Driver

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6 responses to “Driver

  • Clare Flourish

    Steve, I am really disappointed in you.

    I have met one psychopathic liar who sought his own interest above all others’; but the word “narcissist” is thrown about much more widely. I understand Freud uses it for people whom others would call simply introverted. I do not think this post helps the extrovert understand the introvert at all. Unless you would tell us not to use the word “Narcissist” of people, because it is so extreme.

  • Steve Hauptman

    hey Clare,

    I think you misunderstand the term “narcissist.” It comes from the Greek myth of Narcissus, a beautiful youth so proud of his own beauty that he rejected all suitors. The gods cursed Narcissus by making him fall in love with his own image; when he saw his own reflection in a pond, he plunked himself down to stare at it and just wasted away. Freud appropriated the myth to describe, not just introversion, but a self-involvement destructive to both narcissists and those who try to have relationships with them.

    It was the latter context which inspired this cartoon. Many of my clients are codependents in relationships with narcissists; the two types find each other with startling regularity. And most codependents have trouble understanding narcissistic pathology, since its characteristics — especially a self-centered lack of empathy — are so different from their own. I created the Driver analogy as a way of explaining that pathology to them.

    In coming weeks I’ll write more about all this in a post explaining what I call “split-level” relationships.

    best,
    ~ Steve

    • Clare Flourish

      I think “Narcissist” is bandied about more widely. I have been diagnosed with “narcissistic personality traits”, admittedly by the same idiot who wrote “Mr Languish is not transsexual”.

      • Steve Hauptman

        True. Like “depressed,” “schizophrenic” and “codependent,” “narcissist” is one of those terms more widely used than understood.

        For the record, I don’t see narcissists as evil people. Often they are horrified when they see the damage they’ve caused. But a combination of desperation and blindness condemns them to cause it over and over.

        The desperation usually comes from needs unmet in childhood, needs they have become obsessed (often unconsciously) with trying to satisfy now: attention, approval, validation, admiration. Stuff all kids need, but too few get.

        The blindness comes from their preoccupation with those needs, which cripples their ability to be in touch with what other people need and feel. This makes healthy relationships all but impossible, and condemns them to both
        continued destructiveness and perpetual neediness.

  • jpbauer

    Hello Steve
    I thought the analogy you used in your cartoon was spot on in describing the negative qualities of a textbook “narcissist” – ( you said a narcissist is like……… You didn’t say a narcissist is …….)

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