Table of Contents
- Main Signs Of Narcissism
- Results of Narcissism
- 5 Ways to Remedy Narcissistic Behavior
The English dictionary defines a narcissist as “a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.”
Self-love is great, it is even necessary but when the love turns into obsession, things can take a turn for the worse. If self-love goes overboard, it converts to narcissism which has adverse effects. Moreover, narcissism, if not checked, can lead to a serious psychological problem viz. Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The key is to act early and prevent the problem from becoming chronic. Below, we list out signs of narcissism to help you identify if you are turning into a narcissist and/or you have a friend or loved one who is battling this problem.
Main Signs Of Narcissism
1. An Exaggerated Sense of Self Importance
Narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-importance ingrained in their personality. They strongly believe they are superior and special; only people with these traits and qualities can appreciate and value them. They believe everybody else is beneath them and inferior. Narcissists think they are unmatched in their thinking and outlook.
2. Selective Association
Narcissists think they are so perfect that nothing less and no one else will do. They place themselves in the category of people who have a lot of money, success, influence, etc.. Average achievers are not good enough for them. They prefer the company of people of a certain social standing even if they themselves do not possess these characteristics.
3. They Make Others Feel Bad To Feel Good
Narcissists have a self-image that is irrational. They also have massive egos. However, deep within they are insecure people who know they are not perfect; they have weaknesses like everybody else. But, they are not strong enough to deal with this reality like everybody else. Hence they put others down to feel like a winner and to revel in a false sense of security.
4. Gross Exaggeration Of Their Achievements
Narcissists will do everything to convince themselves and others that they are the best. Thus even the little things they do are exaggerated and presented in a way that will make people sit up and take notice. Narcissists thrive on others’ validation of them which in turn inflates their ego and makes them feel good about themselves. Any praise or admiration by others is their oxygen even if it is for something insignificant.
5. They Detest Criticism
Narcissists see themselves as high achievers who can never disappoint. So, when people criticize them even for the smallest things, they immediately become defensive to the point of completely denying the claims of the person who is criticising them. They don’t mind cutting those people out of their lives because they see any criticism of themselves as detrimental.
6. Narcissists are Shallow and Superficial
For narcissists, it’s all about good looks and image. Nothing wrong with wanting to look good but narcissists are too focused on this aspect. They also associate with people who look good, dress well regardless of whether they are compatible or not. Remember, for narcissists everything is about them anyway. Thus compatibility, wavelengths and/or having a good rapport with others is not a priority for them.
7. Narcissists are Selfish
By now it is clear that whatever narcissists do or think is only for themselves. Selfishness has two sides, for example, saying no to certain things to make time for yourself which is fine. However, selfishness that causes hurt and pain is inexcusable. Narcissists do exactly that. They place themselves before everybody else regardless of whether this is wrong or right.
8. Narcissists are Manipulative
One of the worst traits that narcissists have is manipulation. They are blinded by the desire to get what they want and feel good about themselves all the time. To this end, they don’t mind manipulating others and taken undue advantage to get what they want.
Results of Narcissism
- Narcissism can drive people away from us, makes us lose friends and loved ones
- It can make us lonely and susceptible to mental health issues like depression
- We can be easily manipulated and taken advantage of by people
- Many narcissists develop a feeling of self-hate and shame which is self-destructive
- Emotional stress can take its toll on us leaving us frustrated and unproductive
Blind narcissism can lead us to believe we are doing the right thing even when we are not. Therefore, it is critical to get professional help and address narcissistic behaviors immediately. On the surface, narcissists come across as confident and conceited but deep inside they battle many demons. If you or someone you know has these signs, then it is time to take control of your life and seek help. Remember, there is no shame in asking for help as it will only lead to self-improvement.
5 Ways to Remedy Narcissistic Behavior
Before seeking professional help, it is wise to indulge in some self-help and realize where and what you need to change about yourself.
1. Write Down What Triggers Your Narcissistic Behavior
For example, you feel an incessant need to be heard in a group and when this doesn’t happen, it angers you. When we identify the triggers that bother us or make us react, we can control them.
2. Put Yourself In Others’ Shoes
It is always important to think from someone else’s perspective. Ask yourself, how would I feel if someone constantly mistreated me or put me down? You will then realize how hurtful it is and automatically change your behavior.
3. Apologize and Correct The Wrongs
Saying sorry is the simplest way to undo hurt and wrongdoing. If your actions have hurt someone like your colleagues, friends, family members, etc. pick up the phone and call them or go up to them and have a conversation. Do it genuinely.
4. Control Your Behavior
Before we say or do something that may make things worse, count 1-10, or take deep breaths – this will give you time to change your decision to react strongly and prevent the damage. For example, if someone says “no” to you (something that narcissists are not used to), calm yourself down, and then say what you have to. It will make a world of difference.
5. Substitute Reactions and Responses
When narcissists don’t get what they want, they react in ways that are and self-damaging and hurtful to others. To prevent this, not only do you need to exercise self-control but also react differently. For example, if your idea for a project was rejected, instead of making a hue and cry about it, ask for constructive feedback.
Self-confidence and self-love, a positive self-image – all are great traits or qualities to have and develop. However, be sure to not cross into narcissism. A narcissist has a very unrealistic view of themselves and the world. They think they are above everybody else. A classic narcissist trait is to think of oneself as higher and holier than thou. They think they are the best-looking people, most intelligent and superior. This behavior is self-destructive and can alienate us from others. So, identify these behaviors, try your best to correct them, and/or seek professional help if necessary.
What's Your Reaction?
ESCALTO is a lifestyle blog focusing on people's heads and hearts. Stay updated with well-being with us!