Are you experiencing any of the following?
- Believing you are better than other people
- Inability to recognize or relate to others feelings and emotions
- Taking advantage of others
- Preoccupation with success, appearance, and power
- Consistent need for admiration and praise
- Overemphasizing or embellishing your talents and achievements
- Believing others are envious of you and/or being envious of other people
- Believing that you are more special than most
- Difficulty maintaining healthy relationships
- Often accused of being unemotional and/or lacking empathy
- Assuming others will want to go along with all your ideas and plans
- Having a fragile self image and often feeling hurt or rejected easily
- Feeling a lack of respect or contempt for those you believe to be inferior
On the surface, some of the characteristics of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) may sound similar to someone with a healthy self-esteem. In reality, those with NPD feel they are better than most and do not empathize or attempt to sympathize with other people. They feel a persistent need for admiration as well as an exaggerated sense of importance. Underneath this, they are often struggling with an extremely fragile self image that can be effected easily.
People with NPD often struggle with maintaining healthy romantic relationships, friendships, and relationships with their families. They tend to look at those around them as inferior to themselves and treat them as such. Those with NPD often talk mainly of themselves and are irritated when the focus is on someone else. They often feel they deserve the best, more than others, and get angry or frustrated when they are not given the attention and lifestyle in which they feel entitled. This is often a mask covering up low self-esteem and an inability to accept criticism. When these aspects are challenged, one may get extremely angry, attempt to disparage the other person, and/or even become full of rage.
NPD is frequently a reaction to an abusive childhood, a neglectful environment while growing up, unordinary high expectations from parents or guardians, or an unusually highly pampered childhood. The child begins coping in this way without the guidance or acceptance of feelings and emotions from those around them. They have to find a way to nurture themselves and shut down their emotions, and this inevitably leads into adulthood.
People often find someone with NPD challenging to be involved with in a relationship because they may experience abuse, a feeling of unimportance, find themselves feeling unheard and not supported, and many other uncomfortable or impossible feelings. Both the person struggling with NPD and the person involved with someone with NPD could benefit from therapy. The person with NPD wants relationships but is confused as to why they are unable to sustain them. The person on the other side of this loves the person with NPD but is not getting their needs met and is possibly feeling defeated, demeaned, and devalued. Those with NPD also often struggle with substance abuse, depression, financial issues, and problems at work among others.
The therapists at Noyau frequently work with those with NPD and their significant others, family members, and friends. Your therapist will initially work with you to heal any substance abuse issues, depression, and development of your self image. They will challenge your thought patterns and ideas about yourself, life, and those around you. Your therapist can also work with you and your partner to help you work through the challenges you have experienced as a couple and to develop new ways of relating and communicating with each other. Therapy will help you begin to enjoy and thrive in your relationships as well as in your life, career, and other important aspects of your world.