Narcissism is not black and white. It is not clear-cut. It is not a pass/fail test. It is a spectrum, and most people exist on that spectrum. Yes, there are some people on the extreme end of the narcissistic disorder. It takes professionals to clearly identify this. Most people exist on the spectrum. Imagine a number line from 1 to 10. One is completely empty of any narcissistic tendencies. These individuals tend to be extremely co-dependent and appear to have no ability to stand up for themselves. Ten is someone who is extremely narcissistic and consistently trample all over everyone else's feelings with no empathy and no remorse.
In the middle of this spectrum is a wide range of individuals. This is where most of us live, and we fluctuate. Some phases of life we may tend towards the lower end of the spectrum, while at other phases we lean more towards the higher end. Of course, the healthiest place to be is in the middle numbers (4, 5, 6). Here we have a healthy balance of caring for others and ourselves.
So you are on this website looking for answers regarding someone in your life. This may be your spouse, partner, parent, child, boss, friend, or even yourself. Narcissism is extremely complex. I hope to be able to answer some of your questions here. Click on any of the characteristics below to learn more about them. Take the pieces that apply to your particular situation and ponder them. Feel free to contact me anytime if I can be of help to you and your family.
There is nothing magical in these definitions and classifications. It is simply the extroverted personality type versus the introverted personality type.
When we think of narcissism, we tend to think only of the loud and boisterous person. This is the person that is always the center of attention.
What we tend to forget is that quiet and shy people can be narcissistic too. All the underlying traits are the same. It just looks different on the surface.
Round and round you go. No end in sight and no clear path ahead of you. You feel like you are wallowing with the pigs in the mud. Being trapped in one of these conversations takes you to the most lonely, desolate and painful place on face of this Earth.
If you have ever been in one, you know exactly what I am talking about. What are these conversations? Why do they happen? How do you cope with them? And more importantly, how do you stop them and prevent them?
Emotional safety is completely lacking in a relationship with a narcissistic person. Conversations stop mid-sentence when they walk in the room. Everyone is afraid to mention anything because everything seems to be capable of setting them off.
Talk about walking on eggshells!! No subject is safe to discuss around them. No topic or issue is immune to their defensiveness and arrogance.
You avoid conflict with them with everything inside you. Analyzing every thought a hundred times before it ever comes out of your mouth. Because you know that once conflict occurs, there will be no resolution. You never reach that place of genuineness and peacefulness that occurs when forgiveness is both offered and accepted.
It's Not My Fault! Narcissists just cannot seem to take personal responsibility for anything. Nothing in their life is ever their fault nor is it their job to fix. There is always an excuse, a justification, a reason. "You made me raise my voice." "You made me hit you." But this person did this or that person did that and so on. You know, if there is always a reason that you are a jerk, then you might need to consider that you are simply a jerk.
They can't even apologize for the littlest things. Accidentally bumping into someone becomes a big scene because it is obviously the other person's fault and must be pointed out.
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This overwhelming effect of narcissism is simply not okay. We must join together and stand up for ourselves. This abuse, this insensitive treatment, this entitlement, this complete disregard for other people's feelings....This Is NOT Okay!!