Narcissists crowd our world today. They are our spouses, ex-spouses, relatives, bosses, co-workers, spiritual mentors, friends. Our society reward narcissists handsomely with wealth, praise, adulation, celebrity, and social status. The narcissist’s raison d’etre is winning. As long as he achieves his goals, nothing else matters. Personal problems, even those of close family members, are too intricate, messy and time consuming. The means that the narcissist uses are inconsequential since individuals with this personality disorder are ethically and morally challenged. With his grandiose sense of self entitlement and no limits attitude, the narcissist is always driving in the fast lane.
Narcissists weave grand visions of success that are designed to lead them to stashes of wealth, power, prestige, and control. Winning electrifies the narcissist; it is the engine, the fire that keeps him going. Often these individuals are creative in their conception of innovative products and services and how to market them successfully. They hire bright talented people to implement their ideas. Narcissists are often big picture virtuosos who leave the details and hard work to others. They take advantage of their assistants by underpaying them and overpromising while they carefully maintain their elite lifestyles. The written or verbal agreement you make with a narcissist is never the real deal. The narcissist knows that contracts can always be broken as long as you can get away with it.
Above all, the narcissist is deceptive in all of his relationships and transactions. He bends the truth with automatic ease. Members of the narcissist’s inner circle often have defective characters themselves. They are willing and eager to engage in underhanded tactics as long as it is to their material benefit. Some assistants and hangers-on are low level narcissists who lack the thinnest veneer of conscience or compassion. They sit at the feet of the master narcissist, believing that his affluence and stature will rub off on them.
High-level narcissists—those individuals who are particularly magnetic, bright, charming, and confident—are frequently gifted at creating wealth. They ingratiate themselves to the “right people,” have impeccable timing, and know just how to make their moves. All wealthy individuals are not narcissists. Many people of means are generous, caring human beings who are not focused on material possessions.
Some narcissistic dreams go astray. When the ride gets bumpy or the narcissist whimsically decides to change course, offices are closed, employees are dumped without warning, bills, loans and leases are left unpaid. Those who have joined the narcissist in good faith, even moved across the country to become part of his team, are abandoned without professional or financial resources. They are left in severe emotional pain, picking up pieces of their broken lives. The narcissist is unmoved. He doesn’t lose sleep over his debacles. He steps forward and pivots toward his next grand project. During the course of their lives, narcissists repeat these destructive cycles of deception.
Protect yourself from becoming enmeshed in the narcissist’s destructive web. Learn to identify narcissists that come into your personal and professional life. Steer clear of them if you can. If you are required to interact with a narcissist, always be aware that no matter how charming, powerful, convincing, or magnetic they are, their purpose is to win at all costs, even if that means harming others.
Remember who you really are. Respect your personal values. Remain calm. Activate your own healthy narcissism—that positive, strong, realistic sense of self worth and self respect.