Since their feelings of superiority are typically “bloated” versions of the truth, most narcs – male and female – spend a lot of time focusing on reinforcing their fragile self-perceptions – and that leads to their various forms of manipulation.
I read about a study awhile back that offered a few key findings about the major differences between male and female narcs, and in my own experience, a lot of the findings were true.
So, to begin with, men will often use a lot of force, directly or indirectly, to sort of “assert” themselves and their superiority over others, while women who are narcissists will take a different form – usually a bit more of narcissistic injury or even seduction.
Some of the interesting findings included these key differences.
Male narcissists, but not female narcissists, will use a face-saving tactic called “self-handicapping.”
This is defined as “a course of action to protect or enhance one’s self-evaluation in the fae of an evaluation threat.”
In layman’s terms, that means that male narcs try to appear confident, but if they fear they will fail, they will “self-handicap” to avoid having to perform at all – they use this tactic to avoid feeling or seeming incompetent.
According to the study authors, this kind of manipulation is directly connected to a “failure in empathic responding by the mother, resulting in both males and females developing a deficient internalized structure of self. Strategies developed to compensate for it may take on different forms in the males and female.”
For example, the authors added, “mothers may be responding to boys as a significant other figure (e.g. husband), but to girls as an extension of self. As a result, each gender uses different psychological resources to cope with the same deficient internalized structure of self.”
Also from the study:
“Male narcissists tend to make excessive efforts to assert their superiority over others. This behavior, to explicitly dominate and otherwise behave in line with their self-interests, is socially acceptable for males in much of western society. However, such behavior by females would reap fewer benefits. They endeavor to achieve their narcissistic goals through more subtle, indirect, and affiliative means that conform with expectations of their sex role and the pressure of different social constraints.”
Other points of note:
Female narcissists will use their bodies to get what they want, in many cases, and this includes their sexuality.
Female narcissists are more likely to have an eating disorder than male narcisssists.
Female narcs are more likely to have issues with getting older, especially when they use their bodies or sexuality to get what they want.
Female narcissists are more likely to secure their supply sources at home by controlling her family directly and using guilt to help secure her control.
Female narcissists tend to be less openly over-confident than male narcs, who get much of their over-inflated confidence from inside their own heads – but females are more likely to take secret pleasure in their own perceived superiority over others.
Female narcissists are more likely to spend money frivolously while males are more likely to believe that money gives them power, control, status and related conditions. (Neither concerns himself/herself with shame or remorse, of course).
While both female and male narcs are known to cheat, males are more likely to be serial adulterers. Females are more likely to idealize a guy and then emasculate him when they get him under their “spell.” In both cases, the more their partners give, the more they want and take from them – it’s an insatiable need for supply.
Male narcs often see their kids as mostly a pain in the ass, as well as competition for the attention of their main forms of narcissistic supply (generally their wives and mothers), while females see the kids as an extension of themselves, even well into adulthood. So when the kid does good things, narc moms take credit – and when they do things that mom doesn’t like, a narc mom will take it very personally.
Male narcissists are likely to treat other men as rivals or competition, while females are more likely to go nose-to-nose with other women in a more underhanded way (which often resembles “friendship” to the untrained eye).
While this list isn’t all-encompassing, it does offer you a general overview of both male and female narcissists and their various differences in behaviors.
What do you think? Have your experiences been similar? What would you add? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below.
How do you feel about your doctor? If you’ve ever felt uneasy or like you don’t matter to your physician, you know that sometimes it’s just not a good fit.
But your health is literally the most important commodity you have. If you expect to get proper medical care and learn how to follow through on your doctor’s recommendations, you’ve got to have open lines of communication, and you need to find a doc who has the kind of “bedside manner” that works best for you.
Of course, that’s not always as easy as it sounds.
What’s New in Primary Care Visits?
Across the board, cuts are routinely made in order to service more patients with less resources. These days, your time with your doc is precious – she’ll probably see you for 15 minutes or less, and electronic records are replacing some of the discussion that used to occur face to face.
On top of that, there may be strong emotions and embarrassment that go along with any disturbing symptoms, especially if you’re not really comfortable saying what you need to say to this person.
As a patient, you can and should learn to talk with your doctor more effectively – especially if you want to take the best possible care of yourself (and you DO, trust me!).
With that in mind, try these suggestions for choosing a physician you’ll feel comfortable with, and with whom you can easily communicate.
How to Choose the Best Doctor for You – 4 Essential Tips
1. Check social media. Take a look at your doctor’s Twitter feed or Facebook page for a preview that may suggest their personality and approach. Many health professionals use social media to educate their patients and answer common questions.
2. Evaluate online ratings. Internet services are now rating pediatricians as well as restaurants, and the criteria usually includes being friendly and easy to talk with. Just remember that these are opinions rather than facts. You may want to consult additional sources like referrals from friends and other health care providers.
3. Focus on the team. Pay attention to how your doctor interacts with colleagues as well as you. Some studies suggest that up to 80% of serious medical errors are caused by miscommunications between caregivers.
4. Take action. Most of all look for a physician who encourages your engagement. Do they speak with you respectfully and value your input?
9 Necessary Notes on Communicating with Your Doctor
1. Set priorities. Given how short doctor visits are today, ensure you squeeze in the main issues before you leave. Focus on your back pain instead of trying to deal with a whole laundry list of experiences.
2. Volunteer information. Your doctor may be as hesitant as you to bring up sensitive subjects like losing weight or quitting smoking. Share any details that could be relevant to receiving the treatment you need.
3. Ask questions. More than 65% of medical schools now teach communications, but some practitioners still tend to speak in lectures. Asking questions creates a discussion and clarifies your concerns.
4. Sum it up. Restating what your doctor said is an effective way to show whether you really understood each other. Try giving a quick recap before you walk out the door.
5. Start a journal. Keeping a journal can help you to think straight when you’re dealing with complicated medical information and strong emotions. Write down your symptoms and any events you want to talk about.
6. Take notes. Jot down what your doctor tells you. Use a notepad or your phone. Some practitioners may even let you record the sessions.
7. Accept uncertainty. Encourage your doctor to be candid by letting them know that you can handle the truth. You may be able to avoid unnecessary tests and prescriptions that are unlikely to provide clear cut answers or significant relief.
8. Discuss risks. Most procedures have risks as well as benefits. Be polite but firm about needing to hear the full picture.
9. Bring support. If you’re nervous about going to the doctor’s office alone, take along someone you trust like your spouse or a friend. Patient advocates can also facilitate discussions between you and your doctor. Your employer may have an employee assistance program or you can contact groups like the American Cancer Society.
Skillful communications can turn you into an engaged patient who makes sound health decisions for you and your family. When you’re knowledgeable, assertive, and courteous, you help your doctor to provide you with the best quality care possible.
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