Sean J. Oliver
March 4, 2012
This evening was unlike any of the numerous others that I’ve spent with Drew. If I were to list what to expect after a call from Drew, the list would be identical no matter the scenario. I received todays curse-laden phone call somewhere around 6 o’clock in the morning; Drew’s normal gym time. After hearing how he almost didn’t make it to the gym this morning after last evenings’ events that are far too inappropriate to discuss in further detail, I was invited to an upscale event that his company would be hosting later on tonight. Reluctantly, I agree to meet him at his large, overpriced, over-stylized, over-the-top residence so we could carpool to the event in his newly leased BMW (he never keeps a car for more than a year). I usually opt to take ration the amount of time I spend with Drew in doses, however, I agree for two main reason; the way Drew interacts with human beings is astonishingly efficient and I am certain (in no professional opinion) that my friend is a raging narcissist. It is better I explain the events of this one outing (which is one outing out of hundreds I’ve been a part of) than to list the arbitrary behaviors my friend exhibits. In doing so I hope to also explore whether or not there is a greater underlying factor that can be identified to explain Drew’s behavior or is it purely choice driven.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody's life or to anyone they meet. While this pattern of behavior may be appropriate for a king in 16th Century England, it is generally considered inappropriate for most ordinary people today.
“People with narcissistic personality disorder often display snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes. For example, an individual with this disorder may complain about a clumsy waiter's "rudeness" or "stupidity" or conclude a medical evaluation with a condescending evaluation of the physician (Gorhol, 2010)”.
As I arrive at Drew’s house at our agreed upon time of 8 o’clock I wasn’t shocked to see his car was missing from his driveway. He has always been the type to operate on his own time but expect others to abide by the “if you’re five minutes early you’re on time” rule. Aside from Drew’s constant self-centered, personal congratulatory behavior, one of the most troubling things I’ve noticed (and subsequently become accustomed to) I’ve noticed with him is that he displays blatant disregard for the feelings and agendas of others. Axis II of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) list some of the characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder to include: grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements), preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. Often times feels he or she can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions). Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations. Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends, lack empathy and is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her while showing arrogant behavior (DSM-IV)(Gramzow, 2011)”.
Drew arrives to his home shortly after and we get into his car, attend the function and end our respective nights in our own unique way. Drew links up with a random member of the opposite sex and I go home and tell my girlfriend how Drew linked up with a random member of the...
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