Q & A: He Is Only Showing Narcissistic Traits When he is Angry

Q: My N., he only seems to display the 9 traits in the DSM when he is really angry. Angry at ME. He has less than the 5 necessary for NPD when he is in a good mood, or when he is interacting with people other than myself. So, when I look at the DSM and try to figure out if he has NPD, do I consider his behavior all day and every day, or when he is mad?

A: If he is demonstrating all 9 of the traits- mad or not- he is most likely a person with NPD. The fact that he has “less than 5” is still pretty unusual…3 or 4 of the traits when he is not mad still indicates a healthy dose of narcissism but one who is good at putting on a mask, a facade for the public. Having a lack of empathy- that’s always a dead give-away.  If he demonstrates that trait when he is not mad- there is a high probability that he is a narcissist. Ask yourself if someone genuinely loved you…would they treat you this way? By interacting positively with everyone other than you indicates he knows HOW to treat people, but he is choosing not to do it with you. Think long and hard before committing yourself to this relationship on a long term basis. If you do, you will be in for a long, tumultuous life of pain and heartache.

1 thought on “Q & A: He Is Only Showing Narcissistic Traits When he is Angry”

  1. The Dr. is exactly right. I just got out of a relationship like that . He also would be nice to everyone else and show only a certain amount pf the traits in public. When he became angry though was a different story. He would get so angry, he would scream in my face, and call me horrid names. He also put his hands around my neck, and punched me in the eye one evening. Another night he slapped me on the same side of my face, and called me a horrific name over and over. That last incide3nt was the final straw with him after being off and on with him for over 22 months. That last time. I went to the cops here and pressed charges for battery. He didn’t believe that I would do it. and laughed when I told him he was in so many words screwed. They picked him up within 30 minutes of my complaint . . What was the trigger for both of these incidents ? I made a comment about him making us run late to events that we had to be at. Also a trigger to those incidents is the fact that he holds stuff in and his mother needles him constantly when he is there. None of that excuses what he did. He was diagnosed with NPD however the diagnosis kept changing from Dr. to Dr. as well as the meds. The sad part is had he also seen LCSW or Psychologist when he was younger more than likely he would have things better under control now being in his mid 30’s. Also it doesn’t help to have passive aggressive parents that continually enable a person like that . We go to court next week for this . His mother still insists that it is my fault as I annoyed him. Really ? Hope this helps those that have to make the decision whether to stay or go.


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