Has someone on the blogs been rude or offensive to you lately?
Maybe it’s not his or her fault. He or she may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Disclaimer: Diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is the domain of the mental health professional. Do not try to either diagnose or self-diagnose based on the contents of this post.

Above: Narcissus enjoys looking at his own reflection.

I have noticed that some bloggers try to create “a division — a superior “us” group and a devalued “them” group“. Some even use violent threats to this end. Several of my friends noticed similar behaviour, and they told me that some of it appears to fit the description of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This prompted me to do some research, and I was amazed at what I found! Let’s start with some quotes from the author of the book “Malignant Self Love“.
In Malignant Self Love Dr. Sam Vaknin paints a terrible picture of the damage that a narcissist can wreak. I have not read the book, but here are two quotes from the chapter, Narcissism by Proxy, followed by one quote from The Narcissist’s Confabulated Life, and one from Can the Narcissist Become Violent?

The narcissist’s behaviour becomes tiresome, irksome and cumbersome. Ridicule is supplanted by ire and, then, by overt anger. The narcissist’s inadequacies are so glaring and his denial and other defence mechanisms so primitive …
At the first sign of trouble, he goes missing. This vanishing act is not necessarily physical or geographical. The narcissist is actually better at disappearing emotionally and at evading his moral and legal obligations (despite his constant self-righteous moralising). It is then and there that his family and coterie discover his true colours: he uses and discards people off-handedly. To him, people are either “functional” and “useful” in his pursuit of Narcissistic Supply – or not. But, in both cases, to him, they are not human but objects, or mere cartoons.

The narcissist lies at the drop of a hat, needlessly, and almost ceaselessly. He lies in order to avoid the Grandiosity Gap - when the abyss between fact and (narcissistic) fiction becomes too gaping to ignore.

Narcissists often use verbal and psychological abuse and violence against those closest to them. Some of them move from abstract aggression (the emotion leading to violence and permeating it) to the physically concrete sphere of violence.Many narcissists are also paranoid and vindictive. They aim to punish (by tormenting) and destroy the source of their frustration and pain.

Dealing with Ridicule
Don’t let these people (or maybe it’s just one person) get under your skin. Don’t feel bad if they ridicule both your achievements and your sanity, and don’t believe them when they put down others. Complete the quiz below on behalf of your most irritating blog villain and then you may have a better idea if your critic is suffering from this personality disorder.

Source: Counseling in Chicago with Bill Martin, LCSW Emotional vampires…narcissists at work (The DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria are also listed in this resource.)

The Narcissistic Vampire Checklist from Emotional Vampires By ALBERT J. BERNSTEIN, Ph.D.
THE SMARTEST, MOST TALENTED, ALL-AROUND BEST PERSON IN THE WORLD TEST:
True or false? Score one point for each true answer.
  1. THIS PERSON HAS ACHIEVED MORE THAN MOST PEOPLE HIS OR HER AGE.
  2. THIS PERSON IS FIRMLY CONVINCED THAT HE OR SHE IS BETTER, SMARTER, OR MORE TALENTED THAN OTHER PEOPLE.
  3. THIS PERSON LOVES COMPETITION, BUT IS A POOR LOSER.
  4. THIS PERSON HAS FANTASIES OF DOING SOMETHING GREAT OR BEING FAMOUS, AND OFTEN EXPECTS TO BE TREATED AS IF THESE FANTASIES HAD ALREADY COME TRUE.
  5. THIS PERSON HAS VERY LITTLE INTEREST IN WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE THINKING OR FEELING, UNLESS HE OR SHE WANTS SOMETHING FROM THEM.
  6. THIS PERSON IS A NAME DROPPER.
  7. TO THIS PERSON IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO LIVE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AND ASSOCIATE WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE.
  8. THIS PERSON TAKES ADVANTAGE OF OTHER PEOPLE TO ACHIEVE HIS OR HER OWN GOALS.
  9. THIS PERSON USUALLY MANAGES TO BE IN A CATEGORY BY HIM OR HERSELF.
  10. THIS PERSON OFTEN FEELS PUT UPON WHEN ASKED TO TAKE CARE OF HIS OR HER RESPONSIBILITIES TO FAMILY, FRIENDS, OR WORK GROUP.
  11. THIS PERSON REGULARLY DISREGARDS RULES OR EXPECTS THEM TO BE CHANGED BECAUSE HE OR SHE IS IN SOME WAY SPECIAL.
  12. THIS PERSON BECOMES IRRITATED WHEN OTHER PEOPLE DON’T AUTOMATICALLY DO WHAT HE OR SHE WANTS THEM TO DO, EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE A GOOD REASON FOR NOT COMPLYING.
  13. THIS PERSON REVIEWS SPORTS, ART, AND LITERATURE BY TELLING YOU WHAT HE OR SHE WOULD HAVE DONE INSTEAD.
  14. THIS PERSON THINKS MOST CRITICISMS OF HIM OR HER ARE MOTIVATED BY JEALOUSY.
  15. THIS PERSON REGARDS ANYTHING SHORT OF WORSHIP TO BE REJECTION.
  16. THIS PERSON SUFFERS FROM A CONGENITAL INABILITY TO RECOGNIZE HIS OR HER OWN MISTAKES. ON THE RARE OCCASIONS THAT THIS PERSON DOES RECOGNIZE A MISTAKE, EVEN THE SLIGHTEST ERROR CAN PRECIPITATE A MAJOR DEPRESSION.
  17. THIS PERSON OFTEN EXPLAINS WHY PEOPLE WHO ARE BETTER KNOWN THAN HE OR SHE IS [sic] NOT REALLY ALL THAT GREAT.
  18. THIS PERSON OFTEN COMPLAINS OF BEING MISTREATED OR MISUNDERSTOOD.
  19. PEOPLE EITHER LOVE OR HATE THIS PERSON.
  20. DESPITE THIS PERSON’S OVERLY HIGH OPINION OF HIM OR HERSELF, HE OR SHE IS REALLY QUITE INTELLIGENT AND TALENTED.
Scoring: Five or more true answers qualifies the person as a Narcissistic Emotional Vampire, though not necessarily for a diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality. If the person scores higher than ten, and is not a member of the royal family, be careful that you aren’t mistaken for one of the servants.
My advice is to treat everyone with respect. Condemn wrongdoing, but don’t gratuitously attack the wrongdoer’s character. Above all, remember that when it seems that the whole world is against you, it may just be one troubled narcissist commenting under multiple identities!