We talk about them a lot, they are everywhere whether it be in our families, homes, friends, schools, workplace, social circles, etc. Though we would want to we can’t always avoid having some sort of relationship with them. So, what this means is that we should be able to at least identify them and know how to relate to them for our own mental health.
Why do we need to know how to deal with them you may still wonder? The fact is the narcissist isn’t out to make people happy. Instead, their goals are to seek praise, use and manipulate others for their own acceleration, seek to look superior, drive you crazy or insane, etc. and in the process of doing these will torture the hell out of their victims. And don’t ever be fooled into thinking that narcissists go around looking like unkind or evil persons. They are instead some of the most charismatic persons you will ever come across. After all, they need to be charismatic in order to get you under their wings to begin the cycle of manipulation and your dependency on them.
But as with other disorders, not all persons will fit the DSM criteria for a diagnosis of having narcissist personality disorders but persons may fall somewhere on the spectrum having signs of some of the common traits (or narcissistic behaviour). The APA Dictionary of Psychology defines a narcissist personality disorder in DSM–IV-TR and DSM–5,
“a personality disorder with the following characteristics:
(a) a long-standing pattern of grandiose self-importance and an exaggerated sense of talent and achievements;
(b) fantasies of unlimited sex, power, brilliance, or beauty;
(c) an exhibitionistic need for attention and admiration;
(d) either cool indifference or feelings of rage, humiliation, or emptiness as a response to criticism, indifference, or defeat; and
(e) various interpersonal disturbances, such as feeling entitled to special favors, taking advantage of others, and inability to empathize with the feelings of others”.
Ten Things Narcissists Do to Appear Smarter Than They Really Are (https://youtu.be/OMkrosLHIEs)
- Unnecessarily correcting other people’s grammar and saving up mistakes to use as a future reference to bring down other persons. Also, every mistake that someone makes, is seen as something major by the narcissist.
- Using technical words or jargons from other fields to look intelligent only that unknowingly to others they are using the words incorrectly.
- They tend to talk about areas that others know nothing about or very little about and if by chance an expert in the field joins the conversation, the narcissist switches the topic or exits the conversation.
- Generally rigid in thinking and will support a position even when there is adequate evidence against it or lacking.
- They will attack persons who have a different view on a topic and if the argument itself cannot be won then they will attack or discredit the person instead.
- Blame others for their own mistakes and usually don’t accept errors on their part.
- Will say they are using logical reasoning when evidence of this does not exist.
- They focus on the deficits and flaws of others, discount the success of other persons, lack appreciation for all types of intelligence and only appreciate their own intelligence.
- Will tell lies about their IQ test scores and other tests taken.
- Pretend to know everything and would rather give wrong or misleading information than say they don’t know.
Rebecca Zung, an attorney and narcissist negotiation expert, has some interesting, brief and practical tips on her YouTube channel for dealing with narcissists. Some of these tips can be seen below:
Tactics to Put a Narcissist in Their Place (https://youtu.be/PzCVlBTzwMY)
- Establish boundaries, use them and keep them in place.
- Call them out
- Stop defending yourself or explain your behaviour or attitude when they attack you
- Stand your ground
- Create an exit plan, stick to it and don’t let them know
Words or Statements That Narcissists Hate Hearing (https://youtu.be/_9fpZNI8lDU)
- Praise for others
- That’s not true
- I will not
- I cannot do that/I cannot
- You lost
- You’re wrong
- I don’t care
- I’m busy
- Not now
And like with any other deficiency or personality flaw, I always encourage love. So, we love everyone and establish boundaries to protect our own mental health/well-being. In addition, if you are in a close or abusive relationship with a narcissist or always end up in close relationships with narcissists, you may want to consider seeking professional help from a licensed therapist.
© 2022, Stacy-Ann Campbell. All rights reserved.