The DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) cites as a “core feature” of the narcissist a “lack of empathy” that begins in early childhood and is present in different contexts. If lack of empathy is not a characteristic of an antisocial individual, then what is it? – Stanton E. Samenow, Ph.D.
For the average person, the word “narcissistic” is often used without proper context. Associated with self-absorption and selfishness, the classic definition of narcissism is used in a way that can be applied to almost all who are alive. However, some people are much more prone to narcissistic behavior than others.
This incomprehension is illustrated perfectly in the relationship of a narcissist with others. This relationship usually involves deception, lack of empathy, and deliberate exploitation. These relationships are usually detrimental to the well-meaning person who trusts a person who is unable to reciprocate such an emotional investment.
As honest people, it is good to be able to identify and understand the characteristics of narcissists. Nobody wants to be exploited and deceived, especially by a person whose preconceived actions and behavior are intended to provoke the same thing.
1. Cognitive dissonance
It is common for a narcissist to mask his true identity with a fake individual. Basically, it’s designed to be a kind of presentation to the world – something well designed to get the attention and admiration needed. It does not matter that this attention and this admiration are not deserved; In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Unfortunately, this misleading tactic often works. People are often unable to fully understand the true nature of a narcissist – as someone who lacks empathy and interest in other human beings. Instead, they see someone who is charming, gentle and caring.
As a result, victims of narcissists may suffer from cognitive dissonance. They often try to rationalize the person “charming, sweet and caring” with the extravagant and offensive behaviors to which the narcissist constantly submits them. In the end, victims can end up blaming themselves while forgetting the true identity of the narcissist.
2. Emotional puppets (triangulation)
Narcissists often manipulate emotions by the arrival of another person in the relationship. Essentially, this alters the dynamic relationship, and it is also an attempt to provoke jealousy and maintain control.
Triangulation usually works as follows: Another problem arises in the relationship, and the narcissist does not feel compelled to help solve anything. Seeing an opportunity, the narcissist will (often) manipulate the emotions of another to be able to communicate with the “problem person” – aka, the victim.
The goal? Give the victim the impression that she must “fight” for her affection. Narcissists will often say things like, “I wish you were more like him / her”, “He / she would never treat me like that.” Such statements create a sense of insecurity and uncertainty for the victim.
3. The “change of form”
Narcissists love to have their ego flattered, and are well known for having a “collection” of people to do it. Even a narcissist realizes that for people to “adapt” to you, you have to keep some kind of good will. To achieve this good will, a narcissist will often have a “change of form”, or embody a new character to please people and get what he wants. Namely, constant admiration and flatter his ego.
It is not normal behavior to change character from person to person. The observation of this tendency should be a telling sign that the person is false or even narcissistic.
4. “It’s not me, it’s you”
Narcissists will do anything to interfere with another person’s judgment about their abnormal behavior. After submitting their victim (s) to emotional and / or psychological abuse, they will most likely seek to invalidate and criticize any resistance to their actions. Common phrases include “you are too sensitive,” “you are too serious,” or “you listen badly. “
Narcissists are proud to be emotional chameleons. As for the abuse, they would just like the victim to remain in the negativity and wrongly blame himself for the actions of the narcissist. The ultimate goal of a narcissist is to create a sense of self-doubt among their victims; Because this self-doubt gives them more time to impose their will.
5. The idealization cycle – depreciation – rejection
Narcissism brings together opinions and antisocial behavior. This is more evident in relationships with romantic partners. In almost all cases, the narcissist will put his partner in a cycle of idealization, depreciation and rejection.
The idealization is to make their partner the centerpiece of their lives. During this phase, they will be charming, courteous and compliment. They will flatter someone during this phase and will make believe to their victim that they have found their soul mate. In return, they will receive the admiration and attention they constantly need.
Suddenly, the narcissist will begin to create feelings of “hot and cold,” where he will continue the phase of small-scale idealization, while criticizing his victim and moving away from her. Predictably, the narcissist will manipulate the victim’s emotions in an attempt to maintain control.
This period is often compounded by psychological and emotional abuse.
Finally, the narcissist believes that his work is finished, and subsequently, withdraws from the relationship. But not before humiliating and disrespecting his victim in a terrible way; Often leaving her for someone else, humiliating her in front of others, or just ignoring her for several days.
HILL, MS, LPC, T., POSTS, V. ALL AND ?LPC (2015)TRIANGULATION: THE TRAP OF THE PROBLEMATIC PERSON. voir: B LOGS.PSYCHCENTRAL.COM
SAMENOW, PH.D, S. (2011)NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER AND THE ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY DISORDER — A LOT IN COMMON. VOIR: WWW.PSYCHOLOGYTODAY.COM