What is a Narcissist?

Isolated with a Narcissist Spouse
Strategies for Divorcing a High Conflict Spouse Such as a Narcissist or Other Personality Disorder

There are many different personality traits that can make litigating a family law issue in Georgia stressful. Some can be more complicated than others, but few personalities are more complex than those of narcissists. So what exactly is a narcissist? If you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist, you are likely dealing with unexpected challenges in every aspect of your life. Exiting a relationship with a narcissist can be especially difficult. To begin the process, it is best to understand what narcissism is and how to identify someone with this personality disorder.

Understanding What Narcissism Is

The term “narcissism” is commonly used in reference to self-centered or selfish people. In psychological terms, however, narcissism is more than just being full of yourself.

Narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD, is characterized by a life-long lack of empathy and pattern of exaggerated self-importance. For many people with this disorder, it is impossible to accept fault in any way, and they are always the victim. Typically, narcissists fall on a spectrum. Some types of narcissism are more extreme than others. Those lower on the spectrum may simply display narcissist characteristics but may not be considered to have NPD. In addition, most narcissists don’t believe there is anything wrong with them and don’t believe they are a narcissist. The result is that most narcissists will never change their behaviors.

Types of Narcissists

All narcissists are similar when it comes to feelings of self-importance and a general lack of empathy. However, people with NPD can vary drastically in outward appearance and demeanor. As a result, there are two different types of narcissism: overt and covert.

Overt narcissists are what most people picture when they imagine someone with NPD. Their narcissism is typically on display and easily observable, and they often talk loudly about themselves and will aggressively reject any form of fault or blame.

Covert narcissists feel the same way, but they are not as easy to spot. In fact, some narcissists are very shy and introverted. Despite their outward appearance, these narcissists share the same sense of entitlement that overt narcissists exhibit. In fact, their fragile self-esteem can amplify their narcissistic traits.

Signs of Narcissism

There are many common signs of narcissism – both overt and covert – including an inflated sense of importance and an unhealthy need for adoration. Another common sign of NPD is a preoccupation with reputation, success, power, or whatever it is someone is driven by.

The way a narcissist interacts with other people is often very telling. Narcissists are unable to show empathy and frequently rely on exploitative behavior to get what they want. Other signs include paranoid feelings that others are envious of them. People with NPD also tend to be dismissive and arrogant of those whom they deem to be inferior.

In the end, narcissism is characterized by a sense of entitlement. This includes the belief that they deserve special treatment or the feeling that they have been wronged when facing the same consequences as everyone else.

Narcissists are often charming upon first meeting them. Many narcissists understand how to manipulate others and will work to build goodwill with their first impressions. Over time, however, their true nature comes out in the form of monopolizing conversations, aggressively fishing for compliments, or acting out when others receive acknowledgment or attention.

A Georgia Attorney Can Help You Identify a Narcissist in a Family Law Case

In some cases, it’s impossible to have a positive relationship with a narcissist in your life. When that person is your partner, spouse, or co-parent, exiting the relationship is no simple task.

An experienced family lawyer from our firm can assist you in addressing the narcissist in your life in a legal setting. From obtaining a divorce to drafting custody agreements, your divorce attorney can help maximize your chances of achieving a favorable outcome. To learn more about your options, set up an initial consultation with our team today.

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