There’s a pattern of rare individuals I tend to come across online that I would pen directly into a group I’d call “Acute Narcissists”. There is a different term you can use for them these days however, strictly speaking they’re highly likely to be suffers of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD. I actually met someone who had been diagnosed with NPD, which is how I know first hand the difference between mere obnoxiousness and someone who has an actual god complex.
These people are extremely difficult, if not outright impossible to deal with, such that I would recommend avoiding them completely. One of the feature traits of people with NPD is that they are extremely hard to treat, as they simply deny that they could possibly have anything wrong with them. The average person is actually a bit egotistical, for example 98% of people think they have above average intelligence but 50% of people have below average intelligence. There’s a great wisdom in the quote from Socrates “I know that I know nothing”, because if you believe that you have the answers to things that you do not know about, you will surely be relying on your ego alone.
This is the crux of the NPD problem, this is taken to the extreme due to a fragile ego and unwillingness to take criticism. The memories of an NPD sufferer will differ wildly from other witnesses at the times of those memories, as they have been whitewashed to avoid displaying any flaws inherent in the person with NPD. Another common theme is intentional memory blanking of anything that doesn’t suit them. One thing that you will never receive from a sufferer with NPD is an actual apology, although you might get something accusatory with the lines of “I’m sorry that you were offended” or “I’m sorry that the disruption you caused happened”.
Another thing you will see from someone with NPD is claiming that people are liars for implying that they are anything but perfect. You can present evidence on anything but you’ll see the story become more complicated with excuses and wild theories as to why you might be lying about them. You might be tempted to think that they are simply hurt or feeling biased about the situation, but Narcissists are malicious and this technique has a name: Gaslighting. People with NPD may, at some subconscious level, be fully aware of their repressed memories and accept that they have flaws. At the conscious level though, the fragile ego and obsession with their outward appearance means that they will choose to overwrite histoy intentionally, by making the other person question their descriptions.
I’ve encountered many more of these when I was an admin of a large (2700 members at the time) furry group, and thus I got exposed to more people on average. I also got to ban a lot of people, and sometimes I go back and see how they’re getting on, and you can usually see that there are inherent personality traits that lead them to whatever rule they broke to get banned (but not always, we did make mistakes). Here’s an example, a selection of messages from someone banned for repeatedly trying to antagonise and insult people in the group:
This image is actually pretty telling, you can see first the denial of remembering that anything ever happened, the repressed memories I mentioned. When I explained what had happened – he was asked nicely to stop (I still retain the message I sent him to stop to this day, it was very polite), but instead decided to start attacking the moderators instead, and was promptly banned. He then placed several angry comments on the group and on my profile, which you can see him deny with the message “I don’t behave like that”, but soon after they later do not deny the inflammatory comments.
At the end you can see that they now accept that they were antagonising and insulting someone else, and has now placed a new theory in place that they were doing it in self defense. If that was the case, they should have called an admin, but I recall them joining the chatroom and no such rudeness being displayed to them by the other party, and deciding to then start to insult the administration team is just indefensible.
Lastly, you’ll see “Sorry that drama occurred anyway!” after they finish blaming the administration team for claimed “double standards”. As a sidenote: There was an additional message between the 12:02 and 12:04 which was deleted, where they claimed there was no hard evidence so they wouldn’t believe any of it. If we were playing a game of bingo we would have probably won right about now, you can see their story morph and change when presented with descriptions and evidence, but there is great care taken to whitewash themselves and insist that they do not act “without a good reason”.
If you spot someone like this, the best course of advice is “Don’t walk, run”, as I did so after this. However, they didn’t seem too happy that I decided to leave their discord and cease talking to them after being repeatedly called a liar, however (The following images to be read bottom to top):
I did then block their account, but like you might expect, they inevitably decided to come back on an alternate account and repeat themselves. You will see the misguided idea that an apology took place, although it took the form of “I’m sorry that it was your fault”:
For those who might be curious what this conversation went like, I didn’t want to clutter the blog post up with the entirity of it that wasn’t deleted, but here is a pastebin account of it. My apology was pretty weak, I could probably be called out on that, but there was definitely no lies or malice taking place on my behalf, in fact, if I wanted to do something like that, I could claim whatever story I liked to someone who claims to have memory problems, but I chose to give the story with evidence.
The average reader can stop reading the article now, but in the event that this “Sato” person reads this, I’ll give the following replies to their points:
- The description of this article suggests overwise, and people with NPD do not think they are narcissistic. However they do demonstrate the white washing of events and inconsistency about their perception of self. In addition, Narcissists do make apologies, but they are typically disguises for accusations, as can be seen here.
- Well, I wouldn’t put being friends or just chatting past anyone, but I feel a great unease about being made out to be a liar despite evidence presented. I don’t judge people on mistakes, we all have flaws, myself included, but there’s a great amount of denial needed to trade accepting a mistake in the past for claiming me to be a malicious liar in the present.
- I’ve provided the log for those to see that I wasn’t insulting or condescending in the original talk, and while a narcissist isn’t a very nice thing to be, the good news is it’s not inherently your fault. It is also something I’m not willing at all to deal with, it’s extremely taxing and I’d much rather walk away without comment (which I did by leaving Sato’s server), but they were intent on following after me and making sure they get the last word again.
The last message creates a new, ludicrous theory that my walking away is a poor behaviour that must have been a cause of them being banned in the past. So that is another theory to add to the pile so far, as you can see that they are trying to shape a memory to fit their perception of themselves, instead of being consistent from the beginning. The false, ludicrously exaggerated use of positive politeness is a final nail in the coffin, it reeks of unpleasantness and ill-will.
If there’s one thing readers can take away from this, it’s “Don’t walk, run” when handling certain types of people.