What is a narcissist?
Narcissistic abuse seems to be on the rise, and anyone who’s suffered through it can tell you it’s pretty miserable.
Individuals struggling with personality disorders often feel empty or void inside, but are completely unaware of it. A personality disorder is almost like having a black hole where a personality should be, and you kind of absorb, reflect, or project the traits of people around you.
Personality is the essence of who we are, what we enjoy, what pisses us off, and how we function in the world. When your personality tree gets shaken and all the apple fall off, you probably will need some support from a counselor, doctor, and/or family to help get the apples picked up off the ground. Personality is those apples, labeled: introvert, cat lover, book reader, athletic, musical, intelligent, compassionate, strong-willed. You get the idea.
Impairments in self functioning
Also, the narcissistic personality tends to exaggerate their perceived personality to build themselves up:
I was the most athletic person in my high school!
I could have dated (enter name of super hot chick) if I wanted to, but she wasn’t cute enough for me.
Self-direction: Goal-setting is based on gaining approval from others; personal standards are unreasonably high in order to see oneself as exceptional, or too low based on a sense of entitlement; often unaware of own motivations.
Impairments in interpersonal functioning
Impaired ability to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others;
excessively attuned to reactions of others, but only if perceived as relevant to self;
over- or underestimate of own effect on others.
This is where you see so much of the abuse poured out by the narcissist. “Relationships largely superficial and exist to serve self-esteem regulation.”
This includes in a mother-daughter relationship, friend to friend, brother to sister, child to parent, boss to employee, husband to wife.
There are no rules or restrictions here; you can be sure the narcissist in your life is treating their pastor just as irrationally as they are you.
If it serves their purpose.
Anything inside the world of the narcissist should live to serve them or get out. This is why so many counselors will recommend going “no contact” with the narcissistic abuser in your life.
Pathological personality traits in the following domain:
Antagonism, characterized by:
Kind of self explanatory, but I’ll give an illustration:
It’s also important to note that only a trained professional can truly diagnose someone with a mental disorder, and individuals need not meet every, single criterion to qualify as narcissistic.
Additionally, narcissism sort of works on a spectrum.
Not every braggart you meet is a narcissist, but they could be. And not every narcissist you meet has the full blown “narcissistic personality disorder.”
Now that you know what a narcissist is, here are some of my favorites you may have seen on TV or movies:
Eric Cartman, South Park
He’s rude, abrasive, self-centered, manipulative, and everyone hates him but are afraid to cut him off. Remember when he made that kid eat his parents? Or when he drove the nanny insane and she ate her own poop? Yup.
Maybe he’s more sociopathic than narcissistic! Ha!
Ryan Howard, The Office
He’s insincere and egocentric. He only pursues Kelly when she’s unavailable, then drops her when she dumps Darryl to date Ryan.
He cheats his way to the top, gets caught, and blames everyone else.
Karen Walker, Will & Grace
Karen is blatantly brash and everyone still loves her. Although, you sure wouldn’t want to be in her line of fire.
Narcissists are often described as charming or outgoing by those who haven’t seen their Mr. Hyde side, or have seen it and are just plain scared.
Emily Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
It’s Emily’s way or the highway.
You can be in her life and play by her rules, or nothing at all. Narcissists like Emily don’t care if they’re losing a relationships with a daughter, husband, granddaughter, or friend; you’re not important enough to waste their worry on you.
Mother Gothel, Tangled
Mother Gothel is the PERFECT example of a narcissistic mother.
She transfers all of her own faults onto her daughter, tries desperately to keep her daughter prisoner to her own benefit, and has ruined the lives of so many, simply for her own vanity.
Olivia Soprano, The Sopranos
Olivia Soprano can never get enough admiration, attention, or respect. She’s highly entitled, expecting her children to jump at her every whim.
And what other mother would put a hit on their own child? Only a narcissist!
I don’t think I have to explain this one.
Interrupting Taylor Swift’s VMA Award speech to say Beyonce deserved it more?
Evil Queen, Snow White
So there are actually 2 mothers on my list who put hits on their kids . . . truly a narcissistic mom.
3 counting Mother Gothel paying those big guys to kidnap her . . . .
They’re popular, pretty, mean, and vindictive. Everyone loves them.
Mostly because they’re scared of them.