August 2, 2009

Do you know a narcissist?  For years I didn't realize one was living in my family, but as with any catastrophe in life, once the dust settles you can look back and see all the signs that were right in front of your face.  

One day when explaining the situation to a friend she told me to look up the definition of the word, I swore my family member's picture should have been next to the list of traits that define a narcissist.  It was then that I realized no matter what I did, I could not change this person or their way of thinking, and that began my turning point in dealing with it.

Narcissistic traits are...

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements, high ego)
  2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. requires excessive admiration
  4. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  5. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  6. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  7. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  8. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

So here and there I will begin posting information and things I am learning about narcissism.  You may recognize the signs in someone you know.

Recently I began reading a book about the narcissist in my life and one of the first points that stood out to me was to talk about it, not hiding it as if you've done something wrong.

So as I continue my journey through learning I will post my notes and thoughts here to reflect back on and if I help someone else along the way, great.



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