If you have ever been
turned off by the excessive self-centeredness, egotism and attention
seeking, of a "ME - ME" person, then read further ...
There you are in the
middle of a competitive conversation and the other person is drowning you
in self-centered, "there and then" personal aggrandizement. You
are getting turned off and tired of listening to the claptrap and boring
patter of the "Me - Me" person.
You are amazed at how
easily and quickly this Narcissitic person can
turn a conversation around and center all of the attention on him/herself. The conversation continues and becomes a
one way thread ... all about self-aggrandizement, ego inflation,
notice me, see me, I am somebody, I am important. Slowly, this third chakra
overly egotistical, ego centered individual is pushing you away and
turning you off.
Don't let this
behavior fool you! It's really about the loss of the real self.
A new image/facade substitutes for the lost, hurt self ...
one that has an all encompassing, excessive need to be noticed
and seen as extremely special.
what do you do? Ordinarily, you would write off and reject this egomaniac
and think he or she is only interested in self. However, I've
outlined other options that are more constructive below.
Is there a way to work with and relate to this individual or do I split and
cut my losses? Is this something that can change?
Answer: If you are intimately involved
with someone suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, you are
basically a captive audience, an object to be sucked dry and used as an
inflating mirror for the narcissist. At your expense, you will be lost as
the narcissistic uses you as a breast to feed a flagging and deflated self.
The decision to remain and work through the relationship problems with a
personality disordered person is always up to you. You can begin to see
that your present situation is an opportunity for you to grow and learn
more about yourself.
that the narcissist is not always in the disorder. There are times
when he or she is quite normal, loving and pleasant. But, when the disorder
is overpowering, the narcissist becomes a turnoff machine who has
absolutely no empathic capabilities whatsoever. Narcissists overvalue their
own opinion, prejudices, perceptions and judgments and have very little
capability for entertaining the inner reality of other people.
Question: I can never
get a word in. Every time, I want to talk, I get turned off and
the conversation becomes self-centered. What's the problem here?
Answer: The problem is distance. You
need a safe distance from the narcissist where you can establish a state of
separation/individuation in order to maintain a stable sense of your self.
Narcissists are in a dual relationship with themselves and you are
just a reflecting soundboard for mirroring back their image. Remember, the
narcissist is not a real person. He or she is merely a reflection of the
will have to work hard to break through the defenses of a narcissist,
in order to relate to the real person residing underneath. But, as
soon as you feel success in getting through, narcissists will revert back
to their disorder and keep you on the outside. Narcissism is a wall to
keep others on the outside, where you are incapable of penetrating and
hurting the very soft tender and vulnerable inner core self.
Question: So, what
do I do about myself?
Answer: Say this to yourself, "I
know who I am. This is me. I exist. I am somebody separate and distinct,
strong, reliable and valuable in my own right. The narcissist is really
somebody else underneath and I respect and can relate to that real person
hiding behind the wall."
You have your own
life. You can live your life to the fullest and deserve to be in healthy
relationships with healthy people. You deserve the right to work on
yourself and become the healthiest, most real person that you can become.
The narcissistic person is in your life to teach you how to be a more
empathic listener. But, remember that healthy conversations are very open,
equal and democratic. A constructive conversation is when two people
equally and openly share who they are with one another. Anything else is
Question: I hate to
keep you. But quickly, what are some of the characteristics of a
There is a
grandiose sense of self-importance in which the potential for
exaggerating achievements exisits. The person
wants to be recognized as superior. They may be preoccupied with fantasies
of unlimited power, intelligence, beauty and success. Their conversations
are usually shaped to show you how special and unique they are and how and
why they are associated with other special people. The narcissist may also
require excessive admiration and have a sense of entitlement, expecting
she may take advantage of others to achieve personal goals. The
narcissist also lacks the willingness to recognize and identify with the
feelings and needs of others. There could be envy of other people and
believe that others are envious of him or her. There can also be arrogant
and haughty attitudes.
I would also consider
behavior that reflects selfishness, always having to appear to be right and
others wrong coupled with an inability to understand and identify with what
other people are feeling and thinking. There may be excessive negativity
surrounding the activity and achievements of others, while inflating one's
own sense of importance and accomplishment. Conversations can suddenly
shift attention from the central theme to something that only relates to
the experience of the narcissist. The narcissist is habitual in the ability
to always deflect attention back onto the self.
Narcissists tend to
monopolize conversations, misinterpret and misperceive events, and see the
behavior of others as having some kind of negative impact on them.
Narcissists can be quite hurtful in their conversations, without even
knowing it. They may say things that injure other people and justify their
actions, without seeing the entire picture. There may be elements of
paranoia and suspiciousness in their thinking and as such could warrant a
interactions with a narcissist may facilitate an inability of others to
confront or deal with their behavior. One strategy that partners of
narcissists engage in, may consist of ignoring the
provocative narcissistic behavior. Therefore, the protagonist of the
narcissist may always seem to be in a position of having to choose to react
or not to react. It is a challenge to the theme of temptation. People who have had interactions with the narcissist,
usually leave the field with many conflicting and disturbing after thoughts
and feelings. Negativity is the ultimate product of narcissism.
advice to anyone who is involved with someone who has narcissistic disorder
traits, is to use the experience for further
on Narcissitic Personality Disorder:
is power and reading all that you can about a disorder is the first step to
changing your situation. Additional resources on Narcissistic Personality
Disorder area available from PsychotherapyHELP.
Two excellent e-books on the disorder, "Narcissistic
Personality Disorder: A Profile" and "Coping
with the Disorder" can be purchased directly from our web site.
Click on the titles to be directed to PsychotherapyHELP
for more information.
therapy you are seeking, go to PsychotherapyHELP and check out my therapy links.
Usually, it is the significant other who is in the most emotional
pain and needs help dealing with a narcissistic partner. Call for help
... one phone call is all that it takes.