If you don’t watch his intriguing discussion, my post won’t make sense.
Interesting term to apply to the victim of a narcissist, “patheticness,” but definitely a thought-provoking one.
Perhaps because I have been accused of narcissism in a relationship, I have always viewed relationship ‘victims’ as fairly narcissistic and control-seeking themselves. Insulting, yes, but no one appreciates being called a narcissist and I also hold grudges 😉
I would not have thought of ‘patheticness’ as an equal compensatory mechanism for the same insignificance that theoretically fuels narcissism. I know the prevailing wisdom SAYS a feeling of (or a fear of feeling) insignificance fuels narcissism but my emotions say “narcissist=evil asshole, end of story. Run, run away.” I would think the victims must be operating from a greater sense of insignificance that the narcissist exploits.
I am not quite sure, emotionally, that the narcissist and the victim are as equal as his diagram and discussion implies but it is logical. And definitely kinder to the narcissist than I feel like being.
My emotions tell me that the narcissist must be unforgivably evil and the victim helpless and deserving of sympathy (on a kind day) or pitiable and weak (on an unkind day).
Mr. Sears’ description also reminds me of a term my husband used today playing triominoes. “Chirality” is when two seemingly identical structures (images, shapes, molecules) cannot be superimposed on their mirror images. An example is your hands. They “match” but you cannot put one over the other and have them match. Or shake someone’s right hand with your left hand.
Perhaps narcissism and ‘patheticness’ are like this. Not a mirror of each other but deceptively similar and “unable to shake hands” or function in a healthy relationship. Both need validation which obviously isn’t going to come from the other one.
So, how do you “fix” either person’s perceived insignificance? Cognitive therapy for life? Is it even possible? Is there some kind of “emotional blindness” like color blindness and they just have to take our word for it that the shades of gray mean something significant?
Enough of this, my cranium feels pinched.
Needless to say, his advice at the end of the video is sound – deal with your feelings. Cannot really deal with anyone else’s, anyway.