Narcissism is a mental disorder. People with this behaviour are said to be narcissistic in nature. An excessive feeling of self-importance, at the cost of neglecting others’ well-being, may be termed as a narcissistic attitude.
The following are the symptoms to know whether a person is narcissistic:
- Constant vain and boastful talk, so much so that, others generally shun the person’s company.
- Always looking for praise and minimum tolerance for criticism.
- Treating others as if they are inferior and believing that talking with them would diminish the person’s stature.
- Believing that one is very superior and others can never match up to one’s skills and efficiency.
- A feeling that others envy the person’s success and simultaneously envying a more successful person.
The above are some of the vague symptoms of narcissism. Actually, narcissistic people are very insecure people with very low levels of self-esteem. In order to cover up this low level of confidence, they put up a show and tend to believe that they are far more superior than others. Excessive narcissistic tendency can lead to anxiety, depression and suicidal tendencies when expectations are not met.
A diagnosis for narcissism includes a detailed physical and mental enquiry by the psychologist. Based on the replies, counselling sessions are suggested to help the person overcome his inadequacies. There are no medicines for narcissism. However, to counter depression and anxiety, anti-depressants and anxiety-relieving pills may be suggested.
Some easy remedies and life style changes are suggested to get rid of narcissism:
Practising a positive outlook:
It is very easy to suggest that positive attitude needs to be be developed. However, to actually put the same into practice is very difficult, that too for a narcissistic person who has been harbouring feelings of negativity, all along. However, the fact that a narcissist wants to undergo therapy shows his willingness to attempt for a change.
As a first step, it is important to understand and accept one’s limitations. This will help in getting a realistic perception of things around and help in clearing feelings of anxiety about possible failure.
Second, there is a need to realise that all are equal in the eyes of God. If a person looks better physically, he need not be boastful about his looks. Instead, he should learn to treat the other person with respect – because, by giving respect, you earn the respect of others.
Third, though very difficult but yet simple enough to be followed, is to choose friends wisely. Though few in number, positive friends make great positive influences in life. Such friendships need to be treasured, despite any difference in societal status.
Learning empathy and sympathy:
The above two qualities can help a narcissistic person become more down-to-earth.
When he visualises himself in the place of the other, he will learn to think from the point of view of the other person. He will learn about the other person’s inadequacies, insecurities and fears. This helps in empathising with the other person and offer support to him, without any intention of benefitting from all this.
Sympathising and acting selflessly helps in getting a good mental satisfaction.
Practising relaxation techniques:
Certain relaxation techniques can help in destressing and ridding the narcissist of anxiety and depression.
Deep breathing exercises calm the nerves and give mental peace.
Developing satisfying hobbies and spending time in them, without the intention of any monetary rewards, helps in total relaxation of the body and mind.
Involving in social causes:
Involving in some social and charitable work helps in understanding the problems of the world at large and how minute but useful, one’s contribution can be.
Also, involving in charity makes a person altruistic, the one who is interested in the welfare of the whole world.
Following all the above methods, slowly and gradually, helps one in evolving into a positive personality and shun one’s ego and narcissism.