Narcissism is a touchy subject for me because I’m very familiar with it. I’ve seen it at it’s mildest and at its worst form. I’ve seen tendencies within myself and within other people.
And the center of it all is our deep rooted insecurities. We want the validation that we’re not as bad as our deepest insecurities paint us to be. People with narcissistic traits want to protect themselves with their ego.
Note my distinction. INFJs throw around the word narcissist frequently but not everyone is one. “According to the DSM IV-TR, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is diagnosed in between 2% and 16% of the population in clinical settings (between 0.5-1% of the general population).” That is a tiny portion of the population. Not everyone you have beef with is a narcissist, but everyone can have narcissistic traits.
There are a lot of different characteristics of narcissism but there are certain traits that I notice bother me the most.
Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
This one is killer. Some people just really don’t see how their words can affect other people. They are selfish with other people’s time, talents and resources.
Has a grandiose sense of self-importance
The way I usually encounter this trait is through bragging. In my usual conversations, there really is no need for a pissing contest. I’m not impressed by bragging. In fact, I’m usually turned off by showing off. Especially when it’s exaggerated.
Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
Here’s a kicker. No one owes you shit. Just because people are nice to you, it doesn’t mean we owe you all our time, effort and energy. I love helping people, but I am not obligated to carry burdens, to listen to problems all the time and to step-by-step fix problems. That is all on you. On social media, I am not obligated to reply if there is nothing more to say. I am not obligated to like and support every selfie a person posts. And if I don’t do those things, it doesn’t mean I hate you. But I am not a fan of the expectation that I have to.
Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
This one makes me roll my eyes. Get over yourself. Not every post a person makes is about you. If people hang out without you, it doesn’t necessarily mean they hate you. If a person replies late, it doesn’t mean that they’re ignoring you. Other people’s lives don’t revolve around your insecurities. And when people happen to dislike you, it doesn’t mean they’re fucking jealous of you. They probably have a more solid reason than that.
Requires excessive admiration
I really dislike it when I have to constantly validate someone for them to be coherent. It really isn’t my job to fix other people’s self-esteem. I can tell you the truth, that you’re a good person, that you deserve the best and you deserve love and everything that you could hope and dream for. But that doesn’t mean jack shit if you don’t truly believe that. The problem with people with this trait is that once you start giving them that pep talk, some of them start expecting that from you. Awww poor you, want more validation? Please start from within.
So how to I deal with it?
If I have the luxury of telling them that I’m annoyed by these traits, then I try to do that first (heck most people don’t know that it comes off as annoying). If I can’t do anything about it, or if it’s not worth it… I don’t acknowledge it. With this type of behavior, it feeds off of attention: negative or positive. The best way is to ignore it. Don’t acknowledge it in person or on social media. It’s as if their narcissistic traits don’t exist at all.
Mind you, this method of coping might not be the best with people who you have stakes in (ie. family or close friends), but it’s effective for anyone less than that. If they show signs of that sort of behavior, divert the conversation away from the bragging, selfishness, and entitlement to safer grounds. This way you don’t have to door slam them, your Fe can stay intact and you just go on your merry way.
How do you deal with low-key narcissism?