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“But it is the nature of narcissistic entitlement to see the situation from only one very subjective point of view that says “My feelings and needs are all that matter, and whatever I want, I should get.” Mutuality and reciprocity are entirely alien concepts, because others exist only to agree, obey, flatter, and comfort – in short, to anticipate and meet my every need. If you cannot make yourself useful in meeting my need, you are of no value and will most likely be treated accordingly, and if you defy my will, prepare to feel my wrath. Hell hath no fury like the Narcissist denied.
Narcissists hold these unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves uniquely special. In social situations, you will talk about them or what they are interested in because they are more important, more knowledgeable, or more captivating than anyone else. Any other subject is boring and won’t hold interest, and, in their eyes, they most certainly have a right to be entertained. In personal relationships, their sense of entitlement means that you must attend to their needs but they are under no obligation to listen to or understand you. If you insist that they do, you are “being difficult” or challenging their rights. How dare you put yourself before me? they seem to (or may actually) ask. And if they have real power over you, they feel entitled to use you as they see fit and you must not question their authority. Any failure to comply will be considered an attack on their superiority. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger rage and self-righteous aggression.
The conviction of entitlement is a holdover from the egocentric stage of early childhood, around the age of one to two, when children experience a natural sense of grandiosity that is an essential part of their development. This is a transitional phase, and soon it becomes necessary for them to integrate their feelings of self-importance and invincibility with an awareness of their real place in the overall scheme of things that includes a respect for others. In some cases, however, the bubble of specialness is never popped, and in others the rupture is too harsh or sudden, as when a parent or caretaker shames excessively or fails to offer soothing in the wake of a shaming experience. Whether overwhelmed with shame or artificially protected from it, children whose infantile fantasies are not gradually transformed into a more balanced view of themselves in relation to others never get over the belief that they are the center of the universe. Such children may become self-absorbed “Entitlement monsters,” socially inept and incapable of the small sacrifices of Self that allow for reciprocity in personal relationships. The undeflated child turns into an arrogant adult who expects others to serve as constant mirrors of his or her wonderfulness. In positions of power, they can be egotistical tyrants who will have their way without regard for anyone else.
Like shame, the rage that follows frustrated entitlement is a primitive emotion that we first learn to manage with the help of attuned parents. The child’s normal narcissistic rages, which intensify during the power struggles of age eighteen to thirty months – those “terrible twos” – require “optimal frustration” that is neither overly humiliating nor threatening to the child’s emerging sense of Self. When children encounter instead a rageful, contemptuous or teasing parent during these moments of intense arousal, the image of the parent’s face is stored in the developing brain and called up at times of future stress to whip them into an aggressive frenzy. Furthermore, the failure of parental attunement during this crucial phase can interfere with the development of brain functions that inhibit aggressive behavior, leaving children with lifelong difficulties controlling aggressive impulses.”
― Sandy Hotchkiss,
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Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss
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1,303 ratings, average rating, 143 reviews
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