Saturday, April 14, 2012

Narcissistic Personality Disorder - What is it? How do you deal?

Now, before I talk about this, I just want to say, yes this is a change from what I normally write. But it is interesting and very common nonetheless. I feel this needs to be heard in case people don't know what they're dealing with or if they have even heard of this disorder. I will be writing my own experiences too.

To start off, what is Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Let's go back to the very beginning:
It starts off from the Greek Mythology, about a hunter named Narcissus who was renowned for his beauty. He was a proud person, and hated those who loved him. He was attracted to a pool where he saw his own reflection in the water, and fell in love with it. Not realising it was just an image, he was unable to leave the beauty of his reflection and Narcissus died. The image above depicts Narcissus peering at his reflection in the pool of water, gazing at his beauty as he fell in love with it.

Now for the Personality Disorder. It refers to someone who is thought to be full of themselves. Unfortunately in this day and age, it is a universal problem and very common in households. I'm sure we all know people who suffer from this disorder, even without them realising it themselves.
There are symptoms of this disorder, which I'm sure most of you are familiar with (or know about):

1. Reacts to criticism with anger, shame or humiliation.
2. Will take advantage of others to reach their own goals.
3. Tends to exaggerate their own importance and talents instead of others.
4. Imagines unrealistic fantasies of power and intelligence.
5. Requires constant attention and positive reinforcement from others, but doesn't do it from their end.
6. Becomes jealous quite easily.
7. Lacks empathy and disregards the feelings of others.
8. Obsessed with oneself.
9. Trouble keeping healthy relationships.
10. Is easily hurt and rejected.
11. Wants the best of everything.
12. Appears tough-minded or unemotional.

Now I'm sure if you know someone with this disorder (even if they don't know they have it), you can pin-point most of these behavioural symptoms to that person.

The traits are quite similiar of individuals with strong self-esteem and confidence. They have an higher sense of self-worth that they 'always value themselves more better than others'. But really they have a fragile self-esteem and cannot handle criticism. When they can't handle it, they will try to compensate this inner fragility by 'belittling' or 'abusing' others in an attempt to prove their own self-worth.

Unfortunately for this disorder, the cause of it is relatively unknown. But there are certain things that have been identified as possible factors for this disorder:

1. An oversensitive temperament at birth.
2. Excessive admiration that is never balanced with realistic feedback.
3. Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or abilities by adults.
4. Severe emotional abuse in childhood.

There are more, but it'll take too long to write. I just wrote down the main things.
There are theories that a parents relationship was unhealthy and were unable to form a empathic attachment to the child, forcing the child's perception of her/himself as unimportant and unconnected to other people.

But there are other theories that, from that start, the parents relationship with the child from birth was healthy, they made an empathic attachment to the child, the child grew up with a large space of age between the other siblings, and therefore felt themselves unconnected to the family and not as important, even when the parents give each child the same amount of love and respect. The child can be seen as controlling, blaming, self-absorbed and intolerant of others' views. They are unaware of people's needs and they are clueless of the effects of their behaviour on others. They also insist that others see that person as they 'wish' to be seen.

People who are overly narcissistic, commonly feel rejected, humiliated and threatened when they are criticised. To protect themselves from this, they will often lash out and react with disdain, rage, abuse, violence (not matter how slight the criticism is). To avoid these situations, they tend to withdraw socially from the household, but may often fake it to modesty and humility outside the household.
Individuals with this disorder have the inability to tolerate disagreements or criticism, along with lack of empathy. This makes it hard for them to work cooperatively with others or maintain long-term relationships.

It is really sad that a lot of people suffer from this disorder. With no way of helping them, or getting them to realise that they suffer from this, is horrible and sad. Especially if it's somebody who you love a lot, but that person doesn't love you back. I happen to know somebody with that disorder, and she doesn't even know it. I've realised now that because of this, some people can't have that normal relationship with them, as other people can. I will never have that relationship. :(

People with this disorder tend to have a STRONG sense of self-importance, for example they expect to be recognised as superior without any commensurate achievements). They believe that they are special/unique and can only be understood or associate with certain people, for example a best friend or close friends.
They are often envious of other people, for example siblings affections. They always show arrogance, and lacks empathy, not caring or unwilling to recognise the feelings of others but their own.

Another thing to be associated with this disorder is Narcissistic Rage. It means that when a person suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and they perceive a threat to their self-esteem or self-worth, they will get into a irritation, annoyance to a serious of outbursts which also include violent attacks.The first layer of rage within these individuals can be thought of as a constant anger towards someone else and the second layer being self-aimed wrath.

In a personal experience I had with this certain person, They will lash out at people, and one day they mishear what someone says. That perception of that miscommunication leads into an argument and fight, as they don't want to believe that the miscommunication they heard was in fact wrong. People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, tend to think that they are always right, and will always disregard what other people have to say. People with this disorder tend to think they are always the victim, and that they are right and everybody else is in the wrong. They can change the perception of themselves by manipulating the people around them into believing their lies, therefore changing the perception of the actual victims, making other people think that the actual victims are in fact the perpetrator.

That same example came from a personal experience with someone I care about. She misheard what someone said, and blatantly kept yelling at this person because she heard something else. She ended up attacking me because once again she misread what was going on, and blamed others. She had to be held down because she was out of control, and she kept getting up to attack again. I had never seen her like this before, and I couldn't believe my eyes. She threatened afterwards to call the police. Why? Because she was physically held down to stop her from attacking anybody else. She was like a zombie. More likely she would have been arrested as there were witnesses to her attacking me. People with this disorder are blind to their own actions. As we develop in our early years, we learn that our actions give out consequences, and that we need to accept these consequences in order to learn from our mistakes and move on. But in her case and countless of others, that is not it. They believe themselves to be the victim, and as I said before, they manipulate the people around them, including family, friends and family friends. Those people believe that we're the bad guys, shun us instead, and go on to believing the lies that have been told by her.

I cannot believe how manipulative she is. I can't believe that she can change the minds around the people of her so easily and turn them against us. If people knew what she was really like, SHE would be the one shunned right now. With this person that I care about, I've had to live with this for my entire life. I've had to live with the relentless bullying, cyber-bullying, violent behaviour and people turning against me because of her. The only way I can let out, and be myself, is my blog.

Afterwards, she disowned us. Why? Because she thought that she was the victim and always right, and that we were wrong. Is there a way to help these people? Is there is a way to help them realise they are sick and they need help? It's sad to think that relationships are broken because of this. Countless of people I've spoken to have been in this similar situation. Countless of people's experiences I've read about, are the same as mine. I've been cyber-bullied by her, I've got the proof. Whether I should put it here or not is another story. People need to know what she is like. I can't stand the fact that people are turning against us because of her lies. It is time to tell the truth, regardless of people trying to stop me, and opt for justice.

Another experience I had was when someone I know went overseas. I was in the house, with her, and she wanted to MAKE me do the dishes. Why? Because she thinks that whatever she says, goes. I still did it anyway. I told her softly, "to calm down." And you know what she does? She comes back and tries to pull my hair. She starts swearing at me. All I felt was her behind me, and the tip of her fingers reaching to grab my hair. Luckily she was stopped by somebody else in the house. Just because you're older, doesn't make you the boss. It doesn't make you right and it certaintly doesn't give you the right to do whatever you want. To make matters worse, she called up the person that went overseas and complained, saying that she's a victim. She got told off of course, because that person knows what she's like. You see how these people think that they're the victim? I had to live with it. My entire life.

If people I know read these experiences, I am NOT making them up. Why would I, anyway? What could I possibly gain by putting up lies? Nothing. What would I gain from telling the truth? A lot.

I've seen on the internet that this can refer to many families, like siblings or parents, or grandparents. I've read their experiences, and how it has affected them, and how they had no choice but to cut away from, as to not get brought downhill with them. After reading various experiences on the internet from different people, I had come to the conclusion that this needs to be heard, so people know about this disorder, and the awareness put out.

Some people think that parents are always in the wrong, on how a child turns out. In some cases yes, but in most cases no. There are some parents who don't look after their children, treat their children like trash as they grow up, are unattentive and unappreciative, which can cause a child's development into this disorder. You DON'T need a license in order to raise a child. That is a stupid idea, and an extremely biased and manipulated opinion.

But there are some parents out there, who would do anything for their children, does everything for them, loves all their children equally, doesn't believe in favourites and tries to put up with their behaviour. Some days, like with the violence incident, can prove all too much. The person with this disorder is always cooped up in their room all the time, never comes out (only to get food and go back in), doesn't speak to anyone, ignores them, doesn't interact and doesn't even make eye contact with you. Sometimes they can suffer from depression, but how can you help them if they don't want to be helped? How can you help someone with these disorders, when they won't even interact with you and even look at you? How can you communicate with somebody that cuts you out of their life? Takes away your pet (who you love more than the entire world)? These are difficult questions to answer, and some of the questions that people find hard to deal with. I find it hard to deal with it.

But now you know what Narcissistic Personality Disorder is, how do you deal with it? How do THEY deal with it? Do you know anybody with this disorder, or anybody with the same behavioural patterns as stated above in this post?

What if the person with this disorder cuts you out of their lives? They are still there, but they never talk to you (not like that did before anyway), they never look at you, send angry threatening messages, tell other people lies about you, and that sadness that those people believe it?
How do you change that perception of the people who were lied to, to try and get them to believe your words as true and not the lies that changed their views in the first place?

How would you feel when you can't have the proper relationship because they never felt the need to interact or find things in common with you? How do you deal with someone who lashes out violently, abusing you since you were little, only to realise that they don't give a damn about you at all, even if you love them?

These are the questions that people can relate to and face themselves. Do we let them cut us out of their lives completely? Do we just let them go, no matter how much you love them? Can you deal with never seeing the person you love ever again?

I guess the questions won't be answered straight away, they take time and possibly years to deal with. But the same question comes. Do you know anybody with this disorder? How do you deal with something like this?

I posted this article, because I want people to be more aware of this disorder. I want people to realise that maybe the person close to you or someone you know, might be suffering from this disorder and you both have no idea. I wanted to share my experiences because I want people to know. I'm sick of keeping things to myself, it bottles up emotions, makes it unhealthy. People need to know. People can relate. To know that I'm not the only one in this situation makes me kind of relieved.
Unfortunately, no matter how much you treat a person with respect, love and kindness, they will throw it back in your face, make you the bad guy instead, not realising themselves that they suffer from this Personality Disorder.

They have no way to help themselves, if they can't see what the problem is. Comments are very much appreciated.

Keep writing everybody!

"If perception can really mess with our minds. Is what we see; what people want us to see, or does it let us see what's right in front of us?" - S.K.SAINI


  1. having lived with a narcissistic person my entire life, i can relate very much.

    Indeed, they have no way to help themselves without seeing their problem, yet it's hardly likely they will ever see it. Sigh

    Great article.

    1. Thank you 'The Moongazer' for replying to my article.
      There are so many people who suffer from this and yet are blind to their true reality.

      I hope you share this article around, and hope that it helps other people in the same situation.