What is the Narcissistic Behavior? How do you recognize it? Is it a form of abuse? To answer the last question, YES! It is. The Narcissistic behavior is someone that constantly will berate you, make you second-guess yourself, even when you know you are right. They are loath to any change and as a matter of fact, cannot accept change whether in their surrounding environment or in their relationships. They will include you to make you feel a part of their life, but then knock you down at the first opportunity they get. In the workplace, they will berate you for taking initiative, and then berate you for not taking initiative. If you know more than they do or can do a better job than they can, they will go out of their way to point out every mistake (and they do not ever forget) and boast of their own achievements or accomplishments to maintain their superiority.
In the relationship, pretty much the same type behavior. They will put you down to make sure they feel better about themselves. They will point out any physical or emotional flaw that they feel you have. They will use your vulnerabilities against you whenever they can to always make you feel inferior and them superior to always in be and feel in control. AND finally, they will never recognize that they are wrong and will always find the way to turn the tables as if it is YOUR fault for feeling the way you do. They will rarely, if ever, admit to being wrong and if they do, it is without remorse. If you persist that you are correct in whatever the issue is, they will shut down by stating, “I’m not doing this with you” leaving you unresolved. Again, exerting their control over you.
Is this worth it? In the work place and if the money is good and you can recognize that type of behavior and tolerate it and not allow them to get to you, and confront them at every opportunity at their mistakes, they can eventually learn how not to “push your buttons” or how to tread lightly where you are concerned for fear of losing you as you ARE vital to them in the workforce. And should you have a good HR, then document as much as you can. In the relationship, you have to ask yourself is this worth it? Because in the end, they will never change, they resist change, they state they can change, but will eventually go back to the same behavior once they have you duped into believing they have changed because they will always rationalize that they are correct. Is it worth the energies spent on trying to save them? Long term professional counseling is the only way that this is possible but once again, they can fool the counselor into believing they have changed so in that relationship, couples counseling is vital should you choose to stay in that kind of relationship. When confronting them, and in any manner that works for you, you will never have them admit that they were wrong. They can never accept the blame that they were the cause of the breakup.. And if you should break up, will stew about it for weeks, maybe months and then reach out to you to make you feel that they have remorse and once you have “given” in to their admissions, will go back to that same behavior, but with someone else since at that point, they are exhausted from constantly trying to figure out how to maintain their superiority over you. If you are seeking answers or closure, more than likely it will never happen so you need to accept that and find that closure within yourself and rebuild your self esteem because in the end, YOU are the one that matters!
- Gary Schwartz is a composer, musician, counselor, writer, performer. Double majored in Behavioral Psychology and Music Composition. Worked as counselor through Whitman Walker Clinic, Gay Men's Counseling Collective, Hospice of Frederick County, Montgomery County Health Department and Frederick County Department of Social Services as Adult Foster Care. Gary currently teaches private piano, voice and composition and just finished his 19th year performing at MDRF!