Part of discovering about the narcissist personality disorder has most of us questioning if we are the narcissist or not, so how can we tell?
Is it a case that we are all, on some level a, narcissist? Is it a case of healthy narcissism and destructive narcissism?
The main things that define someone as a narcissistic person are a lack of empathy towards others, so if you can feel for others, or you can put yourself in another’s shoes. You are not a destructive narcissist, the other is an entitlement, so if you only feel entitled to what you’ve earned, we are allowed to earn and achieve things in a positive, helpful way. You are not a narcissist. Feeling entitled to take what others have is a negative behaviour. Exploitation is a narcissist who uses and exploits others to get their own needs met, so if you don’t go around taking advantage of others without a care for how this would make them feel, you are not a narcissist.
Most people can have a trait or two, which is often what makes us doubt ourselves. You do need at least five of the nine criteria to be on the disorder. Also, when we are around negative, narcissistic people, their toxic energy can rub off on us. This does not make you have the disorder. Just become aware of the people you have in your life.
When someone is going somewhere we would love to visit, we can be jealous, yet healthy narcissism means we are happy for those who are going. So we can hear of another person achievement and think. ”wow, I wish I was doing that.” yet be pleased for them and wish them well. Narcissists are envious, meaning they don’t think the other person deserves what they have worked for, and the narcissist feels that person had stolen from them. Hence, the narcissist often seeks to ruin that persons achievement in many manipulative harmful ways.
We can learn to love ourselves, yet not use that love to destroy others. Use it to build others up.
We can be confident within ourselves, which is a must to feel more fulfilled, yet we don’t want, need or feel better than others. We believe everyone is unique, which is a healthy form of narcissism.
With our human needs, in our subconscious, whatever we do at any minute of any day, it is fulfilling our own needs. Any action, emotion or feeling is driven around our human needs.
Our drive is our subconscious human needs. Love and connection, contribution, growth, uncertainty, certainty and significance. These can be met negatively, neutrality or positively.
A narcissists world revolves around themselves. They are fulfilling their needs only and always looking for a quick, easy fix, so needs are meet negatively. They fill all their human needs in a negative way, meaning they always circle around in their own inner unhappiness, never contributing to others in a positive way, only if they have something to gain by doing so, never growing in a positive way and always circling around the Same miserable patterns of the lives they’ve created for themselves.
For people who are not on the narcissistic personality disorder spectrum, subconsciously, the world also revolves around them. Yet, they contribute to others positively, not knowing it’s actually fulfilling their own needs. It makes them feel good helping others, yet it’s done with good intentions and a kind heart.
So a destructive narcissist is negatively fulfilling their human needs, as it’s easier and quicker. Yet, they forever cycle around those same old patterns, never fulfilling them positively, leading and extremely unhappy negatively life.
There are also psychopaths that are on the narcissistic spectrum. These can be extremely dangerous. We also have sociopaths that are on the narcissistic spectrum. Again these can be extremely dangerous.
Some people can have high levels of narcissistic traits in all areas yet still have empathy. Does this make them a narcissist, that depends they are not entirely as they are not on the spectrum, yet if they meet these needs in quick fix destructive ways, it does make them extremely negative, and extremely toxic, you can still be around these kinds as they are not always dangerous, so you just need to limit your time, understand where you think on a gallon level, they are only capable of thinking on a pint-sized level?
Some people are confident, take selfies, most people lie, yet they do so to protect someone. Most of us like to call these white lies, and those who do often feel guilty and horrible afterwards. Someone on the disorder which lies does it to protect themselves only and only feels shame if someone finds out. They do not feel guilty.
Humans have a fight, flight, freeze or fawn mode to protect themselves. Those on the narcissistic personality disorder, somewhere most often due to childhood trauma, turned to fight mode. To defend themselves, not understanding it’s only detrimental to their happiness, it becomes a way of life, and the more they protect themselves, the more they destroy others.
Those not on the disorder when around a narcissist might go into fight mode, not realising you’ve been manipulated and provoked, you may lash out at the narcissist. Does this make you a narcissist? No, this makes you human, with a defensive mechanism. Some of us do manage to avoid going into flight mode if we’ve not been manipulated too much and get out fast. Some freeze and stay stuck, never changing, never growing, until one day they get sick and tired of being sick and tired and leave, others fawn, unwittingly giving in to the narcissist’s demands, for fear of what will happen to them if they were to stand up to the narcissist.
Abuse is abuse, so if someone is abusive towards you. Mental or physical, you need to stay clear if they are a narcissist or not.
Some toddlers have narcissism, as do some teenagers, and it’s a healthy part of growing up. Yet they are not narcissists, and they are not on the narcissistic personality disorder.
So no, we are not all on the narcissistic personality disorder spectrum, yet most of us can carry traits of narcissism. Those who do in a healthy way are not narcissists. Those who hurt others and destroy others are abusive people we need to stay away from.
If it’s detrimental to your mental and physical health, you need to safely remove them from your life, no contact or grey rock, those who are not harmful and you can see them for what they are, you can just limit contact.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.