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The Narcissists Among Us

Lawrence A Robinson

Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, a need for excessive admiration, and the belief that one is unique and deserving of special treatment. Narcissists are unable to regulate their self-esteem without ongoing external validation. They are akin to a steam engine with a large hole in the bottom of the water tank, where external validation in the form of attention and praise is the steam that powers their self-esteem.


The disorder is suspected when narcissistic traits impair a person's daily functioning. That dysfunction typically causes friction in relationships due to the pathological narcissist's lack of empathy. It may also manifest as antagonism, fueled by grandiosity and attention-seeking. In seeing themselves as superior, the pathological narcissist naturally views everyone else as inferior and may be intolerant of disagreement or questioning.


Some common traits of narcissists include:

• A grandiose sense of self-importance

• A lack of empathy for others

• A sense of entitlement

• A tendency to exploit others for personal gain

• An inability to regulate self-esteem without external validation


What causes narcissism

The exact causes of narcissism are not yet well understood, but it is believed that both biological and environmental factors play a role. Some possible causes of narcissism include:

• Parenting style: Children who are either excessively pampered or criticized by their parents may be more likely to develop narcissistic traits.

• Genetics: Certain personality traits may be inherited and contribute to the development of narcissism.

• Brain structure: Changes in the structure or functioning of the brain may also be a contributing factor.


Also, it's important to note that having some narcissistic traits is normal, but when these traits become excessive and cause significant distress or impairment in one's life, it may be indicative of narcissistic personality disorder.


It is possible for children to develop narcissistic tendencies, but it is important to note that having some narcissistic traits is normal, and not everyone who has these traits has narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissistic personality disorder is a complex condition that is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.


While there is no known cure for narcissistic personality disorder, it can be treated with psychotherapy and medication. Psychotherapy is the first line of treatment for narcissistic personality disorder, and it can help individuals with this condition learn to manage their symptoms and improve their relationships with others. Medications such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs may also be prescribed to manage some of the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder.


It's important to note that treatment for narcissistic personality disorder can be challenging, as individuals with this condition may be resistant to therapy and may not see their behavior as problematic. However, with the right treatment and support, many people with narcissistic personality disorder are able to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.


Narcissism in relationships

A narcissist's desire to elicit admiration and praise, especially from potential romantic partners, often makes them charming and charismatic, traits that can rapidly ignite a romance. But their inherent deficit of empathy may prevent them from understanding a partner's inner world and establishing a fulfilling long-term relationship.


It's nearly impossible for people with narcissistic personality disorder to truly fall in love and build a trusting, equal partnership. Such an individual may seek to establish strict rules in a relationship and attempt to isolate a new partner from friends and family, among other disturbing behaviors.


Why do narcissists make such a good first impression?

Research suggests that people may initially be drawn to narcissists because they seem to possess stronger self-esteem than they really do, a trait that people often appreciate.


How to handle a narcissist

Navigating a relationship with a narcissist can be deeply frustrating and distressing. In their quest for control and admiration, narcissistic people may manipulate and exploit others, damaging their self-esteem and even aiming to alter their sense of reality. Arguing with a narcissist about their action often proves fruitless. A more successful solution is to establish boundaries and emotionally distance yourself.


Recognize that you may not be able to control your feelings about a person, but you can control how you respond to them. Cutting ties with a narcissistic partner, family member, or boss may eventually be the best if not the only solution. In that process, it's helpful to reflect on the characteristics of the individual to avoid finding oneself in similar scenarios in the future.


Acknowledging your frustration, appreciating where the behavior comes from, and refusing to lose your own sense of purpose when a narcissist takes center stage are key strategies, among others.


5 Steps to heal from emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is the intentional devaluing of one person by another in order to elevate themselves. Emotional abuse and its negative messages are false, keeping you from finding and understanding the truth of who you are.


The message of emotional abuse is often "You never do anything right." The reverberations of this message may cause you to set the bar too high on what counts as progress in recovering from the effects of emotional abuse.


Healing isn't a task you have to be perfect at, nor a race that only has one finish line. Emotional injuries can be like physical injuries; they take time to heal. With this in mind, here are five steps to begin healing from emotional abuse.

  1. Move Beyond Blame

  2. Granting Forgiveness

  3. Reclaiming Your Personal Power

  4. Identifying Triggers

  5. Developing Coping Skills


Narcissism can have a negative impact on society.

According to a post by Psychology Today, narcissism is psychologically unhealthy and leads to anti-social behavior, causing suffering for everyone, including narcissists. People are making more and more unrealistic demands on society and government to cater to their perceived needs, leading to a self-centered culture that is obsessed with race, ethnicity, sex, and political ideology. Narcissism causes the pursuit of self-serving behaviors that are psychologically unhealthy and that aggravate an underlying lack of empathy and self-esteem that stunt psychological maturation. Narcissists may even be desperately trying to avoid self-loathing, and because other people may be blamed for causing such negative feelings, narcissists commonly seethe with antisocial anger. Here is a shortlist of social damage that narcissists are likely to cause:

• Cheating, deceptions, and lying have become a new normal, most notably in education, business, politics, and the media.

• Crime is rampant and growing in all major cities.

• Riots motivated across a range of left-to-right ideologies seem to be increasing.

• Fathers in large numbers abandon their children.

• Marriage is in decline; more couples are deliberately childless.

• Widespread alcohol, drug, sex, and other addictions increase the number of people who require support services from others.

• Narcissistic hostility leads to calling people who believe differently vile names and shunning, magnifying social alienation.

• The divisive diminishing of others for "bad" beliefs and behaviors is aggravated when narcissists hypocritically do the same bad things and excuse the wrongdoing of those in their own in-group.


It is important to note that not all people who exhibit narcissistic traits are necessarily narcissists, and not all narcissists are alike. Narcissism is a complex and multifaceted personality disorder that requires a professional prognosis.


How to Identify a Grandiose Narcissist-



Narcissism | Psychology Today



Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms and Causes


Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms and Causes

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