Narcissistic Epidemic

Narcissistic behavior means a person is concerned with how everything affects them, not how anything affects you.  A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder is not just self-centered and immature, they have an actual disorder. A Narcissist will not read this, and if you try to get them to read it, they will belittle you, or criticize this article, or name-call me, the writer, or trash the entire study of human psychology. We all have narcissistic tendencies, but those without the disorder are able to self-examine, self-reflect, and look directly at themselves in a realistic light. They can admit and take responsibility for their behavior, and do not continually deny accountability. They desire, and carry out, positive change in their lives. Those with the disorder fight tooth and nail to deny any "flaws" or "wrongdoing", and they will not make amends toward anyone they have hurt. They don't make amends, because they don't think they have done anything wrong. There is ALWAYS a "reason" for anything and everything they have done, or not done. Anything, and everything. They will react to their own child crying in pain with annoyance and disgust. They will react to their own spouse's tears, frustration or illness also with annoyance, disgust, or defensiveness. (They don't want to have to DEAL with anything that they didn't want to deal with, period. The pain the other person feels is not "real" to them, so they don't care about resolving it. They will often deny that the other person is even really in distress at all. They just want the other person to STOP MAKING THEM FEEL BAD.) They are the ones who step over the man who has just had a heart attack on the sidewalk, UNLESS... they anticipate a reward for being a "hero"... or if they fear being seen failing to act. They are not interested in hearing your point of view, unless you are a "hero" figure, if they have deemed you "above". The narcissistic person always puts themselves before others, even if they seem like they don't. If you watch long enough, you will see it. They seem so interested in you and what you are doing, but that is just to get your trust. Your friendship feels like a mutual admiration society at first; then over time you realize that while you are still supporting their endeavors, being a friend, listening to their insight, admiring their skills and talent, they seem rather... absent. Absent from your life, your endeavors, your interests. Where before they thought your contribution to the world was important, now you are barely average. Where before they couldn't get enough of seeing  hearing, or reading your work, now they barely pay attention at all, and if they do, they tell you what THEY would do differently, or how you could improve it, even if they have no experience in what you do. Where before they would make time to hang out with you because they couldn't wait to see you, now they are "just too busy and too tired", even though nothing in their life has changed. If you point this out, you are "being too demanding." They include you less and less in things they do, even if it is with mutual friends. Even if it is with friends who they met through YOU. If you mention this, they will say you are "being paranoid", or "being childish", anything to make it seem like you are the one who is acting inconsiderately. Again, not caring about your feelings, or about how anything they do affects you. But if they decide to spend time with you, even at the last minute, even if they told you they wouldn't be around, you should be available, after all, don't you care? If they disagree with a statement you make, they will say that you are not respecting their opinion when you refuse to let them convince you that you are WRONG. (They can not see that it was THEY who refused to listen to YOUR point of view FIRST; they may not even know how to hear another's point of view if it differs from their own.) If they stand you up without calling, they expect you to "understand", no matter how much it messes up your plans or schedule. If you are upset about it, you are being "unreasonable, controlling, psycho... (insert name-calling here)", . It is YOU who is being "selfish" because you are not "forgiving and forgetting", or "putting it in the past", or "getting over it". If YOU show up late for something, even if you did call, even if you were in an accident or something, they will use this "transgression" to excuse their own, for time eternal. If you are upset, their concern is whether you are blaming them, or whether your "mood swing" will cost them time or money. They will not put aside anything to come to your aide. If you're lucky they might lend an ear IF they aren't busy... but it will probably end in their giving you unwanted and thoughtless, uninformed advice, and a quick escape. If they are upset, the world must stop, and no one has ever gone through such agony as they. If you approach them to talk about an issue, they might agree... to talk LATER, at another time, when they aren't too busy, but later will not come. There will always be a reason they just can't deal with that right now. If you start talking about it anyway, they will experience it as an ATTACK AGAINST THEM. Anything THEY did to upset you, if you dare bring it up in order to resolve it, will be experienced as a JUDGMENT AGAINST THEM. They can not have a discussion about your feelings for very long, even if they are extremely narcissistic and are only pretending to care in order to get something from you. They can't keep it up, it's too difficult to focus on someone else other than themselves. You will try and try to have a normal, civil, give and take friendship with them. They will resist and resist, always trying to be in control, and most importantly BLAMELESS. FLAWLESS. They have an IMAGE of themselves they need the world to see them as, and that MUST remain intact, at any cost. (Don't laugh if they fall down, they will have a meltdown...unless being "one of the guys" or "one of the gals" is part of their facade). Their main focus is to REMAIN WITHOUT BLAME, because to them, blame is tantamount to destruction of their person. If you hold up a mirror and make them see that they are not perfect, if they actually SEE it, they may dive into a serious self-loathing depression. To actually take responsibility for their actions, to a narcissistic person, does not feel like finding a solution to a problem, like it does for a healthy adult. It feels (according to one specific narcissist Brian S.) "like eating poison, or like chewing those pink tablets that show how dirty your teeth are". For a healthy adult, self-examination and accountability feels GOOD, because it leads to RESOLUTION. For a narcissistic adult, taking responsibility apparently is like pinning a scarlet letter on your own chest and parading around town, shouting "I did it, I'm a failure, and there is no way to fix me!" This is why they feel ATTACKED when someone has an issue with something they did. The narcissistic person does not separate their DEEDS from their PERSON. Admitting to doing something that was "wrong" makes them feel "tainted", "stained", so they will not have it, it must be denied at all costs. And they won't separate YOUR deeds from your person either, nor will they give you any CREDIT for the GOOD things you do. You are either a SAINT or a PIECE OF GARBAGE to a narcissist, there is no in-between. A person is either BETTER THAN THEM, or WORSE THAN THEM, BRILLIANT OR STUPID, GOOD OR BAD. And this can change in one day. It does not matter what your relationship is supposed to be, if they are your wife, husband, parent, sibling, coworker, boss, employee, or "friend". They have specific NEEDS that you will supply, or you will be punished. And no, you will NOT be discussing their black and white view of the world with them, unless you are PRAISING it. You will NOT be collecting the money they owe you, even if it's 100,000.00, because it was YOUR FAULT that you gave it to them. (Can't you see they're strapped? They have to make payments on their GMC Sierra with duallies, credit cards, private school for the kids, and the newly built house! Geez what is WRONG with selfish piece of garbage...expecting someone to make good on their promises.. come on, what are you, a hard-ass? You don't NEED the money they owe you anyway! You can just sell your car and live in a smaller apartment!) You will NOT be hearing a genuine apology, and they will NOT be going to counseling with YOU or anyone else, because THEY DON'T NEED IT... because they are flawless, and counseling is about getting blamed... right?... And they WILL be telling whoever will listen that everything is YOUR FAULT, and how you are CRAZY; they will also be telling THEMSELVES this, because guilt is something they can not bear, and they do not know the difference between feeling GUILT for something they did wrong, and being SHAMED BY someone else to punish them. When they feel guilty, they don't sit with it, they throw it on the person who "made them feel guilty". They DO NOT care about your kids, or anyone else you care about. They may fake it to gain trust, for a while, but they are not someone to trust your kids with. Oh and if they do drugs, or are promiscuous, lie, or con, (common narcissist activities) or do anything else they are ashamed of, there is a very good chance they will spread rumors that YOU ARE DOING THESE THINGS, if they get mad at you for any reason, especially if they feel guilty about doing something wrong TO YOU. Be careful if you know someone like this. They will also frequently say that "anyone who analyzes others is the one who has problems"... of course they will say that, they are hoping that it will stop you from analyzing THEM, and figuring out that they are manipulating you. If a person does not seek power over another, there is no reason for them to have an emotional reaction about anyone studying human behavior. It's just science, just like any other science. Nothing to hide, nothing to react about. Something to hide, all kinds of things to react about... To a narcissist, or any other manipulative person, the study of human behavior and psychology is just like a parent going through a teenager's room. The teen with nothing to hide might be annoyed at the invasion of privacy; the teen who is hiding something he or she is not supposed to have will be VERY UPSET, and will probably try to STOP the parent by throwing a tantrum...
If you want to know more about Narcissism, there is a wealth of information on the World Wide Web, and also at most libraries and bookstores. There are some who claim it can be cured, many more who say it cannot, and the only way to deal with a Narcissist is to put lots of distance between you and them. You can read more now, here:
or here: