I think you’ve been there before. You learned everything about the narcissist, you know who the narcissist is, but the thing with narcissists is they have “lucky charms” that work for them and carry their dirty laundry while making sure no one sees that the king is naked. So, it is very hard to live in a world that seems to be created to breed and serve these cheaters and manipulators.
These chameleons have multiple faces that they proudly display to others and each face is more deceitful than the previous. They can talk and engage with any social group and be liked by everyone. However, there is a catch – they usually have one target they have in mind and that is a person who has qualities of compassion, integrity, and empathy. Why? Because the narcissist envies anyone who is better than them and in their mind, they become a threat that needs to be eliminated. The narcissist feels they must dim their light fast.
Sadly, the target will become enlightened to the true self of the narcissist, they will see behind their mask but they will not be able to do anything because they are so deep in the connection with them. This form of abuse happens in all kinds of relationships from romantic and family to work ones. It takes place in any situation where the narcissist is able to abuse and manipulate another human being.
So, how the narcissist is able to get away with all the manipulation and still be seen as a good person?
The narcissists are very skillful at managing the ways how other people see them. They can praise their ‘victims’ when they are with them in public, but demean them and criticize them behind closed doors. The narcissist has the ability to provoke others into reacting emotionally which will make them look unstable. That’s how the narcissist covertly abuses their victims – by making them look like they are the abusers and not the victims.
Whenever they get in contact with someone new, the narcissist is immediately labeling them as someone who may be useful to them and a threat or if not, they don’t bother with them. Those people who get labeled as a threat whether because of their education, talents, success, competence, or other qualities that are important to the narcissist, will first get praised and adored by the narcissist before getting utterly devalued and discarded.
The narcissist will build a mighty pedestal for their victim in order to stage their destruction. They will first idealize their victim, but they will later keep them off-balance by not letting them know where they stand in the narcissist’s life. That’s how the narcissist inflicts pain and doubt into their heart. Therefore, the chosen victim will get devalued and idealized at the same time together with the other victims of the narcissist until getting kicked off from the pedestal for calling the narcissist out of their shit.
In the narcissist’s labyrinth of manipulation, mind-games, and lies the only winner is the narcissist and the victims who are actually able to leave the narcissist and move on with their life.
Moreover, narcissists have something in them that makes people trust them. Whether it is their handsome appearance, their charm, their intellect, or something else, there is just something in them that is mesmerizing to others. This is called a “halo effect” in psychology which is a tendency for people to take one good trait (for instance: “They are so charming”) and then attribute it to the rest of their personality (They must be a smart and good person too!).
And because the narcissist spends their whole life designing a very alluring but false image about themselves, in front of other people they appear to be very caring, warm, and kind. They drive people in with their false trustworthiness and supposed but nonexistent integrity. They carefully choose their victims to be ones who have not yet seen their true self or are willing to disregard all the red flags.
If, however, the narcissist feels they are in trouble of being exposed, they will defend themselves claiming the victims are the problem because they want to cause problems without a reason.
And the reason why we are not equipped to deal with these manipulators is that when someone treats us badly and abuses us in some way, we tend to project our own sense of empathy and morality towards them and convince ourselves that deep inside they are a good person.
That’s why it is so important to validate our inner voices and speak up. If you are a survivor as well, then we should all raise our voices and spread awareness to confront these abusers. That’s how revolutions begin. We are all in this together and we can stop this madness.
A Narcissistic Person – Definition
A narcissist is a person who exhibits signs of having a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) which is one of several types of personality disorders. A narcissistic personality disorder is a mental condition of people who have a deep need for attention and admiration from other people, trouble maintaining stable and healthy relationships, an inflated sense of their self-importance, and zero empathy for other people.
However, behind their mask of extreme arrogance and confidence lies a fragile soul with a low sense of self-esteem that is highly offended and broken down by even the slightest criticism.
A narcissist is someone who gets very unhappy and angry when they are not getting the attention they want and others are not looking at them admiringly or giving them the special treatment they think they are entitled to.
What Makes a Person a Narcissist?
Is a narcissist born or made?
Well, the causes of narcissism are still not very clear. However, there is some evidence that shows that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is caused by inherited genetic defects in a person.
And when it comes to societal and environmental factors that contribute to this mental disorder, these are: being neglected or abused as a child, being excessively pampered by their parents, their parents having abnormal expectations from them, cultural influences, and sexual promiscuity often are associated with narcissism.
Narcissists breed narcissists i.e narcissists often have narcissistic parents. They have raised them and built them up, providing them all the material things they needed but they didn’t give them any substance. They wanted them to be the most successful, the smartest, the best of all. They wanted them to succeed in their field so that they can be the parents (or a parent) of the best artist, businessman or businesswoman, etc.
Narcissists are usually people who were neglected or abandoned as children because their parents had other things to do and they were focused on themselves, so in turn, they couldn’t give their attention to their child (or children) and meet their emotional needs. That’s why a narcissist is emotionally crippled. The child was only useful to the parents when they have some sort of advantage having it, otherwise, they were showing a lack of interest in their life.
Every narcissist has inflated self-esteem which can be self-soothing as well as self-aggrandizing. However, their ego is extremely fragile due to their self-aggrandized feelings of importance which result in low self-esteem. Therefore, on the flip side, narcissists have self-demeaning and self-hating feelings in regards to themselves. So, even a slight remark or criticism can deeply wound their ego and cause narcissistic injury, resulting in an angry outburst and a desperate attempt to win their power back.
That’s why a narcissist will mock you, belittle you, and be very rude and condescending towards you. They do it because they desperately need to regain their lost power and act superior over you. And in order to be above you, they need to use every tool they have to bring you down.
Signs and Symptoms Of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
A person having a narcissistic personality disorder can:
– Have a deep feeling of entitlement and therefore they require constant attention and admiration from other people;
– Have a false yet exaggerated feeling of arrogance and self-importance;
– Believe they are superior to everyone else and have power over people;
– Boast about their talents and success that is mainly overstated;
– Use and manipulate other people in order to get what they want;
– Be jealous and envious of the success of others and try to bring them down;
– Expect to be seen as someone powerful and superior to others even though they have not achieved anything to back that up;
– Be preoccupied with thoughts and fantasies about their appearance, beauty, power, fame, and success;
– Look down on people, belittle them, criticize them, and see them as inferior;
– Expect everyone to cater to their needs and wishes;
– Have a complete lack of empathy and also they are devoid of feelings;
– Be selfish, arrogant, and self-absorbed;
– Always insist to have the best of everything (best office, best car, best house…).
And when a person with a narcissistic personality disorder doesn’t get the attention and the special treatment they think they deserve, they will become extremely impatient, angry, and frustrated. They will even rage at you, or try to criticize and belittle you in order to make you look inferior to them.
Types Of Narcissists
Narcissism can be divided into two types: grandiose or overt narcissism and vulnerable or covert narcissism.
The first type of narcissist is the grandiose one. Grandiose or overt narcissism is characterized by feelings of grandiosity, superficiality, boldness, and arrogance. A grandiouse narcissists lacks empathy, is aggressive, gets verbally, emotionally, or even physically abusive when they don’t get their way, exploits other people, behaves as they are the king of the world, and also get engaged in exhibitionist behaviors.
A grandiose narcissist is cruel and they lack empathy. They tend to be elitist, extremely charming and confident. Their charisma can be mesmerizing to others. This type of narcissist has no problem telling the world how great they are and boasting their accomplishments. This narcissist was always treated as they were superior when growing up, and therefore, they expect to be treated that way all their life.
A grandiose narcissist is often unfaithful. They can cheat on their partners and leave them abruptly if another person happens to catch their eye.
On the other hand, a vulnerable narcissist is someone who is defensive and hypersensitive. They are constantly seeking approval from other people because they lack confidence in themselves. However, if they don’t get the approval they want and need, they will withdraw both socially and emotionally.
A vulnerable narcissist has a sense of ‘fragile grandiosity’, meaning their narcissism serves as a means to protect them from possible pain. This narcissist moves back and forth with feelings of inferiority and superiority. One day they feel above everyone else, and the next they drown in sorrow due to their lack of self-confidence.
This narcissist gets anxious and goes into victim mentality whenever they feel they are not treated as they think they deserve (as someone special). This type of narcissism gets developed in childhood years and it is often a response to neglect or abuse. In a relationship, the vulnerable narcissist is possessive and extremely jealous, always worrying and getting paranoid about their partner cheating on them or abandoning them.
How Do Narcissists Act When They Are In a Relationship?
Every relationship with a narcissist has its challenges. A narcissist is someone who doesn’t know how to love anyone other than themselves. In fact, they don’t even love themselves let alone another person. A narcissist is so focused on their image and on themselves that they don’t see their partner as a separate human being with needs and feelings; they only see them in terms of what they can get out of them. Therefore, the partners and children of the narcissist are only valued by the narcissist to the extent to which they meet their needs.
And yet, there are people falling in love with narcissists every day. That’s because a narcissist is a charmer. They are someone who is the life of the party. They can interact with any social group because their energy is captivating. So, they can make anyone feel great if they are the person that they choose to be in a relationship with. They will make you feel glad that you are with them and therefore, you will do anything to not lose this precious spot in the narcissist’s life. And that gives the narcissist power over you and an ability to control and manipulate you.
A relationship with a narcissist starts off very passionately, but that passion doesn’t last long. The excitement in the beginning suddenly vanishes as the narcissist shows their true colors. Narcissists tend to fall deep in love instantly with someone they don’t even know and commit to them very quickly. However, this ‘love’ has a short shelf life as their feelings of infatuation decrease and their self-absorbing ways increase.
A person who is in a relationship with a narcissist often feels very lonely in the relationship. They may even feel like they are non-existent and their needs and desires are overlooked and not important. The narcissist is behaving as if they are always right and their partner is the one who is wrong and is always belittling them and mocking them to ‘prove’ to them how incompetent they are thus further diminishing their self-worth.
This type of relationship is toxic and no one deserves to be in a relationship with a narcissist.
What You Should Say To a Narcissist?
You should be careful when talking to a narcissist to not offend them or criticize them even slightly and constructively. A narcissist is someone who wants to be praised, appreciated, and adored. Therefore, start a conversation with a compliment or flattery. That will get their attention. Then listen to them attentively and don’t interrupt them.
If the narcissist starts acting condescending and arrogant with you, don’t take it personally because they are accustomed to it. In fact, if they feel slightly criticized by you and offended, they will leave the room and probably ghost you and give you the silent treatment. If you don’t take this personally, then you may have a chance to talk with them again.
A conversation with a narcissist is a one-sided one. Expect them to talk endlessly about them and boast about their success, but when it comes to you they interrupt you and they show zero empathy for your feelings.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be compelling, to say at least. Narcissists are very expressive, knowledgeable, smart, handsome, charismatic, charming, and they will not stop pursuing you until they get you. You will fall in love with their passion and determination to get things done quickly. And if you happen to be someone who is not sure of themselves, then the narcissist will label you as codependent and easily manipulated which is the type they are drawn to.
It is only when the narcissist sees a change in the conversation from them to you that they will end the conversation. And this typically occurs when you start looking after your needs and interests instead of theirs.
The narcissist is someone who feels exceptionally entitled to you and your dependence on them. Therefore, they may make you feel afraid of them abandoning you and then losing their company. The narcissist intentionally makes themselves a center of your life and they do it as a means of manipulation and control over you. And when the relationship ends, you will end up blaming yourself and feeling heartbroken for not being able to talk to them and see them.
How To Deal With a Narcissist?
If you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist, then you need to reflect on yourself as to why you decided to enter a relationship with them and fall in love with such a person.
Were you abused as a child? Did you have a narcissistic parent? Do you like being passive and do your partner have all the control? Do you have a feeling of importance by being in a relationship with someone who is always in the spotlight? Does their criticism and superiority towards you are the same thoughts you have about yourself?
In fact, many people who are in a relationship with narcissists are codependent. They may even put up with abuse because they don’t want to end the relationship with the narcissist. And the reason they don’t want to end things with the narcissist is because they don’t feel confident that they can find someone better.
Setting clear boundaries is essential when it comes to dealing with these manipulators. And you can’t set boundaries without first understanding your role in your relationship with the narcissist. Then you can start your healing process and walk away from the narcissist. Because the best way to deal with a narcissist is not to deal with them at all.