Coping With Narcissism
I often hear the term narcissist used lightly to describe a person who comes across as being in love with himself or herself but Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is in fact a serious mental illness.
A study revealed that 7.7 % of men and 4.8 % of women will develop NPD during their lifetime and even those who merely exhibit narcissist traits can cause emotional suffering to those around them.
A narcissist’s arrogance, unstable emotions and quick temper can destroy relationships and inflict psychological and physical abuse. A study has shown that people afflicted by NPD have structural abnormalities in the part of the brain linked to empathy. This goes some way to explaining why narcissists feel no remorse.
How To Identify A Narcissist
A narcissist brandishes grandiose beliefs and displays an overwhelming need for admiration.
Enjoys making others feel inferior.
Makes decisions for others that suit their own needs.
Quick to criticize, ridicule, judge and blame.
Plays at being the victim in order to make others feel bad.
Ignores and dismisses your views and needs.
Conversations are one sided and focused on them.
Self obsessed over their appearance and importance.
Flaunts their perceived superiority.
Constantly craves praise and become defensive or angry if criticised.
A narcissist won’t settle for anything less than “The Best”.
The Challenges Of Living With A Narcissist
The world revolves around the narcissist who fails to understand the feelings of others and therefore simply disregards them. Any hint of criticism or suggestions as to how things could be done differently is greeted with a vicious attack.
A narcissist’s partner is trapped in a toxic cycle of being controlled, scorned and belittled which eventually takes its toll. The victim becomes worn down by the sheer volume of blame and guilt that is inflicted on them. Many go on to experience physical or sexual abuse when the narcissist’s jealousy or anger is ignited.
A narcissist will manipulate his victim into believing that they can’t live or survive without him and his contributions. Consequently the victim’s confidence is reduced to shreds and their self esteem is quashed, leaving them feeling worthless.
Many victims are overwhelmed by feelings of guilt over their alleged lack of gratitude for sacrifices the narcissist insists he has made for them. The abuser will revel in these negative emotions as they feed his ego.
How To Recover from Narcissist Inflicted Damage
The journey to recovering from narcissistic abuse begins with recognising how traumatic and emotionally distressing your experience has been.
Acknowledge that you are the victim and do not blame yourself.
Practise self compassion by being gentle and patient as you heal.
Engage in calm and positive activities such as meditation which will help to rebalance your emotions and boost your self-esteem.
Listen to music that reduces stress and evokes feelings of wellbeing.
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References NCBI  Live Science  Psychology Today  Women’s Aid  NHS