12. I am not manipulative; I just like to have things done my way, no matter how much it inconveniences others, or how it makes them feel. I don’t care how others feel — feelings are for the weak.
13. I expect gratitude at all times, for even the smallest things I do. As for you, I expect you to do as I ask.
14. I only associate with the best people, and frankly, most of your friends don’t measure up.
15. If you would just do what I say, things would be better.
As you can imagine, it is not easy living with or working with someone who thinks or behaves this way. The experience of those who have done so teaches us the following (and if you remember nothing else from this post, remember this): Narcissists overvalue themselves and devalue others, and that means you. You will never be treated as an equal, you will never be respected, and you will in time be devalued out of necessity so that they can overvalue themselves.
Tolerating the Narcissistic Personality
Knowing the traits of the narcissistic personality and how narcissists view themselves is useful, but so is knowing what can happen when you associate with them. Some, like children, close relatives, or the elderly, may not have a choice. In those cases, it is up to friends, relatives, teachers, coaches, associates, and co-workers to support them as best we can.
And there are those who choose to stick it out, because of finances, circumstances, or because they are in a complicated relationship or marriage. To them I say, beware: You will pay a price. I say this from experience and from talking to many victims.
Those who choose to live with or work with a narcissistic personality must be prepared to accept the following:
1. Accept that you are not equals because narcissists feel that they have no equals.
2. Those feelings of insecurity, dismay, disbelief, or incongruity you are experiencing are real and will continue.
3. Because narcissists overvalue themselves, you will be devalued. Gird yourself to be repeatedly degraded.
4. You will be talked to and treated in ways you never imagined, and be expected to tolerate it.
5. The narcissist’s needs, wants, and desires come first — no matter how inconvenient to you.
6. Be prepared for them to turn on you with indifference at a moment’s notice as if any past positive interactions did not matter. You may question your own sanity as they turn on you, but that has become your reality.
7. When narcissists are nice, they can be very nice; but if you still feel insecure, that is because it is a performance, not a true sentiment. Niceness is a tool for social survival — a means to get what they want, like needing a hammer to hang a picture.
8. You will lap up the narcissist’s kindnesses because they don’t come often. But niceness for the narcissist is perfunctory — merely utilitarian.
9. Be prepared for when the narcissist lashes out not just with anger, but with rage. You will feel attacked, and your sense of dignity violated.
10. Morality, ethics, and kindness are just words — narcissists master these for practicality’s sake, not for propriety.
11. Narcissists lie without concern for the truth because lies are useful for controlling and manipulating others. When you catch them in a lie, they will say that it is you who is lying or wrong, or that you misunderstood. Prepare to be attacked and to receive counter-allegations.
12. If it seems that they can only talk about themselves, even at the oddest of times, it is not your imagination. Narcissists can only talk about what they value most — themselves. That is their nature.
13. Narcissists will associate with individuals you would not trust to park your car because they attract those who see narcissism as something to value (e.g., the power-hungry, the unscrupulous, profiteers, opportunists, and social predators).
14. Never expect the narcissist to admit to a mistake or apologize. Blame is always directed outward, never inward. Narcissists have no concept of self-awareness or introspection. But they are quick to see faults in others.
15. They expect you to forgive and forget and, above all, never to challenge them in public. You must remember that they always want to be perfect in public. Don’t embarrass them or contradict them, or you will pay a price.