Narcissists don’t have a real, true and fixed identity. What’s fixed about their personality is that it is DISORDERED. Who they ARE is a classification in a mental health diagnostic manual. With this wonderful factoid under our belt we can begin to explore why the presence of someone WITH character becomes such an envied, enemied, devalued and discarded being.
Whilst doing some research for my study I came across this information that I feel describes narcissism really well 'identity disorder'. The narcissist doe s not seem to have an identity, instead they borrow and steal ours (mirroring). This is done for a variety of reasons, firstly because they have no real self, no depth of character, something that has been missing since childhood so they imitate somebody else's in a bid to become accepted by their social circle.
This tactic is also used on us when they try to lock us into a relationship. They will imitate a person or a soulmate so that we will get into a relationship with them, so that we will like them, so that we will accept them. This bizarre behaviour is part of their need to be accepted, to not be different. This difference exists in their delusional mind where having suffered the abuse that they have they want to disguise it but pretending to be somebody else.
Identity is something that defines us, you could say our character, our stamp on the world. What do you want to be recognised for? This is something that is rather personal and intimate (in some respects). So, to have it imitated or copied without permission is almost like plagiarism or identity theft. It almost seems like an attack on you.
The opposite of the “false self” is the authentic self. The authentic self is the core of who you really are, not what people tell you you should be or the “you” defined by people who do not really know you: the doubters, critics, and others who see the part of you that you choose to show. It’s the you that you talk about to the people and know you best and whom you trust to be careful with your vulnerabilities. Narcissists can’t afford to be vulnerable at all–especially not to themselves.
Remember, they need to believe the lie. So they make up a fictitious false self who is everything the narcissist is not: the entitled, superior, inflated, and grandiose self fed by the narcissist’s fantasies and what they can squeeze out of sources of narcissistic supply. Its kind of like when as children we would present to be a fictitious character from a story or a TV series so that we could reenact the scenes of the show. You'd have to really believe your the character and feel yourself in the scene. This is called 'method acting', I know that I have touched upon this in other posts. But its the same principle reenacting a character and truly believing that you are that individual in that life.
Its a sad realisation really, you have to pretend to be somebody else because being your authentic self is not an option because there is no you. You begin to see just how delusional these individuals really are, how the veil between reality and fantasy is paper thin which blurs any opportunity for sanity and wellness. That is why when they are caught in the truth they cannot accept it and will lie to cover up any ounce so that they are not revealed and exposed.
It makes me rather sad to think that such individual exist and that they have tried to trick us along the way. the thing is they don't really do a great job at it, OK let me re-word it. They do and the con is great at the beginning but thats because we don't believe that such people exists and we are not presented with the reality its all 'smoke and mirrors' and over time as certain things become apparent we do figure it out. We do see through them and their smoke screen. So we should credit ourselves, if we didn't we would still be stuck in that world of theirs and lets face it... its a dark nasty place!
This mask, which the narcissist thinks is real, hides the insecure and damaged part of the narcissist and chases way feelings of depression, abandonment, and shame. It protects them from painful feelings. Affirmations of the false self keep the mask in good repair. If they’re not forthcoming, they’ll demand them in one way or another in the ways that make the relationship a wild ride on a rollercoaster (which no one understands besides other people who have a loved one with NPD).
Have you ever caught the narcissist in amongst their lies? Have you ever caught them out with the lie? Have you ever seen their mask slip?