There’s a difference between dealing with a personality clash in a relationship and dealing with a narcissist. You might have trouble getting along with someone you work with, for instance. Either you don’t like this person, or he or she doesn’t like you. It happens. Learning to adapt and to get along with people is part of life, even if the person you find annoying is in your own family. It’s a whole other ballgame, however, if you’re dealing with a narcissist. There’s a spectrum of behaviors and personality traits that include narcissistic tendencies. There’s also a lot of debate as to whether there are actual differences in a narcissist’s brain as opposed to “normal” brains or whether narcissists “choose” their behavior and can control it.
I’ll not dare even attempt to delve into those aspects of narcissism. I’m not a scientist nor a physician or psychologist. I have, however, had personal experience in dealing with people who exhibit narcissistic tendencies. This post is not intended to provide scientific information or psychiatric advice. Its purpose is merely to share information obtained through observation and study. We’re going to take a look at six traits that people with narcissistic personalities often share in common.
Narcissistic personality traits include inability or refusal to listen to other people’s opinions
A narcissist’s mind is 100% self-absorbed. People with narcissistic personality traits view the world from a self-centered perspective. Everything they think, do, say or believe is connected to “self.” They make choices and decisions in relation to “self.” Because of this, such people typically lack empathy and compassion for others. They also have a tough time listening to or validating other people’s opinions. In fact, if you have a narcissist in your life, he or she may even tell you that your opinion is “wrong.”
For the record, an opinion is neither right or wrong. By definition, an opinion is merely a personal thought or view about someone or something. It is not necessarily based on knowledge or fact. Since it’s a personal view, it’s neither correct or incorrect. It’s simply “a viewpoint.” A narcissist views everything from his or her own perspective (which is often irrational and illogical). If he or she doesn’t like what’s being said, a narcissist will immediately disregard it. They may even call it “false.” Many times, someone with this type of personality won’t allow you to express your opinion. However, the same person will demand that you listen to his or her opinions. He or she will claim his or her own opinion as “truth” or “fact.”
Personality traits that include blaming others suggest narcissism
Narcissists are self-centered. A person with narcissistic personality traits also often has a tremendous sense of entitlement. Such people believe they’re entitled but not accountable for their own actions. If a narcissist doesn’t get what he or she wants, someone else will be to blame. The person the narcissist blames might not even be connected in anyway to the problem issue. For instance, a narcissist might have trouble at work for missing a deadline. He or she will go home and blame a family member for the problem. A narcissist believes others are responsible for his or her happiness in life.
A person with a high level of narcissism will blame a victim of his or her emotional abuse. It turns the tables, so-to-speak, so that the abuser appears to be the victim. A narcissist wants his or her way, 100% of the time. If you don’t meet the standard (which changes by the minute) you’ll be met with a tirade. If you call this person out on the raging, rude or disrespectful behavior, you will blamed. The person will blame you for not meeting the standard. He or she is convinced that your supposed failure caused his or her abusive behavior. A narcissist blames others and never accepts personal accountability. That is, UNLESS doing so helps him or her achieve a goal.
Also watch for these characteristics in a narcissist
Besides refusing to acknowledge your right to an opinion and blaming you for everything, the following list shows several more personality traits that are common among people who are narcissistic:
- They exhibit an obsessive need to control everyone and everything in their lives.
- Narcissists hold a grudge.
- They are never satisfied.
- Narcissists expect people to play by their rules, but the same rules don’t apply to them.
Narcissists literally believe the world revolves around them. They are the center of their own delusional universe. If you fail to meet their expectations or dare to call them out on their mistreatment of you, they might become enraged. They also resort to a form of behavior known as “gaslighting.” As long as you enable them to keep feeding their own selfcenteredness, they’ll “forgive” or apologize or do whatever they need to do to keep you in their life. The moment you stop enabling their wrongful behavior, you become their enemy.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist is toxic
If you’re dating someone with narcissistic personality traits, you can choose to stop dating them. It’s not the easy for other types of relationships, however. What if the narcissist in your life is your spouse or parent or child? You can’t always cut ties entirely with a person who is mistreating you. In such cases, it’s critical to your own mental and emotional health to learn how to co-exist. How do you do that without allowing the narcissist’s toxicity to ruin your life?
Elizabeth Shaw hosts a website that provides strong support and many resources for anyone who is struggling with a narcissist. She also has a YouTube channel and is on Instagram and various other platforms. You can find her link tree here.