Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is not just about self-love in psychological terms. By reference and definition, narcissism is the pursuit of gratification of vanity or egotistical admiration of exaggerated self-attributes. We all know the term ‘narcissism’ comes from the Greek Mythology of the young narcissist falling in love with his own reflection in a pool of water, but narcissism is way more than just self-love.
Only around 5% of individuals actually are diagnosed with this condition and it’s more commonly known in men. Quite often, NPD goes hand in hand with other conditions such as alcoholism, drug abuse, depression and/or anxiety.
It can be quite hard to spot a person with NPD, because they can be very charming, confident and charismatic. There are couple of different types of NPD personalities but for today, I will be focussing on the signs of the grandiose delusions of self-importance.
So what are the signs to look out for? Keep in mind, you can’t just label someone narcissistic having NPD, because let’s be honest, we’re all a little bit narcissistic at times, but when you link together at least 5 out of the 10-12 attributes, you can start gaining an understanding on what it’s like to be around a narcissist.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR?
- They have grandiose designs of their own self importance, even though they don’t necessarily have the credentials to back it up.
- Narcissists believe they’re superior to others, believe they should be treated as a superior and therefore only hang around others who they believe are also superior.
- There is a sense of entitlement to get whatever they want, irrespective of who might get hurt along the way or what lies may be told.
- Narcissists live in a fantasy world, which supports their illusions of grandeur and they have glorified stories of their beauty, success, power and brilliance, which can become exhausting if you’re subject to listening to them all the time.
- They have a constant need to be admired and praised and when they’re not, narcissists can become sulky and aggressive in the interim.
- A true narcissist will have absolutely no shame in using and manipulating people to their advantage to get what they want, because after all, they believe it’s their entitlement to get what they want, therefore have no guilt or shame when it comes to these situations. If they are unfaithful in a relationship, they will manipulate the situation to make it seem like they’re the victim – they just don’t have the ability to full comprehend another person’s feelings.
- Narcissists also lack empathy – this sign is extreme because no matter how much you try and get your point and feelings across, they will never understand – they just can’t be accountable for having been accused of doing anything wrong.
- Narcissists also frequently intimidate others and belittle them because of course, no one can stack up to their illusions of grandeur. They cannot be criticised, as they could retaliate in anger, not necessarily violence, but become extremely sulky and once again, project everything else back onto you as if it is your fault for making them do whatever it is you’re criticising them for.
WHAT IF YOU’RE DATING SOMEONE WITH NPD?
If you are with someone who you believe might have NPD, these signs don’t necessarily start to show unless the relationship has ended, however here are a few tips for those in a relationship with a narcissist:
- Keep the praise DOWN: the more someone with NPD is praised, the more they get away with and ultimately, it feeds their already inflated ego. For example, if they’ve been unfaithful and have been forgiven, this is a massive ego booster as they will never see the wrong in infidelity.
- Understand NPD is actually a medically diagnosed problem: a lot of people don’t realise this but once you discover the source of the problem, you can attempt to disconnect yourself slightly.
- Have boundaries and set boundaries for yourself: remain positive and don’t allow the behaviour to go on for too long, because the longer you leave it, the worse it can become. There isn’t really a known cure for NPD, unless someone with it acknowledges they have it and seeks psychological treatment on a regular and ongoing basis, but keep in mind most people with NPD will not accept they actually have a problem, so it is a tricky one to deal with.
For anyone who has been in a relationship with someone who has NPD and has come out of it thinking “wow, what was that?!”, it can be extremely hard and sometimes disturbing to unravel the relationship. There are many who have had experiences with someone with NPD so I would love to hear your stories because the more we understand that we are not alone, it’s also important to identify the signs so you don’t attract the same type of person again.
If you are having difficulty overcoming a relationship with someone who may have put you through years of torment, please reach out to me and I can provide you with some effective methods to unravel and get over your obstacles a lot quicker.
Until next week.