A narcissist is an individual that is in love with his or her self and only wants to talk about themselves and what great achievements they have done or what great physical and intellectual attributes they possess. Most narcissists do actually possess these traits, as opposed to the individual only believing that they possess them. However, the greatness of these traits is usually exaggerated in the narcissist’s mind.
A narcissist will want to be thought of and spoken to as though they are superior to others. They will believe that they are special and of a higher rank than those more “ordinary” individuals. Often this is the origin of the belief that they will only be understood by other individuals or institutions that are also superior and they may even begin to only associate themselves with these superior individuals. A narcissist will also feel as though they are owed something. Usually this comes in the form of admiration but they can also feel as though they are owed a certain prize or award for doing something they perceive to be great.
Narcissists often exploit others so that they can take advantage of the strengths or weaknesses of others to fulfill their own wants or desires. They have an extreme lack of empathy and will be completely disregard other’s feelings or desires. They do this not because they are extremely uncaring but because they believe that no one’s needs could possibly be greater than their own and others are only there to continually feed them the love and admiration that they feel they deserve. It’s also common among narcissists that they are jealous of other’s things or they feel as other’s are always jealous of their attributes.
Although narcissists seem to have an inflated sense of self-esteem, the majority of narcissists actually have a very low sense of self-esteem. The narcissism is most often a result of this low self-esteem, which generally stems from some type of abuse they experienced when very young. Narcissists are very controlling and prone to have outbursts of rage when someone is not willing to do as they wish. However, they will only justify this behavior and place the blame back on the person rather than taking responsibility for it themselves.
Treatment can often be prescribed for someone is suffering from narcissism but because this is done through therapy, treatment is often ineffective. It becomes useless for both the patient and the therapist as the narcissist will generally bring with them their defense tactics and the feeling as though they are too good for therapy. Dealing with a major crisis is usually the first step in one realizing that they are a narcissist and this is the first step in treatment. It is also the hardest as most narcissists are in denial. This realization is the only hope that treatment of the condition will work effectively.