What defines narcissism?
“Narcissists have poor self-esteem, but they are typically very successful. They feel entitled; they’re self-important; they crave admiration and lack empathy. They are also exploitative and envious. The malignant types never forget a slight. They may kill you ten years later for cutting them off in traffic. But they act perfectly normal while plotting their revenge.” — Janet M. Tavakoli
Being a narcissist means that this person is selfish, arrogant, and needs admiration from the rest of the world. Unfortunately, most people who have narcissistic personalities don’t know or refuse to admit that they are like this.
People with strong narcissistic tendencies hate seeing others do well. Although they demonstrate self-confidence, they lack it. There’s a big difference between being sure of yourself and thinking you’re the best.
There are many different psychological reasons why narcissists behave this way, and we will go over the most important of them.
1. Narcissists are never happy.
First and foremost, real satisfaction comes from within. People who have narcissistic personality are unable to feel genuine happiness because they lack own individuality. As a result, they feel upset and try to be happier by managing their skewed sense of self-esteem. Narcissists look for external acknowledgments of their success. Such people think they could increase their social status by buying expensive things, having more sex, earning more money and so on. However, these things cannot buy true happiness. What narcissists don’t realize is that real contentment comes from within.
2. They lack empathy.
A narcissist could hardly realize how much other people have to work to succeed. They assume that others use the same dishonest means that they would use to get what they want. They can’t imagine that another person could be more capable. These people couldn’t believe that someone worthier than them might exist. Narcissists don’t understand that other people achieve their goals because they work hard.
3. A narcissist thinks that they deserve whatever others can achieve because they are better than the rest.
If someone else owns more things than a narcissist or is better than them at something, the feeling of superiority of the narcissist gets even stronger. The same goes for their ambition to have whatever the other person possesses. A narcissist thinks no one deserves to have what they don’t have.
4. People who have narcissistic personality feel comfortable when others are miserable.
They take pleasure in witnessing the struggles, problems, or humiliation of another person. There is a German term for this – Schadenfreude. It is a compound noun of Schaden ‘damage, harm’ and Freude ‘joy.’ Narcissists are glad when others cannot achieve their goals. And when people feel miserable or are unhappy. Narcissists also, have sadistic tendencies and feel extremely pleased when they make others suffer. Since they cannot achieve happiness themselves, they could only feel envy and resentment if someone else is happy or prosperous. And might easily become rude and arrogant.
5. Narcissists think they are the only good and worthy people.
They believe that others are undeserving of success and happiness. Not only that, if someone else different than them is doing well and is succeeding, then the narcissist could feel they are in danger. The reason is that narcissists have a strong psychological need always to compare themselves to others. And when they do, they could only see things in black and white. Either they are the best, or they are losers. And a narcissist would never accept to be on the losing side.
6. They need to be positively assessed by others.
Since they are extremely insecure about their capabilities, narcissists don’t want the world to see their flaws. And they would not accept a bad opinion about them. So, they might act aggressively toward people who don’t like them much or do not support them.
7. Narcissists are unstable and might hurt others emotionally.
Another way for a narcissist to undermine other people’s value is by belittling and insulting them. They could try to destroy others, turn people against their friends, bully, abuse and do many other emotionally harmful things.
How to handle a narcissist?
Narcissists are different – grandiose, covert, communal, etc. but they all have one common trait: they are insecure and cannot accept other people’s happiness. Dealing with a narcissist can be very difficult. Narcissists can drain your energy, make you feel uncomfortable, and manage to focus all the attention on themselves. That is too stressful for most of the people dealing with a narcissist. So, others sooner or later, start to avoid them.
If you have to deal with a narcissist, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself.
You are not doing anything wrong by living a peaceful and comfortable life. Do all that is possible to distance yourself from people who are narcissists? Evil people will always be unhappy, but it’s not your fault.
Have you ever met a narcissist who has tried to ruin your happiness? Please, tell us about your experience.