8 Life Setbacks and Failures of Narcissists

8 common life crises of narcissists.

Posted Apr 23, 2017

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“That’s enough of me talking about myself - let’s hear you talk about me!”

― Anonymous narcissist

“It’s not easy being superior to everyone I know!”

― Anonymous narcissist

Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.” Here are eleven common narcissistic traits, with excerpts from my books: “How to Successfully Handle Narcissists” and “A Practical Guide for Narcissists to Change Towards the Higher Self”.

Conversation Hoarder – Narcissists love to hear themselves talk, or hear others talk about them. They relish being the center of attention.

Conversation Interrupter – Many narcissists like to interrupt and switch the focus of communication to him or herself. He or she shows little genuine interest in you.  

Rule Breaker – Enjoys getting away with violating rules and social norms, such as cutting in line, chronic under-tipping, or disobeying traffic laws.

“I take pride in persuading people to give me exceptions to their rules.”

― Anonymous narcissist

Boundary Violator – Shows wanton disregard for other people’s thoughts, feelings, time, possessions, and physical space.

False Image Projection – Likes to do things to impress others by making themselves look good externally.

“My accomplishments are everything.”

― Anonymous executive

“What my mother displays in public and how she really is are very different.”

― Anonymous

Entitlement – ­Expects preferential treatment from others. Require others to cater (often instantly) to their needs, without being considerate in return. In their mindset, the world revolves around them.

“You’re sick? What about driving me to the mall?”

― Anonymous narcissist

Charmer – Narcissists can be very engaging and sociable, as long as you’re fulfilling what they desire, and giving them all of your attention.

Grandiose Personality – Some narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-importance, thinking of oneself as a hero or heroine, a prince or princess, or one of a kind special person.

“Once again I saved the day - without me they’re nothing!”

― Anonymous narcissist

Superior/Inferior Orientation – Unable to relate to individuals as equals. Narcissists either take an inferior position and defer to you, or a superior position and presume that they’re in some ways better than you. Both the superior and inferior postures are calculated to sway you to give them what they want – such is the purpose of relationships to them.

Negative Emotions – Many narcissists enjoy spreading and arousing negative emotions to gain attention, feel powerful, and keep you insecure and off-balance.

“Some people try to be tall by cutting off the heads of others.”

— Paramhansa Yogananda

Manipulation: Use Others as Extension of Self – Narcissists often make decisions for others to suit their own needs. The narcissist may use his or her romantic partner, child, friend, or colleague to meet unreasonable self-serving needs, fulfill unrealized dreams, or cover up self-perceived inadequacies and flaws.

Many narcissists are oblivious to their negative and often self-destructive behavioral patterns, which typically result in them experiencing life lessons the hard way. Below are eight common life setbacks and failures of narcissists. Negative consequence as the result of chronic narcissism may include one or more of the following:

1. Family Estrangement – Multiple studies have examined the relationship between narcissism and difficult family relationships.(1)(2)(3)(4)

2. Divorce – Research has also shown the tremendous negative impact narcissism has on romantic relationships and marriages.(5)(6)(7)(8)

3. Relationship Cut-Offs – Since narcissists “use” rather than “relate”, they tend to leave many broken relationships behind. Narcissists also experience relationship dissolution from others feeling let down, disappointed, lied to, used, manipulated, violated, exploited, betrayed, ripped-off, demeaned, invalidated, or ignored.

4. Loneliness and Isolation – Due to the first three factors described above, most narcissists have few, if any healthy, close and lasting relationships. Some higher-functioning narcissists achieve external success in life – at the expense of others – and find themselves lonely at the top.

5. Missed Opportunities – From a lack of true substance and/or lack of connectedness.

6. Financial, Career, or Legal Trouble – From rule breaking, gross irresponsibility, careless indulgence, or other indiscretions.

7. Damaged Reputation – From personal and/or professional lack of credibility. 

8. Deep-Seated Fear of Rejection / Being Unimportant – Many narcissists are easily upset at a­ny real or perceived slights or inattentiveness. They are constantly hounded by the insecurity that people may not see them as the privileged, powerful, popular, or “special” individuals they make themselves to be. Deep down, many narcissists feel like the “ugly duckling”, even if they painfully don’t want to admit it.

Can a narcissist change for the better? Perhaps. But only if he or she is highly aware, and willing to go through the courageous process of self-discovery. For narcissists no longer willing to play the charade at the cost of genuine relationships and credibility, there are ways to liberate from falsehood, and progressively move toward one’s Higher Self.

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For tips on how to deal with Narcissists, see my book (click on title): “How to Successfully Handle Narcissists”.

For tips on how Narcissists can attain greater emotional and social intelligence, see my book (click on title): “A Practical Guide for Narcissists to Change Towards the Higher Self”.

© 2017 by Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved worldwide. Copyright violation may subject the violator to legal prosecution.

References

(1) Horton, Robert S., Bleau, Geoff, Drwecki, Brian. “Parenting Narcissus: What Are the Links Between Parenting and Narcissism?” Journal of Personality. (2006)

(2) Horton, R. S., & Tritch, T. “Clarifying the Links Between Grandiose Narcissism and Parenting”. The Journal Of Psychology: Interdisciplinary And Applied. (2014)

(3) Brummelman , E. et al. “Origins of Narcissism in Children”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. (2015)

(4) Johnson, Stephen. “Character Styles”. W. W. Norton & Company. (1994)

(5) Counts, Robert & Sacks, Anita. “Profiles of the Divorce Prone: The Self Involved Narcissist”. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage. (1991)

(6) McNulty, J. K., & Widman, L.. “Sexual Narcissism and Infidelity in Early Marriage”. Archives of Sexual Behavior. (2014)

(7) Hurlbert, D.F., Apt, C. “Sexual Narcissism and the Abusive Male”. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 17. (1991)

(8) Ryan, K.M., Weikel, K., Sprechini, G. “Gender Differences in Narcissism and Courtship Violence in Dating Couples”. Sex Roles (2008)