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The Bare Bones of Narcissism (Terminology & Abbreviations)

Let’s get down to the bare bones of understanding Narcissism, the terminology used and the abbreviations we often see used in articles, blog posts and on social media.

First off, if you are reading this, you probably already know what a Narcissist is.  Do you know why is it called narcissism? The term originated from Greek mythology, where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. … Except in the sense of primary narcissism or healthy self-love, narcissism is usually considered a problem in a person’s or group’s relationships with self and others.

Do you know what the most dangerous type of narcissist is? The Malignant Narcissist is the one most dangerous to themselves. They are the most cowardly of narcissist and are also the loneliest and saddest of narcissist. They have the least amount of trust of others and are the least capable of love. Being highly manipulative, they don’t care who they hurt as long as they get their way. They see the world in black and white terms.

What is a covert narcissist? A Covert Narcissist is someone who craves admiration and importance as well as lacks empathy toward others but can act in a more sly, hidden and deceptive way.

What is an overt narcissist? The Overt Narcissist is easily identified because they tend to be loud, arrogant, and insensitive to the needs of others and always thirsty for compliments. Their behaviors can be easily observed by others and tend to show up as “big” in a room

The MayoClinic describes the Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and the severity of symptoms vary. People with the disorder can:

  • Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration
  • Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerate achievements and talents
  • Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people
  • Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior
  • Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations
  • Take advantage of others to get what they want
  • Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Be envious of others and believe others envy them
  • Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious
  • Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office

At the same time, people with narcissistic personality disorder have trouble handling anything they perceive as criticism, and they can:

  • Become impatient or angry when they don’t receive special treatment
  • Have significant interpersonal problems and easily feel slighted
  • React with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make themselves appear superior
  • Have difficulty regulating emotions and behavior
  • Experience major problems dealing with stress and adapting to change
  • Feel depressed and moody because they fall short of perfection
  • Have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation

From Psychology Today these terms are explained as follows:

Gaslighting –  Narcissistic gaslighting occurs when people with narcissistic personality disorder refuse to admit that they are wrong or have done something bad to their mate. Even when they are caught in the act, they will often try to convince the other person that he or she is paranoid and is imagining the whole thing. (see our blog post on “Are You Being Gaslighted?)

Flying Monkeys – Flying monkeys are the slang term for any group of people that the narcissist enlists as allies to persecute someone that the narcissist hates.  To gain their support, the narcissist makes up lies that portray the other person as evil and the narcissist as the real victim.

Going “Gray Rock”(also see our blog post on “Gray Rock Method – Dealing with a Narcissist or Sociopath”) – If you are involved with a narcissist whom you cannot avoid, many people advise going gray rock. This means that your manner during your interactions with the narcissist is as boring, unemotional, and neutral as you can manage.  Essentially, you become as uninteresting as a gray rock.

Love Bombing – The term love bombing is now used to describe narcissists’ over-the-top courtship tactics when they are chasing someone that they are trying to seduce or make fall in love with them. It is wildly romantic behavior that includes constant praise, promises of undying love, thoughtful little gifts, late-night texts, and anything and everything that the narcissist thinks will secure the love of the person he or she has chosen.  This intense positive attention is often accompanied by pressure for a quick commitment.  Unfortunately, once the narcissist actually secures the person’s love, the love-bombing generally stops and is eventually replaced by devaluation or indifference.

Hoovering – The term hoovering has now been extended to refer to a narcissist’s attempts to suck a discarded mate back into a relationship by saying and doing things that the ex would find irresistible.

Narcissistic Supplies – The term narcissistic supplies, or supply for short, describes anything and anyone that narcissists use to regulate their self-esteem.  The purpose of narcissistic supplies is to enhance the narcissist’s sense of being special.

We find this one Really Interesting – Have you heard of it before?

Narcissistic Word Salad – The term narcissistic word salad is essentially a misuse of an important psychological term. Instead of referring to an involuntary verbal sign of a severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, it is being used as a slang term for a type of narcissistic speech that is purposefully confusing. Listeners find narcissistic word salad extremely frustrating because the narcissist is using circular reasoning, outright lies, denial, or mis-characterizations of past events to avoid being wrong or having to take responsibility for something.

And last but not least Roles in the family with Narcissistic Parents

The Narcissistic Family System: The Golden Child & The Scapegoat – (a/k/a Black Sheep)

  • The Golden Child: This is the term for the narcissistic parent’s favorite child. This child is idealized as perfect and special. The parent projects all the positive qualities of this golden child and brags about his or her wonderful accomplishments to anyone who will listen.
  • The Scapegoat – (a/k/a Black Sheep): This child is the object of all the narcissistic parent’s negative projections. He or she is devalued and treated as an insignificant loser who is blamed for everything that goes wrong, including things that are clearly other people’s fault.

Here are some Abbreviations you may see in your reading and are explained as follows:

NPD                                       Narcissistic Personality Disorder

NM                                      Narcissistic Mother

NMIL                                      Narcissistic Mother In Law

ACON                                  Adult Children of Narcissist

DNP                                        Destructive Narcissistic Patterns

NS                                           Narcissistic Supply

DPD                                       Dependent Personality Disorder

BPD                                       Borderline Personality Disorder

DH                                          Dear Husband

DW                                         Dear Wife

Bio-Mom or BM                 Biological Mom

Bio-Dad or BD                    Biological Dad

LC                                           Limited or Low Contact

NC                                          No Contact

PTSD                                      Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

C-PTSD                                 Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

FOC                                        Family of Choice

FOO                                       Family of Origin

SO                                          Significant Other

STBX                                     Soon to be Ex

IMO                                       In my opinion

IMHO                                    In my humble opinion

Here is an interesting term – this is a great one to remember:

JADE  – Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain. To avoid circular conversations, DON’T Justify Argue, Defend, or Explain with a Narcissist. It will get you nowhere.

If you have other Abbreviations you’ve seen used, please share them with us in the comments section.

AND Last but not least:

SAHDStreet Angel House Devil – Acts one way in public – like an Angel, and when behind closed doors acts like a Devil.

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