You may have heard of the term “narcissist,” but you may be unsure about what exactly it means.
You also may not know how to identify a narcissist.
However, if you have a narcissist in your family, that can present a pile of particular challenges when various situations come up.
Let’s get into more detail about narcissism right now.
We’ll define it, and we’ll also talk about some ways and times when it can be really problematic.
What Precisely is Narcissism?
The terms narcissism and narcissist come from the fable of Narcissus.
Narcissus was an attractive youth. He fell in desperate love with his reflection in a pool of water and could not pull himself away from it. He eventually wasted away and died.
When psychologists use the term narcissism, they mean someone with a near terminal case of self involvement. It is a diagnosable personality disorder.
If someone is a textbook narcissist, they often have little or no empathy for anyone else but themselves.
Narcissists often are master manipulators, or they fancy that they are. They sometimes appear confident and strong, and they can put forth a sense of bravado that attracts weak minded individuals or those who are not particularly perceptive or self confident.
Potential Problems if You Have a Parent Who’s a Narcissist:
If you have a parent who is a narcissist, then they will never be truly supportive of you.
That is because they are pathologically unable to care about you. If you ever accomplish anything, they won’t acknowledge it unless it reflects favorably on them.
For instance, if you win some big athletic contest at school, the narcissistic parent will brag to the people they know that the only reason you accomplished what you did is that you have good genes, which is to say their genes.
The same will be true about academic excellence. Once you reach adulthood, they won’t care about how well your career is going unless it helps them somehow.
You can always tell when your parent is a narcissist because any time you try to talk about anything that is happening with you, they will immediately turn the conversation around so that it is about them.
You can probably count only a few seconds till you’re talking about them. If you insist that you want to speak about yourself, they will simply stop listening.
What About if You Fall in Love with a Narcissist?
It’s also possible that you might fall in love with a narcissist. You might cohabitate with them or marry them.
That’s because you might not realize at first who and what they are. Their charm might blind you, at least at first.
Eventually, though, most people who know narcissists intimately and partner with them will start to have problems with their behavior.
After all, relationships must be about supporting one another through both good and bad times. When challenges come, as they inevitably will, a narcissist will be unable to support you because they don’t genuinely care about you.
Again, this is pathological, and most people will only want to be with someone who genuinely cares about them.
When the chips are down, this is not someone who will have your back because a narcissist is not truly capable of love.
They only care about you because of what you might do for them.
If you can’t elevate their life in some notable way, then you are not worth their time.
If you try to insist that they support you, they will likely find it tedious and break off the relationship, even if you won’t.
Here is Why You Must Distance Yourself from Narcissists:
If you have a narcissist in your family, a time will likely come when you become so exasperated with them that you will want to distance yourself.
If one of your parents is a narcissist, or both of them are, then a moment will come when you can move away from them.
They might remain a part of your life, but it’s not probable that you will ever be close with them. This overwhelming personality trait precludes that from happening.
If one of your siblings has this trait, then it will be the same. You probably won’t ever get along with them very well.
If you marry a narcissist or partner with one, it’s not likely that you will be able to remain together with them forever. Eventually, they must show their true colors, and you’re not going to like what you see.