Narcissistic folks who are fun, good at things, and appear in public to be compassionate and generous, often look like they would be as desirable friends and even as marriage partners.
They can be very enjoyable to hang out with. At the same time, are they also good partners when it comes to talking through differences of opinion? Or is there something about how they communicate in a relationship that makes narcissistic folks provocative?
Ever tried to be friends or a love partner with someone who is all about me? Someone who only listens to him or herself?
Listen: You know who’s definitely a narcissist? Donald Trump. Mia Freedman and Amelia Lester discuss.
A partner who changes the topic, gets defensive or gets mad at you when you try to talk about difficulties you’ve been experiencing?
Narcissistic functioning at core is a disorder of listening. Think of it as one-sided listening, with multiple features that emerge as a result. The desire to sustain a friendship, never mind a love relationship, can quickly fade with someone who does not seem to see or hear you, who dismissively pushes away what you say, and who may be quick to anger if you attempt nonetheless to express your viewpoint.
The Narcissism Quiz
The following quiz suggests six dimensions for assessing narcissism. Score each dimension from 0 to 5. Zero is not at all. Five is all the time.
First assess yourself. Then circle back to score someone in your life who is difficult to deal with.
The goal: See your and others’ patterns clearly. Clarity is a strong first step toward being able to make changes for the better.
Sign #1: Unilateral listening.
What I want and what I have to say are all that matters when we talk together. When we make decisions what you want, your concerns, your feelings… these are mere whispers, inconveniences and irrelevancies. So when we discuss issues, my opinions are right. Yours are wrong or else of minimal importance. If you expect to have input, you are undermining me.
Narcissistic listening dismisses, negates, ignores, minimises, denigrates or otherwise renders irrelevant other people’s concerns and comments. A tone of contempt is particularly strong narcissistic indicator.
Another narcissistic indicator is responding to what others say by beginning with the word “But….” But is a backspace-delete key that negates whatever came before, such as what someone else has said. The but eraser deletes others’ viewpoints from the discussion.
Sign #2 It’s all about me.
I know more, I know better, I’m more interesting, When we talk, it’s mostly about me. In conversations, I take up most of the airtime. Almost all of my chatter is about what I have done, what I am thinking about.
If you begin to talk about yourself, I link back to something in my life so that the focus of the discussion again turns to me. Maybe that’s why people say I suck up all the air in a room.
When I want something, I need to have it. Never mind how you feel about it; it’s all about me. I’m big and important and you are merely also here, mostly to do things for me, like a third arm.