Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Narcissistic individuals try to keep their self-esteem by getting affirmation from others. They are people who have disproportionated sense of self-concern, and very sensitive to criticism.
Our contemporary societies are reinforcing our narcissistic concerns. Social media and mass communication affect our sense of ourselves and expand our own insecurities, it is the only the first impression which will impact our relationship with people no our values or insight.
Narcissism has been described as a personality characterised by “….exhibitionism, aloofness, emotional inaccessibility, fantasies of omnipotence, overvaluation of his creativity, and a tendency to be judgmental” (Jones, 1913).
Narcissism comes from the Greek mythology where Narcissus, the youth who fell in love with his reflection in the pool of water and eventually fell in the water and died as his longing that his image could never satisfy.
Narcissistic people may have become like that as they were used by caregivers to fulfil certain functions. Narcissistic people may have been critically important for caregivers no because of what they are but the purpose they fulfilled. Children who are provided support only when fulfilling narcissistic parent’s agenda may begin the path of narcissism.
Narcissism means difficulty relating to the outer world and lack of relatedness. Narcissism has also links with the concept of self-esteem. When feeling miserable and small, I will try to evaluate others, try to force others to admire me or flee into daydreaming.
Narcissistic personality disorder main present following features:
- Sense of entitlement
- Need for admiration
- Lack of empathy
- Lack of inner-directed morality
- Highly destructive and toxic to others
- Fantasies about unlimited success
- May become aggressive in response to feeling slighted but cooperative when feeling appreciated
- Distrust and devaluation in their relationship with others
- Seeking limitless adoration and tendency to exploit others
- Bothered by intense envy of others
Therapy with Narcissistic individuals:
People with narcissistic personality tend to idealise, self-aggrandise themselves and devaluate others, so they can not compare to them. They also tend to be perfectionistic as they set themselves up to unrealistic standards. In therapy, they may come with the perfectionistic expectation that the purpose of therapy is to perfect the self rather than encountering meaning to their circumstances.
Therapy with narcissistic people may take patience and maybe a long term is undertaken. Therapists may feel a boost in the perception of their value or devaluated and timid. A central task in the therapeutic process is attuning to underlying hurt and vulnerability.