Authored by William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.
Narcissism might be fun for a little while, but the fun definitely won't last. Somebody's going to get angry, either the narcissist or the people around them.
So, whether it's you or somebody else that is narcissistic, there's going to be some conflict and possible abusiveness sooner or later.
The reason I say it "might be fun for a little while" is that feeling good about yourself actually does feel good. And self love is a good thing, as long as it's in balance with wisdom and responsibility.
This is where you're going to find out what a narcissist is, how to understand this problem of narcissism, and what to do about it.
And, you will learn some things about healthy self love, and how you can develop that for yourself and your family.
Basically, a narcissist has too much self-esteem, and not enough esteem for others. Somebody with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) has an inflated sense of self-importance, shows no empathy for others, and is overly sensitive to criticism. Mild narcissism can actually be helpful to the narcissistic person, because it basically means they're not so worried about what others think of them. This can be a very good thing in some cases.
For example, a depressed person with low self-esteem who thinks nobody likes her could use a little (and I emphasize, a little) narcissism. Most people have low self-esteem--as a matter of fact, one of the things that can cause extreme narcissistic tendencies is an extremely poor self-image. In summary, you might say that we all need a little narcissism, which you might call "healthy selfishness."
You want to look for a balance between too much and too little self importance, self-esteem and self love.
Causes of NPD can range from one extreme to the other. Spoiling a child can easily lead her to believe she is entitled to special or better treatment than others.
The answer is really pretty easy--the narcissist gets angry when he can't have his way. The narcissist basically thinks the world should stand at his feet and wait for instructions. Well, you've probably noticed that the world just isn't going to do that.
The narcissist also wants to be adored and appreciated, and often is. Narcissists are usually superstars of one kind or another, but generally can't get quite enough worship and adoration to suit their inflated ego needs--and there comes the anger.
Nobody likes criticism, or being ignored. But if you have narcissistic tendencies, that will literally drive you through the roof. While a narcissist might normally be happier than most people, she can fly into anger very quickly and easily in some cases.
Keep in mind we're talking about human beings here, so none of this applies to everyone across the board.
This part is easy. First, however, I want to say that you're responsible for your anger, no matter how anyone else acts.
A narcissist might make you angry by:
Sound like anybody you know? Of course! The world is full of narcissism, and there's a little bit in every one of us. The thing is, we are better off with a little bit than a lot.
Now let's get to the part about what you can do about this problem.
If you think you might be a narcissist:
Take a look at your personal history, and ask yourself these questions:
Even if you answered "Yes" to all of these, it doesn't mean you are narcissistic, but you probably at least have some tendencies. The thing you need to know is this:
You are as good as the best, and no better than the rest.
The idea here is that as a human being, you are basically good. Like everyone else, you were given the capacity to do great good or great harm--the choice is yours. And the choices you make, moment by moment, day by day throughout your life determine what kind of person you are. Think about this:
You are totally unique and special, and so is everyone else.
This audio CD progam will help you learn healthy self love, and heal your narcissism and anger.
If you think you have tendencies toward narcissism (and maybe some anger), here are some things you can do:
These last two steps will help you build empathy, which is the best known cure for narcissism.
If you are dealing with (or living with) a narcissist:
The very best thing you can do to heal your relationship with a narcissist is to shift your focus from them to yourself. In other words, I'm suggesting you "mind your own business" in the very best sense of that phrase. In other words, let the narcissists be, and let them have the life and the experiences they are creating for themselves.
Here is what I suggest:
Learn much more about narcissism from this resource.
P.S. NPD is a pretty big problem, but as I mentioned above, we all have a little narcissism. Look for balance. Make every effort to enjoy your life!