Mirror, mirror on the wall…the narcissist wants to be fairest of them all.
I often consider the narcissist personality as being similar to the Jekyll and Hyde character, two opposing sides of a scale that never finds an equilibrium. When involved with a narcissist, there never seems to be balance.
Interacting with individuals who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be incredibly harmful to our overall well-being due to the excessive and harmful levels of energy these relationships can generate.
The narcissist is skilled at trickery and a master of deception and they will always manage to find the right angle to twist the finger to point the blame away from themselves, so that those around them are held accountable for any wrong doings.
The personality of a narcissist is often attributed to vanity and self-absorption, but the traits that define this type of person go beyond that. As with many things, there is a range – some may exhibit mild symptoms of narcissism, while others may strongly identify with and embody these characteristics.
While a narcissist is commonly believed to be self-obsessed and “in love with themselves”, the truth is that they are typically obsessed with an idealized image of themselves, one that they wish were true.
Beneath the surface of a narcissist lies a well of self-destructive tendencies and profound self-doubt, often stemming from a deep-seated sense of inadequacy.
Narcissistic parents often raise narcissistic children by showering them with excessive praise and building up their self-esteem, but without providing a stable and nurturing environment for them to grow in.
As a result, the child of narcissistic parents may have experienced fluctuating amounts of love and attention, depending on whether or not it suited the parent’s needs at the time. This can leave the child with a deep sense of insecurity and a constant need for validation and attention from others.
The narcissistic personality type tends to adopt an exaggerated sense of self-importance, perceiving themselves as superior and more deserving than others. They often havce larger-than-life personalities that are a reflection of their inflated sense of self-worth, which can be highly attractive and charismatic to those around them. This magnetic charm is often used as a tool to manipulate and exploit others for their own gain.
The beginning of a relationship with a narcissist can feel like an addictive and intoxicating fairy tale with the narcissist playing the role of the charming prince or princess and their partner being completely swept off their feet. Narcissists will fall into (what appears to be) love and want to commit very quickly, however, as time passes and their partner starts to see the truth of what’s within, problems can quickly arise as the relationship begins to break down.
When a partner of a narcissist attempts to confront their behavior, the narcissist may react with denial and anger, and may even resort to attacking their partner with false accusations or playing the victim card. Since narcissists believe they are always right, any attempt to engage in a conversation or argument regarding their faults is typically futile.
When it comes to right or wrong, a narcissist has an impulsive desire to ensure they are right regardless of the cost. If being right costs them friends, family or relationships, they will most often suffer the consequences of the loss rather than admit to being wrong. However, they will put up a defensive and destructive battle of wills beforehand.
A narcissist will basically role-play and respond in whatever manipulative manner that garners the best response. If they are up against a strong, determined and independent person they will move into the role of a sensitive, loving, caring and vulnerable character. If they interact with a codependent personality type, they will likely move into the role of aggressor.
There can be confusion when identifying a narcissist, as it is very healthy to have self-love, self-worth, to have our own desires, wants and needs and also to value our selves highly.
The emergence of a narcissistic personality often occurs when traits such as self-loathing, low self-esteem, and deep-rooted insecurities originate from within, and the individual seeks admiration and validation from others to feel good. In essence, it can be the manifestation of unresolved internal wounds.
While it is natural for individuals to desire a sense of importance and worthiness, the narcissist takes this to an unrealistic level. They depend on others to constantly validate their opinions and boost their self-worth, thus maintaining a heightened sense of self-importance.
In the absence of regular approval or in the face of criticism, a narcissist will make it a point to speak loudly and assert their perceived self-worth. They drain others of their energy, much like a vampire, leaving them weak and vulnerable to manipulation. The energy obtained by the narcissist serves to boost their ego and energy levels, which in turn keeps them in their desired position – high above others, looking down.
They will often verbally attack another person using insults and put-downs to make them feel confused and disoriented so that others surrender easily and this keeps the illusion strong in the narcissist’s mind that they are the more powerful and significantly better person.
The narcissist strives to keep their opponent submerged within chaos, ensuring that they remain willing to cater to their constant demands for attention and validation.
As the saying goes, knowledge is power. The more we understand a particular condition, the greater our ability to comprehend and effectively manage it. Armed with this knowledge, we are better equipped to take the necessary steps to shield ourselves and prepare for the narcissist’s manipulations, ultimately freeing ourselves from their web of lies and entanglements.
Closure can be challenging to achieve when dealing with a narcissist as they may resort to begging, pleading, and charming their way back into the other person’s life, using every trick in the book to lure them back into their web of safety.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be emotionally distressing, akin to riding a roller coaster with extreme highs and lows. When a narcissist receives ample attention, they are at their happiest and things seem great, but as soon as the attention dwindles, they quickly manipulate the situation, often resorting to charming or aggressive behavior.
A relationship or interaction with a narcissist is an illusion, as nothing with a narcissist is actually as it seems. Their inner truth remains deeply hidden and they will only reveal what they carefully choose to show. The key is to understand why the connection has taken place, recognise why the attraction was so strong and learn as much about a narcissistic personality as possible so that informative decisions can be made about the current relationship and also to be wary of falling into another one again.
Some key traits to recognising a narcissist are:
Creates drama/over dramatic
Likes to be in the spotlight
Exaggerates their achievements
Requires constant admiration
Takes advantage of others
Cannot deal with criticism
Gets hurt easily
Appear strong on the surface
Desire for power
Difficulty understanding other people’s emotions
Centre of attention
A game of manipulation has been played and the only way to end the game is to regain self-confidence and take back control.
Narcissists can be very charming, which makes it easy for them to deceive and control others. They often use tactics such as gaslighting and projection to make their victims doubt themselves and feel powerless, so they feel don’t have to take responsibility for any issues in the relationship.
By rebuilding self-confidence, you can begin to trust your instincts and believe in yourself once more. This renewed sense of confidence will allow you to recognize red flags in relationships and take necessary steps to protect yourself.
If you have been impacted by a relationship with a narcissist, it’s important not to hold yourself accountable for their behavior or feel foolish for failing to recognize the signs earlier. Narcissists often possess magnetic qualities and a seductive charm, as they rely on these traits to maintain their façade and avoid having their mask questioned or removed.
It is important to remember that the behavior of a narcissist is never your fault, and you should not blame yourself for their actions. It is crucial to recognize these patterns and seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to heal from the emotional damage caused by a narcissistic relationship.
In situations where emotional or physical safety is at risk, seeking help is crucial, whether it be jointly or individually.
Disclaimer: For anyone who feels that they need further information or help for themselves, or for someone they know, there is more information to be found by clicking here. This article provide just a basic outline of the personality type and there is help available for more detailed explanations or support.
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