You may be laughing now, but if you’re involved with a narcissist, that laughter quickly turns to tears after seeing this card (left). Why? Because it’s true! A narcissist truly does believe they are perfect, infallible, and should be worshiped. At least on the outside they do. Inside they believe they are about to be found out. They are paranoid, suspicious, defensive and will go to any extreme to protect their image of themselves and to keep people from learning they’re really just a fraud.
It’s a tortured existence for sure.
We’ve all got a little bit of narcissist in us. We need it to survive. Too little narcissism and we have low-self-esteem. Too much and we become jerks. Way too much and you’re an extreme narcissist. Average people act as though they are the center of their own little world to some degree, but the extreme narcissist believes they are the center of the universe and should be treated that way.
Traits of a Narcissist:
- Totally self-absorbed
- Grandiose sense of self-importance
- Believes they are special, important, entitled
- Does not care about anyone other than themselves, even if they appear to be caring
- Has a very strong sense of entitlement
- Unable to be intimate or form close relationships
- Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success or power
- Seeks control
- Expects to be recognized as superior without doing anything to deserve it
- Only wants to associate with other people of the level or status they perceive themselves to be at
- They blame others for anything that goes wrong in their lives.
- They never believe they’re at fault or to blame for anything
- Lacks empathy, e.g. they are unwilling or unable to identify with the needs and feelings of others
- Envious of others and thinks other people are envious of him/her
- Preoccupied with their looks, their material property, status etc.
- Takes advantage of others, uses people to get their needs met and then drops them
How to Deal With A Narcissist:
If you’re a freelancer, small business (or large) or you’re in a relationship with, married to, or the child of a narcissist, at some point you realize that you’re going to have to deal with, or interact with the narcissist until you can plan your escape. The number one way to break out of the roller-coaster ride of hell (up, down, jerked round until you vomit, or want to) is to LEAVE the relationship and run far, far away and never look back.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. If you’ve taken on a client who turns out to be a narcissist think about Ripley in the movie “Aliens.” She’s fighting to keep that little face sucking monster from latching onto her face and spewing alien spawn into her belly to kill her. That little sucker is the narcissist and the battle to keep them out of your soul and life is about what Ripley endured, only she fought for minutes…you’re stuck for months or years! Like Ripley, you’re trapped with this monster until you finish the job, get paid (if you’re lucky), or can get your ducks all in a row so you CAN flee the job, the relationship, the class…the team, whatever.
The number one thing you MUST be/do with a narcissist is to be INDEPENDENT before you try to leave. Set up your own finances, job, life and fulfill your emotional, psychological and spiritual needs APART from them.
Second, remind yourself that THEY are the problem, not you. Do not let them get into your head. They will try and they will succeed, but fight as much as you can to keep that from happening. There are many good programs and support groups out there to help you break this bond with the narcissist. You have NOT done anything to provoke his behavior and you don’t deserve it.
Narcissists will manipulate, lie, cheat, steal, threaten and use—whatever it takes for them to get their narcissistic supply. Many of them will use Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) to hook you into a mental loop and control you, others will use whatever tactics they’ve developed over the years that have proven to help them seduce men and women to become their supply groupees.