The Neuroscience of Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse

First, A Recap on Narcissistic Personality Disorder

  1. Narcissists harbor a great deal of shame but are unable to connect with it and process it in a healthy fashion. As a result, narcissists act without shame.
  2. Magical Thinking. Narcissists think of themselves as perfect, i.e., the ideal wife, husband, and parent. They employ magical thinking to rationalize away any harm they do by placing the blame on their victims.
  3. Narcissists have an over-inflated sense of greatness and importance. To maintain their self-view of importance, they diminish and degrade others.
  4. Narcissists imagine themselves as great people, yet they envy what others have or have accomplished. They may, for example, envy their daughter for her relationship with a boyfriend and try to interject themselves into the relationship.
  5. Narcissists feel and expect favorable treatment and will practice two-faced standards, even going so far as to break the law because they think the law does not pertain to them.
  6. Narcissists exploit others without regard to the rules or the feelings of others. Deep down, they believe that people are expendable and that they deserve to have all their needs, no matter how harmful, met.
  7. Lack of Boundaries. Narcissists do not respect other’s space and see themselves as part of others. They might be “hooked at the hip” with a daughter or son living vicariously through them.

Emotional Awareness

The Anterior Insula’s Part in Feeling Empathy

fMRI Studies and the Brains of Narcissists

The Brains Narcissistically Abused Children

In Conclusion




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