It’s become quite fashionable for partners to make accusations of narcissism against their spouse. After a few years of speaking to clients from all works of life, it’s become quite obvious to me that we all possess narcissistic tendencies. These accusations are often defense mechanisms created to absolve the accuser of any sense of wrongdoing. Afterall, if I’m calling my partner out on their BS then i must be the good one.
This may destabilize you for a bit but did you know that “healthy Narcissism” is a thing? Yep! Let me quickly take you through a quick journey on this.
In our individual lives we all crave for some measure of approval. An approval driven solely by our ego to feel appreciated, special, important, loved successful and on top of the important things of life. Whatever situations would make us feel inferior or criticized are avoided but if it comes, the healthy narcissist sees it as an opportunity that motivates them to become better.
A) A Team Player: They have this very mature sense of what they can and cannot do. This makes them comfortable collaborating with others. This balanced perception reciprocity makes them develop mutually beneficial relationships with others and don’t get drowned with the opinions and pressures from externals.
B) NO Entitlement Traits: They never feel entitled to anything but rather know that to succeed in life, they have to earn it. Even when this person fails, they know it has absolutely little to do with their talent, gifts or abilities but more to do with improving on themselves. Failure drives them to become better individuals. They are hard workers who allow others inspire them rather than getting into meaningless competition.
C) High Self-Awareness: A healthy narcissist possesses a quiet confidence that radiates. They know what their strength is and what they aren’t good at. A deep understanding of their imperfect state makes them realistic and always willing to learn more solely for their own improvement and service to others. The things that make them different are the same things they try to live by and serve with.
D) Highly Adaptable: The healthy narcissist is a very adaptable person who does not view rigidity and control as tools to success. Their wholesome view of change makes them quickly identify, unlearn and relearn things at an amazing pace. They usually become excellent negotiators and problem solving geniuses with a general aim of providing solutions to everyone around them. Their adaptability makes them highly intuitive in the marketplace and this one skill is majorly responsible for the success they most times they end up recording in the marketplace.
E) Put up Firm Boundaries: The healthy narcissist is adaptable but also understands firm boundaries. They are not here to please everyone or get bent over despite having an overall wish to help. This trait is what elicits the respect of their peers and contemporaries in business and life generally. Their ethics and value system do not shift to accommodate requests from family, friends or colleagues but instead are firm with everything else built around it. When you are around them, you must raise your level of integrity if you need them on your team.
Now we understand that healthy narcissism is something to aspire towards because having too little of it is also a problem that creates individuals with a low sense of worth and esteem.
If you do not have confidence, life and situations will make you create a contradictory report of who you are and then creates circumstances that further ensure that your are programmed to believe in that report – Temple Obike
Your confidence must be in something beyond yourself. On a personal level (not brought into my practice) I am very confident in the fact that the God my religion proscribes is more than able to finish the good work he began in me and so I build everything else on this belief. For you it may be different but understand that the most dangerous man or woman is the type that does not believe in anything greater than them. Confidence gives you the strength to aspire for more and become healthily competitive. Without this, you risk failure, self-pity and loathing at the end of the journey because in retrospect, you would have a litter of near-success stories and regrets.
THE KEY TYPES OF NARCISSISM
I would like to bring to your attention the key types of narcissism I’ve encountered. While there may be others these are the most rampant in everyday life.
1. Overt narcissism: People with overt narcissism tend to overestimate their own abilities and intelligence.
2. Covert narcissism: Most people who are covert narcissists while still very self-focused have a deep fear that they are not enough. Most of them struggle with accepting criticism and brood.
3. Communal narcissism: These ones always are at the fore front leading groups championing causes and challenging perceived wrongs in society. The communal narcissist lives for fairness and see themselves as altruistic, one thing they do not know is that there’s a massive gap between these beliefs and their behavior. They are the ones who become morally triggered, get into religious arguments, become generous and empathetic at the slightest suspicion of unfair treatment of others. At the core of their actions, social power and self-importance are key motivators.
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Without confidence and a solid sense of who we are, we become too fearful to be successful. Too much narcissism puts us at risk of having inflated egos, and putting ourselves in danger where we may compromise social cohesion in order to make ourselves stand out. However, when we are balanced we can use our healthy ego and self-confidence to move us forward into success.
There is such a thing as healthy narcissism, in which our own self-interest serves as our point of departure (if not our final destination). So how do you know if you’re in a relationship with a deep narcissist? Or worse yet, how would you know if you are a narcissist?
One way is an official diagnosis from a medical professional, but those are rare.
Another (ironically) is that the narcissist will often be the person who makes the first accusations of narcissism towards their partners. One of the ways that a narcissist will gaslight their partners is to make false accusations of gaslighting and narcissism.
SYMPTOMS YOU MAY HAVE A NARCISSIST ON YOUR HANDS
- Their sense of self-importance is very exaggerated
- Their sense of entitlement is obnoxious and require excessive admiration
- They expect to be recognized as as superior even without achievements that warrant it
- They believe they are super-talented and key achievers
- Their minds are usually soaked in fantasies of power, success, intelligence, beauty or the perfect mate
- Their superior belief ensures that they only identify and associate with other equally special people.
- Their “Modus Operandi” during conversations is to monopolize it and if you are perceived as inferior to them you may not even get a chance to speak.
- They avoid healthily confident people and give you reasons why you must avoid them as well.
- They expect special favors and unquestioned acceptance of their demands
- They will take advantage of you to get what they want regardless of whatever relationship you share with them. (spouse partner parent sibling relative friend colleague etc. )
- They struggle to recognize the needs and feelings other people around them may have.
- They are usually envious of others and believe other people envy them as well.
- They are brash, arrogant, boastful and good at hiding their truest intentions.
THE TRUEST EXPRESSIONS OF NPD
Having sat across almost 500 Narcissists since the beginning of my career as a psychotherapist i can tell you for free that one thing that pulls out the NPD more than anything else is good old “healthy criticism”. If you have someone who does any of the following points I will be penning down below, there is a 70% chance they are Narcissists.
- Someone who becomes impatient or angry when they do not get treated specially.
- Someone who has an obvious interpersonal problem and feels easily offended
- Someone who struggles to maintain healthy relationships and only has friends who agree to what they say.
- Someone who reacts with rage or contempt in an attempt to belittle other people. An attitude meant to make the other person feel inferior.
- Someone who has difficulty regulating emotions and behavior
- Someone who experiences major problems when adapting to new environs or dealing with stressful periods.
- Someone who suddenly becomes depressed and broods when they fall short of their conceived state of perfection.
- Someone who secretly battles feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation
IDENTIFYING NPDs IS TRICKY
Earlier on in my career, it was very difficult spotting people with narcissistic personality disorder because they never think that anything could be wrong. They usually either escort a partner “with issues” to therapy or simply tag along with a mission to make the therapist like them. So treatment is something they rarely do.
In a situation where they seek treatment they usually come in to be treated for depression, anger, drug, alcohol use or some other mental health concern. Due to a disposition that makes them feel insulted at the slightest they also may not follow through with their treatment.
If you recognize aspects of your personality that are common to narcissistic personality disorder or you’re feeling overwhelmed by sadness, consider reaching out to a trusted doctor or mental health provider. Getting the right treatment can help make your life more rewarding and enjoyable.
Just like many mental health disorders, the cause of NPD is a very complex terrain to navigate. However my humble submission is that it could be linked to any one of the following below. If i missed out on any salient likely reasons add this in the comment section:
- Environment/Nurture ― When there is a unhealthy reward/attachment style with a parent-child relationships with either excessive adoration or excessive criticism that is poorly attuned to the child’s experience
- Genetics ― inherited characteristics from a parent
- Neurobiology — the connection between the brain and behavior and thinking
It is sad that the cause of narcissistic personality disorder is still relatively unknown and the condition itself cannot be prevented. Regardless once you notice there may be a concern that aligns with any of the following points and conversations we had on this article, reach out to us at Temples Counsel & Mind Academy .
There is no need to battle this alone because as harmless as it may seem, NPD has been associated with relationship difficulties, problems at work or school, depression and anxiety, physical health problems, drug or alcohol misuse and lastly suicidal thoughts or behavior.
FREE PERSONALITY TEST INCLUDED
There is actually no value in calling out a problem if we cannot begin to provide solutions to it. This is a free personality test we conduct with clients inhouse.
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