A new study reinforces what many of us who deal with narcissists already know:
1) Narcissists tend to be less trustworthy, less loyal, less accountable and less remorseful than others
2) Narcissists tend to be more deceptive, more manipulative, more antagonistic and more vindictive than others
In some cases the gap is huge. Drawn from a study of 14,000 people, an analysis of 403 participants with distinct traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder found that narcissists are six times more likely to be deceptive, four times more likely to lie, and three times more likely to be antagonistic and vindictive than non-narcissistic people.
The study is a portrait of the many ways narcissists tend to posture and shape themselves — while at the same time using others — to shore up a fragile sense of self.
For example, the study found the following percentages of narcissists who do the following behaviors, compared to non-narcissists:
|Point out others’ mistakes, no matter how minor||73%||7%|
|Strongly believe they are superior to most people||84%||3%|
|Prefer to associate with people who are successful or popular||84%||7%|
|Cast aside anyone who doesn’t live up to what they want||69%||5%|
|Change their appearance, personality and opinions to be accepted||62%||18%|
|Seek to be the center of attention||80%||10%|
|Endlessly seek reassurance they are liked||60%||16%|
|Become defensive when given negative feedback||61%||32%|
|Refuse to acknowledge or admit when they are wrong||67%||16%|
“Being a narcissist is likely to be a tiring and draining endeavor, emotionally and psychologically. It’s like wearing a mask all the time,” said the study’s author, Ilona Jerabek.
Here are three ways to cope with the manipulation and pretenses used by narcissists:
1) Don’t expect them to change. They may change behavior from time to time, but someone with narcissistic personality disorder is unlikely to change their personality. What you see is what you get.
2) Don’t take their blaming and lack of accountability personally. Their actions are designed to gratify themselves and keep others from seeing their flaws. It’s all about them, not you, so how can it be personal?
3) Do ask yourself: “At what cost? There is nearly always some cost when dealing with narcissists. Only you can decide whether the cost in any given situation is worth it.
Photo by Mike Focus