The DSMIV cites as an “essential feature” of the narcissist a “lack of empathy that begins by early childhood and is present in a variety of contexts.” If lack of empathy isn’t a hallmark of an antisocial individual, then what is? – Stanton E. Samenow, Ph.D.
For the layperson (including this writer), the word “narcissist” is often used without proper context. Associated with self-absorption and selfishness, the textbook definition of narcissism is used in a way that can apply to pretty much everyone with a pulse. However, some people are much more inclined to narcissistic behavior than others.
Perhaps there is no other way this misconception can be illustrated better than a narcissists’ relationship with others. This relationship – a word used in the loosest way possible – commonly involves deceitfulness, lack of empathy, and deliberate exploitation. These relationships are usually harmful to the person placing well-intentioned, but misguided, trust into a person lacking the ability to reciprocate such an emotional investment.
As decent people, it is beneficial that we’re able to identify and understand the traits of narcissists. None of us want to be exposed and abused, especially from a person whose preconceived actions and behaviors are designed to provoke the same.
It is our right to be loving and courteous, not doubtful and hesitant. We have the utmost right to protect ourselves from those who wish to harm us, whether such harm is intentional or not.
With this in mind, we believe it is beneficial to present certain scenarios that one may encounter with a potential narcissist. One of the things for which narcissists are well-known is taking advantage of people; hence, the purpose of this article.