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One Way To Repel Narcissists

We’ve all met a narcissist. I’ve met women whose husbands are narcissists and I’ve met men – friends even – whose wives have this mental…

We’ve all met a narcissist. I’ve met women whose husbands are narcissists and I’ve met men – friends even – whose wives have this mental disorder.

But here’s a simple definition if you’re in doubt: A narcissist is someone who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves. It’s characterized by a long-term pattern of exaggerated self-importance, They often display a lack of empathy for others and a need for excessive attention and admiration. But it’s not common.

Psychology Today says it affects only 1% of the general population. Two examples of narcissistic behavior are: One, a narcissist might frequently seek compliments and feel slighted if they don’t receive them.

They may go to great lengths to impress others and be recognized for their achievements, regardless of the truth or impact on others. For instance, John is the “The Office Superstar” who sought to be the center of attention. He would frequently interrupt meetings to share his achievements, often exaggerating his role in successful projects.

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He showed little interest in his colleagues’ contributions and became visibly upset if he wasn’t praised or if someone else was recognized for their work. Two, narcissists often manipulate or exploit relationships to benefit themselves, showing little regard for the other person’s feelings.

They might use charm or charisma to influence others for their own gain. Take Ladi, the “Social Media Enthusiast” who spent hours curating her social media to appear perfect. She often disregarded her friends’ important life events, focusing instead on how these events could provide photo opportunities for her posts.

When her friends confronted her about this behavior, she dismissed their concerns, emphasizing how many followers she had gained and the importance of maintaining her online image. In short, they’re what Adam Grant calls “takers” in his book, “Give and Take.” Navigating the complex dynamics of a relationship with a narcissist can be daunting.

However, insights from Ramani Durvasula, a renowned psychologist and author, shed light on strategies that not only protect individuals from narcissistic influences but also facilitate a faster recovery from such relationships. Ramani Durvasula, a psychologist and the author of “Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist,” highlights that certain traits can not only deter narcissists but also aid in quicker recovery from such relationships.

“It’s almost like a vaccine,” she explains. “It still messed you up, but you wouldn’t get as sick.”

Experts in mental health suggest that while everyone has some susceptibility to narcissists, it’s possible to strengthen one’s resilience against them. One effective method is to refrain from easily offering praise or validation. Durvasula notes that showing indifference to narcissistic behavior, such as boasting, can be effective in repelling narcissists. They thrive on constant attention and approval, known as narcissistic supply.

Thus, if they perceive early on that someone is not readily providing validation, they often shift their focus to others who are more likely to offer it. “If from the beginning you are not giving them a lot of validation – you’re not oo-ing and aw-ing and fawning over them – they’re probably going to move on to a new target pretty quickly,” Durvasula says.

Again, narcissists are not many in the general population. The person you think is a narcissist may not be because: “True pathological narcissism has always been rare and remains so: It affects an estimated 1 percent of the population, and that prevalence hasn’t changed demonstrably since clinicians started measuring it,” reports Psychology Today.

But while they’re quite few among us, their impact can be devastating. Many have found themselves locked in a relationship with them. Some lucky ones have got out. However, it usually takes a long time to rebuild the shattered self-esteem.

Some victims have to through therapy to break free and rediscover themselves.

In conclusion, there are many ways to immunize yourself against a narcissist but experts say this one is quite effective. The key to dealing with narcissists lies in understanding and adjusting our own responses.

By withholding easy validation and praise, as Durvasula suggests, we not only discourage narcissistic behavior but also empower ourselves.

This approach serves as a psychological shield, offering both protection and a path to recovery for those entangled in the web of narcissistic relationships. Have you met a narcissist?


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