The word “narcissist” is overused today. Most often it falls in anger toward the partner. However, narcissistic personality is not found in the spur of the moment. This is a serious personality disorder that requires a diagnosis. However, we can check if we are dealing with it by answering questions that Beverly Engel (author of “How to free yourself from psychological violence. Don’t blame yourself and regain control of your life”). Narcissistic people can be extremely clever, and before we know it – we lose that control.
Table of Contents:
- What is narcissism? Where did it come from in psychiatry?
- Narcissistic personality vs. narcissistic functioning style – characteristics
- Narcissistic personality disorder – types
- Narcissistic personality and depressive disorders
- Symptoms of narcissistic personality
- Narcissism – causes
- Narcissistic personality in relationships
- Narcissistic personality in the family
- Is your partner a narcissist? Answer these questions
What is narcissism? Where did it come from in psychiatry?
The first studies of people exhibiting narcissistic traits appeared in the 19th century. Although the phenomenon has been known since antiquity, the term “narcissist” was first used in 1910. Sigmund Freud used it in the context of homosexuality and created the term “primary narcissism,” which applies to young children and infants. They are focused on their own needs, like typical narcissists – they do not see the world outside themselves. They are confident in their excellence. They consider themselves superior to other people. They often fantasize about their successes, until eventually these fantasies become delusions. They begin to show themselves to others in a better light, considering themselves perfect and infallible.
Narcissistic personality vs. narcissistic functioning style – characteristics
Narcissistic personality is often manifested by similar traits, such as:
- A belief in one’s own uniqueness,
- Exaggerating their successes,
- Humiliating others,
- Using other people to satisfy one’s own needs.
Nazis think of themselves as perfect and “most” people – the most beautiful, the smartest, the most perfect. At first these people may seem very confident and tough, but the truth is quite different. They lack self-confidence and, by humiliating others, they are humiliating themselves. They are fragile – they are hurt by unfavorable opinions. The first impression upon meeting a narcissist can be positive. He seems polite and friendly. It is only after a long time that you can see that such a person has no scruples and likes to have control over everyone in order to feel better. They activate unconscious defense mechanisms when interacting with others. They look for “bad” qualities in people and use them to show themselves in a better light. They may be inclined to make others feel complex. Anything to make you feel better.
Narcissistic personality disorder – types
Narcissists are also often characterized by other personality disorders, including:
- Paranoid personality (the main manifestation is arrogance),
- an avoidant personality (a sense of infallibility and superiority combined with extreme sensitivity and fragility),
- histrionic personality (belief in one’s own uniqueness, attractiveness in the eyes of others. May manifest itself in frequent change of partners).
Narcissistic personality and depressive disorders
Narcissists often suffer from depressive and anxiety disorders. When a narcissist fails, he may fall into depression, which he does not know how to deal with. A person convinced of his own greatness begins to feel that he is a nobody. She is unable to see gray, for her the world is black and white. In narcissists, depression can develop at a very rapid pace, causing insomnia, isolation and anxiety or even suicidal thoughts.
Symptoms of narcissistic personality
To recognize a narcissistic personality in the environment, we must consider whether the person:
- is oversensitive about herself,
- He strongly survives unfavorable opinions,
- Does not deal with failures,
- compares itself to others,
- She wants to always be the best,
- Is convinced of its own uniqueness,
- is not empathetic,
- takes advantage of others.
Narcissism – causes
The causes of narcissism can vary. These include, among others:
- genetic factors,
- educational factors (resulting from parents’ excessive expectations of their children),
- environmental factors (e.g., social media showing only ideal people).
Narcissistic personality in relationships
Narcissists do not form good relationships. They are unable to be empathetic and lack interest in the “other half”. They want the other person to pay attention only to them. They like to be praised and convinced of their greatness. Building a relationship with a narcissist is difficult. The other person may feel unimportant and disrespected. Narcissists are unable to engage emotionally. Sometimes such people start a family and create an image of an ideal husband or wife to show others how great they are. You can read more about relationships in the article How many times in life do we fall in love?
Narcissistic personality in the family
Often it is the parents’ expectations that make the child a narcissist. If it is constantly praised – it will eventually begin to believe that it is the best and unique. There are also situations in which the parents are the narcissists. They are unable to show affection to their offspring, making relationships difficult. Their children may feel rejected. In adulthood, they may think they are not good enough to deserve the attention of others.
The rescue for the narcissist is psychotherapy. The therapist uses psychoanalysis during the session to analyze childhood and adjust the appropriate therapy. Mostly it lasts a relatively short time, but it brings such a person mental balance.
Is your partner a narcissist? Answer these questions
Does your partner:
- Is he self-absorbed and not interested in your life?
- He wants to be the center of attention all the time, interrupting others and talking only about himself?
- Requires loved ones to treat him better than others?
- Doesn’t have empathy and can’t empathize with others?
- He thinks he is infallible and other people don’t know what they are talking about?
- Does he think he is better than others?
- He proves his point at all costs (even when he is not right)?
- He gives the impression of being arrogant, conceited and aloof?
- Does he sometimes condescend and insult others?
- Criticizes and disparages and is sometimes sarcastic towards others?
- He goes into a rage when someone else proves him wrong?
- He insists that those around him treat him special (not just you, but vendors or friends)?
- Is he complaining about not being properly respected?
- Challenges the authority of others and criticizes those in control by showing that he would be better in their position?
- Doesn’t he show gratitude?
- Does he cling to anything?
- He always thinks that the gifts do not meet his expectations?
- Does he devote most of his time to being the best?
- He is charming and manipulates people, and when he gets what he wanted – he becomes disrespectful?
- Does he think no one notices his lies?
Narcissistic personality is a serious disorder characterized by a sense of self-gloriousness and infallibility and a lack of empathy for others. You may think that this is not the narcissist’s fault, and that his behavior is due to a difficult childhood. Be careful, though, because it’s easy to fall into a trap! It is worth being cautious of such people and not being manipulated.