How do narcissists affect us negatively?

What in psychology is understood as narcissism is a phenomenon as complex as it is problematic if it is not well managed in personal relationships.

And is that although people with a narcissistic propensity usually direct their attention to themselves, it has very important implications in behavior towards others.

Therefore, in this article we will see how we are negatively influenced by people with such a high level of narcissism that it is a problem.

    What is narcissism?

    Narcissism is a psychological phenomenon that is characterized mainly by two elements: the tendency to think that oneself is more important than the rest of the person or has characteristics that make them deserve privileged treatment, on the one hand, and the need to see reflected in the treatment that others offer us this idea that we are very special, the other.

    This is why narcissism is paradoxical: in a way we think we are superior to others, but this feeling of greatness causes us to be more dependent on others and to experience more frustration when others do not treat us in a way that is okay. . with these assumptions. That is to say, on the one hand, their self-esteem is very ‘inflated’ but on the other hand, it is very vulnerable and can be ‘punctured’ easily, leading to emotional crises and, in most cases. cases, to a very hostile or even aggressive behavior. attitude when this happens.

      Personality trait or psychological disorder?

      It is important not to confuse the concept of dry “narcissism” with narcissistic personality disorder.. In the first case, it is a psychological trait that is more or less present in practically all people, because depending on the context and our mental state at key moments, we can all behave with a certain inclination towards narcissism. . . .

      In the second case, on the other hand, we are referring to a psychopathological phenomenon which is part of personality disorders. This set of alterations is made up of disorders closely related to the patterns of behavior that shape the personality of the person who develops them, and are therefore very complex to treat in therapy. Here the narcissism is not only very pronounced, but it produces qualitative changes in the way the individual acts in front of others and in front of himself, which affects their quality of life and that of those around them.

      In the case of narcissistic personality disorder, it occurs in a very small portion of the population, just under 1%. However, when it does occur, it is important to know its characteristics to avoid, as far as possible, certain complications resulting from misunderstandings or a lack of information on how to manage the care of a person. having developed this disorder. Therefore, in the following lines, we will address the question of how pathologically narcissistic people affect us.

        How do very narcissistic people affect us?

        These are the main implications of dealing with someone extremely narcissistic for others:

        • They are constantly on the lookout for external validation: showing something they have done and not seeing how much they love other people can lead to a hostile attitude.

        • They don’t take it well for not taking the reins of the conversation – they want to decide at all times what to talk about and when to speak even if it means interrupting.

        • They show a lack of sensitivity when dealing with sensitive subjects or which make a person involved in the conversation vulnerable; this often helps to maintain its dominant role in the dialogue.

        • They turn any topic into a monologue about themselves and their life: they almost always like to talk more about their life than abstract topics.

        • Before admitting a mistake on their part, blame others for what happened, even if you get angry.

        • It is practically impossible to give him constructive criticism without taking it too badly.

        • It is common for them to underestimate the merits and accomplishments of others, which helps lower the self-esteem of those around them.

        • They capitalize on the attention of conversations even if they don’t know anything about it.

        • They tend to obsessively control and dominate the behavior of their partners, which easily leads to situations of physical and / or psychological abuse.

        • They favor the hedonic enjoyment of the here and now to the creation of lasting and stable emotional and social ties; it can make them break their word easily, because they believe in this right.

        • You might be interested in: “The 7 Narcissistic Needs (Explained)”

        The importance of setting limits

        Faced with people at a very high level of narcissism, it is important not to be carried away by their tendency to constantly want to absorb the attention and favors of others and to establish by assertiveness the limits not to be cross.

        It is about assuming that the other person may be upset, but, in any case, to say very directly what one is not ready to tolerate, by referring to specific actions and without attacking him. unnecessarily, but rather by criticizing certain behaviors. In such cases the main thing is not that the other knows how to respond to these criticisms, but be aware that some toxic attitudes are not tolerated.

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        I am a psychologist specializing in the cognitive-behavioral intervention model and I offer sessions to adults and young people both in person in my practice in Madrid, and online by video call.

        Bibliographical references

        • American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth Edition). Masson: Barcelona.
        • Muñoz, JJ (2018). Manual for the preparation of the PIR CEDE. Clinical Psychology Vol. 2. CEDE: 5th Edition.
        • Peris, L. (2016). Double pathology in personality disorders. Barcelona: EdikaMed.
        • Quiroga, I.; Errasti, JM. (2014). Effective psychological treatment of personality disorders. University of Almeria and University of Oviedo.
        • Serra, JK (2016). The diagnosis of narcissism: a relational reading. Spanish Journal of Neuropsychiatry, 36 (129), 171 – 187.

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