The word narcissism is used a lot in our celebrity-driven and selfie-obsessed culture. It is used to describe someone who seems overly conceited or self-center. In psychological terms, narcissism does not mean self-love which is not of an authentic kind. It is accurate to say that the people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are in love with a grand and idealized image of themselves. They fall in love with their inflated self-image of themselves.
A narcissistic person will try to avoid the deep feelings of insecurity. Also, they sustain the delusions of greatness that take a lot of work but it is where dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors take over.
What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Narcissistic personality disorder involves a self-centered and arrogant way of thinking and behavior. It causes an excessive need for admiration and a lack of empathy and consideration for others. Sometimes, narcissists are defined as selfish, arrogant, manipulative, demanding, and condescending. From work and friends to family and romantic relationships, all these behaviors and thinking emerge in a narcissist’s life.
Common Traits Of A Narcissist
Grandiose Sense of Self-Importance
Greatness is the defining characteristic of narcissism. More than vanity or arrogance, grandiosity is an unrealistic feeling of superiority. They believe that they are special or unique and can only be understood by other special people. Also, too good for anything ordinary or average. All they want is to associate and be associated with other high-ranking people, things, or places.
Their main belief is that they are better than others. As a result, they expect to be recognized in the same way, even if they have not done anything they deserve. They often outright or exaggerate lies about their talents or accomplishments.
When they talk about their relationships or work, all you will hear is that how much they have contributed to work. Also, how good they are at work and how lucky the people are to have them in their lives. In their lives, they are the undisputed star and everyone is a secondary actor at best.
Living In Fantasies to Support Delusion of Grandeur
Since reality does not support the grandiose view of themselves, narcissists live in a fantasy world sustained by distortion, magical thinking, self-deception. They weave self-glorifying fantasies of limitless power, success, attractiveness, brilliance, and ideal love that makes them feel in control and special. The fantasies protect them from feelings of shame and inner emptiness. As a result, their conflicting opinions and facts are ignored by rationalized.
Anything that threatens to burst the bubble of fantasy meets extreme defensiveness and sometimes rage. The people around the narcissist should learn to be careful of their denial of reality.
Needs Constant Admiration
The sense of superiority in a narcissist is like a balloon that gradually loses air without a constant stream of recognition and applause. The constant admiration and praise keep the balloon inflated. For a narcissist, an occasional compliment is not enough. They need constant nourishment for their egos. Hence, they surround themselves with people ready to satisfy their obsessive desire for assertiveness.
In this case or relationship, it is one-sided because what the admirer can do for them is never the other way around. On the other hand, if a narcissist experiences a decrease or interruption in praise, admiration, or attention, they consider it as a betrayal.
Sense Of Entitlement
Another trait of a narcissist is the sense of entitlement. It is because they see themselves as special and they expect the favorable treatment as they are due. They believe that whatever they want, they should get it. To your surprise, it is their only value. If you are having a narcissist around you, then you might have observed that they consider you useless if you don’t meet all of their needs.
There is no point if you are unable to complete their wish and whim. On the other hand, if you are having the nerve to challenge their will or ask for something in return selfishly, then you should prepare yourself for outrage, aggression, or a cold attitude.
Exploits Other Without Guilt
Narcissists never develop the ability to identify the feelings of others. They never put themselves in other people’s shoes. In other words, narcissists lack empathy. In many ways, they see people in their lives as objects who are there to serve their needs. As a result, they don’t hesitate to take advantage of others to achieve their ends.
Sometimes the interpersonal exploitation is malicious but it is simply unconscious in a narcissist. They don’t think of others that how their behavior affects other people. In this case, if you report it, they won’t get it. The only thing they understand and see is their needs.
Frequently Demeans And Bullies
Narcissists feel threatened when they meet someone who seems to have something they don’t have, especially who are popular and confident. They are also threatened by people who challenge them in some way or bow to them. Contempt is their defense mechanism that uses in such cases.
The only way to neutralize the threat and shore up you’re their sagging ego is by humiliating the people who challenge them. They can do this dismissively or condescendingly as if to show that how little or low that person means to them. They can attack with name-calling, insults, threats, or bullying to bring back the other person and make them bow to them.
A narcissist will hold a grudge for a long time. When they think that someone has treated them unfairly, they might feel angry but say nothing to them. Instead, they are more likely to wait for a perfect opportunity to get revenge in some way like make the person feel bad. The revenge can be passive-aggressive or subtle.
For example, they can spread a rumor about a person or sabotage the person’s professional life in some way. They might also resent people who get recognition or accolades they think they deserved. For example, a narcissist will hold a grudge against a colleague who got a well-deserved promotion. The grudges can lead to a desire for revenge, resentment, or bitterness.
A narcissist is having a trait of envy. They often envy people who have things they feel they deserved. It can be status or power they believe they should have instead of someone else. It is because of the trait of grandiose or special.
High Sensitivity to Criticism
Another trait of a narcissist is high sensitivity to criticism. It is because they have insecurities and a sense of self-worth that can be easily damaged. It can manifest as disguised narcissism. This sensitivity is not unique but of course, most people don’t like criticism, even constructive criticism. People having hidden narcissism can make sarcastic comments or dismissive comments to act if they are above criticism. But from inside, they feel enraged, humiliated, and empty.
Narcissists – Live In Fantasies
Narcissists can be charming and magnetic by using their fictional images of themselves. You get attracted to their apparent confidence or nifty dreams. It is easy to get caught in their web but you can shake it off when you know that they value you because of their needs. A narcissist is having a common trait of being praised, appreciated, special, etc.
As long as you are praising them and getting nothing in return, you mean someone special to them. But if there is a decrease or interruption, you are nothing but a betrayal. Narcissists consider themselves superior to others. Hence, they see people around them as objects or means of accomplishing their needs.