We often hear that someone is a narcissist. But, what exactly does that mean? In simple terms, narcissistic personality disorder is a mental condition that affects 1% of the population. People suffering from the disorder tend to have an inflated sense of self-importance, lack of empathy, and the need to be recognized. However, the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder aren’t too obvious, so let’s look at some warning signs.
To identify whether you or your loved one is suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, some of the symptoms are:
· Monopolizing conversations
· Feeling entitled
· Lack of empathy
· Fantasies about being successful so they can be recognized
· Exaggerating their success
· Constant need for admiration
· Think few people can understand their uniqueness
· Use others to achieve their goals
· Shame others to feel better about themselves
· Lack of healthy relationships
· Engage in charity while expecting something in return.
It can be especially difficult to notice these symptoms when dating someone. During the first months of a relationship, people tend to show the best versions of themselves and it’s not always easy to notice their flaws, so it’s important to be alert to these symptoms.
If you realize that you’re dealing with a narcissist, while you cannot change their personality, you can change the way you interact with them. Whether you’re dating them, related to them or work with them, here are a few things you can do:
Don’t take it personally
The actions of a narcissist may seem directed at a particular individual, but you should learn to brush them off. While it’s not always easy, especially if their behavior causes you pain or brings back painful memories, you should know that it has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you.
Narcissists feel entitled, so they may end up trying to control not only conversations but important decisions as well. If you set some boundaries from the beginning you’ll be able to feel respected and safe.
Setting boundaries is a good way to show the other person you won’t take their tactics lying down. It may not be easy at first, especially if they are talking over you anytime you try to make a point, but you should always stand your ground and speak your mind.
Advocate for yourself
Interacting with a narcissist isn’t easy because they want to take control of conversations. Take some time off the narcissist and work towards getting your voice back. Strengthen your relationship with yourself which will help you speak your mind when dealing with them.
Create a healthy distance
Dating a narcissist can take a toll on any relationship. If you’re dealing with a narcissist at your workplace, try to take breaks at different times. If you’re dealing with a narcissist in a romantic relationship, try to reconsider if that kind of attachment is the best for you.