10 Gut-Wrenching Realities Behind Narcissistic Facades

Psychology
3 weeks ago

Many of us have met people who are selfish, don’t care about others, and crave attention. This is what we think of when we hear the word “narcissist.” But often, it’s just a mask. We collected common myths about narcissists. We hope our explanations help you understand these people and deal with them.

Myth 1: Narcissists are all the same.

Narcissism can manifest in different ways, and not every person with narcissistic traits behaves identically. There are two main types of narcissism: grandiose and vulnerable. Grandiose narcissists are typically outgoing, assertive, and have a high sense of self-importance. They often crave admiration and attention. In contrast, vulnerable narcissists are more sensitive and defensive. They may feel insecure and worry about their worth, even though they still have an inflated sense of self.

Myth 2: They think they’re better than everyone.

This may be true of some narcissists, but not all. Others, on the other hand, have low self-esteem and feel the need to impress others and try to appear superior to them as a defense mechanism. These people are called vulnerable narcissists, and they need other people’s approval to make them feel better about themselves because they don’t feel good enough.

Myth 3: They like to hurt others.

Narcissists don’t intentionally want to harm anyone. But they do want their needs and desires to be met. And in trying to get what they want, they may do whatever is necessary to achieve that goal. They may not realize that they are negatively affecting someone else in the process.

Myth 4: Narcissism can be cured.

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a lifelong mental health condition that cannot be cured, but treatment can help manage symptoms and improve functioning. While narcissists can learn to manage their symptoms and relate to others better through therapy, they may never fully eliminate their grandiose sense of self, lack of empathy, and need for admiration. These core traits of NPD are very resistant to change.

Myth 5: They’re great at manipulating people.

Some may think that narcissists are master manipulators. They like to make evil, elaborate plans and see other people as their puppets. In reality, they’ve just learned, by trying, how to get what they want. In fact, they may be masters at using other people’s weaknesses to their advantage. That’s why it’s important to set boundaries so that you are not manipulated by them.

Myth 6: They can’t form close relationships.

It’s actually possible for narcissists to form close relationships, but it’s true that it can be difficult for them to do so. They’re going to want to receive a lot of love and admiration, but they’re not likely to give anything in return. This one-sided relationship can be difficult for other people. Especially if they have certain expectations and believe that a narcissist can be changed. But if the partner has patience and can show acceptance and understanding, it’s not impossible.

Myth 7: Narcissism can be healthy.

Some say being a little narcissistic can be good for you. This is especially common in business, where the more money you make, the better. Disregarding other people’s lives is bad. Being a narcissist often comes with being arrogant, vindictive, always putting yourself first, and gaslighting other people. These traits are unhealthy.

Myth 8: They aren’t capable of empathizing.

Narcissists can understand other people’s emotions. They can empathize, but not like we do. They can read people and recognize their feelings, but only to gain something from it. They might seem caring and considerate, but they do it to benefit themselves, not others.

Myth 9: All narcissists are outgoing.

We often think of a narcissist as charismatic, charming, and outgoing. Not all of them are like that. Some quiet people are also narcissists.

Myth 10: Social media causes narcissism.

Social media doesn’t make you a narcissist. Research shows that parenting style affects whether you become a narcissist. If parents are too permissive, children are more likely to become narcissists. Social media lets them seek admiration and validation.

Myth 10: Narcissists adore themselves.

Narcissists often hate themselves, not themselves love. Some narcissists are “in love” with themselves, but some research suggests they are psychopaths. Narcissism can also mean self-loathing and insecurity.

Is your relationship with your mother confusing or draining? Our next article can help. Learn how to recognize sneaky narcissistic traits and reclaim your emotional well-being.

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