Many people understand narcissists to be the outright extroverted energy depleting people that are grandiose in nature and easy to identify. Though there is another subtype of narcissists that many survivors of trauma have experienced that are hurtful and dismissive. This subtype is known as the covert, introverted narcissist. It’s the secret narcissist that doesn’t outwardly judge you, but consistently internally judges you. The covert introverted narcissist is insecure and inattentive in their relationships. They are usually dismissive toward others- through interrupting conversations, personalizing everything, being condescending toward others, gossiping, dismissive gestures, eye rolling, being rude-directly or indirectly.
I think there are clinicians that believe a narcissist does not feel. I believe otherwise. I understand narcissism to be a coping strategy for someone who has endured severe ongoing trauma.
When children are raised with narcissistic parents, their parents are too self-involved to provide the child with the attachment, attention, and nurture needed to flourish. So naturally, to survive, children need to overcompensate giving themselves what their parents aren’t giving them. This is how narcissism is bred and passed down- through attachment trauma.
I don’t believe narcissists can’t feel. I don’t believe they don’t have emotions. On the contrary, I believe their inner world is FULL of emotions. Unresolved, unseen stuff that is stuck inside. I believe Narcissists feel SO much, but are unable to process their emotions since this was never modeled for them—and that’s why narcissists seek to control, project, discharge, displace onto others. I believe they need help understanding and engaging socially, working through severe attachment rupture, and learning to make space for others. Until this happens, narcissism will continue to cause more attachment trauma and the cycle remains.
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