Internationally renvery own Gestalt treatment trainer Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D, writer, “Borderline, Narcissistic, and also Schizoid Adaptations: The Pursuit of Love, Admiration and Safety”


Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D., CGP, is an worldwide renown Gestalt therapy trainer who specializes in teaching the diagnosis and treatment of Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid adaptations — in a profoundly useful, handy method.

You are watching: Borderline, narcissistic, and schizoid adaptations: the pursuit of love, admiration, and safety

A client-centered strategy to psychotreatment, Gestalt therapy helps clients emphasis on the present and also understand also what is really happening in their resides appropriate currently, fairly than what they might perceive to be happening based on past suffer, she defines.

“Instead of simply talking around past cases, clients are urged to endure them, maybe via re-enactment. Through the gestalt process, clients learn to end up being more mindful of how their very own negative believed patterns and actions are blocking true self-awareness and also making them unhappy.”

In enhancement to her exclusive practice, Dr. Greenberg has been the Associate Editor of Gestalt Review, a faculty member of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy, and on the faculty of the Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and also Training. There, she designed and also teaches a post-graduate regime on the diagnosis and treatment of borderline, narcissistic, and schizoid adaptations. Dr. Greenberg has trained psychotherapists throughout the US, Normeans, Sweden, Wales, England, Russia, and also Mexico.

Dr. Greenberg is a graduate and also formerly a faculty member of “The Masterchild Institute,” a post-graduate training institute that teaches a psychoanalytically oriented developpsychological, self, and object connections approach to the concept and therapy of personality disorders. She is likewise a certified Ericksonian hypnotherapist, and is on the National Regisattempt for Certified Group Psychotherapists.

She additionally takes her expertise to the masses, by explaining the details of borderline, narcissistic, and also schizoid adaptations to readers of She has been called a Top Writer for 2017 and 2018.

Dr. Greenberg’s book, Borderline, Narcissistic, and also Schizoid Adaptations: The Pursuit of Love, Admiration and also Safety, is the topic of our podactors interview for our brand-new Truly Amazing Womales book series — “Why Divorce: 5 Reasons to Leave,” by Inkandescent™ founder, Hope Katz Gibbs.

“What is fascinating about Dr. Greenberg’s book is that it not only demystifies the diagnosis and also treatment of personality disorders for therapists, it offers understanding to the layperboy who may be struggling via among these disorders — or in a relationship via someone that has actually gone undiagnosed,” believes Gibbs.

reframes these disorders as adaptations, and also then describes the treatment interventions that occupational finest for each type of adaptation.Later chapters define exactly how to perform particular interventions that resolve generally encountered therapy concerns such as: such as:How to unexecute a Narcissistic shame-based self-hating depressionHow to judge a Schizoid client’s feeling of interpersonal safety and security from their dreamsHow to assist Borderline clients reach their goalsEach kind of treatment is described in information, ample clinical examples are offered, as is exactly how and also as soon as to make use of the method in the client’s treatment.

Stay tuned for the intercheck out, coming shortly to the “Why Divorce” radio present on the Inkandescent Radio Netoccupational. 

For now, learn more about Dr. Greenberg and her work-related in this short article publiburned in Psychology Today, entitled,“How the 3 Types of Narcissists Act on a First Date.”

As you’ll find, you can discover if you are sitting across from a narcissists on your first day, and glean insightful indevelopment on just how he/she will certainly act in a connection. Scroll down for more.

How the 3 Types of Narcissists Act on a First Date

You have the right to predict just how narcissists will certainly act in a partnership from your initially day.

By Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D

When you say the word “narcissist,” the majority of people automatically image an outgoing, extrovertedperboy that appears supremely self-confident and also automatically takes center stage at eexceptionally gathering. While this is an apt if brief summary of the habits of a typical exhibitionist narcissist that is feeling grandiose, it leaves out many type of various other world that also have narcissisticdisorders.

I have discovered it helpful to divide Narcissistic Personality Disorderinto 3 primary subforms — exhibitionist, closet, and also toxic. Some thinkers provide them different names, or they might define fewer or more kinds of narcissists. The ones that I speak to toxic narcissists, others might call malignantnarcissists, or they might explain all non-exhibitionists as covertnarcissists. Putting the names aside, the easiest means to recognize which subgroup you are handling is by paying cshed attentionto how they choose to get their narcissistic provides. In brief:

Exhibitionist Narcissists:Want to be admired.Clocollection Narcissists: Want to be linked via someone whom they admire.Toxic Narcissists:Want to conquer and also make the various other perboy feel worthless.

Why is it necessary to acknowledge which subteam a narcissist belongs in?

If you find yourself in a connection through anyone that has actually Narcissistic PersonalityDisorder, you should understand precisely what you are acquiring right into, and also just how it is most likely to affect your relationship. You can gain some basic indevelopment by simply recognizing that they have narcissistic issues:

Self-focused.Ultra-sensitive to regarded slights.Easily angered.Devaluing.Highly status conscious.

All of this provides it challenging for world via Narcissistic Personality Disorder to sustain secure, intimate, and loving relationships.

If we take the over information a action further and also kind narcissists into the three fundamental subteams, this provides us also even more information about just how they are most likely to react in intimate relationships.

You may have remained in a partnership with a narcissist without realizing it.

Each of the 3 narcissistic groups has actually their very own typical partnership pattern. Since there has actually been so much emphasis on the exhibitionist narcissist, many kind of people carry out not realize that any kind of various other kind of narcissistic disorder exists. This implies that you could be with a non-exhibitionist narcissist for years without realizing it.

When things go badly wrong, and also a partner’s narcissistic traits are all of a sudden more noticeable, human being ask me: “Is it feasible that my husband (or wife) unexpectedly ended up being a narcissist after all these years?” The answer is no; Narcissistic Personality Disorder is developed in childhoodand also diagnosable by early adulthood. You simply did not acknowledge the signs till now.

Why is their narcissism even more noticeable now? It usually transforms out that some life crisis has actually intimidated the narcissistic spouse’s self-esteem. In their attempt to cope with this challenge, the perkid has actually raised their use of narcissistic defenses. This has actually currently made these defensive habits much even more evident.

This suggests that it is very most likely that your partner’s narcissistic challenges and also coping tactics have actually been creating difficulties in your connection the totality time you have actually been together. You simply did not understand also that this was the concern. Once you understand what to look for, you will probably be able to see exactly how your mate’s narcissistic sensitivities may have actually played a function in many kind of of the fights and also misunderstandings the 2 of you have actually had over the years.

The three narcissistic subteams and their ideologies to relationships

Below is a brief introduction to the 3 major subtypes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and some examples of exactly how they could act on an initial date. How they act on that date can provide helpful information about just how they would behave in an recurring connection, need to one construct. The distinction is that on a first date, they are placing their ideal foot forward. If you execute not choose their actions then, you are also less likely to reap their firm in the future, once they are taking you for granted and not trying so hard.

Narcissists are normally fairly overt when it comes to demonstrating their relationship style, because they are not typically conscious of what their actions say around them. They additionally tfinish to repeat the same partnership trends over and also over aacquire. You are usually safe in assuming that if they do it with you on a very first day, they have actually done it prior to — and will certainly carry out it again.

1. Exhibitionist Narcissists

This is the team of human being who pertained to mind once many human being hear the word “narcissist.” They prefer to be the center of admiring attention. They tfinish to dominate conversations, feel entitled to one-of-a-kind therapy, act supremely confident, and also reap telling stories and offering advice. When they feel insecure, they use what I contact the “GOD Defense,” for Grandiose, Omnipotent, and also Devaluing.

The GOD Defense is my shorthand also way of describing the defensive, unrealistically perfect facade that exhibitionist narcissists attempt to construct to hide their very own self-doubt. Instead of presenting themselves as normal human beings via assorted talents and also flaws, they insist that they are special, perfect, understand whatever, and also are constantly appropriate. They additionally suppose everyone roughly them to agree with their suggest of see. In their mind, they are “above,” and also everyone other than a select few are “below” them.

Due to the fact that this arrogant posture is a thin, conveniently pierced façade and also not exactly how they really feel inside, it is quickly disrupted. This renders exhibitionist narcissists hypersensitive to also minor slights. They are quick to gain angry and prepared to fight over things that the majority of people can not even notification. They deserve to likewise be quite cruel, because they lack emotional empathy.

When they are not bragging about their very own success or informing stories in which they play a heroic or starring duty, they are busy devaluing anyone who disagrees with them. They may cruelly mock someone who is within hearing distance: “Boy, does she look fat in that dress!” or “I can’t think exactly how stupid our waiter is.” They tfinish to be oblivious to various other people’s genuine reactions to their perspectives and also habits. They are so blinded by their own defenses that they assume everyone either agrees through them or thinks that what they are saying is amusing.

Ted and Sue on a date

Ted, an exhibitionist narcissist businessmale, went on a first day through an attrenergetic woguy, Sue, whom he met with a datingwebsite. Here is just how each explained their date later on.

Ted: “I really impressed her! I told her around how many kind of essential people I recognize, and I took her to a sophisticated restaurant, and I ordered a fabulous dinner for her and also decided a wonderful wine that she had never before tasted prior to. I can’t wait for the next date. And she is hot; next time we will finish up at my apartment for the night.”

Sue:“Boy, that was a wasted evening. My date was so obnoxious. All he did was talk around himself. He didn’t ask one question around me. Then he insisted on ordering a steak dinner and also red wine for me over my protests. I never before eat red meat, and the salmon really looked great. I wanted to try this peach and also vodka cocktail, however he insisted on this ‘special’ wine rather. That was just how it was all night. Everypoint was what hewanted. If he ever before messages or calls me aacquire, I won’t pick up.”

Basic exhibitionist narcissist connection style:Insensitive and also bossy. They intend whomever they are with to admire and also agree with them around every little thing. Disagreement is viewed as criticism and is met with dtestimonial They need constant reassurance that they are distinct, perfect, and also always ideal.

2. Closet Narcissists

Unchoose exhibitionist narcissists, closet narcissists are uncomfortable once the spotlight is directly on them. They desire to be “unique,” however they are conflicted. They have usually been trained since childhood that they will certainly be attacked if they openly display screen themselves for admiration. They regularly have had an exhibitionist narcissist parent that devalued them, because he or she observed them as competition. They were only rewarded via praise for admiring their exhibitionistic parent. Their very own narcissistic grandiosity was squaburned or was deeply buried in their personality.

In general, closet narcissists tend to be even more insecure than exhibitionist narcissists. They feel also exposed and fragile to reap being the facility of admiring attention. They are afrhelp that other people will watch all their fregulations and also assault and also devalue them the method that their narcissistic parent did. Instead they discover means to connect themselves to human being, causes, faiths, and also various other points that they admire and consider distinct. They then feel special by association.

They perform not say, I am one-of-a-kind, admire me! They do say, This is perfect and distinct. You need to admire (my religion, my lover, my college, this book, etc.)!

Instead of being openly demanding, clocollection narcissists periodically try to manipulate the instance to gain their way indirectly. They might play the victim and also use your pity to guide you to perform what they want. They often pretfinish to be a lot nicer than they really feel inside.

Many kind of civilization through closet Narcissistic Personality Disorder enable themselves to be provided by their more confident friends. They live for the praise that they hope to gain by functioning hard for the people, causes, and also groups that they admire. Tbelow is a song in the movie Beaches dubbed “The Wind Beneath My Wings” that beauticompletely describes the form of appreciation many closet narcissists dream around getting from the world that they idealize.

Ted and Lara on a date

Ted is the exhibitionist narcissist that we met in my previously instance via Sue. Now he is out on a first date through Lara, who has a closet Narcissist Disorder. Here they are each describing the date later.

Ted:He states specifically the same thing as he did about his day with Sue because he repeats basically the exact same initially day with eincredibly new womale. For exhibitionist narcissists, woguys are basically interchangeable, as long as they serve the very same function for him: “I really impressed her! I told her about how many vital civilization I know, and also I took her to a fancy restaurant, and I ordered a fabulous dinner for her and decided a terrific wine that she had never before tasted prior to. I can’t wait for the next day. And she is hot; following time we will finish up at my apartment for the night.”

Lara:“Ted is so wonderful! I can’t think he desires me. He is so masterful! I love that he took charge and ordered for me. How did he understand that I love steak and also a good red wine? He is so perceptive.”

As a closet narcissist, Lara looks as much as Ted and idealizes him for the specific same features Sue discovered obnoxious. Lara misunderstands Ted. Unchoose Sue, who easily realized just how selfish he was being by ordering for her, Lara mistakes his selfishness for confidenceand idealizes him for it.

Clocollection narcissist basic partnership style:They choose someone whom they have the right to idealize as perfect and distinct. They bask in this person’s reflected glory. They imagine that some of this specialness will certainly rub off on them. They treasure the small bits of approval that they acquire from whomever before they idealize. They frequently form relationships through exhibitionist narcissists, because they mistake their protective grandiosity for true self-confidence.

3. Toxic Narcissists

Toxic narcissists are not satisfied by being the facility of attention; they desire complete prominence and also for others to submit. They usually have actually a sadistic streak and gain hurting other world. They want you to obey and also fearthem.

Some are what I think of as “failed exhibitionists.” They are angry and also bitter that they have not been able to live as much as their unrealistic fantasiesof limitless success. They envyanyone that has what they desire. They have offered up on being a constructive pressure in the civilization and are now greatly intent on thwarting various other people’s happiness.

Their poisonous intent is extremely noticeable once they existing in an overt form, such as the classroom bullywho terrorizes the weakest kids, or the boss who angrily deworths a different perboy every day in front of the whole team: “You screwed up again! Are you an idiot? Or did you decide to gain yourself fired this particular day bereason you are also lazy to work?”

Toxic narcissists have the right to additionally existing more secretly, such as your seemingly “sweet old aunt,” that always manperiods to ask you embarrassing inquiries that make you squirm in front of the whole family: “Why are you so fat? Neither of your parentswere fat as children.” Or, “Such a shame that you lost your jobagain! How many type of have actually you lost? Why can’t a bbest girl prefer you keep a job?”

Ted and Mona

Ted, the exhibitionist narcissist, has actually an initial date via Mona, a toxic narcissist. Ted tried to perform his usual first day plan. Here is just how the evening went.

Ted:“Let me order for you. I know you will love it.”

Mona:(After taking a couple of bites of the steak and also a sip of the wine.) “It is such a shame that really prime beef is no longer easily accessible, and they pass off meat like this as prime. Please don’t feel bad. You are not alone. Many human being don’t know better, bereason they have never before tasted the genuine thing! This wine is not bad. I check out why you can choose it. It is better than many.”

As you deserve to see, Mona, the toxic narcissist, easily asserts her prominence over Ted, the exhibitionist narcissist. She neatly ruins any pleasure Ted might have actually felt in providing this meal. According to Mona, she is the actual skilled on steak and wine, and bad Ted is ssuggest provided to an inferior grade of both and also does not know any better. What is really happening is that Mona is devaluing Ted.

Toxic narcissist standard relationship style:Their goal is to establish themselves as better than you and also make you feel inferior and also inadequate. Life through them is one long putdown. You will certainly never before please them, and they will never praise you. Any self-confidence that you entered the connection with is most likely to obtain eroded and also reput via self-doubt.

Devaluation and also Narcissistic Personality Disorder

All narcissists will deworth various other civilization to support their own self-esteem. By deworth, I expect that they will certainly say insulting things that are designed to make someone else feel worthless. The 3 forms of narcissists differ, however, in whom they devalue, how regularly they deworth, and once they deworth.

Exhibitionist Narcissists:Exhibitionist narcissists will certainly openly deworth various other people whenever before they cannot get the admiration that they crave, or as soon as they feel criticized. In general, they will certainly not deworth people that they think about over them on the standing totem pole — only those who are completing with them, or that are plainly listed below them.

The exhibitionist narcissist’s use of devaluation occasionally leads untrained people to mistake exhibitionist narcissists for toxic narcissists. As you deserve to check out from the over examples, Ted the exhibitionist narcissist started by actively seeking his dates’ admiration, while Mona the toxic narcissist began by devaluing Ted.

Closet Narcissists:Clocollection narcissists are more likely to deworth themselves than various other world. They are constantly apologizing. If they do devalue various other world, it is likely to be behind their back or take the create of coldly withdrawing. They are more likely to openly express envy than to publicly insult or beprice another person.

Toxic Narcissists:Toxic narcissists choose to check out other people squirm in embarrassment. They additionally like to knock people off stride. They regularly start an interactivity by placing the various other perkid down in some means, as Mona did through Ted. They may do this subtly, or they may be bluntly and also openly devaluing. Unfavor the exhibitionist narcissists, who typically initially display themselves for admiration and only resort to dtestimonial when that is not working well, toxic narcissists lead through dreview. They primarily favor being feared to being admired — or they might equate the two things.

See more: Name A Word Or Phrase Used To Start A Toast : Advanced Strategies


Narcissists are not all achoose, but all usage other civilization to aid regulate their self-esteem. If you are in a connection with a narcissist, it can be useful to identify their subkind, what they are searching for from you, and also what this means in regards to just how you are likely to be treated. Depfinishing on your inner resources and choices, you can discover one kind of narcissist tolerable as a partner, while one more form could literally drive you insane.