Having grown up with narcissistic parents and been exposed to many other narcissists in my life, I have had to learn a lot about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD, and ways to deal with these people. This page includes some things I have learned about those with NPD and some ways to cope with them.
If you’re wondering if someone you know is a narcissist, here are some signs:
- Narcissists are always looking for someone to provide them with narcissistic supply. That supply makes them feel good about themselves. It may be someone to praise them, to listen to them prattle on endlessly, or someone to fix their problems. Narcissistic supply is the motivation behind almost everything a narcissist does. They need it constantly.
- Narcissists are extremely entitled. They obviously think they should have whatever they want, no matter the cost to anyone or the pain it may cause them.
- The desire for their supply and entitlement attitude is why you feel so drained when dealing with a narcissist. They are “emotional vampires.” They will use people in any way they see fit, as often as they see fit.
- Deep down, many narcissists are extremely insecure, which is why so many come across so confident – they are trying to convince themselves and others they really are great people. They are deathly afraid of their mistakes or inadequacies being revealed, and will do anything to avoid this, no matter who they hurt in the process.
- Narcissists are very envious. Some may not say those exact words, but that does not mean they are not this way. Anyone who appears more attractive, successful or talented to a narcissist will be an object of disdain. Most narcissists will treat these people poorly and/or talk badly about them behind their back.
- Narcissists are experts at reading and manipulating people. They even will imitate your feelings and actions, and say they like the same things you do to get your favor. This usually happens at the beginning of the relationship or after arguing.
- Narcissists can control their actions. Never assume that this “disorder” means their actions are beyond their control. They absolutely can and they do control their behavior. If you do not believe this, watch the narcissist in action. Around someone he or she wants to impress, he or she will act differently than around someone the narcissist does not care about impressing, such as the victim.
- Narcissists have no empathy. If you need advice on your troubled marriage or are seeking comfort, do not seek them from a narcissist. They have no concept of how you are hurting, nor do they care. If it does not affect the narcissist, it does not matter to the narcissist. If you try to discuss your problem with a narcissist, they will cut you off, interrupt you and/or act bored with what you have to say.
- There are two different types of narcissists – the Overt Narcissist and the Covert Narcissist. For more information, click this link: Overt vs Covert Narcissists
If you still have doubts, then check out my page of Bible verses about narcissism. It may help you to see things from a Biblical perspective. Bible Verses About Narcissistic Personality Disorder
I created some information on the common ways narcissists abuse their victims, and ways to deal with them. Check it out here: The Narcissist’s Arsenal Narcissists are especially vicious abusers – never ever underestimate them. Even if the narcissist in your life does not do everything on this list now, he or she may do them in the future. It is always wise to prepare yourself for the worst case scenario as best you can when dealing with a narcissist.
These weapons narcissists use combined with their ability to force victims to ignore their own feelings can result in a great deal of unresolved anger in victims. Please click this link for more information on the topic.
There are no really ways to deal with a narcissist that will wake them up, and show them that they need to act more appropriately. Ending the relationship is often best, however sometimes you may be unable to do so for various reasons. Or, you may feel God does not want you to do that, at least not yet. Or, you may not wish to end that relationship at all. I learned a few ways to cope the best I could, and will share them with you at this link.
One thing I have been asked many times is “Can narcissists change?” The answer is yes. The fact is though, change for the better is very rare. Once in a blue moon though, one will change. Sometimes it is a temporary change, other times it is permanent. My mother changed sometimes, and during those times, we got along very well. I found the best way to deal with that is to accept that it most likely will not be a permanent change. Hope it will be, but do not necessarily expect that. Also, I decided to enjoy those times to the best of my ability for however long they lasted. I was disappointed when they ended, but since I expected them to end, I was not devastated or surprised when it happened.
More commonly, narcissists change for the worse, especially as they get older. Losing their youthful strength, vitality, physical prowess and mental quickness is a huge blow to their egos. A narcissist at age 34 does not abuse victims the same way at age 74. If she once yelled, she no longer does that but instead her criticisms become much more vicious than they once were. If he was very covert in his abuse in his younger days, he may become much more overt in his older days.
Once you have had enough, and decide either to put some distance between you and the narcissist or to end your relationship with the narcissist, whether he or she is a friend, family member, or romantic interest, the narcissist’s true colors will show through. Glaringly! They do NOT handle rejection well, and you will be to blame for things not working out. If a narcissist cannot have your love, she will want you to hate her. Love and hate are strong emotions which give a person a degree of control over you. If you feel nothing for or do not react to a narcissist, she/he absolutely cannot stand that because she/he realizes there is no control.
Also you may feel conflicting emotions such as wondering if you made a mistake yet also glad to be away from this person. You also will experience a profound grief, especially if the narcissist was your parent. There is information on grief at this link: Grief