By Paula Bianchi –
The Narcissist. We all know one or had to deal with one sometime during our life. While doing my research about narcissists and narcissism, I found the subject to be vast and complex. I had never realized there were so many different types of narcissists in our world. This is all due to the upbringing and personality traits the narcissist has.
They can’t put their finger on what exactly makes a person a narcissist, but the idea that we shape and mold our children is so true especially after being raised in a negative environment. The things they learn, while living there, can sometimes be to their determent. From the life we lead, to the words we say around or to them, to the actions we make for or against them, all these things shape us as children, then, we take what we learned and try to make our way through life and the world. This is my simple way of saying what the experts have labeled as: applying a biopsychosocial model of causation.
I did find a few talking points as to what some experts think causes a person to become a narcissist in Wikipedia. According to Arnold Cooper and Leonard Groopman, various researchers have identified possible factors that promote the development of NPD, (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Here’s the list the experts came up with:
- From birth, (personality traits) an oversensitive temperament.
- Excessive admiration which is never balanced with realistic feedback.
- Excessive praise or criticism for good or bad behaviors in childhood.
- Overvaluation and overindulgence from parents, other family members, or peers.
- Praising perceived exceptional looks or abilities by adults.
- Severe emotional abuse in childhood.
- Unreliable or unpredictable caregiving from parents.
- Learning manipulative behaviors from parents or peers.
These can all be early warning signs in children who might be prone to narcissistic tendencies or any other mental disorder. This is why it’s so important to keep the lines of communication open with your kids. Maybe as a way to help kids, we should implement a system in our schools where each kid is evaluated by a mental health professional to determine if they need any mental therapy to help them avoid the pitfalls of ending up with a personality disorder. They should be checked out at the end of grade school, then again before they graduate high school. I really feel this would give them a step up when they reach adulthood.
The usual onset of Narcissistic Personality Disorders is in our early adulthood. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, (DSM-5), tells us persons with NPD usually display some or all of the following symptoms:
- Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from other people.
- Fixation on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.
- Self-perception of being unique, superior, and associated with high-status people and institutions.
- Need for continual admiration from others.
- Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others.
- Exploitation of others to achieve personal gain.
- Unwillingness to empathize with the feelings, wishes, and needs of other people.
- Intense envy of others, and the belief that others are equally envious of them.
- Constantly demeans, bullies, and belittles others.
If you just have a few of these traits, it’s not much to worry about, but if you have 5 or more of these traits, you should seek out a mental health professional. It’s never too late to change if you really put your mind to it. It’s a matter of choice. You have to be honest with yourself if you want to overcome it. The treatment will be difficult but so worth it. It will depend on your willingness to get better and the work you put into it to achieve that goal.
Now because our personalities are so complexed, this leads to many subtypes of narcissism. Here’s a list of the subtypes that I found in Wikipedia: Unprincipled narcissist – Amorous narcissist – Compensatory narcissist – Elitist narcissist – Normal narcissist – Fanatic narcissist – Hedonistic narcissist – Malignant narcissist – Pure narcissist – Attention narcissist – Beyond the rule’s narcissist.
It’s not easy having a narcissist in your life, and in some instances, it can be detrimental to your life. As you can see, they come in different packages, so the tools we need to use in dealing with them have to fit that type of narcissist. Checking out the personality traits of the narcissists I listed above, can give you a better understanding of what you’re dealing with.
People with narcissistic tendencies never listen to reason, so avoid trying to talk any sense into them. Always remember, they have their own agenda, and they’ll manipulate anyone or any situation to accomplish their goals. They love causing any kind of conflict so don’t always believe them when they try to get you to look at someone in a different light. The story they present you with, about a certain person, may be fictional so make sure their story holds truth and not fiction. Some may seek to establish abusive power and control over you. Most importantly, they have a personal distain and lack of empathy for others, so don’t ever expect them to feel any remorse or regret about the pain they’ve put you through. They simply don’t care.
Narcissists can only screw with you for as long as you let them. You can walk away at any time, and if they continue to harass you, then it’s time to call the cops or hire a lawyer to extricate yourself from them. In some extreme cases, you may have to move in order to get away from them. For your own safety or health, you have to do what you can to get away.
In my next mind games article, I’ll write about our bodies. Thanks for the visit. Bye for now.