Narcisissm, Defined

Narcissism can refer either to a fairly normal or abnormal psychological condition of self-love, or a form of elitism within social groups. Narcissistic personality disorder, however, is the most popular category for which the term is used, and describes a sense of inordinate vanity or selfishness that an individual displays in social and cultural settings.
nar·cis·sism [ nrssə sìzzəm ]
  1. self-admiration:excessive self-admiration and self-centeredness
  2. personality disorder: in psychiatry, a personality disorder
    characterized by the patient’s overestimation of his or her own appearance and
    abilities and an excessive need for admiration.
Synonyms: vanity, self-love,
self-admiration, self-absorption,
egotism, conceit, self-importance,
selfishness, self-centeredness

Here’s my definition:

Teresa Guidici, Narcissist

Let’s start out by saying that narcissists are not bad people and a certain level of narcissism is both necessary and healthy to the development of the human psyche.

The reason why I’ve decided we need to have this discussion now is because in the latest episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Teresa was absolutely classic narcissist in action.  If you recorded the show, it will be worth revisiting it so that you can see exactly where she demonstrated her extreme narcissism.

  • Of course, a narcissist cannot turn it on or off.  They either are, or they aren’t.  Narcissists tend to be perfectionists.  They attend to every detail of an event, room, meal, etc.  Teresa demonstrates this tendency of perfectionism in the dressing of her daughters and herself.  She doesn’t care how Joe looks, but she cares how she looks and, since she particularly views her children as extensions of herself, she pays careful attention to detail in the way they look.  Ordinarily, and you’ll see this more often than not, the children of narcissists look like unkempt rag-a-muffins, as the narcissistic mother does not even see her children at all.
  • All narcissists think they are the perfect mother. In fact, they will cite all the things they’ve done for their children…I drove you to ballet 3 times a week, I took you to the doctor whenever you were sick, I cooked dinners every night…these are things that all mothers do, but narcissists look at it as a sacrifice they have made for their children, rather than an act of love that all mothers do.

In the latest episode, Teresa was completely oblivious to the females in the room as she was trying on her bathing suits.  It didn’t matter that  Carolyn had a migraine headache, that Lauren might feel uncomfortable considering her struggles with weight, that Jacqui, too, was a wife who might not want her husband to see her modeling her bathing suits.  The only one she saw, or cared about, in the room was Melissa, her perceived enemy.

  • Classic narcissistic behaviour…the ongoing perceived battle with Melissa.  Melissa is actually not a real person to Teresa, but a hated enemy who has robbed her (Teresa) of her brother’s undivided attention.  She’s jealous of Melissa, not because Melissa is who she is, but because Melissa even exists.  Teresa would have struggles with any female who entered into her “space”.

Now, the obvious and funny act of narcissism to watch was on the beach when she chose to fight with Kathy.  Kathy was speaking for herself when she said that she decided that opening a restaurant was not the right choice for she and Rich because they recognized that the restaurant business would keep them away from their children…a logical decision any responsible parent would consider.  In true narcissistic form, Teresa was only able to hear an attack on her.

  • Every conversation that a narcissist engages in is really a one-sided conversation with this question always working in the back and front of their minds “How does what she’s saying relate to me”.  True to form, Teresa was not, and is never, able to hear any of the words Kathy said after she zeroed in on Kathy’s perceived assault on her.
  • Narcissists have a complete inability to see or empathize with anyone else side of the story or consider anyone else’s feelings.

Try though she may, Teresa is completely unable to look at Melissa’s side of the story or recognize that Melissa is going way out of her way to try to mend fences.  Since Teresa would never go out of her way to do such things for other people outside of herself, it would make sense that she can’t feel anyone else’s point of view.

And finally, when they had the out-takes, Teresa could see nothing wrong with the little fight she had with Kathy…nothing wrong with what she did, that is.

  • Narcissist are never able to see any of their actions as wrong and that is simply because they cannot see outside of themselves.

Here are some other narcissists you might recognize…

Camille Grammer, neglected kids

Ramona Singer, Can only see herself

Tamra Barney, neglected husband & children.

A narcissist to a lesser degree…and now we are adding Vicki Gunvulsan, a subtle narcissist whose concern is for herself, whilst her daughter goes under the knife. Sad.

LuAnn de Lesseps, demonstrates varying degrees of narcissism

And, finally, the most extreme narcissist of them all…

Jill Zarin’s narcissism should be a classic and required study for all medical students, particularly those interested in the field of psychiatry.  She is so consumed with herself she can only focus on saving her face, how she is viewed and her sense of self value is completely warped when juxtaposed against reality.

  • Most narcissists are clever and manipulative, skewing all events and interactions to their own favour
  • Most narcissists, though not all, are very beautiful people who take an enormous amount of time focusing on their outward appearances

A classic study in narcissism, Jill Zarin

Of course, I am just sharing my opinion.  I know that you have your opinions on all of this, too.

Your friend,