Before we jump into what goes through a narcissist mind, let’s understand what we mean by narcissism in general.
The term narcissist is frequently used in informal conversations to characterize someone who appears to be a little self-absorbed or blinded by their importance. In terms of clinical mental health, however, someone must satisfy certain criteria to be diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorders.
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are often focused on their achievements and have a large sense of self-importance, which dominates their decision-making and relationships.
Because of their manipulative behavior and lack of empathy, narcissists find it difficult to form or sustain relationships with others. They frequently feel entitled, lack compassion, and want attention and adoration.
1. How do we Identify Narcissistic Traits?
Well, more often than not, when we think of narcissists, we generally see someone with a bloated ego — someone pushy and arrogant who needs to be right all the time. To be diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), the individual must display egomania and a lack of empathy, as demonstrated by the following narcissistic traits:
- Has pompous feelings of self-esteem, and self-worth and exaggerates accomplishments and skills in everyday life.
- Dreams of unfathomable power, success, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
- Considers themselves to be special and unique, and believes that they can only be understood by, or should associate with, other exceptional or high-status individuals or institutions.
- Excessive appreciation is required in everyday life.
- Unreasonably anticipates preferential treatment or cooperation with their wants.
- Uses and takes benefit of people for personal gain.
- Lacks sensitivity to others’ feelings and needs.
- Envious or feels others are jealous of them.
- Has arrogant attitudes or acts.
2. What are the reasons that lead to Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
The precise causes of NPD are unknown. The issue might be caused by a combination of variables such as:
- Childhood adversity (such as physical, sexual, emotional pain, and verbal abuse).
- Relationships with parents, whole family, best friends, and relatives in childhood.
- Genetically inherited
- In childhood, hypersensitivity to textures, loudness, or light.
- Temperament and personality
It’s crucial to remember that narcissism is a personality feature, but it can also be part of a wider personality disorder. Narcissistic Personality Condition does not affect every narcissist because narcissism is a spectrum disorder (NPD). People at the upper end of the scale are classified as having NPD, whereas others with narcissistic characteristics may be at the lower end of the scale.
3. What are the Types of Narcissism?
Narcissistic conduct can be classified as one of two forms of narcissism. The two groups may share characteristics but have had distinct childhood experiences. The two categories also influence how people interact in relationships.
In youngsters, those who demonstrate this behavior was typically seen as superior or above others. These expectations may follow children as they grow older. They have a propensity to be arrogant and haughty.
Grandiose narcissists are aggressive and overbearing, and they exaggerate their importance. They are self-assured and lack sensitivity.
This behavior is typically the result of neglect or mistreatment as a child. Individuals that display this behavior are significantly more sensitive. Narcissistic behavior shields them from feelings of inadequacy. They are upset or nervous when others do not treat them as though they are exceptional, even though they alternate between feeling inferior and superior to others.
4. Categories for Narcissism
Narcissism as a personality feature can be categorized as follows:
Personality disorder vs. personality characteristic narcissism
When individuals talk about narcissism, they may be referring to it as a personality trait or as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
There is just one type of narcissistic personality disorder, which is a certified mental health diagnosis. When narcissism transcends beyond a personality feature and constantly influences many aspects of your life, this disorder is generally recognized. There are nine narcissistic personality symptoms.
However, clinical psychologists and other narcissism specialists have discovered that narcissism may manifest itself in a variety of ways, including those with the official diagnostic.
5. Do Narcissistic Individuals tend to be playing games?
People who have narcissistic behavior often tend to do crazy stuff. As discussed earlier, such a person often lacks empathy for other people’s feelings and does have deceptive behaviors.
Many narcissists are frequently utterly unaware. People who struggle with this level of narcissism are frequently in such profound agony that they have a limited ability to empathically connect with the anguish of others.
Some frequent games that people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder may play include:
Shifting of blame
Shaming is a method that narcissists may employ to maintain their sense of superiority over others. The overt (extroverted) narcissist’s technique to acquiring leverage may be more evident, such as overtly putting you down, being impolite, criticizing you, and being sarcastic.
The introverted, covert narcissist may use a gentler way to explain why something is your fault and not theirs. They may even claim to be a victim of your conduct or engage in emotional abuse to obtain your comfort and admiration. The purpose, whether overt or covert, is to make the other person feel tiny.
Gaslighting is the practice of rejecting the facts of a scenario as you saw or heard it, which can cloud your perception of reality. They might be attempting to escape being caught for anything by turning the tables on you.
When someone no longer believes you can provide them with something worthwhile, they may ghost you. They may break up communication as part of the “devaluation and discard” behavioral pattern.
There are several reasons why you could get ghosted. The individual may have lost interest in you or may just want to know how much you care about them. Whatever the cause, this power maneuver might be another attempt to exert control over the relationship.
As the term implies, this occurs when someone compliments you, lavishes you with affection or extravagant gestures, or moves things too rapidly. This might be done to create a sense of emotional connection or security.
Becoming the victim
People suffering from NPD frequently have a strong sense of entitlement. They may think that they are entitled to special care or attention.
They may use your compassionate disposition to trick you into assisting them or being kind to them. It may be tough to abandon someone who appears to be always down on their luck.
Triangulation is a method of isolating yourself from friends or relatives. It can take many different shapes.
One method is to persuade you to turn against others, or for others to turn against you. This can be accomplished through a smear campaign, which involves damaging someone’s reputation behind their back.
The goal is that you would side with them rather than the other person, whom they may see as a rival for your attention.
While these games are frequent among people with NPD, not everyone who plays them has this or another personality disorder.
6. What goes through a Narcissist Mind?
The majority of narcissistic people’s critical inner voices are directed at others, putting others down to make themselves feel better. Here are a few examples to help you understand the situation better.
When a coworker is promoted, people may think, “He’s such a fake.” You could accomplish twice as much as he does. Or it’s not fair since you deserved it more than he did.
If they are interested in dating someone, they may hear thoughts such as, “Why is he even interested in anybody else?” You’re far more attractive than she is. Or He might pick you! You are unquestionably the greatest option.
Narcissists may experience ideas about having to be unique or desiring additional attention or praise in addition to comparison voices:
- They’re squandering their time on other individuals. Do something to get their attention.
- Can’t they perceive your superiority? You are more significant than anybody else in this room.
- Your point of view is the most essential. They should solely pay attention to you.
4. You know more about what’s going on than anyone else here.
5. They need to pay attention to you. They have no right to ignore you! They must be idiots.
6. You are deserving of the finest.
7. How to Behave in case you are on the receiving end with a narcissistic personality
You may be in a personal relationship with a narcissist right now, whether they are a family member, co-worker, or significant other. You cannot control what a narcissist does, but you can control how you engage with them.
It’s natural to be wounded if someone with narcissistic personality disorder appears to be playing games with you.
Keep in mind that this is a complicated mental health issue, and the individual behaving in this manner may or may not be aware of their actions.
However, this does not obligate you to participate in these activities or actions. Working with a mental health professional to create boundaries and educate yourself about narcissistic personality disorder may be beneficial.
When dealing with a narcissist, there are precautions you may do to protect yourself.
1. Try not to take it personally
When interacting with a narcissist, their manipulative conduct, whether covert or overt, can feel extremely personal. When you are on the receiving end of a lack of attention, sense of entitlement, routines of manipulation, and deceitful actions, it may seem very personal.
No matter how unpleasant the actions are in the moment, realize that they have nothing to do with you.
Narcissist behaves negatively because of something bad within them, not because they are unhealthy.
It is OK to consider the situation and interactions in terms of how you contribute to them. When dealing with a narcissist, however, you must allow them to “own” their share.
Narcissists want you to take it personally, wrong you, blame you, shame you, or make you feel angry, feel threatened because it gives them leverage. Remember that a narcissist feels little, and a narcissist sees little to nothing in reality other than what they feel is right therefore they must make themselves feel highly valued and feel superior in some way.
2. Setting Boundaries to protect your sanity
Narcissists lack healthy boundaries. Boundaries come in the way of covert narcissists’ aims because they lack empathy, have a strong feeling of entitlement, and abuse people. The more you practice setting boundaries with a narcissist, the more consistently you communicate to them that their techniques are ineffective.
Setting boundaries may be challenging, especially when dealing with a narcissist. Remember that limits are just a tool for you to communicate your beliefs to others. Consider what is essential to you, and your values, and attempt to establish limits that support them.
3. Take a stand for yourself
It’s easy to lose your voice while engaging with a hidden narcissist. Because the interaction patterns are so manipulative, it may take some time for you to understand that you are not arguing for yourself.
When you advocate for yourself, the narcissist meets the part of you that is conscious and knowledgeable of their techniques, making it less tempting for them to continue doing those things with you.
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4. Maintain a safe distance
Being in a relationship with a hidden narcissist may be exhausting and stressful. It might be tough to build distance between yourself and another individual, such as a family member or co-worker.
If you are being harmed by someone’s narcissism, you may need to limit your interactions, ask to be relocated to a different place in your office, take breaks at a different time, or just cut off communication. The purpose of generating distance is to protect yourself and your emotions to make room for you to recover, not to injure the other person.
Remember that NPD is not a character’ fault. It’s a mental health issue. When you have NPD, you do or say things that irritate people and harm your relationships. This isn’t usually done on intention. It’s motivated by deep insecurity — the idea that you’re not good enough — and the need for others to think you’re worthwhile. You may discover healthy strategies to enhance your self-esteem and get along better with others with therapy.