How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Brad The Therapist Your Own Question
Brad The Therapist
Brad The Therapist, LCPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 549
Experience:  10 years of experience in working with youth and adults
50717502
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Brad The Therapist is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have many symptoms of narciistic personality disorder. In

This answer was rated:

I have many symptoms of narciistic personality disorder. In particular I find it very difficult to empathise with people (even my wife) and need help to deal with this
Brad The Therapist :

Thank you for your post. I am wondering if you had a particular question regarding your current concerns.

Brad The Therapist :

Please tell me more about your symptoms, and I may be able to provide suggestions.

Customer:

I smile when people tell me about their problems. I know I should care about other people but often feel that they are not significant or feel embarassed that I can't help them directly and I feel a smug grin coming on which I try to suppress but often can't

Brad The Therapist : what do you care about the most, at this timen
Customer:

Being able to show empathy to people I care about and stop hurting them when I give them the impression that I don't

Brad The Therapist :

Do they give you feedback that you are hurting them?

Customer:

Yes

Brad The Therapist :

I see...how do you show empathy?

Customer:

I find it difficult if I can't physically help. If someone is upset I find it difficult to share their upset in a demonstrable way

Brad The Therapist :

One way to show that you share their upset feelings, for example, is to name the feeling to them.

Brad The Therapist :

For instance, when someone tell you "I was so angry because that person pushed me to the side," You can respond by saying, "I can see how upset you are feeling."

Brad The Therapist :

If you name the feelings, you are showing empathy to the other person

Customer:

I usually smile with embarassment which immediately causes a problem as it appears that I'm laughing at them.

Brad The Therapist :

Yes, when this happens, let the other person know that you have a tendency to have a nervous laughter

Brad The Therapist :

That you smile or laugh because you felt anxious from the challenges the other person is feeling

Customer:

I do but they don't believe me or don't trust me

Brad The Therapist :

statements such as "I'm sorry, I may be smiling, but this is a nervous smile because of the struggles you are going through"

Brad The Therapist :

"When I get nervous, I have a tendency to do this. But I'm sorry to hear about your struggles."

Brad The Therapist :

turn around to them

Brad The Therapist :

Do you actually feel joy when they are struggling?

Customer:

I will try that again but this has been going on for years and it is difficult to establish trust

Brad The Therapist :

I can see that...as long as you apologize and quickly explain and turn it back to the person by naming their feeling, this should get better

Customer:

Sometimes I feel that I wouldn't be worried about what has upset them and feel smug even when I can see that they are upset.

Brad The Therapist :

Why is that?

Brad The Therapist :

are there unresolved issues in your life that these things trigger a memory

Customer:

Because I have a sense of superiority I guess though quite unfounded. I was brought up to think I was perfect and could do no wrong. I know that is not true but still feel a sense of nothing can touch me and I don't want to appear vulnerable or weak

Brad The Therapist :

If you ask originally how to deal with this, I believe you just answered your own question. You may have to be vulnerable in order to feel empathic towards other

Customer:

How can I let myself be more vulnerable. Are there any strategies that will help or do I need to just let caution go and dive in?

Brad The Therapist :

Yes, if there are times when you need help, ask. If there are times when you feel hurt, scared, or sad, reach out to other people

Brad The Therapist :

Another strategy is by journaling....writing out past experiences that made you feel challenged, sad, hurt, etc

Brad The Therapist :

By writing it out, it makes you vulnerable as you are expressing these feelings.

Customer:

The problem is that these instances always take me and my wife by surprise. Everything is fine and then she tells me of a problem and I start suppressing a smile which she sees and it quite rightly hurts her to think I don't care.

Brad The Therapist :

But you do care!

Brad The Therapist :

and it's hard to show this to your wife

Brad The Therapist :

I urge you to write down past experiences that made you feel sad, scared, and hurt and share this with your wife

Customer:

Yes very much so. I will try the journalling

Brad The Therapist :

Also, by writing to this forum, you have taken the first step to be vulnerable!

Brad The Therapist :

which is typically the hardest step

Customer:

Thanks Brad . I will try this. Do you have any other suggestions of where I can get helpif I need further support / feedback?

Brad The Therapist :

Yes, please continue to name feelings to be empathic and the journaling will help you understand the different expereinces you have had. Also, sharing these experiences to your wife will also help her understand why you react the way you do. Rest assure, I do not think you have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. You can always contact me if you I can be of further assistance by typing my name int he first line of your post.

Brad The Therapist :

I wish you all the best!

Brad The Therapist :

Please consider pressing the "accept' button for me to receive credit.

Customer:

Thanks Brad. Will do. Paul

Brad The Therapist and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Mental Health Questions