Do you have people in your life that exhibit narcissistic tendencies? Maybe you have encountered someone in your life, whose behavior has left you feeling hurt and you have let them believe that you are overly sensitive or that they never did the hurtful thing. The intention of this article is to not have you run around diagnose people, but to help you watch for some red flags, so that you can protect yourself.
So, let’s begin, what are some traits of a narcissist? Narcissists tend to be self-centered, lack empathy to the point if they hurt someone it won’t affect them, they exhibit arrogance (which is actually usually rooted in low self-esteem), they love talking about themselves, and they tend to be master manipulators. Narcissists also tend to be drawn to beauty, wealth, and fame over values and integrity.
It’s important to become aware of some of these traits, because narcissists can cause damage. In a relationship for example, a narcissist can do things that benefit them and hurt you. Remember they lack a conscious, so hurting others will not phase them. While they can love, their love tends to be conditional. It may focus on what they can get out of the relationship, or how much control they have over you. Since their love is conditional, as soon as things don’t suit them anymore, they can easily leave the relationship.
You may wonder how did someone turn into a narcissist in the first place? Some come from dysfunctional backgrounds, where narcissistic tendencies became their survival mechanism. Others may come from families where they were told they can do no wrong, and everything they did was perfect.
Once you have suspicions someone is a narcissist and ideally had it confirmed by a mental health specialist, I recommend cutting them out of your life. You want to avoid any physical, or emotional hurt that narcissists tend to cause. If it is a family member, and you feel strongly against cutting them off completely, it is critical to establish firm boundaries. Maybe you allow a phone call with them, once a week or once a month but part of your boundary is that they cannot visit you. Also, if you think you can just call out a narcissist for who they are, be careful. Narcissists don’t respond well to criticism and can become aggressive and even more manipulative towards you. They are incapable of self-reflection and even in the rare occasion that they go to therapy, they will enjoy having the attention while they talk about themselves, and not feel the need to change anything. By the way if you think you’re a narcissist, by the mere thought and self-reflection, you’ve already ruled out that possibility.
If a narcissistic person, has a stronghold on your life, you may find it difficult to create boundaries or cut of ties. Often times, if you have been around a narcissist for some time, they have worn you down, and left you feeling powerless. For help with overcoming this, book your free intake session by clicking on the link on this site. I look forward to supporting you with getting your power back.