Narcissists Are Made, Not Born:
How to Avoid Being a Narcissist
By Kori Anderson
There is no clear evidence of how narcissists are created, but the bottom line is that no one is born narcissist. Your childhood experiences, gene abnormalities or neurological factors are some of the factors that are associated with causing the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPH). People who have suffered neglect, indulgence, abuse, trauma or excessive criticism while they were toddlers are the most likely to portray narcissistic traits. These people grow knowing that they are not capable of being loved by anyone, lack trust in anyone and learn to depend on themselves to get anything they want. They become self-absorbed and only care about themselves as a manner of protecting their brain from the trauma.
Factors that make you a narcissist
- You have no sense of empathy
Empathy is taught. Since your parents or caregiver always had other better things to do other than guiding you through your childhood, you never learned how to practice fundamental skills such as empathy. You are consistently focused on your needs, how to fulfill them and your feelings but take no regard of how getting what you want might affect other people feelings.
- You are not to blame for anything
It is difficult for a narcissist to admit when they are wrong, own mistakes, apologize or try to make up for someone for their faults. It is never their fault and will always blame something or someone else about their screw ups. If you mostly refuse to take responsibility for your mistakes, you will be a pain in any relationship.
- You can't stomach criticism
When you always believe that you are right and the best in everything, it is hard for you to take being criticized. Narcissists have an excessive need to win in any domain to prove how superior they are than someone else. They think everything is about them thus take any disapproval, criticism or insult very personally. This idealized self-image makes them portray hurt feelings and rage when anyone challenges them in something.
- You love talking about yourself
Narcissists are self-centered, a trait that makes having a meaningful conversation with them overwhelming. They dominate it and leave no room for anyone else to express their point of view. Ask yourself if you always talk about; your accomplishments, your perfect skin, how powerful you will be, how you will be rich in the future or associate yourself with prominent people, in any conversation. It's obnoxious to engage in discussion with you if you are talking about yourself all the time.
- You feel you deserve special treatment
Narcissists have very high expectations of you. They expect all their needs to be met with immediate effect. Failing to receive their call or showing up for dinner late will hurt them terribly. They expect the world to revolve around them. Your sense of self-importance is exaggerated; thus you will expect automatic compliance of their requests. They are always expecting favors from people around them.
There you have it. If you were in a Grey area on whether you are narcissistic, now you can move on the right side of the spectrum.
How to avoid becoming narcissistic
Narcissism is a mental disorder that will affect your life leading to troubled relationships, low self-esteem, and vulnerability to criticism. You will have unstable emotions, an exaggerated sense of ego-centrism and self-importance. Here is a guide on how you can avoid becoming narcissistic:
- Accepting that you are a narcissist and finding that there is a need to change is the most crucial step in avoiding to become narcissistic.
- Start listening to other people opinions without taking anything personal and consider their point of view.
- Practice empathy by putting yourself in other people's shoes and starting to understand how your selfish actions affect their feelings.
- Stop being envious of what other people have but instead get contented with what you have.
- Show kindness by saying thank you when someone does something nice for you.
- Avoid making yourself look better by calling other people names, degrading their status or belittling them. Not everything is a competition.
- Learn how to engage in meaningful conversations without constantly blowing your own trumpet.
- Seek help from professional or people around you so that they can guide you on how to deal with your narcissism.
How to build relationships with narcissists
Imagine having a relationship with a person who only cares about themselves only! Sounds difficult but it is possible. You must be ready to Cope with a one-sided relationship. You will need to learn how to sacrifice your opinions and accept their viewpoint. Don't expect them to show you emotional support. To make them happy, they require you to condone and understand their behaviors, forgive them instantly and take the blame for all faults. Be prepared for the outrageous outbursts and constant insults from them after a slight disagreement. It's evident that such a relationship is unhealthy and unless you have children together, you need to break off and move on. But not so fast, this will be difficult too because a narcissist will want to be the one to decide when to end a relationship. They will dominate you and your decision, make you second guess and feel guilty about your choice of leaving them. There will not be many happy times in your relationship, but you can still make it work if you can put up with their behavior.
Narcissists need to feel special and admired all the time. It is a challenging condition that can lead to other mental health issues such as depression and anxiety when they don't receive what they need from people. The world cannot revolve around you. The only hope for a narcissist is to choose change and be willing to get help on their part. They must learn how to love and accept themselves unconditionally so that they can love others unconditionally thus sustaining healthy relationships.