Do you have a person close to you who may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Sometimes you can break contact, sometimes you can’t. Then dealing with a narcissist can be extremely difficult.
This article explains what a narcissistic personality disorder is, how to recognize it and how to deal with it.
These tips can help you avoid losing yourself in a social relationship with a narcissist.
What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Narcissistic personality disorder is one of many types of personality disorders. It’s between your ears.
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which individuals:
- Having an exaggerated sense of self;
- Have a deep need to get undue attention and admiration from others;
- Having troubled relationships with other persons and a lack of empathy for others.
But behind this mask of seemingly extreme self-confidence is a fragile self-esteem that is vulnerable to the slightest criticism.
Narcissism is between the ears; it is a serious mental disorder.
Narcissists are often initially seen as arrogant and self- centered . Nothing could be further from the truth.
It is primarily a disorder that, again, is between the ears. So it is not an egocentric behavior. The narcissist is convinced that he or she is better than others and therefore deserves attention.
The tricky part is that this is not always immediately apparent, but sometimes it only becomes clear after a while that apparent empathy actually arose from this constant sense of superiority.
Narcissistic personality disorder is problematic for the person. Not so much that this person himself has the idea that it makes him worse.
In particular, the disorder causes social problems in relationships with other individuals. Think, for example, of problems in the field of relationships (romantic, but also friendships), work, school or financial matters.
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are generally unhappy and disappointed when they don’t receive the special attention, favors, or admiration they believe they deserve. They may not find their relationships with others satisfying.
Those around the narcissist probably don’t like being around the narcissist. In particular, the people who are close to the narcissist often lose out because of the disorder.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Example: Donald Trump
The best example I can give of a famous person who clearly has Narcissistic Personality Disorder is Donald Trump, the President of the United States.
This man is extremely full of himself. Everyone sees that he regularly makes serious mistakes and lies several times a day.
Yet he himself is convinced that he is the best president the United States has ever known.
He cannot admit in his head that he is actually a narcissist. He also tries to make things right.
However, for this he has to lie and cheat. The people around him are weighed down by his harsh rule.
He yells, swears, swears, rants and is racist and misogynistic, especially when things don’t go his way. This is a narcissist through and through. A textbook example, partly because of its position.
Do you recognize this in a person in your environment? Maybe even in your partner?
Then read on quickly about the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder.
The disorder is treatable through therapy; psychotherapy. This is also briefly discussed in this article.
Finally, easy tips are also included so that you can better deal with the psychological disorder of the narcissist in your own environment.
Narcissistic Traits and Characteristics
Do you want to know how to recognize narcissism in a person in your environment?
A lot of research has been done on narcissism, which has drawn up clear characteristics of narcissism. I will discuss some of them below.
In this article I will therefore focus on a summary of recognizable symptoms of a narcissistic personality disorder .
The symptoms can vary from person to person. One symptom may be visible in a person, but the other may not.
It is therefore good to see how much and to what extent these symptoms are visible in the person concerned.
The severity of the symptom can also vary.
Some symptoms of the narcissist’s disorder have a severe effect on their social environment, while others have a milder effect. Yet they are all effects of the disorder.
People with narcissistic personality disorder may:
- Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
- Feeling entitled to certain aspects and constantly asking for admiration.
- They expect to be seen as superior, even if they actually have no right to do so based on their achievements and qualities. In this way they can take credit, while they are actually not entitled to this.
- They are very fond of fantasies of success, power, fame, beauty and the perfect partner. Beware if the partner turns out not to be so ‘perfect’. Then a monster degenerates into the narcissist. Yet the partner will always be under the superiority of the narcissist.
- Erin believe that they are superior to others. They see themselves in particular in relation to special people with special achievements and talents.
- Tendency to view conversations as inferior and to belittle others in front of others.
- Often have special expectations and demand unconditional adherence to their expectations.
- Being perfectly able to take advantage of others to get what they want. This is proverbial ‘walking over the backs of others’ and ‘walking over corpses’.
- Having the unwillingness or inability to empathize with the needs and feelings of others. They are often completely incapable of showing empathy for others. If they do seem to show empathy, this isn’t sincere, it’s just a play to make themselves look better.
- Jealous of others, but they also strongly believe that others envy them.
- Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner and appearing conceited, boastful and pretentious.
- Transferring everything as the “best”. So, for example, the best car, the best office, the best sales figures, the best performance, etc., while that is not always really the case.
When it comes to the behavior of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, narcissists have a very hard time getting criticism of them as a person or their achievements.
Then they can show the following things:
- They become impatient and even angry (from hot temper to raging) if they do not (cannot) receive special treatment.
- They have problems in social interaction with other people and are easily tipped over.
- They are quick to react angrily, express disdain at others, and then try to belittle others in order to make themselves appear superior (better).
- They have trouble controlling their emotions and behavior.
- They are poor at coping with stress and adapting poorly to change.
- They can be moody and depressed when they fall short in their image of self-perfection.
- In fact, deep down they have strong feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability, and humiliation that they hide from others. You will not soon see their true emotions.
Do you recognize the above characteristics in a person in your own environment?
Perhaps you are dealing with a narcissist. How can you get along well with this person without being dominated by their narcissistic behavior?
Dealing with a Narcissist
When dealing with a narcissist in your own environment, it is very important that you can control your own emotions.
When you show your emotions or criticize the narcissist, the narcissist will try to make your life miserable in all kinds of ways but never take the criticism.
Every person can show signs of a narcissist to a greater or lesser extent. That doesn’t mean everyone has narcissistic personality disorder. You only discover the disorder when you have a deeper relationship with the narcissist.
Only then do the narcissistic qualities really surface and you realize that you are actually dealing with a narcissist. For example, you may be annoyed by certain things.
The narcissist is also less and less able to control himself and the narcissistic traits become more and more visible.
You may have a parent, brother, sister, partner or co-worker, boss, teacher, fellow student, or co-worker with strong narcissistic traits.
A narcissist cannot always confront you with his behavior, because this can be counterproductive with this disorder. Then you have to deal with it.
You can’t always confront the narcissist with his behavior. So you have to learn to deal with it.
The worst narcissists fully believe in their own greatness. Even this is not always visible.
For example, when the narcissist is actually as big as he thinks he is. Think of a famous actor, a bestselling writer or an entrepreneur with a very successful company.
Plus, narcissists aren’t always terrible people. They can also be loved, fun, or charismatic and good at what they do. As a result, narcissism is sometimes difficult to recognize in another person.
These qualities belong to the outer shell of the narcissist. But this shell also includes other qualities: egocentrism, conceit, superiority, and so on. It masks a vulnerable inner core; the seed.
However, the shell also includes a dark place of anger, manipulation and lack of empathy.
The narcissists who have these qualities are often particularly difficult to live or work with.
Others are always in the way and are always inferior. He will always try to show the superiority of the narcissist, while at the same time waltzing about the feelings and opinions of others.
When you have a narcissist in your environment, it is not always possible to ignore him or her . When this is possible, many authorities and experts advise you to end the relationship with the narcissist.
The narcissist will always try to dominate, belittle, manipulate and break you. The narcissist does not do this consciously, but does so under the influence of the psychological disorder that is in his head.
However, if it is not possible, you have to learn to deal with it. This is the case when you have a narcissist in your family or at work. It is very important that you then stand strong, learn to stand up for yourself and have a good level of self-confidence .
When you become emotionally drained, it is very important to take time out from the narcissist. For example, you can have no contact with the narcissist for a few days.
In the moment you can calmly tell the narcissist that you are taking a time-out from his narcissistic behavior and leave the room and then return after a few minutes when you are calm again.
Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
People with narcissistic personality disorder probably don’t want to know that something is wrong with them.
They don’t recognize the problem, because that requires that they don’t see themselves as superior. So that’s not going to work.
Therefore, it is unlikely that they will request treatment themselves. If they do seek treatment, they are more likely to experience symptoms of depression, drug or alcohol use, or some other mental problem.
However, even in these cases it can be difficult for them to accept treatment, as this also affects their self-esteem and superiority.
However, the life of both the narcissist and the people around him can improve a lot if the narcissist would receive treatment.
The treatment that can help with narcissistic personality disorder is therapy, psychotherapy to be precise. This means that the narcissist can talk to a psychiatrist in recurring sessions. The therapy can help with:
- Learn how to get along better so that the narcissist’s relationships with others will be more intimate, enjoyable, and fulfilling.
- To better understand the causes of the emotions that the narcissist feels. What drives the narcissist to always want to compete, mistrust others, and see themselves and others as inferior?
The therapy will focus on a behavior change to help take responsibility and learn to:
- Accept and maintain genuine, personal relationships.
- Recognize and accept one’s own qualities and personal potential, so that criticism or mistakes can be better tolerated.
- Increase the ability to better understand and deal with feelings.
- Understand and appreciate the impact of self-esteem issues.
- Letting go of the desire for unattainable goals and ideals, so that the narcissist learns to accept what is achievable.
The therapy may be short-lived to help the narcissist cope with moments of stress. Therapy may also last for a longer period of time to help achieve and maintain goals.
At some point, it may be helpful to involve family members or other important people in the narcissist’s life.
Dealing with a narcissist? 8 tips
Imagine: you are dealing with a narcissist in your immediate environment. Any attempt to change the narcissist will be in vain.
This is not about conscious egocentric behavior, but about a psychological disorder. As you have read above, it can help if the narcissist receives therapy for his disorder.
But what can you do yourself? How can you deal with a narcissist? I would like to give you some useful tips.
1: Determine what type of narcissist you are dealing with
You can put a narcissist on a certain scale. There are grandiose narcissists who strongly display many of the traits mentioned above.
However, there are also vulnerable narcissists who show fewer emotions. The great narcissist can be your ally as long as you recognize and emulate his superiority.
The vulnerable narcissist is quick to step on his toes and can then suddenly explode in anger. You may not immediately realize this distinction.
But when you first determine this for yourself, you can determine a coping strategy.
2: Acknowledge your irritation
Narcissists can be extremely annoying. This may stem from their tendency to belittle others and show no empathy at all.
If you want to get something done, the narcissist is always focused on putting themselves in the center and taking credit.
When you acknowledge your own frustrations about this, you can find the strength to deal with them and deal with your irritation with the narcissist.
3: Realize where the behavior is coming from
Vulnerable narcissists want to make themselves feel better and can therefore display annoying behavior.
Once you realize that this narcissist is in reality very insecure and vulnerable, you can better give this behavior a place. Then you can focus on what needs to be done.
This does not mean that you have to accept their behavior completely, because then you give them free rein to express their self-centered behavior. Give them the right amount of acceptance to do your job well.
4: Look at the context
Narcissism is not a disorder that always manifests itself in the same degree. Certain situations can actually stimulate narcissistic behavior because the narcissist’s insecurities are aroused more.
For example, imagine that a narcissist was rejected for a promotion he wanted and now has to work under the person who did get the job.
Out of insecurity, the narcissist will do anything to make life difficult for the person who got the job.
The narcissist can become defensive, vindictive and spiteful. In this case, the situation has contributed to the monster emerging in the narcissist.
5: Stay positive
When dealing with narcissists, you shouldn’t argue with them. Then you are, as it were, throwing coals on the fire and the narcissistic behavior can only get worse.
Accept it, because the narcissistic behavior will eventually diminish.
6: Don’t get off track
It’s easy to lose sight of your own goals when a narcissist has taken on the leadership role.
Still, you don’t have to listen to and follow up on everything the narcissist says or does. Not even when he’s screaming for attention.
Find the right balance between following the direction you want to go and easing the fears and insecurities experienced by the vulnerable narcissist.
When dealing with a major narcissist, you can acknowledge his feelings, yet move forward toward your own goal.
7: Keep your sense of humor
You can go against the narcissist, for example by not going along with the hurtful comments and expressions of the narcissist.
It is important that you do not attack, but only resist and use humor.
You can then point out the narcissist’s inappropriate behavior and try to keep the humor in it with a laugh or joke.
This can be especially effective with the grandiose narcissist type. He will likely respond amusingly and may find your comment instructive.
8: Acknowledge that the narcissist may need help
Many narcissists actually have very low self-esteem.
This core is kept well out of sight of others, making the narcissist emotionally unavailable as well. It is important to realize that they can benefit greatly from professional guidance.
A personality can be immutable, so many people think. Psychotherapy can nevertheless help to change long-term behavior.
The narcissist’s self-esteem can be boosted with the help of a professional.
If you are dealing with an extreme narcissist and want to cut off contact, read the following tips to cut off contact with a narcissist.
In this article, the narcissist is referred to as male for convenience. However, a narcissist can actually be both a woman and a man, and thus a she or a he.