What is Narcissism?
Yet, some people go much farther on the narcissism scale. Depending on the severity and the person’s self-awareness, a narcissistic individual can be very difficult to relate to. Not surprisingly, many of their relationships fail. In extreme cases, a relationship with a narcissist can be emotionally abusive and damaging, particularly where children and significant others are involved.
The Mayo Clinic defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder as:
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.
After years of sitting in a counselor’s chair, I finally asked myself whether I have narcissistic tendencies. I value my friendships, my marriage and relationships with my kids. And I don’t want to be that self-absorbed person that can only talk about themselves and seek to control every situation in which they find themselves.
I have also come to certain realizations regarding my parents, siblings and spouse. While I cannot change their behavior, I can change my own reactions. Based on my personal experience, you may be able to deal with narcissism, in mild situations, with the proper tools and approaches.
NOTE: I am not a psychologist. If you are in a relationship with a person that shows symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (whether a co-worker, lover, spouse or parent), you may wish to seek professional advice.
The Myth of Narcissus: Self-Worship Ends in Tragedy
Unfortunately, the reflection could not reciprocate any love, no matter how obsessively Narcissus worshiped it. Nor could he take a drink of water from the pond because, to do so would shatter the “perfect image” and expose his flaws and needs.
Eventually, Narcissus died of heartache, and a flower grew in his place.