A new study reinforces what many of us who deal with narcissists already know:

1) Narcissists tend to be less trustworthy, less loyal, less accountable and less remorseful than others

2) Narcissists tend to be more deceptive, more manipulative, more antagonistic and more vindictive than others

In some cases the gap is huge.

Drawn from a study of 14,000 people, an analysis of 403 participants with distinct traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder found that narcissists are six times more likely to be deceptive, four times more likely to lie, and three times more likely to be antagonistic and vindictive than non-narcissistic people.

The study is a portrait of the many ways narcissists tend to posture and shape themselves while at the same time using others to shore up a fragile sense of self.

For example, the study found the percentages of narcissists who engage in the following behaviors, compared to non-narcissists:

Point out others’ mistakes, no matter how minor73%7%
Strongly believe they are superior to most people84%3%
Prefer to associate with people who are successful or popular84%7%
Cast aside anyone who doesnt live up to what they want69%5%
Change their appearance, personality, and opinions to be accepted62%18%
Seek to be the center of attention80%10%
Endlessly seek reassurance they are liked60%16%
Become defensive when given negative feedback61%32%
Refuse to acknowledge or admit when they are wrong67%16%

Being a narcissist is likely to be a tiring and draining endeavor, emotionally and psychologically. Its like wearing a mask all the time, said the studys author, Ilona Jerabek.

Here are three ways to cope with the manipulation and pretenses used by narcissists:

1) Don’t expect them to change. They may change behavior from time to time, but those with narcissistic personality disorder are unlikely to change their personality. What you see is what you get.

2) Don’t take their blaming and lack of accountability personally. Their actions are designed to gratify themselves and keep others from seeing their flaws. It’s all about them, not you, so how can it be personal?

3) Do ask yourself: “At what cost?”There is nearly always some cost when dealing with narcissists. Only you can decide whether the cost in any given situation is worth it.