Narcissistic Personality Disorder – The Disease
You must come to terms with the simple fact that people who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder really are suffering. They suffer from lack of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth, but they portray the image of secure, confident people. NPD is a disease that begins in childhood and spreads to adulthood. It is like a malignant cancer. It grows over time, and sadly there is no cure. Studies show that there is currently no successful therapy for this disease - not counseling, not medications, nothing.
The ideal victim in the world of a narcissist is a damaged person - someone with low self-esteem, co-dependant, a broken soul. If there is a chink in your own armor, a character flaw of any sort, a neediness of any kind, you will be a prime target for a narcissist.
If the narcissist cannot immediately find a weakness in you, they will be consumed with looking for weaknesses and flaws in you or even in creating them. They feed on this preoccupation, and they cannot accept that there is anyone on this earth who is more important than they are. Narcissists are thoughtless people who live exclusively for their own benefit. Their outward image is amazingly cunning, even charming, and often heroic. But when you become better acquainted with them, it becomes clear that there is always an ulterior motive to what they do. It’s all a charade. They will give of themselves only if there is something to be gained for their own ego. They have a very distorted image of themselves and can see no flaws. You will likely never get any admission of imperfection or weakness, nor will there ever be any kind of legitimate apology for anything. If you can manage to force an admission of imperfection from a narcissist, it will only be a lie. They will have a selfish reason for their false admissions. It will have nothing to do with your needs. They will use their “apology” only as a stepping stone to something else which will satisfy another need they have.
Narcissists are empty shells who give the appearance of caring people. They have no true emotions, no empathy or sympathy whatsoever, yet they may tell you what you want to hear. In order to have feel genuine emotions, there must be a core self.
Narcissists do not have a true self or this self is so wounded that it is terrified of being discovered. It was ripped away from them as children and never had a chance to develop. Narcissists are left with the emotional maturity of a six year old. They seldom if ever cry. They consider it to be weak. They are prone to fits of rage and adult tantrums if they do not get what they want. Most people with NPD do not do well in team sports. They will choose golf over football since they can stand out from the crowd playing golf. Narcissists do not respond well to authority, and have a difficult time working for someone else. They must be their own boss. There is far less competition this way, and it is easier for the narcissist to be a big fish in a little pond rather than be a little fish in a big pond.
For narcissists there are no repercussions or accountability for their actions. Narcissists will take no responsibility for anything unless it is for their benefit. They will often abuse authority, if given to them, to manipulate situations in their favor. The most important thought to a narcissist is: “How will this help me?” or “How will this make me look?”
Narcissistic Personality Disorder – The Roles
Inevitably there are people in our lives who we are forced to deal with who suffer from NPD. Those with whom do not have to maintain a close relationship with you are far better off without. Remember YOU have choices.
Life Partners, Spouses, Significant Others - One word. LEAVE. You cannot be loved by people who cannot love themselves. Contrary to popular belief, narcissists do not love themselves. They loathe their true selves. It is only the image of their false self they love, and they think and expect everyone else should as well.
Other relationships- Limit contact. If you have a relative, friend, neighbor who exhibits signs of narcissistic personality disorder, do not get involved with them if at all possible. Be gracious and courteous, but do not allow them to play any role of importance in your life. People with NPD will suck the life right out of you.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder – The Boundaries
In order to prevent emotional damage from being involved with a narcissist, you must establish firm boundaries. Realize you are not a doormat, and do not EVER under any circumstances accommodate their bad behavior. The more you enable these people, the more they will feed on you. You will become nothing more than add to their feeble grandiosity.
Share your accomplishments only with those people who truly appreciate you. Don’t bother to share them with someone who will only tell you that you should have done better, or could have done more. Do not put yourself in the harsh light of their judgment. You cannot impress a narcissist, nor can you please them. If you must share your shining moments with people who will diminish your joy, do it sparingly. When the back-handed insult arrives, and it will, simply say, “Thank you for sharing your opinion.” Then walk away. Do not say another word. That’s all a narcissist can offer - their distorted opinion. How YOU feel about your accomplishments is the only thing that truly counts. You are not on this earth to please other people, or to live up to anyone else’s standards or expectations except your own.
Your instincts are your armor. Use them. Trust them. When you are asked to do something that does not feel right to you or is not something you would do independently, don’t do it. Remember that narcissists must have all the control all the time.
They fail to see that each individual in this world is the master of his or her own destiny. Narcissists believe they are the masters of everyone’s destiny. They live for control, and are not capable of compromise or negotiation. It is their way or the highway. The best advice is to get on the highway, and put the pedal to the metal.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder – Fighting Back (if you must)
Document EVERYTHING. If you find yourself in a situation where you are attacked as the scapegoat for the narcissist, reply with concrete evidence to the contrary. When you can prove them wrong, they will reel emotionally, withdraw, or explode in a rage. This will expose them as the unbalanced people that they truly are. They cannot face the reality of being wrong or being even being corrected. It is very confusing for them.
Narcissists do not appreciate being laughed at. You may notice they are not capable of self-deprecating humor. They are deathly afraid of people laughing at them since this contradicts the perfect image of themselves. In fact, narcissists do not laugh much at all. If they do laugh, it will usually be at someone else’s expense.
Narcissists love looking in the mirror at the illusion of themselves they have created. Sadly, what they do not realize is that what they see in the mirror is false because they have no true “self.” If you ask narcissists what it is about themselves that they love, they are hard pressed to give answers other than superficial ones. There is usually nothing of substance in their answers.
The best advice to someone whose life has been affected by narcissistic personality disorder is to GETOUT. Whatever it takes, GETOUT. If you think you are suffering or hurting now, it will only get worse. Narcissists cannot change. Here are some tips to help you leave.
- Dump the self-blame. It’s not your fault.
- Forget the guilt. You could never have saved him anyway.
- Cry your eyes out. Really let the tears flow. It’s cleansing and healing.
- Let him go. He was never worth it.
- Stand tall. You were the one who was too good for him.
- Smile. Inner peace will come sooner than you think.
You must come to the conclusion that, “It is NOT you.” It never was, it isn’t, and it never will be. For a narcissist, it’s all about them, just as it always will be.