Yesterday, Clarissa wrote a great post about narcissists which I could not get out of my mind, and instead of posting a long comment, I am going to extend Clarissa’s list here according to my own (very bad) experience with such a person — how to know that you deal with an extreme narcissist and, consequently, that you should get away from that person immediately (indeed, there is no other way):
- If you don’t oblige his/her wishes, he/she might threaten to kill himself, or to drive into a tree with other people in the car. The narcissist will swear, insult you, call you selfish, and attack you in absolutely any way possible. If she/he knows you well, they will find the right angle eventually, so get away before that happens.
- Typical conversation: Narcissist: “It amuses me how inefficient you are with your work.” — Me: “Why are you offending me?” — “I did not offend you.” — “Yes you did.” — “Listen to me carefully: I DID NOT OFFEND YOU!” I am ashamed to say that this line has been used on me several times before I figured out how absurd it is.
- Claims to be admired deeply by other people. Claims to be the best person, father, mother, friend, most mature individual on the planet and able to have extremely deep relationships.
- Claims to suffer extremely while seeming cheerful
- If being critiziced in any way with regards to a purely technical/work related question, he/she will see that as a personal attack and react accordingly, along the lines of: “The paragraph you wrote here is hard to understand” — “Why do you hate me so much?”
- Makes such a huge drama each time his/her wishes are not met that one starts be be afraid to have an opinion or a wish on one’s own.
- Attacks other people mercilessly, and is totally surprised if they are hurt or defend themselves.
- Loves to give unsolicited personal advice. This is sign of disrespect for people. Gives advice that serve his/her needs.
Perhaps, as a general rule of thumb, that I try to remember myself: Whenever a person calls me selfish for not meeting their wishes… I promise myself to be super-careful.
Calling someone selfish is already a breach of boundaries and a sign of deep disrespect for that person. It says: “You find your totally unimportant wish more important than my wish? How can you?”
But how can I ever claim another person’s wish is, absolutely speaking, unimportant? It might be extremely important to them. “You are selfish” just means “I think you should do what I want.” It means: “I do not care about your feelings.” It means: “You are not my friend, but my servant.”