“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” – Oscar Wilde
Do you have a narcissist in your life? Almost everyone knows or has been involved with one. They can be in your family, workplace or social circle. The narcissist can be tolerable or even charming until they decide to go for you. It can be very confusing because when they are not threatened by you, they can present a pleasant attitude and deceive you. But if they feel threatened or think that they have been injured in some mild way, the critical and critical side comes out to play, and they do not play well.
The society we live in today is a self-centered one, that encourages people to embrace a ‘me, me, me’ approach to life. This toxic culture is further supported by the influence of reality television and social media.
At the core of the narcissist hides a very fragile ego, thin skin, and self-deprecating behavior. They project their bad feelings to others and tend to find scapegoats for their own emotions because they do not embrace or deal with their own issues. That is why we see that they are not responsible and look for someone to blame when things go wrong.
When you listen to the narcissistic viewpoint, it is unpredictable and confusing. Because they move from grandiosity to depression, it is difficult to keep up with their moods and behaviors. You feel the negativity in the way they see the world and others. In general, it does not make sense because it is being projected by their own problems. If it is addressed to you, you will often be surprised.
Jim Taylor, PhD., an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco and the Wright Institute in Berkeley expressed his opinion on the rise of narcissism in an article published in Psychology Today. Discussing the various theories as to why narcissism is growing, Taylor stated, “The answer that came most readily to my mind, and an apocryphal one at that, is a gradual, yet inexorable, tear in the fabric of our society. Think of all the qualities that enable us to form a functioning and vital nation – respect, compassion, tolerance, selflessness – and you will see that they don’t exist in the narcissistic personality (or culture).”
Not only do we clearly see a lack of these crucial, positive personality traits, but professor Taylor also pointed out the predominance of a different shift in modern society. “The indifference, egotism, disrespect, and lack of consideration that are central to narcissism are also reflective of the increasingly polarized and vitriolic tone of our current body politic, recent unethical corporate behavior, the rise in cheating among students in school, and the gamut of bad behavior among professional athletes,” he explained. When you really take the state of our society today into consideration, Taylor’s explanation makes perfect sense!
Like mosquitoes, narcissists are swarming around. How do you protect yourself from their vicious attacks? In many cases, you can stay away when you realize who you are dealing with. But if the narcissist is in your office or family, these 7 effective tips can help you:
- Remind them that the world doesn’t revolve around them.
Always in search of the attention from everyone around them, narcissists act as though they are the center of the universe. All the more ironic, as they even demand your gratitude if they choose to spend their time with you. Cut them down to size by reminding them that this is merely a delusion they choose to believe in. While they will likely ignore your warning, it will surely knock them enough that you won’t have to put up with it for a little while.
- Remind them of your strong, confident and independent personality.
In order to hold the whip hand, narcissists will create an imbalance in their relationships, tricking other people into believing that they cannot stand firm without the narcissist presence in their life. Show them that you are not another of their weak victims by asserting your self-reliance and removing any attempt to make you believe otherwise.
- Call them on their promises.
Narcissists are well known for overpromising and under delivering. These people will say whatever necessary in order to defeat everyone and come out as the winner. The next time you encounter a narcissist that you can see is simply promising all sorts of things, a simple statement like ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ will make it clear that you are aware of their false promises.
- Don’t allow them to avoid the subject.
If you have found the courage to stand against a narcissist and their bad behavior, be ready for the fact that they will do everything they can to avoid a confrontation in which they are being called upon of having done something wrong (after all, narcissist are never wrong). The very second that they try to change the subject, make it clear that you will not let escape the conversation as this is something you NEED to discuss with them.
- Block their manipulation in its initial phase.
The single tool narcissists use in order to achieve all that they do in this world, is their ability to manipulate literally every single person that they meet. These schemers know exactly what they want in life, and they won’t back down from bending the rules, lie to someone and play mental games to their benefit. The moment you notice any sign of such a behavior, immediately fight them back, firmly refusing to be their newest victim.
- Act with fearlessness.
Another deceitful technique that narcissists often use in order to accomplish their devious plans is fear. Whether they are causing, exposing or manipulating it, they will come up with a way to use all of your fears and insecurities to their advantage. The only way that you can oppose this behavior is to be fearless, eliminating any leverage that they may have had against you.
- Don’t be afraid to say ‘No’ to their demands.
The simplest way of handling a narcissist is yet often the most left out. Whenever a narcissistic person is treating you bad and their behavior upsets you or makes you feel awful, stand up for yourself and be resolute. Never be afraid to tell these people no, and stick with your decision! You have the choice who you let in your life.