Narcissism | Fitrah Tawheed

Who is a narcissist?

The term narcissist is a term that some use when referring to a bad person. Unfortunately, this is not the correct meaning of a narcissist. Although every narcissist is a bad person, it does not mean that every bad person is a narcissist.

Narcissists are people diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. Because a process is needed to determine whether a person is experiencing this, it is not reasonable to label others with this without having the necessary knowledge about it.

You can use the term narcissistic. For example, there are several people who may be selfish in certain areas, envy successful people, or exhibit haughty behavior.

So there is a distinction between true narcissists and people with narcissistic traits. We explain this distinction in more detail in this article.

Who is a narcissist?

A narcissist is someone who has been diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder. So if you call a person a narcissist, you are talking about a person who can receive this diagnosis after meeting five or more characteristics of the diagnostic criteria.

There is quite a difference between a person with narcissistic traits and a narcissist. For example, a person with narcissistic traits still has empathy and does not need attention, admiration or control over others.

Not every horrible person is a narcissist, but every narcissist is horrible. Someone can only be officially labeled as a narcissist if he or she meets five or more characteristics of the diagnosis criteria.

Diagnosis criteria for narcissists
  1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g.: exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, genius, beauty, or ideal love
  3. Believes that he or she is 'special' and unique and can only be understood by, or should interact with, other special people or people (or institutions) of high status
  4. Requires excessive admiration
  5. Has a sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations)
  6. Is interpersonally exploitative (i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends)
  7. Lack of empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  8. Is often jealous of others or thinks others are jealous of him or her
  9. Shows arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes
Official diagnosis criteria of the DSM-5

The forms of narcissism

A narcissist seeks attention, constant admiration and control over others. Narcissists have several methods to achieve this goal. For example, you have narcissists who use their appearance, high intelligence or social status to gain admiration from people.

So your attention and admiration of the narcissist is what they live on. Although narcissists have different methods to achieve their desired goal, there are only two types of narcissists.

The two types of narcissists:
  • Covert narcissist
  • Overt narcissist

A covert narcissist can become an overt narcissist, the same applies the other way around. If the narcissist does not receive enough fuel (attention, admiration, control), the narcissist becomes covert. If the narcissist gets a lot of fuel (attention, admiration, control), the narcissist becomes overt.

The overt narcissist

This type of narcissist is more arrogant than the covert narcissist. The overt narcissist shows his or her narcissism to the outside. They are often very outgoing and are not too concerned about showing pride and arrogance.

So you see the overt narcissist simply talking about how superior he or she is to others. They see themselves as the best.

Narcissists who manage to get enough attention and admiration from others will feel powerful, and this will be reflected in their attitude. They display their arrogance and self-admiration openly, so you are more likely to know this is a narcissist than you would with the covert one.

But if this narcissist receives insufficient attention, admiration or control, they will relegate to a covert narcissist.

Characteristics of overt narcissists:
  • Openly put others down
  • See themselves as better than everyone else
  • Openly brag about their achievements
  • Are more impulsive and more antisocial

Cause of narcissism

Narcissism is a personality disorder. Research indicates that several factors play a role in the formation of this disorder.

Factors in the formation of narcissism:
  • Genes. Temperament plays a role in the formation of narcissism.
  • Horrible upbringing. Abuse and maltreatment in the person's childhood. Narcissists have suffered trauma in childhood, mainly in early childhood. The main abuse was emotional and mental, were often pushed aside and ignored.
  • Pampering. The narcissist was pampered and the parents gave the image that he or she is perfect, deserves everything without having to work hard for it and can misbehave when disappointed.
  • Certain childhood experiences. The belief was given that you can only win in the world if you are selfish.

Narcissism is therefore not determined by one cause. Various factors play a role in the formation of this personality disorder.

It is not yet entirely clear which factor plays the largest role, but many professors believe that the major factor is childhood abuse.

Are narcissists possessed?

Some think that narcissism is a form of possession. This is because narcissists often express malice and can be very jealous of others. In addition, they appear to be completely unaware of their actions, which can raise doubts among those dealing with a narcissist.

But no, narcissists are not possessed. This is because they understand that what they are doing is wrong. They are conscious, otherwise they would not, for example, wear a mask and manipulate in such a well-thought-out manner.

Narcissists think through many things before deciding to act on them. They fear losing others who currently give them attention, admiration or control. Narcissists consider their image to others very important, but will take off their mask behind closed doors.

How do you deal with a narcissist?

Whatever type of narcissist or whatever methods they use to get narcissistic supply from you, you should always avoid them as best as possible.

Parents, siblings, partner; you do not want to continue dealing with a narcissist. They do not see you as an individual but rather as a tool. You are there to give them what they want, and that is attention, admiration and control.

No narcissist will treat you right because they do not deem you as an individual with own wants and needs. They see you as inferior, and their abuse of others gives them a sense of superiority.

If they can have some control over you, then they feel powerful. This proves to them that they are worthy.

1. Go no contact

The best way to deal with a narcissist is to go no contact. Remove yourself from the situation with a narcissist and do not let them control you.

Narcissists want control over your finances, group of friends, free time, thoughts, and beliefs. So they do not give you any room to be yourself, because their goal is to completely take over you.

So you lose yourself and surrender to the narcissist. How you can prevent this is by protecting yourself from it. So do not reach out your hand to a narcissist.

2. Limit the interaction

Be very limited when dealing with a narcissist. Make yourself as boring as possible for the narcissist. Try not to give them emotional attention when they try to get this out of you. Do not fall for their manipulation techniques.

You make yourself more interesting to the narcissist when you give them what they demand of you. The less you give, the more likely they are to seek their narcissistic supply elsewhere.

Just know that following this method can make the narcissist more aggressive. Because you frustrate them by not giving them what they need. They will then verbally put you down to others and make nasty comments about you. Eventually they will discard you.

3. Give here and withhold there

If you really need to be with a narcissist for some reason, then you can use this technique. The idea is to keep luring the narcissist back and making him or her addicted to you.

For example, in such a situation you give the narcissist attention, admiration and control, but you take it back to make him or her chase it.

This means you let them eat a big cake, after which you do not give them another one for a while. You are holding back the narcissistic supply, so that they will crave it. Then you give them the same thing again and repeat this process.

This method can only be done successfully if you can provide a lot of narcissistic supply and then withhold it.

Again, this technique is only useful when you want to manipulate the narcissist to achieve a certain goal. To do this, you must give up on yourself (temporarily).

Abu Athari writes about basic principles within Islam. He uses his critical and well-researched way to spread knowledge of the first three Muslim generations.

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