How to Recognise and Deal with Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition where people project an unrealistic sense of superiority in comparison to other people. This often results in them craving admiration from other people while also showing no empathy toward them and viewing them with contempt. This article will take a detailed look at narcissistic personality disorder and explain how to recognise and deal with it.
How to Recognise Narcissistic Personality Disorder
People who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder often exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:
1. Entitlement: People with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they should automatically receive favourable treatment and that people should comply with their expectations. They are not willing to consider other people’s views and believe that they are always right.
2. Exploitation: Taking advantage of others is another key characteristic of narcissistic personality disorder. But why do people manipulate others? The answer lies in their lack of empathy and feelings of disdain toward other people which results in them taking advantage of those people in order to serve their own needs without any feelings of compassion.
3. Superiority: A further common narcissistic behaviour is feeling superior to or better than other people. This is often displayed through exaggerated expressions of their own personal achievements or talents and an expectation for other people to see them as superior.
4. Uniqueness: People with an extremely high sense of superiority also often see themselves as unique and different from other people. They look down on most people and believe that they should only associate with other “unique” people.
If you do recognise any of the above symptoms in either yourself or other people, you should consult a trained psychiatrist or psychologist. Family physicians and general practitioners do not usually hold the expertise necessary to diagnose narcissistic personality disorder, so while they may be good for an initial consultation, make sure you seek the help of a qualified mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment.
How to Deal with Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Treating and curing narcissistic personality disorder is almost impossible due to the nature of the condition. However, once the diagnosis has been made, there are a number of things you can do to make dealing with narcissistic behaviour more pleasant:
1. Don’t Take It Personally: Once you recognise that any outbursts or negative comments are a result of the disorder and not a personal attack, it becomes much easier to communicate with someone suffering from narcissistic personality disorder. Instead of taking offence, you can accept these outbursts for what they are and keep the lines of communication open.
2. Recognise the Triggers: While people suffering from narcissistic personality disorder may seem irrational, there are very often triggers for their behaviour. If you can recognise these triggers and avoid them where possible, you can limit the negative side of this disorder and communicate with sufferers much more freely.
3. Don’t Try to Control: Trying to control or insist that a person with narcissistic personality disorder should act in a certain way will only aggravate the condition and make the negative outbursts more regular and severe. When communicating with a person with narcissistic personality disorder, don’t try to control the situation or expect it to go a certain way. Instead, focus on yourself, remain calm and composed during the conversations and accept that there is no need to control anything.
Once you know how to recognise and deal with narcissistic personality disorder, it will place much less of a strain on both you and your relationship with the sufferer. By practising the tips in this article until they become habit, you’ll feel much better about any interactions and conversations you have and be able to fully enjoy your life without narcissistic personality disorder dragging you down.
About the Author
Joanne is a psychology student. She is interested in all kinds of presonality disorders and the different approaches for treating them. She is also learning about the development of presonality disorders in children.