Self-absorbed much? Easily bored and perpetually dissatisfied? If you’re so concerned with getting your overblown ego fed that you really can’t be bothered with thinking of anyone else’s needs, feelings, or experiences then…hello, Narcissist!
All humans are born Narcissists. In normal child development, a child will grow learn that he or she is an important member of the human family, although not the only important member. Narcissists miss that lesson. Maybe it’s because they were praised too much to gain an accurate sense of themselves, or maybe they were praised too little. Neglect, abuse, an over-sensitive temperament, or any number of other contributing factors can lead to the mental disorder called Narcissism. Whatever the reason, the result is an insufferable personality that strictly looks out for number one.
Considering their extreme selfishness, it’s a wonder that Narcissists have any relationships at all, but they do – and how! Narcissists are often quite attractive and stylish people who present themselves in a way that reflects their inflated sense of self-importance. Because they take advantage of every opportunity and person around them and demand only the best for themselves, some Narcissists wind up in high positions teaming with glamour, excitement, and plenty of people around to cater to their every whim. Hollywood is Narcissism headquarters.
- Dominating whatever scenario they enter
- Arrogant posturing
- Dreaming up unrealistic fantasies with themselves in the staring role
- Jealously lashing out at anyone who threatens to steal the attention
- Acting oh-so bored
A Happy Narcissist
Social media is a Narcissist’s playground. Since digital Narcissism is the norm in the new world order, it’s often unclear who the real Narcissists are. The number of “selfies” one can post before being a diagnosed a Narcissist is debatable, which is exactly why Narcissists love to contribute and will do so often, believing that by sharing the excruciating minutia of their life and lunch they are doing the world a big favor.
Indeed, most famous people must fight against Narcissism with all the better forces within them. The power that comes with fame and fortune has a way of corrupting the human spirit, and it is only natural to start believing that you are very special, unique, and superior when everyone treats you as though this is true. There are far too many Narcissists in the upper strata of celebrity to list.
Narcissists may fit nicely with the Codependent, Victim, Mythomaniac, Athlete, Actor, Entertainer, Overachiever, Diva, and more.
Narcissist in Love
The formula for loving a Narcissist is pretty simple. You give, the Narcissist takes. Why anyone falls for it is complicated. Despite the Narcissist’s emotional limitations this type can be quite charming and often has many endearing qualities to attract a partner. Relationships with a Narcissist can work quite well and go on and on…until the Narcissist decides that the other person isn’t giving to the Narcissist’s current needs and specifications, or until other person deigns to want something back in the exchange.
Like everyone, the Narcissist is just trying to feel better in the moment. This type mistakenly thinks that getting other people to pay attention is going to do the trick. It does seem to work, but the effect isn’t lasting because for the most part, the Narcissist’s heart is closed off to real love and demands constant new evidence of love. No matter how much evidence the Narcissist gets, it will never be enough because it doesn’t soak in.
How to Play It
If you know a Narcissist you don’t have to be told how frustrating and lonely a relationship with this personality type can be. It might help you to see the Narcissist as a handicapped individual who lacks the full range of human emotion. Accepting this person’s limitations will keep you from expecting the Narcissist to behave as a normal caring person would.
If you are a Narcissist, you probably can’t see it because Narcissists by definition have an unrealistic self-image. Just know that if you’ve found that your life is extremely difficult for you because other people never can seem to give you enough of what you need and want, consider that you may lack key the empathy, compassion, and emotional maturity to take responsibility for your role in the human family. Get help in developing those capacities. Your happiness depends on it.