts of water and tear my jeans off to cool down. I still have time on my side. I’ll make it in time for my MRI appointment at the hospital after all.

Far. Out!

 

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The night of the alien

Once upon a time, in a hospital far away, there existed a 13-year-old girl whose life was surrounded by a sphere of mystery and desperation.

The girl’s name was Jodie. The girl was me.

I can’t remember all the details of my history, which is annoying. I’m guessing my memory is patchy because I had intense experiences, permeated by high levels of emotion.

I’ll try to recollect one especially peculiar scene for you…

This scene unfolded during a time when I was debilitated in hospital. My abnormal body had produced an abscess where a jejunostomy tube had been removed from my gut wall. Why did an abscess form? The answer is unknown.

I was lying, supine (as I often did) on my plastic mattress bed, watching TV. It was an average night on the teenager ward at Princess Margaret Hospital. I was reasonably happy because the dressing around my gut ‘hole’ had been fashioned by a skilled nurse. The dressing was secure, so stomach acid wasn’t burning my skin, as it so often did during this particular admission. It was a pretty ordinary hospital stay.

Then average changed and the ordinary got real weird. (Not that I wasn’t already familiar with all sorts of weird…)

Stomach acid began to seep under the expert dressing and sizzle away at my epidermis. The ostomy pouch secured over the hole (for drainage) puffed up with gas. I sensed impending doom.

When weird things happened to my body, as they did on semi-regular occasions, I felt astonished. But this time, I said, ‘Woaaaaah, check this out!’ to my mum who was sitting nearby.

We knew something was quite wrong when the pain started. Mum rushed off for a nurse.

The nurse, who tailed my mum back, loved grotesque human secretions. (Nurses are generally curious, fascinated creatures.) She took the ostomy pouch off. A foreign, disgusting smell filled the air.

What happened next was almost like the alien chest-bursting scene in the movie, Alien (or the rip-off version in Spaceballs). Funny thing was, I didn’t order the daily special.

What erupted out of my gut wasn’t an archetypal alien… But it was green, it was slimy and it was definitely disgusting. My adrenaline level soared. I stared at my tummy, grimacing, as if it were someone else’s bodily dysfunction that I was observing. It bubbled as it exited, like a creature moving of its own accord. The mass discharge happened in a matter of seconds.

Straight after the alien had slimed out of my gut hole, all covered in mucous like a baby – it burst.

The first thing the nurse said was, ‘Coooool!’ All I could say was, ‘FAR OUT!’ My body had produced this. It was surreal to see the abscess on the outside of me, after it had been causing so much trouble inside me.

What followed was a decent clean up effort and animated talk between medical staff. The best thing, after this episode was that I was free, for now, of physical pain. Finally, I had my jejunum back. Now, hydrochloric acid wouldn’t leak out, over my skin and torture me.

I may not have slept so well since The Night of the Alien.

 

 

 

 

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Pledge

I made a pledge to myself a few months ago.

I made this promise because I feel like there’s too much isolated, silent struggle going on out there. It breaks my heart.

My pledge is this:

I will be honest about the struggle I go through with my thoughts and emotions. I will help to overcome the conspiracy of silence. I will speak up.

I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety, poor health, relationships, conflict and life in general, in both silence and isolation – it’s horrible. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

My aim is to be transparent and honest with people about the battles I face – to set an example and to encourage community.

I want to be someone who’ll never cease caring about others. I want to be someone who others are willing to confide in. More than anything, I want to somehow help those who are struggling on their own, in silence. Even if all I can do for them is just listen.

I’ve discovered some lonely, silently suffering people in the world and they’re the most beautiful of souls. I’ve made friends with many of them.

I’m passionate in my belief that we’re all meant to be helping each other in this life. Let’s stop judging each other and living individualistic lives. Let’s get our shit together and break out of our boxes to speak up and help someone.

Are you with me?

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How to Respond

Part 5 of 5 – NPD series

 

Damage control

Psychological abuse creates emotional wounds and later, leaves scars. The damage can’t be seen but it is real and it is serious.

As I said in an earlier post, victimisation is not a reflection of how strong, or weak, someone is.

Remember that just because you wouldn’t get sucked into a narcissist’s game, doesn’t mean one of your friends won’t. Each of us is unique and we all struggle with different issues throughout our lives. Some of the issues other people struggle with will seem foreign to us. Try to understand.

 

Be gentle

If you know someone who’s being psychologically abused, please take it seriously. She needs supportive friends to help her through this hard time.

I detest the modern saying, ‘toughen up princess’. It’s so insensitive. It completely dismisses a person’s feelings. Telling your abused friend this (or anything like it) will just add to the self-hate she’s already feeling.

Please don’t highlight the things she may have done wrong, unless she has specifically asked you to!

 

How the victim is feeling

Your friend might be feeling worthless after a narcissist is done with her. Nobody feels good after being mistreated, even if it’s clear the offender was being a complete jerk.

She’s probably going through an episode of depression and feeling more than a little red raw.

She’ll likely also be feeling very stupid for not realising a narcissist had been taking advantage of her. She might be beating herself up for it.

I can assume what your friend might be feeling because I’ve been there and I’ve felt all these emotions.

 

Encourage and highlight

Encourage your friend to look at the positives she can take from her bad experience. Help her to develop tools she can keep on hand in her relationship tool box.

Highlight to her that her vulnerable traits are actually qualities! We don’t need a world with more hardened hearts. We need to nurture the soft-hearted.

Soft-hearted people feel emotions deeply. Be conscious of this and be patient. Your friend needs time to heal.

Gently help your friend to move on by being the most supportive, present friend you can be.

I needed nurturing and that’s exactly what my true friends gave me. They gave me all the love in the world.

 

This concludes my five part NPD series. Thanks for tuning in!

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I was a Victim

Part 4 of 5 – NPD series

Character traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder = susceptibility not strength

It wasn’t neediness that attracted a narcissist to me (although it’s likely that neediness does attract narcissists). And I wasn’t wearing a sign that said ‘abuse me’, either. In other words, that awful treatment I received at the hands of a narcissist? I wasn’t ‘asking for it’.

The honourable character traits that draw a narcissist to us can be the very traits that make us vulnerable to a narcissist’s abuse.

The narcissist targets people who are compassionate, forgiving, sensitive, trusting and loyal. Although having these attributes make it easy to fall prey, they do not make us weak. The difference between being weak and being strong comes down to whether your heart is unguarded or guarded.

 

Unguarded heart

In my experience of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) I left my heart unguarded and that is why I ended up so hurt. It wasn’t because of who I was or who I am.

I refuse to believe that we need to change ourselves in order to repel and prevent abuse from a narcissist. I’m convinced we can remain authentic to our character and be strong and wise to ward of any bad treatment.

I refuse to harden my heart just because someone hurt me. I’m soft hearted and I’ll never give that up. I’ve simply become a wiser version of myself. I’ve learned from my mistake and moved on.

 

Bad timing

I met said narcissist at a course where I was looking to establish new connections. I realise now that I was too open. I was caught up in the excitement of meeting new people (I do love to socialise).

I was also going through a lonely, bored season of life (but that’s a whole other story). In the beginning, this new friendship was exciting and fun. I let feelings distort my perspective.

 

Recognise red flags

To my detriment, I didn’t acknowledge the red flags. I let caution slip and stupidly left myself wide open to hurt.

The experience reminded me that in any relationship, we must stop and listen to our instincts. What’s your heart telling you about this new person? Be cautious; tread carefully.

 

My worst me

There’s no doubt about it, I reacted badly in response to how I was treated. The key word there is reacted; I said awful knee-jerk words of anger that I’m terribly ashamed of having said. I was hurt and confused by NPD games.

I’ve accepted responsibility for my unpleasant behaviour – there’s no excuse for it. And I also think, hell, no one deserves to be treated like I was. I wouldn’t wish such treatment on my worst enemy (even if I had one).

As a friend of a narcissist, I became someone I didn’t like and others didn’t like. I wasn’t being a true representation of myself. This is my biggest regret – losing my true self (for a short while).

 

Regrets

I also regret that I didn’t listen to the people around me who were telling me this friend wasn’t worth my effort.

At the time, I didn’t know NPD was playing with me but I still should have opted out and put myself first. I could have guarded my heart by withdrawing from the relationship.

I wouldn’t have ignored this friend (I find it hard to ignore anyone) but I certainly would have kept him at a safe distance.

 

Learning curve

I chose to believe the best in my friend. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a best in him to begin with. It was all just ‘smoke and mirrors’, as the saying goes.

I’ve learnt something I deeply wish wasn’t true and it’s this; you can’t believe the best in everyone. There are actually people out there who aren’t worth your time, effort and heart. Better to let just them pass you by.

 

Choose your thoughts

There are several reasons why we leave our hearts unguarded. Inexperience is one reason.

Experience equips us with tools for our future. Learning by doing is unavoidable. I encourage you to view a bad friendship experience as a valuable life lesson and harness the wisdom you’ve gained from it. Put what you’ve learnt in your relationship tool kit.

Try to see the positives from your experience with NPD. Dwelling on the negatives will only make your heart bitter and bitterness will rot your soul.

 

One more thing

My words of advice to you are; don’t rush into new friendships; tread cautiously. Above all, don’t bare your heart to anyone who doesn’t reveal some of his or her own heart to you.

 

How do you respond to a victim of narcissism?

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Friends with a Narcissist

Part 3 of 5 – NPD series

People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) reflect honourable character traits in you, myself and others. This makes it hard to tell if someone is a narcissist.

 

Mr Private

Narcissists are very private, at their whim. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not against privacy. Many of my friends like to lead much more private lives than me. But what was considered private to this person changed depending on his mood and agenda.

 

Excuse me?

The narcissist I knew said nothing plainly. I had to read between the lines all the time. Afterwards, he’d tell me I was too literal and needed a dictionary definition for everything. I felt stupid.

 

Mr Bully

He laughed often at my expense. He poked the kind of fun that broached boundaries I had set in our friendship. I told him when he hurt me, but he didn’t respond.

I brazenly told him when to back off, but he’d come back to a sensitive topic another time, another way. He was always pushing me.

I wasn’t to make him feel like the bad guy, even though he knew that’s what he was. It was too intense, too burdensome for him, to bear the responsibility of his actions. He wanted an easy friendship that required no effort on his part. I had to be fun fun fun!

 

Mr Honest

My narcissist friend came across as very honest. He said things like, ‘you can be bare with me’ and ‘I’m one of the good guys’, inviting me to trust him. He implied he cared but his later, punishing treatment proved otherwise.

 

Bitter Pills

My friend would not grant me forgiveness. He did once, in the beginning. He even said sorry… once. Only once.

Sometimes I offended him (and sometimes admittedly I was in the wrong) but often, he would be offended for no known reason. Later he revealed his unforgiving nature.

I had to play by his rules or I was out. I was told not to take offence to anything he said because, ‘he never intends to hurt anyone’. If I responded in a way he disliked – if I defended myself and stood ground – I was blamed for misunderstanding him. (Funny, because I’ve always been quick to listen and slow to judge.)

 

Call me Sally

I was called a multitude of things I had never been called in my long history of healthy friendships. I was tip-toe-ing on eggshells to keep him happy and prevent the abuse.

 

Mr Charity

He claimed he liked to help people but he only helped if it served his purposes as well. One of his solutions to one of my ‘problems’ was very inappropriate. And he kept pushing it, because it was what he wanted.

I was made to feel like the odd one out of an entire world of normal people who put these normal solutions in place. It was creepy.

 

Ostracise me, pleeease!

Towards the end, I don’t even think my friend liked me, yet he hung around. I was still a good supply source for his narcissism. He didn’t want to get rid of me. He would do so in his own time, on his own terms.

I was repeatedly ignored for varying lengths of time as a form of punishment for something I’d apparently said in the ‘wrong way’. No amount of contact from my side would move him to acknowledge my pain. I felt he didn’t care that I was suffering. And so, this is basically how our friendship ended. Mr NPD got shelved.

How on earth did I fall for his tricks?

 

 

 

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How to Pick a Narcissist

Part 2 of 5 – NPD series

 

I’m not claiming to be an expert on narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). I’ve simply learned a lot through experience, other people, and research.

For simplicity, I will describe the narcissist as a ‘he’, as it is men that most commonly have this disorder.

 

NPD defined

According to Wikipedia, people with NPD are characterised by ‘exaggerated feelings of self-importance’. They have a keen sense of entitlement and ‘demonstrate grandiosity in their beliefs and behaviour’. They also have ‘a strong need for admiration but lack feelings of empathy’.

 

My experience against NPD traits

The website, Psych Central, states that to have NPD, a person must meet five or more of the following criteria. (Under each one, I describe how I observed it in the NPD person I encountered.)

* Has a grandiose sense of self-importance:

I was considered ‘less than’ him in all ways, as were many other people.

He thought himself more experienced in all areas of life.

If my views were different than his, he argued to change my mind. This often encompassed belittling.

* Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love:

He was a player. He said inappropriate, suggestive things. His conversation was sometimes provocative.

* Believes that he is special and unique:

A great many people made no sense to him. He considered most people to be fools. He considered himself different – better somehow.

* Requires excessive admiration:

He displayed his creative talent and loved the praise that resulted.

He required high fives for jokes but rarely doled them out.

He baited me into giving him compliments by projecting a low self-esteem. This gave him an ego boost.

He rarely gave me compliments and when he did, he had an ulterior motive.

* Has a strong sense of entitlement (unreasonable expectations and / or automatic compliance with his expectations)…

Even if he didn’t make his expectations known to me, I was still somehow required to measure up. There were so many invisible rules.

* Is exploitive of others:

He laughed often, at my expense and in company, and created ‘jokes’ that highlighted what he thought my character flaws were.

He called me names even though he told me not to name call.

He’d use personal information I’d given him and, in a power play, twist it to suit his agenda.

* Lacks empathy:

He had no room for understanding or compassion (although in the beginning, he made a great show of it). No amount of me apologising was ever enough. Everything I did, or said, was wrong.

* Is often envious of others

He masked his envy with jokes but underneath, jealously seethed.

* Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes:

There were always riddles I had to solve. If I didn’t understand something, he turned his explanation into a ‘lesson’. He wouldn’t give a simple explanation. I was treated like an idiot.

He never said things simply. I always had to read between the lines and would usually be admonished for not interpreting him correctly.

 

Do any of my examples strike a chord for you? You can take the Psyh Central’s quiz (either for yourself or, by entering another’s characteristics, to find out if someone you know may have NPD) here.

 

 

 

 

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