Our society is currently facing an epidemic of narcissism. Though there is a vast difference between a person who is a clinical narcissist versus someone who only has narcissistic traits, the devastation and abuse caused to the people around them is the same.
What is narcissistic personality disorder? The DSM 5 defines it as:
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:
1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high status people (or institutions).
4. Requires excessive admiration.
5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.
6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudesDSM 5 Criteria For Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Though it is hard to feel sympathy for a narcissist, they are actually very damaged people who hide behind the mask of grandiosity because of emotional wounding they themselves have received. This emotional wounding often occurs in childhood at the hands of narcissistic parents and is a cycle that is passed down through generations. An extremely toxic cycle of abuse that is damaging to the narcissist, the people around them, and society in general.
The Mayo clinic further explains how narcissists perpetuate their abuse of others when faced with criticism that their fragile ego can not handle. They can react by:
- Becoming impatient or angry when they don’t receive special treatment
- Having significant interpersonal problems and easily feeling slighted
- Reacting with rage or contempt and trying to belittle other people to make themselves appear superior
- Having difficulty regulating emotions and behavior
- Experiencing major problems dealing with stress and adapting to change
- Feeling depressed and moody because they fall short of perfection
- Having secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation
Narcissists rarely seek treatment as they are unable to self actualize; the narcissist has no concept or understanding that there is anything wrong with them. Because of this, people who are dealing with narcissists have a difficult time interacting with them. It is seemingly impossible to communicate with a narcissist in a fair and open manner. There is no use trying to deal with them as a narcissist will always try to win at all costs no matter who they hurt or what damage they cause in the process.
A common trait of narcissists is that they are constantly seeking what is known as narcissistic supply. Usually a person who is empathetic, giving, and kind. The narcissist seeks these types of people out because of their understanding nature and easily manipulates and uses this kindness and generosity against them.
If someone is the victim of a narcissist and has reached the point of having the courage and self love to take their power back , how does one deal with them?
By not dealing with them
Using the power of the NO J.A.D.E. rule is very effective against narcissists. The point of the NO J.A.D.E. rule is to be in a position of stopping the narcissist in their tracks by cutting off the supply. It is never useful or productive to reason with a narcissist as they have a very deep and profound personality disorder that needs treatment by a professional.
NO J.A.D.E. Rule:
Justify yourself to the narcissist
Argue with the narcissist
Defend yourself to the narcissist
Explain yourself to the narcissist
These things are very difficult to do because narcissists are often friends, loved ones, or co-workers. However anytime a person argues with a narcissist, or tries to justify their feelings or defend themselves or explain their position, the narcissist will twist it around and use tactics such as gas lighting and blame shifting. Remember a narcissist is a psychologically damaged person with a serious personality disorder that does not share the same worldview or compassion as most people. By definition they do not possess empathy, sympathy, or caring.
The NO J.A.D.E. rule is a very simple and effective tool for dealing with narcissists and with practice, will help to empower the person who is being victimized and abused. And anyone who is the victim of a narcissist should seek professional counselling to help deal with the devastation of this type of abuse.