Narcissism is a term we often see these days. But what does it mean? It's used to describe a person who is full of themselves or overly vain. However, it's not really about self-love. It's rather that someone with narcissistic perversion, or narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) as it's often known, has a grandiose self-image. They love this image of themselves because it helps them to hide from a deep sense of insecurity.
Narcissistic perversion is characterised by arrogance, selfish behaviour and a lack of consideration and empathy with others. Narcissists can draw you in and be very charming in the early stages of a relationship. However, other people can often see them for what they are: manipulative, exploitative, selfish, demanding and patronising. This pattern of behaviour affects every aspect of a narcissist's existence, from love and family relationships to work and their friendship circle.
People with NPD have often suffered emotional trauma during their early years. To overcome this experience, they become disassociated from their emotions and creativity. They project their negative feelings onto others and seek to destroy them, never questioning their own actions. They always exploit and take advantage of others to achieve their goals.
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Find out how to spot such patterns and make sure that a narcissistic pervert doesn't ruin your chance of a happy life. These are some of the signs to look out for:
The classic sign of a narcissist is their grandiosity. A narcissist is more than just arrogant; they have an innate (and unjustified) sense of their superiority. They will lie about their achievements and talents to appear impressive and will seek to associate only with others they perceive as being of high status.
A narcissist's grandiosity leads naturally to the second sign - a powerful sense of entitlement. Because a narcissist believes themself to be superior and unique, they always expect others to treat them favourably. Whatever they want, they should get - and without counting the cost to anyone else. You're only of value to a narcissist as long as you can meet their demands, and if you stand up to them and refuse, expect rage, aggression or the "silent treatment".
Their delusions of grandeur are underpinned by a fantasy world, in which they are brilliant, attractive and able to form ideal romantic relationships. Fantasising gives them a sense of being in control. If anyone challenges this fantasy bubble, the narcissist is likely to respond with extreme defensiveness and anger, so people often learn to tread carefully around their delusions.
The ego of a narcissist needs to be fed continuously with the praise and admiration of others. The odd compliment is never sufficient; there must be a continual stream of affirmation. The admiration is always one-sided - it's all about what you can do for the narcissist, never about what they can do for you. And if the compliments and praise diminish or cease for any reason, a narcissist will perceive it as a betrayal.
Narcissists are lacking in empathy and perceive other people only as objects who are there to meet their demands. They don't think twice about it and will take advantage of others without any sense of shame or guilt. In the more extreme cases of narcissistic perversion, this exploitation and lack of accountability may be malicious. More often, a narcissist is simply oblivious to the feelings of other people.
It can be tough to deal with a narcissist because they seek to undermine your autonomy and self-confidence. If you find yourself a victim of a narcissistic pervert, there are a few points to remember:
The narcissist doesn't respect you, so you must respect yourself. Bach Flowers Mix 77 helps you to be more resilient and assertive and to be able to say "No".
If you decide to challenge a narcissist, it's much more effective to do so in the presence of a third person who can back you up. Narcissists like to act secretly, without witnesses, so two people challenging them simultaneously will force them to confront their behaviour.
Narcissistic people thrive on drama and conflict. This behaviour often continues after a relationship ends, especially when you're forced to maintain contact because of children. Don't reward their unreasonable demands with the thrill and excitement of a row. Make yourself as dull and boring as you can, turning yourself into a "grey rock" that deflects attacks. If you don't reward the behaviour of a narcissist with the stimulation they seek, they may eventually learn to leave you alone.
It can be helpful to keep a journal and document their troubling actions. A narcissist will often isolate you from your family and friends. Try to let them know what's been going on, so they will be able to support you through this difficult time.
Leaving a narcissist is inevitably a very challenging process, so it's essential to look after yourself. Create your own Bach flower mix to support your emotions through stressful times. It reduces anxiety and stress, helps treat sleep problems and reduces the risk of panic attacks.
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