Emotional Toddlers: Narcissists, Borderlines and Psychopaths, Part 1
Since 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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