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part-lee t1_je8h2jy wrote

Key part: " Subjects affected by narcissistic personality disorder show greater impairment in affective aspects while their cognitive part of empathy appears preserved."


ashenserena OP t1_je8i076 wrote

This is really the key part of the study ^((and why I subscribed thru email for the release of the article)). Most people nowadays think that people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) do not have empathy.

Research, however, proves otherwise. Affective aspects of empathy (involved in sharing emotions of others, and responding appropriately to others) show impairment, while cognitive empathy (understanding thought processes of others) appears preserved. People with NPD can understand why people act a certain way, and they theoretically use that knowledge to cover up their internal suffering - outwardly seen as being manipulative and having grandiose sense of self.


ashenserena OP t1_je8hgbu wrote

^((for those who does not like opening the actual article))

Abstract of the study:

>Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by self-absorption, grandiosity, exploitation of others and lack of empathy. People with that disorder may switch from an overt form, mainly with grandiosity, to a covert presentation, with fears, hypersensitivity and dependence from others. Empathy represents a key point in detecting people affected by narcissistic personality disorder because, even if it is described as reduced, it plays a fundamental role in exploitation and manipulation. A systematic search of Literature without any language or time restriction, was performed combining thesaurus and free-search indexing terms related to Narcissistic personality disorder and empathy and produced 531 results. Fifty-two papers that analyzed possible issues in the empathic attitude of people with narcissistic personality disorder were included in this narrative review. Empathy is the capability of understating and feeling others emotions. It is not a unitary construct and can be distinguished in cognitive and affective. It might be channeled into prosocial and antisocial behaviors. A crucial trait identified in narcissistic empathy is affective dissonance that is closely related to rivalry as part of the dark tetrad (narcissism, machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism). Subjects affected by narcissistic personality disorder show greater impairment in affective aspects while their cognitive part of empathy appears preserved. Saving at least the cognitive aspects of empathy may contribute to therapeutic improvement of affective aspects.


>People affected by NPD show specific issues in empathy, but those difficulties are limited to its affective part. In fact, the cognitive portion seems preserved and essential for manipulative skill and exploitation of others.
>Subjects with NPD may experience those problems with affective empathy because they feel others’ emotions as threatening and dangerous and react with detachment to preserve their own personal integrity. In addition to exploitation, a lack of empathic affectivity appears associated with proneness to criminal behaviors, particularly when NPD coexists with antisocial traits, contributing to psychopathy.
>Furthermore, rivalry seems the key feature among the Dark Triad traits that supports callousness to its extreme pole embodied in “affective dissonance,” with contradictory affects in response to someone else’s feelings.
>That alarming evidence, in terms of social implications and patient’s wellbeing, is often accompanied by poor therapeutic approaches. NPD patients are often labeled as untreatable, but self-reflection as a first and fundamental approach may represent a key step in facilitating the comprehension of someone else’s feeling and a crucial gateway to treatment.


>Research on narcissistic personality disorder is limited. Patients affected by narcissistic personality disorder are often considered among the most difficult to be treated. The fragility of their ego together with the tendency to impulsivity often obstruct the possibility of access to dynamic psychotherapy, which is considered the best treatment option. The crucial point in the treatment of NPD patients is their will to be treated, which is fundamental in psychotherapy. Such patients often consider treatments as a personal failure and refuse it.
>Due to their label as untreatable, studies focused on the efficacy of psychotherapy in those patients are few and, consequently, those that analyze empathy and its correlates are even fewer.
>Furthermore, most of the research is led on western populations, probably due to the rise of this illness in western cultures. This might represent an additional limitation because results cannot be generalized.


More-Grocery-1858 t1_je8p8os wrote

I have seen many definitions of narcissism, but I rarely see its opposite defined in those places. This leaves me with questions about where we should be drawing the line between normal human imperfections and narcissistic behavior. In other words, what is forgivable as normal, and what counts as manipulation?

We all have to get what we need from others. And we have to be persuasive in those requests. What's the tipping point from healthy persuasion to unhealthy, according to these studies?

In addition, the covert presentation, with fears, hypersensitivity, and dependence, also happens to healthy people. We aren't all at our best all the time. So where is the line drawn between healthy vulnerability and narcissistic vulnerability?

Is it when it becomes a problem for others? For ourselves? Or are there objective ways to measure narcissism?


-downtone_ t1_je8ynxk wrote

Personally I feel anyone manipulating others with a lack of remorse while showing the other listed traits is a severe detriment to society. Grandiosity and self absorption can have other origins and also aren't inherently anti society in the way that manipulating and attacking others without remorse is. For reference I was severely attacked on twitch by an NPD streamer. I have familial ALS and am autistic and wanted to let people know about my condition and all the issues involved. This NPD/psychopathic actually made a fake channel about me, used video of my sleep disorder to make up some sex stuff about me, made up stuff about my family, history etc. They clipped audio from my videos to make audio clips of me saying things etc. Again, I'm terminally ill and autistic. That's the types of things these people do.


ashenserena OP t1_je8xxyo wrote

Are there objective ways to measure narcissism?
The current diagnostic criteria of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) requires five out of nine indicated signs (citing DSM-5; APA, 2013):

>1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3. Believes s/he is special and unique and can only be understood/associate with other special or high status people/institutions
4. Requires excessive admiration
5. Has a sense of entitlement
6. interpersonally exploitative
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings/needs of others
8. Is often envious of others and believes others are envious of him/her
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behavior/attitudes

To objectively measure narcissism, there are psychometric tests such as the Narcissistic Personality Scale for this matter. However, research advances challenge the lack of empathy in narcissistic people: stating that an identifying feature of NPD (lack of empathy) is probably misuderstood. So in essence, the tipping point that separates what is normal from what is narcissistic is being shaken again.

Is it when it becomes a problem for others? For ourselves?

This is generally correct, depending on the perspective. A clinically diagnosable disorder is generally defined as a condition that "causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.(APA, 2013)" You can see that diagnostic criteria in most mental health disorders like mood disorders (depression), anxiety disorders, trauma-related disorders, etc.

However, this criteria isn't present in personality disorders. The unifying feature of personality disorders is that it has specific pervasive patterns of behavior that begins by early adulthood. That's it. I am convinced to think that your question is still under debate of researchers worldwide.

However, in practice, clients seek the diagnosis for personality disorders when it causes significant distress on them or on other people. So it becomes NPD (or other PD) when it becomes problematic.


Muted-Lengthiness-10 t1_je8vemw wrote

I think the line is remorse. Upon self-examination, healthy individuals will feel regret for the people they’ve hurt. In contrast, the ego of NPDs will not allow this. Just my hypothesis


good_for_uz t1_je8z8wi wrote

I believe that all psychological traits/disorders are on a scale ( eg autism). And they have set criteria for when they graduate from trait to disorder. The set criteria are defined by professional consensus and are again on a sliding scale where not all are required and each will present at different severity.


intrepidnonce t1_je95ezy wrote

When the manipulation is causing harm to you or others.

There is nothing wrong with manipulating yourself or others to be more productive, to engage in win win, mutually beneficial outcomes, and so on. It becomes pathological when you are using manipulation to essentially steal from others, engaging them in scenarios where you disproportionately benefit at their cost, or/and where you harm yourself.


tornpentacle t1_je9ib9r wrote

What you're talking about at the beginning isn't manipulation


More-Grocery-1858 t1_jeamtxe wrote

It's interesting because when dealing with inanimate objects, the term manipulation is pretty neutral. It's only when we refer to people that the term manipulation takes on a negative implication.

I think it's the lack of reciprocity that's the difference. If someone manipulates me to be more productive at work, but I don't see any benefit in return, it's different than if I get a raise or a bonus as a result.

Even if I do get a raise or bonus, the manipulation can violate a personal boundary, and as a result, have mixed positive and negative consequences.


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