I had a lady email me last month saying that a psychologist told her that her husband was a narcissist and she didn’t really know what that meant and she tried to share it with him and he went mad. I have helped many women and men deal with a narcissist in their family, and even though I prefer not to label people (as personally I do not believe it helps the person or relationships) I have written this to help those suffering in a relationship where the family member is displaying narcisstic traits.
According to the Mayo Clinic narcissists have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.
So, what are the traits often identified in someone labeled as a narcissist? There are many traits of a narcissist here are 5 key ones;
Narcissist Trait 1. THEY DON’T REALLY LISTEN:
A true narcissist will dismiss, ignore other people’s concerns and comments and will give off the vibe that they are right and you are wrong. They will also be very defensive either playing the victim card “you are so self-fish bringing this up at this time” “how dare you speak to me in that tone of voice.” Or Narcissists will deflect by blaming and avoid addressing the topic like saying “It’s your issue” “You have the problem” “You’re crazy” “I’m only acting like this because you made me…” It might not seem like a big deal once in a while, however with most narcissist’s it’s an ongoing pattern where they are simply trying to undermine the person they are talking to. In a nutshell they don’t listen or try to and make everything about them.
Narcissist Trait 2. THEY ARE SELF-ABSORBED:
This trait is very self explanatory, the narcissist talks about themselves all the time and finds ways to make every conversation about them. It’s very one-sided and is a way they make themselves feel bigger and better about themselves.
Narcissist Trait 3. MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY:
The narcissist simply believes that rules don’t apply to them. If you’ve ever met someone who thinks they are above everyone else and that things should be done ‘their way’ then you’ve probably met a narcissist. These are the people who think rules are for everyone else to follow except them. They have this idea that they are bigger and better and therefore can do what they want when they want.
Narcissist Trait 4. THEY TAKE THINGS THE WRONG WAY:
A narcissist will hear something and then automatically assume that firstly it was about them (when it most cases it isn’t) and secondly they will take things personally. For example if someone they know says that they are lonely, a narcissist would assume that it’s directed at them and they are being blamed for the other person’s loneliness. Because they think everything is about them they constantly feel like they are under attack.
Narcissist Trait 5. THEY BELIEVE THEY ARE ALWAYS RIGHT:
When things go wrong a narcissist will blame others straight away and fail to take any kind of responsibility for their actions. They can’t apologize or admit they were wrong and can easily get angry and then blame it on someone else. Whilst the label can sometimes help individuals who are living with a narcissist in the long-run it can be problematic and lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world. – Gautama Buddha
THE RED FLAG: NARCISSISTIC ABUSE
The signs of narcissistic abuse are sadly hard to see. In fact one could almost say they are invisible, which makes it so much harder to identify.
Narcissistic abuse is more ambiguous and difficult to prove as it is a form of psychological and emotional abuse and most people aren’t even aware that what they are experiencing is a legitimate form of abuse. As it can cause severe mental cognitive and physical health issues for victims including Post-traumatic Stress Disorder it is essential to be aware of the danger signs.
Danger signs of narcissistic abuse are:
1. Developing a very low self esteem
2. Suddenly suffering from depression and anxiety
3. Feeling as if nothing you do is ever good enough and you’re the problem
4. Seeing drastic personality changes in your partner from someone who is highly likeable to someone completely horrible to be around
5. Feeling ignored and invisible to them one minute or where your put down the next and they seem to to enjoy putting you down.
6. Gas-lighting making you feel like their something wrong with your mind and behavior is sometimes a pattern in narcissistic abuse
Whilst this is not a comprehensive list it does give an overview of some of the danger signs to look out for when it comes to a narcissist partner, parent or other family member and if you suspect that they are being abusive.
HOW TO HANDLE A NARCISSIST
In an ideal world a couple would sit down with a specialist or a therapist and talk through the issues and problems they face, but what do you do when your narcissist partner, parent or other family member wont listen, wont accept responsibility and wants to blame you and everyone else?
Dealing with a Narcissist Tip 1. The first thing to do is to focus on strengthening yourself, building self-love and confidence to address what may need to be addressed.
Dealing with a Narcissist Tip 2. Second is to read as much as you can about Narcissism support and narcissistic traits if you find it helpful. Due to more people coming forward and exposing narcissists and demanding justice there is now a growing global movement dedicated to raising the profile of narcissistic abuse with more educational resources available and even a world narcissistic abuse awareness day held on June 1st every year.
By knowing that you are not alone and that there are other people out there who have been through the same or similar experience and come out of it will give you the strength you need to handle your narcissistic family member or lover.
Dealing with a Narcissist Tip 3. The third thing to do is to cut-off their supply. Think of the supply and demand principle. To the narcissist you and the attention you provide them are addictive and they need to have their ‘fix’ which is you, in order to satiate their ego as without it their carefully crafted image would shatter.
In essence they demand and you supply. It’s the same scenario as someone with a substance addiction whereas in this instance the narcissist needs you. Every time you give them what they want they grow stronger. As long as you supply them what they need they will keep coming back to you for more. If you choose to cease all forms of communication in order to break free from a narcissist in the end they will be forced to seek it elsewhere.
Handling a narcissist takes time and energy but more importantly inner strength and knowing your self-worth. By staying strong and true to yourself and following your intuition you will find the right way forward – for you.
The last thing to remember about how to handle a narcissist is that the word narcissist is a label and every time you think about them as a narcissist or call them a narcissist the more likely they will remain a narcissist. So where possible, it is far more productive to stick to the behavior you want changed and suggest or show them what you would like instead. It is far more likely to be taken on board this way.
I hope this has been in someway helpful to you.
If you are struggling with this please feel free to book a free 30 minute personal breakthrough session, where I will share insights into how I have supported countless others to become stronger, happier and have more blissful relationships. Click here to book https://nicolabeer.as.me/breakthrough
Key Words – relationship advice, marriage problems, couple therapy, relationship counseling, family counselling, family therapy, narcissism, alcoholism, abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, addiction. obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD, bi-polar, compulsive lying, border line personality disorder, PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, how to save a marriage, save your marriage, save my marriage, save a marriage, married life, marriage advice, couples therapy, cheating husband, cheating wife, stop divorce, emotional affair, anger management, alcohol abuse, sexual problems, low self-esteem, confidence, insecurity, jealousy, how to get divorced, narcissist, depression, insomnia, anxiety, nicola beer, online couselling, online therapy, – counselling, counsellor, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Online.