Don’t worry, I’m not going to freak you out.
Such a common yet misunderstood trait. We all think someone we know is a narcissist but usually they aren’t. Sometimes people can be selfish but it still doesn’t qualify them to be full-blown narcissist. Why is it such a hot topic? I guess media hasn’t made anything easier or it may be possible that this trait has been sensationalised over and beyond, causing confusion and even imitation by many people. Why? Because narcissists have been seen as cold, aloof, egotistical, domineering etc. All the supposed traits people think are necessary to climb up the ladder (what ladder even is this?).
The point of this blog post is to merely highlight the issues surrounding the sensationalising of this trait. So what can be done to better understand it?
Narcissism is caused by traumatic experiences, usually from negative childhood experiences but that doesn’t mean every early trauma experience leads to narcissism. Usually narcissists know they are who they are but are unwilling to make a change. This can mean it’s even more difficult for the person and the people they come in to contact with to know how to deal with the situation. If people don’t know what to do, then how can you be prepared when communicating with possible narcissists.?
One of the first things is to realise that you can’t change narcissists. It’s a true but unfortunate reality. Think about it, if narcissists don’t want to change then how can you change them? When a person is so self-centred that their success is tied to bringing those around them down, you need to be cautious, rather take care of yourself and your needs without depending on self-centred people. After all, such people don’t have your best interests, anything they potentially do, will be to serve them. So how can you recognise them? Here are some signs:
- Boasting about their successes and overshadowing other’s successes.
- Talking over you if they feel threatened by what you say.
- Using you for their needs then ignoring you when their finished.
- Same as above but one step further: pretending they never knew you! Blocked calls, messages etc.
- Overpowering presence. They seem to be watching over your every move. Anything deemed ‘wrong’ in their minds is a trouble waiting to happen.
Narcissists are their own worst enemy. You however don’t have to be the hero in this story. If someone close to you in your opinion is narcissistic, it can be incredibly difficult to navigate through such relationships. While this isn’t a post for self-therapy, it certainly is a post for awareness and reflection. Let’s not sensationalise someone’s problem because on the surface it looks ‘cool’. Sometimes personas can be deceiving. Be careful and stay safe. Until next time.