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The narcissist personality and your sanity.
Thoughts on narcissism
We all have moments of narcissism, I don't think it's entirely possible to always avoid the "ego driven" self, it's part of our humanity.
However, when you are dealing with a narcissistic personality disorder, you need to defend yourself, protect your heart, and avoid losing your temper, or worse, going insane! A narcissist can make you feel emotionally bankrupt.
How does someone get this way? Some claim it is the result of indiscriminate parental praise, or of parental rejection or coldness, or a combination of both, so they grow up over compensating as adults. If you have any curiosity about what a true narcissist is, take a look at a child. They define it perfectly. And I don't mean in a negative way, they are simply "me" focused, and the world revolves around them. Until they grow up, they only know how to take. Take resources, time, money, emotion etc...the unfortunate part of this, is that some children never "grow up".
You can still love a narcissist and their good qualities from a distance, while keeping yourself safe from emotional sickness.
Thought diagram of a narcissist
Traits of a narcissist
Narcissists typically display most, sometimes all, of the following traits:
- Exaggerating and bragging about achievements
- Pretending to be more important than they actually are
- Claiming expertise at many things
- Promiscuous, charismatic, dramatic, charming, aggressive, assertive, extroverted
- Admiration is their "drug of choice"
- Lack of respect for boundaries
- Obvious and chronic self-focus
- Problems sustaining and maintaining relationships, but they are typically not bothered by this
- Control freaks
- Problems determining self from others, lack of boundaries
- Lack of empathy or difficulty with it entirely
- Lack of conscience
- Unable to view the world outside of their own perspective
- Flattering people who affirm and admire them
- Detesting those that don't affirm or admire them
- Hypersensitivity to insults and constructive criticism
- More prone to display emotions of shame, rather than guilt
- Contemptuous, egotistic, high-and-mighty, stuck up body language
- Using other people for personal gain without care of consequences
- Denial of gratitude and remorse
Are you a narcissist? Take the quiz to find out
- Narcissistic Personality Inventory: Narcissism Test
Interactive copy of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, a self report measure of narcissism. Detailed results.
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Who is vulnerable to a narcissist?
HSPs-Highly sensitive people and co-dependents.
What is the relationship like?
At first a relationship with a narcissist is fun, exciting, charming, and seductive. But usually by the 3rd or 4th month (if they bother to keep you around that long), you'll notice all those shiny qualities start wearing off, and their true personality begins to show. They become controlling, manipulative, and demanding.
On the inside, a narcissist is very insecure, and rather pathetic. Narcissists are professional Band-aids makers. They seek out your weaknesses (abandonment issues, self-image issues, etc.) and will change themselves into your personal savior. Whatever voids you have, they will fill. This all sounds fantastic but it is short-lived. Once you are "addicted" to them, they will tear off the Band-aid and leave you bleeding.
Breaking contact with a narcissist will feel like a roller coaster ride. Until they realize you cannot be dominated, controlled, or manipulated they will come back. Be prepared for niceness, phony apologies, promises of change, too downright verbal abuse, aggression and possible violence or destruction. Once they realize you are no longer controllable they will leave with little to no remorse, guilt or sadness.
Do you know a narcissist
Have you ever been involved with a narcissist?
They're really NOT your friends
The first thing to keep in mind, it that a narcissist is not your friend. They will never be your friend. They over promise, promote, extort and use, and when you've served your purpose, they dump you. This could be anyone from a friend, co-worker, family member, or lover/companion. Never trick yourself into believing a narcissist cares about you. They want you to feel special so that when they need you, you'll respond accordingly, and fulfill their demands, while quickening their ego. Remember, feeding off of your emotions is their drug.
Shut them down
- Avoid narcissists when possible, don't even bother with them. Don't get mixed into their lives. One place they are easily spotted is at a bar!
- If you must deal with one, try to remind yourself of their positive traits. Although they have their faults, they can be very charming and charismatic. In order to gain the recognition they crave, they may be willing to make sacrifices to acquire what they want from others. Focusing on the positive aspects of their personality can make dealing with them easier.
- Never criticize a narcissist. Doing so could throw them into a rage. If you must criticize, present it as mild constructive praise.
- Do not have any inflated emotional expectations. By this I mean, do not go seeking compassion, or sympathy from them. They are not capable of giving it and it will most likely leave you feeling hurt, used and angry.
- Emotional distance is key and necessary to self preservation. If the relationship is of the romantic nature, the best and only solution is cease all contact, do not respond to them in any way, NO engagement what-so-ever.
© 2013 Rebecca