Many people think they know what a Narcissist is, after all, most of us have come across people that we feel fit that word to a “T”, however the reality is that most people don’t know what a clinically diagnosed Narcissist really is. (I didn’t know the true definition of what a Narcissist was until I had the misfortune of encountering one.) They think a Narcissist is someone who is really full of themselves. Kinda like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast:
However, only “overt”, somatic” Narcissists tend to come across this way. (The terms “overt” and “somatic” are not officially recognized by the DMS-V, but I think most victims find them very accurate, and helpful when describing their experience (especially to other people that are familiar with the terminology). The different types and sub types of Narcissists are found here. When I came across all the different types of Narcissists, it really helped me to make more sense of who I was dealing with, as many of the warning signs, and even other stories I was hearing didn’t seem to fit my situation at all.
People tend to describe them in all kind of ways because just calling them a Narcissist seems to fall short, or the clinical label seems too strong, or they just aren’t comfortable giving someone else a formal label as it feels like too much of a judgment.
Here are some other words that people often use to call a Narcissist (before they know the term Narcissist):
– childish (always wants their way)
– center of attention
– either plays the victim or the hero
– sex/porn addict
– full of him/herself
– ridiculous human being/major asshole
– really considerate
– great dad/husband
– twists words around to where it’s never their fault
– never sorry
– charming/funny/witty/really likable
– quick temper
– has weird emotions (For example: crying excessively at finding out that someone they didn’t even like died, screaming at a two year-old if they spilled their juice, punching a wall if they stub their toe, etc.)
– impulsive (up and quitting their job or leaving their spouse with little to no notice)
– nonchalant (doesn’t seem to care or be fazed by much of anything)
The different character traits that Narcissists exhibit, seem to depend on what type of Narcissist they are. And like everything else in life, the degree of Narcissism is seen on a spectrum, ranging from “mild”, to moderate, to severe, however, ALL Narcissists have the potential to be incredibly destructive, so to say one is “mild” is like saying that certain poisons are more mild than others–and while this may be the case, all poisons can kill you, and if they don’t they’ll make you really, really sick.
Every Narcissist is different, and comes with different masks that they wear for different reasons. For example, a person may be in a relationship with a Narcissist who is 95% kind, likable and charming, and then when the mask slips that 5% of the time, the victim sees chaos, lies, cheating, stealing, etc. The 90% is great, but that 5% is incredibly damaging.
Or a person can be with a Narcissist who is 50% decent person, and 50% jerk and doesn’t even seem to care if his mask slips. His lack of empathy and remorse coupled with his reckless, impulsive and selfish behavior causes severe damage on a regular basis. Either way, there is a ton of damage done, regardless of what type of Narcissist you are dealing with.
My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.
Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.
It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
Latest posts by Dana (see all)
- Episode 30: Book Club Discussion on “Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse” by Joanna Moore - June 27, 2017
- Live Stream from June 21, 2017 - June 25, 2017
- Episode 28: Gratitude Can Help Keep You Grounded - March 21, 2017