Are you dealing with a flaming narcissist and at your wits’ end? By the end of this article, I’m going to share with you five shocking facts about narcissists that will help you understand this heinous personality and actually grab the edge in dealing with that.
Now, if you’re dealing with a narcissist, which I’m sure you probably are or you wouldn’t be reading this, then you know what it’s like and almost nothing you think could possibly shock you about them because they’re just heinous and awful to deal with, but there are some things that will absolutely shock you about narcissists. So hang on and let’s get started.
So the famous author, Gore Vidal, actually once was quoted as saying, “You can always spot the narcissist in the room, it’s the person who’s better looking than you.” He was joking of course, but the best jokes always have that grain of truth in it. So the narcissist is the person that wants you to believe and wants to convince you that they’re better than you in every way and that you are somehow less worthy than they are, have less value than they do, because that’s what they really want you to believe.
But the first thing I want you to know is the first shocking fact about narcissists, and that is how many of them that there are. So I’m going to go through some facts with you that I think are pretty shocking. One is that approximately 6% of the population has actually been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. And so if there are 360 million people in this country, and 6% of them have been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, that’s 19,500,000 people. And if each one of those people just narcissistically abuses five people in their lifetimes, that’s close to 100 million people.
So just think about that. And if you apply that same formula to the population of the world, which is 7.5 billion, are you ready for this? 6% of 7.5 billion is 450 million people that have this narcissistic personality disorder. And if you actually overlay the number of people that lack a conscience or are actually sociopathic as well, then you are up to 697 million people who lack empathy or without a conscience or have narcissistic personality disorder. And if each one of those people just emotionally abuses five people in their lifetime, which is probably a low number, then you’re actually talking about the potential damage of over 3.4 billion people. Yes, this is the secret, the secret global pandemic.
And I just want to give a shout out to my friend Bree Bonchay, who is the licensed clinical social worker and the designer, host of World Narcissistic Abuse Support Day, which takes place on June 1st of each year or somewhere around there.
So that’s fact number one that I think is absolutely shocking. The next thing that I find absolutely shocking about a narcissist is that it has very little to do with genetics. It has much more to do with childhood, the other shocking fact about their childhood is it doesn’t necessarily come from trauma. Yes, it can be from having a traumatic event or things happen in their childhood, but it can also be from having parents who were actually overindulgent with them and gave into them too much or told them how amazing they were in every way.
But here’s the really key thing about that, is that they were praised constantly for the things that they did externally and they weren’t given any sense of feeling valuable on the internal. And that’s the thing about narcissists, is they have no internal sense of value. So if they were raised in an environment where everything was about the external, such how they looked, what kind of grades they got and that sort of thing, then they might have ended up being raised with this feeling of a lack of internal sense of value.
So that I think is actually pretty shocking as well. The caveat is that all children are sort of narcissist, especially teens. It’s part of the development of the human brain and the human emotion to start to develop a sense of yourself by being kind of narcissistic and feeling that the world revolves around you. So while narcissism starts in childhood, it actually can’t be diagnosed until one becomes an adult.
The third shocking thing about narcissismis that it’s actually not necessarily an unhealthy thing, just like a lot of other things with personality types, and narcissism is a personality type, it’s actually a trait unlike some other mental disorders. The truth is that we all kind of have an element of narcissism in us. We actually all want to feel seen, heard and know that we matter. And we actually all want to be validated by people.
Narcissism is a continuum of narcissism and on one end, it is actually healthy. It’s when it gets into the illusions of grandeur and when you’re actually feeling no sense of empathy for another human being, when you devalue, degrade, and discard other human beings to the point of emotional abuse that you’re actually inflicting on these other human beings, that’s when that level of narcissism has risen to a level of being unhealthy. It becomes unhealthy or pathological in the sense that they start to believe that their own pain, their feelings are actually more important than others, and they give no credence or credibility or validation to others for their feelings or for their contributions or their achievements. That’s when it’s pathological.
The fourth most shocking thing about narcissists is one of the things that I actually found the most shocking when I really started to learn about narcissists because I had to deal with them so much in my law practice, and that is that they’re actually the most scared, most insecure, most fragile personality on earth. You are actually so much stronger than they are. You’re the stronger one. You are the more secure one. They know that, and that’s why they were attracted to you in the first place.
Because remember, there’s this symbiotic relationship between narcissists and empath, which means you are probably an empath because that’s what narcissists are mostly attracted to. They want the person who has the qualities that they don’t necessarily have, and they glom onto you and they just kind of drain the life out of you. That’s what’s happening in these relationships.
Underneath it all, there’s this fragile little personality, an empty shell that feels no sense of value, so they attach themselves to people, and people that they think are going to help them feel more valuable. So they need an endless amount of supply and they try to get that from that person. They’re tremendously insecure. They’re tremendously afraid of being rejected or abandoned, and so they act in this heinous way, all to protect they’re fragile little egos.
I recently had a conversation with Dr. Ramini, the famed narcissist expert, and one of the things that she said that really struck me is that she said is that the narcissist is actually a very simple personality to understand. They’re not like normal people, who are actually pretty complicated and there are a lot of different things that motivate us and a lot of different things that cause us to do the things that we do or want the things that we want. Narcissists are actually pretty simple. They’re just wanting to try to get as much value from everything out in the world as they possibly can because they feel so empty inside. It’s all about survival for them.
Number five is the best one and that is that they can be motivated. They can be motivated to behave in certain ways. In my world, I call that motivation leverage or strategy. If you create enough leverage and you created a strong enough strategy and you’re anticipating what the narcissist is going to do and focusing on you and your case, which is my SLAY strategy: strategy, leverage, anticipate, and focus on you, then you will be able to get them to behave the way you want them to. They’re basically two year olds in adult bodies and you’re motivating the two year old to stop having a tantrum.
So when two years olds have tantrums, they fall on the floor. They scream. They yell, and they’re really just testing. They’re testing the parents to see how much they need to scream and yell in order to get what they want. Narcissists do the same thing. They’re testing you. They’re testing your boundaries. They’re testing you constantly.
So, when the two year old screams and yells and the parents give in and give the kid the lollipop, then the two year old goes, “Aha, so all I need to do is scream and yell, and fall on the floor and cause a big scene, and they will give in. So next time I just need to scream louder, scream longer, and cause more of a scene and they will eventually give in. So I’ll just keep on doing this until they eventually give in” And that’s what narcissists are doing.
And so, you have to kind of implement what we call a behavior modification system for narcissists and go, “I’m not going to do that anymore. I’m going to do something else. I’m going to actually motivate you into behaving the way I want you to behave.”
Here’s the little kind of thing about narcissists that I also think is sort of maybe shocking fact number six, and that is that they do know what normal behavior looks like because they play the part. You know, they may not be able to feel any empathy for you and they may not be able to give you emotionally what you want, and they maybe act absolutely awful and emotionally abusive, but they do know what good behavior looks like. That’s how they were able to love bomb you in the first place, in the first phase of the narcissistic relationship.
Remember, the narcissistic relationship is love bomb, devalue, discard, and they do sort of vacillate back and forth between all of those different stages of the relationship. But just remember that they do know what they are supposed to do, so you can actually create enough leverage and enough motivation to squeeze them into behaving the way you want them to. And that, to me, is a positive, shocking fact about a narcissist.
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