Understanding Narcissism- Helping you to better yourself - Dr Dato’s Insight - Part 1
You probably have heard the word narcissism used to characterize particular groups of people who are very egotistical, arrogant and generally tend to be males. Women however, can also display strong characteristics of this personality trait. Not many people know that all of us have some degree of narcissistic behavior within us and it is important how this behavior can affect our external behavior with other fellow human beings. Understanding narcissism is important in relationships as it will help you better understand yourself and help in your relationship building.
Narcissistic personality disorders usually stems from a person who feels that they are always the center of attention. They usually don’t have any empathy towards other persons and their lives always revolves around them. As a result, they are usually arrogant, always value their opinions over others and feel they have a right to entitlement. A quick and good test to see if you border on narcissistic characteristics is to take the online test from here…
I happen to take this test and scored 12, which is on the normal scale (:-). However, when I looked at my test for the areas where I scored high, I found that it was in the area of wanting attention to power. This is understandable since I do know that i have to exercise some power over the things I do in my everyday life. I constantly strive to improve myself and push myself so I can discover not only more about myself but able to get things done rapidly. This can come out as a power-struggle in some of the people I work with and I always know that I have to balance this character with the abilities and hopes of others. The quiz also explains that a score of 18 can signify that you are a celebrity where your attention is normally focused on themselves. A score above 18 can signify strong narcissistic qualities which you may need to address. I do encourage you to take the test to see the kind of things you have a tendency to do more than usual so you get a better insight into yourself.
In relationships, where one of the partners is a narcissists the relationship could become strained and it is up to each one of us to do something about it. It is a commonly held belief that a narcissist will pair up with someone who has low self-esteem. Usually men with their aggressive dominant behavior can be instantly attracted by women who are usually more subservient. However, over time as they become more accustomed to their personalities and grow to learn more about each other, their maybe a departure from their original personalities and blame ensues as the relationship develops. Please review the recent article on self-esteem where the topic of narcissism can be thinly veiled within a relationship.
A Visual Aid to understanding Narcissism and the world you live in
In order to better understand how we view ourselves within our environment, I have created a few illustrations to help us appreciate our shortcomings and attempt to improve ourselves. Remember, I have always emphasized in my previous articles that any beneficial changes that you are seeking in your life has to come from within YOU. Do not expect other people to change for you because you demand it, or you enforce it through coercive methods… this normally never works. In fact, using the latter methods always lead to personality conflicts and more frustration within the relationship that you are trying to build. Truly understanding yourself and changing your ways can bring the maximum benefit to any situation when working and living with other people. This requires more effort in ‘removing’ yourself from the own you ‘ego’ and looking into yourself in context of other people in your environment and situation. Eckhart explained this situation well in his book ‘The Power of Now’, where he once found himself very depressed and repeatedly saying to himself ‘I shouldn’t be here’. This opened his eyes to the fact that he was addressing himself in a two-way conversation with himself and gave way to his teachings of interpreting your thoughts and behavior from the mental noise that carries your life (see references below).