We often hear, “My boyfriend/girlfriend was a narcissist that’s why I left him/her.” “I am living with a narcissist.” Etc. but who exactly is a narcissist? Is it possible to be living with one and not know? Today, we shall explore the common characteristics of narcissists that will help us identify if we live with one, interact with one, know one, or even still, if we are one.
A narcissistic person is often self-centered, arrogant, and lack empathy or consideration for others. They also have an excessive need for admiration. They are also very resistant in changing their behavior, even when it is very evident that it is causing challenges in their relationships and in environments where they exist. With these characteristics, you’d think they’d be impermeable to criticism. They are not. On the contrary, they are very sensitive to criticism and react very badly to it. They view criticism as personal attacks on themselves and tend to put the blame on others.
Narcissists have this unrealistic sense of superiority and believe they are unique or special and can only be understood by other special people. They are known to almost always just talk about their achievements and successes and often exaggerate them. They like to always view themselves as the ‘star’.
Narcissists need their egos to be constantly fed, and thus always look for people who can do that. People who can constantly affirm to them being ‘stars’. These relationships are one-sided and it is usually the narcissist benefitting from it, and not the other way round. If ever this constant affirmation diminishes, the narcissist treats it as an act of betrayal. They expect to be given special treatment and expect everyone to comply with their demands. If you cannot offer this, then you are useless to them.