Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Narcissism and a Terrible Temper

Another red flag of malignant narcissist is what is commonly called "a terrible temper." In fact you can Google a certain past President for that and find a ton of results, most of them related to us by his former aides.

But that cliche, a "terrible temper," is vague. What does it mean? It implies that some people get angrier than others.

Actually, that generally isn't true. Generally, there isn't much difference in how normal people feel as a result of a particular stimulus. If it is an angering stimulus, for example, it will make all normal people feel about the same degree of anger.

Yes, there are exceptions. If a particular person has had this very sort of thing done to them willfully and wantonly in the past, he or she may be more sensitive to it. An analogy is that bruises are tender.

Another exception of course is when a particular person is under a great deal of pressure or is very tired. But even then, the difference is mainly in the EXPRESSION of EMOTION, not the actual amount of anger felt.

Some people just feel a need to express themselves more. And louder. But that doesn't mean they're really any angrier than someone who prefers to keep their feelings to themselves.

In fact, someone who lies and pretends to feel no anger (or represses consciousness of anger) may be just as angry as either of them.

So, just what is a "terrible temper?"

It's blowing up over things that no normal person would be angry over. That's a red flag. Not anger - getting angry is no red flag. But getting angry over things no normal person would get angry about - that's a red flag.

The glaringest red flag is that it's sudden anger that blows up taking the attacked by surprise.

What I like is the dimwits who then blow it off by saying, "Yesbut he gets over it quickly."

That's a BAD sign, not a good one! Another red flag.

For, it seldom means that he simply doesn't carry a grudge. It usually means that Rage Boy has two settings: Rage On and Rage Off. His anger doesn't warm up or cool down like a normal person's does.

In other words, his anger is calculated to abuse. Then he just switches masks and acts like it didn't happen. He is all smiles and sweetness the very next day. Nobody would believe that ole Two-Face was a raging maniac the afternoon before.

And you are sinner who "doesn't forgive and forget" if you don't play along and act like it didn't happen, too. Cute, eh?

Perversity is endless.

When a normal person becomes angry with you and lets you know it, he or she also lets you know exactly what you did that made him or her angry. You walk away knowing what it was all about.

But when a malignant narcissist becomes angry, his anger not only blows up out of the blue, he never tells you a thing you did to set him off. (It's always some deficiency in you that God Almighty can't tolerate.) You walk away never knowing what it was all about.

He just blew up at you because things are going badly and of course the failure can't be in him: he must must be losing because you are deficient. But what you did wrong, you'll never get to know.

Or he just blew up because someone asked him a pointed question he couldn't lie his way out of. Diversionary tactics.

Sometimes he just blows up at you for talking about the wrong thing = your free speech instead of following his script. He has a fit, for example, over you mentioning one malignant narcissist when he wants you to find narcissism only in some other person instead.

Shame on you for noticing narcissism in anyone but the person this little Hitler wants to hear raked over the coals!

A little problem with "object relations," eh?

So, there you have three examples of the absurd kind of thing a malignant narcissist blows up about. All are transparent, revealing putrid motives.

Therefore, what are you going to do to keep that kind of crackpot happy? Nothing. There's nothing you can do.

That ain't normal. You don't inadvertently set off normal people just by being the way you are, just by being there, or just by noticing or talking about someone or something other than they want you to.

That's because you must actually do something TO normal people to get them angry. They don't regard you as an object they must control with strategic outbursts of anger.

It would be impossible to overstate the significance of inappropriate anger - NOT anger ... INAPPROPRIATE anger. Rage-On/Rage-Off style anger. Anger that takes you by surprise and makes you pinch yourself. Only to be gone then - poof - as if it never happened. Take that as a red flag, a very red flag.

People like that are not wholesome. Get and stay away from them.

True, so long as their ego's interests and ours happen to coincide, things may go fine. But the moment his image is at stake, expect to be betrayed with zero regard for the consequences to you.

Because it's all about HIM. Therefore, people like that should never be given a position of trust. The only thing you can trust them to do is let you down.


-- What would it take To Write That Novel? Find out how to go about it.
-- Gotta Write? What They Didn't Tell You in School
-- The Operation Doubles Strategy Guide is the Bible on tennis doubles.
-- Learn and discover What Makes Narcissists Tick.

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6 Comments:

At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very helpful post. I have dealt with this with ex-N and this was one of the (many) but one of the worst parts of being married to him. The constant walking on eggshells attempting to not set off this random temper and never succeeding no matter how hard I tried. It became just so stressful and exhausting to be around him at all. Always afraid of the next, random and unwarranted outburst. So miserable. I am away from him now (other than endless misery involving our two small children), but I am such a lighter person, less hunched over and scared because I am not around this garbabe day in and day out. Bad stuff!

 
At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay ... I too know about Rule by Mood. And the game was so sensitively played that the random temper outbursts nearly never happened - the pouting was enough.

But here's my new question, Kathy ... what about the quiet Narcissist? The one whose self-image is all about the Nice and done with Control by Cajole -- know what I mean? I just don't think that the explosive types are the only dangerous ones. In fact, the Tyranny of the Helpless is one of my worst ongoing issues in a family where all the N's vie for the spot. You wouldn't believe the things the medical establishment has been party to, in the ongoing quest to be voted Most Pathetic Attention Getter.

So what about them? What about the ones who do it inside out? What's the "tell" there?

 
At 6:20 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

I think you make a good point. In fact, on thinking about it, I can see in my own experience some examples of what you mean. I have to think more about it. Maybe others have comments too.

In any case, it's obviously another way to accomplish the same thing.

 
At 7:47 AM, Blogger Lynn said...

oooh, I have one that does it inside out. He will rage, he will 'lose it', from time to time, but 9 times out of 10 he sulks, and sulks and sulks some more.

The minute I have an opinion about something he perceives is a criticism on himself (which is often) a flash of fury sparks behind his eyes, his face freezes over, no outward emotion on his face, and he turns and stares at nothing. Often stroking his beard. And then the sulking begins, sometimes he finds excuses to walk back and forwards past with an excuse to fire off an accusation or insult, something that gives you the impression he's suddenly become the victim.

It bizarre! And sometimes scary.

But yep, he'd NEVER storm out of the house, throw a pot plant down the driveway, sneer or yell at the neighbours, or screech off in the car. His rage is quiet, seething, bubbling with activity all the while under the surface. Ready for his bidding, waiting for such time for him to call it up so he can get his own way by outwardly raging - but always behind closed doors.

On days like this, everything compounds to 'gang' up on him. Nothing will go right with him for the rest of the day, until, exhausted from such negative emotion bubbling around inside his head and body for 8 - 10 hours, he's in bed to recuperate with about 16 hours worth of sleep.

Such a waste of a life.

 
At 6:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ive been away from my computer for a while...lynn-you just described my husband. exhausting...jt

 
At 5:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well here's one for you. My ex N would rage capriciously for no reason out of the blue as a control tactic. When I say rage I mean actually "splitting" into a monster persona for the duration of the rage. He became unrecognizable. One of his most infamous rages lasted over nine hours on a Christmas Eve. But four or five hours was not uncommon. He kept it up till he was certain I had been annihilated. The next two days I would spend recovering from this abusive experience. Every single thing about my very being had been picked to shreds.

Then, he was court ordered to go to anger management. There he learned the tactics to control in other ways AND how to project any legitimate anger I had or that he had deliberately caused in me as a way to say that it was ME who had an "anger problem" or he would use HIS "anger problem" as a way to get out of taking responsibility. To derail conversations. "I have to hang up now and we will talk tomorrow I am getting angry" This would be used on nights he wanted to party without having to be available to me in any way.

His future ways of controlling without raging became more insidious since he had learned how to exploit the tools he learned to use in "anger management" Oh he learned how to manage it alright.....and how to use the language of therapy against me. And how to exploit the therapist. And how to make sure the new targets thought he was "really trying"

I was appalled that anger management was even recommended without ANY other psychological testing being suggested or done given that he had an assault charge against him! Anger management? Alone? No further testing done? Bizarre!! And yet the N's ACT with others is so very good I can see how this happens.

His new tactics were to with hold to the point of being abusive.Then to tell me in the language of his therapist "I need to get some BOUNDARIES with YOU!" and when I tried to talk about any problem we had "That is YOUR "ISSUE" words he had not previously ever used...taking on the persona of his therapist.

He used what he learned to infer to me and to others over and over again, that it was me who was abusive. To poke at me or do something horrendously cruel and if I got the least bit upset about it to point out that *I* was being mean to him. *I* was out of "control" Watch out for the projection machine and abuses after they go to any sort of therapy. Things are about to become a fun house of manipulations and abuses that they have only honed to finer degree than before.

Whatever tactics they use it's veiled rage in the end if they learn how to channel it that way and I believe that's all so called "therapy" does for them. It makes them more dangerous!!

If anyone recommends anger management for your N the best advice I can give you is to get out right away. Things are about to get much, much worse. The rage fests are horrible but, being micro managed by what an N has learned in anger management, in which YOUR very righteous anger will be "managed" for you and will be held up as an example of why YOU are the abuser is a nightmare! This and many other tactics will be used against you if they ever DO go to therapy. It's just another way for them to CONTROL those around them and get more supply.

Everything they learn about their own behavior in anger management or counseling is used to be projected on to you and to further abuse you.

In no way should any counselor diagnose an N or NOT diagnose an N by "self reporting" N's distort EVERYTHING to blame the victim!

 

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