The topic of narcissism and jealousy is a fascinating and complex one. While jealousy is a common emotion experienced by most individuals at some point in their lives, the way it manifests in narcissistic individuals differs from the norm. While jealousy for genuine people can simply mean desiring something for oneself that another person has, narcissists experience jealousy as a deep envy and a desire to destroy what others possess.
Narcissists, by nature, have very low self-esteem. They believe that everyone around them possesses something they do not, and they are determined to obtain it. This jealousy is not limited to material possessions or achievements; narcissists can even be envious of their own children. If their children receive more attention or succeed in something, the narcissistic parent will try to take credit for their accomplishments. This is done to shift the focus back onto themselves and maintain their superiority.
Most people deal with their jealousy quietly, internally processing their emotions and often working through them on their own. However, narcissists tend to be vocal about their envy, often making bitter comments about others’ success or possessions. They may imply that someone only acquired something due to an inheritance or a helping hand from others, while emphasising their own independence. It is important to note that not everyone who makes such comments is a narcissist, as narcissistic personality disorder is a spectrum disorder and requires at least five specific characteristics for diagnosis.
Narcissists will often go to great lengths to sabotage those they envy. They view everything as a competition and believe that it is unfair for others to have something they do not possess. They do not believe others deserve to be happy. This deep-seated feeling of inadequacy and envy fuels their destructive behaviour. Since they cannot sustain or achieve self-worth on their own, they seek validation from others. Whether directly through attention or indirectly through competitions they create, narcissists need others to fill this void. When they fail to win or receive the attention they believe they deserve, they experience self-hatred. To counteract these feelings, they attempt to tarnish the reputation of the person receiving attention, creating a smear campaign to redirect positive attention back onto themselves. Furthermore, they may resort to stealing, ruining, or destroying belongings of those they envy.
Instead of dealing with their inner insecurities and emotions, narcissists project them onto others. This is their coping mechanism – making someone else responsible for their internal struggles. When faced with jealousy or envy, they often deflect by accusing others of feeling jealous or envious of them. The lies they tell about others are actually about themselves, serving to validate their own sense of self-worth at the expense of others.
It is important to understand that attempting to reason with or prove a narcissist wrong is futile. Their internal dialogue is deeply ingrained and rooted in their personality disorder. There is nothing one can do to fix or help a narcissist, as they are unable to reflect on their own behaviour and mistakes. In their black-and-white worldview, they see themselves as faultless and others as the problem. Self-improvement can serve as a solution for jealousy in genuine individuals, but narcissists lack the cognitive reflection skills necessary for such personal growth.
In conclusion, narcissists experience jealousy in a destructive and envious way. Their low self-esteem and need for validation drive them to envy and destroy what others possess. One cannot hope to change or help a narcissist through reassurance or reasoning. Understanding that their internal struggles are not caused by external factors is crucial. The focus should be on protecting oneself from their harmful behaviour rather than attempting to change them.
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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.