I recently read a fantastic article in Real Simple magazine about a woman who had discovered, in the course of trying to “fix” herself, that she was raised by a narcissist. It was eye-opening, different than your typical magazine article that rehashes some previous incarnation of the same topic covered semi-annually with a few strategically rearranged words designed to capture the same eyes on the newsstand with promises of new solutions to one’s problems. The author (Merrill Markoe who, coincidentally, also writes about the Mel Gibson “brouhaha” on the Huffington Post in which she refers to him as a narcissist) explained how she was drawn to other narcissists because of her mistaken belief, bestowed upon her by several important people in her life, that she was difficult, selfish, and most definitely not thoughtful. I found the article on Ms. Markoe’s site, so you can now read it for yourself here.
Narcissism, as defined by HealthyPlace.com, is: A pattern of traits and behaviors which signify infatuation and obsession with one’s self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one’s gratification, dominance and ambition.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a bona fide DSM-IV classified personality disorder, and I am pretty sure this is the proper classification for the woman I’ve spent 37 years attempting to please.
Learning that one can’t ever please a narcissist is liberating, though learning how to stop trying will take a lot more work.