When someone finds out that they have been the victim of narcissism, they are often shocked and find out that this is a type of abuse. They may be surprised because many people believe that narcissism is just a characteristic of extreme personalities. But, when someone suffers from it, they usually don’t know that it’s not just their personality. They go on believing that everyone involved with them is capable of being abusive, but it’s just the personality disorder that they are seeing.
What is Narcissism?
According to Mayo Clinic, “Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.”
It can come in many different forms, but it basically comes from a personality disorder where the people involved have a deep need for admiration and attention. This can include other people, but the most common target is a spouse or partner. While there’s only one official clinical diagnosis for narcissism, there are various kinds of narcissism, and each type of narcissist has different kinds of symptoms, which they frequently display. Some of the most common traits of a narcissist include grandiose behaviors, an inflated sense of self-worth, a need for admiration, and the need to always be the best.
Traits of a Narcissist
The most obvious symptoms of narcissism include grandiose behaviors, lying about accomplishments and goals, and a lack of empathy towards others. If you feel that you are being abused by another person, then you might be a victim of this malignant personality disorder.
To further discuss, here are a few signs that someone might have the narcissistic personality disorder:
Grandiose sense of self-importance
Grandiosity is the main trait of narcissism. It is an unrealistic sense of superiority and makes a narcissist believe that they are their different kind of special which only takes another special person to understand them, thinking that they are too good for anything average or ordinary. They like to be linked to high-status people only.
Needs praise and admiration
If a person has the narcissistic personality disorder, you might notice that they need a steady stream of admiration, words of praises, and recognition. This keeps their ego inflated. However, occasional compliments are not enough and narcissistic people surround themselves with others who are more than willing to cater to their obsession with compliments.
As narcissistic people consider themselves special, they expect favorable treatment from others. Their mindset is whatever they want, they should get and that everyone around them should cater and comply to their needs. If you don’t, you are automatically useless in their eyes.
It can get so bad that many people will avoid close contact with the individual who they believe is a narcissist. If the narcissist gets to know that their victim is well aware of his/her behavior, then the narcissist will do things to either hurt or ruin the victim’s reputation. As such, when a person considers getting involved with another person, they should make sure to seek help from a professional before doing so. There are several warning signs of narcissism, and each of them should be taken seriously before it gets too late.
There’s a list of specific narcissistic personality traits that cover a variety of possible behaviors. The most obvious is the extreme preoccupation with appearance, followed by an almost obsessive preoccupation with vanity. Another sign that a person may be suffering from narcissistic personality disorder is when they have an obsession with gaining more knowledge about the history and life background of everyone who knows them, even going so far as to hire private detectives to find this information.
Narcissistic personality traits are often exhibited by those who have extremely inflated self-esteem and a complete disregard for others’ feelings. If you’ve ever noticed someone like this at the grocery store or at the movies, then you may be a victim of narcissism.
What is Narcissistic Abuse?
Many psychologists and addiction counselors believe that some of the greatest danger that narcissism poses is in the individuals who are least able to recognize or defend themselves against its abusive behaviors. Those who are suffering from narcissistic personality disorder are very likely to let their guards down and become susceptible to the manipulations of narcissism, eventually becoming willing to submit to the narcissist’s demands.
In order to protect yourself from becoming a target of narcissism, you must work to develop your self-confidence and sense of self-worth, especially if you are having issues relating to self-esteem or insecurity.
Narcissistic abuse can also come in the form of verbal abuse, which can come in any and all forms – whether it be threats of violence or criticism laced with insults. It is an act of power and control, and if it goes unchecked, it can have long-term effects on the individual, even to the point of leaving them feeling that they can’t survive or thrive without the victim’s close support.
It can cause severe emotional abuse, as the narcissist uses their power and control over the victim to keep them from seeking help or speaking out for themselves. It can also lead to physical abuse, such as slapping, hitting, or other types of abuse, all of which are symptoms of narcissism and should be taken seriously.
If you think or feel that you are suffering from one of the symptoms of narcissistic abuse syndrome, you should know and understand that getting help immediately is essential. You must do whatever it takes to get away from this dangerous individual and bring an end to his/her abusive behavior.
You should seek help from a qualified professional such as a psychologist, mental health professional, or marriage and family therapist. Regardless, of how serious the narcissistic relationship is, seek help in order to get off the emotional roller coaster that this condition has been known to cause.