The term narcissist gets thrown around a lot. We use it to tease our friends when they’re acting self-absorbed. While everyone is a little self-centered at least sometimes, narcissism is an entirely different ballgame. Narcissism is an extreme interest in one’s self, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents, looks or personality. People with high levels of narcissism may be diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), which effects about 1 percent of the population. It’s characterized by an extreme need for admiration, an inflated sense of self and disregard for others’ feelings. If you suspect someone close to you is a narcissist, here are four tips for dealing.
1. Figure Out What You Need
If you’re dealing with a narcissist, figure out their role in your life and what you need from the person in that position. If someone with high levels of narcissism can still fill that role, that’s great. Otherwise, you may need to seek support elsewhere or expand your social circle in order to have the relationships you want and need.
2. Understand Where The Behavior Comes From
Some narcissists are just plain self-centered. They really do believe they are the greatest thing to ever walk the earth. Some people, however, display narcissistic traits out of insecurity. They have a deep-seated fear that they’re not good enough, so they do things to feel better about themselves. It’s a little easier to empathize if you realize someone’s behavior stems from his or her own insecurities.
3. Accept Their Limitations
Sometimes the narcissist is someone you love or care about very much, so cutting them out entirely isn’t necessarily an option. If this is the case, you need to accept the role this person plays in your life. You may never be able to rely on them emotionally, be completely vulnerable with them, or count on them as a listener. Manage your expectations and you’ll be much less disappointed in this person.
4. Get Out
Sometimes, being in close proximity with a narcissist brings you too far down. They make you feel so inferior and unhappy that your life becomes too negative. If that’s the case, cut them off or drastically limit the amount of time you spend with this person. Don’t let a sense of obligation or fear of offending prevent you from being happy.