Narcissists. The people who are convinced that for some reason they’re better than all of the Earth’s population. The ones who are 100% sure that they deserve more than every one of us. The entitled human beings who have a distinct belief in their own exceptionalism.
We all know these people. Heck, some of us even have them in their lives. Some people have been born into families that include toxic, narcissistic members and were forced to accept these people, and then there are others who have unintentionally ended up in a relationship with a narcissist.
So, whether the narcissist in our lives is a boyfriend, friend, family member, relative or even a boss, it’s safe to conclude that all of these people share one key trait. They don’t want to be criticized. They simply cannot stand to be confronted.
However, if there’s one thing that narcissists hate more than being criticized than that is hearing “NO” for an answer. Rejection is something that triggers their wrath. Statements such as “No, you are wrong,” or “No, I won’t do it” can easily make them lose their temper and drive them mad within minutes.
What’s even scarier, their inability to understand the concept of social interaction and accept other people’s different opinions can make it very difficult for a person to maintain a normal relationship with these people or cooperate with them.
And according to a 2014 study by Hacettepe University (Turkey)’s Şefika Şule Erçetin and colleagues, this type of managerial narcissistic behavior can easily create chaos.
The thing is, the narcissist will do everything in their power to take total control by keeping everyone else down. And if you even dare to stand up to them and confront them, you will become the enemy.
So, if you think that you’ve easily identified the managerial narcissist in your life, I suggest you take a look at these key characteristics developed by the researchers that conducted the same Turkish study. If you know someone who has these traits, it is very possible that you have a person in your life that possesses the same bossy and dominating type of narcissism.
Now tell me. Considering everything you’ve read above, how would you approach the situations that involved confronting this person if you needed to refuse something from them?
You may try to say something to your boss and stand up for yourself, but that might get you fired and deprive you of the ability to actually make some changes. Additionally, you may also gain the courage and challenge your loud and obnoxious family member. But let’s not forget that this action can also trigger certain family conflicts that may eventually cause irreparable emotional damages.
Luckily, a 2016 study, from the University of Kentucky’s David Chester and C. Nathan DeWall (2016) provided an answer to this question.
Chester and Dewfall, the researchers behind the study were curious to find out whether the statement “narcissists react aggressively to interpersonal insult because of a heightened discrepancy between their grandiose self and the now threatened self” was true.
So, they put together a team of undergraduates that was a part of a social rejection scenario. All the while, a brain scanner was measuring the neural activity in their brains.
The experiment was a game of Cyberball that was played by two participants who would throw the ball at each other and ignore the third participant. The ones who had scored very high on the narcissism scale had heightened activity in that particular brain region, and as a result, punished his opponents for being rejected by them.
Of course, no one was really punished, nor were there actual opponents in the game, but the participants reacted vengefully didn’t know any of this. They were convinced that they are being rejected, and their reaction indicated that they were determined to seek revenge.
This brings us to the conclusion that people who have such narcissistic traits are always on the lookout for any possible threat. Those are exactly the types of people you should fear the most.
Moreover, the researchers also concluded that the heightened sensitivity to rejection that people with narcissistic traits have are usually a consequence of past childhood trauma. Their responses are a result of a painful past that included toxic and hot-then cold family relationships.
And while none of us can go back in time and avoid experiencing those painful traumatic events, it is very important as well as beneficial to understand where the anger and the hate come from. If nothing, it can help us find a way to approach these human beings and let them know that we truly want to understand their issues.
It can be truly difficult to maintain healthy and thriving relationships with people who possess such harmful narcissistic traits. However, it is important to admit that, a more patient and tactful approach with these people may eventually result in more happy outcomes for all of us.