How to outsmart narcissists

Someone else's self-love can be detrimental to your peace of mind

By Dr Mohita Shrivastava

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Published: Thu 30 Mar 2023, 3:14 PM

An optimal or balanced sense of grandiose about oneself helps one to be mentally tougher, confident, stress-free, and less prone to depression and anxiety. However, it becomes toxic when it shapes into ‘narcissism’ and eventually to narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), a toxic mental health condition characterised in DSM 5.

Some behavioural traits exhibited by narcissists:


• They have an inflated sense of self-importance i.e they are always preoccupied with themselves

• Lack of empathy — completely deficient in understanding others and their points of view


• A constant longing for attention or admiration

• Dependence on external validation

• Full of grandiose and high-headedness

• Inability to accept criticism even if it is constructive, reacts angrily and gets defensive

• Fantasies of perfection, power, success and superiority are deep-rooted as insecurity

• Thinking of themselves as being unique and special. Expect recognition without achievements

• Arrogant, rude and intend to humiliate others. Disregard for others

• Often usurp conversation or situation to make themselves feel better or superior

• ‘Gratitude’ is an alien term in their dictionary

• Envy and jealousy because they consider themselves as being the most successful and powerful and cannot expect someone else to outshine, thereby knocking down the other person (common example is sibling rivalry)

• Emotionally unstable and often exhibit mood swings, psychologically fragile and might struggle to regulate their emotions. This inability to properly balance their feelings can result in aggressive impulses, verbal assaults, and manipulation

Want to tackle the narcissists? Understand and implement the following:

• Narcissists need gratification by showing off, ignoring boundaries, or being extra negative, almost always on a constant basis. Cut off this narcissistic supply by drawing boundaries instead of being constantly available for a narcissistic partner

• Give yourself time and space for healing skilfully to get the upper hand once and for all.

• Apply ‘Grey Rock Method’ by disengaging, separating yourself to the fullest, by being non-reactive and unresponsive to the nonsense.

wknd@khaleejtimes.com

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