What Is Narcissism?
Narcissism, also known as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), is a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of arrogance, self-centeredness, a need for attention, a sense of entitlement, and a lack of empathy, among other traits. Dealing with this complex personality disorder can be challenging. If you have encountered a narcissist in your life, you know how difficult it can be to interact with them. Often, other conditions accompany narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Narcissistic abuse is among the most draining abuses one can experience because narcissists lack empathy, and many of their relationships tend to be manipulative and exploitative.
Narcissistic personality disorder is named for Narcissus, from Greek mythology, who fell in love with his reflection. Freud used the term to describe self-absorbed persons, and psychoanalysts have focused on the narcissist’s need to bolster their self-esteem through grandiose fantasy, exaggerated ambition, exhibitionism, and feelings of entitlement.Donald W. Black
What Are the 9 Signs of a Narcissist?
An Exaggerated Sense Of Entitlement
Most of the time, narcissists feel like they are better than others. They have an exaggerated sense of self-importance in that they think other people are inferior to them and that no one can beat them for what they can do. These feelings of grandiosity are often accompanied by vast fantasies of unlimited success, beauty, power, or love. Narcissists feel like they “own the world” and that no one whatsoever should try to tell them otherwise.
A manipulator will lie to you, possibly telling you the truth but withholding some of it only to feel like they have gained some power over you with the half-truths. A narcissist is manipulative. With manipulation comes intellectual superiority because, while innocently telling them facts about you, they will only tell you what they think you need to know. Narcissists will blame you, make excuses for every complaint you bring to the table, and guilt-trip you.
When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.Brené Brown.
Lack Of Empathy
Empathy is being able to understand other people’s feelings and emotions. Other people would describe empathy as the ability to sense what others are feeling and imagine other people’s thoughts. Narcissists lack empathy and cannot understand anyone else’s feelings apart from their own (they are self-centered).
Vulnerability To Life Transitions
Life transitions include jobs, school, and relationships, among others. For a narcissist, these transitions may seem unbearable. Narcissists find it difficult to adjust or maintain reality-based professional and personal goals over time. Narcissists often feel that everything should work out as planned, making it hard for them to transition. A narcissist does not make the compromises that come with healthy relationships, and young adults find it hard to transition completely.
Some people ask, “Are narcissists capable of love?” yes! Narcissists can love, but conditionally. They are often in relationships with people they can gain something from. Relationships that narcissists build are entirely based on physical attributes, not the unique qualities that one possesses. Narcissists only value people to the extent of what “they can bring to the table”.
Relationship with a narcissist in a nutshell: You will go from being the perfect love of their life to nothing you do is ever good enough. You will give your everything; they will take it all and give you less and less in return. You will be depleted, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and probably financially, and then get blamed for it.Bree Bonchay
Narcissists lack a sense of self. They often think they are what they have created in their minds. Their sense of self is highly superficial and often fragile. People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) believe they are exceptional. However, most times, their grandiose sense of self is easily intimidated though narcissists tend to deny these feelings at all costs.
Feelings Of Emptiness And Boredom
Narcissists feed their egos off the attention and praises they get from others. However, it is not every day that they will achieve these praises. Therefore, when the attention and recognition they are so used to getting are unavailable, narcissists experience chronic feelings of emptiness, boredom, and depression, and they become restless.
Need For Admiration And Glorification
One characteristic of narcissists is their constant desire to be glorified as if ‘the world revolves around them.’ They harbor a compelling need to be admired and credited for even the smallest of accomplishments. Narcissists believe they should always be the center of attention, and they expect every conversation to revolve around them. Being ignored makes narcissists feel mistreated, leading them to find ways to monopolize every conversation they engage in.
Difficulty With Dependency And Attachment
Narcissists find it hard to not rely on the feedback (positive feedback) from other people and the environment. It is hard for narcissists to feel attached or intimate with someone since most of the relationships they keep are superficial and only exist to prove that they can maintain a relationship.
Narcissistic people are a danger to themselves and the whole world at large because they are emotionally unavailable and toxic to others. They are addicted solely to themselves and the attention from those who admire them.