In the last few months I have been guided to research and educate myself on Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Last Saturday I held a workshop on this topic. With everything I read, most of which I already knew, I couldn’t help but realize how many of these people exist and how many have actually affected my own life. Those of us who are sensitive in the sense of our energy (some refer to us as empaths) tend to be givers with the inability to say no to those who pull at our energy. This makes us very easy targets for the ever-so-charming narcissist. So don’t be alarmed as you read on to discover that you too have been bitten by the narcissist bug at one point in your life, maybe more.
What a narcissist does, unknowingly, is searches for those who need some sort of emotional healing or have very low self-esteem. Once they engage with that person and hook them in with their Prince Charming or Princess characteristics, their ego flares up with pride. Why do they feel the need to do this? Because deep down in their soul, somewhere hidden, even possibly blocked, is a hurtful childhood or a past experience that actually has them in desperate need of healing. However, narcissists do not ever think there is anything wrong with them, when in reality they feel like the victim. Only time will show you that. They choose people who are hurting because it actually makes them feel better about themselves. It has nothing to do with empathy on their part, even if they act empathetic at first. It typically takes a week to three weeks for a narcissist to show their true selves to you, sometimes longer. If you have good intuition, you will be able to trust your instincts sooner than most people in order to cut them out of your life as soon as possible.
Here are some traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
- Lack of empathy
- Self-involved/Everything is about them
- Addictive personality
- Most always have to be in a relationship to feel fulfilled and happy
- Have large egos
- Always play the victim (although that isn’t clear right away)
- Puts others down and picks apart everything wrong with them
- Large sense of importance
- Sense of entitlement
- Need for praise and attention
- Very judgmental
- Can be a bully
- Need to be recognized and fantasizes about great achievements
- Has a sense of power
- Envious of others
Have you ever found yourself trying to communicate with one of these people? Sometimes at first they act as though they are very intensively listening to you, truly caring about your feelings and what you are saying. After some time passes, you start to notice that what you have to say is not as important as what they have to say. Before you know it, the conversation turns to it being all about them. Or, they become bored with your conversation and start to discuss other people, picking them apart for all the ways they are living their lives wrong. Some even discuss close friends behind their backs. That right there has been a big red flag for me. If someone is discussing their good friend to you in a negative way, what are they saying about you behind your back? Hmmm… Something to think about.
Narcissists seem to have underlying motives because everything is about them. So they can quickly become uninterested in a relationship with you if they are not getting what they want. Some will have relationships with multiple people at the same time because they want all the praise and attention they can get. And because they think they are the best at everything, they easily come up with excuses and can smooth talk their way out of almost everything. Keep in mind, nothing is their fault, ever. It’s always yours. They certainly have a way of turning things around and making your self-esteem even worse than what it was. It can be so easy to fall in love with a narcissist and then so hard to get back on your feet when the relationship goes south. I see so many people stay in relationships, friendships or love relationships for way longer than they should because the narcissist’s grip is so tight they have you believing you’ll never find anyone better than them. The irony is that we actually believe them.
The only reason we believe a narcissist is because we rely too much on their love for us (or rather lust) than our own love for ourselves. We actually use them to fill us up which never lasts long because they want us to fill them up constantly. We end up depleted. It was a long, hard lesson in self-love for me to realize that being alone can be the most wonderful experience of self-discovery. It was the most wonderful lesson I could learn, to love myself. When we truly love ourselves, we have no need to search for someone to make us feel loved Narcissists come off as loving themselves, but they truly don’t. And because of this, they usually end up alone. Who wants to spend their life trying to fill up another person while not getting much if anything in return? Not me. My belief is that we should all feel like equals in a relationship. In a relationship with a narcissist, they are always above you and everyone else.
To avoid becoming caught on the narcissist’s hook, first work on loving yourself. Second, set boundaries for yourself; what you will and won’t put up with in a relationship of any kind. Third, trust your gut and the red flags that are always being presented when relationships are not good for you. Fourth, have the courage to say no and cut these people out of your life. Know that we are all deserving genuine, compassionate and kind relationships with those who deeply care about us. The exchange of giving should be equal, or at least close. The feeling of inadequacy and depletion is never a trait of a healthy relationship.
Sending love, light and many blessings,
Amy Musser is a spiritual adviser and owner of The Angel Whisperer based at Sacred Space in Hellertown, Pa. She was diagnosed with grade 3 astrocytoma, a type of brain cancer, in 2016. She has documented her progress fighting the disease and shares inspiration on Saucon Source and on Facebook.