Having an official diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder is not always common. However, many individuals do tend to exhibit a wide range of narcissist behaviors and actions that can result in hurting others mentally and emotionally.
Millions of individuals deal with narcissistic behaviors and tendencies on a daily basis even if they do not realize it.
Individuals who have excessive egos and who think extremely highly of themselves will exhibit narcissistic behaviors even if they believe they are righteous in any situation or scenario they find themselves in.
If you have ever been hurt by a narcissist, you may be wondering why.
Narcissists hurt the ones they love often due to low self-esteem, a lack of self-worth, and the inability to live up to their own expectations.
A narcissist may also hurt the ones they love in order to attempt to gain and maintain control in the relationship itself.
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Determining if someone is struggling with narcissistic personality disorder is not always simple or straightforward.
In fact, it can be difficult to tell if someone is exhibiting signs of narcissism, as many narcissists are excellent at masking, or faking, their outward appearance to others.
While the entire subject is complex in its own nature, there are a few signs that may stand out and indicate that someone you are surrounding yourself with may be a narcissist, such as:
- Looking down on others and believing others are inferior to them
- Taking every opportunity possible to monopolize a conversation, making the conversation about them
- Boasting about their achievements, abilities, and skills, even if they do so with an exaggerative nature
- Extremely low or fragile self-esteem, which can typically cause additional narcissistic behavior and triggers
- Desires the best of everything they own or invest in, even if it is to their own detriment
- Demonstrates a lack of empathy towards others – in some cases, a true narcissist may also be able to fake sympathy and empathy, making it more difficult for others to tell that they are, in fact, a narcissist.
- Impatient and unable to wait for anyone else
- Self-serving and focused on their own wants, needs, and desires over the wants, needs, and desires of others
Almost everyone has exhibited a form of narcissistic behavior at one point or another throughout their lives.
However, those who live with NPD, or narcissistic personality disorder, may be more obvious and jarring than those who think with their ego every so often.
Individuals who have been formally diagnosed with NPD may struggle with handling authority, maintaining long-term jobs, or even maintaining long-term connections and relationships with loved ones and friends.
Someone who has narcissistic tendencies does not automatically mean that the individual has NPD, as this will typically require intensive therapy and counseling sessions to understand the individual’s own inner workings and inner psychology.
Many people exhibit narcissistic behavior as a form of acting out, in an attempt to get attention, or as a way to set themselves apart from others, especially if they have low or extremely fragile self-esteem.
It is not always easy to deal with someone who has narcissistic tendencies and insists on hurting you repeatedly.
In fact, you may begin to wonder how someone who is supposed to be a friend or a loved one could hurt you.
If you believe someone is hurting you with their narcissistic behaviors and actions, the best course of action begins with taking some time apart and placing distance between the two of you.
Distance is often key whenever you are dealing with an individual who has NPD or who is exhibiting narcissistic behaviors and/or tendencies, even if they have never done so in the past.
Those who struggle with narcissistic behaviors are also much more likely to struggle with a lack of awareness, making it that much more difficult to comprehend how someone may be interpreting their own actions, words, and behaviors.
If you are unable to distance yourself from someone who is acting narcissistic or using narcissistic behaviors on you, you may need to simply confront them directly.
This is not always easy and may even feel intimidating, especially as many narcissists are excellent at hiding their emotions and gaslighting others, which may make you feel as if you are in the wrong even after the narcissist has caused you pain or to feel hurt.
At times, it may be possible to help a narcissist to become more self-aware of their own actions and behaviors, but only if they are open to criticism that involves them.
If an individual has NPD or narcissistic personality disorder, they may find it difficult, if not impossible, to hear anything negative about them even if the criticism is to help bridge a gap in a relationship.
Individuals who have serious narcissistic tendencies may refuse to listen to you or may turn the argument and blame back around on you.
Before you begin attempting to show a narcissist how you have been hurt, keep in mind their own disposition and how they might immediately respond.
Knowing how an individual works in terms of their narcissistic behaviors can help you to approach any situation in which a narcissist is causing you to feel uncomfortable or hurt.
The best way to show a narcissist that you have been hurt by them is to tell them directly and cut contact or distance yourself.
Because many narcissistic individuals are excellent communicators with plenty of charisma to go around, they will attempt to bring you back into their lives as quickly as possible at the thought of losing you (or the ability to control and direct you).
Distance can often be one of the best go-to tools for those who are living with narcissists in order to regain control of their own lives.
Understanding why a narcissist may hurt someone that they love is not always easy either.
In fact, it is often extremely complex and layered, depending on the individual’s relationship with the ones they are hurting, as well as their own self-esteem and issues with narcissistic behavior.
Some of the reasons a narcissist may choose to hurt the ones they love the most in their lives might include, but are not limited to:
- Feeling insecure or as if they did not live up to their own expectations, resulting in additional projection onto others
- Feeling as if they cannot measure up to another person, which causes them to feel as if they need to tear them down in order to survive and/or feel better about themselves
- In order to seek revenge, especially if they feel they have been slighted or done wrong by others
- The fear of losing control, especially if they are used to controlling the actions of others in the home without being questioned
- To break down the confidence and self-esteem of another, especially in close romantic relationships
- To cover up another area of hurt or pain in their own lives that they are unable or unwilling to face, confront, and overcome
- To distance themselves from others in order to avoid becoming too close with others (typically due to a fear of loss and/or rejection)
If you believe a narcissist is trying to hurt you mentally and emotionally, it may be difficult to wrap your head around the reason why.
However, in order to take any action, you will need to determine that the narcissist you are living with, dating, or even married to is, in fact, trying to hurt you.
Some signs that a narcissist is deliberately trying to hurt you mentally and emotionally might include:
- Making digs at you in order to break down your self-esteem and confidence
- Causing you to question whether or not an event did occur, even though you are entirely sure that it did
- Excusing their own behavior without ever owning up to their actions and any mistakes they have made
- Excusing the mistakes they have made and placing the blame on others in their lives, including family members and significant others
- Calling you names or causing you to feel bad about yourself
- Causing mental grief seemingly without a care in the world or the ability to acknowledge that you are sad, upset, or are in need of reassurance
- Ignoring you or making you feel as if how you are feeling does not matter or is not valid
- Calling your own recollection of hurtful statements or actions they have done into question, causing you to feel as if you might be crazy (gaslighting)
Yes, there are professional solutions for those who exhibit narcissistic behavior as well as those who have been formally diagnosed with NPD, or narcissistic personality disorder.
However, individuals who have a strong sense of ego and who exhibit many different narcissistic actions and behaviors on a daily basis may have a difficult time admitting to any issue as they truly do believe they are nearly perfect.
Individuals with NPD may also find the mere suggestion of seeking out therapy, counseling, or any form of assistance and help offensive.
In order for an individual who has narcissistic tendencies to get help, they will often need to do the research and legwork themselves.
Once they understand that their actions are not always socially acceptable or appealing, they will then need to make a decision as to whether or not seeking additional therapy and counseling is right for them.
Individuals who have narcissistic personality disorder may find it difficult to ever become self-aware of how they come across others, especially those who are also struggling with managing their egos.
If you find yourself in a situation with a narcissist who seems to get a kick out of upsetting his or her loved ones, it may be time to cut your losses and move on.
Unfortunately, this may also mean distancing yourself from close friends and family.
Understanding the depths of how a narcissist may act in order to control a situation can help you to maintain your distance when necessary to protect yourself as much as possible.