According to PBS, a new study reveals that wealthier people tend to be more narcissistic than those who are not as well off. Not only do the wealthy feel a greater sense of entitlement to the good things in life, their behavior reflects this inflated view of themselves. Most of us have known narcissists — they are condescending, rude, and not much fun to be around.
As you may recall, throughout the Jodi Arias trial commentators often referred to her as a narcissist. Formally, Arias was diagnosed by a psychiatrist (prosecution’s witness) as having borderline personality disorder. So which is it? Is Arias a narcissist or a borderline?
Many Similarities, One Huge Difference
Narcissists display some of the same obnoxious characteristics that borderline personalities project: over-the-top self absorption, disinterest in the wants and wishes of others, shocking disregard for the “rules” the rest of us follow, lack of empathy — in fact, just looking at the symptomatology of borderlines and narcissists, they appear to be one and the same disorder.
But, there is a subtle yet profound difference: borderlines and narcissists are driven by two very disparate pathological motivators.
According to Borderline Personality Disorder Central, a website devoted to helping those affected by the chaotic world of bps, borderlines have an inordinate fear of abandonment and a limited sense of self ; both are traits that foster a total disregard for the boundaries of others. When they become enmeshed with another person, they have a hard time differentiating themselves from that person. “Where do I end and you begin” is a befuddlement to them. As Jodi Arias did when she converted to Mormonism to chase Travis Alexander, they may change their beliefs to coincide with their object of affection.
Narcissists, on the other hand, truly do think they’re all that. While the borderline has very little sense of self, the narcissist knows exactly who he is. Narcissists are fed by supercharged egos and behave like they’re better than the rest of us because they truly believe they are superior; borderlines mimic this behavior out of overwhelming insecurity.
Bottom line: Narcissists are narcissists and borderlines are narcissist wannabes.