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Is She a Narssist?

  • 12-11-2020 11:54am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 9


    So, I need advice. My sister has a tendency to blame everyone around for her problems.

    She says she was mistreated as a child by our parents, which is simply not true. She was a very bold child and was punished more often than I was. But in her eyes this has turned into abuse.

    She used to attend therapy and it seemed to help. I was thinking of suggesting it again, as her relationship has recently broken up and she's back to blaming our parents for all her problems. Its not fair on them having to take this from a grown woman, when they haven't done anything but be supportive.

    I've tried researching this type of behaviour myself and it keeps coming back to a type of narcissism. Would I be wasting my time, trying to get her to own up to her problems in life?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 698 ✭✭✭SuperRabbit


    I can't find the original quote, I think Winnicot said "No two siblings are raised by the same parents"

    To me it doesn't sound like NPD, no. NPD is a lot of traits and they are extreme forms of those traits (on the other hand we are all a little narcissistic). Having a different view of your parents to your sibling is extremely common and doesn't mean either of you is wrong. Think of Malachy McCourt and Frank McCourt!
    Blame is a pretty unhelpful and destructive habit though, you're absolutely right. But it's extremely common and doesn't qualify someone for a diagnosis that only applies to 0.5% of people. ( Also, people with NPD suffered abuse, the disorder is a result of childhood trauma, abuse or neglect. It doesn't just happen. )

    I think that everyone can benefit from therapy, there might be modalities and therapists that suit some people better than other people, but I think there's a type of counselling/therapy out there for everyone. I'm very idealistic about it at the moment!

    And then the "personal issues forum" side of this (should you try to "get her to own up"): I don't think it's our place to offer a "reality check" to the people around us, as tempting as it may be.
    It sounds like it's really frustrating for you to see that she sees your parents this way, and makes no secret about it, and for you to see the impact it has on your parents. What's it like?


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Rach8807


    I can't find the original quote, I think Winnicot said "No two siblings are raised by the same parents"

    To me it doesn't sound like NPD, no. NPD is a lot of traits and they are extreme forms of those traits (on the other hand we are all a little narcissistic). Having a different view of your parents to your sibling is extremely common and doesn't mean either of you is wrong. Think of Malachy McCourt and Frank McCourt!
    Blame is a pretty unhelpful and destructive habit though, you're absolutely right. But it's extremely common and doesn't qualify someone for a diagnosis that only applies to 0.5% of people. ( Also, people with NPD suffered abuse, the disorder is a result of childhood trauma, abuse or neglect. It doesn't just happen. )

    I think that everyone can benefit from therapy, there might be modalities and therapists that suit some people better than other people, but I think there's a type of counselling/therapy out there for everyone. I'm very idealistic about it at the moment!

    And then the "personal issues forum" side of this (should you try to "get her to own up"): I don't think it's our place to offer a "reality check" to the people around us, as tempting as it may be.
    It sounds like it's really frustrating for you to see that she sees your parents this way, and makes no secret about it, and for you to see the impact it has on your parents. What's it like?

    To be honest, my initial response was to stay out of it. But I'm the one my mother vents to after every row. So I'm being dragged into the middle of this, regardless of whether I want to be or not. I might gently suggest some sessions with a councillor and hope for the best.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 18,141 CMod ✭✭✭✭The Black Oil


    Now from Psychology to Personal Issues. PI charter now applies.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 436 ✭✭eleventh


    Rach8807 wrote: »
    Would I be wasting my time, trying to get her to own up to her problems in life?
    You would be wasting time, because it doesn't sound like you're close to or care about her much.

    What about therapy for your mother? It might stop her venting at you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Rach8807


    eleventh wrote: »
    You would be wasting time, because it doesn't sound like you're close to or care about her much.

    What about therapy for your mother? It might stop her venting at you.

    You're not wrong. We're not close at all and haven't really ever been.

    I appreciate the advice.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,676 ✭✭✭strandroad


    Have you considered her point of view? You mention that she was on the receiving side of frequent punishment. What form would it take, what behaviours were punished? It seems to be in conflict with the statement that your parents were anything but supportive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,495 ✭✭✭✭eviltwin


    “She was a very bold child”. Interesting statement OP. I wonder what was going on in her life that she acted out. As someone else said no two kids are raised by the same parents so you can’t judge your sisters experience by your own. Perhaps she does have genuine grievances. Your mother trying to get you involved could be a sign of that. It’s nothing to do with you and they shouldn’t drag you into it. Tell your mother you aren’t interested in getting involved.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Rach8807


    eviltwin wrote: »
    “She was a very bold child”. Interesting statement OP. I wonder what was going on in her life that she acted out. As someone else said no two kids are raised by the same parents so you can’t judge your sisters experience by your own. Perhaps she does have genuine grievances. Your mother trying to get you involved could be a sign of that. It’s nothing to do with you and they shouldn’t drag you into it. Tell your mother you aren’t interested in getting involved.

    To be honest, the bold child part is based on my own memories of having to leave shops because my sister was throwing a massive tantrum or breaking something.

    I don't want any part of it. I don't like conflict, so I try to stay out of it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Rach8807


    strandroad wrote: »
    Have you considered her point of view? You mention that she was on the receiving side of frequent punishment. What form would it take, what behaviours were punished? It seems to be in conflict with the statement that your parents were anything but supportive.

    I haven't to be honest.
    Punishment was usually a slap, like most kids our age would have got.
    She tended to be hyperactive. She'd break things in shops. Set off fire alarms. Scream the place down if she didn't get her way. That sort of thing.


  • Site Banned Posts: 26 bubbagumss


    let her and her mother deal with it
    you can't walk in her shoes
    a lot of children are punished for no reason
    any type of hitting a child does damage
    and to a sensitive child more damage
    you are dysfunctional family and should all go to therapy


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  • Registered Users Posts: 698 ✭✭✭SuperRabbit


    I think family therapy might help? sounds like you are being triangulated into this and it's wrecking your head

    My guess, completely wildly speculating, would be you were always expected to be the responsible one and had to grow up fast, and she was the scapegoat and the wild child and the one who everyone could blame everything on, so you both filled those roles to keep the family system stable. I've run very far now with just a tiny bit of information so just disregard that if it doesn't fit


    I'm with Bubbagums EXCEPT all families are dysfunctional in one way or another. There are no perfect parents

    Slapping is absolutely abuse. It's illegal now because it does so much psychological damage and there is endless proof of that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,374 ✭✭✭Airyfairy12


    I fully agree with the first comment, no two children are raised the same, if you were always supported and got on well with your parents throughout your life it will be very difficult for you to see them in a negative light as you haven't experienced that kind of relationship with them. In your sisters own words she has experienced her upbringing as abusive.
    Children react and behave according to their surroundings, when children are often 'bold', beyond whats normal, it's usually a sign that something is going on that is too much or too confusing for a child to deal with. Children dont have the vocabulary, maturity or emotional intelligence to express their feelings. Did you parents ever try to find out why your sister was misbehaving so much? Could she speak to them openly and safely? Could she trust them?

    From your post your sister doesn't sound like a narcissist, I have a narcissist in my family and I can guarantee if your sister was one you would know, they take personal pleasure destroying other people in any and every way that they can.

    It sounds like your sister is ruminating over her past, her childhood and how it's effected her as an adult, maybe allot of her issues do stem back to when she was a child?
    I find it interesting that you say youre not close to her, often when kids are treated differently by their parents they grow up with a distant relationship, sometimes resenting each other.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,902 ✭✭✭Jequ0n


    Yes, jump right into a diagnosis, that will help.


    So they were difficult and therefore deserved the treatment? Congratulations, that's the same argument all parents use when they need to justify a punishment. There are differences though, such as having to go bed without your favourite TV show or having the **** kicked out of you until you can't see straight.


    And no, you would not talk to your sibling about it because it just "makes it real" and then you can no longer pretend that it isn't happening. You're also never supposed to shatter their world because they are too young to understand etc etc etc. bla bla.


    Long story short: you are unlikely to know what exactly happened between your parents and sibling but the insinuation that the latter was being unreasonable already tells you enough...its always good to disarm the party that might attack you before they strike, and that you have to be on their side.



    You know what really ****s you up? When you realise that you were the one who wasn't protected by the other parent/ any adult even though others were. It unleashes some ****ing and deserved rage which might seem unreasonable to you, but not to others.


    you might have been fed a very different version of events - dont take any of them at face value without evidence


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,374 ✭✭✭Airyfairy12


    Rach8807 wrote: »
    I haven't to be honest.
    Punishment was usually a slap, like most kids our age would have got.
    She tended to be hyperactive. She'd break things in shops. Set off fire alarms. Scream the place down if she didn't get her way. That sort of thing.

    Just on this, not to attempt to 'diagnose' your sister in anyway, but what you describe here could also be inline with symptoms of ADHD.
    Girls are regularly overlooked and not diagnosed when they have ADHD. Just saying its unlikely she's narcissistic.
    Narcissism is a mental or personality disorder that develops over time, children aren't born with it and people who have it dont really start to show signs of it until they're adults.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 436 ✭✭eleventh


    Jequ0n wrote: »
    And no, you would not talk to your sibling about it because it just "makes it real" and then you can no longer pretend that it isn't happening.
    I suggest she try this with the mother, see what the response is.


  • Administrators Posts: 13,410 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips


    Posters are reminded that Personal Issues is an advice forum rather than a discussion forum.
    Please remember to direct replies to the OP, and offer something by way of advice.

    Thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,902 ✭✭✭Jequ0n


    eleventh wrote: »
    I suggest she try this with the mother, see what the response is.

    Depending on the situation/ relationship/ evidence either child or partner will be blamed so said parent can play the role of the benevolent saviour.
    I believe this to be very relevant to the OP


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,797 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith


    OP, I was always the troublesome one in our family. I was ALWAYS in trouble and my parents treated me much more harshly than my siblings. My siblings would say I was treated exactly the same as they were, but I wasnt. There were punishments I got that they never did.

    That said we all spent different times grateful when it wasnt us sent to our rooms to wait for dad to come home!

    I wouldn't completely blank what your sister is saying. It'd probably make all the difference letting her have her say and listening to her.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,539 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78


    Rach8807 wrote:
    I've tried researching this type of behaviour myself and it keeps coming back to a type of narcissism. Would I be wasting my time, trying to get her to own up to her problems in life?

    The 'n' word is thrown around a lot these days, it is somewhat true, it is relatively common, but I suspect over used. It sounds like your sister could indeed have adhd, I have add myself. It's common for these disorders to be comorbid with others, I also have dyslexia and what would have been called asbergers, but now is all labelled under autism. Her childhood behaviours such as tantrums etc, could be signs of something deeper, she may need to be assessed professionally, but be aware, public services for such are virtually none existent, and privately becomes expensive, quickly. It certainly sounds like your parents and your sister require counselling, in order to move forward, or this will probably fester, and tear everyone apart. Narcissism is relatively common in the modern world, including with my own disorders, but a lot of the time, we 're just deeply misunderstood, mistreated, unintentionally, but more so, just in a lot of pain from such, we just need to be loved and accepted. Best of luck with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 65 ✭✭Dognapper


    Rach8807 wrote: »
    I haven't to be honest.
    Punishment was usually a slap, like most kids our age would have got.
    She tended to be hyperactive. She'd break things in shops. Set off fire alarms. Scream the place down if she didn't get her way. That sort of thing.

    So she was abused by parents , a slap Is physical abuse.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 698 ✭✭✭SuperRabbit


    Just on this, not to attempt to 'diagnose' your sister in anyway, but what you describe here could also be inline with symptoms of ADHD.
    Girls are regularly overlooked and not diagnosed when they have ADHD. Just saying its unlikely she's narcissistic.
    Narcissism is a mental or personality disorder that develops over time, children aren't born with it and people who have it dont really start to show signs of it until they're adults.

    Right, and something like 90% of people with ADHD have an insecure attachment style, generally preoccupied or avoidant attachment.. which some people mistake for NPD

    ( Attachment styles aren't diagnoses or disorders, we all have one, about 50% of us don't have a secure attachment style )

    So advice would be... uch giving advice is such bad advice. What we should be doing is making suggestions to OP to help her get a broader and more three dimensional understanding of what on earth might maybe be going on... while remembering at all times that we can't know what is going on

    Why do we have to give advice? This is why this is not a forum I visit...

    But if I have to give advice, and I do because that's the rule of the forum, my advice would be not to ever assume you understand what is going on with anyone else, even if it's your own sister, even if it's your own twin!


  • Administrators Posts: 13,410 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips


    Mod Note
    So advice would be... uch giving advice is such bad advice. What we should be doing is making suggestions to OP to help her get a broader and more three dimensional understanding of what on earth might maybe be going on...

    SuperRabbit - the bolded bit above is in fact advice you can give to the OP. "Suggesting" ways to help a poster get a broader understanding of their situation is indeed "advising" them.
    Why do we have to give advice? This is why this is not a forum I visit...

    Personal Issues is a forum where posters come to specifically ask for advice. That is why posters are asked to give advice in their replies. If you feel you cannot post within the forum guidelines then there are other forums here that you may feel more comfortable posting in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 698 ✭✭✭SuperRabbit


    yes exactly, i don't post in this forum. I came here because this thread was moved from a non-silly forum to a silly forum


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,797 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith


    Mod Note

    SuperRabbit the 4th post in the thread informed all posters that the thread had been moved and that the PI Charter now applies to the thread. There has since been a mod instruction to all posters to offer advice when replying to the thread and an instruction specifically addressed to you asking you to offer advice when replying.

    If you have no advice to offer the OP, please do not post in this thread again. If you have an issue with this, you can PM me. Do not derail the OP's thread any further with your forum issues.

    HS


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Aloissus30


    Rach8807 wrote: »
    To be honest, my initial response was to stay out of it. But I'm the one my mother vents to after every row. So I'm being dragged into the middle of this, regardless of whether I want to be or not. I might gently suggest some sessions with a councillor and hope for the best.
    Have you considered that maybe your mother is the narcissist here? Have you heard of the golden child vs scapegoat dynamic that some parents create? It's where one child is favoured over the other, "troubled" child. It leads to all sorts of emotional problems as the children grow and become adults.

    Maybe your sister has an undiagnosed disorder such as ADHD that lead to her behaviour as a child. Instead of getting the support she needed, she was slapped and punished and made to feel bold. You were taught that she was bold so you accepted her punishments as something she deserved.

    You mother is b!tching to you about your sister to drive a wedge between the two of you. Parents should never do this. It causes you to resent your sister and blame her and absolve your mother. It's easier for you to side with your mother so you don't become her target.

    I could be wrong and maybe your sister is just a lying, awful person. Is there anything your sister has done that's truly awful? Clearly there's a lot of dysfunction here and putting the blame solely on your sister's shoulders and pushing her into therapy to "fix" her so you can "fix" your family isn't going to work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Rach8807


    Aloissus30 wrote: »
    Have you considered that maybe your mother is the narcissist here? Have you heard of the golden child vs scapegoat dynamic that some parents create? It's where one child is favoured over the other, "troubled" child. It leads to all sorts of emotional problems as the children grow and become adults.

    Maybe your sister has an undiagnosed disorder such as ADHD that lead to her behaviour as a child. Instead of getting the support she needed, she was slapped and punished and made to feel bold. You were taught that she was bold so you accepted her punishments as something she deserved.

    You mother is b!tching to you about your sister to drive a wedge between the two of you. Parents should never do this. It causes you to resent your sister and blame her and absolve your mother. It's easier for you to side with your mother so you don't become her target.

    I could be wrong and maybe your sister is just a lying, awful person. Is there anything your sister has done that's truly awful? Clearly there's a lot of dysfunction here and putting the blame solely on your sister's shoulders and pushing her into therapy to "fix" her so you can "fix" your family isn't going to work.

    I was the oldest and I was had to be the responsible one. So I think the wedge was there from an early age.

    To be honest, the other posters have me rethinking my understanding of the situation. I do get a fairly one-sided version of the story. And I've made assumptions based on that.

    Maybe my mother is the narcissist. But from what others poster have said, there not much I can do about that. I cant fix they're problems.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,321 ✭✭✭Loveinapril


    There really is no point in trying to decipher why your sister is the way she is. Even if your parents did parent you EXACTLY the same way (which they didn't), both of your experiences of that would have been completely different because you both think and feel differently. You need to stop giving your mam air time, you are all adults. Leave them at it!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,902 ✭✭✭Jequ0n


    Rach8807 wrote: »
    I was the oldest and I was had to be the responsible one. So I think the wedge was there from an early age.

    To be honest, the other posters have me rethinking my understanding of the situation. I do get a fairly one-sided version of the story. And I've made assumptions based on that.

    Maybe my mother is the narcissist. But from what others poster have said, there not much I can do about that. I cant fix they're problems.

    No you can’t fix their problems but you can get clarity, which will be very important for you.
    Try to block/ ignore/ dismiss when someone tries to involve you in the drama and see what the reaction is.

    People are usually following the same patterns and then get stroppy if they don’t get their way.

    Nothing to do with your sister or mother really but it will be so important for you to explore this for yourself in case you are being led on by someone.

    Good luck


  • Registered Users Posts: 698 ✭✭✭SuperRabbit


    Rach8807 wrote: »
    I was the oldest and I was had to be the responsible one. So I think the wedge was there from an early age.

    To be honest, the other posters have me rethinking my understanding of the situation. I do get a fairly one-sided version of the story. And I've made assumptions based on that.

    Maybe my mother is the narcissist. But from what others poster have said, there not much I can do about that. I cant fix they're problems.


    Maybe in your mam's family of origin there was a scapegoat kid and when she grew up and started her own family she needed to find one too. That's not the only explanation by a longshot, I'm just throwing it out there, we don't know what's going on for her either.

    How's all this impacting on you? It sounds like, again, wildly speculating, that being the "good girl" you had to focus out a lot, and everyone just sort of assumed that things were ok with you all the time because you were being good. And now you are still focusing out, thinking, what is going on with my mam?, what's going on with my sister? (which are worthwhile questions, don't get me wrong!) but do you get a chance to ask "what's going on for me?" I'm just guessing here, if this doesn't ring true then just disregard it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,176 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes


    I think I would need to know other behaviors of hers to make a judgement. Obv i can't say she is a narcissist ..i am not a psychologist.


    If she were solely blaming other people for her issues ..no I wouldn't say that was narcissism. We all know someone like that. Even if its wrong its not bad enough i don't think to be narcissism. Obv not an admirable trait ...but ...its not psycho

    What else does she do?
    Originally Posted by Dognapper View Post
    So she was abused by parents , a slap Is physical abuse.

    I was slapped. I wouldn't call it physical abuse.

    Times have changed.

    Many of my peers received slaps. And i am young. Its only recently the law has changed.

    I wouldn't do it to my children though.

    Then again ....there is a line between a slap and physical abuse. Also continuously using slapping when its not working ...IS abuse even back then.

    A misbehaved child getting slapped everyday ...would probably have long term upset about that. Rightly so. That is abuse. Even for before the law changed.

    Its fine to need therapy for things we went through as children ...even if we had the nicest parents in the world.

    However ..really ...EVEN If you WERE abused ..to blame the bad things you do ..on that abuse ..is unacceptable.

    I beat you because i was beaten ...its not healthy ..its not right.

    A lot of people who were made to feel small as kids ..grow up to do just that ..they make others feel small to feel big.

    OP ...make her aware of her behaviors ..in a kind way ...that is all you can do ..when we understand our patterns we usually do better.

    If she IS a victim of abuse ..it changes nothing .....it doesn't justify her abusing other people. And its not going to make people love her more or tolerate her any more than they do now.

    If she is using victimhood to get people to make allowances ..it might mean deep down she feels deeply insecure and not valued.


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