What’s Wrong With Being a Narcissist?

Do you have a friend who constant­ly talks about their life but never asks about yours? A Facebook friend that regularly posts their political views and refuses to compromise with other argu­ments besides their own? Do you ever catch yourself posting selfies more than once a week? If you answered yes to any of these three questions, you are or may know a narcissist. Psychologist Joseph Burgo’s book Narcissist You May Know not only defines the different personal­ity traits of a narcissist, but can help you deal with the narcissist that you have become or the ones that are in your life.

This book characterizes narcissism on a spectrum from mild, to medium, to extreme. On a recent radio show, Burgo said, “We’ve got healthy self-es­teem to one extreme and we’ve got nar­cissistic personality disorder on the other.” Burgo fears that in the 21st Cen­tury, narcissism is becoming the cul­tural norm.

According to Burgo, the primary examples come from the world of poli­tics, celebrities, and glamorized social media. Burgo says, “We live in a culture that increasingly sees celebrity as the highest good we can imagine.” Celebri­ties that Burgo frequently uses as ex­amples are Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian.

Narcissism has become a new form of communication on social media and our selfie-obsessed culture gives every­one the opportunity to become a celeb­rity. While Burgo argues that selfies are announcing to the world “look at how great I am,” some people see it as a way to increase self-esteem in a society that has high expectations of beauty.

Everyone is a little bit of a narcissist and that’s normal, but it’s important to be aware of these tendencies before they become a habit. Burgo identifies eight different personality types and gives advice on how to deal with them.

THE BULLY

They view the world as winners and losers and tend to make other people feel insignificant in order to come out on top. An example of this are athletes like Tiger Woods who are sore losers and often ungracious because someone is threatening his or her winner status. The best way to deal with a bully is to simply ignore them and don’t take their behavior seriously.

THE KNOW-IT-ALL

The most common and non-threat­ening narcissist is the know-it-all. They always have an opinion and make every conversation about them. Burgo ad­vises in his book that the best way to deal with a know-it-all is to have some humor about it and politely change the conversation.

THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS NARCISSIST

One of the most annoying narcissists are the ones that are self-righteous. They tend to believe they are superior to you. Burgo explains that this kind of person­ality can trigger many responses, espe­cially on Facebook. Most likely, they will fight back because they see responses as a personal attack and are afraid of being humiliated. For those of you who deal with a narcissist at your work, Burgo advises to find another job be­cause they will never change.

THE NARCISSISTIC PARENT

We all know this one: the narcis­sistic parent. These people prove that they are winners through their children. Burgo’s book explains that these kind of parents often mention in subtle ways to other parents that their kids are better.

THE SEDUCTIVE NARCISSIST

According to KRQE News, Burgo believes that the seductive narcissist is the hardest to deal with because they make you feel guilty about yourself. The seducer’s strategy is to build you up as a winner so you can give them things that they want. An example is if someone is spending too much money on their significant other because they made them feel special about themselves. The best response is humility and skepticism.

THE VINDICTIVE NARCISSIST

A vindictive narcissist is a person who is determined to punish a person who hurt them. They take insults per­sonally and constantly defend their self-image. The best advice is to stay civil and remain calm.

THE GRANDIOSE NARCISSIST

A grandiose narcissist believes that the world revolves around them and they use people who admire them to feel good. Many celebrities fall into this category. This leads to an addicted nar­cissist, who is addicted to the “high” of narcissism. When it comes to an addict, nothing matters but their habit.

When examining all the people in your life who fit these personality traits, remember that you can change the be­havior of a minor narcissist but an ex­treme narcissist is a lost cause.

What if you’re a narcissist? Burgo’s book addresses that the easiest way to disqualify a person’s criticism is to blame somebody else. This is completely nor­mal. Just remember that you aren’t less important because you are wrong.

COURTESY OF SIMON & SHUSTER