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reverse narcissism

Life is a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors (Eugene O'Neill)

Much has been written on the subject of narcissism: extending beyond personal boundaries and spreading, uncontained, onto someone else's turf; the inability to appreciate others who are viewed as mere extensions of one's self, or mere reflections.

Narcissists are extremely insensitive to others's needs, holding no regard for differences and all but obliterating separateness.  Nobody likes a narcissist!

At the other end of the sepctrum are people so exquisitely sensitive to others's needs (perhaps children of narcissistic parents) that they have no filter for someone else's drama.  This is what I call reverse narcissism: the absorption of someone else's problems as if by osmosis.  Reverse narcissists are so thin-skinned that others' realities can be experienced as intrusive or invasive.

Just as the narcissist can be so tactless and brash you want to put a mute on him, the reverse narcissist…

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