December 6th, 2021
by Kim Myles
Narcissist: an extremely self-centered person who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance. (Merriam-Webster)
We hear the word “narcissist” trending a lot these days. This is not a new word. Neither is the concept. There are many prominent people in history who were narcissistic. We held some in high esteem, even so to this day. Unfortunately, over time, we’ve become desensitized to the affects of these individuals’ behaviors.
There is nothing wrong with having a healthy ego or sense of self-importance. But it becomes problematic when a person believes the world revolves around them, and other individuals’ existence in it is remedial or non-deserving.
1. Individuals Who Put Others Down to Make Themselves Look or Feel Better
If a person feels better by making others feel bad, you are dealing with a narcissist. For instance, a narcissist is the type that would recount all the things (no matter how small) they’ve done for a person to make them feel low. These individuals also have little issue discounting or minimizing the things (no matter how significant) a person has done for them.
They’re concerned about their feelings more than anyone else’s. A narcissist is likely to be defensive rather than reflective with emotions. They won’t appreciate anyone holding a mirror up to their behavior. It’s likely they’re unable to handle what’s reflected towards them.
2. Doesn’t Take Responsibility for Their Actions
In life, things go awry. Then there are people who cause disruptions. Individuals who do not associate themselves with destruction they’ve caused are narcissists. They’d point the finger, rather than claim the blame. They’re the types that deflect, dissuade, mislead, or lie to remove themselves from taking responsibility.
Taking accountability for our actions (especially when it affects others in harmful ways) isn’t easy, but it’s the adult thing to do. But most narcissists aren’t interested in taking the high road. They’d prefer using side streets and shortcuts to get around the issue.
3. Ignores or Don’t Acknowledge Their Flaws
No one is perfect, but a narcissist might think they are. Of course, some of us aren’t comfortable with our flaws put on display for the world to see. But flaws humanize us. You may point this out to them, but they might not care. People who are narcissists consider themselves to be above others.
These individuals have inflated egos, which may cause them to see themselves with less clarity. They can’t identify with traits that don’t flatter the picture of who they are in their minds.
4. People Who Use Others’ Weaknesses Against Them
A person who takes advantage of another’s vulnerabilities for their personal gain is also narcissistic. These individuals know how to exploit others’ weaknesses. They prey on things like insecurities, fear, or naivete.
For example, if an individual is lacking self-confidence, they might try to boost this person’s ego. But a narcissist would do so to make a person dependent on their opinions. He or she could easily manipulate a person if they associate their self-value with the narcissist. A narcissist may also take advantage by kicking an individual when they’re feeling low. They may play the roles of friend or foe.
5. Oppresses Others
There are differences between leaders and narcissists. Leaders commands attention. A narcissist demands attention. A leader empowers others. Narcissists derive their power from those they can control. Using forceful or manipulative tactics to control others is common for a narcissist. It gives them an extra sense of importance.
It’s difficult for these people to take direction from others. This would mean they would have to be in a sub-servant position. If they aren’t the leaders of the pack, they may look for ways to disrupt or destroy it.
6. Lacks Empathy
If a person is in turmoil, most people would want to help or at least feel bad for the individual. Not a narcissist. It’s possible they would ignore or belittle another’s pain. Some might see it as an opportunity to highlight their own. There’s a lack of relatability on their part.
They’d have little interest in making others feel better about themselves. This would force them to put other’s needs first. To them, no one’s pain is greater than their own. They find it difficult to walk in another’s shoes.
7. Taking All Credit or Doesn’t Give Others Theirs
Narcissists have a hard time acknowledging others’ worthiness. Also, they’d have no problem taking the credit of others. If they are in a team-setting, they would push to be the standouts. These people have the tendency to discard the opinions of others. It’s likely they would only acknowledge others’ ideas if they could use them to their benefit. Sharing the spotlight isn’t something these individuals like to do. It’s their show or no show at all.
How do handle the narcissists you encounter?
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