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Narcissism: A Guide to a Clearer Reflection of the Self
More likely than not, people who are wrapped up in themselves would not be able to see how narcissistic they are. Plus, any effort on the part of others to bring them help would immediately be repudiated since narcissists have an ingrained feeling of shame hidden on a subconscious level, which they fear might come out or be exposed in therapy or counseling. Unfortunately, the attitude of a narcissist can cause a great deal of emotional distress on people around them because they tend to be angry, defensive, controlling, and intolerant of others aside from being self-absorbed. Thus, the idea behind this article is to help narcissists see their selves as they are and, hopefully, find it in themselves to get help. At the same time, it is also to just spread awareness to others about this personality disorder. Those who know and are close to narcissists would also benefit from knowing that it is probably not they but their narcissistic partners or friends who have a problem.
How Narcissists May Reflect and View the World
Craving Narcissist: emotionally needy, clingy, and demanding; puts high expectations on others to meet his needs and gets upset when these are not always met
“I do not feel loved. No matter what I do, it seems that very few people understand and accept me. I only trust this person, and he/she must meet my expectations. Otherwise I shall feel alone again and hateful of the world.”
Paranoid Narcissist: suspicious of others and feels self-hatred and directs it towards others; sarcastic and hostile in an argumentative or aloof way; has difficulty accepting criticisms because he sees it as an attack on his character; bears grudges
“I know she’s out with her friends, but she still hasn’t returned my calls. Is she trying to avoid me or is there something fishy going on? I’m starting to get really mad. I’m not sure if I’m really interested to hear out what she has to say later.”
Manipulative Narcissist: manipulates and lies to others to feel superior and obtain the success that they feel is due to them
“I don’t have to follow rules. I know what I want and I’m out to get it.”
Phallic Narcissist: loves to show off one’s self; often exhibitionistic and aggressive; self-esteem is tied up to conquests
“People should be happy to be with me or see what I have to offer. Anyway, I know that they won’t be able to resist me.”
Narcissism is something that must be addresses. As T.S. Eliot put it, “Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves”. This disorder came about, according to some studies, because of issues with parenting, such as excessive criticizing by an idealized parent, which led to the child not being able to see himself clearly. It may also be due to someone having an extremely sensitive personality. Whatever the cause, the most effective way of dealing with it is by developing empathy. This, however, is not an easy task. That is why therapies that deal with cognition and behavior modification are conducted to help people with this disorder. If a narcissist is the first one to seek therapy, then he has already won half the battle.