Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder that is sweeping up Gen-Y dramatically, and has become one of the many personality disorders that affect millennials and others in today’s society. According to the DSM-5 Criteria for personality disorders, symptoms for NPD include:
- Excess self-importance
- The individual will have fantasies of unlimited power, ideal love, brilliance, power, and beauty
- Believes he/she is special. People of higher status or institution should associate with them
- Sense of entitlement, and that he/she should be favored.
- Takes advantage of others to fulfill their own needs/desires.
- Lacks empathy, and does not show remorse for others.
- Thinks people envy he/she, and is also envious of others.
As a member of Gen-Y, I have seen many friends display symptoms of NPD, even those I love. It is something that I stood by watching, while these people manipulated others for their own personal gain. However, what if it was someone you loved? Like a family member or a spouse. I’ve learned through a course with loved ones, it is something difficult to accept, but there are ways to help you deal with their disorder.
Keep A Cool Head
I’ve learned fairly quickly that keeping a lid on your fuse is a must when dealing with NPD. Everyone is quick to flare with individuals with this disorder, simply because of the type of person they are. However, if you have a loved one with this disorder, it is best that you remain calm. If you do, your loved one will remain calm as well.
Offer Them A Different Approach
They have a fantasy of achieving the ultimate success. They want to rise above others with power and high authority. Yet, you may view their fantasies as somewhat excessive. Offer them a different approach to their goals. Provide them with healthy goals, instead of power and fame. They may feel you are being envious of them, but that leads right into my next tip.
Space Is Necessary
Another lesson I learned having a loved one with NPD: giving them space is okay. You aren’t neglecting them, and you aren’t excluding them from your life. You are only trying to give them space to think about the lack of empathy they have just caused you or words they have just said. It gives them time to think things through and see what they did was wrong. Space is necessary, and if that person were to continue to stay in my life without any breathing room, it would only hurt me in the long run.
Don’t Give In
People with NPD tend to always get what they want. They want the power over everyone. However, you can’t always give into their ways and be submissive to their power. They want to manipulate you, but it your duty as a loved one to offer them support while remaining strong.
Offer Limited Support
When I say limited support, I mean do not give them your full support. That will only fuel their arrogance and power to take advantage of you. Give them support in the right way. Talk things out, go for a walk, or give them the right guidance to show that you care.
Show them you care by allowing them to see that their ways are hurtful to you. Guide them to get some help, so they can learn that not everything revolves around them. Give them love, support, and guidance to help formulate a different perspective.
Most of all, love your loved ones with NPD. Most of them are unaware they even have the disorder, but it is your right as a loved one to show that you care for them and want to help them see their ways. Follow these tips and find them help, because no one should go on with this disorder, with no comprehension of the hurt they are causing their loved ones.