I am genuinely tired of this word being tossed around like a baseball in a group of kids playing outdoors! It’s like every single time someone is heartbroken, they CLAIM NARCISSIST or someone else throws out ‘he’s a narcissist….you need to run!’
Like seriously, HOW can someone advise someone else on a relationship based on their own personal trauma or experience, much less diagnose someone from a post on social media or in a drive by interaction?
It legitimately makes no sense to me.
Anyway, to help put back into the energy cycle the truth about humans and human interaction, I wanted to start at a place where I personally see is the number ONE issue…..Narcissism.
What is Narcissism and who has it?
A Narcissist is ANY individual who lacks empathy, which is the primary trait amongst ALL narcissists, and may outwardly or even secretly be self-entitled, have anger and rage issues, have an inability to handle disappointments or stressors and seem to constantly be seeking validation, either by shallow means such as the way they dress, or attention seeking and grandiosity.
Initially, they are charming, generous and may even be charismatic as part of their facade.
It’s all about “HOW THEY LOOK” in your eyes….at first. This behavior transforms over time into the external framework that creates the difficulty another person experiences in the relationship. This appearance and difficulty level, or challenge and toxicity, will look vastly different depending upon how new the relationship is or depending on how much ‘value’ an individual has that will benefit the Narcissist.
This is why some people will view a narcissist as generous or kind (they hold value for the narcissist) while some will view them as mean.
Narcissism is to emotional insecurities as a cast is to broken bones.
Narcissism is not a diagnosis, whereas Narcissist Personality Disorder is. Experts who have been studying and treating Narcissism for decades say around 2% of the population actually have NPD, where approximately 50% of the population has Narcissism. NPD is someone who is Narcissistic BUT has recognized they NEED HELP because their life is deteriorating in some aspect.
A narcissist, conversely, doesn’t NEED help because there is ‘nothing wrong with them…it’s all YOU’ and your fault.
Half of the people in life you encounter are Narcissistic! You may even be one of them. It is also stated by clinicians that men are at greater incidence of narcissism than women, at an 80/20 ratio!
The Primary reason for this is due to the socialization of men in that they are taught to hide emotions, to focus on achievements and being in power, winning, to strive for top level performance (be the best) and to toughen up in the world.
Women who exhibit many of these signs are often kept in check when they begin exhibiting these traits early on, but men are often applauded.
The prevalence of narcissism is said to actually be more like a ‘How To’ guide in establishing one’s position in the New World Order (CEO, celebrity status, athletes, influencers, politicians, religious figures etc).
Being Narcissistic does NOT mean you are selfish or that you like things a certain way or in a particular order. It doesn’t mean you must be in charge. It doesn’t even mean you are obsessive. These things by themself are not narcissistic. In fact, sometimes you are just dealing with a jerk. Plain and simple.
It does mean you have an inability to formulate DEEP INTIMATE EMOTIONAL relationships and have an INFLATED SENSE of SELF and SELF-IMPORTANCE. How you express this may differ, but there are certain traits prevalent in all narcissists.
In fact, experts can confidently identify the following 6 traits, out of nearly 3 dozen different narcissist traits, in ALL folks who are truly Narcissistic. These are the core of a narcissist.
- Grandeous behaviors and expressions. Having the best stuff, planning amazing and extravagant events. Arrogance, superiority, whether situational or as a whole, and having exaggerated behaviors, conversations and reactions. This trait is seen in those who drive the fancy car, wear boutique clothes, want the good looking or wealthy partner, brag about their degrees, their certifications and their careers. Grandeous is different in terms of expression, but you can be sure it’s going to be BIG no matter how it’s expressed.
- Lack of empathy, prevalent in every single Narcissist. Cold, unfeeling, not understanding of others emotions and feelings, even those they are intimate with. This trait is when a person genuinely does not care how their words, actions, behaviors and interactions MIGHT make someone else feel. It’s not just the lack of empathy for strangers but it’s also a lack of concern for how their friends, family and even spouses may feel because of their actions. And remember, it’s all about getting THEIR goals met so fake emotions will be deployed towards those who serve their needs.
- Sense of entitlement. This is something all narcissists possess, whether internally via beliefs and thoughts or externally by actions. They expect special treatment or beliefs they shouldn’t have to deal with mundane tasks (ie…waiting in line is a common one, and when they do, you have to HEAR about it). They deserve to do it differently, and shouldn’t have to follow rules…even the rules are there to maintain boundaries or prevent others from getting hurt.
- Seeking validation and attention. This can be through their looks, which may be grandiose, their status, materialism, doing good deeds, volunteering, helping, boasting about their likes on photos or their friends on social media, being loud and boisterous in a room and any other way they can draw attention to them, their success, their career, their kids, their new car…it’s attention. You know these folks quickly by how they show you their stuff and talk about their success.
- Avoid responsibility, not always but frequently. They do this through blaming others for their own suffering or struggles, defend themselves and their ‘unique’ situation instead of owning their own responsibility in a situation. Blamers cannot see their responsibility in how their grandiose and emotionless actions hurt others, nor can they see they are responsible for things going wrong.
- Poor boundary setting skills and shallow or superficial connections with others. Remember, they are only in the connection for what it can do for them so they will fail miserably at setting boundaries with someone they deem as an opportunity, but will be rigid towards someone that is their own child or spouse. Often, they have inappropriate behaviors in their friendships and acquaintances such as being flirty, opening windows and doors for future opportunities, making lewd or sexual jokes, innuendos, sex banter, words or actions. They may try to appeal to the opposite sex as a means of validation, BUT without regards for how their own partner may feel. Note….if their partner expresses this inappropriateness hurts them, they are often accused of being silly or jealous!
These 6 traits are in all Narcissists. ALL!
Other traits that may or may not be present, but having 9 of these in addition to the 6 above, you can be almost 100% assured you are or have in your life a narcissistic individual.
*Manipulative to get own needs met
*Quick to temper/rage, yell inappropriately to a situation
*Expert showmanship/BIG SHOW production
*Project their own feelings onto others (if they are being distant, accuse their partner of being distant)
*Greedy/materialistic or shallow
*Emotionally cold or distant
*Vain and absorbed with physical appearances or how they APPEAR to others
*Controlling, obsessive and compulsive for order around their schedule, their home, their life
*Unpredictable moods and moodiness and / or behaviors, or having to walk on eggshells for fear of setting them off
*Takes advantage of others in order to achieve their wants/needs
*No respect for others time, situation, feelings, family etc.
*Enjoy seeing others fail or get hurt, even die, especially those they perceive as doing better than them
*Sexually and/or emotionally unfaithful to their partner or spouse.
*Tune out others when they are talking; so self absorbed they ignore or get on their device or do something else
*Hyper sensitive when they are stressed, often having melt downs, check out, stonewall others and even play victimization. Can lead to substance abuse (alcohol, medications, weed, etc).
*Neglectful and not mindful during basic communication of courtesy; will do things that hurt their partner or show disrespect like being chronically LATE and careless with what they do or who they interact with.
*Use their appearance and sexuality to get attention. Intentionally not wearing a bra, being flirty, using sexual banter with ‘acquaintances’ and friends or sexual words (tits, balls, or sex words) with others around.
*Prone to tantrums, rage and anger when they don’t get their way.
*Charismatic and sweet, initially in a relationship, but this slowly stops the deeper the relationship gets and is often used against you later, especially when their negative traits are used and you protest or try to express how you feel (ie…I do everything for you and even make sure you are always happy…you are just being selfish and silly thinking I was encouraging her to come onto me).
Narcissists do not like to be left, do not like to be told they are wrong, do not like to be criticized and do not like people confronting them. It’s often ugly! An example is a divorce or separation….it will be guaranteed an ugly ride!
Contrary to assumptive people, Narcissism is NOT an innate trait! You aren’t born with it. It is TAUGHT, LEARNED and DEVELOPED directly by how you were parented.
Where does it manifest?
Narcissists are GROWN, not born.
It can be from having narcissistic parents, but it’s primarily how parents treat their children when they are growing up. Giving them material stuff, constantly telling them they are beautiful or smart, giving grandiose gifts like money, cars, big parties, electronics…anything they want or anything a parent FEELS their kid should have access to. I want my kids to have what I didn’t is often the parental mantra.
I see moms buying their children nice expensive clothing, fancy cars, top of the line cell phones, taking them on trips/vacations, giving them credit cards, high ticket electronics and allowing them to do what they want freely. This is how narcissists are created and fed. They are given given given.
It’s the soccer mom or football dad who show up to every game and is on the sidelines cheering their kid on….but give that kid an iPad to keep them occupied and out of their hair when the kids need them the most.
It’s the parent who is in the house, but fails to show genuine love and affection or appropriate attention when the kiddo wants to grow a garden or play in the rain, but gives attention over making straight As, winning the championship, tournament or trophy….again. The parent who is more attune to planning the grand party for the kid than just spending the day with them.
Growing narcissists by replacing genuine love and affection with stuff or attention in dance performance or beautiful photographs….that’s how it’s done! These individuals LEARN to expect validation and attention through appearances or status or aggression or by winning or being seen as the BEST.
What are the signs of Narcissism?
When you initially engage in a relationship with an individual, intimate or other relationship, where someone is overly generous or attentive, this is a pretty clear sign.
TOO MUCH on the forefront is a pretty clear indicator. You may even feel like you are being swept off your feet with their openness and generosity. They invite you over, buy you gifts or pay for things. They write love letters, send flowers and buy gifts. Too much!!! Too much in terms of fluffing ones feathers. Too much in trying to make themselves appear kind, generous, giving, philanthropic and amazing.
They are like TWO people….saying words that sound genuine, but with actions and intentions that are actually quite selfish. Remember, they aren’t being genuine, they are trying to buy you because you serve them and their needs and wants. The second you don’t, the gifts stop.
They often EXPECT a thank you when they give, and you can expect they will turn it around on you later saying they GAVE you gifts or did generous things for you. Especially if they treat you bad (and they will)! These expressions are a CAGE for future entrapment.
They will often give direct advice where advice has not been requested. They will tell you what YOU SHOULD have done or should do. This is often done in a critical or condescending manner as opposed to genuinely wanting to help YOU. They are often demeaning, degrading and invalidating. They expect you to appreciate their advice.
Often, they appear to be well put together, either outwardly or they hedge their words to not let others see their truth. This is for validation purposes. When someone sees their truth, they will often mistreat these folks exponentially.
They will talk about their amazing friends, their amazing events, their amazing past, their amazing experiences, their amazing job, their amazing life. This is part of the grandiosity the need to deflect from their deep insecurities.
When someone tells a story, instead of listening, they will tell a story that is one better. The ONE-UPPER. Their pain or injury is greater than yours. Their experience was greater than yours. Their suffering is greater than yours. Their business is more important than yours.
They will often speak of their network with praise, even stardom, in an attempt to overshadow any accomplishments or successes you may have. They don’t want you to be more successful or more knowledgeable than them.
Based on the traits, people experience narcissists and their abuse very differently.
Are there different kinds of Narcissism?
You bet there is!
Although one type is prevalent in all of the other types, there are basically 4 different types of Narcissism.
The Grandiose Narcissist is noticeable in all of the other 3 types. It is the most common type and is deemed the coverup type, used to deflect or hide one’s true insecurities. It is often identified by EGO, ARROGANCE, SELF IMPORTANCE, LACK OF LISTENING and SUPERIORITY.
Their mantra is “I AM SO GREAT, I KNOW IT ALL, I HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS”.
The second type is the MALIGNANT Narcissist, which is the most problematic type. This individual is all things the Grandiose is, but they are aggressive, combative, argumentative, threatening and tend to lash out with anger and rage. This is the MEAN person. They often get back at or are vindictive and may even engage in direct hurtful behaviors like infidelity and stealing because they believe they deserve better. Again, these folks can be really mean and these are often the physically abusive or their behaviors are directly harmful or illegal…and they don’t care. They may feel regret if they hurt someone in their close circle, but as a general rule, they do not care about others.
Next is the COVERT Narcissist, which again has all the traits of the Grandiose Narcissist but has a sense of superiority and self-absorbance that is manifested by them being CHRONICALLY VICTIMIZED! They always seem to be passed over, sick or missed the opportunity because someone looked past them. They couldn’t log in. They didn’t have time because they were soooo busy. They got left out of a gathering. They believe they NEED more attention because of their suffering, illness or situation. These folks OFTEN initially look depressed or despondent. However, if treated for depression, they DON’T GET BETTER (they just take more medications and complain and continue to play victim). Their mantra is typically “Well, you guys have it easier today with all the technology which is why you are successful” or some sense of they weren’t successful because it was harder back then. They are super hypersensitive to criticism and often use their victim status to make themselves to appear to deserve special treatment.
The last is the COMMUNAL Narcissist. This individual focuses on greatness. Helping the homeless, doing missionary work, helping animals or some repressed or abused group. However, these works are often done only in the presence of a group or community as a means to make themselves appear valuable.
They like to write checks for organizations or publicly give donations. They will SAY they don’t want recognition, but YOU KNOW who gave the time, money, resource because they make sure you know covertly! They host events, parties, gatherings such as barbecues and food drives to outwardly appear caring and generous. In reality, they don’t really CARE about the homeless or animals.
It’s about the recognition, not the service.
Most often the communal narcissist will publicly and outwardly APPEAR to be put together, organized, in charge, helpful, generous and caring but their private life is often then polar opposite and they are often a wreck. They have zero empathy and seek validation for their works (even if they say they don’t, they are on social media posting the event or they are talking about what they did or their generosity).
In summary, a person who deals with a narcissist regularly will often feel unheard or ignored. It’s like their spouse will laugh and smile and joke with someone else but will often not do the same with them. They are left out of conversations, some of which are inappropriate. They endure criticisms daily, sometimes through tiny stabs and ‘jokes’, but even through condescending behaviors and sarcasm. Through the abuse, they feel they just aren’t enough for the narcissist. They try to be enough, defend themselves and even be honest but they are yelled at and criticized for being too needy or too emotional or too rule bound.
The one who endured the narcissist often feels there may be HOPE they the individual will change….they will somehow see their value or start to listen to them….or give them some attention.
Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to change a narcissist. When shit goes south for a narcissist, even if they have learned to manage their traits, they will always revert to their old ways. Often, they end up apologizing for their blow ups and tantrums, stonewalling and behaviors. They may even bring gifts to show their false sense of remorse.
They NEED to feel important and all relationships are there to serve THEIR needs, wants and wishes. Once the service is done or the victim becomes wise or sets boundaries, the relationship is terminated and it’s never a pretty experience.
Relationships are expendable to serve the narcissist. That’s it.
They need validation and have no emotional empathy for others. Period. The top 4 core traits include lack of empathy, grandiosity , entitlement and validation.
A narcissist is the BEAST and their emotional partner is beauty, often dancing around the beast trying not to upset him so she doesn’t get eaten or killed. She has hope he will become a prince! But the reality is he will always be the BEAST, just sometimes more refined.
If you think you may be a Narcissist, ask yourself: Do I genuinely CARE about the feelings and, or emotions and the emotional well being of others?
This may be your first hint.