Wellness is physical, mental and spiritual. Mental health is tantamount to self-care and the people we surround ourselves with contribute or deplete our well-being. We are influenced by positive and negative energy. As a wellness expert and strategist, I love to analyze what drives people from the core, so they can learn to experience total wellness.
It is imperative to understand the mental challenges that some people create for us and the growing group of people who contribute to our mental breakdowns. All things begin with the mind, and the body and spiritual wholeness follow.
Having a basic sense of self-worth and competitiveness is good, but when feelings cross over into narcissism, it becomes toxic for other people, society and the individual in the long run.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder. A person who has this disorder is excessively preoccupied with personal power, prestige, vanity, and adequacy, to name a few. They will do mostly anything to get what they think they need and are mentally unable to see the destructive damage they cause themselves and others by their behavior.
Life Through the Eyes of a Narcissist
Do you recognize me? Probably not. You see me all the time on my personal stage, gaze at my wonderful accomplishments, and supply me with the fuel I need to feel good. You admire me in every aspect, at least in my mind. Think hard, you have seen me; that I know emphatically.
Beware, I am also your worst nightmare. I build you up because that’s what you need. Then, I tear your down, because that’s what I need. You are dumbfounded, of course, and I show you how wrong I was to take pity on you because you are incompetent, ignorant and inept. That is what I really think of you.
I have no feelings for others, even though I pretend to. I do and say what I want. It is my right, because it is. I lie to your face without a twitch. In fact, my lies are not lies at all; they are truth, my truth. You believe my truth because to do otherwise would make you question your own sanity, which I have a tendency to make you do, and I feed on it. You are my supply and I feed on your vulnerability because, from the very beginning of our relationship, you gave me your trust.
Even I get lost in my own illusions. In fact, I am not really sure who I am. That’s probably a question you never ask yourself. Yet I wonder about it all the time. Perhaps I am not too different from everyone else, just greater. My admirers wish they were me. That’s what my universe tells me.
Can you see my dilemma? I use people who are dependent on me to keep my illusions alive. So really it is I who am dependent on them. So, no, I don’t recognize me any better than you do. I marvel at my own being.
What most people experience through life’s mistakes are small doses of shame and learning quick recoveries – shame repair. At first your mother did most repairing. Through repetition, you learned how to do it yourself, and shame repair brain circuitry was laid down to carry you the rest of your life.
I had no such experience. I became a fearful personification of an ideal through my nurturing or lack of. I did not acquire that skill when nature intended my brain to acquire it. No one likes shame, but most people can deal with it. I cannot! I fear it to the point of hurting people who cause me shame.
Even though I can be lots of fun to be around, I am walking scar tissue, and there are others like me. If by chance you get caught in our web, we can make your life a living hell. But remember, we are in the web too. The difference between you and us, you can get out. We narcissists cannot!
Now you have a complete understanding of the mind of a narcissist. And as disturbing as it is, more and more people are displaying these characteristics. The rise of narcissism has been compared to the rise of the obesity epidemic in American adults, especially young adults; we are seeing a big generational affect. Three percent of people 65 and older have experienced NPD, compared to 10 percent of people in their twenties. Given that you can only diagnose narcissism when someone is 18 or older, those are scary percentages.