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” Narcissists are great con-artists. After all, they succeed in deluding themselves. As a result, very few professionals see through them.” anonymous

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Introduction

During my life, I have met many kinds of people. What I have learned is that it is very important to understand the people you interact with on a regular basis.

If you interact with and form relationships with the wrong types of people you can live a difficult life, chained to a very toxic personality type(s). This type of person can negatively impact your entire life if you are not careful.

The purpose of this post is to provide the reader with insight into one particular type of personality. This person is commonly called a Narcissist.

Narcissists fall on a continuum. At one end of the continuum is a healthy narcissist.For example, this person may have received an award for best actor in a play. They tell all their friends about it in social media. This person simply shared their accomplishment with their friends. They didn’t hurt anyone in the process. This type of narcissism is called healthy narcissism. On the other end of the continuum is the person that exhibits unhealthy narcissism, or put another way pathological narcissism. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is included as a part of pathological narcissism. This is the type of person that hurts other people either physically and/or mentally in their professional and personal life.

For purposes of this blog, we will focus on the pathological narcissist. This is the type of person who has  a grandiose sense of themselves and who puts his or her own needs in front of anyone else. This person has little empathy for others.

It is often stated that one needs to love oneself before they can love anyone else. This is not the focus of this post.

Learning and understanding various personality types is directly related to and  impacts personal development.

Definition Of A Narcissist

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines someone who is a Narcissist as “a person who is overly concerned with his or her own desires, needs, or interests.”

How Does Someone Become A Narcissist?

  • They have parents that were either too critical or too indulging.

Too Critical

The too critical parent is the type of parent that will always be disparaging of their child. This will    make the child feel unworthy and unloved. The child will often think they need to be perfect to obtain their parents’ approval and love. To overcompensate for these feelings of inferiority, the child will compensate  and adopt a personality of superiority and dominance, two traits of a Narcissist.

Too Indulgent

There is also the self-indulging parent who tries to do everything to satisfy their child by putting them on a pedestal. As the child grows up, they become someone that has a false sense of entitlement because their parents’ spoiled them.

  • They were abused, neglected or deprived especially in their early childhood.

Other Factors

It is especially difficult for a child to grow up in this type of background. This child was not given unconditional love. To overcome these terrible feelings about oneself, this person will overcompensate and adopt various traits of a Narcissist including the need for an extreme amount of admiration and exploiting others.

  • Sometimes it relates to genetics although they haven’t identified the genes that cause narcissism.

Many authorities use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, to diagnose mental conditions. DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality  disorder include these characteristics.

  • Grandiosity
  • Arrogance and Dominance
  • Preoccupation with Success and Power
  • Lack of Empathy
  • Belief in Being Unique
  • Sense of Entitlement
  • Require Excessive Admiration
  • Exploiting Others
  • Envious of Others

Although a narcissist may have some or most of these traits, it is important to realize that these traits were developed as a result of the hurt and humiliation that the child experienced when growing up. Consequently, the narcissist compartmentalized the horrible memories he/she suffered as a child. Equally significant, he/she created a false facade of himself/herself with some or many of the above listed traits.

The fundamental problem with a Narcissist is even though on the outside they appear to be “okay,” they are people with really low self-esteem and have been damaged in their early childhood. The Narcissist is really full of shame and self-doubt due to their upbringing.

The Narcissist can experience trouble in their personal and professional relationships. This is the result of their having no interest in the  needs of others, only in their own needs.

In their working relationships, they will have a difficult time being told what to do by a superior since they must be in control at all times. It is not uncommon for a Narcissist to be changing jobs frequently.

In their personal relationships, when they think someone challenges them, they oftentimes will lash out at that other person for the slightest provocation. The Narcissist can act so mean and angry when he/she is challenged as they don’t want to face the painful repressed memories of their childhood. Therefore when challenged, the Narcissist can lie and be manipulative to gain an advantage over others. Since they lack empathy for others, their relationships remain superficial, rather than the more positive relationship where a level of intimacy develops.

How a Narcissist Can Negatively Impact Your Personal Development

  • By putting you down  you may begin to doubt your self-worth, which stifles your own growth
  • Your needs will not be met
  • You may feel very sad when you realize your Narcissist has no love for you
  • You may be unable to voice how you really feel
  • You may be uncomfortable with your Narcissist knowing that if you disagree with he/she that you may experience his/her rage
  • You may lose precious time in your life if you don’t realize you are with a Narcissist, as they are excellent actors and can hide their duplicity from you

How To Protect Yourself

  • Know what you are dealing with
  • Determine if the relationship benefits outweigh the liabilities and act accordingly
  • To the extent you are aware that the Narcissist is negatively impacting your sense of well being, evaluate the relationship and proceed accordingly

Summary

It is important to recognize detrimental personality types before and/or during you become involved with them.

This personality type can negatively impact your personal development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author: Bob

Bob is a businessman, athlete, and entrepreneur who is passionate about helping people progress personally through better self-awareness.

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