Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Spooky Misidentification

Since I blog under my real name, I haven't used a screen name in ages. Till recently. Funny thing happened that turned on the lights about something.

This was one of those big messageboards. In other words, it reaches a massive audience, which of course includes a large number of predators. With the usual result - trolling and flaming galore.

That day, I had just about lost my cool when some guy piped up and said that this was virtual reality only. That hit me like a ton of bricks. I had started to identify with Ms Screename. I cared about what kind of impression she was making. I was concerned to repair any damage some jerk did to her image.

But why? That wasn't the real me. Say somebody insults her, slights her, puts words in her mouth, slanders her, makes a fool of her - what's it to me? Why do I feel injured, like I must do something about it? Will people look at me askance in the grocery store because of it?

The moment you ask yourself that question the distinction between this caricature and your real self suddenly becomes clear. Scary how blurred it can get while you're pounding the keyboard though.

So what if somebody insults a figment of my imagination? I can invent a new one and go back into the lists tommorrow as "Ms Screename B."

How absurd then to identify with the CHARACTER (often fictionalized to boot) representated by a screen name. Yet we get sucked into doing so.

I must apologize to narcissists. I always thought it really weird that they identify with a fictitious caricature of themselves, but now I see how easy that is to do!

That's essentially what they're doing. Narcissists create a fictionalized character that they present as their face to the world. And they identify with it. They lose themselves in it. Like some Internet addict pounding away at the keyboard behind a screenname all day long.

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At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your post is interesting. that's probably why we feel like they are 'liars' and probably why the relationships between Ns and their significant others is so strange, twisted and complicated. logically and intellectually everyone involved (the N too) has to know something's up and how hard to keep up the hiding and illusion and save face when they know we know. see- even that sounds like double talk- but it made sense. it has to keep going in circles, which is just so dumb! i remember on the ed sullivan show the act where the guy had a row of poles with plates spinning on top of each one. his task to accomplish (his claim to fame for applause) was to run back and forth and add spin to each plate to keep them all going. flash and dazzle at first, yes, kind of hard, but even as a kid i remember starting to think 'yea, so what'. then it almost became sort of sad. i bet an N feels like a panting little puppy all excited to get praise, like the guy frantically trying to spin all the plates to wow everyone. like it all depends on this significant act- and then one of us comes by and 'ruins it all for them' by seeing right through their act. That IS sad. I DO feel bad for him. but i am SOOO tired of the show. jt

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

also i think your post was interesting cuz i've been getting a little paranoid about saying too much and have been getting a little self-conscious here and in the real world. obviously this has been taking up way too much of my brainspace. but have any of you ever had this experience: have you ever been forced to play with someone because your mom had company or because you just couldn't move away from the creepy or goofy neighbor kid. or you had to sit next to some kid in school that just made you feel uneasy. you really were kind of helpless in the situation. maybe you did say something to someone, but more than likely you internalized the agony and inside could hear this whiny voice saying 'i don't want to play with him anymore. he's mean. he's yucky. he doesn't play nice.' and you know no one will listen to you and will dismiss what you're saying cuz they don't want to deal with it. that's how i feel sometimes!!! i'm a grown woman with a lifetime of experience, and i'm starting to sound like this! only this time i'm mad. it's so creepy that my own adult H is bringing this out. i can't stomach that an adult (him) acts the way he does cuz it is annoying enough. but it is disturbing too cuz it just doesn't seem right. it is unsettling because it makes it hard to know just what i'm dealing with. people CAN be dangerous. kids can be. certainly an adult can be. a person under too much stress can be. a mental patient can be. i really don't like not knowing just how bad this is. i will just keep reading and learning. jt

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It really is that simple isn't it? People online also hide behind their characters and behave in ways that they never would in real life. Maybe that is the way that narcissists can behave so badly and have no qualms about it because it is only virtual reality to them. That ties in with magical thinking and the magical belief in their lies and manipulations being able to change reality.


At 3:54 PM, Blogger Louise said...

You know so well, Kathy, how worried I was about Lil Sis finding out that I had ID'd her problem and was researching NPD here- part of why I removed everything that could connect with my real name (again, thanks for helping with that). All it took was to Google my real name and up came this site- duh...

Ns CAN ve very dangerous- "CYA" is so important. That's not paranoia- that's experience. Trust your instincts!

Ns see anyone who has "outed" them as a threat- it's tatamount to war in their eyes. We're not supposed to see the man behind the curtain, just like the Wizard of Oz. Never doubt it. Yet the "reality" they feed us is just as much a work as fiction as that movie.



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