Key points. A pathological narcissist isn't in love with their true self, but rather an idealized self-image. Narcissists often manipulate through guilt. Telltale signs that you are dealing with a narcissist are when they hoard conversations, expect preferential treatment, and violate social rules.
Living or working with a narcissistic person can be incredibly challenging, often leading to feelings of inadequacy, self doubt, and anxiety. In more extreme cases, exposure to a narcissist can lead to clinical depression from the emotional abuse and torment a person has had to endure.
First, narcissists guarantee success by targeting codependents: They also try to make others feel special using compliments and flattery. They then go on to play with difficult emotions like shock, awe, and guilt to maintain control over their victim.
Narcissists not only don't care about what the other person is trying to say, or make any effort to understand them, they often purposely misunderstand (or pretend to misunderstand) and mischaracterize the argument, focusing on using it to attack the other person to feel superior.
The kind narcissist sees themselves as a good person. Often, they appear steady and good-natured. They are popular and well thought of. The trouble arises once more is asked of them than they want to give.
Disconnect from the narcissist's emotional energy. Be vague and don't argue back: “That's interesting.” “I understand how you feel.” Sometimes no response is very powerful and will upset them. Insist on calm, respectful tone and words. Leave if they become angry.
People with narcissistic tendencies are more than simply selfish every once in a while. Narcissists have absolutely no concerns outside of their own needs and desires. They don't care about the people around them as much as they care about themselves.
Living with a narcissist may feel difficult, but it's possible to preserve your well-being with strong boundaries, a solid support network, and a therapist who's informed on narcissism. You may also find it useful to attend a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) family support group in your area.
For a narcissist to be happy, you'll always have to accept their version of events as the truth. Otherwise, you'll be on the receiving end of their narcissistic rage. Even if you do everything they ask, a narcissist will still try and undermine you at every opportunity.
They are punitive with money. Narcissists often use money as a tool for punishment. They may reward you financially when you do what they want, and then withhold money when they feel vindictive. This can feel unsafe, degrading and confusing.
They learned to accommodate their mother by suppressing their needs, feelings, and wants. This denial handicaps them in adult relationships. They have difficulty identifying and expressing their needs and feelings. They may self-sacrifice and feel undeserving without people-pleasing.
Specifically, narcissists give gifts with an eye to maintaining a relationship with the giver and to maintaining control in that relationship. You don't get expensive gifts from a narcissist because they think you are awesome; you get valuable gifts because they want you to continue to think that they are awesome.
Should you tell a narcissist they are a narcissist?
A real narcissist is not capable of insight or taking personal responsibility. They don't think anything is wrong with them and usually point the finger at someone else. Telling them they have a problem is unlikely to encourage them to get help as they are incapable of admitting there is something wrong.
A narcissistic parent will often abuse the normal parental role of guiding their children and being the primary decision maker in the child's life, becoming overly possessive and controlling. This possessiveness and excessive control disempowers the child; the parent sees the child simply as an extension of themselves.