Psychopathy seems to be a brain abnormality. Narcissism is learned. When there is no room for the child’s personality, needs and desires, they can become attention addicts. Combine that with unhealthy communication, emotionally invasive parents – and a little spice – and you have a narcissist.
The thing that separates the narcissist who cannot heal and a person with narcissistic traits, who can learn, heal and grow, is that the damage is done so early they have never felt any form of love, nurishment or connection with their parents.
This means they have no foundation to build on when healing, they simply don’t have “a self” hidden underneath all the toxic waste.
In my grandparents generation, they were taught to “let the baby cry” “wrap them tight” “beat right and wrong into them” and other insane stuff like that, and on top of that, you had religion and alcoholism so around 70-80% of parents were shitty simply because they didn’t know how to be parents. They believed what the authorities told them. They trusted – even though they must have felt uncomfortable doing it from time to time. But having lived through 2 wars, they knew better than to question the powers that be.
We – my generation (I’m in my 50’s) and the ones after us are struggling to fix this and learn self-love and healthy communication. It feels like we are surrounded by crazies sometimes, but it is a work worth doing – even if only 20% of other people will match us in our healthy existence when we move out of dysfunction, drama and fear.
Anyone can be helped – but there is one prerequisite that is mandatory – and that is that they can see their own part in a problem and they want to fix that in them.
For example: I have a problem in airports. I am so scared of missing my flight it makes me act rigid and neurotic – I want to be in the airport at least 3 hours before the flight, I want to know exactly what gate we fly from and I want to be at that gate at least an hour before boarding starts. This is MY problem – because it is MY behaviour and MY fear of missing the flight. I have to work on it. I can’t make it anyone else’s problem.
Another example: A client comes to me with a problem – she has a lot of conflicts in her relationship and they yell at each other all the time. She says it is HIS fault, because HE starts the fights. So I ask her if it is his fault that she is yelling and calling him names. She thinks about it and at first she says yes, but after consideration, she sees that she cannot make him responsible for her behaviour. Realizing her own part on the problem, we can fairly quickly change HER behaviour and this will change the dynamic of their conflicts, so they don’t muddle in the same old patterns, but can start building healthy communication.
Even if we’re with someone abusive, we have a part in the problem: we are accepting it, treating ourselves poorly. That’s where we can make a change. In us.