When you meet someone who likes to about themselves a lot in a positive light, especially when you are not too familiar with each other, we give them a lot of labels. Probably the friendliest label will be “talkative.” We are quick though to refer to others as narcissistic if they are overly absorbed with their life and things that affect them.
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Narcissism is a personality style characterized by an excessive interest in one’s physical look and an excessive obsession with fulfilling personal needs often at the expense of other people. Humans are naturally selfish, no doubt, but narcissistic persons do not display healthy or normal selfish acts.
Narcissism exists on a continuum ranging from people who are just self-absorbed to people who suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder.
Narcissistic personality disorder is a personality disorder characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, an extreme need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for other people. This disorder is more common in men than women. Narcissists are often described as selfish, cocky, demanding, manipulative, and patronizing.
So if you meet someone obsessed with always being on ‘fleek’ withhold the labels until they tick positive on some of these traits commonly associated with narcissism.
Only a professional can give a correct diagnosis as to where a person is on the continuum. But what are the warning signs, how can one know they are straying too far, or how can you identify narcissist traits in someone?
Narcissists feel superior to others and believe no other person deserves special treatment. They have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and these feelings are accompanied by fantasies of brilliance, power, beauty unlimited success, and love.
#2. Excessive Need For Admiration
They often monopolize conversations to ensure they are and remain the center of attention. This need for attention can be expressed in extravagant and wild gestures. They often feel ignored or slighted and this leaves them enraged.
#3. Superficial And Exploitative Relationships
Narcissists form relationships with people they feel are power and therefore at par with them. Associations are not made considering other people’s uniqueness, values, and attributes but rather on the benefits to be gleaned.
#4. Identity Disorder
They usually have an over-inflated sense of importance, viewing themselves as superior to others and so associate with other superior people. Consequently, their self-stability is very fragile and their feeling of superiority is easily threatened. Narcissists believe people are constantly jealous of them.
#5. Lack Of Empathy
Narcissists hardly sympathize with others genuinely. They do not care about the emotional needs or well-being of others including their loved ones. Some can show a level of concern whiles the majority are too occupied with feeling good and powerful to concern themselves with other people’s problems and needs.
Looking Beyond The Dislike
Know someone who thinks they’re better than everyone but can’t handle little criticism? People with narcissistic personality disorder or just narcissistic traits often come across as self-centered snobs. Usually, that is how they assuage their fragile sense of worth and esteem.
The most common traits are an excessive need for admiration, disregard for others’ opinions sense of entitlement, and an inability to handle criticism. Although there is no defined cause of narcissism, it is believed narcissists are people who substitute a lack of love and support from childhood to early puberty with a suffocating display and belief of self-worth.
With therapy and counseling, people with narcissistic traits or tendencies can learn and unlearn and form healthy relationships with others.
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Written by: Phoebe Addo, Mon, May 30, 2022.