Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for December 17th, 2013

Narcissism And Blame

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on December 17, 2013

 

Rainer, from my previous post, is irritated with John, her husband, when he challenges her plan of action. “I am going to call the plumber,” she says about the leaky toilet. “No, don’t do that,” John says, “maybe I can fix it.” Rainer, unwilling to listen to John’s point of view, claims that life is never “easy” because she is always questioned. “Maybe it is hard for you to tolerate other ideas,” I say, wondering about Rainer’s narcissism; her sense that her ideas are always the best ideas and a question of her ideas makes her nervous and insecure. “Well, yes, I have to agree with you,” Rainer says, as she quickly sees her own flaw; her sense that she cannot accept a discussion about her plan of action. Rainer sees and feels her narcissism, giving her shame about herself, but also relief that John is not as “bad as I thought,” she says, with sadness, as she implies that now she feels like the “bad one”. This realization that Rainer’s anger towards John is a defense against her own personality weakness. To Rainer, questioning her decision to call a plumber, makes her feel small and insignificant, and since John should know that, he should not offer an alternative idea. Giving the light of day to these notions helps Rainer see the absurdity of her need to have John go along with all of her decisions. “The ‘N’ word is a tough one,” I say, referring to the pain of recognizing one’s own narcissism. “Yea, I am going to go home and plop on the couch,” Rainer says, expressing her exhaustion after seeing herself in this painful way.

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