Spot the Signs and Know How to Deal with them
Throughout life we will face a million different personality types: Emotional Vampires, High Octane Characters, Control Freaks, Little Miss Positives and a whole lot more. And there is one personality type that most of us will come across, which has the biggest ability to crush our soul and destroy us… if we don’t recognise and learn how to deal with them.
Lord above. If there is one type of person that I simply cannot deal with for more than a few hours, it’s a narcissist. In my younger years, I was a constant people pleaser; it seemed the more I tried to make people happy, the more narcissists I was attracting into my life. Nowadays I have become much more adept at spotting them and dealing with them in a healthier way.
I have only really come across a few in my (ahem… short) life span, but those that I have encountered have sucked me dry, doused me in tears and left me wondering if there is indeed any true humanity left in this world.
So – without further ado, and in the hope that this article will help one or two of you out there, here is my step by step guide to spotting a narcissist and dealing with them successfully.
Clue 1: They Inflate Themselves
It seems like an obvious statement, doesn’t it? But the truth is most ‘normal’ people wouldn’t even recognise this personality trait. Because most of us tend to look for the best in others, so we whitewash over this fundamental flaw. Narcissists inflate themselves to others. They exaggerate their achievements, and in doing so, belittle others. Most even manage to do it in such a way that you don’t even realise.
“I have lost so much weight! It wasn’t even that hard and I know I didn’t really need to, but if you like I can help you lose some too.”
The fact of the matter is, that said ‘friend’ will do everything they can to garner adoration from others by way of offering you help to fix the flaws they see in you.
Fix: Learn to spot when these backhanded compliments are being thrown at you, and instead of spending hours trying to ‘fix’ yourself, choose the immediate moment to retort in a pleasant but stern way. Narcissists may be mean, but they hate anyone thinking ‘bad’ of them – so if you pull them up on their nasty ways, an apology is almost instantly given. Even if it is not sincere. Do this enough and they will soon get the picture that such actions will not be tolerated. It is hard, don’t get me wrong. But after a few instances you will feel more empowered and less victimised.
Clue 2: Idolisation and Superiority
Narcissists need to be idolised. The strangest thing about a narcissist is that you can flat out call them an asshole, shout at them that they are pretentious pricks, or the bitchiest of bitchy, and most of the time they will thank you for it! Because they need to be the best at what they do. Even if what they excel in is being mean.
Fix: If you have the balls, tell them they are boring. Explain that the drama they surround themselves with only serves to excite them, and not you. Now watch them bubble with bitterness. Losing, or being told they are boring will leave a narcissist feeling humiliated. Much more so than being told they are hideous creatures. To be boring means you are forgettable, and to be forgettable means you have lost your superior standing.
Clue 3: Masters of Manipulation
Due to their need to feel superior and the desire to always be the best at everything they do, expect narcissists to be the very best manipulators you will ever meet. So much so you can spend an entire day in their company, feel like you have spent a normal day chatting with a friend or family member and it won’t be until you get home that you sit and think ‘did she really say that?’. Narcissists will degrade you and tear you down and you won’t even realise until you are crying into your pillow late at night with no idea why. They will use your weaknesses to elevate their strengths. They will use everything they have to squeeze as much out of you as possible for their own goals.
Fix: This is a hard one to combat. Honestly, the only fix I have put in place for this one is to make sure I have strong friends and loved ones around me that ‘know’ the narcissists in my life and can help ‘unpick’ me from the ceiling after dealing with them. Because narcissists are such masters of manipulation, no matter what you do – unless you are prepared to sacrifice your soul and become a manipulator yourself – no amount of fighting back will work. Instead, make sure you surround yourself with people who ‘know’ who you are and can remind you of you true worth on those days when your ‘friend‘ has made you feel less than what you are.
Clue 4: Emotional Vampires
A narcissist does not care how you feel. In fact, you have no feelings. The only feelings that matter are their own. If you have had a falling out, expect a one way argument with the only person that matters being them. Those who truly suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are categorically unable to accept or even recognise the feelings of others. They are impossible to rationalise or reason with.
Fix: Don’t try! Simple. Don’t try to rationalise with them. The world they live in is one that you will never have to live in. The sky is pink and fluffy clouds sing their praises. As does everyone else of course. In their world everyone loves them. Their accomplishments are all that matter and their feelings are far more valuable than yours. Because they are superior to you and you should know that by now. Don’t get upset. Try to understand that your wasted words will fall on deaf ears when you ask them to ‘please understand my point of view.’ Your point of view is unnecessary and redundant. Learn to walk away. You owe yourself and your emotional stability so much more.
Clue 5: They are Users
Narcissists take advantage of others. They may manipulate you into thinking that you want to help. They make you believe you should be honoured to have been asked in the first place. You are special to them and no one could ‘possibly help as well as you’. Make no mistake, a true narcissist will step over, on and around anyone or anything to reach their goals. No matter the consequences for others.
Fix: The truth is, they do this because they are arrogant and full of false sense of self-confidence and high self esteem. Yet while this is how they wish to come across, the truth is the total opposite. They are lacking in self-worth and the only way to compensate for this is to tear others down to elevate their superiority (see… it all links!).
Clue 6: … They Really Envy Others
Narcissists are essentially the most jealous people you will ever meet. They act the way they do because they are, deep down (sometimes very very deep down) envious of what others have. Most have no real friends or family and feel so isolated and lonely that they feel the need to surround themselves with those they can manipulate to over compensate. They will look at meaningful relationships and envy them, because they know they will never have what others seem to cultivate so easily. The only true relationships they have are with other narcissists and even those relationships will eventually self-destruct.
Fix: Feel sorry for them. It is a lonely life. Imagine spending your whole life watching others from the outside. Creating your own world because you feel so detached from the ‘real’ one that others live in.
Clue 7: They Can’t Sit Still
Either in life or in relationships. Narcissists jump from one drama-fueled dilemma to the next. From one relationship to the next. From one friendship to the next. Friendships and relationships cannot last long – simply because the relationship always begins with the narcissist inflating themselves to such a level that a true connection can never really be made. Lies, manipulation and drama can only last so long. At some point a narcissist will trip up, have a hissy fit – and once all the toys are thrown out of the pram they move on. Why? Because they cannot apologise for something they will never recognise their involvement in. And finally, they cannot stay in one place, or in one relationship/friendship for long, since they always believe they can do better. They spend their lives searching for the ‘greener’ patch of grass and feeling unfulfilled.
Fix: Look around you. Outside of the narcissists that may plague your life, are you happy? If so, thank your lucky stars that you will never have to live a life like that. Feel sorry for those who will never feel fulfilled and allow them to move on.
A great person once told me, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” So, if you are in a relationship with a narcissist, keep that in mind. Do you go round and round in circles only ever to end up back at the beginning in pain and tears, wondering why you put up with it? Walk away. Narcissists will eventually gravitate towards each other and you can stand on the sidelines, watching them tear each other apart.