Do You Have a Narcissist in Your Life?

Do you know a person who almost always thinks only of themselves, can twist any situation into one where they are the victim, dominates most, if not all, conversations, and generally blames their problems on others?

If the answer is yes, chances are that you have a narcissistic in your life.

Let’s examine the causes, characteristics, symptoms, and treatment options for a person diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

​NPD is one of several psychiatric disorders that are referred to as “Cluster B” personality traits. There is no definitive answer as to what causes NPD, but there are many theories. Most psychologists agree that that the patient must be predisposed biologically in order to develop the disorder.

Secondly, the interactions they have with others as a child, their temperament, and their ability to handle stress will factor into the development of this personality disorder. However, there is disagreement over what type of childhood relationships are more likely to be seen in these patients.

While most believe that NPD patients are the result of being overly praised, babied, and pampered as a child, there are some professionals that believe it is a product of abuse and neglect in the younger years. The only way that it can be diagnosed is through an evaluation of symptoms performed by a psychiatric professional. Many clinicians will not diagnosis someone as having NPD until they are through their teenage years.​

Narcissists often have an interesting group of believes that revolve around how much better the world is with them in it. They are often preoccupied with their perceived beauty, intelligence, and success and give off a vibe of extreme arrogance. They tend to think that anyone who is critical of them is simply jealous. They expect others to go along with their ideas and will almost certainly become irritated when they do not. They are inclined to think that they are extremely special and only other special people are worthy of their company.

They are rarely, if ever, pleased with others and most often see others as inferior to them. Overall, they are very dramatic and demanding of attention. They display symptoms that can be quite overwhelming to those around them.

Two primary symptoms include an overpowering need for others to admire them and a complete inability to empathize with others. They almost always dominate conversations and are adept at integrating themselves into other’s problems and tragedies.

The following is a good example of this. Jan just lost her four year old son in an accident. At the funeral she is comforted by many friends and family who are offering their condolences. Her sister, Jill, makes her way into the middle of the group and starts sobbing hysterically about how she “cannot go on without her nephew.” She refers to him as “the love of my life” and wonders aloud “Why did God have to take him from me, his favorite aunt?” Before long the group, including her sister, is trying to console Jill and the grief the mother is feeling is pushed aside. (Little does the group know that Jill saw her nephew just a few times a year and really just ignored him then.)

People diagnosed with NPD often tend to exploit others as well if this works to their advantage. To their defense, they usually do not even realize what they are doing. They truly have a problem with looking outside of themselves.​

Treatment for NPD can be difficult and time consuming. While there are medications that can treat distressing symptoms such as behavioral issues, there are no medications that will magically make these traits disappear. Instead psychotherapy with a trained clinician is a must. This can be very draining on everyone involved as the narcissist is pushed towards recognizing and understanding their condition and developing insight into their behaviors.

The overall goal is for the patient to develop a sense of empathy and more realistic expectations of others. Whether their condition improves or not is almost solely up to the patient. They must be able to realize that they do have a problem and they must be an active participant in therapy sessions.​

It takes a very strong person to be involved in a relationship or friendship with a NPD patient. You must have an understanding of their condition, be willing to listen more frequently than you talk, and understand that you may not make them happy.

Overall compassion is key to surviving this relationship, but never let them know this.

16 thoughts on “Do You Have a Narcissist in Your Life?

  1. This was so helpful, I really needed this, these are the exact traits of my boyfriend, I heard the term only yesterday & realized that this was him, I’m so scared now & don’t know what to now. Help please ? What should I do ?

    • Thanks this has helped. I think my sister suffers from this. Its hard because I don’t want to hurt her feelings. But I think its gone on for to long, weve all been putting up with it and she’s getting worse. I think its time to confront her to go get some help, to many people are getting hurt and I worried for her because shes so convinced by what shes saying is the truth and everyone can see this needs to stop. I’m worried because friends and family are getting fed up with her but I can’t help thinking she’s lost control of things.

    • Michell,
      You have to leave and do it sooner than later. This person will never change and will drain you emotionally, physically and financially as well.
      Take it from a person who tolerated it for 10 years. I’m so much happier now, and don’t know why I put up with it.

  2. thank you this has given me insight as to what em dealing with, my huuby to be is just like that for a moment i asked my self where did you meet him to describe him in such a way that i couldnt do it myself

    • Precious, if are not already married, then give it some serious thought. I just gets worse and worse. I have been married for 2 years to my husband and my life is a nightmare plus he now moved into violent actions also….I am an extremely strong woman, but I am almost at the end of my tether now. Your self esteem will reduce by his words and actions

  3. I just split from my ex and was reading about verbal abuse because I believe I was a victim of it with him. I came upon another website talking about NPD and abuse and realized this was him; I am really not losing my mind! Some people are not full blown NPD but have some traits of it or a mix of disorders from what I read. Either way I say RUN! Look up narcissism addiction abuse, my boyfriend was also addicted to pain killers. I’m just so glad that I can finally understand what this is why I need to walk away finally.

  4. Thanks for this. My boyfriend has NPD and life now is a living hell. It gets worse as time goes by. He was charming and funny when we first met but that person is a distant memory. He lies constantly and actually believes his own lies! He’s starting therapy next week and I’m hoping it might help but not holding out too much hope.

    The best thing if you know or are with someone with this disorder is it get therapy yourself because your self esteem will eventually hit rock bottom. I’m there now and it’s a horrible place to be. Confiding in someone is a great way of off-loading and give logical ways to deal with a NPD.

  5. I could write a book. Yes, my N ex-wife fits NPS completely. But, she lured me in with her great body and sex. We married and had three children. But, she has had three affairs all with bosses. She has lost four jobs. And her lying and double life finally took its toll and I had to call it quits. She continues to bounce back and forth from her current love interest and me just trying to control and manipulate both of us. I see it but he doesn’t. My life is a living hell. And, what will become of my kids. Don’t get connected the a narcissist!

  6. I have one of those in my life. But he also has very abusive traits as well. He is also a pathological liar. He also is a compulsive cheater. His favotive type of abuse is the gaslighthing effect. He likes to make me belive that what I know to be the truth is actually not the truth. And I can’t seem to dig my way out of the situation. We have 2 childern (I have 1 from a prior marriage) together and I spend most nights crying myself to sleep worrying about my 3 kids and the effects that this relationship is having on them.

  7. I think my partner has this. She constantly puts people down and compares them to what she is doing. She grew up in abusive family and I have constantly made that excuse for why things are! But it is getting worse and she actually seems to like conflict as I am now no longer making excuses for things she does. There are so many lies she tells that she actually believes. We have two young children together and I worry what would happen to them if we break up.

  8. Please, please, if you are in a relationship with someone like this, please get out. I was for 7 years. He has lied to me, my family, his family and countless others. The saddest part is that he has lied to himself and is his own worst victim!!!

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