In your lifetime, you're bound to come across at least one narcissist who will leave you wondering how someone can be so horrible.
A narcissistic person can be fun, competent, and confident. In public, they can appear as compassionate and generous too, which makes people flock to them until they spend some time together and people realize who they truly are. They seem to be desirable partners and friends but once somebody gets to know them up close they realize that the narcissistic person is all about themselves.
They prioritize themselves over everyone else. They don't value what others have to say and get defensive when you question them. They lack honesty and often lie when cornered. They will hold whatever you say and do against you; it's tenet they abide by. They won't think twice before twisting your words to reflect negatively on you. If you ask them to be honest, they will bend things around to make it seem like they're the victim.
Susan Heitler Ph.D. explains on Psychology Today, "Narcissistic functioning, at its core, is a disorder of listening." She calls it one-sided listening and adds that being in a relationship with someone like that can be really difficult since they are always pushing you away or dismissing you.
These people are not only not listening to you, they also don't want you to know how much they lie. So, when you ask them to be truthful, they will do these six things to deflect the questions:
The films Gone Girl and the Girl on the Train are examples of what lengths people can go to gaslight someone. They lie so much that in their retelling of event, it is completely rearranged to seem that you were the one at fault all along, not them. You will feel lost and doubt your own memories. They will deny they did something even if you have proof, which makes you question your own reality.
These individuals are lacking in empathy for others. If you ever confront them about hurting you they will dismiss it and turn the conversation around to make you feel guilty. You will be forced to think that having feelings about their harsh words and actions is your own fault. They will probably tell you that you're overreacting to a "simple" thing. They will never let you express your negative feelings about them openly; they're experts at stifling you emotionally.
They are going to try and show themselves as a victim of injustice, instead of a seeker of revenge. They see themselves as victims or as heroes and defenders, never as perpetrators. "Because of his distorted, defensive relationship to reality, the Extreme Narcissist often believes the lies he tells, both to himself and other people. He doesn’t see himself as a liar but rather as an embittered defender of the ‘truth’ as he has come to see it," Dr. Joseph Burgo tells Psychology Today.
They are arrogant enough to think and actually believe that they make no mistakes. Ever. If something goes wrong, they will blame everyone but themselves. They will distribute the blame to others rather than reflect on what they could have done differently.
If you try to confront them about their mistakes, they will see it as a personal attack. Instead, they will blame you for "never supporting" them. You might think that their reaction was too intense and unwarranted but they will always react like this if they think someone is trying to undermine them.
Slowly and slyly, without you realizing they will draw a wedge between your friends and you. This behavior is especially going to be directed towards the friends who can see through him. If you have family or friends who tell you to stay away from him, they are the ones he doesn't want around you. He will make up things and try to change your opinion about those people so that you stay away from them.
Narcissists exaggerate their achievements to seem like winning the Nobel Prize. They will use every opportunity to boast about themselves and seek praise from others. They want all eyes glued to them and want validation for things, whether they did it or not. So, a basketball game won in college becomes a victory in a championship, an article published on a website makes them an esteemed author. The tall claims will be grand and often they believe these exaggerations themselves!