|Image Credit to Louise Stanger (All About Interventions)|
In Greek Mythology, Narcissus was a young man who was so pre-occupied with himself. He loved himself so much that he scorned many of those who loved him. He earned the ire of the Goddess of Retribution - Nemesis, who lured him to a pool where he stared at his reflection until his death. It is from his that the term Narcissist was gotten.
In this day and age of obsessing over one's image, posting selfies on Instagram, Facebook and other social media networks, how can we tell who the true narcissist is from those who either just have an inflated ego or plain attention seekers?
1. A narcissist does not display empathy.
Empathy is defined by Psychology Today as being able to understand another's experience or feelings by putting one's self in the shoes of that person. Narcissists can often try to "fake" concern for others, only if these experiences will put them in a good light where they can be admired by others. However, they rarely do feel genuine concern for the person's pain or the pain that they inflict on others.
2. They have an unrealistic sense of self-importance
These people think that they are so unique that others just can't seem to understand them or that it only takes a special kind of person to understand them, their needs, who they are, etc. They would also like to exaggerate things like their achievements, who they are, without any commensurate proof.
3. Expects favorable treatment from everyone they come across and would not hesitate to exploits others
These people tend to lash out at those who do not meet their demands or expectations. If you don't follow their rules, they get angry not unlike a toddler who has yet to learn that the world does not revolve around him or her.
Those who possess this personality also tend to use other people for their benefit. They often wield what ever power it is that they perceive to have in order to make people bend to their wishes.
4. Preoccupation with Status Symbol, fantasies of success, and imagined sense of power
Their sense of fulfillment and sense of self worth is tied to these fantasies.
5. Has a belief that they should be envied, that others are envious of them, and/or is envious of others tied to their incessant and constant need for admiration
Due to their feeling of superior over others, narcissists often view people who have admiration, respect, love, attention that they don't have as threats to their own status. This can be quite a jam for the object of the narcissist's object of envy.
They will try to surround themselves with people who are willing to shower them with attention no matter how false these are. And when things don't go their way, these people tend to show arrogance, haughty attitude and sometimes even unreasonable attitude/tantrums.
Have you encountered people who exhibit such traits? If you have, may be it's high time for you to reconsider how to deal with them or better yet, get away from this one way relationship.