Narcissist is a word that seems to get thrown around quite a bit.
Whether it is the psychology community, shows like Criminal Minds (you know I love a good detective show) or even as an insult.
The truth is most people who use the word rarely know the full extent of what the word means.
And another hard pill to swallow is that there are more narcissists in the world than you could have ever imagined.
Some may be your closest friends and families, or the person you see when you look in the mirror.
Sorry, not sorry.
I went through so many articles and psychology websites and papers and listened to a bunch of videos and podcasts to gather the information that I have here for you.
In this post, I will be covering the following topics:
–Who is a Narcissist?
-Characteristics of a Narcissist
-Signs of Narcissism
-How do people become narcissists?
-Narcissism and Relationships / What’s it like to be in a relationship with a narcissist?
-Narcissism in Genders: Narcissistic Men and Narcissistic Women
-Sources for More Information on Narcissism
So let’s get started.
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Here’s everything you need to know about Narcissism:
Who is a Narcissist?
Narcissists are charismatic individuals. They are good at certain things, come off as generous and often seek admiration.
Generally, narcissists are known as people who are pretty self -obsessed and attention-seeking. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Characteristics of a Narcissist
1.Lack of Empathy
Narcissists rarely have any empathy or patience for your problems or woes. They are quick to remind you that your problems are your own fault (gaslighting) and even quicker to move on from conversations about you and steer it towards themselves.
And this sometimes can be veiled by sharing experiences from their life that relate to yours or it will just be another topic about themselves. If they don’t feel bad for you in your sad moments or happy for you in your good times, and don’t let you express your emotions – they are a narcissist.
Narcissists are usually all about living the good life, the grand life, and the most extravagant lives. They enjoy the finer things in life and often talk about it, boast about it, post about it and make you feel bad when you can’t afford the same.
They can be very generous with the grandness in their life which is why they do have people who stick around. But most of these people aren’t there for the person they are just there for the stuff.
Narcissists can be extremely superficial in the sense that they are more invested in material things rather than emotional well-being. They don’t care about things unless it gives them some sort of material gain or value.
4.Validation and Attention
Narcissists are constantly after validation and attention. Why do you think they are showing off their good deeds, wealth, and material purchases? They want you to feel jealous and think that they are amazing for doing these things.
They may not show you any empathy and be unresponsive when it comes to situations about you. They will be super active when it comes to situations about themselves – most likely hyperresponsive and hypersensitive. Especially when their egos get triggered, when they feel they are going to lose something, someone criticizes them, etc.
6. Sense of entitlement
They tend to believe that most things in the world are theirs for the taking. They believe they deserve to have more money, the best cars, and the biggest house. They tend to be very comfortable in new spaces and often act like they own the place.
7. Manipulative Tendencies
People who are not aware of what narcissistic tendencies look like and have a very low sense of self-worth, tend to get manipulated very easily by narcissists. The situation becomes even more prominent when narcissists are bosses, parents, or just anyone in power. They very often take advantage of people who are trying to please them and convince them why they are right, why someone else is wrong, and why things should be done their way.
8. Undermining Others
It’s extremely rare to find a narcissist who doesn’t get their jollies from putting someone else down. It may come off as a back-handed comment, poking at your insecurities, making fun of you constantly. But if someone really takes joy in making you feel bad about yourself, they are probably not the best people to be around.
ARE YOU A NARCISSIST? SIGNS THAT YOU MIGHT BE A NARCISSIST
Sign #1: One-sided Listening
You believe that your opinions matter more than anyone else’s. Your opinions, concerns, and thoughts should be talked about. You often negate, neglect, ignore, minimize what others are saying, and barely end up listening to them.
Sign #2: Me, Myself and I
You believe you are the most interesting person in the room. You have something to add to every single conversation, love it when people talk about your experiences over someone else’s, and adore being the center of attention. You want what you want and it doesn’t matter if you are taking it away from someone else. Other people are disposable and are here to do things for you.
Sign #3: Rule Breaker
You believe the rules don’t apply to you and the way you choose to live your life reflects that. You can lie and cheat when it comes to money, relationships, and games with ease and rarely end up feeling guilty about it.
Sign #4: Criticisms Declined
You can criticize others, that’s cool because you obviously know better. But if someone else criticizes you, it hurts you deeply and you will attack with words or violence and immediately try to hurt them back. If others talk about negative feelings towards other people, you find a way to make it about you in your head and think the criticisms are about you. Example: If someone says, “I’m feeling sad.” A narcissistic person would hear it as, “ You did something to make me sad.”
Sign #5: It’s Never My Fault
You don’t usually do anything wrong. When something goes wrong it’s always someone else’s fault or stupidity. If something goes wrong because of you, it is difficult for you to admit that you made a mistake and fight to make someone else understand that it wasn’t your fault. This is often because if someone says something wrong about you, you think everything about you is wrong. It’s easier for you to blame and find fault in others
Sign #6: Angry Bird
You are super confident most of the time, but you are known to get angry quite quickly. And you tend to blame others for making you angry, criticizing you, controlling you, or not listening to you. You also want them to apologize to you because, once again, it’s not your fault.
Click on the topics below to see More signs of narcissism:
How Do People Become Narcissists?
Narcissism arises out of pathological insecurity. It’s incessant, it’s consistent, it’s constant. Narcissism is commonly observed in individuals who had a reward-based childhood i.e. their parents would reward them for completing chores or only show them appreciation when they got good marks, did well in sports, etc.
Narcissistic parents can also often lead to narcissistic children. Narcissists are very often from families that reward narcissistic values like lack of empathy, over-achieving, love based on achievements, etc. These children often craving love and attention which they have observed only when they do something well, are extremely hard on themselves. They feel worthless when things don’t go their way, or when they don’t do things right. What used to be an external criticism from their parents become an internalized criticism that becomes a part of their thought process for the rest of their life.
Narcissistic parents also often try to manipulate their children into doing things of them with negative gratifications, comparison to other people, and guilt-tripping.
Narcissists are extremely negative individuals who find it tough to make real emotional connections and do so through material connections, which is why they are often very generous. People don’t enjoy their company for long periods of time but might go along with them to reap the benefits of their generosity.
According to Dr.Ramani Durvasula, a renowned psychologist who has dedicated her life’s work on understanding and educating the world about narcissism says that narcissists usually have the three C’s – Charm, Charism, and Confidence.
So it is quite easy to get swept away by a narcissist because usually, they are very charming, but this charm and confidence is usually a facade to cover their internal pain and insecurities. They don’t often let people peek behind the mask.
Relationships and Narcissism
People who fall for narcissists are usually extremely vulnerable and people pleasers by nature. There is a high chance that their parents too could have been narcissists.
A narcissist and their partner’s relationships are based on hope and fear – hope that things will get better and fear they will never find anyone better. Over time many people in relationships with narcissists start to believe this is as good as it gets. The narcissist often tries to convince their partners that they can’t do better than them, and if the partner’s insecurity levels are high enough, they will believe them.
Narcissists thrive on second chances. They are often known to lie and cheat, and if their partners are forgiving by nature, they often take them back again and again. They can easily manipulate their partners into believing their stories.
The narcissism of Genders: Narcissism in Men & Narcissism in Women
Remember both men and women can be narcissists. Although male narcissists outnumber female narcissists at the moment, the number of female narcissists are quickly rising.
Men are more likely to be narcissistic because socially and culturally they are not taught to show emotions, talk about their feelings, or show empathy.
Men are valued more when they make more money, have a big house, etc. These characteristics over time become their core values and an integral part of their personalities. Male narcissists are applauded and accepted for their narcissistic tendencies and include many people from your Fortune 500 CEOs to your Sportspersons. When anyone talks about a narcissistic male’s grandiose nature, or tempers, or anything like that it is often met with statements such as “That’s just how they are.”
Parallelly in society and culture, women are seen as people who are supposed to be emotional, nurturing, and empathetic caregivers. This is why when women show narcissistic tendencies they are called out on it much faster rather than it being accepted like it is with men.
How to Deal with a Narcissist
It’s not easy to survive a narcissistic relationship.
They get their jollies from making you feel lesser than or worthless because that’s how they feel inside. And over time their negative comments and statements become your internal dialogues.
They are not built for healthy relationships based on trust and honesty and in time, they will destroy both.
Narcissistic patterns can’t really change until the narcissistic people accept the truth and work on being better every single day. No one else can help them and very rarely are they willing to change. They may say they might but, often end up repeating the same patterns.
One way to survive a narcissistic relationship is to accept it and start noticing the patterns. When do they get triggered? When do they act vindictively? And then actively disengage.
Do not speak about topics that may get them hyperactive. Usually, they may notice your disengagement and try to provoke you into saying something which triggers them to go off. It often becomes like playing a game, a dance, with no winners.
Otherwise, it’s best to step away from it and invest your energy in healthy and reciprocal relationships.
Sources for More Information on Narcissism
One of the best sources I found on Narcissism is none other than Dr. Ramani Durvasula.
You can check out her website here.
You can check out her youtube channel here.
You can also check out her super insightful interviews with MedCircle here.
And you can watch her incredible Ted Talk right here.
Unfortunately, the world we live in today, which is steeped in consumerism rewards narcissistic thinking. It literally grows and incubates seeking external validation. Empathy and internal and emotional health are not valued as much.
The people you surround you with are a reflection of the life you are living. If people very close to you are highly narcissistic then there may be a chance that it may have affected your mental health – leading to depression, anxiety, hypersensitivity, and adopting a wide range of coping mechanisms.
Take a step back and see how it has impacted your life
Thank you for reading this post. I really appreciate your support. If you found it helpful let me know in the comments below and follow @thepurpleglitchblog on Instagram for more updates and original content.
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