If I say the word narcissist, what comes to your mind? A specifically egotistical rapper, a football jock, a Plastic Surgeon, or your unseemingly wonderful but sharped tongue Aunt?
Any and all of these people can be narcissists. A significant problem with them is they do not always know they are acting in this manner. They can seem so reasonable, quiet and unobtrusive on the outside but could something be lurking deep within?
Narcissism is defined as self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder. Or extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type. dictionary.com
Defining narcissism is the easy part, spotting the characteristics of a narcissist can be very tricky. Many of them are hidden gems that seem so normal until something makes them snap. Others are very easily spotted.
- Likable, at first glance. Charming/charismatic
- Some are loud, but many are quiet/shy.
- Often are in leadership roles
- Manage to make conversations about themselves
- Guilty of name-dropping
- Storytelling of tragedies and failures always have an air of entitlement and victimization
- They like nice things use them to display high status
- Appearance is everything (not just physical, what people think about what can be seen)
- Strongly adverse to criticism
- Excuses are their best friend!
- Everything is personal
- Most times do not know they are narcissistic and if they do will not admit it
- You flatter the narcissist just to keep the peace
- Believe they have high self-esteem and no deep-seated insecurities, in theory usually have low self-esteem
- Put others on a pedestal, and are then highly critical of them
- Change the facts to suit their needs
- Can empathize contrary to popular belief. However, they can turn their empathy off if will impact them in some way.
As you can see from the eighteen above signs, narcissists are everywhere and so plainly hidden. I find that I have tendencies that I need to work on and watch. But we learn what we live and live what we learn. I am just trying to admit and deal with it! 🙂
Vulnerable narcissists (VN) are the hardest to spot. They are masked as normal, helpless, sensitive and caring people. They are our friends, Aunts, Mothers, Cousins, etc… The VN cares for us and loves us but has not been given all the “goods” to make them whole and completely functioning humans.
Many of them have been abused physically, emotionally, even sexually. And many of them just have issues like everyone else. Bad childhoods, broken homes, fighting parents, poverty…Something I have found in my personal mental health journey is that there is a stigma about getting help, especially with our older population.
It is sad that there is a stigma for getting the help of any kind in 2018. But it is still out there. We need to be open and understanding about these things, not judgemental and disengaged. Narcissists most time do not know they are that way and most certainly will not admit they are one.
I am just starting to scratch the surface of Narcissism within my own journey. As I learn new things, read new books and do more therapy I will expand on this topic. For today, I wanted to scratch the surface of what Narcissism is and how better to spot the hidden signs within your lives.
Until next time. You are NOT alone. –Jenn