Ever seen people who are in complete admiration of themselves throughout their life, constantly? Are very arrogant? People, who find themselves to be on the top no matter however they are and are least acceptable to any type of criticism they face and yet frequently belittle others? It’s not any self-love, it’s called being a narcissist or in simple words, filled with self-obsession.
People, who are in a state of the overwhelming need of admiration and have a grandiose sense of importance and disdainful attitudes, can sometimes be patronizing and demanding, might probably be suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD is a personality disorder where people are in love with an apotheosized image of themselves. Such people generally seem sad, upset, or disappointed when they are not given enough appreciation or special favors they think that they deserve. Others don't like being much around them and hence, face struggling issues with empathy.
We surely know how self-love, care, and appreciation to the core is important for one’s establishment as a person. But, in that process losing empathy, sympathy, and such feelings for others, always downplaying them doesn’t make a good person either. That is what a narcissist is.
People don’t always become a narcissist or suffer such a disorder by choice. It starts somewhere in their journey of life, a bit taste of success and always be approved by everyone, never getting criticized for anything can develop feelings of self-obsession. Here the person starts seeing nothing but himself. It’s okay for a short period but eventually doesn’t last long happily.
IDENTIFYING TRAITS OF NPD
Such people are of the thought of being supreme and most important in everybody's life. They exaggerate their accomplishments and don't acknowledge the same for others.
Grandiose sense of self-Importance ( approval, achievements, recognition)
Wrapped in the realms of fantasy (success, talents, love, etc.)
Strong sense of entitlement (unreasonable compliance with favorable treatment)
Lacking Empathy ( less acknowledgment for others, being envious of them or thinking vice versa)
Exploitativeness (constantly criticizing others, undervaluing them with guilt or shame)
Leadership ( Always being on the top, representing oneself as an authority)
Haughty and conceited behavior ( showing off attitude and becoming excessive rude and arrogant
TREATMENT OF NPD
There are rumors that Narcissistic Personality Disorder can’t be treated due to the self-centeredness of the people and the rise of egoistic behavior. But, there are people who, sooner or later, recognize what’s going wrong and wish to cooperate to make it better.
Yes, there are indeed narcissists who leave the therapy when in the process when it becomes extremely painful to find such a self-reflection. Also, there aren’t many psychotherapists who are trained specially for such a disorder. Most of the therapist training programs are designed to turn our general practitioners and not specialists.
The therapy of NPD is rather a very slow and complex process which can take a year to 10 years to completely recover. Processes include such as appeasement, identifying the coping mechanism, forming new habits, learning the importance of empathy, and updating the inner voice. In some stages, anti-depressants and mood stabilizers are prescribed as a form of medication. It depends on the coping ability of a person to deal with the truth of self-reflection, passing on stages of therapy to finally reach the authentic level.
Change is difficult, but possible – Elinor Greenberg
HOW TO DEAL WITH A NARCISSIST
People often find it difficult to deal and live along with the narcissists due to the feeling of constant criticism faced by them. There’s a difference between healthy and unhealthy criticism that a person can make out from the way of talking of the critic. But, it’s not always necessary to take things personally. Instead, they can learn how to let it go and deal with them. Here’s how :
1. Set Healthy Boundaries: Healthy friendships are based on the fact of mutual respect and caring. But, narcissists aren’t capable of this reciprocation. But, this doesn’t mean starting to disrespect them. It means to create a distance between yourself, as far from where they can’t affect or get into your head. It’s like letting it go in one ear and out the other immediately.
2. Observe how they treat others: Narcissists treat everyone the same. Some intentionally and some naturally. Look at how they treat others, observe, and absorb. This will make you understand how to deal with them when it comes out to you. In their eyes, your desires and feelings don’t count but that doesn’t mean that they don’t count at all. There might be a future where they’d understand they’re wrong and repent, so don’t keep any hard feelings either.
3. Don’t buy their perception of who you are: For a narcissist, it is his/her natural behavior to keep him at the top. Their views of other people aren’t always real, what they’re always looking for is obedient admirers and nothing else. So, there’s no better intention behind the criticism they provide. Don’t let their shame and blame game get heavy on you.
4. Don’t argue: The instinct on hearing something that isn’t true is a rebellious reaction to make them understand or undermine. But, narcissists wouldn’t ever agree to that which is their natural behavior. Always consider a gentle approach. If they respond with anger, try to remain calm. Deliver your messages respectfully or walk away gently if need be.
5. Make new friends: Instead of hanging on to narcissists and waiting for them to recognize you, make new friends. The ones who consider you or fulfill the positivity around you. Stop making excuses for their behavior, it will only encourage them rather than making them understand. Build friendships where there are meaning, honesty, and no side purpose. This wouldn’t isolate you because that is what narcissists tend to make you be able to make you focus only on them.
6. Focus on yourself: The most important thing is to focus on yourself, your dreams, and your work. Eventually, your hard work and smart work are going to count and not any friendship, real or fake. That’s just part of your journey. Look for meaning in the hobbies that make you feel good about yourself. You have to be better than yourself each day, not anyone else.