Narcissism is in a Medical Dictionary defined as self-love. Narcissistic personality disorder is manifested by excessive self-love, vanity, an exaggerated sense of own importance and increased need for excessive admiration, also people with narcissism have lack empathy and an unwillingness to understand and recognize the feelings and needs of others.
People with narcissistic personality manifests exaggerated sense of their own importance, arrogance, and extreme self. Such people are primarily trying to show to the people around them their superiority and imaginary perfection. They often use to achieve their goals hypocrisy and false emotions. To criticism about their personality or their activities, they react with anger or indifference. In relationships, they require boundless admiration of their partner, but they do not really care too much about their feelings.
People who have developed narcissism are closed to emotions, although they have contacts with the opposite sex, but they are afraid of commitments. Interpersonal relationships are for narcissists difficult to establish.
History: the origins of the term narcissism
The word narcissism comes from the Greek word Narkissos - a nice lad - he was for his shyness considered proud, because he refused the love of the nymph Echó. He was punished for this refusal by the goddess Aphrodite to fall in love with his own look. After that, throughout the day, he was admiring his own reflection on the water. Once, when he tried to kiss his reflection, he prevailed into the water and drowned. The gods then turned him into a flower that grew up on the shore. This flower was a daffodil. The classic original of this myth comes from the Latin poet Ovid in the collection named Metamorphoses.
Causes of narcissism
All people have sort of natural light degree of narcissism. However, if you exceed the tolerable limit, it is a personality disorder. The period of early narcissism undergoes during childhood every personality. Narcissistic personality disorder belongs among the early stages of personality disorder. It is formed in early childhood under the weight of repeated failures, when an individual as a defence creates the concept of idealized Self. Another cause may be a sense of lack of care, such an individual creates a semblance of self-sufficiency as a defence against the world. In reality, however, it may not be a real neglect on the part of parents, but unfulfilled wishes of the child about such care. More often, this type of disorder affects boys.
In normal childhood, development occurs stage when the child still does not distinguish between self and surroundings. In this stage, of course, everything relates to itself. Too much uncertainty and emotional “injuries” in early childhood leads to the fact that the adult is then trying to protect from the risk of loss that would be threaten him if he would be strapped to another person. Because such a person is suffering from excessive anxiety of losing, he is willing to invest just to itself. It can go so far that it prefers to masturbate and not have any relationship with another person, potentially uncertain and thus anxiety-giving object.
This is a severe personality disorder, which is often caused by inner doubts about himself. These inner uncertainty compensates person who suffers by this disorder by acting arrogant and self-confidently. This person usually craves for power and public success.
The diagnosis of narcissism: Just 5 of 9 symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder is enough
The American manual for diagnosing mental disorders describes nine symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder. If five of these symptome are fulfilled then the disorder is real.
- Revaluation self-importance, abilities and achievements. This person requires to be assessed this way by people around him.
- This person is in his/her imagination constantly concerning with his/her own endless successes, abilities, power, beauty, and so on.
- This person is convinced of his/her exceptionalism and uniqueness. Only exceptional person can understand him/her and that is why he/she can socialize only with these people.
- This person expects disproportional admiration of others.
- This person demands exceptional treatment from other people and automatic fulfilling of their requirements and ideas
- This person use others only for achieving their own goals
- This person is not able nor willing to recognize the feelings and needs of others
- This person is envious and also believes that others are envious of him
- This person behaves arrogantly and dismissively
Narcissism and interpersonal relationships
For these people it is hard to evoke interpersonal relationships at all. These people are normally closed to their emotions. They are looking for contact with the opposite sex, but they are afraid of commitments, the possibility of disappointment or failure. In the relationship they began, they very often love unconditionally. The problem is that they do not admit and do not believe that the partner could love them, too. From their childhood experiences, they consider this as an impossible option.
Narcists needs to feel that they are loved
Despite or perhaps because of this, these people need to feel very much that they are loved. They believe that they will be loved thanks to their results and for this reason, they buoy them up. Narcists cannot stand criticism. Either they overlooked it or they attack with anger. Criticism hurts them enormously; they do not know what to do with it. Narcists also tend to feel that they need help. They consider themselves as a fully self-sufficient, because they had to be self-sufficient as a child in the crib.
Narcissism, loneliness among people and difficulties in relationships
Inability to relate is the greatest difficulties with which the narcissistic people are facing. On the other hand, they sometimes attach to the relationships disproportionate importance. These people are rushing into the relationship, or on the contrary, they are vigorously trying to avoid them, while they are inaccessible to their own emotions. These individuals are accustomed from childhood to have some pattern, where the relationship is the goal, but unfortunately always unfulfilled.
It is not exception that narcissistic men or women need to seek out ever-new counterparts, and they need to captivate, and seduce them. Now, when the bond seems stronger, for fear of endangering they run from it far away. It is a fear of commitment and fear of disappointment, which does not allow them to build a stronger relationship. In addition, these people are not able to accept the idea that they could be truly loved. They love because they need a partner, but they do not allow others to love them.
People with narcissistic personality disorder tend to have complicated partnership life, they need boundlessly loyal and admiring partner, to whom they are often quite unreasonably jealous. It is not exceptional situation where narcists humiliate and ignore their partner and do not care about his feelings. Such treatment can stand only pathologically addicted individual.
Do you know any person suffering with narcissism?
Recognize Narcissism is not as easy as it might seem. Reveal narcissistic nature of man is hard perhaps also because such people are well able to hide it and dissemble masterfully dissemble.
Some typical characteristics of a narcissistic nature are:
- Absolute intolerance. Either people with narcissism overlooked criticism or attack it. They are enormously hurt by it and do not know what to do with it. These people do take it instructively, because they want to stay in their imaginative grandiose ego, even though they must be intrinsically suffering from inferiority.
- They exaggerate and show their "peacock feathers". Nothing against healthy self-confident when one achieves success, we may share it or maybe even boast. However, narcissistic person does not do anything else. They see themselves on the stage under which are other people, who are only witnesses to their success and their admirers. They are able to devote these fantasies for several hours a day.
- They do much of thinks just for appreciation.
- They compare internally themselves with others. Envy and anger are other classic symptoms. It is paradoxical to their tendency to satisfy all around.
- They hunger for the perfect relationship. At the same time, however, they fear of it, and sometimes they are insensitive. They cannot admit their own feelings.
- Pathological narcissism - the inability to laugh his own mistakes. No pranks on his behalf are allowed.
- This person is working very hardly for his/her success: a narcissistic person often interchanges love for success. They are trying to be successful, because they think that it is the only way, how to be loved. In fact, they are looking for love, they need to be loved like everyone else.
Narcissism and hysteria
These are two early developmental personality disorders that are emotional responses to upbringing in early childhood, it is learned and deeply rooted pattern of behaviour. Hysteric person significantly and quite often manifests itself outwardly, while the narcissist apart his self-appreciation episodes tendency to retreat into seclusion. These people are aware of their lack of "talent" to understand other people. They also know very well that they very often poorly estimated social situation and so they retracts, because they do not want to be somehow "guilty".
It can also be said that the partnership between narcissistic and hysterical woman is a relatively common phenomenon. He is outwardly closed, calm, quiet even pedantic. She is usually sociable, eccentric and emotionally unstable. These two personalities can complement each other very well, since they can found in the partner personal sites that they cannot find in themselves because it was denied to them in childhood or even forbidden.
Other manifestations of narcissism
People suffering with narcissism actually do not their true self, they even despise with it, and they consider it as inferior and worthless. They admire their own image, their grandiose self, to save themselves from a painful confrontation with reality and their real self. In childhood, it is manifested by fantasizing. In adulthood, the gap between fantasy and reality is growing and mental balance is becoming untenable. Narcissistic individuals have a tendency to see the world in black and white. They internalize the idealized qualities of their beloved people in order to increase their fragile feeling of self-worth. They reflect their bad and dark qualities in their surroundings, often to people close to them, because they probably will not be able to stand these qualities at themselves.
Low feeling of self-esteem and a sense of low self-confident is fundamentally ground of narcissistic personality structure. Children's negative experiences or feelings of rejection by people in their surroundings from an early age are compensated with grandiose visions of a perfect self. Idealized image becomes a safeguard against conflicts of the outside world. Criticism shakes the whole world of narcissist person, in fact, it distorts their whole imagination, which with they have built their world and their entire life. The slightest damage of this perfect image reminds them of the danger that they are secretly suffering and fearful - unloved.