Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed personality disorders. It is estimated that more than 6 million Americans suffer from it. While many people possess narcissistic traits, it becomes a disorder when the traits become so pervasive and intense that they interfere with the person’s ability to function successfully in daily life. The following 9 traits of a narcissist combine to create the narcissistic behaviour that causes harm to both the narcissist and those around them.
The 9 Traits of a Narcissist – (1) Grandiosity
Narcissists have an exaggerated sense of their own importance and ability.
They believe that they are superior to others and are above any sort of mistake or failure.
In fact, they believe they have a right to special treatment because of their grandiose self-image.
They also struggle to accept criticism from others, due to the fact that they do not view themselves as incapable of making mistakes.
The 9 Traits of a Narcissist – (2) Need for Admiration
They need constant attention, admiration, and validation from others in order to feel good about themselves and are always looking for ways to be the centre of attention.
They will often fish for compliments or seek out recognition for their accomplishments, no matter how small or insignificant these may be.
This can lead them to engage in manipulative behaviour in order to get praise from those around them, such as exaggerating their achievements or belittling others in order to make themselves look better.
The 9 Traits of a Narcissist – (3) Sense of Entitlement
Narcissists often have an exaggerated sense of entitlement, believing that they are automatically deserving of special treatment and privileges, without any need to prove themselves or earn them.
They expect the world around them to cater to their own needs and desires and feel that they don’t need to work hard or strive for success because their own superiority entitles them to it without any effort.
In addition, they demand respect and admiration from others, becoming very angry if these expectations are not met.
Furthermore, narcissists will typically expect other people to do things for them or prioritize their own needs above all else at all times.
The 9 Traits of a Narcissist – (4) Exploitation of Others
Narcissists are known for their egocentric attitude and tendency to take advantage of other people in order to satisfy their own desires.
In fact, one of the main manifestations of narcissism is a deeply ingrained pattern of exploiting and manipulating others to fulfil their needs.
The narcissist will use charm, flattery and manipulation to get what he or she wants from people, often disregarding the consequences of their actions or the feelings of those they have hurt in the process.
As far as they are concerned, other people are simply tools to be used for their own benefit, without any regard for how it may affect the other person’s feelings or wellbeing.
The 9 Traits of a Narcissist – (5) Lack of Empathy
Narcissists do not possess any form of empathy or concern for the feelings of others, and will often act in a manner that disregards the other person’s well-being in order to achieve their own ends.
This behavior can be extremely damaging to relationships, as the narcissist does not care about the consequences of their actions or how it may affect those around them.
The 9 Traits of a Narcissist – (6) Jealousy & Envy
Narcissists become extremely envious when someone else is more successful than they are.
This envy can result in competitive behaviour, a sense of resentment towards the other person. These feelings of envy and resentment can lead to attempts at sabotage or manipulation in an effort to regain their sense of control or supremacy.
In such situations, narcissists may become extremely defensive and attempt to diminish the other person’s accomplishments in an effort to restore their sense of superiority.
They may also lash out at them in a rage in an attempt to reassert control.
The 9 Traits of a Narcissist – (7) Narcissistic Rage
Narcissistic rage refers to the narcissist’s intense reaction to perceived criticism or humiliation.
It’s often an extreme display of emotional distress and can manifest itself either verbally or physically.
When a narcissist feels threatened, they will often respond with a violent rage that is irrational and unpredictable.
This reaction is often out of proportion to the perceived threat, and can cause great damage to relationships or anyone in the vicinity of the narcissist.
The underlying motivation for this rage is to protect their ego and sense of self-importance, as any sort of criticism or disagreement can be seen as an attack on their identity and reputation.
Narcissists are very arrogant. If anyone challenges this belief in any way, the narcissist becomes vindictive.
They will do everything in their power to prove their superiority – even if it involves acts such as revenge or verbal abuse against that person.
The 9 Traits of a Narcissist – (8) Preoccupation With Unattainable Perfection
Narcissists have an ideal of perfection that is unattainable in reality.
This leads to constant disappointment, as the narcissist can never achieve the level of perfection that they expect from themselves and those around them.
The 9 Traits of a Narcissist – (9) Self-Absorption & Self-Focus
Despite craving attention, most narcissists lack genuine social connections and intimacy with others because they prioritize their own needs above all else.
This focus on themselves results in a lack of attention to what matters most—other people and their emotions.
This means that real emotional intimacy is rare with narcissists, leaving many feeling emotionally unavailable or disconnected from those around them.
How To Protect Yourself from a Narcissist
In this section, we will explore strategies that can help you navigate interactions with narcissists more effectively.
Try to Avoid Arguments
It is important to remember that trying to ‘win’ an argument with a narcissist can be counterproductive.
than engaging in “winning,” it may be better to calmly try and find a mutually beneficial solution between both parties, if possible.
Remain composed and try not to give into any emotions that could escalate the situation further.
This can be especially difficult, as narcissists often have a tendency to provoke strong reactions from people.
It may also help to take some time for yourself before engaging in any kind of interaction with a narcissist, so that you can better regulate your emotions and respond more calmly when confronted.
Maintain Healthy Boundaries
In any interaction with a narcissist, it is important to maintain healthy boundaries both emotionally and physically.
While it can be difficult, try to always remain direct and firm while communicating without engaging in any aggressive behaviors.
If the narcissist displays destructive behavior or is taking advantage of you, stand up for yourself and let them know that their actions are unacceptable.
Additionally, set clear expectations of what you need from the relationship, and be consistent with those expectations so that they understand your boundaries and respect them accordingly.
Lean on Your Support Network
It can be very overwhelming to deal with a narcissist, so it is important to rely on your support network when going through a difficult encounter.
Talking about how you’re feeling with trusted friends and family members helps to ensure that you aren’t internalizing any of the stress and can help bring clarity to the situation.
Reaching out for professional advice from a therapist or counsellor if needed can also be invaluable in learning how best to manage interactions with this type of person. Remember that there’s strength in numbers and you don’t have to handle this difficult situation alone.
Final Thoughts on the 9 Traits of a Narcissist
Recognizing the 9 traits of a narcissist can help you identify and deal with this type of individual more effectively. Remember to keep yourself safe by creating healthy boundaries and seeking support when needed.
If you must communicate with a narcissist, be direct but also remain firm in order to prevent them from taking advantage of you.
Finally, always try to recognize the warning signs if a narcissist begins exhibiting any destructive or manipulative behaviors so that you can take the necessary action steps to protect your mental and emotional wellbeing.
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