is that gut feeling that you get when you notice that
someone is doing something to manipulate you or engage
in selfish behavior. It is that Narcissistic Radar that
you have when someone is more interested in themselves
than in you or in making the relationship fair. Nardar
is that visceral reaction you get when the hackles go
up on your neck because someone is trying to take advantage
of you or pull the wool over your eyes. It's that internal,
unconscious device that warns you to watch out.
if you have grown up with a selfish parent, you might
have been sensitized to the condition and see it as normal.
The more children are exposed to narcissism, the more
they think it's normal. The more they think giving up
their own needs to meet someone else's is the norm, the
more likely they are to engage in it. At some point in
their life, they begin to understand that other families
act in healthier ways. The stirrings of nardar start at
this time. It may take years to figure out that fairness
means getting the balance between other people's needs
and your own.
have a healthy life, develop your nardar. Naïve or gullible
thinking can be a detriment to your well being. If you
were raised with narcissistic parents or a sibling, you
may have your nardar turned off or conversely you may
be highly perceptive of others' selfish tendencies.
a narcissistic person comes into my environment, I get
an automatic reaction which warns me to watch out. My
nardar recognizes someone else's smarmy attitude long
before my conscious mind figures it out. My nardar is
set pretty high. But then I was partially raised with
someone in my family who did great harm to me and I've
studied and written about narcissism for years.
key to discovering how low or high your nardar is set
is to understand how you were duty trained. You may have
been trained to meet the needs of someone else. Giving
in to others at the expense of your own self is called
codependency. Being expected to meet the needs of a parent
is incompatible with your becoming an independent person
in your own right. Finish this sentence: "Instead of become
an autonomous person as a child, my duty was to _______."
If you were taught that it is your job to jump right in
and solve another person's problem at an inconvenience
to yourself, people with narcissistic behavior will seek
your automatic "yes" reaction to another person's expectation
of you. On a visceral level, feel your body starting to
shudder while your mind may shift into an "Oh, what do
you need? I can help you" mode. On an emotional level,
observe how you kick into helping someone else just because
it's expected of you. Your automatic reactions can happen
even if they don't ask-their entitlement attitude is enough
for you to go on dumb automatic pilot.
here are some clues that should send your nardar into
high gear humming and warning you that you are not in
a relationship of equals:
Know You're Dealing with Narcissistic Behavior If…..
narcissists love an audience and that's your role.
Some are charming, funny and the life of the party. Your
function in their life is to listen to whatever they have
to say for as long as they want to talk. Your job is to
give them applause, admiration or reassurance. If you
don't, they might get anxious and fish for compliments.
narcissists make you feel guilty much of the time
and you don't know why. It's probably their attitude of
"I do what I want and if it inconveniences you, tough!"
Or even "I get my way and don't even notice if you are
inconvenienced because you don't matter." So no wonder
that you feel uneasy when around them. You may not even
notice you feel bad inside-your nardar has become almost
nonexistent. Of course you may have been so programmed
by them or others since childhood that you don't even
know that there are other ways to feel. Question your
need to feel extra guilty. It's just a feeling and if
you have too much of it that harms your life, you can
work to release it.
have a "Don't question me rule. Do as I say." Some have
a "Jump to it right now" rule. You get the glare, the
mean look or the long-suffering sigh of "Look what I have
to put up with" if you don't move immediately to do what
they want. If additionally they have pefectionistic tendencies,
nothing you do will please them. Your work will not be
up to their standards and they will criticize and nitpick
narcissists can't stand criticism and get their hackles
up when corrected when they've done something wrong. They
become angry to get you to stop calling them on their
stuff. They pick fights with you if you don't agree with
what they say. They are willing to yell louder, distort
facts to serve their purpose and fight dirty. You can't
win an argument with someone who KNOWS that they are always
you don't have to attend every argument that you are invited
to. You don't have to participate in conflict with people
who do not listen to what you are saying and who try to
convince you that you are wrong. Some people get high
on fighting and dominating others. Some are thin-skinned
and get upset over petty things that others would ignore.
They will hold you hostage and try to make you feel guilty
by getting upset often if you let them. One man told me
that he liked to keep people off balance because it helped
him get what he wanted.
cannot say "I'm sorry" or admit they are wrong. If pushed
to apologize, they yell "I'm sorry!" which is not an apology
but an act of frustration and anger. Their lack of true
remorse shows that they did not understand or care how
they have hurt you.
is the narcissist's middle name-no, that's wrong, it's
their first name but of course they deny it. The denial
and lying functions so they will feel better in the moment.
Ignoring or disagreeing with the criticism gets them out
of a hot spot so they don't have to take responsibility
to change. They are very protective of their faults and
weaknesses and try to hide them from others. To those
who have their nardar turned on high, their defenses are
as plain as a glaring wart on their nose.
steal your ideas and take credit for your work. They hint
or ask outright for what you have. They believe in the
toddler's rule of "If it is yours, it is mine." One woman
told me that she could never wear something new when she
went to visit her mother as her mother would demand to
have it and she felt obligated to give it to her to keep
have expectations that you will go along with what they
want such as you picking up the check or their taking
the largest piece of the pie. I know a woman who expects
everyone who goes out to lunch with her to pick up the
check. They are manipulative and even proud of their ways
to get others to give them things. One woman said, "I
can get a man to buy me a new pair of expensive shoes
on the first date and I don't even have to put out." They
know how to hint, hold back, ask outright and nag to get
their way. One teenager I had just met as a client asked
me for twenty dollars. When I said no, he shrugged and
said, "Sometimes it works. I always ask new people for
money." He wasn't even aware how inappropriate it was
and his mother didn't correct him.
expect you to read their minds and can get angry with
you if you get it wrong. One individual insisted that
people read his mind and got angry when they could not
anticipate his needs and then gave the silent treatment.
He could not understand why his wife left him! It's sad
when a person is so defended against knowing their own
character defects that they lose their marriage.
see-how-good-I-am narcissists have an extraordinary
need to be perceived as special, wonderful and being a
good person and will remind us of this often. It is part
of the fantasy that they live even while doing things
that are hurtful. Any achievement is magnified and talked
about repeatedly. I challenged a man who told me five
times in an hour about how good he was as a boss and father,
telling him that normal people don't have to announce
narcissists demand special treatment. Other people's
rules don't apply to them because deep down they think
they are special. This distorted thinking can run from
not buying a ticket to get into an event and then bragging
about it to stealing the retirement funds of others. They
believe they have the right to do whatever pleases them
without personal cost. They feel good for a moment and
their self-esteem increases when pulling something over
on someone. Of course it is false self-esteem but their
brain gets a boost in dopamine just the same. Their being
hooked on getting what they want activates the same chemicals
in the brain that alcohol and drugs do.
narcissists can't hear about your pain or suffering
as in their deluded mind, their own pain is always worse.
If you mention a complaint, they don't ask you to elaborate
but quickly turn the conversation back to themselves.
"Okay, enough about you, now let me tell you about me."
narcissists want you to know how bad they have it.
If you mention something bad that happened to you, they
have to "one up" you by telling a bigger story of how
their bad thing was worse than yours. If you have a headache
or bad hair day, they have no empathy for you and tell
you how they had it much worse. Their suffering can go
into the "Victim of All Times" mode. Overheard at the
gym: A young man, shaken and white-faced, was trying to
tell about his car being rear-ended on the freeway and
the gruesome accident scene he had witnessed. An attractive
woman cut him off immediately and went into a five minute
OMG dialogue of how she was late for work.
Drama Kings and Queens thrive on relating their
personal crises. If you have something bad happen to you,
they turn it around to make it about them. For example,
on learning that his wife had cancer, a doctor went into
great length to tell how it would affect his life. A couple
had been in a car accident where he broke his leg, back
and several ribs and had a concussion. She broke her pinky
finger and complained loud and long at a party. He, being
a secure person, was quiet about his injuries not having
the need to be the center of attention. She didn't notice
how people at the party looked at her with surprise and
pity as she dramatized her injury.
form of narcissism is seen in borderline personality disorder.
Read Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back
When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality
Disorder by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger. Reading about
the over-emotional, narcissistic traits in Borderline
Personality Disorder in general will help you understand
the manipulative quality some people have no matter what
Back to You
on and on. You know them. You've lived with them. You've
tolerated them. You were raised with unrealistic expectations.
But have you ever sat down and made a list of these unrealistic
expectations? Part of your recovery is learning what you
are still susceptible to. Are you still catering to certain
your nardar. Start noticing what your body does when you
feel uncomfortable with someone's behavior. Do you start
to feel depleted like your energy has been sucked out
of your body? Do your shoulders tense? Do you get a sick
feeling in your stomach? Does the hair on your arms rise?
Do you find yourself starting to back away ever so slightly?
Learn to pick up on these body cues. Learn your own unique
past the way you have been brainwashed. Get over your
destructive optimism-that pseudo-hope that the person
will change. This is magical thinking-your own living
in a fantasy world where others in the world do what you
want them to do. Go beyond your ego trap thinking "If
only…." Put a strong hold on the ideas that flit through
your mind, fantasizing that he or she will change or stop
doing something hurtful.
reality-it is where you live-that real world-what's really
there not what your deluded ego tells you. Ask yourself
what you have done to enable a selfish person to act badly.
What limits and boundaries do you need to set? Make this
your new mantra:
not see my being kind to you as my being weak
For I have boundaries.
I know who I am and how I want to be treated.
I will be fair with you and I expect fairness in return.
I know when and how to stand up for myself.
I stand for everyone being responsible and kind with others."
consumer beware when letting new friends into your life.
Put a flashing sign on your forehead: "No Narcissistic
People, No Psychopaths Need Apply."
Miller. The Drama of the Gifted Child, How Narcissistic
Parents Form and Deform the Emotional Lives of their Talented
Forward and Craig Buck. Emotional Blackmail: When the
People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to
Namka. Love as a Fine Species of Madness
of unhealthy relationships with selfish partners? Want
to learn about healthy love? Love romance and psychological
people touch our soul so deeply that it's impossible to
let them go. And so we hold ourselves to that love secretly
across a lifetime. The person may have been in our life
for only a short time but with them that whisper of understanding
awakens knowing that there is love in spite of the ugliness
that life can bring." SO STARTS MY NEW NOVEL, Love as
a Fine Species of Madness. It is not on my catalog but
is available at Amazon.com's Create Space and Kindle at
It would help tremendously if you would tell others about
it with a few lines on the reviews at Amazon.com. It is
also available as an e-book through Smashwords.