What Is Narcissism and How Can You Spot a Narcissist

Many of you may have heard of narcissists or narcissistic behavior and may ask, “What is narcissism?”, “How can I spot a narcissist?” or, “How can I avoid a narcissist?”

When you know what to look for, you may realize you’re either living with a narcissist, working with one, or may have a parent who exhibited narcissistic behaviors.

Narcissism in not gender specific and although it is not always easy to spot a narcissist, here are a few instances where you may have been dealing with a narcissist and didn’t know it:

If you

• have worked with a demanding boss who made you feel inadequate

• were raised by a domineering parent who had to be right about everything

• dated someone who demanded lots of emotional maintenance but rarely reciprocated

• had family members who challenged and criticized incessantly

• were friends with someone who seemed to require you walk on eggshells around them,

you were more than likely dealing with a narcissist.

Lori Hoeck, of Think Like a Black Belt, and I have written “The Narcissist: A User’s Guide ” to help you understand why a narcissist would be seeking to prey upon you. We’ve gathered stories that illustrate the bewildering ways a narcissist will manipulate circumstances to blame you for everything and make you believe it. You’ll be able to see how a narcissist will use your weak points and words against you for control in the relationship. But more importantly, this e-book is going to help you fight your way out of a harmful situation.

Most people enter adulthood with a fair amount of naïveté. Seeking love and acceptance, they may put up with bad behavior from others. Many will seek approval from their peers or look for an authoritative mentor. Some will think they can change a difficult person with loving kindness. All of these circumstances can be more dangerous than a run-of-the-mill encounter might first suggest. They all signify potential for exploitation to a narcissist.

Narcissists can present themselves in almost any venue. Their method of building themselves up at the expense of others is, paradoxically, rooted in their own low self-esteem. Somewhere, at a very young age, a narcissist begins to think that he or she is inferior to others. That inferiority complex morphs into an ever-increasing need to validate themselves. They do this by putting you down. The lower you are in the pecking order, the higher they can be by comparison. If you buy into the false scenario they’ve constructed, they’ll continue. The process depletes you and feeds them. They are emotional vampires.

The more Lori and I observed and studied narcissistic behavior, the more we realized how prevalent it is. Even if you’ve never dealt with a narcissist, chances are you may know someone who has, or who is currently battling this toxic dynamic. Curiously, though, there are few resources to obtain help, and many of those are more suitable for medical professionals, psychotherapists and counselors.

We know our concise User’s Guide, which turns the tables on the toxic dynamic, can provide needed information and hope.

Defending against a narcissist and leaving the relationship may be the most difficult things someone may face. The most important thing we can do for someone who is involved in a narcissistic relationship is offer support and a respite from the dysfunction. The Narcissist: A User’s Guide provides encouragement, strategies and tips that can be implemented to neutralize and, ultimately, negate a narcissist’s influence.

Click on the link to buy your copy of The Narcissist – A User Guide

The Narcissist: A User’s Guide is on Facebook here and on Squidoo here.

This post was written by Betsy Wuebker, author of “Passing Thru” (the blog) and co-author of “The Narcissist” (the ebook)

UPDATE: Betsy has returned to write a second guest post about narcissists and the narcissistic behavior and how we’re witnessing more of it on social networking sites. The post is titled, Facebook – The New Playground for Narcissists.

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