Once upon a time, there was a woman in my life whose behavior I did not understand. Her constant need for attention was alarming. For example, on one occasion, I invited her to my home for dinner with my friends. Once she saw the spread of food, she loudly proclaimed, “My roasted chicken is better.” We hadn’t even blessed the food or begun eating. On another occasion, I invited her to my job for lunch. A cafeteria on-site served a delicious variety of foods; therefore, I thought it would be a good place to catch up. She’d never been to my job or met any of my coworkers. The first thing she did was step forward when I introduced her to my closest coworkers to ask, “Who looks younger? Who looks better?”
I don’t know who was more confused; me or my co-worker. She could not get enough of herself and took every opportunity to make everything about her. There was constant attention-seeking, competing, and comparing along with bragging and a haughty spirit. No matter where we were or who was around, she made it all about her. The two examples mentioned are on a long list of many that fall under the umbrella of unhealthy narcissism and narcissistic behavior.
A female narcissist according to True Narcissism will sabotage those they are envious of. They engage in a great deal of relationship aggression to undermine and extinguish those they perceive to be threats. This means you will find them underhandedly working behind the scenes to one-up you. They will also sabotage your relationships, spread rumors, and stage a smear campaign, to ensure they receive any attention or recognition that would have been paid to you.
“The term narcissism comes from the Ancient Greek myth of Narcissus, a young man who fell in love with his image. One day, Narcissus finds himself thirsty and makes his way to a clear pool for a drink. In the water, he sees his reflection, an image so striking that he reaches in to embrace it. But the image is lost when the water is disrupted, as it is with each future effort, leaving Narcissus desperate.
Immobilized before the pool, he pines for the image that will never return his love. He eventually succumbs to the neglect of his basic needs. Narcissus did not suffer from an overabundance of self-love but rather from its deficiency. The myth is a parable about paralysis. The curse of Narcissus is immobilization, not out of love for himself but out of dependency upon his image. Healthy self-love would have motivated him to befriend every wounded and weary part of himself. Self-contempt motivated him to search in vain for what he thought he needed to live, only to die from neglect of what he really needed.”Chuck DeGroat
A person with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
Narcology Pride indicates people with NPD tend to exaggerate their skills and accomplishments as well as their level of relationship with people they consider to be important. You know what, I noticed a lot of this behavior while living in Los Angeles, CA. I have since learned that California is known as the narcissistic capital of the world. Now it all makes sense why it was the most difficult place I have ever lived. In the book When Narcissism Goes to Church, author Chuck DeGroat says:
“When we are loved well, we develop a healthy and wholly confidence. Where we see healthy narcissism, we will also notice a healthy shame, a recognition of our limitations, and a humble acknowledgment that we are not the center of the world. Translated for Christians, this is an acknowledgment of both our beauty and brokenness, a recognition of God’s delight in us alongside a recognition of our human weakness and fragility. Both are essential for a wholehearted life in Christ. Healthy narcissism both personally and organizationally manifests in confidence rather than certainty, empathy rather than ingratiation, clarity rather than confusion, humility rather than arrogance, curiosity rather than defensiveness.”
Something to think about…
What say you? Do you know any narcissists? How do you deal with them? What are your thoughts about narcissism?
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