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Why Some People Are Just Plain Mean

Updated on June 8, 2019
Stina Caxe profile image

Cristina is a business professional who has a degree in art and a degree in psychology. A mother of two, community volunteer and writer.

Choosing to love someone in spite of their faults...

We all have people in our lives that we feel might be toxic, or that do things we do not like or approve of. I usually have to ask myself if I really want this person in my life and if I am willing to accept them for who they are even though I may not like certain things about them.

In the past, and even currently, I have had many friends who I cared for very much but hated the way they sometimes treated me or others. I always try my best to understand someone before I judge them. It isn't always easy, but usually there is a reason behind unattractive behavior and if you can look past someone's faults, then you have the chance of a great friendship.

Nobody likes to be insulted.

I have always been interested in the human mind and emotions, and being a student of Psychology gave me so much insight as to why people act the way they do. My friends and family however, did not always appreciate my insight. It is very hard for someone to accept their own faults. Most people do not like to admit that they are doing wrong or hurting somebody else by their actions.

I have known quite a few bitter people in my life but, I have found that if you take the time to truly know them and know their backstory, you can almost understand why the world has turned these people so cold. The world has a way of breaking something beautiful because it is so much harder to maintain love than hate.

Some of the most difficult people I have encountered are the ones who believe that they themselves can do no wrong and at the same time, put everybody else down. Any sort of relationship with somebody like this can be extremely difficult to endure. We often blow it off by saying things like "misery loves company."

The truth is that people who seem to build themselves up by making others feel bad are most likely suffering from something called Narcissistic Personality Disorder. They will most likely not change, are almost impossible to deal with, and will never admit that they have a problem.

What is Narcissistic personality disorder?

If you suspect someone you know suffers from narcissistic personality disorder you can look for these signs:

He or she will most likely seem to have an over inflated sense that he or she is more important than everybody else and deserves special treatment, while at the same time, disregards the feelings of others. People with this disorder lack the ability to feel empathy for others.

It's important to know that people who have narcissistic personality disorder are not in love with themselves like they may seem. They are in fact extremely insecure and "in-love" with an image of themselves that they have created in their minds in order to hide from their insecurity. Creating this false persona and implementing it into every aspect of ones live from work to family to friendships is very hard work and therefore contributes to the condescending behavior and attitudes towards others.

Exploiting and blaming others.

Those who have narcissistic personality disorder do not want to admit they have an issue and are unwilling to change their attitudes and behavior. Instead of admitting they are the problem, they will quickly blame somebody else. For example, I recently confronted a friend of mine with this disorder. I typically know better however, this person caught me on a bad day and I had had enough of him belittling somebody else that I care for. I explained that I do no like it when he says these things and that they are not true at all. He immediately said that he only says it because he heard it from two other people. I knew right away this was not true at all and in fact it did not even make sense. I gathered my emotions and ignored it though, remembering that he has a disorder and cannot control himself.

People with this disorder are highly sensitive and and have severe reactions to any sort of disagreement or criticism, viewing these things as personal attacks against them. This is why in my situation I ended up ignoring my friend. It is so much easier to just let it go than to cause that person to go into a rage.

Because people with this disorder never developed the ability to identify with the emotions of others, they end up viewing others as objects or possessions. They feel that other people only exist in order to serve their own personal needs. They will often take advantage of others unknowingly to serve their own needs.

Due to the fact that they feel threatened by people who have what they do not, those who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder will typically attack or bully others who appear to be a challenge to them. They will also take the same approach to people who do not go out of their way to build a narcissists ego.

Needs of a Narcissist

Because a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder believes that he or she is special, they feel that they can only be understood by and associated with other "special" people. They will often lie about their achievements and contributions to society while insisting that others are lucky to have them. They demand to be recognized as being better than others.

Narcissist will surround themselves with people who cater to their obsessions on a constant basis. They expect others to maintain high levels of interest in them, admiring them and praising them continuously. They will lash out at anybody who loses interest, expresses no interest, or goes against them.

Who is at risk of developing Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is likely linked to environment as well as genetics. It is possible that this behavior is inherited however, I feel it is more likely a product of nurture over nature. When a parent exhibits excessive praise for their child it gives the child a false perception of entitlement.

Moreso, when a parent excessively criticizes their child the child will develop a deep insecurity that leads to the need to be special and praised by others. Young children go through a phase where they need to develop a healthy narcissism. If children, during that phase are not supported and are made to feel like they are not good enough by their parents, they will often develop narcissistic personality disorder. Many of these children will grow up to become promiscuous and atten/affection seeking adults.

Is there a cure for Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Most people who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder will not admit that anything is wrong with them and therefor will not seek treatment. However, they might seek treatment for other things such as depression, or another mental health problem. Treatment is very difficult for them because they will consider any sort of advice or directions as insults.

There are some approaches often used in treatment for borderline personality disorder that might help somebody with narcissistic personality disorder such as mentalization and transference methods. A therapist may be able to use a narcissists need for praise as a way to shape their behavior.

How to protect yourself from narcissists.

If you are in any sort of relationship with somebody who you suspect has narcissistic personality disorder, I know how difficult it can be. Whether, it's work, a family, a friend or a partner, chances are that you either care about this person or have no choice but to deal with him or her on a regular basis. This can be extremely difficult for you.

As I said earlier, if you challenge a person like this in any way, they will typically go on the defense and attack you. First, you need to realize that you do not have control over how this person will ever feel about you so you will have to accept them for who they are and learn how to cope with it.

Remember not to fall for their false fantasy they have created. Narcissists can appear attractive due to the confidence that they exhibit. If you have a lower self esteem yourself, you might be caught up in their false confidence.

A narcissist is only looking for friends and partners who are obedient to them and your only value to them is to build up their ego while your own feelings do not matter at all. If you think you are special and can get through to this person, just take a look at how they treat others and know that eventually you will be treated the same way.

When dealing with people in my life who have narcissistic personality disorder, I try my best to ignore them until they get completely out of hand. I do like to speak my mind and at the same time I do consider the feelings of others so it can be tricky for me. If I find myself no longer able to ignore a situation then I try to approach it in a gentle but firm manner. I explain that I do not like what is happening and it makes me feel sad or angry. I have learned it is pointless to try to defend myself or others to a narcissist but, at least stating that I do not like what is happening and how it makes me feel is going to make them aware and make me feel a little bit better.

It's important to be firm with your boundaries and just expect their behavior and retaliation. When they project their anger onto you, try your best not to take it personally. At the same time, nobody deserves to be abused so do not stand for anything that hurts you.


Narcissistic Personality Disorder but Andrew Skodal, MD, University of Arizona College of Medicine

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Cristina Cakes


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