The word “narcissist” gets casually thrown around a lot. Maybe a co-worker uses the word to describe a particularly demanding boss. The media often use the word to talk about a self-centered actor or politician. To make matters even more confusing, a person who has a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) can be quite charismatic and likable — at least on the surface. So, how do you know if you are dealing with a person who might have narcissistic personality disorder? Here are some classic signs of narcissistic personality disorder.
#1 Lack of Empathy For Others
Empathy refers to the ability to understand another person's emotions and experiences. It is a critical aspect of a healthy relationship. When a person has empathy, they recognize what other people are experiencing and need. If a loved one has narcissistic PD, it might seem like they disregard your feelings entirely. That is because a person who has narcissistic personality disorder has difficulty recognizing and identifying with the needs and feelings of others.
#2 Inflated Sense Of Self-Importance
A person with narcissistic personality disorder usually exaggerates their importance. They may go on and on about their accomplishments and talents. They might believe that others are envious of their abilities. A person with this disorder might believe that they are much more unique or special than others. Although their ego is inflated, it is very fragile. As a result, a person with NPD may be highly sensitive to anything that they perceive as criticism.
#3 A Need For Constant Admiration
Because a person with narcissistic personality disorder has an inflated sense of self, they believe that they are entitled to constant admiration from others. They have an unrealistic expectation of getting favorable treatment all the time.
A relationship with a person with NPD will be one-sided. Most conversations quickly turn to them. You might feel drained or invisible when dealing with someone with the disorder. You might feel that your purpose is only to make them happy.
#4 Preoccupied With Success
Is your loved one preoccupied with fantasies of power? Do they believe that they must have the perfect romance or the best job? Do they avoid associating with others who they don’t think are as worthy as them? Narcissistic personality disorder involves preoccupations with power or success. A person with this disorder might insist on driving only the most expensive car or buying designer clothing. They might refuse anything that they perceive as being less than the best.
#5 May Take Advantage of Others
People with narcissistic personality disorder sometimes take advantage of others to meet their own needs. Part of the reason that narcissists do this is because of their inflated sense of self-importance. Their wants are placed above others’ needs.
What You Can Do To Help
If the above signs sound familiar, don’t despair. There are some things that you can do to have a healthier relationship with a person who has NPD.
Reach Out To A Mental Health Professional
It was once thought that narcissistic personality disorder was not treatable. However, newer research has found that things like empathy can be taught. Relationship therapy can help a person with NPD learn to relate better to others. So, encourage your loved one to go to therapy. However, if they refuse, then reach out to a therapist yourself.
Another essential thing to do when dealing with a person with narcissistic PD is to set limits. Setting limits will help them better understand healthy relationships. It will also help you heal and take better care of yourself.
For more information about couples therapy in Sacramento, CA, contact us today. Here at the Relationship Therapy Center, we provide a range of therapeutic services, including couples counseling, individual therapy, depression help and anxiety help.
Lori Hunter, LMFT specializes in working with families, co-parenting and those high conflict couples struggling with relationships. She helps couples build intimacy, teaching effective emotional processing techniques that directly improve thoughts and behaviors.