White Knight Narcissism (Pro-Social NPD) | Page 2 | INFJ Forum

White Knight Narcissism (Pro-Social NPD)

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Hostarius, Feb 1, 2020.

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  1. OP
    Hostarius

    Hostarius Gimme that WOAD

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    Thanks, Asa, I'll keep this in mind. I don't always get it right, but I try.
     
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  2. Fidicen

    Fidicen Community Member

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    Psychology Today is not exactly a credible source. They might have good articles, but it seems that their editorial policy is very relaxed and favours popular topics that are sure to generate clicks, no matter how they're handled. So it's up to the reader to discern what is credible and based on good research. Moreover, the site is a strong reminder of how people can get doctorates without having a proper idea of what is credible in their field.

    One of the challenges of social sciences is that the studied phenomena are often complex and difficult to determine precisely, largely because it involves the question of how much one should take into account the way people experience things, and how reliable it is. This leads into difficulty determining the difference between discovery and invention. The best way to get fame is to discover something. And what's the sign that you've discovered something? You get the name the thing. Even writers of self-help books know this, which is why their hook often is that they've discovered this Entirely New Thing. Yet even the term White Knight Narcissism raises a red flag.

    The articles you have linked are more like blog posts that suggest this phenomenon exists, and they propose extremely vague diagnostic criteria in which a lot of people could find themselves. So in my opinion they blur the distinction between discovery and invention. The writers are open about their methods so it's not like they're trying to hide things. For example, the person writing about Pro-Social NPD talks about how she has patients who seem to have different kinds of narcissism. So this is not an academic study, it's an idea she's exploring, and there's no way to determine whether other psychiatrists would agree that all these people are narcissists in the first place. None of the articles have references that suggest they are discovering rather than inventing.

    Narcissism is one of those words that is used too easily. Someone who is self-centred is not a narcissist. People with emotional issues are often self-centred, yet most of them aren't narcissists. People with NPD more commonly see people as commodities, and have difficulty with empathy. Once they have no use for you, you're gone. I'm not saying that this phenomenon couldn't be real, but certainly these articles aren't convincing enough.

    I mean come on, the criterion "Is seduced by sexual behaviour"?? Yeah, must be something wrong with you. Many of these criteria are extremely common if you have even slightest self-esteem issues, and in my experience most people do. Very few of us grow up unscathed, and we do learn to cope with things, but especially in relationships things always pop up that we don't expect. That's just human. Also this: "Describes a sense of "oneness" with the partner" - this one is also extremely vague, as this kind of description can mean a lot of things. There are unhealthy and healthy ways to cross boundaries.

    In addition, you mention the relationship stuff you went through last year. I went through a difficult relationship several years ago, and it made me question a lot of things about myself. I doubted my own motivation, and I also started to wonder what was wrong with me, why I put up with certain things, was there some attachment style problem etc. That's because I was seeing my whole life through the lens of that relationship for a long time afterwards, and it was difficult to see that many of the unhealthy patterns I fell into were predictable responses to the unhealthy relationship, and not something I had had in previous relationships. So something traumatic can make us temporarily behave like someone with a deeper disorder, and if you're still trying to understand what happened, it can skew your perception. It's good to think about these things and these shocks can maybe make you correct long-term patterns, but there's also need for self-compassion.

    Your question actually leads to the more philosophical question: is true altruism ever possible, if you feel good about helping someone? It's not my area of expertise, and would take this topic elsewhere, but I'd just like to point this out, because it is another complex question dealing with how we define kindness and relationships on a conceptual level, and these articles treat it as if motivations of altruism were simple to define and place in diagnostic criteria.
     
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  3. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    I sometimes remind myself to be more self-interested. It's an excellent strategy for staying out of trouble and focusing on improving my life.

    Relationships are good but they can't be the primary focus or priority. Don't spend all day on your phone or social media waiting for someone to respond.

    It doesn't matter if someone likes you as long as you can run longer distances, lift heavier weights, and excel professionally.

    The only person who can't leave you is yourself.
     
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  4. Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker / ≅ INFP

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    :m055:

    What kind of contribution/feedback are you looking for? Brutal honesty, perspective, etc.?
     
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  5. Vendrah

    Vendrah Regular Poster

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    Perhaps I misunderstood something but Im really getting a vibe against introverts, specially on the first article. This links to a topic somewhere here (I cant find it) that was a talking about how much society devalue introversion and value extroversion and how some introvert traits that are likely good were seem as bad.

    The name "pro-social" kind of gives that impression to me. Also this, specially bold things.

    Im not quite sure if being self-absorbed, even deeply, is exacly a bad thing; It seems that there is a misconception that introverts cant be empathetic, which is, by my personal experience and even some weak stats I have about it, completely untrue. Also, the mention of depression, sensitivity and victmized, plus the use of the word "vulnerable" links to this:

    It seems thats really the case for the vulnerable narcisist, and Im not forcing a plop twist here, I swear! It seems that a sensitive depressive person, perhaps a real victmim of something, in a vulnerability state, is being made as an antagonist.
     
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  6. OP
    Hostarius

    Hostarius Gimme that WOAD

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    That's true, both 'white knight' and 'narcissism' are independently trendy ideas/search terms.

    Like @John K said, though, there's a certain kind of plausibility in these kind of ideas which makes them really insidious. Here Greenberg has taken the core of real psychological features like 'white knight syndrome' and saviour complexes, &c., and shifted it into the territory of narcissism because she's noticed the commonality of self-esteem issues. There's no neurophysical correlate she's working with, no empirical bases, and countervailing features are explained away with 'secondary hypotheses' (Popper) - for example, her 'white knight narcissists' score highly on empathy tests and empathetic behaviours, so she needs to claim that this is merely 'intellectual empathy'. No doubt there are true narcissists who have discovered that an effective means of supply and adoration is to appear saintly, but these types are easily picked up by their private behaviours and in empathy tests.

    As I say, I did some searching of the journal databases to try to find any work on this, and I couldn't. There were some interesting studies I read about heroism and psychopathy, though, investigating a feature called 'dominant bravery' because both people who engage in heroic acts and psychopaths share a certain disinhibition when it came to risk: here again, though, the empirical study found that the 'heroes' actually scored highly on empathy, as we would expect. In other words, 'heroes' aren't simply 'pro-social psychopaths'. However, I could easily see an abusive therapist like Greenberg sitting down with her clients to explain to them that their good deeds are actually features of a defective personality, leveraging her authority to do this. I can imagine that such a thing would be devastating to someone with a high level of social conscience and empathy. That's very troubling.

    Yes.

    The criteria she used are extremely wooly, yeah. Again, Popper would turn in his grave at the lack of falsifiability here.

    I think you're right, though it's often hard to see that from within the bubble of self-blame.

    This is why Kant settled on 'duty' as the only truly motivating principle of morality, since he wanted to eliminate any personal gain from moral acts whatsoever. The result, of course, is a rational morality stripped of all feeling and sentiment - things are done because they're 'right' according to some dispassionate calculus or principle, rather than because of a motivating feeling. Personally, we can't deny that we have some instincts towards altruism imparted by evolution that give us the feel-good molecules, but I don't see why this can't be harnessed in the service of a true ethics. You did a good dead and feel good about it? Great! That's a beautiful quirk of evolution. Even so, I think these instincts must be matched to formal moral frameworks in order to counterbalance their other, less than desirable effects.

    For instance, we've decided that all human beings are equal, and yet our brains will give us more of the sympathy/empathy molecules for the plight of a vulnerable-looking girl than a big scary guy in a similar predicament, despite both probably needing/deserving the same amount of compassion and support. In this case it's important to be aware of this bias and simply to look past it. It's why I'm sometimes suspicious of times when people quickly and easily side with the prima facie 'obvious' victims (as my discussion with Asa shows), because I'm trying to counteract a natural impulse that may nonetheless be morally wrong. It's to say, 'right, who's the ugliest, most unsympathetic motherfucker in this situation? Oh it's that guy with the attitude problem; let's be the only person on his side.'
     
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  7. OP
    Hostarius

    Hostarius Gimme that WOAD

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    They all sound good, Ren.
     
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  8. Sandie33

    Sandie33 Love Often & Absolutely ♡
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    Reading through the thread has caused me to question the 'survivor' of true narcissistic behavior imposed on them by another over a long period of time and others reaction to them.

    My reference is the social view of the 'victim' of narcissistic type abusiveness who has over come the traumatization of the abuse and thus has become stronger and more resiliant because of it. In current main stream these 'victors' are not seen as such, but instead are labelled 'narcissistic', or self-centered themselves by others who are unfamiliar either with the person and their story, or the experience of enduring narcissistic abuse.

    It's known that it takes some narcissistic traits to maintain a healthy sense of confidence and self esteem.
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/narcissism-and-self-esteem-are-very-different/
    There is a vast difference between the two.
    Yes, by god, if one has any sense of self at all!

    No one will infuse it for us. It's quite confusing, if not outright hypocritical, to tell people to go within and find self-soothing and courageous resolve to take the risks needed for maintaining integrity and "doing the right things" in a world where it is not cool and often scoffed at.

    It is not narcissistic to hold one's self in high regard, but rather a great way to reach both the inner and outter goals we set for ourselves, especially pertaining to personal growth. To mend or heal the imprint of early childhood development that left us questioning our self-worth.

    The fool's that trample and misuse others on the path to reaching their goals are the ones that are to be suspect. It's the same song sung over and over again. We can't go back in time and make the agressor, bully, or abuser right our perceived wrongs. But, we can grow into a healthy adulthood and ensure that the link in the chain breaks with us while we treat our self and others with kindness and esteem going forward.

    This is after all how healthy young people build their self-esteem...they weigh up the regard of others, and without healthy injections from outside sources, young people grow into the mindset that using others to pace the way to easy street is how life is done. It is not. The crack is in them never learning the damn difference.

    Intentions and perceptions are the source of conflict in this whole modern narcissistic blame game. We're damn fools when we don't recognize our self-serving ways...even bigger fool's if we don't appreciate the help of others and pause to say a graceful thank you on the way up to the serve.


    ***
    https://www.psycom.net/narcissistic-personality-disorder-test
     
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  9. mintoots

    mintoots hematopoietic

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    If being a white knight helps you to heal and love yourself healthily, is it such a bad thing?

    Also, I mentally said yes to most of what was written on the checklist so I'm probably also a White Knightess
     
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  10. sassafras

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    @Pin, you need to write one of those no nonsense self help books. You are so right.
     
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  11. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Thank you.

    I've kind of just internalized capitalism.
     
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  12. ruji

    ruji Well-known member

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    WATCH ME
     
  13. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    I don't encourage that.
     
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  14. OP
    Hostarius

    Hostarius Gimme that WOAD

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    Yeah I was going to say, good luck lifting heavier weights on your deathbed with that Daniel Plainview philosophy, lol.

    Honestly, I wish I'd have prioritised relationships sooner (and of course I'm not talking principally about romantic relationships).
     
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  15. ruji

    ruji Well-known member

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    I am a damsel in distress. Save me @mintoots
     
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  16. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Oh, I was referring to romantic love. It's not going to save us from a world so wrong.
     
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    #36 Pin, Feb 2, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
  17. OP
    Hostarius

    Hostarius Gimme that WOAD

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    Single bloody-minded focus will get you a single bloody thing you're happy with.

    Don't lose focus on the holos of life or try to divide it into neat 'stages' with single tasks - be open to the opportunities of fulfilling any of the goals you might have at any time. My mistake has been in the phrases 'I don't have time for that' and 'that will come later; this first'.

    Hopefully you'll get where you're going in good time, but be aware of the time.

    That's just my view.
     
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  18. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    You inspired me to walk around and look for people. I walked into this restaurant and started a conversation with this guy I recognized and asked him how his year was going. He told me that it was going fine in a lethargic tone, I told him to get some rest and walked out of the establishment.

    It was a lot like Nietzsche and the horse.
     
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  19. OP
    Hostarius

    Hostarius Gimme that WOAD

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    So I guess you're mentally broken now? Lol

    How's your work going, Pin?
     
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  20. Maikl Jexocuha

    Maikl Jexocuha Space Cowboy
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    What if you're in a situation where you are forced to fight for your own survival but other people are in the way. And the only way you can get from point A to Z out of the mess is to help save others to save yourself? Is that "white Knightism"? Is that narcissistic?
     
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