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Stop Complicating The Truth About Narcissists

Updated on April 24, 2018
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The Little Shaman is a spiritual counselor, hypnotherapist, and a specialist in Cluster B personality disorders.

It's true that narcissistic people can seem very complex. Their defense mechanisms are convoluted and hard to unravel and their behavior can be totally mystifying. They are so unlike the rest of us in many ways that it can seem impossible to understand what they want or where they are coming from. This is all correct. However, the truth is also that narcissistic people aren't all that complicated.

Yes, understanding their motivations, defenses and behavior is difficult but understanding them in practical terms is simple. Pathologically narcissistic people are selfish, self-focused and feel only for themselves. They don't understand that other people have feelings and they don't care. They're mean and hateful because they feel badly about themselves. They throw temper tantrums because they want their way and they are upset when they don't get it. Every single thing they do, think, feel and say revolves entirely around them and what they want. They're immature, empty and incapable of giving anything to other people. True understanding of the reasons they became this way can be difficult to understand, yes, but it doesn't change the simple truth.

People often become mired in trying to decode the narcissist's motives because these simple truths just seem impossible. How can it be that an adult person doesn't understand other people have feelings? How is it that another human being can be that callous and cruel? How can a parent not love their child? People believe there must be another explanation and they will drive themselves crazy trying to find it. This is usually because not only do people not think it can be this simple, they don't want to believe that anyway. If the basic truth is that the narcissist just doesn't care about the other person in any real way, that means the relationship should and probably will end, and that the person is never going to get what they want because the narcissistic person is not capable of giving it to them.

In this way, the complication of the situation can be a way of denying the truth. It isn't that the narcissist doesn't care about the other person's feelings. They must not understand that they are being hurtful, so a person may spend months or even years trying to make the narcissist understand in an attempt to deny the truth, which is that underneath everything, the narcissist does not care. Most people know that on some level but don't want to accept it. They often finally do accept it when it can no longer be denied.

It's understandable that people try to rationalize the narcissist's behavior and frame it in a way that they can understand, but it becomes a problem when someone ignores reality in order to do so. It's one thing to be totally mystified by a person's behavior because it makes no sense, and to be looking for answers. However, if the way a person is attempting to understand a loved one's behavior is by saying, "This can't be what it seems to be. It has to be something else," then maybe what someone is seeking is not understanding but a way to make the behavior acceptable. This is dangerous in the case of pathologically narcissistic persons, because it often results in justifying abuse. There is no justification for abuse and no good reason to put up with it. It isn't going to change.

Pathologically narcissistic people's motives can be hard to figure out, but the truth of their reality is very simple. Looking for information is vital for understanding so that people know what they are dealing with and make informed decisions, but it's important not to let your mind become clouded with the information. Understanding should clarify things, not make them more complicated. Nothing mitigates the basic truth here, and that is that pathologically narcissistic people are solely focused on themselves, they see other human beings as objects, they become abusive when they are not given everything they believe they deserve, they extremely inflexible and resistant to change, and they are not able to give you what you want.

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