Is there a narcissist in your life?
Narcissists are particularly dangerous people. They can be charming, intelligent, and entertaining to be around. They can be colourful characters who are attractive because they see life differently. At first it can be like a breath of fresh air to meet a narcissist, because they do not conform to the way most of us think. They have big ideas, big plans, big goals – the very things we are told to strive for in all the success self-help books we read. This is why many narcissists are successful in work and business.
But if you find yourself getting involved with a narcissist, be it at work, in the family or in a relationship, you will soon discover the dark side of their blue-sky thinking. The problem with narcissists is that they have excessive confidence in themselves and exaggerated feelings of self-importance whilst displaying disdain and a lack of empathy towards others. They will manipulate others to their own ends, regardless of the effects this may be having on those being manipulated. And when the results are not satisfactory, the narcissist will blame everyone and everything except themselves.
Narcissists consider themselves perfect and above criticism, and almost everybody else to be beneath them and needing ‘improvement’ to come up to their high standards. Ultimately it is a question of boundaries or lack of them. It has been said of narcissists that they do not know where they end and the other person begins. This is why they are manipulative and often disappointed with others for not showing them enough admiration.
What makes narcissism so dangerous is that it is a type of mental illness (a personality disorder), but one which the victim has no idea they are suffering from. After all, if you look at yourself in the mirror every morning and see someone who is beautiful, highly intelligent, full of wisdom and bound for great things in life, then how can there be a problem? The entire condition is predicated in this enormous blind spot for one’s own imperfections, which makes ‘therapy’ all but impossible. Narcissists are therefore incurable.
The best thing to do is know how to spot them and then avoid getting involved in any way that could enable them to exploit you. A free online course is available called Is There A Narcissist In Your Life? It teaches the warning signs and strategies to use when confronted with one of these toxic personalities in the workplace, in the family or in the home.