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Thread: E3 + Narcissism

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    Senor Membrae Eugene Watson VIII's Avatar
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    Default E3 + Narcissism

    Edit; replace Narcissism with Narcissistic Personality Disorder where it is appropriate

    So I was curious about enneagram 3 and narcissism. Enneagram 3s are not necessarily narcissistic, but in their lower levels

    Level 5: Become image-conscious, highly concerned with how they are perceived. Begin to package themselves according to the expectations of others and what they need to do to be successful. Pragmatic and efficient, but also premeditated, losing touch with their own feelings beneath a smooth facade. Problems with intimacy, credibility, and "phoniness" emerge.

    Level 6: Want to impress others with their superiority: constantly promoting themselves, making themselves sound better than they really are. Narcissistic, with grandiose, inflated notions about themselves and their talents. Exhibitionistic and seductive, as if saying "Look at me!" Arrogance and contempt for others is a defense against feeling jealous of others and their success.
    narcissism is of course a problem. But how would you be able to tell the differences between the two if said e3 person usually stays on the average levels above? Do narcissists necessarily have something to be narcissistic about?

    Where is the line drawn?

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    Um okay narcissists are insecure; they have an emptiness inside of them that constantly has to be reinforced by the external. One of my ESFJ friends is a 3, and I can handle her at level 4, even level 5, at those levels she's healthy enough to even ADMIT she is "pragmatic and efficient" to the point of trying to avoid her inner self, to avoid the pain of thinking of herself alone, and of past things that hurt her feelings. She's also very conscious of her facade at that point, she puts on the facade, but she will openly talk about how much work she puts in to it. At level 5, she might be shaky, but she's still emotionally present and self-aware enough that she knows what she's doing and why, and she she shows vulnerability and is level.

    Somewhere around level 6 I want to rip her goddamned face off, like I can't even be around her because she's so overbearing and self-absorbed, but fortunately she doesn't *stay* at level 6 for long periods of time unless she's going through tremendous stress.

    My ESFJ ex - male E3 - was similar. There was a point where he was so self-aware, so in touch with himself, but still putting on the show, and coming to me admitting his weakness and vulnerability, and he could even be higher level and totally vulnerable with me I think which was fantastic. But again, around level 6, I hated his guts, like I would do things to try to knock him off of his grandiose projections of himself, he was such a jackass ...and he was so unhealthy I think he went past into levels like 7 and 8 for periods of time, when I actually had to physically remove myself from his presence.

    However, I don't think either of them have true NPD. People with NPD I can't even abide, they're absolutely horrid, they're constantly cruel to other people with seemingly NO self-awareness, and they're just flat out ...ugh. I really have a hard time with NPD versus just showing regular narcissism, as an E3 would. People with NPD are toxic to others because they constantly keep up a wall and aren't capable of being vulnerable to the point of just seeming heartless at times.

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    Senor Membrae Eugene Watson VIII's Avatar
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    I know someone that probably has NPD then. I just wondered how narcissism appears at lower levels for type 3s and so I think you cleared that up a bit. There are definitely lots of similar traits though...for sure. I suppose e3s would have proper connections to other people then, even when they are at the lower levels?

    I agree it's bad. I've found a helpful post about it if you'd like to see it (just NPD)
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    Quote Originally Posted by minutegovt View Post
    I know someone that probably has NPD then. I just wondered how narcissism appears at lower levels for type 3s and so I think you cleared that up a bit. There are definitely lots of similar traits though...for sure. I suppose e3s would have proper connections to other people then, even when they are at the lower levels?

    I agree it's bad. I've found a helpful post about it if you'd like to see it (just NPD)
    Unhealthy E3s still acknowledge a need for other people I think and show vulnerability and are capable of real empathy.

    One of the defining traits of NPD is a lack of empathy, or very little empathy. Truly plastic, shallow people who not only need and create an image, but think they ARE their image...most people will think of CEOs with flashy cars and wives or girlfriends 20-30 years younger they use as trophies while their ex-wife struggles to support his abandoned children on welfare, but even "little people" can have NPD, and you can tell by their lack of empathy.

    Both of my ESFJ 3s are actually pretty empathetic and sensitive and needy and cry openly over things, etc. My female friend, she does annoying things like favor her dog over the other dogs, which I think is pointless and cruel but that would be an unhealthy E3 narcissistic trait of giving her dog special treatment, big bones and fluffy pillows, while the other dogs get shoved outside, or openly saying her dog is the best to her daughter, weird stuff like that, narcissism by extension...but the truth is she feels sorry for all animals, even the pregnant cat though she's allergic to cats, she rushed to make a bed and safe place for kitty, and said oh no we can't let her be, look how nervous she is. So yeah...does little annoying things that I see as narcissistic, but overall really a trusting person with a good heart.

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    Like any disorder, I wouldn't describe it as an "it is or it ain't" thing.

    Really narcissistic people can become outright sociopathic. They may at least alienate the folks around them, which is probably exactly the opposite of what they're going for.

    It's a negative trait (or full-blown disorder) to the extent that it negatively impacts a person and the people around him. Otherwise, it's just a .. nuance in his personality.

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    Senor Membrae Eugene Watson VIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    Like any disorder, I wouldn't describe it as an "it is or it ain't" thing.

    Really narcissistic people can become outright sociopathic. They may at least alienate the folks around them, which is probably exactly the opposite of what they're going for.

    It's a negative trait (or full-blown disorder) to the extent that it negatively impacts a person and the people around him. Otherwise, it's just a .. nuance in his personality.
    Thanks, that made things clearer now. the stuff in bold I should of thought about to begin with too
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    Blind Guardian Haven's Avatar
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    @Marmotini

    These 3s you talk about sound a lot like 2s imo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haven View Post
    @Marmotini

    These 3s you talk about sound a lot like 2s imo.
    No, 3w2, not 2w3. The image is paramount with both of them. I'm especially sure with my ESFJ ex (the male I mentioned) because I honestly wavered between 3w2 and 3w4 for him, he's a three all the way, while the ESFJ female definitely has some more "others centered" obvious tendencies, if you'd meet her, you'd understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    No, 3w2, not 2w3. The image is paramount with both of them. I'm especially sure with my ESFJ ex (the male I mentioned) because I honestly wavered between 3w2 and 3w4 for him, he's a three all the way, while the ESFJ female definitely has some more "others centered" obvious tendencies, if you'd meet her, you'd understand.
    Maybe it's one of my blind spots. I think my boss is a ESFJ 3w2 now that I think about it, thought I just kinda assumed she was a 2. There's something fundamentally different about how we think people should be treated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haven View Post
    Maybe it's one of my blind spots. I think my boss is a ESFJ 3w2 now that I think about it, thought I just kinda assumed she was a 2. There's something fundamentally different about how we think people should be treated.
    3s fear being worthless and want to be valuable. 2s fear being unloved, and want to be loved. 2s are martyrs or co-dependents, 3s are "human doings" or narcissistic (as their weaknesses for each type) ...3s have more flash, they're more concerned with either image or achievement (or both). 2s concern themselves with doing for others to be loved and needed. 3s concern themselves with doing *things* to either achieve or create a positive image. 2s may be intrusive, 3s may be overbearing.

    My ESFJ exes mom was a 2, jesus. She was always pulling the doormat card, and was always buying gifts for other people. She prided herself on building a nurturing and clean home, and could be needy to the point of getting jealous of my relationship with her son, she wanted to be included. She didn't want to share him, or if we did share him, then we all should hang out and be friends. It weirded me out at some points. Her issues were different than her sons. Respectively, she was a 2w3 and he was a 3w2. They were similar people in some ways, but in others TREMENDOUSLY DIFFERENT.

    He was more concerned with the way he looked, with being impressive and charming, with being the best at collecting knowledge of cult horror cinema and underground world film. He was showy and pretentious about his achievement, he seemed to fear inadequacy if he didn't, like what he had to give was being good looking, charming, and showing other people awesome movies. But he did it with a sense of smug superiority about his taste in film rather than his mother who was more like "here's a cake I baked, I hope you like it, but more importantly, please like me."

    Good call on saying both of my ESFJs were 3w2 though, I agree they both have a 2 wing. The 50 yo ESFJ female is very vain about her appearance, started her own business in her early 40's, likes to talk about how her parents used to be wealthy, and deeply enjoys being right. Although she is nurturing, she is much more 3 than 2. I believe relationships are deeply important to her, for sure, but it is of lifelong paramount importance that she is also fabulous or special.

    Now, 3s don't want to be "special" like 4s i.e. "weird." They want to look good to a larger audience. They both want to stand out, but 3s seem to want to stand out in a way that might be more palatable or impressive to a group, rather than saying "this is me, I'm so creative and unique, deal with it."

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