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Narcissistic Personality Disorder – Common Expressions and Behaviour

Narcissistic Personality Disorder identifiers and characteristics
by Melanie Tonia Evans
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This article covers:

  • Common Behaviour of a Narcissist
  • Common Expressions of a Narcissist
  • Gaslighting Techniques used by the Narcissist
  • Narcissists Refuse to Remain 'topical'
  • The Narcissistic Partner's Addiction
  • Healing from a Narcissistic Relationship - What You Can Do

Common Behaviours of a Narcissist

  • 'Me versus You' mentality.
  • Competitiveness.
  • 'tit for tat' retaliations;.
  • Striving for the 'spotlight' and attention,
  • Excessive generosity to outside people.
  • Uncomfortable when others are incurring attention or praise.
  • If can't be centre of attention will either discredit or leave the experience.
  • May fake illnesses or problems to procure attention / sympathy.
  • Abusive verbal behaviour when angered or insecure.
  • Tendency toward violent and even criminal behaviour.
  • Inappropriate and inapplicable language in front of women and children.
  • Dark moods that affect others.
  • False promises.
  • Glorifies and falsifies achievements past and present.
  • Expects to be recognised and praised.
  • Finds others not complying with wants intolerable.
  • Extreme sensitivity to criticism;.
  • Extreme defensiveness when confronted.
  • Pathological lying.
  • Disdain for rules, regulations, decency and morality.
  • Childish outbursts and behaviour;.
  • Very little consideration for how behaviour affects others.
  • Extreme lack of compassion or sensitivity towards love partners (and others') problems.
  • Grossly unsupportive to familiars in times of need.
  • Brushes incidences under the carpet.
  • Uses allies real or imagined to back up claims and arguments.
  • Uses guilt and manipulation to influence.
  • Doesn't trust others.
  • Tendency towards unreasonable jealousy and possessiveness.
  • Capable of sexually degrading name calling.
  • Can steal, harm or hide property to sabotage others.
  • Uses vengeance, threats and intimidation to control.
  • Uses excessive charm and manipulation to control.
  • Little (if any) sense of conscience.
  • Discredits lpeople to gain attention / sympathy from others.
  • Will 'attack' when confronted or questioned.
  • Emotionally punishes others when feeling insecure.
  • Emotionally punishes others when struggling with issues, losses, grief or challenges.
  • Employs unpredictable and unaccountable behaviour.
  • Capable of 'disgusting' behaviour to gain the upper hand and control a situation.
  • Feels powerful and fulfilled when creating powerlessness in another.
  • Gross failure to apologise or have sympathy after creating tears, distress or trauma to others.

Common Expressions of a Narcissist

  • "I had them eating out of my hands."
    (Believes in manipulating others to create results.)
  • "You didn't let me finish what I was saying."
    (After verbally maiming and then pretending there was more to say.)
  • "Just because I didn't do what you wanted when you wanted it."
    (A justification for receptively breaking promises.)
  • "Just because I didn't say what you wanted to hear."
    (A justification for verbal abuse.)
  • "You're the only person who misunderstands what I say. You're totally over-emotional."
    (Same as above.)
  • "I'm sorry, what more do you want from me."
    (Followed by justifications for the behaviour with body language that is clearly not aligned with an apology.)
  • "How many times do I have to say I'm sorry."
    (Followed by repetitive unacceptable behaviour.)
  • "Why can't you just get over the past?"
    (Followed by repetitive unacceptable behaviour.)
  • "What about your issues?"
    (When failing to take responsibility for unacceptable behaviour.)
  • "You make me behave like this."
    (Same as above.)
  • "You're the only person in the world I have these problems with."
    (Same as above.)
  • "You act like my mother / father," or, "You're a control freak."
    (When asked for the truth or trustworthy / accountable behaviour.)

Gaslighting Techniques used by the Narcissist

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse that is used by narcissists that is deeply insidious and difficult to pinpoint. It works by instilling confusion. If you are being gaslighted you'll lose trust in your senses, identity and common environment.

The narcissist will tell you:

  • What you are feeling and thinking.
  • An interaction that you believed was decent with another person actually had agendas connected to it.
  • Your body language appears suggestive to other people.
  • A friend or family member has made certain references about you.
  • You were seen in a certain place acting inappropriately.
  • You said or did something (you weren't aware of) when tired, distracted, unaware, intoxicated or asleep.
  • Certain information was discovered about you.
  • Certain people (you thought were loyal) are now agreeing about your faults.
  • The incident (created by the narcissist) was your fault, or merely a perception based on your paranoia or unstable emotions.
  • An excuse for the incidence based on a 'story' that extracts guilt from you, whereby you feel awful for making the 'judgement' you did.
  • Other people perceive you as bossy, controlling, manipulative, uncaring, incapable etc. (defective in some way).

Narcissists refuse to remain 'topical'

A narcissist will dodge accountability in a discussion in a variety of ways

  • Telling you repetitively to lower your voice.
  • Interrupting you with unrelated conversation.
  • Telling you to let them finish what they are saying whilst continuing to be psychologically and verbally abusive.
  • Making references to allies and unrelated people.
  • Telling you the matter is resolved without validating the conversation in a way that allows you to feel resolved.
  • Asking if you are happy to get that off your chest and then changing the topic.
  • Throwing in an abusive unrelated comment to anger or upset you.
  • Refusing to discuss the issue with you.
  • Bringing up an issue they are unhappy about, and treating that as the focus of conversation.

The Narcissistic Partner's Addiction

Sadly, because narcissists inflict such severe psychological abuse upon love partners, a perverse addiction often occurs. The 'victim' has idolised the narcissist (the illusion created via charm that the narcissist originally used to hook the person) and continuously tries to win the approval, love and trust of the narcissist. There are many other reasons why this addiction occurs which are outlined in the article Narcissism Understood.

To the outside world it may seem that the other person is deranged and is the problem (the narcissist has expertly created this illusion). The narcissist will often appear strong and stable to extended family, acquaintances, counsellors and even authorities. Tragically in many cases the victim will believe that they are in fact damaged, incapable, no good and defective. They often think they are at fault. Such feelings are the result of a severely diminished sense of identity and a battered self-esteem. Many people who are narcissistically abused suffer profound depression and even severe physical deterioration. Frighteningly, many victims of narcissism don't recover their sense of self, even years after the relationship has expired.

Narcissism addiction and devastation is a common occurrence and can happen to any individual from any demographic, regardless of their level of intelligence and self-sufficiency. The disease of narcissistic addiction is an emotionally based issue, it has little to do with practical and mental capabilities or physical attributes.



Healing from a narcissistic relationship - What you can do

Recovery from the psychological, emotional, mental and spiritual abuse of narcissism is imperative for an individual to put themselves and their life back together. Specific healing and procedures do produce the results necessary for an individual to create an empowered life where they will not be susceptible to narcissistic abuse again. In many cases the recovery from narcissism has been necessary for an individual to outgrow co-dependent childhood scripts of poor boundary function and victimisation.

Love, happiness and success are possible after suffering the effects of narcissism.

If you're feeling extremely broken, powerless and like you can't take it anymore, you can access powerful help and relief.
Read about the relief and healing others have achieved »
See the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program »


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