How to Deal with a Narcissistic Personality
The Legend of Narcissis in Greek Mythology
Have you had encounters with people with Narcissistic Personality Disorders?
What is your experience with personality disorders?
It's all about me!
There are several definitions for Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In a nutshell, Narcissitic Personality Disorder is a when the individual displays extreme patterns of self-importance. They generally have a sense of entitlement and do not have empathy for others. Personality disorders can start at a very young age and can persist through their lifetime. They can be difficult to diagnose but the American Psychiatric Association (APA) does have clear criterian for health care providers to follow.
While there is much to say and write about diagnosis and the stigma from them in general, this article is about dealing with Narcissistic Personality Disorder in someone you care about. Probably at this point, you may be thinking, Why do I have to deal with them at all? Truthfully, if this person doesn't play a significant role in your life, you don't. But, what if it is your sibling, your parent, your child? What if you don't have the luxury of walking away? This article will be talking about what we can do when we can't walk away.
The beautiful Narcissis Flower.
The author of this hub has worked with high school students with multiple personality disorders for 15 years. In addition, and more to the point, the author has a close family relative who has been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality disorder since the age of 16. She has struggled with feelings of inadequacy, frustration and hurt coupled with extreme love.
"I don't care what you think unless it is about me."~Kurt Cobane
Fictional Personalities with Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Famous People with Narcissistic Personality Traits
Lee Harvey Oswald
How to deal with a Narcissistic Loved One
There are several key things to keep in mind.
- Most Narcissistic people do not have true empathy for others. However, if it suits them or helps them achieve their goals, they will emulate empathy.
- When a Narcissistic person cares for you, they will try to consider your feelings. They will, more likely, consider how your feelings will affect them.
- Try to remember, they are giiving what they are capable of giving. You are not going to change them.
- You will never win an argument with a Narcissist. You may think you have won, but if you go back and rehash it, they are clearly the victor!
- Narcissistic people can be fun and loving but at the same time, very frustrating and hurtful.
What is the Difference between Narcissistic Personality Disorder and a Narcissistic Trait?
It is important to know the difference between a personality trait and a personality disorder. Narcissistic Personality disorde is one of ten personality disorders cited by the American Psychiatric's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM.) It is characterized by an inflated sense of self importance and entitlement. Because of their extreme self involvement, it is harder for them to find empathy for others.
Someone can have a narcissistic personality without having a disorder. Babies and young children tend to be narcissistic because it takes time for their world to expand beyond just themselves. There are also many people who just feel that they know more, look better and are way more creative and talented. Their confidence and surety does not mean that they suffer from a personality disorder. It simply means that they are proud of who they are.
What to do if you suspect someone you care about has a narcissistic Personality Disorder
Step one would be to seek professional help. Keep notes and document the things that prompted you to make the call. Do not think of anything as insignificant. The professionals have certain signs that they are looking for and know certain traits that will help them in diagnosing a mental illness.
Keep several things in mind:
- People who have personality disorders may have more than one.
- Several disorders share traits.
- Your loved one may not be forthcoming in counsreling sessions.
- A diagmnosis may take a long time coming.
- A diagnosis may not come at all if the person does not have enough of the traits.
If there is no diagnosis, it does not mean that your loved one cannot be treated. It simply means that there is no definitive disorder written in their charts. Continue or start to go to therapy, regardless. Something brought you to this conclusion and it still needs to be addressed.
Words of Advice for those Dealing with someone with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Appreciate and enjoy their quirks.
Listen to them. And listen and listen and listen!! (They tend to talk a lot!)
Don't try to win an argument with them. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't.
Make sure other family members get proper counseling and support, as well.
Don't expect other family members to accept their behaviors or to....
...love them the same way you do.
Try not to get too frustrated or defeated.
Join a support group.
Seek counseling. You may need help or at least a place to vent.
"When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotions."~Dale Carnegie