All human beings can show some traits of being narcissistic. Most of us have knowingly or unknowingly dealt with a narcissistic. However, those with narcissistic personality disorder have an extremely inflated sense of self-importance. These people can be draining since they need a lot of admiration and have a disregard for other people’s feelings.
Keep reading to learn more about narcissistic abuse syndrome. Also, find out how you can destroy the weapons of people with narcissism.
What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?
Narcissism has become a popular subject of discussion in media, movies, and novels. It’s a condition where someone has excessive self-admiration or self-interest. They feel entitled to anything they desire and react very negatively to criticism.
Dealing with a narcissist can lead to a lowered self-esteem, anxiety, and (in some cases) PTSD. Sometimes we may be way too deep in a relationship with someone before realizing too late that we are dealing with a narcissist. Usually, the qualities that attracted you to a narcissistic person are the same ones that will drive you insane.
Unfortunately, misunderstanding of the condition has led to many people labeling any selfish or arrogant behavior as narcissism. This is not always the case. Some seemingly “narcissistic” people may just be in the wrong relationship or socially inept. A narcissistic personality disorder is a genuine medical condition that needs a diagnosis by a psychiatrist or mental health professional.
How to Spot Someone With Narcissism
But certain personality traits could alert you that someone is a Narcissist. Psychologists have even identified 9 official criteria for NPD. When someone meets at least 5 of these they may have NPD.
Here are some of the red flags to look out for:
- Extremely high sense of self-importance
- Fantasies of unlimited success
- Feeling of being “special”
- Only wanting to interact with other exemplary people
- High sense of entitlement
- Great need for admiration
- Exploitative behavior (such as excessive lies or flattery to get their way)
- Shamelessly taking advantage of others for their gain
- Lack empathy for other people’s pain or problems
- Hates criticism
People with narcissism usually also display traits of psychopathy and Machiavellian behaviors (Machiavellianism). This makes them aggressive, opportunistic, and callous with a lack of remorse for any wrongdoing. A relationship with a narcissist can leave you feeling used, manipulated, and drained.
Psychologists have identified two types of Narcissists: vulnerable and grandiose. The vulnerable narcissist has a weak inner core. They tend to project high self-esteem to mask this.
The grandiose narcissistic believe they are better than other people. These individuals may even have genius tendencies. In this case, grandiose narcissists tend to be more agreeable and extroverted.
On the other hand, vulnerable narcissists are less agreeable and less emotionally stable. They also have higher tendencies of psychopathy and Machiavellianism.
Narcissistic Abuse & the Biggest Danger of People with Narcissism Disorder
Narcissistic abuse occurs when someone with NPD uses you as a source of validation or to get their needs met. A narcissistic abuser will demand that their victim dedicate time and money. They even expect someone’s entire life to please them.
A narcissist may also isolate their victim and prevent them from meeting friends and family. They may lie to them and cause them to question reality (gaslighting). The abuser can get angry and abusive if the victim doesn’t give them enough admiration and attention.
Narcissists want unconditional love and attention from their victims. However, they are unwilling to provide the same. Narcissistic abuse can make a victim prone to anxiety and depression.
A narcissist may also resort to physical or psychological domestic abuse if the victim fails to meet their needs. Many of us are unaware that we may be suffering from narcissistic abuse syndrome. This is because there isn’t a lot of research or data on it.
What Are the Preferred Weapons of People With Narcissism?
There are certain tools that narcissists use to manipulate people and get their way. If you can identify them early on, you may escape becoming a victim of this type of abuse. Keep reading to find out what some of those tools are.
Love bombing is the act of lavishing someone with love, gifts, and attention to manipulate them. A narcissist may call you several times in a day telling you how much they love you.
They may also send you flowers and expensive gifts. The effect of love bombing is that the target lowers their boundaries. This would cause them to give the person with narcissism what they desire.
If narcissists don’t get their way, they love to give people the silent treatment. This is very effective that makes the loved one distressed. They’ll react negatively to not receiving the attention or love they are addicted to getting from the narcissist.
Narcissists are very self-absorbed and don’t recognize other people’s individuality and needs. They feel entitled to anything they desire even if the item belongs to someone else. This is why they tend to cross people’s boundaries.
How does a narcissist test boundaries? They may snoop around your things and feel no remorse for invading your privacy. They might also take credit for work you’ve done to appear more favorable to the boss.
Some narcissists are very good at gaslighting and/or making others question their sense of reality. The manipulation makes you doubtful of your own sanity. This is a severe form of abuse and may cause anxiety and low self-esteem in the victim.
How to Destroy the Weapons of People With Narcissism
You may be able to cut off a narcissistic friend but it’s way harder to cut ties with a relative or colleague. In these cases, you’ll need to learn how to successfully deal with the person. Check out these ways to defeat narcissistic weapons.
See Them for Who They Are
There is a famous saying by Maya Angelou that goes “When people show you who they areâ”€ believe them”. Narcissists are often not able to maintain their perfect act forever. Their mask will slip when they don’t know you are looking.
You might catch that perfect new coworker lying to a colleague. Maybe your new date will speak rudely to a waiter. Perhaps they treat you like a king or queen but are mean to their relatives.
Other people may be the target of their venom. Yet if you stick around long enough they may turn on you. See who they are, accept who they are and decide if you want to have them in your life.
Cultivate a Strong Sense of Self
The first weapon you must have to defend yourself against narcissists is a strong sense of self. Spend at least an hour daily by yourself. Use this time for activities like meditating and learning who you are.
Nurture unshakeable self-love that will ensure you always put your needs first. Put effort into preventing people from taking advantage of you. Discover your strengths and positive traits and affirm yourself.
Having a strong inner core will prevent you from falling for a narcissist’s fake charms. You won’t stand for any negative criticism thrown your way.
Set Firm Boundaries
People with narcissism disorder always want their way. They’ll walk all over you to get what they want. It’s important to have firm boundaries around the treatment you expect from others to protect yourself.
On top of this, have clear consequences for those that cross your boundaries. For example, you could have a narcissistic colleague that blames you for their mistakes. Make it clear who oversees what tasks and put it in writing.
If the colleague doesn’t deliver their part, make your supervisor aware of the problem. Let’s say you agreed to meet with a friend with narcissism at a certain time. If they’re late, leave after 5 minutes.
Some people have cut off communications with a narcissist but get harrassed. If this happens, get a restraining order on them. Block their number or even get a new phone line to prevent them from reaching you.
Keep Records of Interactions and Speak Out for Yourself
Narcissists can be very cunning and may gaslight you. They can convince others to think you’re the problem. For instance, a narcissistic colleague may turn all your team members against you by spreading lies about your behavior.
They may then provoke you into having an emotional reaction in front of everyone. You have to make a narcissist aware that you are on to their game. This is so they’ll stop targeting you. Maintain your calm and state what is true to counter their lies.
It’s also important to keep records of every interaction you have with the narcissist. You’ll be to pull out proof when needed. At work, only communicate with someone with narcissism in writing.
What if a narcissistic boss asks you to do a task? Try to get the request in writing so that you can refer to it if they change the instruction. For example, you can email them to confirm what the task and the instructions are.
If you have a narcissistic spouse, write down interactions that you have. Later on, if they try to gaslight you, go back to your writings and confirm what happened.
As you know by now, narcissists hate criticism or embarrassment. A narcissist will never forgive you for putting them down and exposing their façade to others. If you can, avoid interactions with narcissists altogether.
For colleagues, try to keep your distance and avoid confrontation with them. A narcissist might decide to make you the target of their abuse. Stand up for yourself but stay ahead of them by using the tactics mentioned.
Allow Natural Consequences
One of the best lessons a narcissist can get is to face the natural consequences of their actions. For instance, if your narcissistic friend goes into debt don’t bail them out. Declaring bankruptcy may open their eyes to their delusions of grandeur.
If a neighbor reports your spouse for physical abuse, try not to stick up for them. Allow the law to take its course. These types of harsh lessons can be most beneficial.
Don’t Accept Blame
Narcissists have a keen talent for manipulation. They’re good at making people feel guilty for their negative behavior. An abuser may blame a victim for making them angry because they refused to do what the abuser wanted.
Don’t accept the blame for a narcissist’s negative behavior. The narcissist may never admit that they hurt you or made a mistake. But you need to remember what happened and place the blame where it belongs.
Find a Support System
A key tactic for narcissism abuse syndrome is trying to isolate you. They know that you will be weaker and easier to manipulate without a support system. Never allow them to isolate you.
Create a supportive system of friends, family, and colleagues that affirm you and support your sense of reality. Your support system will prevent you from spiraling into low self-esteem and depression. They can negate any false statements that a narcissist makes about you.
Positive friendships and relationships can also help you see how dysfunctional a relationship with a narcissistic person is. In a healthy relationship, both parties should get their needs met. Everyone feels free to be themselves.
Consider reaching out for professional help if you need further help. Be aware of narcissistic abuse PTSD symptoms and address them accordingly.
Learn Helpful Methods for How to Handle People with Narcissism
People with narcissism are also human and still need love and social relationships. They can also add lots of fun to your love and be effective team members at work. The key to a successful relationship with them is to set firm boundaries and call them out on their behavior. If you feel that you are suffering from narcissistic abuse, seek help from a mental health professional as soon as you can. For assistance with your healing, schedule an appointment today.