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Are These Narcissistic Traits?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

1 РSpeaking ill of someone’s past to a total stranger
2 – ignoring the girlfriend of your friend when they first meet
3 – calling the girlfriend of a friend irrational
4 – boasting about achievements
5 – faking another mental illness
6 – taking a position of high responsibility
7 – excluding a newcomer from a group
8 – using sarcasm towards the girlfriend of a friend
9 – belittling others publicly
10 – using the boyfriend of the girlfriend to lie for them and call them irrational on their advices

I am wanting to know because these happened to me and it puzzles me to no end to know if those traits can be linked to that condition. (From France)

Are These Narcissistic Traits?

Answered by on -

A.

Thank you for asking your question. It seems like these would be very difficult, if not annoying traits to endure no matter what name they are given. The list of behaviors that you are talking about could match a number of traits and conditions — not exclusively narcissistic ones, but I can certainly see why you would ask. The self-absorption sounds like it would be challenging to be around.

However, I think there is something even more important about whatever it is that we would label these behaviors. There is a common thread to most of them that we would be skipping over to get to this label that I think are even more important: Your disappointment and frustration.

What comes screaming out of this list is that eight out of the ten sound like they have been directly painful to you. While five and six, faking another mental illness, and taking a position of high responsibility have less to do with harming you, they also show traits of someone who cannot make the connection to you that you need in a relationship. This is more important than whatever label we use for the collection of traits.

The deeper question is what you would do if you got confirm these traits were narcissistic? Would you stop your involvement, confront the person, or just continue knowing you had a diagnosis? Diagnostic labels are only helpful if they can offer tools for change. What would you do if this person could be labeled narcissistic?

For you to have written your email to us and looking for a label means that the discomfort has reached a level that can no longer be avoided. Use your own disappointment as the motivation for change — not what the collection of traits can be called, but what they are doing to you.

I am not encouraging you to blame this person, but rather I am supporting you in making a decision based on what you are feeling, not on what the other person might be regarded as. If I could sum this up into two words, they would be for you to trust yourself. Decide if this relationship is good for your mental health and well-being and follow through based on your answer.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Are These Narcissistic Traits?

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). Are These Narcissistic Traits?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/08/06/are-these-narcissistic-traits/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 5 Aug 2019
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 5 Aug 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.