What is a Narcissist?
If someone is posting too many photos on their social media accounts or discusses themselves frequently during an initial date they could be labelled the narcissist.
A true narcissist, however, is someone who suffers from the narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). People with NPD believe that they are different and exceptional compared with others. They want to be acknowledged and treated accordingly.
They are usually unable to understand the views and needs of other people and they are often dismissive of others’ issues.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) provides nine requirements for NPD However, it also states that a person only needs to satisfy five of them to be classified as a clinical Narcissist.
an over-inflated belief in self-importance
obsession with fantasies of endless brilliance, power, success beauty, or love
The belief that they are special and distinct and only be appreciated by, or be associated with, other unique or notable individuals or institutions
The need for praise and admiration to the max
feeling of entitlement
socially exploitative behavior
Inadequacy of empathy
the envy of others or the conviction that others are jealous of them
display of arrogant and proud behavior or attitude
What is it that boils down to the licensed psychotherapist Rebecca Weiler, LMHC, is self-centeredness that is at the expense of others. It’s also the inability of weighing other people’s feelings in any way.
As with all mental health and personality conditions, there are different levels in NPD severity.
“Narcissism can be found on an arc,” says Beverly Hills psychotherapist for families and relationships The Dr. Fran Walfish, the author of “The Self-Aware Parent.”
Outpatients, such as those with an narcissistic personality disorder might be highly performing and relatableTrusted Source However, in inpatient settings they may be aggressive and difficult. The degree of aggression a person displays typically indicates the degree that the condition is.
Furthermore, those who suffer from NPD frequently suffer from additional mental and physical health issues, such as anxiety and substance abuse disorder that can further complicate close relationships.
But being aware of what are the “official” Diagnostic criteria won’t often make it easy to recognize someone suffering from NPD particularly if you’re in a relationship with one. A certified expert will generally be required to conduct a regular psychiatric exam to determine if someone is suffering from NPD.
Here are some indicators to be aware of and strategies to manage these signs.
- They were adorable at first.
People who suffer from NPD are drawn toTrusted Source grandeur and fantasy. It could have been like a fairytale initially — perhaps they would constantly compliment you or even told you how much they loved your personality within the first week.
Perhaps they’ll say how smart they are or insist on your compatibility even if you’ve only started to meet.
“Narcissists believe they deserve to be among individuals who are special and believe that only special people have the sole right to truly appreciate them,” says Nedra Glover Tawwab LCSW The creator of Kaleidoscope Counseling in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The advice of Dr. Weiler: If you think someone appeared to be too strong in the beginning, you should be cautious. We all want to feel loved by. However, true love must be nurtured and cultivated.
“If you feel it’s too late for them to actually be in love with you, it most likely is. Or , if you think they don’t have enough information about you to truly be in love with you They probably aren’t,” Weiler says.
People who suffer from NPD tend to make superficial connections at the beginning of the course of a relationship.
- They are the center of attention and talk about how amazing they are.
People with NPD have an inflated sense of self-importanceTrusted Source and are prone to exaggerating achievements and expecting to be recognized as superior.
“Narcissists are known to talk about their achievements and accomplishments in grandiose terms,” says psychotherapist Jacklyn Krol, LCSW, of Mind Rejuvenation Therapy. “They do this because they feel more confident and more intelligent than the rest of us and because it helps them to create an image of confidence.”
The clinical psychologist The clinical psychologist, Dr. Angela Grace, PhD MEd BFA, BEd, says that narcissists frequently exaggerate their achievements and enhance their abilities in these stories in order to win the respect from their peers.
Then they’re making noise about themselves to listen to you.
The two-part warning here is The warning is two-part, according to Grace. The first is that your partner won’t quit talking about them. And the second is that your partner will not talk about you.
Ask yourself these questions What happens when you are talking about yourself? Do they follow up with questions or express an curiosity to learn something more about yourself? Do they make their own story?
- Your praises
Narcissists can appear to be confident and self-assured. According to Tawwab the majority of people suffering from NPD really lack self-esteem and need a lot of respect and attention from Trusted Source.
“They need lots of praise and if you’re not providing it they’ll look in the water for praise,” the woman says. This is why they’re always watching you to let them know how amazing they are.
“Narcissists employ other peoplethose who are usually extremely empathic to boost their self-worth and to make them feel confident. However, due to their lack of self-esteem their egos are quickly criticized which can increase their need for praise,” adds Shirin Peykar, LMFT.
“The primary difference between those that are self-confident and the ones who suffer from NPD are that the narcissists require others to help them rise up, while they can lift themselves up by making others feel inferior. Two things that people who have confidence levels that are high don’t perform,” Peykar says.
As Weiler says, “Narcissists punish everyone around them for their lack confidence in themselves.”
- They are not empathic.
Inability to empathize or the capacity to understand what someone else feels is among the main characteristics of a narcissist Walfish states. People with NPD tend to be not able to express their apologyTrusted Source or recognize the emotions and viewpoints of other people.
“Narcissists don’t have the skills of making you feel valued and validated, valued or loved, as they aren’t aware of the concept of feeling,” she says.
Does your spouse care if you’re having a bad day at work or fight with your most trusted friend, or get into a fight between your family members? Do they become annoyed when you talk about what makes you angry and sad?
Walfish states that this inability to understand, or even sympathize is the primary reason for the majority, if certainly it’s not the case, romantic relationships with people suffering from NPD end up failing, regardless of whether romantic or not.
- They do not have one (or many) long-term friendships
It’s normal for people who suffer from NPD to be in frequent conflict with their peers. Examine their relationships and you’ll notice that they have a few close acquaintances.
Additionally those with NPD are often hypersensitive to Trusted Source and vulnerable. In the end, they could lash out if you are trying to be social with others.
They may say you don’t have too much time with them. They could making you feel guilty about having time with friends or criticize you for the kind of friends you have.
Questions to consider
“How do I treat my partner when they encounter those who they don’t like?”
“Does my spouse have friends who are long-term?”
“Do they ever talk about wanting to be a Nemesis?”
- They constantly pick on you.
At first, it seemed like a joke, but it soon became rude. It was like suddenly everything you do including what you wear and eat , to whom you go out with and the shows you watch is a concern for the other.
Hostile behavior and animosity are well-documented characteristics of Trusted Source those with NPD and their effect on others is significant.
“They’ll make you feel bad or accuse you of being rude, hit you with cruel one-liners, and tell jokes that don’t seem humorous,” Peykar says. “Their aim is to reduce the self-esteem of others so that they can improve their own by making them feel confident.”
In addition reacting to their words could just make them more aggressive. “A Narcissist is a fan of a reaction,” Peykar says. This is because it proves to them that they are able to influence the emotional state of another.
A warning signal When someone knocks on you with insults after you perform something that is worth celebrating take a step back and get off the ground.
“A Narcissist may say, ‘You could have done that because I wasn’t sleeping well’ or use some other excuse to make it appear that you’re enjoying an advantage they don’t possess,” Tawwab says.
You should realize that you’re not more superior than them. They believe that there’s no difference.
- They light up your eyes
Gaslighting is one of the methods of manipulation and emotional abuse and is a characteristic of Narcissism. The people with NPD might tell outright lies or falsely blame others or spin the truth and eventually alter your perception of reality — particularly when it comes toTrusted Source’s perceived threats to authority or fear of being abandoned.
Gaslighting indicators are:
You’re no longer the person you once were.
You are more nervous and less secure than you once did.
Sometimes you wonder if your being oversensitive.
You are convinced that every action you take is wrong.
You always believe it’s your blame when things aren’t working.
You’re often apologizing for your actions.
There’s a feeling that something is wrong, but you’re unable to determine what’s wrong.
You may be unsure of your reaction to your partner is right.
You justify your partner’s actions.
“They use this tactic to cause others to doubt themselves , as a way to establish themselves as superior. Narcissists thrive off being idolized, therefore they employ manipulative tactics to make you perform exactly that,” Peykar says.
- They believe they’re right about everything, and they never apologize
People suffering from NPD are usually described by Trusted Source as arrogant and possessing a cocky attitude or behavior. It’s the reason fighting with a narcissist can seem impossible.
“There is no debate or compromise with a narcissist since they always have the right answer,” Tawwab says. “They don’t always see the disagreement as a conflict. They’ll see it as a way of giving you some insight.”
According to Peykar the Peykar Institute, you could be with a narcissist when you think that your partner:
isn’t able to hear you
won’t understand you
does not take responsibility for the actions of the matter.
Don’t ever attempt to compromise.
If ending the relationship is the most effective strategy for one who suffers from NPD, Weiler advises avoiding the negotiation process and arguing.
“The most important thing that can drive a narcissist mad is their lack of control and absence of fighting. If you don’t combat them and more power confer on them the better,” she says.
They don’t even believe they’re doing something wrong, they seldom apologize.Trusted Source
- When they see that you’re not done, they get angry.
People suffering from NPD are particularly susceptible to shame and humiliation as they frequently lash out at people when they feel that their self-esteem has been shattered.
If you say that you’re done with the relationship and they’ll set out to try to make you feel bad for leaving you, Peykar says.
“Their self-esteem is so badly damaged that they begin to feel anger and hatred at anyone who has caused them to be’sick. This is because everything is someone other’s responsibility. Even the breakup.” she says.
Okay, you’re in a relationship with a narcissistWhat now?
If you’re currently in partnership with someone with NPD most likely, you’ve experienced some.
If you’re in a relationship people who are always arguing, criticizing or snarking about being able to commit to you could be physically exhausting.
How can you prepare for the end of your relationship
Keep reminding yourself that you are worthy of more.
Build stronger relationships with your friends who are compassionate.
Create a network of support with family and friends who can remind you of the reality.
Encourage your partner to speak with the help of a therapy.
Talk to a therapist for yourself.
“You cannot alter a person through NPD and make them feel happy through love and affection or changing your lifestyle to accommodate their needs and needs. They’ll never connect with you, and never feel empathy for your feelings and you’ll always feel empty after having an interaction in their presence,” Grace says.
“Narcissists aren’t able to feel satisfied in their relationships or in any other aspect of their lives because there isn’t anything sufficient their needs,” the author adds.
In essence it’s impossible to be enough for them, since they’re not enough for themselves.
“The most effective thing you can do is to cut the tie. Give them no reason. Give them no second chance. You can break up with the person and don’t offer a third, second or fourth chance.” Grace says.
Since someone who has NPD is likely to try to contact your phone and harassing you via messages or calls after they’ve processed their rejection completely, Krol recommends blocking them to ensure you stay committed to your choice.
Be aware that this article isn’t designed to diagnose your partner.
This article is intended to provide unacceptable behavior and reactions within relation to a caring and equitable relationship. If you have one or more of these characteristics doesn’t necessarily mean that your spouse to be a Narcissist. Instead, it’s a great reason to reassess whether you’re doing well within your relationships.
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