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Have you ever encountered a narcissist?
Let’s up the pain intensity of the question: Have you ever lived with a narcissist? Maybe this got your curiosity. You might already have a good idea of the behavior of a narcissist. You might even have read books about or worked with them. But I believe that you will truly know one if you have lived with or God forbid are still living with one. If that’s the case, my sincere sympathies!
Dear reader: I am not a psychologist, I am only an ardent observer of people’s behavior, not to put them under a magnifying glass but to merely understand them. Why? We are social beings surrounded by people on a day-to-day basis. Unless you are a hermit, you’re going to have to find ways of relating to others. Why? Because you’re not a narcissist. It is everyone’s spiritual and emotional duty to heed others out of affinity. Affinity is everything. If you don’ t feel that affinity, that love, chances are you are a narcissist.
A narcissist has no compassion. Compassion is one of the most beautiful feelings one can have. Without it you will turn into an ugly, soulless entity. As a college teacher and company coach, I find an incredible amount of gratification relating to people, listening to their stories, empathizing and sympathizing with them. My compassion towards others is what fuels me and gets me going. Without this sharing and caring, life would literally lose its meaning for me. I always feel honored being privy to people’s thoughts, stories and situations. It shows their trust towards me. This trust and affinity is something you can never buy. It is earned, and it is indeed a beautiful thing to have acquired. It’s healthy power: power of love. Love and compassion are emotions to feel towards others as well as oneself. Self love is not to be mistaken with selfishness. In fact, how you treat others is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself. Narcissists don’t have love or compassion for themselves OR other people, they just put themselves above others. The only feeling narcissists thrive in is power and superiority. They are only about one-upmanship to the bitter end, All other feelings are irrelevant.
Now let me go ahead and define a narcissist for you. My definition is based on my personal experience, backed by some scientific data, which I will duly quote here. When you are done reading my article, by all means feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below.
According to the United States’ National Library of Medicine, „a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) has an excessive sense of self-importance, an intense preoccupation with themselves, and a lack of empathy for others.“
Now let me elaborate on each:
A Narcissist is self important.
A narcissist feels grandiose, i.e. superior to others. How they do so is by considering and treating others as inferior to themselves. Their attitude towards others is of a condescending nature, unless they deem others as „socially important“ or „more important“ than themselves. Everyone else is below them and will be looked down upon. They lift themselves up by putting others down and they might not be even aware of this behavior. It is their normal way of treating people. They make you feel inferior through constant criticism and intimidation. According to psychologist Stephen Johnson, a narcissist is someone who has „buried his true self-expression in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self. This alternate persona often comes across as grandiose and above others.“
We can therefore infer that the inflated feeling of superiority and self-importance stems from a deep-rooted lack of self confidence caused perhaps in early childhood and adolescence. Narcissists are always skeptical of people and situations. They are notorious pessimists, considering themselves highly logical and realistic while being sarcastic and condescending towards positive-minded people, calling them fools. They have little to no trust or faith in anyone or anything but themselves. They are insecure, dark individuals with a very low self esteem. They often overcompensate their lack of self confidence by displaying snobbish and patronizing attitude towards others. They thrive in their haughty arrogance.
Narcissists might call their colleague, sibling, relative or spouse stupid, unstable or crazy and might even suggest a medical evaluation of their mental health. It is their way of making the other person feel insecure. Only by making others feel insecure do they feel their own power and superiority. They just hate to be outsmarted. If they find out you have figured out their manipulative behavior, they will start invalidating your emotions and feelings. That’s how they roll. Once they dim your light they begin to shine in their own empire of egotism! According to Steve Bressert Ph.D., narcissism is a disorder primarily prevalent in males, so feel free to refer to the majority as a “he”.
A narcissist is obsessed with success.
You heard me right. They are obsessed with success. How obsessed depends on the degree of their narcissism which varies from narcissist to narcissist. They are solely preoccupied and focused on themselves and their own achievements, disregarding everyone else in the process. Their very high expectation of themselves forces them to always want to win. In fact, they hate to lose, be it in a game, sports or in real life situations. This high expectation is not to serve a noble cause. It is only to inflate their own ego which might have been dampened in one way or another in their childhood, adolescence, by parents or peers. While a healthy, loving person strives to achieve a purpose and overall success in life and not just in career, a narcissist thrives in gaining power and control over people and situations in personal life and career. This is the kind of success they are obsessed with. Their aim is to prove to the society that they are the best, for the sake of being the best and the feeling of superiority it brings to them, not for the sublime sake of serving people, helping or creating a loving, positive and conducive environment. Ambitions of success and obtaining power and influence are what a narcissist is driven by. What’s scary is that they don’t heed or care who they might be hurting in the process. It will be irrelevant to their personal ambition.
They are often very successful career people, while maintaining that not many people will understand the compexity, intricacy and importance of their job. They might not say it in words, but they see themselves as gods. They will often say that very few people have things in common with them. They see others as intellectually limited and inferior to them and not able to comprehend their projects and endeavors. Most people are stupid and they are superior to most poeple. Period. That’s what a narcissist thinks. Given this obsesession with success and conviction of their own superiority, it is very common to find them in positions of power and influence. You will find many narcissists as politicians, CEOs, top managers, Presidents, Vice Presidents, etc… They are constantly driven to prove themselves, which as mentioned above, is primarily due to a low sense of self esteem. Deep inside, a narcissist is afflicted with the fear of rejection. The source of this fear stems from their upbringing, family origin, parents’ social status or lack thereof, etc. They project their own hidden feelilngs of inferiority onto others, thus putting themselves on a pedestal in the process and feeling important. Narcissists are self-serving, egotistical individuals driven by success AT ANY PRICE. They will take advantage of others to achieve their own ends. They will utilize whomever they can get their hands on for their own gain while feeling no remorse.
A narcissist lacks empathy.
Individuals with NPD have little to no interest in other people’s feeings. Their lack of empathy makes them unable to feel or appreciate feelings that are not their own. It leads to the inability to feel love, remorse, guilt, sadness, happiness, shame, and the like. That is precisely why they often become super achievers at any price. To them there IS no price. The end does not even need to justify the means! If you were ever thinking of expressing your feelings to a narcissist, don’t even try! It wouldn’t be any different than expressing yourself to a brick wall! If you feel like you need a shoulder to cry on, any random dog on the street would be a much better choice. A narcissist is not the one to turn to.
They will drop cold comments downsizing your situation and demanding an evaluation of your mental health. They will never acknowledge your feelings, because it’s not theirs and therefore not important.They are just not able to put themselves in your shoes and feel you. Instead, they will make you feel more and more insecure about being you. They will call you overdramatic and accuse you of desiring attention. Instead of simply reflecting love and showing the sympathy and empathy you much need, they will cold-heartedly kick you to the curb for wasting their valuable time.
Other indicators you might be dealing with a narcissist:
Narcissists don’t talk to or with you. They talk AT you. Obviously this implies that they prefer to tell you what to do as opposed to how to do it. And they usually want it done fast and efficiently.
Narcissists hate to explain things. If they have to do so, there is a good chance they will be placing their index finger on their lips as they begin to think about the explanation. That is their subconscious way of telling the other person to shut their mouth as in shut up. They want to talk when they choose to talk, not when they are asked to. They would make the worst teachers!
Narcissists use the pronoun “I” a lot – regardless of their language . They may even repeat the pronoun several times in a row, as in: I…I….I….. while they’re thinking about the rest of the sentence. Their focus is on themselves, not on what they are going to say, hence their frequent usage of “I”.
Narcissists never give a straight forward, honest answer such as yes or no. They will answer in a manipulative, devious way, always leaving you uncertain. This keeps the other person in a perpetual state of need (as in needing an answer). By being needed, yet not delivering what’s needed they feel powerful. If you are experiencing a state of limbo with someone, there is a good chance you are dealing with a narcissist who would like to keep you in suspense so they can continue manipulating you.
Narcissists don’t much like to make eye contact. They might do it in a business context, but even then it is very erratic. As they speak to you, their eyes will often roll around and look at you very shortly. When they are concentrating on their next sentence, they close their eyes. Why? Because the other person’s face distracts them. Why? Because they think the other person might have suspected their manipulative strategies. Why? Because chances are they are about to twist or tweak the truth, if not lie. So closing their eyes is always their best bet.
(Reminder: the post you are reading is written by author/blog owner: http://jeanniealogy.com/index.php/about-her/)
Narcissists are very secretive people. They will rarely include you in on their thoughts or plans. They don’t like to share information. They only come to you to tell you what to do. That’s where the conversation with a narcissist begins and ends. That’s how they’re in control of their environment.
Narcissists are impatient and hate to wait. They hate to wait for the waiter, cab driver, traffic light, the car in front of them, you name it! They think everything and everyone is wasting their time, and they won’t hesitate to react abrasively if not aggressively in such situations.
Narcissists often laugh or smile sarcastically. If you’re lucky, that’s the only unhostile facial expression you will get out of them. And when they do so, it is only their mouth that’s laughing. Their eyes will be busy showing contempt. In fact, their usual demeanor is that of contempt, impatience, resentment and boredom, or they simply have no expression on their face. They are adept at poker face, if they choose to. Remember…they will always put on a friendly face in public, especially at work or while dealing with people they deem as “important”, but once they’re around people who should really matter in their lives, they go ahead and put on their usual face, i.e. anywhere from emotionless to contemptuous, often followed by a sarcastic smile.
It’s what’s within their soul: an abyss of emptiness! It’s as if you were looking at a face without a face! That scary! It hurts and haunts you. If you are a sensitive person as I am, DO NOT STAY AROUND SUCH A PERSON. They will damage you!
Narcissists are master manipulators. They manipulate you by keeping you in the dark. They keep you in the dark by withholding information. They withhold information by delivering half-truths. They deliver half-truths by not giving straight-forward answers.
Sounds familiar? Have you dealt with one? I hope not. But if you’re reading this article, there is a good chance you have. By now you might probably be wondering what I suggest for putting a narcissist in their place. I will tell you what I have done and what has worked for me.
The only way to put a narcissist in their place is to flip the script and break free.
You heard me. Run as far away from them and as fast as you can. Cut all ties. Cut the cord. Pull the plug. Flip the script and go! If you spot a narcissist, there is no good reason why you should stay around them, unless you would like to inflict pain upon yourself. I did that for a while…unfortunately too long, and let me tell you…it wasn’t easy. It was extremely painful. The pain was excruciating. But once I realized I was dealing with a narcissist, I left the situation as speedily as I could. Believe me, I still had my doubts months after I left, but I eventually began to see that it was one of the most brilliant decisions I ever made in my entire life. Why brilliant? Well, isn’ t saving yourself brilliant? You tell me!
Is there a cure for narcissism? Unlike other disorders, there EXISTS one, and only one cure for narcissism that COSTS NOTHING. However, it is very unlikely that the narcissist would take the prescription. The cure is a COMPLETE DEATH OF THE UNHEALTHY EGO. For the narcissist to be willing to take the prescription, they would have to be taught very harsh lessons by life. If they are as smart and superior in intellect as they claim to be, it would be in their best interest to take that prescription before they kick the bucket. Otherwise, they will end up in a very dark and sad spot called emptiness.