1. Withdrawn self-centeredness.
The first one to watch out for is if you see a pattern of behavior that in psychology, I’ve seen in different papers, is called withdrawn self-centeredness. So if you see the person actually withdrawing from life, withdrawing from people, and becoming very, very self-centered in a sort of an isolated space, that is an indication of narcissism, that they’re self-centered, but the covert narcissism is covered by the fact that they’re withdrawing from the world. So why would they withdraw from the world and become self-centered?
They’re withdrawing from the world because of covert or vulnerable narcissism, which means that they think that they’re amazing, they think that they’re wonderful, they think that they’re special, but largely speaking, they’re struggling to convince the world that that’s true. So when they get feedback from real people, and they’re not just getting feedback from inside their head, it’s creating multiple small narcissistic injuries. ‘Cause largely people are going, “Actually, you’re not particularly interesting. No, you’re not very special,” and they get negative feedback from the environment. In narcissistic personality disorder, remember, everything is all about this thing that we call “The false self.”
They have a delusional view of themselves as all-powerful, super sexy, super exciting, super interesting, the richest, the bravest, the most intelligent, the most qualified, whatever. That’s the false self, right? Reality and truth are the enemies of the narcissist. They have to keep the reality and truth at bay in order to support the false self. So the perfect environment for them is to largely withdraw and become avoidant of the world, people, and reality and to become extremely self-centered. In another way, we could say that they’re withdrawing into a world of their own creation that supports them in their fantastical and delusional view of themselves.
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