How to deal with a narcissist?
Although not all characteristics of a narcissist have to be negative by definition, it is often difficult to deal with a narcissist in the long run. In a relationship, there is often spoken of mental violence by a narcissist. If you are not mentally strong, a narcissist can do a lot of harming and you can become insecure. However, it is difficult to determine whether someone is a narcissist. There are several online tests available that can give you an idea if someone could be a narcissist, but only specialized therapists can make a diagnosis.
What are the symptoms of a narcissist?
The most characteristic feature of a narcissist is 'megalomania'. Narcissists believe that they are better, smarter, prettier, or a combination of these. They can shout from the rooftops how great they are and have an enormous need for admiration from their immediate surroundings. They know everything better than anyone and feel superior to their surroundings.
Narcissists can exaggerate enormously well. If they have done something that others have done, their performance is just a little bit more special. If necessary, they come up with something that makes it look like it was something extraordinary. They also believe that they are very talented and like to exaggerate how much talent they have for something.
3. Addicted to attention and prestige
Ordinary people are not special in the eyes of a narcissist, so they like to be surrounded by other special people. These are people with a certain status or prestige, and the narcissist believes that he is even above them. The narcissist thus asks for attention and prestige and will let everyone know which influential friends he has. The narcissist prefers that his whole environment admires him all day long and praises him for who he is and who he knows.
4. Hunger for power and success
The life of a narcissist is dominated by power and success. The hunger for this success and the use of power is difficult to satisfy. He will always find ways to pursue the ultimate success and pretend to be the most powerful person on earth.
5. Striving for the ideal picture
A narcissist not only finds himself very special, but he also has the ultimate relationship, the best sex life, and the most beautiful partner. It's all about perfection in the eyes of a narcissist.
6. Unrealistic expectations
Because the narcissist feels superior to everything and everyone, he regularly has unrealistic expectations. He must and would impose his will on others, and they should follow them silently in his eyes because the narcissist always knows everything better. There is no compromise, and there is no other way then agreeing.
Even though narcissists are initially very charming, they cannot understand the feelings of others. Narcissists have a lack of empathy. What others think or feel is irrelevant if it does not work to the advantage of the narcissist. It is, therefore, tough to have remorse. Because the narcissist thinks he doesn't make mistakes, but also because he can't feel regrets.
8. Abuse of others
A narcissist's goals are always leading. They will not hesitate to abuse others for their benefit. Their own goal is much more important, and victims can suffer as a result. Mental and sometimes even physical violence is a weapon that can be used by a narcissist at times.
Because a narcissist is always right and his goals and ambitions take precedence over anything and anyone else, the pressure is exerted in various ways on the environment to participate in this. This can involve simple wishes such as a partner should be dressed, but also big things such as the kind of work a partner does. Everything has to go the way the narcissist wants it to, and if not, every means of pressure is entitled to let it go the way the narcissist wants it.
Narcissists live in the delusion that everyone is jealous of them. They are also extremely jealous. Someone else shouldn't be better off than them, and happiness is only meant for the narcissist himself.
11. Aggressive behavior
Because a narcissist feels superior to everyone and everything, he finds it legitimate to use physical violence if it contributes to his goals. His language is also aggressive if he doesn't get what he wants.
12. Distorted picture of the truth
A narcissist is a smooth talker. The problem is that he only wants to see one side of the coin and will always distort the truth in such a way that you will be forced to see only the same side. The truth as a narcissist understands it is true, and he will lie and twist it until the rest of the world sees it the same way.
13. Lack of intimacy
Narcissists seem sympathetic and engaging at first sight because of their smooth talk. They can be very attentive and can win many hearts for themselves in a manipulative way. But when it comes to real intimacy, the narcissist can't surrender. He will never really commit or surrender to anyone. It is a sign of weakness in the eyes of a narcissist.
14. To denigrate
To feel great, a narcissist will make a lot of use of denigrating language when he speaks about others. To a narcissist, belittling is not a trick; it's in his nature. Others are not good and can never do well.
15. Making blames
If something fails in the eyes of a narcissist, he will do everything in his power to blame someone else. It's never his fault and always the fault of the other. He will even blame people and circumstances that have nothing to do with the failure of something. By lying and twisting words or situations, he will ensure that his greatness is not affected.
16. No self-reflection
A narcissist can hardly face himself. Any form of self-reflection is entirely alien to him. Because narcissists are very insecure about themselves, they don't want to look at their weaknesses. They, therefore, also have problems with personal development and growth.
When is someone a narcissist?
The diagnosis of narcissism can only be made by a professional therapist and after a thorough assessment. Sometimes a person is not a narcissist at all, but he does show many similar symptoms. Self-centered behavior or depression, for example, can reveal many symptoms of narcissism.
Besides, there are many gradations of narcissism. If you only have one or two symptoms of a narcissist, that doesn't mean that the person is a narcissist.
Is narcissism treatable?
There are different therapies to treat narcissism, and they are effective. Because a narcissist is so insecure and has no self-reflection, the person will not seek treatment quickly. If 100 professionals were to prove that a narcissist suffers from narcissism, they would usually still deny it and fall into a pattern of conspiracy against him or that the professionals don't have the knowledge to determine it. Don't forget that a narcissist feels superior to everyone and everything and will not take anything for granted. So there is a treatment, but the narcissist will seldom give in to it.
Can you live with a narcissist?
It can be difficult at times, but you can live with a narcissist. The only question is whether you should want to do that. You will have to be strong and accept a lot. For example:
- Always have to say, think and do what the narcissist wants
- Never contradict and confirm everything that is said
- Good at being able to take the blame and always getting the blame
- Never be able to do anything right and give many compliments
- Accepting twisted truths, lies and boasts
- Never be seen or heard or appreciated
- Never really be loved
- Often used for the purposes or desires of your partner
Can you work with a narcissist?
Although a narcissist will always behave dominantly, it is relatively easy to get something done from them. Don't expect to be able to talk about collaboration, but you can work with a narcissist if you use some basic principles.
If you compliment the performance of a narcissist, you create an opening to add some of your ideas. If you then make him feel that it was his idea or at least inspired by his brilliant ideas, he'll soon be inclined to come with you. It can even happen that he will idealize you through this behavior, and then you will get a lot done at a narcissist.
2. Avoid any form of criticism
If you consciously or unconsciously criticize a narcissist, he will never forgive you for this. Take the blame yourself before the narcissist can blame you and compliment what the narcissist has done well.
3. Make the narcissist great
Do everything you can to confirm the narcissist's self-image. Make him great. For example, by making yourself or your contribution small and of minor importance.
4. Be silent about the nonsense a narcissist tells you.
Whatever lie or nonsense the narcissist is telling, don't argue with it. Shut up or agree with what is being said, but do not engage in confrontation. You won't lose a discussion if you're right, but you won't win it either. It's a shame to bother, and you won't get anything done by the narcissist anymore.
5. Make sure you stay of value
Because a narcissist only thinks in terms of his gain, he will terminate the cooperation if you no longer have any value. From "hero" to "zero", with a narcissist happens in a second. Remember that a narcissist only wants to do something with you if he benefits from it himself.
Are you looking for help, or do you want to talk to someone about narcissism?
Do you have a narcissist in your life, or are you a narcissist yourself, and are you looking for help? Through TheONE, you can directly contact life coaches who can help you. You call them via a live video connection and pay per minute. The first minute is free, and you only pay for as long as the call lasts.
Author Bio: Ben Steenstra is Co-founder of TheONE and writes on various topics such as SEO, Strategy, Marketing, and Communication. Because of his Neuro-Semantics background, he also writes about Coaching and mental disorders.