Are you neurotic, narcissist or neurotypical?

Are you neurotic, narcissist or neurotypical?

Regardless of how hurtful people can be, if we are in a relationship with them, we tend to assume that they share our similar values. But this isn’t always true. And this common assumption can get us in a lot of trouble, especially with narcissists.

While there are others that think like us (to some degree), these days, we regularly encounter people who shock us.  We find ourselves saying, “How could they say (or do) such a thing?”  “Doesn’t he/she care about my feelings?” And if we love the person, we might find ourselves making excuses for a person who has hurt us because we want so desperately to hold onto our original view of the person we fell in love with in the first place.

In a relationship with a Narcissist

But this pattern of trying to justify other’s hurtful behavior can lead us into relationships that are both dangerous to our mental and physical health.  And at worse, they can destroy our confidence, self-worth, and our ability to thrive.   

People don’t consciously enter into relationships wanting to be abused.

But if we don’t understand how differently others can think, our relationships can end up that way.

In his book “In Sheep’s Clothing”, George K. Simon, appropriately categorizes us into 3 groups who think drastically differently.

The Neurotic

People who are considered neurotic have a tendency towards anxiety.  They are more depressive, more prone to emotional instability, they can be insecure, self-conscious, and unable to handle stress.

The Narcissist 

People who are narcissistic are overconfident about their own accomplishments and tend to feel entitled.   

A little bit of narcissism isn’t unhealthy.  I like to think of narcissism ranging on a scale from self-loathing to extreme entitlement. There is a healthy level of narcissism that allows us to be confident and reasonably entitled based on our accomplishments.   However, narcissism becomes unhealthy when we see our value and worth to be so beyond the people around us, that we don’t believe they are entitled to be treated fairly or well.

The extreme version of narcissism lapses into psychopathy.

The root of psychopathy is anti-social personality disorder, which is the long-term pattern or disregard for, or violation of the rights of others.  

The typical narcissistic sociopath we end up in relationships with knows how to conform to society’s expectations.  They know how to charm people and act loving.  But their motivations are different from neurotic or neurotypical people.  Their relationships are transactional, not relational.  In other words, they enter into relationships with a self- serving agenda.  And they know how to pick people that will go to great lengths to make them happy, often at their own expense!

Narcissist in power

Many narcissists are attracted to positions of power, and their power in churches, politics and businesses has had large implications for our growing inequality, rights of workers, and long-term impacts on our environment and health. 

A neurotic person makes themselves miserable. A narcissist makes everyone else miserable.


The neurotypical:

The neurotypical person acts in ways that are perceived as normal by the population.  They have great communication skills, stable relationships, and are able to adapt to complex social situations with ease.   

Is narcissism due to childhood trauma?

Thanks to Freud’s teachings, we typically believe that most psychological problems we face stem from childhood trauma.

However, contrary to popular belief, I have not seen any convincing evidence that narcissism stems from childhood trauma or deep levels of insecurity.   I’ve seen far more compelling evidence that it is derived from what we are able to get away with throughout our lives.   In alignment with this, individualistic cultures (like ours) have a lot more narcissists than collective cultures.  And narcissist behavior is growing with increasing inequality.   In fact, Paul Piff’s famous TED talk, “Does money make you mean?” shows us how entitlement can make us devalue others. 

In short, if parents don’t provide firm boundaries with needy and entitled children, these children can grow up to be narcissists.


But what makes an individual narcissistic, could also be due to epigenetic effects or brain damage.

We know that psychopaths are missing connections between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex which is involved in empathy and guilt, and the amygdala, which controls fear and anxiety.  There are clear structural differences that underlie their behavioral differences!

If a narcissist tells you that he behaves that way due to childhood trauma, I now see it more as a ploy to win your empathy, and an excuse for their bad behavior.  If you fall for their story and let them get away with treating you badly, you feed the narcissist’s supply, and risk injuring your own self-worth!  With narcissists, you MUST have healthy boundaries!

Are you in a relationship with a narcissist?

The world needs more people capable of empathy.  But don’t waste your empathy on a narcissist.  It will only enhance their ability to manipulate you into fulfilling their needs at your expense. Instead, we need to set healthy boundaries around narcissistic entitlement and manipulative behavior.  Otherwise, as we have seen, it can grow with increasing entitlement and power until it can profoundly impact the lives of millions of people.

Are you in a relationship with a narcissist?   Check out the books, “In Sheep’s Clothing” by George K. Simon,  and “When Love is a Lie” by Zari L. Ballard.  They both help you understand what you are dealing with and give great tips for setting boundaries. If you are ready to leave the relationship, and need support with releasing the trauma, setting boundaries and getting your power back, the methods I use can accelerate your recovery to the best version of you.  Learn more here and contact me here to set up a complimentary consultation.  

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