What is Narcissism
I see the word narcissism thrown around a lot and it worries me that maybe it’s taken a bit lightly. So I decided to explain what a narcissist is and how dangerous they could be. But also explain some similar personality disorders that look like narcissism but isn’t.
Narcissism is a type of personality disorder. An individual with this disorder has learned, for whatever reason, that empathy is useless. So they have none. A Narc. wasn’t born with this personality disorder, life and their own choices grew them into it, like most personality disorders. But no matter the sob story a Narc. might tell that doesn’t make their behavior easy to heal from.
The most know characteristics are a grandiose sense of self, lacking in empathy, envy, and control. But there are also quiet and seemingly humble narcissists. They tend to boast about good deeds or at least attempt to show off how “good” they are. Those who believe in fantasies of great purpose far beyond human ability.
The reason it’s hard to heal from any relationship with a narcissist is that they know how to make themselves look like the victim and make others feel guilty for disagreeing. Guilt trips are the Narcs m.m.o. They also threaten to ruin a persons reputation if the person gives too much resistance. They will constantly compare you to others. “why can’t you be obedient like so-and-so.” “Why can’t you be happy like so-and-so.” Making a person feel as if there’s something wrong with them.
A Narc. isn’t just some Gaston (from Beauty and the Beast) type of character. They could seem king, helpful, joyful, even spiritual. The key is that they tend to be charming and they usually know how to mesh into the setting just right. If it takes standing out, that’s what they’ll do, if not they’ll blend in. They aren’t always easy to spot, and sometimes the family member/friend that is the “bad guy” might actually be the victim within the relationship. Be mindful of each story you hear about someone else.
Lastly I wanted to explain some other disorders that are similar to Narcissism but aren’t the same.
- BPD(Borderline Personality Disorder-characteristics of extreme and inappropriate emotional reactions, impulsive behaviors, klingy then distant behavior.)
- APD(Antisocial Personality Disorder-tend to ingage in physical confrontations, distorted sense of right and wrong, tend to manipulate others.)
- HPD(Histrionic Personality Disorder-person that likes to be the center of attention, sense of self is determined by amount of others approval, may threaten dangerous behavior to get attention.)
I’m an aspiring cognitive therapist that currently works as a child care provider.