The Narcissistic Dictionary: Terms That Describe Narcissistic Behaviors

The Narcissistic Dictionary: Terms That Describe Narcissistic Behaviors


NPD Meaning:

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 mischaracterizations of past events to avoid being wrong or having to take responsibility for something.

Related: Therapy for Narcissistic Personality Disorder(NPD) and Narcissists


8. The Narcissistic Family System: The Golden Child & The Scapegoat

In families led by a powerful parent with a narcissistic personality disorder, the children in the family are sometimes assigned specific roles and are treated quite differently from each other. This is because people with narcissistic personality disorder lack whole object relations and cannot see their children realistically as having a blend of both good and bad traits. One child may become the recipient of the narcissistic parent’s all-good projections and is seen as perfect, while one or more of the other children may be seen as all-bad. In some families, these roles are reassigned according to whoever is the parent’s favorite that day. This sometimes fosters competition among the children to please the parent and be seen as the good one.

Read on to know Why Family Scapegoats Become Lifelong Victims


a) 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.


b) The Scapegoat:

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.


Example: Perry the Scapegoat.

In Perry’s family, his brother David is the anointed golden child, while he is the perpetual scapegoat. When David hurt his hand while maliciously breaking one of Perry’s favorite toys, their narcissistic mother blamed Perry. “See what you did! It is your fault that your brother hurt his hand. What did you do to him?”

Related: The Golden Child: How They Are Created In A Narcissistic Family


What other terms do you know that best describe Narcissistic Behaviors? Leave a comment below.

Related video on narcissistic behaviors

Written by Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D.
Originally appeared in Psychology Today

The Narcissistic Dictionary: Terms That Describe Narcissistic Behaviors

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