Dorian Gray, the main character of the best Oscar Wilde piece, is a striking example of narcissism. Narcissus, another fictional character, named by John William Waterhouse, is a representation of narcissism. Despite being from different eras and different places, these characters are strikingly similar in their personalities. They fall in love with themselves, leaving their partners and breaking their hearts. They have a hard time paying attention to other people.
Let’s be honest now, we all have come across people with such characteristics in our lives. And if you have not, it could be possible that it could be you. An extremely elevated sense of self-worth is what mental health professionals term as narcissism. It is a personality disorder. A narcissist seems like the perfect person to be around. However, this joy is short-lived, as their true colors start unfolding soon. By this time, it becomes impossible to deal with them. It can be mentally exhausting having a two-minute conversation with them.
This personality disorder develops due to the constant involvement of environmental and genetic factors. It triggers as soon as the preschool years. In the beginning, these traits may seem cute and Instagram post-worthy. However, in the long run, if parents ignore such traits, they are responsible for their ignorance. They raise a narcissist who could be destructive to their family life.
Negligence or overindulging in a child’s life can lead to narcissistic behavior. When parents neglect their child, it leads them to believe that they can trust no one. Inadequate warmth and love turn them into little narcissists. Over indulging in a child’s life makes them crave excessive appraisal. The parents begin to see the child as something he/she is not.
Narcissists suffer from delusions of grandiose. These delusions make them believe that they are superior to others and are more special. This also leads them to think that they deserve to be treated specially. When their needs are ignored or they are treated indifferently, it hurts their ego.
Narcissists fail to have true friendships. Intimacy and transparency are important traits in a friendship. However, narcissists have a hard time being intimate with their friends or partners.
SYMPTOMS OF NARCISSISM
Several studies on narcissism have helped us understand the traits narcissists exhibit.
1. Delusions of grandiose
2. Callous and unemotional traits
3. Disregarding other peoples’ emotions
4. Excessive need for admiration
5. Social isolation
6. Excessive need to be the center of attention
Narcissism in the long run just makes one socially isolated. It becomes difficult for such people to make friends because they cannot treat others fairly. These people are vain and egocentric. Dealing with a narcissistic person can be mentally draining. Narcissists are unemotional and therefore cannot empathize with others. This makes it difficult for them to be intimate with others. Narcissistic people are never interested in listening to other people and always want to be the center of attention.
These traits in people can lead to social isolation. Rejection in relationships and friendships may lead to depression and therefore the development of suicidal ideation.