“Narcissism falls along the axis of what psychologists call personality disorders, one of a group that includes antisocial, dependent, histrionic, avoidant and borderline personalities. But by most measures, narcissism is one of the worst, if only because the narcissists themselves are so clueless.” ~Jeffrey Kluger
A report in Cosmopolitan Magazine offers ten very insightful points into the psyche of your everyday, average narcissist – and if you keep these in mind when you’re dealing with one, you’ll find yourself feeling much more in control of the situation.
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Cosmo’s insights were, in brief, as follows – but be sure to click the link at the end of this post and see the full explanation on the Cosmopolitan.com website.
1. You can’t shame a narcissist – they’ll make your life much harder if you do.
2. The reason they’re so fragile and insecure on the inside and mean and hateful on the outside goes all the way back to childhood. Though researchers believe there might be a genetic component, the truth is that the way a child is raised has a great deal to do with how they turn out.
Also of note:
- There are two ways to “create” a narcissist – by denying a child unconditional love so they never feel comfortable in the emotional love, or to totally go the opposite direction and overindulging, overpraising and underdisciplining the child – making them believe they’re overly special.
- This would indicate that the term “happy medium” could apply to good parenting (My note)
3. Kids who got big responsibilities at early ages are more often narcissists than those who didn’t, whether it was direct responsibility such as for a sibling or indirect such as for the emotional health of a parent. This leads to their adult selves always seeking approval and trying too hard, never allowing themselves to just “be,” rather requiring to be the center of attention.
4. A narcissist desperately needs to feel superior to everyone around him, because inside they don’t feel like they’re good enough. And they react with contempt to anyone who seems to have something they lack.
5. Narcissists think big – that is, they are grandiose thinkers because they feel like it fills some hole inside themselves.
6. They have a huge sense of entitlement – they think they DESERVE to have what they want without regard for the needs and desires of those around them.
7. They haven’t met a boundary they haven’t crossed, and if you don’t put a stop to it when it begins, they’ll keep crossing until they’ve crossed every boundary you’ve got.
8. If you must confront a narcissist, do it carefully – they respond best to “empathic validation,” Cosmo says. So you should always “affirm the relationship first before you share anything that doesn’t feel right,” said a psychologist interviewed by the mag. “For example, if it’s someone you’re dating, say to them: ‘I care about you a lot, so when you don’t listen to what I’m saying, I feel like I’m nothing in your eyes,’ instead of ‘Why don’t you ever listen to me?'”
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9. The only thing that might motivate a narcissist to change is having a meaningful consequence for their bad behavior. For example, a healthy narcissist might avoid cheating on a spouse in order to preserve the relationship, because “if the consequences are high enough, they might start to reevaluate their actions.”
10. No matter how intelligent and together a narcissist is in other ways, they are emotional toddlers. Cosmo’s experts both noted that the best way to deal with a narcissist who is raging is to consider them like you would a two-year-old who is throwing a tantrum, and that most of that is just their way of “putting on a show.” Both agreed that as long as you’re not in physical danger, you have to pick your battles and decide what you will and will not tolerate, and then make your choices accordingly.
Like I said, I find all of this stuff very insightful and totally on-target. What do you think?
BTW, I’ve also got a couple of other books on the topic – including Your Love is My Drug: How to Shut Down a Narcissist, Detoxify Your Relationships & Live the Awesome Life You Really Deserve, Starting Right Now.
See Story on Cosmo’s website: click here
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.