On the surface people with narcissistic personality disorder seem caring, understanding, and charming. But they are actually selfish and stuck up — they are nasty people. They are devaluing, condescending, arrogant, entitled, sadistic and exploitive.
They feel superior to other people, but they aren’t necessarily satisfied with themselves. They have a grandiose sense of entitlement and self-importance, crave attention and admiration.
It’s all a show to cover up a profound sense of inadequacy and emptiness. Narcissists are insecure and frail deep down. They secretly suffer from insecurity or low self-esteem. They are unable to hold onto a stable sense of self and identity, or maintain healthy relationships.
They have a hard time managing their own emotions, and understanding or accepting other people’s feelings. This means that they have low emotional intelligence.
They become angry, anxious or depressed when they are criticized or feel rejected. They lack self-awareness, empathy and compassion, and do not take responsibility for how their behavior affects others.
The Destructive Effects of Narcissism on the People Surrounding the Narcissist Are Tremendous
The destructive effects of narcissism on the people surrounding the narcissist are tremendous, and examples are plenty. Narcissists love putting down nice, soft-hearted people; and take pleasure in successful manipulation.
They are great manipulators. When caught in manipulative behavior, they can find ways to talk themselves out of trouble, and turn the situation around. Narcissists see themselves completely differently — preferentially — compared to other people, making those around them less valued.
They use language in specific ways, with a specific intent to manipulate other people. They are masters of disguise, and narcissistic abuse is a kind of thought control, designed to mentally manipulate others into handing over their minds and will, and thus their beliefs, thoughts and desires.
They use language specifically designed to get their victims to:
- Idealize the narcissist
- Do their best to make the narcissist happy
- Sacrifice their emotional or even their physical safety to please the narcissist
- Make excuses for or ignore narcissist’s actions
- Obsess over their mistakes and faults
- Believe they are undeserving of love and affection
- Devalue their contributions
- Doubt their ability to make decisions and think
- Give themselves no credit for their hard work
- Feel worthless and hopeless
- Feel abandoned, as though only the narcissist cares
- Mistrust the people that support them, like friends, family members, etc.
- Question their needs and wants
So, it comes as no surprise that the victims of narcissistic abuse are prone to anxiety. The endless cycle of abuse confuses the victims, because they feel that things aren’t right, but can’t find a solution.
Narcissists are actually emotional parasites, who take advantage of other people’s kindness. That’s why empathetic, compassionate people, who believe in the goodness of others, are their favorite target.
Science Says the Victims of Narcissistic Abuse Are Prone to Anxiety
Studies have found that the victims of narcissistic abuse are likely to suffer from various physical and mental health issues.
A study by Muhammad Gadit from Memorial University of Newfoundland showed that narcissistic abuse may trigger significant psychological problems, such as chronic self-blame, a pervasive sense of mistrust, dissociation, anxiety, anger-hostility-aggression syndrome, depression, etc.
Narcissistic abuse may cause certain physical changes in the human brain, making the victim prone to psychological disorders. According to Muhammad, narcissistic abuse can be classified as “emotional torture.”
Oftentimes, escaping narcissistic abuse or freeing yourself from the narcissist is hard but is critical to preserving mental health. It isn’t an easy process! It takes courage, patience, and practice. But when you learn to set healthy boundaries with the narcissist, over time your worries will begin to diminish.