• Jo Rust

Surviving a narcissist

Narcissists, or people who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, can be difficult to identify at first. These people usually exhibit traits of megalomania and sociopathy, but you'll only catch on to realizing who they truly are once you're well and truly caught in their very well designed and devious trap.

They have a warped sense of entitlement, can't handle criticism whatsoever, don't care about others' feelings, are highly manipulative, pathological liars and have an insatiable need to be seen as someone of importance and/or possessing great wealth.

They basically believe they're the 'bee's knees', or the 'cat's meow', if you will.

Their weapons in a romantic relationship? Carefully constructed lies dipped in honey. An individually crafted persona created just for you. They'll pretend to like the things you like to be more believable to you. They'll make you believe you are the center of their Universe. They know you're smart and wouldn't want them if they portrayed their true nature. They'll try and convince you that you are nothing without them. The world should revolve around them in their eyes.

But as soon as they have you caught in their trap, they stop playing. They know you'd kill yourself to get back the person you fell in love with. They don't care. They never cared. It was never about you. This is what they do - and unfortunately you're not their first, nor will you be their last victim.

In the workplace: If it's someone senior to you, they'll be sure to make you understand that they have the upper hand. They'll go out of their way to make your life hell on a daily basis. The pleasure they get out of trying to 'get you to crack' is pretty sickening. They can be extremely conniving, abusive, dismissive and manipulative.

In friendships: They'll always try to make you feel bad about not tending to their every need. If you don't act exactly the way they want you to, they'll find a way to make you feel insignificant or small in front of others. Because they feel so insecure around you, they can become quite abusive in trying to tear you down in any way possible. Passive aggressive behavior is very common. They can't handle it when someone points out any of their flaws, and might even become very aggressive and physically abusive.

Depending on what subtype they are, narcissists can be extremely delicate and will blow up at something minute that seems completely insignificant to you. Once fired up, they can become incredibly cruel.