Do narcissists know it’s Christmas? Do they know this time of year isn’t all about them getting what they want from others?
And if they don’t get what they want for Christmas, do they know that having a tantrum about it and then giving others the silent treatment punishment isn’t really going to make them as popular as they desperately desire to be?
Do they care if the attention you give to them is positive or negative?
When it comes to narcissists… there’s a lot of questions which get asked about them, and some of those may be asked by narcissists who think everyone except them is a narcissist.
This question – How to destroy a narcissist – pops up fairly regularly in my blog’s stats as a search term which people have used that led them to a post on my blog.
Whenever I see that particular search term, I invariably wonder if it’s being asked by a narcissist who has decided that someone else is a narcissist and therefore it’s okay to search online for information about how to destroy them.
A narcissist is the kind of person who will easily slap the label of “narcissist” on a person, and then, certain of their righteousness and virtuousness, easily search online to find out How-To-Destroy another person, especially one who didn’t give them what they wanted, said “No” to them when what they wanted to hear was a “Yes”.
But maybe it’s not a narcissist who is searching for a How-to guide to destroying a narcissist, as a narcissist can drive even the most peaceful and compassionate person to fantasise about destroying another human being, especially when they’re being harassed 24/7 by their narcissist.
They’ve tried reasoning, logic, empathy, trying to get the narcissist to understand their side of the story and interaction, they may have even asked for mercy and cried “uncle”, but… none of the tactics which work with non-narcissists work with a narcissist. They’re at the end of their tether, and it’s become a case of – destroy or be destroyed. They don’t want to be searching for narcissist destruction instructions, but they just don’t know what else to do.
The most common advice given to people who have a narcissist in their life is – to go No Contact. It’s good advice, but it’s not simple to do, particularly if the narcissist is a family member, an Ex with whom they have a child, or a boss or co-worker.
Even if the narcissist is someone they’re not obliged to keep seeing, the narcissist may want to keep the relationship going and has no intention of letting the person who wants to get away from them get away from them.
It is often easier to convince a narcissist to discard you, get them to go No Contact with you, than it is for you to do that when they’re not ready to let you go, as the process of getting away from a narcissist triggers all the narcissist’s worst fears and issues, which sends them into NPD overdrive.
As with everything connected to narcissists – it depends on the type of narcissist. And it depends on your individual narcissist, how they’re doing their type.
It also depends on whether your narcissist is really a narcissist or just someone you’ve decided is a narcissist based on personal reasons.
This is a link to an informative article – Insider: I’m a professor of human behavior, and I have some news for you about the ‘narcissists’ in your life by Melody Wilding
The intro to the article is a bit narcissistic, alarmist and aggressive, but the article itself is well-written and worth reading.
I came across that interesting article thanks to another blogger – I’d give you credit in this post but my posts about narcissists occasionally attract narcissists. If you would like me to link to your blog in this post, let me know and I will do so.
The key point made in that article is that those whom we have decided are “narcissists” may not be narcissists (may not have NPD), they may be narcissistic but isn’t everyone, and it could be our own narcissistic tendencies which are causing us to experience them as narcissists and accuse them of being narcissists.
It’s a good key point. But most people don’t really rush to label others as narcissists, do they? And when they do decide to label someone as a narcissist, isn’t it more for their sake so they can stop dithering, stop beign confused, stop and figure out what to do next?
How do we know if someone is a real narcissist or not?
The author, Melody Wilding, offers the following list to give us some bearings (there are also many links within her article which I have not included in the excerpt – if you would like to check them out, please click over to the article):
So, how can you tell when narcissistic traits tip over to NPD?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to diagnose narcissistic personality disorder, the following criteria must be met:
An excessive need for admiration and gaining approval from others
A sense of entitlement, seeing one’s self as exceptional, and condescending behavior
An inability to recognize the feelings and needs of other people
Vast fluctuations in mood
These criteria must be relatively stable across a person’s lifetime and many situations, including in their personal relationships outside of the workplace.
People with narcissistic personality disorder also typically show extreme behavior like:
Overly emotional or unpredictable thinking or behavior
Distorting facts and making false accusations
Enjoyment of getting away with breaking the rules or violating boundaries
Using psychological manipulation like gaslighting, public shaming, and deflection
Aggression and antisocial behavior– excerpt from Insider: I’m a professor of human behavior, and I have some news for you about the ‘narcissists’ in your life by Melody Wilding
Lists like that can be helpful, can clarify a complex issue, but they can also add to our confusion because they take the signs and symptoms of NPD out of context, and separate them into bullet points.
How do those signs and symptoms of a real narcissist show up in regular interactions (in context and together)?
When we first meet a narcissist, those signs and symptoms may be on display but they may not appear unusual or worrisome until we spend more time with the narcissist and get to know them a bit better.
A narcissist often gives great first impression. They can seem like the greatest guy or gal on earth – and they’ll be sure to tell you just how great they are.
The Covert narcissists will most likely tell you all about how good, kind, empathic, humble, compassionate, caring, and many other lovely things they are.
They may feel the need to tell you a story which shows off their goodness, and it may sound a little off due to small details – they may keep pointing out the flaws, faults, wrongs and sins of everyone else in the story, this is to frame their own head in a halo. The worse everyone else looks the better they look.
But you probably won’t notice that as they’ll be flattering you as they speak, letting you know that you’re good like they are (well, not as good as them, but you’re special enough for them to be spending time with you telling you all of this). There will be a conspiratorial feel to the conversation… shhh, this is just between us because only special people like us can understand this.
The Overt narcissist will most likely blow you away with their confidence, charm, magnetism, talents, and brilliance. You’ll feel sucked into their conversation which will be more like a TED Talk with them on stage selling you on how great they are, how awesome this product they use is, how to be just like them (only you’ll never graduate because no one can be like them but you will feel compelled to pay through the nose for the courses to become just like them), and you’ll be a fully paid-up member of their fan club before they drop the mic.
All types of narcissist do one thing very well which will make you certain that they find you fascinating – and this will be the thing which gets you hooked the most into their cult of Me Me Me.
Narcissists love to ask questions.
A narcissist will bombard you with questions about yourself. They want to know everything about you. You’re a magnificent mystery they want to explore in depth.
And you’ll feel like a spotlight is shining on you – is it the good kind of spotlight or the bad kind of spotlight. Are they showing you what a star you are or are they interrogating you?
Why do narcissists love asking questions?
They’re not really interested in the answers, are they? They never listen to the answers, do they? They’re too busy listening to themselves ask the next question, aren’t they?
Everyone loves to be asked questions.
The internet is full of quizzes, tests, and games involving answering questions. It’s fun to answer questions, to find out which character from your favourite TV show you and your friends are, what magical being you are, what your favourite colour reveals, which celebrity is your secret twin, what your answers tell you about yourself and about others.
And everyone loves having fun.
Asking questions, silly ones or serious ones, is an excellent way to get to know yourself better, to get to know others better, and to help others get to know you better.
When you ask someone a question, it also tells them that you’re interested in them, and everyone loves it when others are interested in them.
But does a narcissist really want to get to know others? Or are they just asking questions to get others to believe that the narcissist is interested in them and therefore they like the narcissist for showing an interest?
There are several reason a narcissist asks questions.
They are interested in other people, just not in the way other people would like for someone to be interested in them. For a narcissist the saying – knowledge is power – means knowing a lot about you gives them power over you. Everything you tell them about yourself can and will be used against you to keep you in your place.
Your place is beneath them, and bombarding you with questions is a clever tactic they use to keep the balance of power in the relationship tipped in their favour.
They’re the authority asking the questions, you’re the criminal being interrogated. They’re the interviewer considering hiring you for a job, you’re the interviewee forced to sweat under their judging gaze. They’re the quizmaster, and you’re the contestant trying to win the prize of their approval. They’re the teacher and you’re the pupil. They’re your parent and you’re the naughty child.
Asking questions is also a good way for them to protect themselves, to hide their weakness, to deflect the kind of attention they don’t want away from them and onto you.
Sometimes they ask questions to mine other people for good answers which they will then use when someone else asks them a similar question.
Do narcissists ever answer the questions they ask?
Narcissists may love to answer questions but they do not like being asked questions if they don’t have a great answer prepared in advance – then they love being asked questions as they can show off their expertise at answering.
Being asked a question they were not expecting and for which they don’t have a ready-made great answer makes them feel vulnerable and out of control. They like to study for the test, have the cheat sheet up their sleeve, and have the perfect answer to give to make them appear cool, intelligent, superior, perfect.
To find the narcissist in the whole question asking stack – look for the one who asks really probing questions but refuses to answer them with anything other than a superficial answer… which may make you feel stupid for having answered that same question deeply and sharing personal information with them.
Here’s a tip and trick: The next time someone asks you a question, before rushing in to answer it, pause a bit and ask them the same question. Get them to answer it first.
A non-narcissist usually asks questions they want to be asked in return, and will love it when you ask them the question which they just asked you. They may wonder why you’re not answering first, but they’ll dive right in and share a personalised answer which will help you to get to know them better.
A narcissist will often be annoyed that rather than answering the question they just asked you, you’ve turned it around on them and have put them on the spot (unless they’re prepared and only asked you the question so they could answer it after you and prove their superiority to you).
They often don’t know the answer to the questions they’re asking – they want your answer so that they can borrow it, if it’s good enough for them.
They don’t want to reveal to you about themselves what they want you to reveal to them about yourself, because it makes them feel exposed, vulnerable, stupid, you might use it against them – they’re usually paranoid and vigilant, expecting people to do to them what they do to people.
Their answer, if they give one and don’t deflect by attacking you with another question like – why don’t you want to answer my question, did it make you nervous, uncomfortable, what are you hiding? – will most likely leave you feeling stupid, dumb, confused, and a little bit angry but you’re not sure exactly why, as though you’ve just been suckered into playing the shell game.
A significant factor in figuring out if someone is a narcissist or not is how you feel when you’re in their company, have had an interaction with them.
If you consistently feel awful about yourself every time you interact with them… and you’re not sure why you feel awful, because logically you shouldn’t, all they did was say “Hello” and ask you how you were feeling today, and added a little something extra just for you which… just made you feel awful when before meeting them you felt fine. Then the chances increase that they may indeed be a narcissist.
Okay. I’m going to stop here. Since I went on a bit longer than I intended to and still haven’t explained this Narcasm series properly… I’m such a mess, but I don’t mind being a mess anymore.
What I’m doing is this:
Since it’s that time of year which can drive even the calmest and sanest person crazy, and some of you may have to meet and greet, and spend time with your narcissist or narcissists like I did with my parents.
And some of you may still be driving yourself nuts with the – Are they a narcissist or am I? question.
I thought I’d write a few posts looking at narcissists in scenarios which may occur around this time of year, and include the bullet points from the excerpt above taken from that informative article, trying to put them into context and bring them together… but as you can probably tell, I tend to stray from the briefs that I give myself once I get caught up in writing a post.
If you would like to ask a question, share a question a narcissist has asked you, share a personal experience, share your side of a story, share a link to a post of your own if you’re a blogger, or an article which has helped you figure your relationship with a narcissist out, or anything else along those lines, please feel free to do so in the comments on this post.
Please be aware that although this is a personal blog written by a (weird and crazy) person, it is viewable by the public and therefore please do not share any information or personal details of yours (or of the narcissist in your life – this is not a place to expose them) which you do not want others to read or know.
Thank you for reading.
That’s it from me… Over to you.