Narcissism at its Best
by Dawn Billings, founder of RelationshipHelp.com
Oops. My bad. Narcissism doesn't have a best. It doesn't even have a better, but a narcissist still believes that you are the problem, not them. What is narcissistic personality disorder — it is one of several types of personality disorders — a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.
Nine Signs and Symptoms of Narcissism
Grandiosity. Exaggerated sense of self-importance. ...
Excessive need for admiration. ...
Superficial and exploitative relationships. ...
Lack of empathy. ...
Identity disturbance. ...
Difficulty with attachment and dependency. ...
Chronic feelings of emptiness and boredom. ...
Vulnerability to life transitions.
Narcissists are master’s of delusion, and project all negative aspects about themselves onto others. For example, in the back of their minds they believe they if you leave them, you will be the one to suffer because they will always be the one that got away. For that reason, it is very difficult to break up with or divorce a narcissist. As soon as you back away, they will try on the charm and try that much harder to keep you in their lives. At first, they may love-bomb you. They’ll say and do things to make you believe they have changed, and you will want to believe them at first. But after you have ridden the same merry-go-round many times, you will realize that the chances of them actually changing are slim at best. Because of this, most narcissists find themselves in on-again, off-again romantic relationships.
If you insist that you’re finished with the relationship, they’ll make it their goal to hurt you for abandoning them. They struggle to take no for an answer. No matter how you treat them, how cold you are towards them, or if you block them, or refuse to talk of them, the narcissist is, wherever they are, thinking you are missing them, pining for them, and wishing upon stars that they might some day return. They refuse to take responsibility for their part in the relationship falling apart. If you are graceful with your attempts to break up, it is because they deserved your grace, it has nothing to do with your choice to be forgiving. If you are furious and emotional when you attempt to break it off, it is because you simply loved them so much you couldn’t control yourself. Everything is your fault, your friends fault, your families fault.
There is the real world, and there is narcissists world. In their world everything revolves around them. There is one perspective, theirs. One truth about a relationship, theirs.
That is why they can suddenly appear years after the split, and be convinced that you can’t be truly fulfilled without them. Their attitudes are more like, “So, how does it feel to have settled for less?”
In the immediate aftermath of a break up, they will badmouth and demean you, but what’s new, right? They have been busy attempting to make you feel like chopped liver from the beginning. They will not only demean you, they will attempt to discredit you - they might report that you are an alcoholic, abuse drugs, are a bad mother, sister, daughter, a without a doubt, a spendthrift. We only badmouth and demean others when our extreme personality tendencies inform our choices and behaviors.
There is of course, a personality disorder, but is there a particular color personality tendency that leans toward narcissism? To answer that question, let’s consider the six color personality tendencies of the relationship personality test, called Primary Colors. Primary Colors Relationship Personality tests use the artist’s color wheel as the base model for understanding personality tendencies and behaviors. Each of the three primary colors, red, yellow and blue, and three secondary colors orange, purple and green, on the artists color wheel have extreme, unpleasant, irritating and destructive tendencies, just as they each have admirable, talented, apparent strengths which are called centered strengths. A person’s centered color personality tendencies (or strengths) represent that which is best about them, while a person’s extreme color personality tendencies (or negatives or weaknesses) represent that which is worst about them.
ALL narcissistic behaviors are born out of extreme versions of the Primary Colors six color personality tendencies. All extreme personality tendencies show up as selfish, self-centered, haughty or superior, demeaning, disrespectful, and belittling. People acting out of their extreme personality tendencies show very little, if any, emotional intelligence. To learn more about the difference between our BEST (centered) personality color tendencies and our WORST (extreme) personality color tendencies visit PrimaryColorsPersonality.com
Let's look at some examples of these extreme narcissistic tendencies of the six personality colors:
Red extreme narcissistic tendencies: They’ll put you down, call you names, and attempt to control you. Their goal is to lower your self-esteem so that they can feel better about themselves. Putting you 'in your place' and demeaning you makes them feel superior and powerful. When people are in their red extreme narcissistic tendencies everything you do, from what you wear, what you say, what you choose to eat to who you hang out with or what you watch on TV, is a problem for them.
A warning sign: If they knock you down with insults when you do something worth celebrating, getaway. A narcissist is threatened by your successes and tries to steal your joy and celebration because the moment isn't focused on them.
Clinical psychologists tell us that narcissists love to exaggerate their accomplishments and achievements with a grandiose facade to gain adoration from others. They do this because they want to feel better and smarter than everyone else, and also because it helps them create an appearance of being self-assured.
Orange extreme narcissistic tendencies: It is fine for them to have fun, flirt, look at others in front of you and drink too much, but if you do any of the same things, you are a pathetic embarrassment. It is one set of rules for them, and a completely different set of rules for you. Although they give themselves permission to behave like horse's behinds, you are to behave only in ways that reflect well on them.
They have a gift of sarcasm and will use their gift to cut your self-worth into shreds, hit you with hurtful and demeaning one-liners, and make jokes at your expense that aren’t funny. But don't you dare use that same biting sarcasm on them. They will not stand for that kind of disrespect. But if you take their biting 'funny' insults personally, or attempt to tell them they have crossed a line, they will tell you it is YOU that has the problem. "What's wrong with you? Don't you have a sense of humor?" Or they might say, "Just get over it! You are way too sensitive."
Purple extreme narcissistic tendencies: Most narcissists are effectiveness experts when it comes to understanding "What's in it for me?" They expect to reap the intimate, emotional, and sexual benefits of a relationship while also keeping an eye out for prospects they may deem as superior. This pretending you are their partner while keeping a look out for someone better is an efficient way of getting what they need and want in the short term without paying the price of a long-term relationship.
If you speak up and own your feelings about what you consider their disrespect, or selfishness they will turn it back on you and blame you for being selfish, causing an unnecessary fuss, call you unstable or crazy, and use it as a further reason take more alone time and not to commit fully to you. But if you don’t say a word, and take their disrespect they will not give you credit for giving them grace, they will take it instead as an unspoken message that simply proves you don’t deserve to be respected. Remember, it is all about what is in it for them, not is it fair or ultimately beneficial for you. They believe the ultimate gift they give you is that you get to be with THEM. Talk about the gift that keeps on 'not' giving.
Blue extreme narcissistic tendencies: There is no debating or compromising with a narcissist in their blue extremes because they are always right. Your feelings and opinions are ridiculous but their opinions are facts, and their feelings are the truth. They believe that it is their job to teach you lessons that you need to know. And because they never think they’re wrong, they never apologize. About anything. They play judge and jury and the way they look down on you makes you feel extremely small.
When people are in their blue extreme narcissistic tendencies they hate to be bothered or interrupted. What they are doing is the important thing. But they will never hesitate to interrupt you because what you are doing is not nearly as important as what they want to interrupt you for.
Green extreme narcissistic tendencies: Narcissists will gaslight you. Gaslighting is a form of manipulation and emotional abuse, and it’s a hallmark of narcissism. Narcissists do not fight fair. They will taut how important fairness is and even act as proponents for perceived underdogs in our society. But cross them and forget about respect and fairness. They will spew blatant lies, falsely accuse others, spin the truth, and ultimately do all they can to distort your reality.
Signs of gaslighting include the following:
You no longer feel like the person you used to be.
You feel more anxious and less confident than you used to be.
You often wonder if you’re being too sensitive.
You feel like everything you do is wrong.
You always think it’s your fault when things go wrong.
You’re apologizing often.
You have a sense that something’s wrong, but aren’t able to identify what it is.
You often question whether your response to your partner is appropriate.
You make excuses for your partner’s behavior.
Yellow extreme narcissistic tendencies: Narcissists need a lot of attention, praise, and appreciation and if you’re not giving it to them, they’ll fish for it. They will consistently rely on you to tell them how great they are. Whereas people with strong centered yellow personality tendencies are great listeners, in their extremes they don't listen at all. It is their feelings and needs that matter, not yours. Narcissists use other people to supply their sense of self-worth and make them feel powerful and superior. But because of their low self-esteem, their egos can be slighted very easily, which dramatically increases their need for compliments, and recognition. People who are truly self-confident don't need to solely rely on you to feel good about themselves.
In conclusion: All people intensely dislike extreme color personality tendencies no matter what color on the personality colors wheel they might represent. Why? Because these extreme color personality tendencies are simply unlovable. We fall in love with each other's centered personality tendencies that represent what best about us, and we are always devastated to experience the extremes of any of the personality colors when these attitudes and behaviors show their ugly, sharp tooth versions of themselves.
Can a person with narcissistic tendencies heal or change? It depends on whether they ever truly understand that their extreme behaviors will always cause them heartache, misery and destroy their relationships professionally and personally. When our extreme color personality tendencies become habitual, they become second nature and are very difficult to break, but not impossible. Like all healing and growth, a person's desire to grow and change has to become the driving factor in their lives instead of their habitual extreme color personality tendencies. The good news is that some people have the strength and courage to tackle their extremes and bring them back to their center where they can enjoy happy, peaceful and connected relationships. The bad news is that some people will never make that positive and powerful choice for themselves.
There is a book I have found is a short, easy to read - Prepare to be Tortured- the price you will pay for dating a narcissist. AB Jamieson, Amazon. The clue is in the title.
Personality and relationship expert Dawn Billings is the creator of RealtionshipHelp.com and author of the ONLINE programs called Relationship Help At Home. Dawn is also the executive director of the Relationship Help Luxury Resort in Arizona and offers two day couples intensives to heal and strengthen relationships.
Dawn is the author and architect of the Primary Colors Relationship Personality Tests and Insight Tools