How do narcissists see their friends

Narcissists Can Make Your Life Agony: Here's How To Spot Them

The stopping ban does not apply to him. The girlfriend is his one and only - but her friends are no good ... Almost everyone knows at least one person who is extremely selfish and derogatory towards others. If this person is then also the direct superior or even the life partner, life can turn into hell. Chances are you've met a narcissist.

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There's a bit of narcissism in all of us. "Concerning self-worth" means narcissism, and stable self-worth is important for us to feel good. However, narcissism can be exaggerated become morbid - and torture for the environment.

How does a person become a "person with narcissistic structures", as it is called in psychology? What are the typical signs by which I recognize a narcissist? What if I recognize a narcissist in my own relationship?

The cause of narcissistic disorder lies in childhood

Narcissists often sneak in as partners into life unnoticed. Whether as a man or a woman, because both sexes can show pathological narcissism. The cause of this is a hurt self-esteem that arose in childhood - often from narcissistic parents.

"Usually children are affected by narcissistic structures who have a special talent or who are assumed to have a special talent," says Bärbel Wardetzki, psychologist and psychotherapist from Munich.

"They have to fulfill a certain role in order for the parents to feel valuable. The child is thus exploited by the parents' own narcissistic deficit." The parents are unable to accept and love the child as it is.

Narcissists often wear a mask

In order to do justice to the parents and to satisfy the desire for love, the child reacts in the future as it is desired and plays over his true feelings.

The facade that narcissists had to build up in childhood in order to match the image of his parents, he retains in adulthood. Because: He is sure that the rest of the world would like to see him that way too.
For example, people with narcissistic structures have following properties:

  • great performance
  • constant dissatisfaction with the body (in women) and the search for the perfect look
  • Power, money, influence play an important role
  • Egoism, self-love
  • Intelligence, attractiveness, "human catcher"
  • Criticizing and disparaging towards others
  • Insatiable hunger for recognition and admiration
  • Very afraid of being embarrassed
  • Courage, inventiveness

Dealing with narcissists is difficult

"People with narcissistic structures are very egocentric", knows the expert Wardetzki." The main purpose of other people is to confirm them. There is very little interest in the other, except when they need something from them. "

But woe to those who have nothing useful to contribute: "Those are failures - or, on a political level, the bad guys who want to destroy you."

As a counterpart, you constantly live in fear of doing something wrong. "A normal dialogue is almost impossible because such people relate everything to themselves and can be very devaluing."

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Narcissists at work or with friends: leaving or staying?

Do you feel like you are the servant of the narcissistic boss or your best friend takes advantage of you to the point of exhaustion because his concerns are paramount, advises psychologist Wardetzki radical cut.

"If I have the feeling that I will be devalued as soon as I just open my mouth, that can make me sick in the long run and then I prefer to go first, because: I deserve to be valued."

A superior does not always have to show the negative side of his narcissistic structure, says Wardetzki. "He can just be incredibly creative and have great ideas, and then it's even fun to work with people like that."

Usually the negative side only shows up in personal relationships, in which emotions play a major role and which the narcissist hides behind his facade.

The narcissist as a partner: behaviors

Pay attention if you notice the following behaviors frequently: Your partner ...

  • ... is overly concerned with money, power, and physical beauty
  • ... usually meets with people who either portray him well (celebrities, important personalities) or who admire him unconditionally
  • ... believes that he is always right and can never apologize
  • ... uses others to achieve his goals
  • ... exaggerates his talents and does not want to be critically questioned
  • ... feels a great and exaggerated anger when others criticize him
  • ... cannot show empathy, appreciation or real love

Pay attention to your own needs and do not allow any devaluation

The other person, not the narcissistic personality itself, is usually attentive to these behaviors. The realization that possibly living with a pathological narcissist is in itself alone very helpful: This is how you can avoid "narcissistic games" such as devaluation, oppression and exploitation in good time, explains the psychologist. I-messages are helpful when communicating with a narcissist as they don't attack them directly.

"You can offer your partner a clear relationship and say: I want to continue to have a relationship with you, but I won't let myself be belittled and devalued." The own ideas and needs should definitely be followed.

"Most of the time, partners of people with narcissistic structures do not dare to take their own lives into their own hands because they have never learned that they are allowed to," says Wardetzki. In technical jargon, they are referred to as "complementary narcissists": What the narcissistic partner has too much in the superego, they have too little.

Last way out: The separation as an opportunity - for both sides

If the complementary narcissist has lost his independent life and self-esteem over many years, it continues a separation for a while, for sure, before he can finish with the past.

"Partners of people with narcissistic structures have often allowed an incredible amount," says Wardetzki. The narcissist himself is now also in a position that could cause him to rethink - depending on how much was in the relationship.

"If the separation is even connected with the destruction of the family, it is such a great narcissistic insult for him that he gets into trouble and feels that he has to do something for himself. His whole system then collapses." And: "Such people, if they are lucky, can actually find their way to themselves through such crises."

The narcissist as a person with painful experience

Usually come to therapy more women with narcissistic structures than men, knows Wardetzki. "Women feel more when something is wrong," says the narcissism expert. The typical ruthless and mean narcissists as they are commonly known rarely find their way to the therapist. "They are so grandiose that they do not even know that they have a vulnerable side."

The fear is too great that a friendly person could look behind her facade and discover something that would mark her as a failure all over the world. Wardetzki: "It is important that we realize that these are sensitive people - mostly even more sensitive than others - who have experienced a great shock and whose narcissistic system is a survival mechanism."

To person:Dr. Bärbel Wardetzki has been working as a psychotherapist in her own practice in Munich since 1992. She also works as a supervisor, in coaching and gives lectures and seminars at home and abroad. In many books and on her YouTube channel, Wardetzki provides information on topics of her psychotherapeutic work such as narcissism, eating disorders and insults.