“The thing with Dickie… it’s like the sun shines on you, and it’s glorious. And then he forgets you and its very, very cold. When you have his attention, you feel like you’re the only person in the world, that’s why everybody loves him so much”. -Marge Sherwood describing the narcissist Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley
We are attracted to narcissists for a reason. They can be compared to peacocks: beautiful, attention seeking, and worthy of our attention. However, the more we get to know them, the more we see the negative personality traits associated with the dark side of narcissisms. Have you found yourself in a relationship with a narcissist? Many of us have been there at some point in our lives. Like I said, they can be very attractive at first. Tamara and Teri have mentioned some destructive personality traits of the narcissist to be aware of. Over time, you may also begin to realize your prancing peacock has some of the following traits:
Narrow Range of Emotions:
- The only emotion they show is anger. S/he may say s/he feels other emotions like happy or sad, but there is little feeling behind the word.
- The do not tell others that they like or appreciate anything about them
- Do not express pleasure or delight in pleasing activities that are not directly related to their own benefit.
- Accept other people’s feelings without judgment
- Do not accept responsibility for their own feelings, often blaming others for his or her anger
Lack of Empathy:
- Abruptly changes the topic in a discussion, like s/he did not care what you were talking about
- Becomes distracted or bored when listening to others
- Uncomfortable with people who have intense emotions, tells them to calm down.
- Tells other people what they mean or what their motives are
- Wants details about others or their situations so they can avoid the feelings side of situations
No Sense of Humor:
- Enjoys jokes that focus on characteristics of people from other racial, ethnic, or national origins
- Laughs at sexist jokes
- Laughs at others discomfort or lack of dignity
- Tells sexual or erotic jokes in mixed company
- Does not laugh out loud when the read or hear something funny
- Cannot laugh at themselves
If you have begun to notice any of these characteristics in someone you love or someone who is close to you, we invite you to read Loving the Self-Absorbed by Nina W. Brown, ED.D, LPC, NCC. The above information was taken from the book, but the book also shares how to live with & love a person who can be selfish. Please come back to read more from Natalie and Joleen as we continue writing about narcissism.
Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT
Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapy, family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield