The term narcissism comes from a character in Greek mythology, called Narcissus who saw his own reflection and fell in love with him. The word is referred very often in this selfie-obsessed, celebrity-driven generation to those who are very much in love with themselves.
But in psychological terms, self-love doesn’t call narcissism. Rather it states that the person with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is in love with a glorified, self-important picture of themselves. This disorder contains a distorted self-image. There also tends to be a lack of sympathy and an inflated sense of superiority.
People with narcissistic disorder have less empathy for other’s feelings. They do very little care about what others feel and hence, can’t appreciate good things of others.
As stated by the United States’National Library of Medicine, a person with this complexity has an extreme sense of self-importance, an obsession with themselves and a lack of empathy for others.
People with narcissistic personality are generally resistant to change their behavior even if, they face problems for those. They have a tendency to blame others for their own faults. When anyone disagrees with them in anything, they can’t take it normally. They consider this as a personal attack. They are sensitive and badly react to any criticism.
However, by learning the narcissistic behavior you will be able to spot the narcissists around you and protect yourself from their paws.
Signs and Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Grandiose Sense of Self-Status
Grandiosity is the main sign of narcissists. Grandiosity involves a sense of superiority over others. Narcissists have an unrealistic feeling over themselves. They always feel that they’re special by born and everyone else is ordinary. So, they can exploit others rightfully. They think others won’t understand their potentiality. So, they don’t open things with others. They think only other special ones will be able to understand them.
A Tendency to Exaggerate Achievements
Narcissists often exaggerate their achievements while telling it to others. They expect recognition by everyone else where they even haven’t done anything. When you hear stories from them, you’ll know how much they contribute in their jobs, how exceptional they are, how lucky others to have them. Hence, you will find them telling lies every now and then to make stories about themselves.
Lives in a Fantasy World to Stay in Delusion
Narcissists do live in an unreal, imaginary world where they find themselves supermen. They love to stay in a delusion where they can fantasize of their unlimited success and power, brilliance, love life and so many other things. These fantasies help them to stay away from their inner emptiness and shame, failure, low feelings.
Wants Constant Praise and Admiration
To stay deluded in the fantasy world, narcissists need constant appreciation from others. As we know the air is required to keep a balloon inflated always. Same way, constant praise, and admiration are the boosters of their blind self-image. For getting constant food for their ego, they mix with the people who give them untrue credits. If they fail to do that, narcissists find that a sign of disloyalty.
Exploits Others Without Guiltiness
Narcissists consider others as materials of their fulfillment. They have little empathy for others. So, very often they take advantage of others and they do this consciously. They expect others should be special for them. Also, nobody should question their motives. Narcissists never understand how their behavior affects others. They only care about their needs.
Fails to Maintain a Healthy Relationship
People with narcissistic personality disorder are unemotional mostly. Their life circulates only within their needs. They want to seek power from whoever they are with. They always demonstrate their superiority over others. As a result, they don’t usually end up with many healthy relationships. None can live with them happily. This type of person is found to be lonely for this reason.
Constantly Bullies, Belittle and Demean Others
Narcissists feel threatened when they come close to someone who is better at anything than them. They can’t accept the fact that anyone can be better than them. So, they find ways to mitigate their shortcomings. Instead of taking care of their skills, they put others down. They insult those people for keeping their egos upright. Also, they bully, threaten, belittle and spread fake things about others.
Reasons Behind the NPD Disease
There is no defined cause of narcissistic personality disorder. But researchers agree that both genetic and environmental causes are responsible for that. Many of the traits that they possess occur during the stages of mental growth.
Below there are few examples of negative or critical environments interacting with the mental developmental phases:
- Being born in a hypersensitive environment.
- Being excessively praised for good behaviors and bullied for bad ones.
- Being over-pampered, high expected by parents.
- Learning manipulative behavior from others in childhood.
- Suffering from severe childhood exploitation.
- Being excessively admired with no real feedback.
- Receiving too many praises from others for looking and abilities.
If you are suffering from this disorder, you should contact a psychotherapist for treatment. But studies show that people with this condition rarely go for treatment. Because they are not willing to admit that they are in this condition.
So, agreeing with the problem will be the first step to cure this disorder. However, if you or your loved ones are suffering from the disorder you should go for a treatment.
How to Deal with Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
It’s hard to deal with the complexity. Psychotherapy is the prime treatment for the problem. With psychotherapy, one can understand what the reasons are behind for this and how this is affecting him and others. This also helps to learn to spread more positivity to others.
However, the process of this treatment is pretty slow. It may take years to bring any change in the behavior of someone. This is because the traits that are creating problems have been practicing for years.
Understanding the problems and working on those is a lengthy process with no wonder. Change of behavior includes accepting responsibility for your actions and learning ways to behave in an appropriate manner. These include:
- Minimizing your desire to attain unrealistic goals.
- Tolerating criticisms and disappointments.
- Maintaining healthy relationships with others.
- Understanding other’s feelings and care for them.
The process of treatment is difficult, but you need to be stick with it. Keep an open mind toward the process. Maintain the plans, educate and confess to yourself about your condition. You may have negative feelings toward the treatment, by acknowledging and taking the right treatments are the only things that can help you to come out from this disorder.
How to Deal with Someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder
To build a happy and healthy relationship caring and mutual respect are important. Narcissists lack in both. They hardly care for others. They don’t see you or hear you. It’s not like that they’re doing it willingly, but they aren’t really able. So, it’s difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with them.
If there’s someone narcissist around you and you feel that they are important to be in your life, you have to take steps to make things right after reading this.
People like them will deliberately enter your life where you are on your own to make decisions. They will tell you how to react, feel, what to think even. They will steal your ideas. So, to make them understand and set a healthy boundary from the people with NPD disease, you must find a way how to approach/deal with them.
Besides, when people obstruct your progress to your life goals, be ready to tell them. It’s your job to find a way of approach. You will have to tread softly because they won’t understand you at first. So, be patient. Try to deliver your message calmly, humbly and as gentle as possible. If they respond with anger, try to stay calm and walk away. You can start the conversation later again.
When narcissists play roles to barricade your goals and they don’t understand even if you try to make them understand, be courageous enough to set a boundary with them. The narcissists will feel threatened and upset seeing your actions. They may step down their demands, distance themselves to punish you or attempt to manipulate you into giving up new boundaries but it’s up to you to stay firm.
It is okay to have any disorder whether it is a mental or physical condition. The thing that is important most is: how you deal with the matter. If the syndrome of someone bothers you, think, you may have got this disorder too. So, be compassionate with them, be patient.
If you have found that you have some signs of this narcissistic personality disorder, do not get disappointed. Take it easy and follow the treatment steps. If it becomes out of control, we advise you to consult with the psychotherapist.