Is Your Loved One a Narcissist? Here's How to Tell - and What to Do
The definition of a narcissist
Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, grandiosity, an excessive need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. It is often associated with an unrealistic goal of perfection and an inability to accept criticism or setbacks. People with narcissistic traits tend to be manipulative, dominating, and entitled.
At its core, narcissism is rooted in low self-esteem and insecurity. A person with this disorder often feels entitled to receive preferential treatment and has a hard time understanding the feelings and needs of other people. They are typically boastful and overly concerned with their own appearance, abilities, and successes. Narcissists have difficulty regulating their emotions and can become easily frustrated or angry when they don't get their way.
The difference between confidence and narcissism
Confidence is a positive trait that can be beneficial in many ways. It can lead to increased self-esteem, better communication skills, and the ability to take risks and learn from mistakes. At its core, it is about believing in yourself and knowing that you are capable of achieving great things.
On the other hand, narcissism is a different beast entirely. While someone with a healthy level of confidence can still be humble and understand their own limitations, someone with narcissism often lacks the ability to see themselves realistically. They may also have an inflated sense of self-importance and a tendency to put themselves ahead of others. Narcissists may feel entitled to special treatment and they may believe they are superior to others.
At its worst, narcissism can be dangerous and damaging. A person with narcissistic traits may be manipulative and controlling in relationships, seek admiration from others and constantly try to put themselves above everyone else. These qualities can make it hard for them to form meaningful connections with other people.
The signs that someone you love is a narcissist
1. Unreasonable Sense of Entitlement: A narcissist believes that they are superior to others and that they should get whatever they want, regardless of the situation or consequence. They will demand preferential treatment and expect their wishes to be put ahead of everyone else’s.
2. Grandiosity: Narcissists often have an exaggerated sense of importance and superiority. They may talk excessively about themselves and their accomplishments in order to make themselves look better than they really are.
3. Lack of Empathy: Narcissists often lack empathy for others and can be extremely insensitive to the feelings of those around them. They may not take responsibility for their actions, and they are often unable to relate to other people's emotions or feelings.
4. Control Issues: Narcissists often seek to control their environment and those around them. They may exhibit controlling behaviors such as trying to dictate what people should do, how they should think, or how they should act.
5. Manipulative: Narcissists are often manipulative, using others for their own benefit without considering the consequences of their actions. They may use guilt-tripping or other tactics in order to get what they want.
6. Inability to Accept Criticism: Narcissists may not be able to handle criticism well and may become defensive or even hostile when criticized. They are unable to accept responsibility for their mistakes and will often blame others for their failures.
The effects of being in a relationship with a narcissist
No one wants to be in a relationship with a narcissist, but unfortunately many people find themselves in one without realizing it. Being in a relationship with someone who suffers from narcissism can be very difficult and damaging.
Narcissistic partners often demand excessive amounts of attention and admiration, while simultaneously lacking empathy or consideration for their partner’s feelings. This can lead to feelings of worthlessness, inferiority, loneliness, and even depression in the other person. Narcissistic partners may also become jealous easily, control or manipulate their partner, gaslight them, and take advantage of them.
In addition, people in relationships with narcissists often suffer from low self-esteem and poor self-image, as the narcissist constantly criticizes and belittles them. They may also struggle to trust themselves and others, as the narcissist’s lies and manipulation may have caused lasting damage to their sense of reality. Finally, individuals in relationships with narcissists can often feel trapped and hopeless, as they don’t know how to leave the toxic situation they are in.
If you think you may be in a relationship with a narcissist, it’s important to recognize the signs and effects so you can take steps to protect yourself. Seek out support from friends, family, or a therapist so you can begin to heal and find the strength to leave the toxic situation.
What to do if you think your loved one is a narcissist
If you think your loved one may be a narcissist, it’s important to take action. The first step is to try to confront the issue and talk with them about how their behavior is affecting you.
However, this can be difficult to do. When talking to someone who is narcissistic, it’s important to stay calm and not get into an argument. If the conversation gets heated, it’s best to take a break and come back to the conversation when both parties are more emotionally stable.
It’s also important to understand that a narcissist likely won’t be able to change their behavior on their own, so if you’re in a relationship with them, it’s best to seek professional help. A therapist can help the person better understand their behavior and find ways to manage it.
It’s also important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself in this situation. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or frustrated when dealing with someone who has narcissistic tendencies. Make sure you take time for yourself, practice self-care, and talk to a friend or family member if you need support.
Finally, if the situation becomes too much, it may be necessary to distance yourself from the person and/or end the relationship if necessary. This can be difficult and heartbreaking, but it may be the only way to ensure your safety and emotional wellbeing.