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We Can't All Be Narcissists...


We are constantly hearing this term, we are constantly seeing people being labeled narcissists.

But what exactly is a narcissist? It has become such a buzz word but some of the characteristics and traits include: a lack of empathy, grandiose, feelings of superiority over everyone else, an overestimation of one's beauty, abilities, and achievements.


Narcissism is rooted quite deeply in lack of self-esteem and secure attachment. Attachment styles, which are developed in childhood, influence how we interact with others, what we think of ourselves, what decisions we make, our life perspective as well as our behaviour. Actual Narcissistic Personality Disorder has to be present for a certain amount of time, and has to be diagnosed by a professional using the NPI (Narcissistic Personality Inventory) Test.


The term itself originates from the Greek Myth of Narcissus. His mother was informed by a seer, that her son would live a long and beautiful life, on one condition: He can never see his reflection. When Narcissus grows up, at some point he is dating a nymph who falls deeply in love with him, unfortunately it is not quite reciprocated after some time and he breaks her heart. She's livid, and she seeks revenge.She decides to show him his reflection in the water. He is so taken with his own beauty he pines after his own reflection and can do and be nowhere else but staring at his own reflection in that water. This tragically eventually leads to his death, as the seer foretold.


What causes Narcissism?

  • A very poor and traumatic childhood

Too much adoration or too much neglect from the caregiver/parent/guardian. If the child receives too much adoration (unwarranted, unrealistic, untrue, unearned adoration, even for bad behaviour and failures) they have a skewed view of themselves, their abilities, and even develop a sense of entitlement. Likewise, too much neglect causes low self-esteem and a strong need for external validation & approval.

  • An overprotective caregiver

This behaviour from the caregiver teaches the child that the world is unsafe, their guard needs to be up at all times, they need to stay in survival mode, and things happen to them. There is no sense of agency or autonomy, creating the need for control in inappropriate contexts.

  • Genetics

Certain disorders can be passed down in the family.


Here are the different types of Narcissism:

Overt

This is the type we are used to and can spot straight away because we "know" the characteristics. This kind of narcissist tends to be arrogant, they lack empathy, they are overbearing, they exploit and take advantage of others, and they have a sense of entitlement (feel like they deserve everything that someone else can give).


Covert

An undercover narcissist. It is not so easy to spot this kind because they tend to play the victim. Although that is the case, they still manage to make everything about them, so very self-focused. They get extremely defensive when confronted with the possibility of rejection, or being confronted about their behaviours, given any sort of criticism or feedback.


Communal

As the name suggests, this narcissist values social power and self-importance. They radically react to things they feel are unfair, they see themselves as selfless and fighting for the "little guy", and as having high morals and values. In reality, their behaviour does not match their high standards, morals, and values.


Antagonistic

Takes advantage of others, very aggressive, suspicious and un-trusting of others and the world in general, and tends to hold grudges.


Malignant

The most dangerous type; Very sadistic (enjoys putting others through pain and/or seeing others in pain), extremely aggressive and paranoid.


I am recognizing some of these traits in my caregiver/parent/guardian, is that possible? Absolutely!


Here are a few signs to see if you were raised by Narcissistic caregiver/s.

  • You struggle with emotional self-regulation

  • You self-sabotage

  • You have an insecure attachment style

  • You lack boundaries

  • You are obsessed with perfection


For more on Being Raised by Narcissistic Parents, click here


Here are 13 Red Flags you can look out for in friendships, romantic relationships, and other relevant interactions.

  1. Brags about themselves constantly, and puts others down just as much.

  2. Impatient & entitled

  3. No follow through or accountability for their own behaviour and outcomes of said behaviour

  4. Extremely self-absorbed

  5. Lacks empathy

  6. Manipulation

  7. Always looking to "win" an argument as opposed to resolving the conflict

  8. Deceitful

  9. Jealous of other relationships and connections you have

  10. Invalidate your feelings

  11. Gaslight you

  12. Victimize you then despise you for being victimized

  13. Rarely apologizes unless it leads to what they want

If you recognize these redflags, RUN! It does not get better, it progressively gets worse and your safety is in question. Get some help from someone you trust, keep your friends and family close, cut off all communication, and definitely look into getting some therapy. It will help you recognize the cycle that leads you to attracting and being attracted to narcissists, and if you have been on the receiving end, it will help you to heal from the wounds created by the experienced of being in the tight grip of one.


Coach Nomie, Take Control x

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