By Raven Fon
Chances are, you probably know at least one person in your life who can be classified as a narcissist. Maybe you even dated that person. I mean, I hope you didn’t but you absolutely might have fallen down that well. Maybe even more than once.
Clinical psychology defines narcissism as “extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.” Narcissistic behaviour exists on a spectrum- meaning it can range from a few unhealthy traits to a full-blown personality disorder.
There are three characteristics that scientists look for when identifying this behaviour:
1. They have an over-inflated sense of superiority
2. They believe they are entitled to special treatment
3. They display a lack of empathy towards others
Obviously, there is a little bit more to it than that, but these are the foundation blocks of narcissism.
If you want to find out if someone is a narcissist, the easiest way to do so is by asking this one question, found in the video below. You will also learn some interesting scientific information regarding the question, and the process used to discover it.
This video, by New York Magazine is less than two minutes long, but it shines some much-needed light on the topic of “narcissism.”
If you are currently trying to figure out how to deal with a narcissist in your life, here is some helpful advice: Narcissists behave as they do because they fear losing control, and are uncomfortable with anything non-linear, like feelings. If you want to get through to a narcissist, you have to give them a safe space to grow, without having them experience fear as they normally would. Of course, we all are ready to grow at different times in our lives. If the person you know isn’t ready, then your best bet is to walk away. Let them know they can come to you in the future when they are ready to blossom into a human being with a healthy personality. Until then, keep your distance.