A lot of people harbor narcissistic traits but how would you know if you’re one or you’re in love with one? Loving a narcissist can be frustrating in good times and exhausting in challenging times. Knowing more about narcissistic traits can give you deeper insight into what it means to love a narcissist and help you develop critical coping skills that will protect your heart.
Key Traits of a Narcissist
Here are some of the key traits that you can see in almost any narcissistic personality.
Lack of Empathy
One of the key characteristics of a narcissist is a lack of empathy. This lack makes it unlikely, if not impossible, that the narcissist in your life will ever be able to support and encourage you when you need it most. It’s important for you to realize and accept that this person lacks that skill.
Once you accept this fact, you can turn to other people in your life for love, encouragement, and support. Don’t waste your time trying to force a proven narcissist to relate to your problems.
Another definitive trait of a narcissist is an inflated sense of ego and a resulting sense of entitlement. This inflated sense of self may arise from a need to protect one’s fragile ego or result from receiving too much attention for a natural talent. The coping strategies that you use will depend on the roots of the problem.
If the inflated sense of identity comes from a deep-seated insecurity and vulnerability, it’s best to build the person up. Find ways to compliment them in a way that is both honest and authentic. Many times, the easiest way to deal with the narcissist in your life is to focus on what they find important, then just nod, and listen.
Don’t be surprised if they lash out at you on the occasions that you do have to remind them of reality. Do your best not to take it personally. Remember, it’s a “them” problem, not a “you” problem, and use this as an opportunity to take a step back.
The Star of Every Show
A classic manifestation of narcissism is that a person has to be the star of everyone’s show. Whether they constantly redirect a conversation back to themselves or create unnecessary drama, a narcissist isn’t comfortable unless they are the star of every show.
The best way to handle this aspect of a narcissistic personality is to redirect their efforts so that they are getting attention for doing good. Appeal to their sense of public appearances. On the other hand, it’s important that you never turn to this person when you need a shoulder to cry on or a discrete confidante. They simply aren’t capable of being there for you without putting themselves first.
Walking Away or Staying
While you may find that it is impossible to walk away from the narcissist in your life, it’s important that you accept who they are and accept the fact that they are unlikely ever to change. Instead of using your personal energy trying to change them or fight for their approval, use these strategies to maintain your relationship while protecting your heart.