How to get under a narcissists skin
How Do You Get Under a Narcissist’s Skin? People Responded. » TwistedSifter
Narcissists are a strange breed.
Everything they do is in their own self-interest and they care little or not at all about other people.
So what’s the best way to get under a narcissist’s skin?
AskReddit users shared their thoughts.
“Grey rock technique.
I don’t know if it was specifically designed to deal with narcissistic people, but it works wonders on people with NPD or just narcissistic traits.
If they say “I just won an award that’s only given to a handful of people. I really don’t work that hard (fishing for compliment) though, teehee!”
You just say “that’s cool” and nothing more. They’ll try another line or two, so you may have to repeat the process.”
“The only effective method.
No contact whatsoever.
They thrive on drama – let them find it somewhere else.”
“Just ignore them.
That’s the best thing to do. They want a reaction, any reaction. Negative or positive, they don’t care.
It might be hard to do because it is natural to want to defend yourself but that is what they want. If you react to them it shows you still care.”
“Agreeing with everything they say works equally as well. They want a fight from you or a hurt reaction so you don’t give them the satisfaction. It usually shuts them up quicker than ignoring them also.
If you ignore them they just keep repeating the same s**t over and over until you react. If you agree with them even though it’s a lie and they know it, they can’t really say anything because you have agreed or they have to admit they’re talking s**t in the QST place.”
“”I don’t think about you at all” is still second only to “Did I stutter” as the most rage inducing things I have said to people.”
“Start communicating with the other people they manipulate. Narcissists will often pit people against each other.
They like to keep the people they lie to separated so they don’t communicate with one another and possibly figure out they’re being manipulate .
When you start communicating with them independently , it takes away the narcissists feeling of power and control. You can send a narcissists into full panic and mental breakdown that way.”
“If you can, you should just distance yourself and pay no attention to them. But, if you can’t, communication and information is best.
Every single time my dad finished talking with my grandmother, he would immediately call his sister and give a summary.
The last years of her life, we were her only transportation, so there was a family member at every doctor’s appointment. We could hear what the doctor actually said, and not her interpretation of it.”
“Being very unemotional, not reacting to their contrived insults, limiting eye contact, and keeping interactions very short. ”
“One word answers.
The polite smile.
It gets them so riled up.”
“A united front is the best way to shut down a narcissist.
They feed on chaos, discord, and drama among people, and will make shit up if there’s not enough to go around.
Compare notes and remember that we’re not enemies, the narcissist is.”
“I stopped defending myself out of just being tired. I recently caught him lying to my face which he wasn’t expecting.
He turned it around on me and stopped talking to me. It worked out pretty well I must say.”
“Fighting with a pig… don’t bother.
You’ll both end up covered in s**t but the pig likes it.”
How To Deal With A Narcissist: 5 Secrets Backed By Research
Before we commence with the festivities, I wanted to thank everyone for helping my first book become a Wall Street Journal bestseller. To check it out, click here.
You must be tired of them. They’re everywhere. Narcissists. And if you think there are more of them than ever, you’re right. Research shows we are experiencing a narcissism epidemic.
From The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement:
In data from 37,000 college students, narcissistic personality traits rose just as fast as obesity from the 1980s to the present, with the shift especially pronounced for women. The rise in narcissism is accelerating, with scores rising faster in the 2000s than in previous decades.
Even music is getting more narcissistic. And what do most people on Twitter tweet about? Themselves, of course.
(And as for selfies… well, do I really need to link to any research about narcissism and selfies? No? Thank you.)
Now we all have a little narcissism in us and these days we have a lot more than we need around us.
Let’s learn more about what narcissism is, how to deal with narcissists — and even a bit about what to do if you feel you’re becoming one yourself.
You have entered the selfie-free zone. Let’s get to it…
What’s The Deal With Narcissism?
As Twenge and Campbell explain in The Narcissism Epidemic, it’s a myth that narcissism is just “high self-esteem” or that underneath it all narcissists are insecure and overcompensating.
Narcissists believe they really are that awesome — and you’re not. (The latter part doesn’t matter, narcissists don’t think about you much at all, frankly.)
How can you tell if someone is a narcissist? It’s easy; just ask them. Research shows narcissists feel so good about themselves they don’t mind admitting it.
And narcissism can be quite beneficial in the short term. They make fantastic first impressions. In job interviews and on first dates, narcissists get results. And in youth, being a narcissist makes you happier.
Narcissists are more likely to become leaders and narcissists who obsessively work hard are more likely to get promoted. But the stuff that works for them so well in the short term proves lethal in the long term.
That job interview is great but UPenn professor Scott Barry Kaufman explains that after three weeks people regard narcissists as untrustworthy. And narcissists might become leaders but they’re not good ones. And when prestige isn’t on the line, most narcissists don’t work that hard.
From The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement:
…college students with inflated views of themselves (who think they are better than they actually are) make poorer grades the longer they are in college. They are also more likely to drop out. In another study, students who flunked an introductory psychology course had by far the highest narcissism scores, and those who made A’s had the lowest.
Awesome first date? Yeah, but relationship satisfaction with them shows a big decline after 4 months. As adults, narcissists aren’t happy. And if you’re around them, you won’t be either.
From The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement:
A recent psychiatric study found that the biggest consequences of narcissism— especially when other psychiatric symptoms were held constant— was suffering by people close to them.
(To learn more about the science of a successful life, check out my bestselling book here.)
So how do you deal with them? Here are 5 strategies from scientific research:
1) The Quick Answer: Don’t
I’m going to get grief for this being the first solution but it is by far the best answer and one that we should all take to heart more often.
Narcissists lack empathy, they usually don’t work hard, and in a few weeks to a few months they make the people around them miserable. And narcissism is very hard to change. So, if at all possible, just stay away.
Some will say, “But I’m smarter than they are. I can change them!” Stop it, now you’re being narcissistic.
If you dig 80’s movies you might remember “War Games.” What did the computer realize about thermonuclear war? The only way to win was not to play.
What do rational people scream at the TV when watching haunted house movies? “GET OUT NOW!”
When there’s blood all over the living room, furniture is floating through the air and ghosts are speaking to you in Latin, smart people don’t prepare to battle the undead, they get out immediately and make an angry phone call to their realtor.
As MIT negotiation professor John Richardson says: never start with, “How do I make this deal?” Start with, “Should this deal be made?” With narcissists, the answer is usually no. It’s not worth it.
(To learn how to be happier and more successful without being a narcissist, click here.)
Okay, before the internet commenters tear me apart for the obvious answer of “Don’t deal with narcissists,” let’s move on.
There are plenty of times where we just don’t have a choice. You may have a narcissistic boss, co-worker or family member. Luckily, there are answers…
2) Kiss Up Or Shut Up
Yeah, this isn’t a popular answer either. Sorry. But if you’re dealing with a narcissist and you’re in the less powerful position (like they’re your boss) there may not be a choice. At least not right now.
Clinical psychologist Al Bernstein recommends you kiss up to them or at least keep your mouth shut until you can get the heck out of there.
Via Am I The Only Sane One Working Here?: 101 Solutions for Surviving Office Insanity:
There is no way around this. If you want to communicate effectively with narcissists, you have to admire them, their achievements, and their toys as much as they do. Typically, this won’t require any great effort. They’ll be more than happy to come up with reasons to congratulate themselves. All you have to do is listen and look interested.
There’s this concept called “narcissistic injury.” Pointing out a narcissist isn’t all they think they are can be like pulling the pin on a grenade. A grenade you have to see every day of your life.
Realize that narcissism is an identity, just like religion or politics. When you argue about it, people don’t fold or change their minds — they just hate you. And narcissists are among the most vindictive people you’ll ever meet.
You might reply, “But I’m right about them!” You may very well be. But that only makes the situation worse. Burst their narcissistic bubble and you will pay. Dearly.
And if you’re in the lower-power position in this relationship, as with an employer, well, you may have found a way to get away from them… along with two weeks severance.
Reject them and they’ll freak out. Act weak and they’ll try to victimize you. Expose them and they’ll hate you forever. (Trust me, I’ve tested all these personally — and in a single conversation.) It’s just not worth it.
(To learn how to improve your self-esteem without becoming a narcissist, click here.)
Alright, here’s where the rubber meets the road. If you can’t get away from them, and they don’t have power over you, how do you deal with a narcissist?
3) Know What You Want And Get Payment Up Front
Don’t expect fairness. They’re just about themselves, right? Well, okay then. Know what you want. (They will, trust me.)
And then get them to pay up front with whatever it is you need before they get what they need. Al Bernstein explains:
Never extend credit to, or accept promises from, a narcissist. As soon as they get what they want, they will be on to the next thing, forgetting whatever they said they would do for you. Sometimes they make promises they don’t intend to keep, but just as often, they merely forget. Either way, you should keep a ledger in your mind and make sure you get what they dangle in front of you before you give them what they want. With other people, this mercenary approach might seem insulting. Narcissists will respect you for it. Everything in their world is quid pro quo. They will rarely be offended by people looking out for themselves.
Dealing with a narcissist regularly is like having a pet tiger: you always have to be careful that one day he’s gonna see you as dinner. But if you don’t have a choice, negotiate hard. This is nobody to be win-win with.
Always reward behavior, never words. They get what they want when they do what you want.
Now I’ve been very negative toward narcissists (understandably) but they can be worked with and can even be good employees. Yes, really.
Why? Because they want something. They really need to look good. And if you can align your desires with their desires, you may find yourself with an unstoppable achievement machine.
From The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement:
One possibility is to set up a situation where acts of caring and kindness are aligned with admiration and success. In other words, show narcissists that they can get their narcissistic needs met by acting like decent, caring people.
Give them a way to be impressive if they do what they are told. This makes them much easier to deal with than lazy people, trust me. Just make sure you get what you want first.
(To learn how to negotiate from the FBI’s lead hostage negotiator, click here.)
But what if you’re not in a position to reward them with what they crave? How can you keep a rampaging narcissist in line?
4) Ask Them, “What Would People Think?”
Narcissists don’t feel guilt, only shame. They’re all about appearances, right?
If they believe something will hurt their reputation, they will think twice. Al Bernstein explains:
If you are in a position to advise, ask what people would think. Narcissists are not stupid; there are just things, like other people’s feelings, that they rarely consider. If you have their ear, don’t tell them how people might react; instead, ask probing questions. Narcissists are much more likely to act on ideas that they think they thought up themselves.
Emphasize community and use disappointment, rather than anger, to keep them in line. They want to look good. So help them look good by helping them do good.
(To learn an FBI behavior expert’s secrets for how to get people to like you, click here.)
This piece is about how to deal with narcissists… well, what if the narcissist is you? It’s an epidemic, remember? And if you’re not a narcissist, you might be infected. As the studies show, plenty of others have been recently.
So how do you avoid becoming a narcissist — or stop being one?
5) Be Dexter
We all have some narcissism in us. It’s natural. And narcissism may work for you now but, as we saw, the odds are very very much against it bringing you success, good relationships and happiness in the long term.
So how do you stop being a narcissist or make sure you don’t become one? You need to make sure you maintain empathy for others.
Stop trying to stand out, get attention and be so darn special. Al Bernstein says:
Narcissists will be further damaged by just about any situation in which they are treated as different from ordinary people.
It’s okay to be ordinary. (And if that concept terrifies you, you are already on the narcissistic side of things, so read this piece on empathy now.)
Problem is, overcoming narcissism is hard and takes a long time. And if you’re a hard-working narcissist, it may be bringing you enough rewards in the short term to feel like it’s a good idea for the long term.
What do you do then? Redirect your narcissism.
I offer you a new role model: Dexter. Yes, the serial killer who kills serial killers. (I know, Dexter is a psychopath not a narcissist but, jeez, work with me here, okay?)
Dexter has a problem — a serious problem, no doubt — but he tries to be good.
Dexter acts ordinary. He struggles to develop empathy. And he redirects his impulses to do things that benefit other people. (That’s where the comparison ends. I’m not telling you to kill anyone, okay?)
This attitude (sans chopping people up) can produce results.
From The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement:
…if you can’t stop feeding the ego, you can align your narcissism with behaviors that help the community.
I’m sure a lot of narcissists run charities. And they get lauded, praised and admired. I’m okay with that kind of narcissist.
(To learn how to fight your own narcissism, click here.)
Okay, let’s round this up and get the final secret on how to deal with the me-me-me people…
Here’s how to deal with a narcissist:
- Don’t. Think haunted house. Get out of there first chance you can.
- Kiss Up Or Shut Up. If they’re your boss or they have power over you, fighting makes it worse.
- Know What You Want And Get Payment Up Front. Don’t assume they’ll play fair.
- Ask, “What would people think?” They want to look good. If they think they’ll look bad, they’ll behave.
- Be Dexter. If the dark side of The Force has you, channel your need to look awesome into helping others.
In the long run, narcissists almost always lose. We see plenty on TV, but those are the very few that got lucky. And, trust me, they’re not all happy.
Stay away if you can, otherwise you will be victimized by them or, even worse, you will become one of them. When I spoke to Stanford professor Bob Sutton, he told me his #1 piece of advice to students was this:
When you take a job take a long look at the people you’re going to be working with — because the odds are you’re going to become like them, they are not going to become like you.
And if you spend more time with good people you will become, um, good-er. Here’s Yale professor Nicholas Christakis:
We’ve shown that altruistic behavior ripples through networks and so does meanness. Networks will magnify whatever they are seeded with. They will magnify Ebola and fascism and unhappiness and violence, but also they will magnify love and altruism and happiness and information.
Every chance you get, surround yourself with people who are good to you. And be good to them.
Don’t fight narcissism. Starve it.
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Man among people Man and woman
The feeling of love that we experience at the very beginning of a relationship with a narcissistic person is experienced much more strongly than in a healthy relationship. The reason is that a narcissist (male or female) floods us with declarations of love almost from the first days, does not tire of admiring, seeking advice, assuring that we are perfection itself, he or she met the best person in his life and is ready for us to all.
This is called "love bombing". Then the tactics change - the narcissist seems to retreat a little, his love confessions become less frequent, calmer, and finally the stormy ocean turns into a meager stream. It is a form of manipulation, control, and conditioning that the narcissist uses to keep us in his power.
There is no doubt that we loved. The only problem is that narcissists cannot love us back.
When communicating with them, it is better to rely on your inner instinct, and not on the strength of your feelings. We tend to get so trapped in our feelings that we lose the ability to hear the alarm bells and red flags that come with a toxic relationship. Narcissists cannot keep a face for long - very soon their facade cracks. But they are masters of their craft and, if you are inexperienced, can easily put you on the hook.
1. Arm yourself with knowledge
The most important and first thing to do to get out of the trap is to learn as much as possible about what narcissistic personality disorder is, how narcissists work, their typical behavior and techniques.
You need to arm yourself with knowledge. Repeat and repeat over and over again. Until you study them properly, you won't be able to free yourself from their toxic hook - narcissists make us feel obligated by playing on our sense of duty, conscientiousness.
Feeling sorry for the narcissist when he or she has you trapped is pointless - they are just using your feelings against you. It is necessary to discard false pity in order to clearly see what you are dealing with.
2. Trust your intuition
Watch yourself — learn to separate feelings and deep inner feeling, intuition. Start trusting your intuition, not your feelings. Associating with a narcissist weakens physical, mental and emotional health because we are trying to understand a person whose behavior contradicts words.
Instead of listening to what they say, watch what they do. Words lie, actions reveal the truth. We really get to know people through their behavior. Words are just a breach of your trust.
You feel sick and exhausted because your mind and body tell you that you are in great danger, but everything seems to be fine (because he or she tells you so). Once again, trust your gut instinct. Become a cold-blooded explorer. Silently observe what is happening.
3. Don't put yourself in their shoes
Go back to where you belong. It's a matter of awareness. Mentally note how difficult it is to do this - these are the consequences of narcissistic processing.
Don't try to guess what they have in mind, imagine their next steps. Putting yourself in their place means trying to understand their motives, justify them, find a reasonable explanation for their behavior, and eventually get bogged down again in the poisonous swamp of their verbal manipulations.
When you catch yourself trying to "get into the narcissist's head," do your best to distract yourself. It's hard and it takes a lot of fortitude not to give in to the brainwashing they put on you to make sure they've taken over all the space inside your head.
4. Ignore the messages
For the narcissist, information has no meaning, its only purpose is to suck you into the swamp of manipulation. The task is not to figure out whether to believe or not to believe the words of a narcissist. It is about breaking out of the vicious circle in which you think day and night only about what is connected with the narcissist.
Do not listen or pay attention to the content of the speeches that the narcissist makes. This is their way to take out your brain to draw you into their world and keep you where you always find yourself in the role of bad and guilty. They will keep pushing your boundaries and blowing the fuses that signal you are approaching the boundaries to constantly keep you on your toes, unbalance, disturb your peace.
Trying to find common sense in the speeches of a narcissist is to force your brain to work in a stressful mode, it gradually drives you crazy. Know that no matter what they say, narcissists are seeking some benefit for themselves, no matter how logical or beautiful their words sound. Everything is only about them and for them, and the only desire of a narcissist is that you, too, be only about them and for them. They will do and say anything to keep you trapped in their little fantasy world. Once again: watch what they do (not say).
5. Protect your property and savings
If necessary, start saving money. Remember that they can completely bleed you. Protect everything that is of value to you. Acting from noble feelings and wanting to remain fair, you risk eventually being ruthlessly abandoned without a livelihood.
6. Silence is golden
When we love, we want to share our thoughts and feelings with the person we love — this is natural. But you do not have a loved one, you are dealing with a narcissist who pretends to be your soul mate.
Resist the temptation to tell them everything you think and feel
You can't move them. They use your trust against you. The more open you are, the more guns and knives they have in your back. Narcissists love it when you share. If you have to say something, protect yourself as much as possible - don't tell the whole truth, be neutral, obscure or change the subject.
7. Who are you?
Deal with yourself, what you believe in, what is dearest to you in this world, what you want to live and die for. Otherwise, anyone can convince you of anything. Without knowing ourselves, we cannot set boundaries in a relationship - what we are ready to tolerate and what is categorically not. Strengthen your value system and protect what you hold dear. Then you will know what to do and how to behave, instead of hesitating and bending under the onslaught of someone else's will.
8. Be patient
Continue to observe and analyze. By learning the basic manipulative techniques of narcissists, you will be able to recognize them accurately. This is a great help in the process of freeing yourself from the illusion of "great love to the grave", "faithful" friendship or family idyll that narcissists have played for you.
Liberation does not happen overnight. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. Be kind and patient with yourself. You learn to act and live in a new way - rethink, clarify yourself and your life principles, move to a new level of relationships with others. Give yourself time to deal with everything that's going on.
9. Feed your soul
Help others, little by little, quietly and anonymously. Say something nice, even to a stranger. Fulfill one of your little wishes, just for yourself. Draw strength from religion if you are a believer. Breathe deeply and remind yourself that one day you will be free and the joy of life will return to you.
Text: Ksenia Tatarnikova Photo credit: Unsplash
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They are smart, sweet and charming. You fall into the net of their charm after a few minutes of communicating with them. They always create only dependent relationships. Where are they from - narcissists? What do they need? How not to get hooked, how to figure them out in your environment and what to do so that you are not driven to suicide - Tatiana Skritskaya, a family psychologist at the Familia Center, answers these and other questions.
- Most of the serious research on narcissists and manipulators is translations of foreign scientists. The problem is becoming more and more urgent for Russian psychologists. In their practice, psychologists and psychotherapists are increasingly faced with victims of people with narcissistic personality disorder, returning many of them literally from the next world. And judging by the scale of the problem, there is no doubt that it will only get worse in the future.
- Foreign experts identify people with a certain type of character, with the characteristics of the so-called "dark triad". It includes narcissism, Machiavellianism and emotional coldness.
Narcissism is the need to be the center of attention and be admired. Such people maintain their grandiosity through the impression they make on others.
Machiavellianism is a lust for power, deceit and manipulation of other people. They are also distinguished by emotional coldness and are not able to experience warm feelings for others and even for close people.
People with high intelligence who have the qualities of the dark triad tend to be very successful. One example of such a person was Steve Jobs. He was unbearable for the environment, difficult to communicate with partners. At the same time, having a very difficult character, he was incredibly efficient and charismatic.
The modern world actively encourages the effectiveness, selfishness and financial solvency of a person. It is by these components that many people around us evaluate us. It is important to be more successful, earn more, get married earlier (more successfully) and so on ... The main thing is to have something to brag to your girlfriends.
Accordingly, in recent decades, there are more and more such tough, selfish and unscrupulous loners. And psychologists are increasingly turning to people who have received psychological trauma as a result of communicating with them.
In the photo: family psychologist Tatyana Skritskaya and psychologist Igor Dobryakov. Photo: samopoznanie.ru
- Narcissist and manipulator - is it always an equal sign?
- Not. The degree of expression of these qualities may be different in different people. Narcissism can be healthy as an indicator of good self-esteem and an incentive for self-realization and development.
Malignant daffodils are different. They are very sweet, smart, charming, it's nice to be around them, we feel a surge of strength, interest in our person, but after parting, we are covered with emotional and physical exhaustion, fatigue. And sometimes there is a vague feeling that we were used.
Narcissists are sometimes referred to as "emotional vampires". Such people have no esoteric abilities. When communicating with ordinary people, we always get something from a partner: positive emotions, support, advice.
After communicating with a narcissist, many describe their state as devastation, exhaustion, a feeling that they have been used, that is, spending our time and energy, we do not receive anything in return.
The narcissist is not interested in people who understand his nature and who are able to resist being drawn into dependent relationships, because through such people he will not be able to receive confirmation of his grandiosity, they are almost impossible to use.
— Is this a conscious behavior of a person or is it still driven by some kind of his nature? Perhaps the reason for this behavior lies elsewhere?
- Differently. The pronounced manifestation of the characteristics of the “dark triad” in a person is considered to be an innate feature. Such people have a certain value system in which it is permissible to use others.
The world and people are perceived as objects to satisfy their own needs. They easily identify potential victims, who are used and easily changed to new ones if necessary.
We can say that the highly competitive modern world contributes to the emergence of people with such character traits. Some psychologists say that this is the next stage of human evolution.
Today it is not necessary for people to live in groups to survive. The environment does not imply that we need someone for physical survival. Therefore, families and traditional relationships between people are gradually being transformed.
Money can replace interaction with other people and maintain a high quality of life. A certain amount of money implies that we can live as we please, without relying on loved ones and without needing them.
Photo: Mikhail Perikov, nsknews.info
- If a person gets into a dependent relationship with a narcissist, can he get out of it without loss?
- Much that happens in relations with others, we can track later - retrospectively. In the process of communication, when we are emotionally involved, we cannot observe ourselves from the outside and do not recognize that this is manipulation, and we are interesting for a partner only from the point of view of satisfying his needs. But then comes the realization that something was wrong.
For example, for my part, I did the right things, but I did not get what I expected from the communication, although my contribution was sufficient. This is the reaction that our body gives out to the manipulation that was on the part of a person with a pathological character. Such people know that there is a conscience, but its criteria do not apply to themselves.
Sometimes there are very vivid examples of the relationship of a person with the characteristics of the "dark triad" and his victim. For example, one of my clients asked: “How can I understand when my husband says that we are different stages of evolution? He says you can be used, I know how to do it, and I do it.
He told her about it openly, because she was financially and emotionally dependent on him. And he understood that she could not just jump off and leave this relationship.
Photo: Maria Kozlova, nsknews.info
- She did it?
Yes, she succeeded.
- Victims who live with such people, they don't feel they are being taken advantage of?
“Most likely they don’t realize it, because the narcissist has enough strength and self-control to keep his victim on a short leash. Victims may feel powerless, exhausted and not understand what is happening, live in some very chaotic world organized by their partner.
Manipulators are very good with people. They can read relevant literature, easily absorb people management information, and go head over heels to achieve their desired career or level of financial well-being.
Those knowledge and skills that ordinary psychologists spend years mastering, people with a pathological character acquire easily and simply. Quite often, such a person is interested in the victim, who does a lot of good, to be viable and continue to perform his functions. She is praised and supported from time to time. In general, the smarter and more functional a person is, the more sophisticated he can be.
- It is unthinkably difficult to get out of such an addiction, and it is better not to fall into it. How to protect yourself? After all, they do not walk the streets with a sign on their chests "narcissus in an active search for a new victim." And they are really in constant search.
- The experience of sincere and trusting relationships will help not to fall into such dependence. It doesn't have to be a relationship with your parents. If the parents are “warm” and supportive, then the child from childhood receives the necessary experience of recognizing people who are capable of support. Of course, in addition to parents, the environment is also important for gaining such experience - brothers and sisters, friends, and other relatives.
In order not to fall into the network of a narcissist , it is worth remembering a few rules by which he communicates with his victims. The main thing is that narcissists do not tend to invest a lot and for a long time in a relationship. Therefore, the connection with them arises almost instantly.
If there is a feeling that a person replaces the rest of the world, then this is also a reason to stop and think. It is worth talking about a special emotional closeness with a person at least after two weeks of acquaintance.
If we feel like we're "bang!" and on the same wavelength, it’s worth slowing down the development of relationships and not laying out all the details of your life to a new acquaintance.
Photo: Mikhail Perikov, nsknews. info
- What should alert?
- As a rule, such people choose as a victim those who can give something - money, sex, career help, or even household issues. Firstly, it should alert you when the feeling arises very quickly that no one understands you as well as this person. When relationships develop in an extremely short time.
Secondly, if there are no conflicts at all, and the partners are so united and understand each other well, as if that very mythical soul mate literally met, this is an occasion to stop and think about who is in front of me.
You can provoke a person a little. For example, to offer an unexpected situation in which an ordinary person will not react too joyfully. For example, suggest playing a sport that a person has not done before. An ordinary person may agree, but at the same time express his fears or displeasure. The manipulator will agree and say: come on, I have always dreamed about it, we are one with you.
Thirdly, hypertrophied support at the beginning of a relationship and an emphasis on unity, merging. “We are we together. I understand you very well, I can almost read your thoughts” — this is the erasing of the personal boundaries of the victim.
And finally, it should be alarming that such a person has a “retinue” of many admirers of different sexes who listen to his opinion.
— How to explain why a person who does not need money always owes someone a hundred or two? He is always in someone's debt. What for?
- As a rule, people with a narcissistic disorder make good money, and they need this mechanism in order to more strongly involve the other person in emotional dependence.
Again, when we lend to such a person, we raise our self-esteem. Next to him, we feel our uniqueness and exclusivity - he is so competent and charming, but he chose us, it's cool.
But this is about something else - about the fact that we provide for his needs, improve his life, increase his self-esteem at the expense of our resources, including emotional ones.
Photo: Maria Kozlova, nsknews.info
- Among psychologists there are those who are of the opinion that the victim is "the fool herself" that she got into a dependent relationship. This raises a logical question - so who is to blame?
- It's nobody's fault. There have always been such people. But when the society was more traditional, then people around knew about people who were inclined to use others and not give anything in return. They said about such people that they were dishonest and tried to stay away from them.
Now we live in cities, and there is less emotional closeness between people. Therefore, it is much easier for such a person to find his retinue and his victims.
— Is there a danger that emotional coldness is contagious, that the victims will never be the same again?
- It is not always so. If the affected person retains a close circle - family, friends, past relationships where it was different, then such a person will be able to differentiate the environment into a safe one, where he will demonstrate his good human qualities, and everything else.
But to return to a close circle with such a traumatized person, other people will have to spend a lot of time and their mental strength. This is necessary for the emotional recovery of the victim of the manipulator.
— Can narcissists themselves change, become more humane?
— From my professional experience and observations, people with pronounced narcissism have changed and become more human, warmer and more responsive after very serious emotional or physical trauma.
For example, the death of a loved one or a severe personal tragedy, for example, an accident, as a result of which a person becomes disabled when the familiar world collapses. I have had such examples. It should be borne in mind that such transformations are possible in isolated cases.
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The material was first published on the Novosibirsk News website on February 22, 2017.