Home > Uncategorized > Emotional Toddlers: Narcissists, Borderlines and Psychopaths, Part 1

Emotional Toddlers: Narcissists, Borderlines and Psychopaths, Part 1

emotional-toddlerSince beginning Shrink4Men in 2009, I’ve frequently referred to narcissists, borderlines, psychopaths, histrionics and sociopaths as children in adult bodies or emotional toddlers. That’s because they frequently think and act much younger than their physical age. In other words, they exhibit a persistent and chronic lifelong pattern of emotional and psychological immaturity.

You can’t have an adult relationship with a child nor can you have a functional adult relationship with a child in an adult’s body. Individuals with these characterological deficits simply lack the capacity to build stable adult relationships.

Sure, they might have friendships that go back 10 years or more, but consider the nature of the friendships. These friends aren’t friends, they’re useful tools. And that’s what you are to your narcissist or psychopath — a useful tool. Until you’re not. Then you’ll be devalued, discarded and replaced.

If you’re the adult child of a narcissist or borderline, you were probably parentified as a child. You grow up fast when you have a personality disordered parent. You have to — mommy or daddy needs you to take care of them. In which case, you probably developed some codependent caretaker traits and have chosen adult partners who are just as emotionally and psychologically underdeveloped as your parent(s).


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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. August 30, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    This hits home in the worse way possible. My 44 year wife has the emotional maturity of a 4 year old. I actually find my conversations with my 20 year old son’s girlfriend more stimulating than with my wife. The cluster B’s are truly whats wrong with the world. Imagine a world where they all live together on island ( continent ) , with no way out or in for that matter. One can dream I suppose ..

  2. Lisa
    March 2, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Very true. Nice job! So many critical lessons are learned from being the child of a narcissist. It’s a long, winding and painful road akin to being in the valley of the shadow of death. It took me until age 52 to extract all the life lessons and come out the other side. But I accept the necessity of it all in building character and maturity . It’s not sufficient just to read case studies about these types of individuals. Living though different nuances and variations on the theme is necessary to internalize the lessons. The best advice I can give to people going through it is to not get overly caught up in self-pity and blaming. Learn your lessons, develop a strong character and move on.

  3. John
    February 14, 2017 at 5:39 am

    There would appear to be a continuum between the simply narcissist and the psychopath – the latter being a more extreme pathology. The best way to deal with them is martial Chi Gong or simple avoidance.

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