Years have been passing and after the last three relationships and watching relationships around me, I have come to a cold realization. Narcissism in relationships is seriously on the rise. Now it would be really easy to say guys are the problem but the truth is men and women are both at fault. What is causing this world devouring change? Why are people becoming so self centered and unable to accept responsibility for their actions? Why can’t anyone say my behavior brought this upon me?
Narcissism is thought to arise by a number of factors., genetics, child -parent mismatches, and either over criticizing or over praising throughout the early years of development and adulthood.
The common signs of narcissism are as follows:
1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
4. Requires excessive admiration [regularly fishes for compliments, and is highly susceptible to flattery].
5. Has a sense of entitlement.
6. Is interpersonally exploitative.
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling [or, I would add, unable] to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
9. Shows arrogant, haughty [rude and abusive] behaviors or attitudes.
In the research and in my experience it has been found that they are highly reactive to criticism. The worst reactions come when they know you are right about something. If it is really serious and suggestion of getting help is mentioned it can and often leads to the bodily harm of the suggestor. Without the ability for empathy and only caring about ones self it becomes a full filled prophecy to make the one that hurt you pay.
Tied in with this is an extremely low self esteem and often they will fish for compliments. Be careful what you say even in jest it is often not taken kindly to if it is slightly derogatory. These people are constantly trying to prove themselves and have a really hard time when they are not an expert at something.
In a relationship the my way or the highway attitude that comes with this is very hard to swallow. They can’t make compromises and saying I’m sorry is pretty close to impossible. It is extremely important to prove they are always right. This does not bode for the success of any relationship.
Angry outbursts are almost intrinsic to both narcissistic and borderline personality disorders. And although (unlike the borderline) it’s not particular fears of abandonment that bring out their so-called “narcissistic rage,” both personality disorders generally react with heated emotion when others bring their deepest insecurities too close to the surface.
The reason that feelings of anger and rage are so typically expressed by them is that in the moment they externalize the far more painful anxiety- or shame-related emotions hiding just beneath them. When they’re on the verge of feeling—or re-feeling—some hurt or humiliation from their past, their consequent rage conveniently “transfers” these unwanted feelings to another. Due to this the outlying message transferred to the significant other is “I’m not bad (wrong, stupid, mean, etc.), you are!” Over time the person without the narcissism issue begins to believe it and it starts ripping apart their own sense of self and self esteem. It leads to what is considered “battered wife syndrome”. Even if they manage to never lay a hand on their significant other the emotional damage is sometimes completely irreparable.
The things that often make them the most angry are things they see as a flaw within themselves. It’s been said about narcissists that they can’t tell where they end and the other person begins. Unconsciously viewing others as “extensions” of themselves, they regard them as existing primarily to serve their own needs—just as they routinely put their needs before everyone else’s (frequently, even their own children).
In a relationship you should:
Check for abuse
If you’re facing abuse, it doesn’t matter whether it’s driven by your partner’s narcissism, chronic pain, or drug addiction — the problem is the abuse, plain and simple. And the abuser is 100 percent responsible for his or her choice. Until that changes, you probably won’t feel safe enough — nor should you — to take the kinds of risks I’m recommending here.
Look for denial
The alcoholic who protests, “I just enjoy the taste of fine wine!”; the terminally ill patient who assures everyone, “It’s just a cough”; and the narcissist who, despite having alienated all her friends and lost her job, proclaims, “I’m just fine” — all are exhibiting denial. The more denial a narcissist displays, the less hopeful you should feel about change. How bad is denial? In adolescents, it predicts some of the most ruthless, demanding forms of narcissism — adults who happily admit “I find it easy to manipulate people.” Make sure your partner can admit something’s wrong, even if it’s as simple as saying, “my life isn’t where I hoped it would be.”
Beware the manipulator
Not all narcissists are cold and manipulative. But the ones who are pose the greatest threat because they’re so practiced at play-acting and deceit you’ll have a hard time separating fact from fiction.
What is the willingness to change
The easiest way to test a partner’s capacity to change is to seek help from a couples therapist — or any therapist for that matter. Even people who aren’t narcissists can be leery of therapy, so this one shouldn’t be considered a litmus test. If your partner’s willing to work with you, though, your odds at improving the relationship have probably jumped by an order of magnitude.
Next part comes to you, approaching the narcissist, and being honest with yourself.
Check your anger
You’ve always been the paranoid, jealous type,” sneers your partner after you openly wonder about the amount of time he’s spending with his attractive coworker. Our natural tendency, when faced with such shocking indifference to our fear of losing love or needing more closeness and comfort, is to protect ourselves.
For many people, this means donning battle armor and launching an attack. “You’re the most selfish person I know! I don’t know why I’m with you!” Instead try: “You mean so much to me; I hear you talking to her and I’m scared I’m not enough for you.” Or, “Your opinion means the world to me; when I hear you talk to me that way I feel so small and worthless in your eyes.” Most partners, if they can feel anything at all, will melt when they hear comments like this. They don’t just convey your pain with greater clarity; they remind your partner why the behavior hurts — because it comes from the one person who matters most.
Check your silence
Say you come home from a long week and plans are still up in the air and your partner is making a bunch of negative remarks. “You can never make a decision, you are so indecisive, you are useless. A coping mechanism is to withdraw into ourselves and protect us.
silent withdrawal is just another way of coping with feeling sad or fearful about our connection with people we love; your best bet, as with anger, is to go beneath the impulse to shut down and share the upset. “I’m feeling so put down right now I’m afraid you’ve stopped caring about me altogether.”
Why is this so important? Though they appear to be universal ways of coping with fears about the people we love, anger and withdrawal also ramp up our partners’ insecurities. The result? Our loved ones fall back on their usual way of protecting themselves — like criticism or indifference — instead of hearing our pain. If they’re narcissists, that means they resort to their favorite MO — narcissism.
Be honest with yourself
If you have tried the more loving approach, ask yourself, honestly — are you staying because your partner’s doing his best to change — or because it feels too hard to leave? Even if the people we love want to change, none of us should be expected to endure the same hurts over and over.
Narcissistic arrogance and hostility elicit our worst behaviors; they get beneath our skin, working away like a thousand needles. The natural response is to pull away or lash back; but if you do your best to share the pain openly, letting your loved ones see your softer feelings, you’re giving them their best — and only shot — at hearing you. If they can’t understand your pain then, perhaps they never will. As sad and difficult as it feels, you might need to take care of yourself by leaving. Because regardless of which habit steals their attention away from genuine love and intimacy, if our loved ones can’t risk change, their problems are here to stay.
As a society are we breeding narcissists? Are we teaching our children the lack of empathy?
The research says there are several mistakes a parent makes to do so besides genetic predisposition.
Always condemning the child and saying they are wrong.
Treating them like nothing they do is good enough. “A child should learn that trying is worth the same amount as doing it right, and learn that perseverance until it is gotten right is important.”
Never giving consequences and treating a child like they do no wrong.
“Johnny hit Sam. It’s all sam’s fault because he called Johnny a name so it is okay.” NO! Both children were wrong they need to accept responsibility and make it right.
The devaluing narcissistically comes parent
In this scenario there is a very domineering and devaluing parent who is always putting down the child. The parent is generally irritable, easily angered, and has unrealistically high expectations. It is often the other parent is treated like the child and belittled as well, so the child learns this is proper behavior.
In this situation children grow up in a Narcissistic household where there is an Exhibitionist Narcissist parent who rewards them with praise and attention as long as they admire and stay subservient to the parent. These children are taught Narcissistic values, but are discouraged from exhibiting themselves for admiration. Instead their role in the family is to uncritically worship the greatness of their Narcissistic parent without ever trying to equal or surpass that parent’s achievements.
So so I guess the real question is, do you guys feel there is an increase in this type of behavior? What are your thoughts on helping the next generation start to decrease said behavior. How do we start fixing what is broken? Why do you think that according to psychology studies narcissism is increasing at a dramatic and rapid rate?
Being in love with a narcissist is one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with in my life. I find some days that I feel completely worthless and lost. I find fight are often had because I dare step in when he belittled the feeling of my child and I step in and expect an apology. This is rarely ever gotten but, he wants an aplology for whatever ridiculous thing he felt happened to wrong him. To always have to accept blame for everything that goes on in life that isn’t perfect and try to keep my sense of self. I am an incredibly strong woman but sometimes even I wonder if loving someone with narcissism issues is worth it. He has said that he will try to do better with apologizing and listening to my son’s needs. The hard truth is, if he doesn’t my son and I will be walking. I want my son to grow up confident and kind and knowing his thoughts and feelings matter.