About 6 years ago I came across a book at a yard sale. I picked it up because it was titled "Why is it Always About You?" I'm always looking to improve my life, so my first thought was this will be another self-help book. I bought it on a whim because it was less than $1 and never bothered to read the back cover to find out more information about the book. I just naturally assumed by the title it would be literally about how to improve my life in some way. With my ADHD I should be used to this by now, but sometimes my sudden buy it on a whim moments can catch me off guard as this one did.
Long story short, and as the procrastination side of my ADHD brain took over, it would be another year before I would sit down and read the book. . Boy was I wrong! "Why is it Always About You?" was not about me. It was about the narcissists that were in my life. If you are not familiar with the term narcissist, it is a personality disorder where a person has a very high sense of self-importance. The disorder, interestingly, is found more commonly in men than in women with no known cause, although the speculation is perhaps it comes from genetics and the environment a person was raised in.
If this sounds like possibly someone you know, he or she may also exhibit the following traits:
They almost always are the topic of the conversation.
A good example of this would be if you try to talk about your day, you will discover that the conversation will quickly avert to their day, even if they have already talked about their day. They will change the conversation so that it is about them because in their eyes sadly, it is about them. If you attempt to change the conversation about you, they may become upset and will either end the conversation or they will avert the topic back to them.
They will be popular.
People will gravitate towards them because they appear to be that guy, that girl who can do no wrong. They are extremely helpful, very generous in the public eye. He or she will make sure to keep up that persona as much as possible to the public eye and if a person suspects differently and begins to question the truth, a narcissist will always play the victim role and put the blame for their caught behavior on others, including you. And if you are not still on their team, they will slowly find excuses to kick you out of their life because you know the truth.
They don't really have friends.
Narcissists tend to bring people into their lives in the biggest way by praising them, hyping them up, telling them they are awesome, but as soon as they praise you and they ask you for something that you can't give them or don't want to do, they will tear you down behind your back so fast that you will never even know it happened. You may have just spoken to them 2 hours ago, couldn't help them because you had to get ready for work and as soon as you clock into your job, they have already let everyone at your workplace know just how unworthy you really are.
Narcissists will always expect their needs to be put before anyone else's.
A good example is you are at work and the narcissist in your life is constantly calling you at work telling you, you have to leave work and run an errand for them because they are at work and can't be bothered to leave, no matter the consequences of your own job. If you don't do it, you will pay. They will tear you down, call you lazy, tell you that you don't care about them. They will give you the cold shoulder until you decide it all your fault and cave into them. If you don't cave in, expect one of two things to happen, they will take their anger out those they know you care about or they will threaten to leave you.
Narcissists are always right.
They can never be wrong or do wrong and if they are wrong, they will never admit it, or if they know they are caught because you just put the evidence in front of them, they will make sure that they blame someone else for it because they are always right. An example of this might be that after coming home from work, you notice the water faucet is overflowing in the kitchen sink, while the narcissist is rummaging through the refrigerator looking for a snack. You quickly turn off the faucet and ask what happened? Warning they will almost always go into a state of defense if you even mention them in the conversation. You may find yourself with an answer such as, I was busy, you saw the sink, you could have turned it off if you had gotten home sooner, so it's your fault the floor is flooded.
Narcissists love to give criticism, but they will never take it.
They cannot deal with the thought of someone correcting them or telling them how to do something, even a boss. They will fight back, do it their way or that person will be the enemy in a narcissist's eyes.
Narcissists believe they are special, they are perfect and god's gift to women or men.
They have this idea of power and greatness about themselves. An example might be if you talk to a person and compliment their looks in any way, they will agree with you. They will stop in a mirror and check themselves out or tell anyone nearby that they are beautiful, good-looking, or sexy.
A narcissist will almost always try to put their spouse or partner down in both work and life.
Narcissists do not want their mates to be more successful than them, so they will make sure it is known just how crappy of a job their spouse or partner is doing. They will tell them their job will never amount to anything and neither will they. They do not want anyone to be even equal to them because if they were they might get that attention the narcissist so desperately craves.
Narcissists will take advantage of others.
It doesn't matter if it's a spouse, a family member, friend or a boss, they will find a way to use them to their advantage. A good example of this might be a narcissist who plays a victim by using others such as their husband or wife, telling others such as a co-worker that they don't have any money because their spouse gets it all when in reality their spouse doesn't. Or maybe they borrow money promising to pay it back, then refuse angrily, or suddenly forget about that loan when it's brought up again and blame the other person for forgetfulness, even calling them a liar in some instances.
Even knowing the signs of a narcissist isn't always a guarantee that you are safe from their path. If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, one word of advice, be extremely cautious and don't point fingers at them in a conversation ever, because they can and will turn on you.
Even if you know you are right, even if the world knows you are right, a narcissist is never wrong. And if they feel threatened in any way, it could easily turn into a domestic violence situation. Agree with them, place nice, hold your tongue if you must just to keep them calm in an aggressive situation.
And remember, anything he or she says to put you down isn't true and you are not alone in being a victim of a narcissist's abuse. You are never alone.