A narcissist is used to defining someone “who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.” The popularity of this term is increasing day by day. But it is necessary to acknowledge the existence of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) – a legitimate disorder in which a person has an inflated sense of self or self-importance. It is real and requires professional medical treatment. It is rare but chronic.
What is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)?
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is one of several types of personality disorders. It is a condition in which a person tends to have an inflated sense of self-importance. He considers himself superior to everyone and has an excessive need for attention and admiration. He is inconsiderate of someone else’s feelings and emotions and might have troubled relationships. However, behind this mask of arrogance, ego, and lack of emotions, there is fragile self-esteem that is vulnerable to criticism.
What are the symptoms of NPD?
A narcissistic personality disorder is rare but its symptoms are quite common. A person who does not have this disorder can also exhibit its symptoms.
Narcissists tend to prioritize themselves over anyone and everyone. They have a strong disregard for someone else’s feelings. This is one of the reasons they have strained personal relationships.
A person going through NPD seeks constant validation and excessive admiration. They want to be the center of the eye and have continuous attention.
A narcissist expects recognition and appreciation for their smallest achievements.
They do not think or consider someone else’s feelings and emotions. They have selfish motives and prioritize themselves only.
Bragging is one of the most common symptoms of narcissists. They constantly brag about their achievements and seek praises from everyone around.
Monopolizing little situations is very common among them. They need control and often want to be the leader.
Being jealous is also one of their common traits. They are jealous of someone else’s achievement and want the same for themselves. They believe they are superior to everyone and hate to see someone else threatening that.
Narcissists are very sensitive to criticisms. Instead of considering it and improving themselves, they tend to argue, fight back, disagree or find faults in other people. They are very sensitive and insecure.
How to deal with a narcissist?
It is pretty annoying when someone goes on and on about their achievement, their contributions, their problems, their solutions, their likes and dislikes, their wishes, and nothing about you. It is how a narcissist behaves.
Learning more about the disorder can help you to recognize the symptoms. Furthermore, you can learn about their strengths and weakness and how to handle them. Being completely aware of the situation will also help you to recognize who they are and what can you expect from them. A narcissist is often charming and capable to draw in people. You can get emotionally attached to them without even realizing it and start expecting more. However, knowing who they are can give you a wider look to better manage the situation.
Stop focusing on them
When you are dealing with a narcissist, it is very common for them to be the center of your attention. They need the spotlight all the time and you may find it tolerable temporarily but in the long run, it is not good. You may start to prioritize them over yourself because you may think it is just this one time. However, there seems to be a pattern. No matter how hard you try, you can never get their attention. Consequently, it is important to create boundaries.
It is very common for a narcissist to suppress and belittle you. It can make you insecure and self-conscious due to constant criticism and a total absence of appreciation. Remember, they will treat you badly only if you allow them. Speak up for yourself if you do not like how things are going. Fight back if you have to but do not let them suppress you.
Sometimes, you are frustrated while dealing with a narcissist. This can be because they intentionally try to infuriate you or you feel helpless in the whole situation. However, as difficult as it may sound, being calm in these circumstances is the best you can do. Narcissists have this constant need for attention and when they feel like they are losing the spotlight, they will do anything to get it back. If you acknowledge their bad behavior or fight them, it will encourage them to do it over and over again for your attention.
Have your support system
Being with a narcissist can be mentally draining sometimes. You start to lose self-love, self-respect, and all of yourself because of constant criticism and belittling. It is not easy to deal with. This is why it is always good to have your support system. Surround yourself with people whom you can rely upon in your difficult times and who care about you.
Watch your language
Narcissists are incapable of taking criticisms well, even constructive ones. Therefore, it is very important to use positive and appreciative terms even while pointing out a mistake. Unless criticized with extreme caution, a simple conversation can turn into an endless brawl in no time.
Narcissistic personality disorder can be incurable and chronic. Bringing in a counselor will not help you to cure it completely, but you can learn to handle them better. A counselor can help you to understand their emotions to an extent and give you clarity on how to deal with them and what to expect.
Do not blame yourself
There are going to be times when you feel weak and take all the blame upon yourself. You may feel like everything is going downhill because of you and you are the reason behind all your problems. You start to hate yourself and willingly be everyone’s punching bag. However, it is not good for you. Remember, you are not at fault and everything will turn out fine. If someone else does not appreciate your efforts, you can do it for yourself.
While it is incurable, there is always room for improvement. People with this disorder are good at making empty promises to keep you around. They make you believe they will improve themselves and say everything you want to hear. However, to avoid falling into this trap, ask for immediate action instead of promises.
Maintaining a positive outlook is very important to keep yourself sane and stable. Sometimes, narcissists get pleasure from depriving you of it. They enjoy watching people suffer. This is why love and appreciate yourself even for your littlest efforts and smallest contributions. If you do not love yourself, how can someone else will?
Dealing with a narcissist personality is not an easy task, especially knowing that narcissistic personality disorder is incurable. It has a significant impact on your mental health. Things may get difficult but that does not mean you have to let it go, instead, take care of yourself and stick around if you feel it is worth it. When you feel things are unbearable, do not hesitate to seek professional help.