“Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by extreme vanity, arrogance and self-absorption”
-American Psychiatric Association
Does anyone around you pose themselves as the knower of anything and everything? Do they always use ‘me, my and I’ in their conversation? If yes, you would have observed they mostly focus their conversations on themselves. They would even come up with some or other story that would make them the center of discussion. These indicators clearly signal you have a narcissist at hand. These people are so self-absorbed that they don’t even care what you have to say on the subject. They have over-inflated sense of self and because of their big egos they think they are better than everyone else and deserve to be treated that way.
Not all narcissists are same. While some of them may be outright rude and arrogant and effortlessly heap insults on you, others may use sugar coated words and exhibit a pleasant demeanor. At the core they are selfish, self-centered and completely lack emotions. They can pretend to be anything as long as it helps them to get what they want.
In fact it is very difficult to identify a narcissist unless you have spent a great deal of time with them. Sometimes, the awakening is too late and accompanied with an emotional setback.
In whatever way a narcissist may choose to manifest, certain basic traits are common to all of them. Here are some of the most common characteristics:
1. They want everyone to behave as per their expectations.
2. They are excessively self-centered.
3. They are absolutely intolerant towards the viewpoint of others.
4. They can’t bear criticism.
5. They have a weak and insecure self.
6. They demand special treatment.
7. They can easily resort to cheating and lying to fulfill their motive.
8. They overspend on super-expensive items to satisfy their ego.
9. They make expensive gifts and generous donations to create a favorable image.
By now, you must have identified the narcissist, if there is one around you. Whether it is your boss, a family member, a relative or an acquaintance, there are certain things that you can expect from a narcissist. Everything in their life is only and only about them. Everyone else is just around to serve their purpose. Expect them to never empathize with you or give their undivided attention. If that offends you, it’s your mistake. Even if you pin point their mistake, they can justify it completely and blame you for misunderstanding their noble intentions. They are always right, so, you can expect complete indifference from their side. And by chance if the narcissist ever takes you out for dinner, gives you a gift or helps you in anyway, always know that it was not done without any expectation. Their kindness is only a tool to manipulate you to get what they want from you. Sooner or later they will extract the returns of their kind deeds. You must, however, keep in mind that your benevolence or good deeds will never be received with thankfulness. A narcissist believes they are entitled to special treatment. Everyone around them is supposed to be in awe of them and hero worship them. Do nice things for a narcissist if you want to, and not for thanks or appreciation in return.
Narcissists are usually able to trap unsuspecting innocent people who believe others easily. The game of manipulation, exploitation, lying and cheating goes on until the victim goes through a series of eye openers and decides not to keep up with the demands of the egotistical person in their lives. But, usually such awakenings are late, painful and followed by bouts of depression. If you know well what not to expect from a narcissist you can be on a much better footing to deal with these individuals and protect yourself from harm.
Here are 5 things you should never expect from a narcissist:
They are incapable of feeling gratitude. Their self-seeking nature prevents them from giving importance to anyone. Because of their negative attitude, what you haven’t done for you and never mention the things you have. However, they will mention anything they have done for you with flawless accuracy. They would expect you to be thankful for even their smallest effort but conveniently forget kind gestures and good efforts. The narcissist nature is focused on feeling special and the best way to make it happen is by forcing out special treatment form others. So, never expect a narcissist to be grateful no matter what you do for them.
2. Kindness And Selflessness
A narcissist will never do anything for you just like that. If they do anything for you it is just because they need something from you in return. They always keep note of the things they have done for other and make sure to claim it when the right time comes. If a narcissist is being generous to you, understand that it is just a garb they have put on. Selflessness and generosity is absent in their dictionary.
3. Admission Of Guilt
These people think they are perfect and cannot commit mistakes. They are above everyone else and superior in every context. So, you can hardly expect them to accept their mistakes. If anything goes wrong they would be quick to direct it to you. Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, they would attack you and bully you and turn things around. They may even create situations, forge stories and make others believe to project you as the culprit. Know and accept that they will have no guilt or feeling of remorse. They will never apologize because they can never be wrong.
4. Unadulterated Attention
Everything in a narcissist’s life has to be about them. They won’t do anything that doesn’t serve their purpose. They neither care for people nor do they have time to listen to anybody’s problems. Unless the conversation is about them or something that can be useful to them they won’t pay attention to your words. If at all they listen to you, it is because they need something from you. They would listen to you to know your weaknesses so that they can control your mind and make you do things they want.
5. Kindness And Empathy
Narcissists have only one way of looking at everything and that is what they can get from you. They can’t feel empathy and kindness because that would mean moving out of their own world. To be considerate, one has to give importance to others which is impossible for a narcissist. They wouldn’t help you even if you were lying bleeding on the road, unless they know they can get something against the help. Even if they show empathy, it will be done to attract attention. They don’t possess self-insight and that is why they have no feeling of remorse.
Once, you identify a narcissist, you have to be on your guard. They are masters of manipulation. They can play with your trust and emotions as long as it pays for them. Don’t try to change them because they are not capable of seeing their faults. If you try to show them their faults they would have no qualms in labeling you crazy. Because of their lack of self-insight, even therapy can’t do anything for them. The only way to deal with a narcissist is not to have any expectations.