In my discovery of what NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) actually is in year 2010 I realized that not only was Marian a narcissistic friend but friends of mine for 3 years were in fact showing signs of this awful disorder. Now, after discovering narcissism it seems easy to identify everyone with it because at some point someone will act narcissistic and of course at times we as humans need to be so for self-preservation. The one distinguishing factor for me is the consistency of the narcissism (all the time) rather than situational. And the manner in which they make you feel about yourself through subtle insults. So it was quite unnerving for me when I realized that Don is narcissistic.
Don is married to Lydia and they have two children (boy, 7 – girl, 5) and we hung out with them almost every weekend when we lived in the same town. They moved in the beginning of the year 2010 and lived about 8 hours by car from us. During one visit in the summer of 2010 I realized that Don may in fact be highly narcissistic and I told myself to be cautious…so I spent the next 7 months during our visits with them observing.
I was certain that he was narcissistic from our last visit with them in January of 2011. All his behaviours leading up to this time had reflected narcissism and this one incident, The Pasta Bowl, verified he was a male narcissist. On the first evening we were having dinner with them Don could not join us for dinner as he said he had to take a phone call from his boss during dinner time. My boyfriend who was not there that evening (because we were visiting them while my boyfriend was in town on business) because of a work dinner. So Lydia, the kids, and I ate dinner while Don was in the bedroom talking to his boss. The call lasted for two hours and at this point the kids had gone to bed.
After the phone call Don emerged from the bedroom ready to eat but of course did not go directly into the conversation – as if waiting for us to ask. Lydia prepared him the spaghetti with sauce in a bowl and we sat down at the table as he started to eat (small note, Don sat at the head of the table). He started to speak vaguely about the phone call and Lydia started to probe so that he wouldn’t be so mysterious with his answers. As he started cutting the pasta some of the pasta dropped out of the bowl and it fell on the placemat. When he saw this he said ‘What the f!@k is going on, what kind of F!@king bowl is this?’ in a truly upset, mad voice. I was shocked…few pieces of spaghetti had fallen over…no biggy. Nope, it was a big deal to him. And then when I thought I couldn’t be more shocked – Lydia responded – I will buy the proper Pasta Bowls. And in my head it was my turn to say ‘What the F!@k!’ He had caused the spaghetti to fall over with his aggressive cutting of the pasta…the bowl had too much pasta…the correct response is…Learn how to eat you freakin’ caveman!
So this incident will be forever in my head ingrained as the moment I realized that our friend, Don, was truly narcissistic and that our friend, Lydia, was dealing with it on a daily basis. I left their home with sadness for good friends and sadness that Don had never seen us as friends.