What is a narcissist?
If you look up the dictionary term for a ‘narcissist’, you will read, “An extremely self-centered person who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance. A person who is overly concerned with his or her physical appearance”
You can research signs of narcissism and educate yourself on what it is like to have a narcissist in your life.
However, what really is a narcissist and what makes them who they are?
Let’s break down what narcissism really is below!
1.) The Narcissist’s Life Is a Facade
The narcissist is in love with an idealized and grand image of themselves!
This inflated image allows them to avoid the fact that they lack self-confidence and are deeply insecure individuals.
By creating a facade of superiority, they are able to convince others that they deserve respect, admiration, and a place of authority.
This facade can come in different forms.
Perhaps the narcissist tries to make themselves look wealthy and successful.
Or maybe they try to make themselves look like they are the smartest person in the room. (The know-it-all.)
Sometimes, they even gain attention by making themselves the greatest victim in the room. The brilliant person who was never appreciated and whose great talent was never discovered.
Whatever facade they paint for themselves, it always accomplishes their #1 goal – to gain attention.
Why? Because the narcissist’s energy-supply comes from the attention of others!
2.) The Narcissist Gains Energy From Other People
This is called “narcissistic supply.”
Simply put, the narcissist gains their energy from the attention of other people.
This is the #1 reason narcissists want to draw people to themselves by looking so grandiose and superior.
People = Energy (just like a leech).
Narcissistic supply is like a drug to them.
Without the attention, admiration, and ability to belittle others, the narcissist will be forced to feel the pain and humiliation of their own insecurities and self-destructive tendencies.
Emotionally healthy and normal people are the source of their own energy! This is where good moods and an excitement for life comes from.
Narcissists, on the other hand, are vampires and leeches – always sucking the life out of other people.
Related Article: What Does The Bible Say About Cutting People Off (Going No Contact)?
3.) To the Narcissist, No One Else Matters
In normal, healthy relationships, people understand that mutual respect and ‘giving of oneself’ is the foundation for lasting affection.
Whether this comes as time, attention, gifts, etc, you must give freely of yourself – expecting nothing in return! (Although lifelong relationships are a series of healthy give-and-takes.)
This is called genuine, unconditional LOVE!
However, for the narcissist, they expect others to freely give of themselves.
Here is the catch. The narcissist believes that they deserve a never-ending supply of narcissistic supply and that they should never have to give anything in return.
At the core of narcissism is a twisted self-obsession.
BUT, the narcissist isn’t stupid.
They also love to see themselves as generous and selfless – once again lending to the facade they have created in their own minds.
When it comes to acting generous, the narcissist can be very good at faking it!
Related Article: 7 Types of Toxic People to Eliminate from Your Life
4.) The Narcissist Fakes Selflessness
Although the narcissist is self-obsessed, they know that they need to keep their ‘narcissistic supply’ close to them.
When they see someone getting suspicious of their selfish tendencies, they may “Love Bomb” them.
This happens when the narcissist showers someone with adoration and tokens of their affection.
…gifts, flattering comments, excessively loving social media posts, flowers, cards, etc.
They are smart!
They know that these “tokens of affection” may manipulate you into spending more time with them, allowing them to continue to use you as “narcissistic supply.”
If their “victims” continue to distance themselves from them, they can then blame them for using them.
“Look at everything I have done for you! You are the selfish one!”
Related Article: 11 Things Narcissists Say to Manipulate You
5.) The Narcissist’s Behavior Can Be Confusing
…they can go from being your best friend to your worst enemy in 5 seconds!
One minute they are giving you a gift and the next they are belittling you in front of others.
Why is this?
Because when the narcissist feels threatened by something or someone, they have to destroy it.
Perhaps they feel like you are shining brighter than them and taking the attention off of them.
Maybe they feel like you aren’t giving them the attention they deserve from you.
Or perhaps they just want to remind you that they are boss! They are in control of this relationship and you exist to make them happy.
Whatever the reason is, their cruel behavior is a defense mechanism.
When they perceive something as a threat, they always feel the need to put down whoever is creating it.
They do this through subtle attacks: name-calling, bullying, bringing up an embarrassing story, using personal information against you, and downright lying about you.
Sadly, they can only see their own needs. The only thing that matters to them is themselves.
Related Article: 15 Signs Someone is a Narcissist
6.) The Narcissist Hates Being “Figured Out”
The narcissist is ‘allergic’ to criticism.
Anything that threatens to “burst their self-made fantasy” is met with extreme defensiveness, denial, anger, sulking, blame-shifting, guilt-tripping, insults, spreading rumors, etc.
This tactic is known as “gas-lighting.”
They are never wrong and nothing is ever their fault.
If someone does come to them with an accusation, they will always play the victim and shift blame onto someone else.
The narcissist hides behind a mask of self-confidence and superiority.
To admit that they are wrong is to admit that they are weak and inferior to you.
Even when someone is genuinely concerned and lovingly confronts them, it will never be received well.
No amount of loving words, kindness, or sincere concern will help the narcissist see their own inadequacy.
Related Article: 11 Signs You Have a Narcissistic Parent
7.) There is a 99% Chance the Narcissist will Never Change
According to Dr. Ramani Durvasula, an expert in narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), says she never seen anyone classified as a narcissist actually change.
The dialogue below is from this interview with MedCircle.
“The heartbreak of narcissism is that you can actually train them to be a little more emphatic, to not be so jerky, not so entitled, and actually listen to other people.”
“Here is the BUT. As soon as they are under stress (the workday doesn’t go the way they wanted, they didn’t get the raise they hoped for, their friend buys a bigger house than them, their kids are behaving badly, they’re getting older, and life isn’t going the way they wanted), they BLOW again.”
When in extensive therapy, “Narcissists don’t tend to retain that growth. Maybe a tiny bit, but usually not enough for anyone to notice.”
“You can give them the appearance that they are present in the relationship, but they will still lack empathy. What you see is what you get. These are core problems for the narcissist that will never change.”
Dr. Ramani recommends that if you have a narcissist in your life, you must get into therapy with a therapist who knows how to deal with the narcissistic personality disorder.
- What Does The Bible Say About Cutting People Off (Going No Contact)?
- 11 Things Narcissists Say to Manipulate You
- 7 Steps to Successfully Remove Toxic People from Your Life
- 11 Signs You Are in a Relationship with a Narcissist
If you have a narcissist in your life, you have two choices.
Stay and manage your expectations (because they will never change) OR leave and expect a very messy and hurtful departure.
Narcissists HATE being left.
Their goal will be to destroy you and your reputation if you choose to leave and “cut off” their narcissistic supply.
If you choose to leave, your best choice is to go “No Contact.”
Cut off all forms of communication and NEVER go back on your decision.
If you choose to stay and fight with the narcissist, you are continuing to be their narcissistic supply.
Fighting actually empowers the narcissist and weakens you.
This article about getting toxic people out of your life is a great place to start!