Narcissism is characterized by some of the worst personality traits that exist. When you think about narcissism or the narcissist in your life, there are several traits that usually come to mind. I want to go through them with you but then also talk about the most overlooked symptom of narcissism – which is the one you’re going to need to know about if you want to get out of the relationship and move forward with your life.
I’m sure the narcissist in your life is just as shameless as the narcissists I’ve been subjected to have been. Narcissists tend to be openly shameless. They go and do whatever it is that they want, with no mind to the consequences. There are certain things narcissists do that I am just so surprised by. I once knew a narcissist who would come into our law office and just walk right past the lobby and into our personal offices and right up behind our desks without a heads up or even requesting permission to do so. Can you imagine? I know you can. Narcissists do certain things that are so outrageous to normal people because they truly just have no shame (unless they are exposed for who and what they really are).
Another common trait of narcissism is entitlement. They act and feel entitled to just about everything. They think that they should have the best seat in the house and that they should have the lead role in the play (even with zero acting experience). Whatever it is, they should have it- even if they’re not entitled to it or it’s something they haven’t even come close to earning. Entitlement and shamelessness fit perfectly together for narcissists.
Similarly to their shamelessness and entitlement, they really have no boundaries. At least, they don’t respect other people’s boundaries but definitely expect everyone to respect any boundaries that they put up. Narcissists just do whatever they want. They just go wherever they want. They look through people’s stuff. They will open people’s mail. They will go into people’s closets. They will show up places that they’re not supposed to show up. They have no boundaries because of their entitlement and shamelessness. Yuck!
Magical thinking is where the narcissist just keeps on keeping on without acknowledging the path of destruction they’ve created. They just imagine the world and look at the world and interact with the world in the way that they want to. It can be difficult when you’re negotiating with a narcissist in that sense: you give an offer, they come back with a counteroffer, you go back with an offer that incorporates some of the things that they’ve already agreed to and now all of a sudden, they say they never agreed to that. It’s magical thinking on their part, which is a part of their gas lighting routine – nonetheless, it’s just how they think.
Another trait that all narcissists possess is envy. They’re often very jealous. They’re jealous of other people’s accomplishments and can never really congratulate people or be happy for people’s accolades. They feel like life is unfair if others are winning. They hate any attention that isn’t directed towards them. They’re just very, very jealous. Sometimes they’re even jealous of people that they don’t even know. They’re probably incredibly jealous of you- because you have so much value. It comes from the scarcity mentality they hold. They are not abundance thinkers. They are scarcity thinkers.
The next trait is exploitation. All narcissists are users. They use people, things, places – they use everything. Everything is looked at by narcissists as a way to get narcissistic supply. What can this person do for them. What can they get from this situation. What can this thing do to get them what they need. They’re constantly sizing people up to see if they are going to be a good form of supply for them.
No Sense of Self
As promised, the most overlooked trait that narcissists possess is that they have zero sense of self. They feel very small inside. That’s the not-so-secret, secret. Inside, they feel like nothing. They have incredibly fragile egos. All of those other traits – the ones that people see, the ones that people identify with the most – the ones that psychologists and psychiatrists use to determine if somebody is actually narcissistic – are actually layered on so they can hide the fact that they have no sense of self themselves.
The biggest scam in the world is that narcissists have you thinking that you’re the one who’s weaker. They’re actually the weaker ones. When you go to negotiate with them, you can shift that dynamic, you can turn it around by going on the offensive; however you need to know this symptom of narcissism if you have any chance of doing so. If you start taking steps towards them, they’re going to start retreating, you’ll see.