We’ve all met one at some point. A man or woman who seems to believe they are the center of the universe. Arrogant, callous and manipulative, they force the world around them to accommodate this belief.
Self-important and conceited, the narcissist exaggerates accomplishments, requires endless praise, and has an uncanny ability to quash the achievements of others. They lack empathy and don’t seem aware that you are a whole person with your own needs. In fact, you’re only a useful tool, something to extract admiration from.
The narcissist believes they’re entitled to everything, including your time, your emotions and your self-esteem.
The dramatic attempts to hold your attention make your life seem tragic and fraught with anxiety. Being perpetually cut down so that the narcissist can be “better than,” destroys self-confidence and eventually leads you down a spiral of gloom.
I remember when I realized I was dealing with a narcissist. I remember receiving a beautiful embossed card one December that simply read “Joy.” I put it on my mantle for a few days before I really thought about that word. I felt so disconnected from it. What’s joy? Then I found myself wondering:
- When did I get so negative?
- Why am I always so down on myself?
- When are things going to seem good? Or at least okay? I feel like I’m always one minute from tragedy.
- Why do I feel so guilty every time I feel the least bit happy?