Female Narcissists

Are female narcissists different than male narcissists?

Most narcissists (75%) are males and, in general, there are only minor differences between male and female narcissists.

In the manifestation of their narcissism, female and male narcissists do tend to differ. They emphasize different things. Men are likely to emphasize intellect, power, aggression, money, or social status. Women are likely to emphasize body, looks, charm, sexuality, feminine “traits”, homemaking, or their children and childrearing.

Females concentrate on their body (many also suffer from Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa). The women flaunt and exploit their physical charms, their sexuality, and their socially and culturally determined “femininity”. They secure their Narcissistic Supply through their more traditional gender role: the home, children, suitable careers, their husbands (“the wife of…”), their feminine traits, their role in society, etc.

Another difference is in the way the females and males react to treatment. Women are more likely to engage in therapy because they are more likely to admit to psychological problems. But while men may be less inclined to disclose their problems (the macho-man factor) – it does not necessarily mean that they are less prone to admit it to themselves.

The prime rule of narcissism must not be forgotten: the narcissist uses everything around her to obtain her (or his) Narcissistic Supply. Children happen to be more attached to the female narcissist due to the way our society is still structured and to the fact that women are the ones to give birth. It is easier for a female to think of her children as her extensions because they once indeed were her physical extensions;her on-going interaction with them is both more intensive and more extensive.

The female narcissist regards her children as significant Sources of Narcissistic Supply while the male narcissist is more likely to regard his children as a nuisance rather than as a source of rewarding Supply. Because the narcissistic woman does not have the diversity of alternatives that are available to men, she fights to maintain her most reliable Source of Supply: her children. Through insidious indoctrination, guilt, emotional sanctions, deprivation and other psychological mechanisms, she tries to induce a dependence in them which cannot be easily unraveled. There is no psychodynamic difference between male and female narcissists. The only difference is in their choices of Sources of Narcissistic Supply.

Female narcissists engage in the same control tactics as male narcissists. Emotionally abusive, narcissistic women are masters of ‘spin control’ and driving home their “reality” through verbal force and emotional reasoning, just like the males. This kind of person clings to her belief system no matter how many times she’s confronted with evidence to the contrary. Interestingly, the more wrong she is, the greater the outrage and drama she displays.

Here are some common control tactics beloved by narcissistic women:

1. The Hoodwink. The narcissistic woman begins a conversation (attack) with one topic. When you present facts that are contrary to her beliefs, she hoodwinks you by going on a different tangent, changing the subject or making a brand new accusation. While you’re still defending your original point, she distracts you by jumping to another topic that’s completely unrelated.

2. SHUT UP! When you try to explain your feelings or point of view, this kind of woman may brutally tell you to, “Shut up!” Narcissists not only can’t cope with the truth, they go to great lengths to deny and obliterate it.

3. Name-Calling. This is the last resort of narcissists and other bullies. If they can’t defend their position or their behaviors, they resort to emotionally-based personal attacks. It’s another distraction technique that sidetracks you from the original point of contention by putting you on the defensive.

4. Projection. Narcissistic women accuse their victims of actions or thoughts that they themselves are actually guilty of. This is a primitive defense mechanism.

5. Splitting. Narcissists see the world in all-or-nothing, good vs. evil, black-and-white terms. They have little ability to understand context or nuance. Either you see things her way or you must be invalidated. You cannot agree to disagree with this kind of woman. Any criticism, difference of opinion or challenge to her “authority” is seen as a threat and you will be treated in a manner so as to be devalued and demonized. This is another primitive defense mechanism.

6. Smear Campaign. First, they split and then they smear. It’s not enough for a narcissistic woman to disagree with you or despise you. Everyone else in her world, including your own family and friends, must also hate you and see how wrong you are.

7. Gaslighting. Women who use this tactic deny things they’ve said and done (and often accuse you of the very same transgressions they committed). They distort reality, claiming the event never happened (“you imagined it…YOU must be crazy”) until you begin to doubt your own sanity.

8. Increasing the Volume; Not the Logic. The more wrong an emotionally abusive narcissistic woman is, the louder and/or more stubborn she gets. Her level of fake outrage, vindictiveness or emotional withdrawal is in direct proportion to how correct you are. She will either talk over or shout at you, repeating the same simplistic, emotionally-charged statements over and over until she drowns out all reason, or give you the silent treatment until you submit and apologize for your “offense.”

9. Blame and Shame. Narcissists blame others for everything that is wrong in their lives and never consider how they contributed to, and often caused, the problems and their own unhappiness. They shift responsibility to make you seem bad or crazy in an effort to shame you into submission.

10. Playing the Victim. When narcissistic women are put on the spot for their bad behavior or dishonesty and they can’t deny it, then they play the victim. They claim they are the ones who are being unfairly attacked for “standing up for the truth” and having the “courage” to speak out or etc.

References:

http://samvak.tripod.com/faq34.html

http://shrink4men.wordpress.com/2009/09/17/10-reasons-you-cant-communicate-with-a-narcissistic-or-borderline-woman/

 

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About Alexander Burgemeester

14 Responses to “Female Narcissists”

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  1. Jekyll Hyde says:

    Amy from episode 16 of the sixth series of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmare (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy's_Baking_Company) is a classic example. She checks most of the boxes in your list. I think Gordon handled the toxicity pretty well, and did what we would all recommend – just walk away.

  2. eliza says:

    I wonder to which century the author refers to when talking about these narcissist women. All I read is a lot about femininity, drama, children, domestic life…. Good that nowadays women have nothing to worry, except looking good and raising children. I was specially surprised to see the author is from the Netherlands and portrays seemingly sexist ideas. That has been a very gender biased piece of information, making it sound less scientific, and closer to some kind of anecdotal sort of description of female stereotypes.

    • a sexist misogynist says:

      Because modern women are nearly all narcissists, it does not mean the author is a sexist.

    • Filipe says:

      I think it’s cool how he focused on women, as in the majority of the sites i encountered about narcissism are focused on men or on both sexes behavior. All in all, given the fact that a lot of women are like this, i do wonder how narcissism will be faced scientifically. Racism for instance, isn’t considered a mental illness (just) because many people are racists, and it’s still something very dangerous to society. My personal opinion would be we should not making something less wrong just because many people have it, and that the best attitude is always the one leaning towards more love and acceptance (or protection to risky behaviors).

  3. Manish says:

    This so true.
    Thanks a ton. God bless you for this post !

  4. Barvaz says:

    Good article. But I recommend at avoiding the first reference. It’s from a narcissist himself. Although one can get a certain amount of insight that way, it’s ultimately not the best source of information.

  5. Xavier says:

    Based on what this site says, it sounds like pretty much everyone is narcissistic. I’m confused. I am confident and it seems like I could be a narcissistic person or something. I also tell myself that my accomplishments aren’t that impressive as others can do things far better than I. But at the same time, I appreciate the capacity at which I can do things. But all of this can be summed up to narcissistic behaviors based on the various ways things can be worded to manipulate thought.. I never liked the idea of accusing anyone of being a narcissistic human. Because two people can go back and forth forever saying that the other is projecting emotions on the other and this makes both parties look narcissistic. It sounds really circular and pointless. Maybe make a page that helps people identify them better? It all seems very broad. The slightest manipulation of words makes you a narcist..

  6. Jule says:

    This article is so validating. I have experienced all 10 from the list above from the narcissists in my life over the years. Relationship with this type of personality is very exhausting and the roller coaster relationship is at times devastating. I do believe these types are bullies from my experience and deny all responsibility for their actions. I have lost many a nights sleep trying to figure out what I DID WRONG to deserve these kind of behaviors, my heart has been totally destroyed and these types could care less. They have no empathy, they have no concept to be able to put themselves into another persons shoes. They call you everyday for months and then they drop you, they replace you like an old pair of shoes and go skipping away like you never existed.

  7. JP says:

    To the one that called this sexist… My goodness… I don’t think ALL women exhibit these behaviors, at least not in my world. If you do or they do in your life, I’d possibly have to consider a new group of people to hang around…. The one women, of a few I have dated for years, did stand out with most of these items on the list…

    Maybe if you feel you had been subject to a narcissistic relationship can you come to appreciate the article. Possibly its the degree and repetitiveness of each of these items that’s makes the difference. I don’t know, but this list sure seems to hit home to my experience.

  8. Dee says:

    I had a friend who was a female narcissist. We had been friends for over 30 years and had fallen out here and there. Once we were back talking on a regular basis I begin to notice certain things. She had an inability to express herself verbally. She always talked in a very basic way…very immature. She always had some kind of drama going on and it was always someone else’s fault, it was NEVER her fault. She complained about a group of females she had been friends with for a long time, always accusing them of being no good. I begin to dislike them, of course because I was believing what she was saying. It was a constant conversation that she would bring up. I would often wonder why they treated her like that, I was like are they jealous? For the life of me I couldn’t figure it out. I would ask her why she remained friends with these people if they were so horrible towards her. She had no answer. I noticed she would lie about very basic things. She would tell me one thing and she would tell someone else the EXACT opposite of what she had told me. She lacked empathy…she acted like she cared but it was just that…an act. I noticed that my other friendships were give and take….we all gave something to the friendships….not with her…it was all take take take and never give. I noticed she embellished things. She lacked depth of character. Eventually it would all come together when I read the title of an article that said…Narcissists don’t want marriage, the want Weddings! I was like OMG….that sums her up. Then I begin to read up on narcissism and realized that is who I was dealing with. Needless to say, I ended the friendship. When I see her I simply act like she does not exist.

  9. ian says:

    I was in a 8 year relationship were my partner would often show signs of morbid jealousy that had no foundation I would be accused of infidelity on a regular basis due to a X appearing on a text message l loved my partner dearly but could not be supportive of the issues as I became the victim and no matter how much reassurance I gave she was convinced of the infidelity which fuled a circle of self destruction and aggressive behaviours even looking at an image of a another women became an issue I know from first hand experience how destructive this type of jealously can be it effects every aspect of the relationship and drains the very life from both partner’s

  10. Tony says:

    Is She Narcissistic! I’m confused! Met an intelligent woman only 6 weeks after she tragically lost her partner, constantly assuring me she was over it. Long story cut short. She asked me to move in with her 4 months after we meet, within 3 weeks she told me to get out of her house because of her own insecurities with me (later unfounded), I moved most of my belongings out of her house, She then pleaded with me to move back in. Shockingly, I’ve done this 3 times within 4 months. Finally I walked out on her 6 weeks ago because I found an email in her drafts box discrediting me to her uncle and with so many lies. She apologised but later changed her mind. I’ve suffered great financial loss with no empathy or any responsibility for what she has done. Her entire family hate me. Strong word I know, but I don’t understand why she try’s to destroy me behind my back. She has no friends just associates. She has been left with a large house, business and plenty of money but she said all of my belongings have been given to charity, I called her bluff and managed to recover most of my property. I’ve cut off all contact. Within a week she’s dating a guy but I believe she was building this relationship with him before I left.

  11. Amc says:

    A great artical.
    An earlier comment about Sam Vaknin being a narcissist himself, is true, he has a great understanding of what narcissisism is from the inside out. However I do agree with critisism of his concept of narcissism in that it is to broad. If not carefull, it can become a catch all catagory for other personality disorders and other mental health conditions that share similar symptoms but where the root cause, the trigger and the intent differ greatly from npd.

  12. Tony says:

    AMEN..25 years I rode that rollercoaster of hell..you will never be good enough for these monsters. They are able to rip your heart out and smile. Never to lose one minute of sleep over it. Cause after all “you should have seen it coming”.

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