In life, there is this big divide. The people in conflict resolution refer to it as self-orientation or community orientation. In short, it begs the question:
- Are you more interested in your own things (health, happiness, wealth, etc)
- Or, do you think first on others, like the ones you have around you, because you need others to be happy?
Of course, there are different combinations of these two orientations, and the ideal is a healthy balance...you care for yourself, but not at the expense of caring also for others. In my experience, we are always negotiating the two trends, and calculating how we can keep our connections happy while using some of the resources for our own enjoyment?
Normal people know that BOTH orientations are necessary and healthy: you take good care of yourself, and at the same time, you care for your loved ones, the larger group and for humanity in general.
So, what has this general orientation to do with narcissism? Of course, narcissism is defined as an extreme self-orientation! Now, look around and watch your friends, partners or lovers, and see how many narcissists are related to you:
The Narcissistic Personality Signs are, among others:
- An obvious self-referential focus on any conversation: they are always the center;
- Oriented towards people who admire them; attacking people who don't admire them;
- Inability to view the world from other people's perspective;
- Using other people's resources without considering the cost of doing so;
- Difficulty feeling empathy for others' concerns or suffering;
- Pretending to be more important than they really are;
- Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined critiques;
- Constant mention of their achievements, wealth, skills, etc. as superior to any other people's achievements.
At this point, the most important feeling reading this list, is exhaustion...you remember what is it to deal with a person that believes in his/her own stardom and expects permanent admiration. I hope that this person is your boss, a dear friend, or a near relative, so you can take a little distance and keep your identity without being invaded. Just in case, if this person is your spouse, then we need to reflect on two aspects:
a) How did you end up married to a narcissist?
b) How are you going to recover your identity?
More on the next posting...By now, perhaps you feel validated in your sense of exhaustion relating to one narcissistic person? They keep asking more and more from you, and never is enough for their egos, right?