The concept of narcissism has captured the attention of many in the past few weeks. More than ever before. I’ve always been quite aware and intrigued by the narcissist’s personality. I’m more so intrigued with how they maneuver through their lives freely while causing destruction in others. I identify narcissim quickly within people and I’m sure many of you can point them out in a room full of people. Working in social services has allowed me the opportunity to come in contact with many people with various personalities. For a few years now, I have noticed a massive epidemic of narcissism and/or narcissistic type behavior. I associate this epidemic with this generation’s social media behavior.
People have this internal desire to be validated. We’ve adopted the concept that gaining “likes” or “followers” either make us popular or important. It gives a false sense of approval and reality. It’s my personal belief and theory that the narcissistic human has the ability to thrive in society more sufficiently than ever before because his or her desire to be valid and important is now easily accessed at his or her fingertips. Its safe to say this is the narcissistic era.
“The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.” —historian and essayist Thomas Carly To always be validated by others , stifles personal growth. Narcissist avoid and reject their incompetence, which prevents them from ever correcting flaws or weakness within themselves. When they have a band of followers that are always liking and awarding their needs to entertain others and be liked, they are constantly feeding their egos. Narcissist thrive even more when given the opportunity to serve as the victim, of rejection or attacks from others. While many people around them are completely aware of their incompetence, they live in a world, where they know all and are always right . “When directly confronted by evidence that they are wrong, they do not change their point of view or course of action, but justify it even more tenaciously. Even irrefutable evidence is rarely enough to pierce the mental armor of self-justification.”-carol ….They are expert rationalizers. There is a logical reason for everything they do and everything they do is great. They live a grandiose life that doesn’t need to be proven by achievement or credentials, but are constantly seeking power which draw them to managerial, corporate, and/or any leadership positions in general. They are needed by those around them to survive and God’s gift to everyone.
By now I’m sure you have identified someone that you feel fits this description or you are feeling as though maybe it’s me ! YOU’RE SAFE! More than likely it isn’t. A narcissist NEVER checks their own competence or address their wrong doings. It can be draining to feel as though no matter what you share or how often he or she is addressed with his or her wrong doings , he or she always seems to be blinded by their ego and deaf to criticism, even constructive criticism. There are ways to avoid the stressful and draining feeling associated with dealing with a narcissist’s ego.
Here are few ways to be successful when dealing with a narcissist:
Recognize triggers and show empathy.
Yea Yea Yea! I know! Why should I show empathy to someone that clearly isn’t going to do it in return? Well, I’ve experienced changes in the most harsh and cold people, when met with empathy. “Empathy within a relationship is possibly the most potent and certainly one of the most potent factors in creating change. It is when we listen with understanding, that we experience one of the most potent forces of change” -Carl Rogers. Like most disorders or issues that impede our daily lives, they derive from a place of loss or lack of . Where one is not fulfilled he or she will seek to gain in other aspects. Its often done subconsciously. Narcissism counteracts vulnerability and none of us like to feel uncomfortable or exposed. No one likes the dream of standing in front of an audience naked. Neither does the narcissist. Instead he or she turns vulnerability into victimization coupled with rationalization. I always encourage people to recognize where one’s flaws derive. It makes it easier to deal with a person when you know the manifestation of one’s flaws. Think of it this way! Try to avoid your shadow! The narcissist is afraid of his or her own shadow. Can you imagine how horrible it must be, to be attached to someone or something you dislike. Well, that is how I imagine the narcissist must feel when ever he or she ever has to actually come to terms with who they really are, which they avoid at all times. Understanding the whole person can help you cope with the parts of the narcissist that is causing destruction in your life. Sometimes understanding “why” is enough to maintain some of your own sanity.
Don’t be bullied!!
Although, I have encouraged you to recognize the insecurities of a narcissist and show empathy that does not mean you should be bullied into performing task and agreeing to things you do not desire to. Don’t allow narcissist to make you feel guilty for things that you “supposedly” have done to them. As mentioned, They often play the victim and will use victimization to guilt you into getting what they want and desire. Stay focused on your intent and don’t be swayed to side with them or join in on their pity party. A narcissist’s kryptonite is a secure person. Be willing to be bold and confident when dealing a narcissist.
Be inclusive & defenseless!
Narcissist want to feel as though people are like Lois Lane, screaming help from a burning building pleading for superman to save her. They make things “GREAT AGAIN” . Make him or her feel included in decision making. This is great practice in most team building concepts in general. There is always something that can be used from everyone’s ideas and input at the table. Recognize their ideas first then include yours. Just remember to put your own ego to the side because it is highly unlikely that your idea will be seen as yours alone. Again, they solve every problem and know all! This works perfect for people that don’t need to be validated by others, but instead are confident with themselves and can find humor in this process. A secure person has no problem laying aside their egos, with confidence that they will not get lost in what may turn out to be the strange or bizarre world of the other, and comfortably return to his or her own world when he or she wishes. – Carl Rogers.
Did I mention!!!! Make yourself defenseless.
Remember they are always right ! You’re the one that is wrong! Learn the strategy of ambiguity. Make suggestions not commands. Your commands or demands will fall short every time. Form ideas into questions. Make them have to think. Voila ! Your idea is now their idea. WARNING !!! This is only for the secure. Of course I’m not saying pass up a opportunity to be recognize for your hard work. A secure person wouldn’t allow that either. That’s bulling! (refer to the bulling tip above). But that same individual also doesn’t mind taking backseat to make room for the narcissist ego. Take one for the team. It may have been your idea but now that it is presented as something new by the narcissist and you can avoid all the conflict that will come as a result of the narcissist “feeling attacked”.
Ultimately there are masterminds that have mastered these concepts and often use them to sucker or puppeteer, narcissist to perform acts in which they desire not to perform. Often recruiting narcissist for their ability to entertain, charm, and capture a audience. I’m encouraging you to use similar techniques to make your workplace , home environment, and/or organizations a more effective one. We have to learn how to work with everyone to reach our goals, even if it means putting away your pride and ego to hold on to the little bit of sanity you have left. The narcissist may never see his or her wrong doings, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stressed, suffocated, and pushed into a corner of silence by their overly large egos.