I first heard this word when a friend from college used this word as his ORKUT profile name. I wondered what it meant. I didn’t bother to Google or look up the meaning. In my writing class yesterday, a participant was talking about her book and a character who is a narcissist. For sometime now I have known the meaning, but this word has been gnawing on my mind, and I had to write about it.
It is a disorder in which a person has an inflated sense of self importance, chronic, can be treated but cannot be cured.
There are many other adjectives to describe such people, manipulative, cocky, selfish, patronizing, demanding and so on. Narcissists can cause feelings of lack of self importance in you, leading to depression. It is important to understand narcissistic behavior, something we rarely recognize, camouflaged as normal human behaviour. This is more so for the individuals interfacing with narcissistic behavior than the narcissist himself or herself.
As I read more about Narcisstic Personality Disorder NPD I am intrigued by this category of people. Their rage for one arises from denial, so they don’t feel guilty instead make others around them feel guilty for no fault of theirs. When their self esteem is hurt they go into a fit of rage.
Narcisstic people generally have failed relationships. Such failed relationships confirm that their way of living is the right thing to do. Some sort of a chicken and egg situation. It is very difficult for such people to give and take in any relationship because everything is about taking.
Their sense of being unique and sense of entitlement stems from either genetic disorders or some form of childhood abuse or neglect, is what I read. I think it’s probably more of neglect or a sort of less worthy feeling shoved on them that their defenses propel them into narcissistic behavior? As they grow, the ego grow into a beast which they cannot control, ultimately killing their desire to control it.
Another thing I read is Gaslighting – masterful manipulation to gain control over you. A dangerous form of emotional abuse where the victim is forced to rethink his or her judgements thereby becoming completely dependent on the narcissist.
Expecting to be appreciated by a narcissist is something you should not wait for, especially if you are a victim. There is never enough of appreciating a narcissist and they cannot see beyond themselves. It is extremely difficult for them to appreciate another human being or act. When they do, they may appear normal, but that’s a facade, within no time they will bounce back into their shell.
A large population thinks that abuse counts only when it’s physical. Emotional abuse is more lethal, like slow poison. As a society we are light years away from recognizing emotional abuse and finding a solution. There are laws for physical abuse, I don’t think there are any for emotional abuse.
I believe the first step is to identify narcissistic behavior and put yourself above the behavior however difficult it may be. You have to hold up your sense of self importance and self respect. What you actually do about the person – distance yourself or deal with it as sanely as possible depends on the relationship you have with the person. Being aware is essential.