According to Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hunter who thought he was so good looking that he fell in love with his reflection and spent the rest of his days staring at himself in a pool of water. And that’s what I thought a narcissist was; a person who was really into themselves (or ‘up themselves’ as we would say as kids). I have since learned that narcissism is so much more than being in love with yourself.
Narcissistic personality disorder (or NPD) is an actual personality disorder whereby sufferers have an inflated sense of their own importance, need constant praise and admiration and basically cause problems in every relationship they ever have.
Narcs rarely seek treatment for this disorder because they truly don’t believe they have a problem. However, the destruction they cause in the lives of the people around them can be catastrophic. They suck people in and bleed them dry while making their victims believe they have done something wrong. The mental health effects that victims are left to deal with can have devastating consequences and continue on for years. That is why it is very important to be able to recognise the signs of a narcissist and take action to remove yourself from their vicinity as quickly as you can.
So what are the signs that your partner/loved one/family member/colleague is a narcissist?
According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the symptoms of NPD.
- Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
- Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration
- Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
- Exaggerate achievements and talents
- Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
- Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people
- Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior
- Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations
- Take advantage of others to get what they want
- Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
- Be envious of others and believe others envy them
- Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious
- Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office
Additionally, people with NPD will act in the following ways when they believe they are being criticised.
- Become impatient or angry when they don’t receive special treatment
- Have significant interpersonal problems and easily feel slighted
- React with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make themselves appear superior
- Have difficulty regulating emotions and behavior
- Experience major problems dealing with stress and adapting to change
- Feel depressed and moody because they fall short of perfection
- Have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation
There are a lot more signs that someone has NPD and I’ll be going into these symptoms and more in future posts. I’ll also be including personal examples of all these symptoms that I have lived through myself.
If you feel as though you may be in a relationship with someone who has these traits, please consider subscribing to my newsletter so you’ll be notified of new posts. We will go on a journey to narcissistic abuse recovery together.