Individuals don’t choose to suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder or NPD. They have a mental condition and rarely fit into the stereotype as portrayed in pop culture. Some people suffering from this disorder do vindictive things, but that isn’t the case with all. What do people need to know when dealing with a person with NPD?
What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Approximately 5.3 percent of the American population suffers from NPD, with males being more at risk of this diagnosis. These individuals suffer from certain traits, and researchers have identified nine. However, a person may only show some traits, while the intensity varies from person to person. As a result, medical professionals see narcissistic personality as a spectrum, much like autism.
Every person may demonstrate certain aspects of narcissism. The key to distinguishing between random behaviour and NPD lies in the persistence of these symptoms over time and across situations.
These individuals need help. Loved ones cannot ignore these traits, as they put the person more at risk of committing one or more crimes. For example, individuals suffering from NPD are more likely to commit a sex crime and find themselves in a need of a sex crimes attorney.
Men and women who are vindictive hold grudges and find ways to get back at those they feel have wronged them. Again, not every narcissist is vindictive, and not every vindictive person is a narcissist. Medical professionals don’t diagnose someone with vindictive narcissism. Rather, they use this term to explain a person’s behaviour at times, such as when they feel hurt by another person. The narcissist views them as an enemy in their mind and retaliates.
What Causes This?
Researchers believe a person with NPD may lack empathy for others because of a traumatic event, abandonment, excessive pampering, or many other things. They cannot relate to the pain of other individuals or how this pain results from their actions. As a result, they are vindictive when someone hurts them. Many things can trigger this behaviour, such as when the person interprets a situation differently than other people would.
Dealing with Vindictiveness
Individuals in a relationship with someone suffering from NPD know the challenges of doing so. When they become vindictive, loved ones must protect themselves physically and emotionally. They must set boundaries and not compromise. People often find this difficult to do but they must in order to remain safe.
Make certain the narcissist understands these boundaries by verbalizing them. They can then accept the boundaries or leave the relationship. Although the thought of losing this person isn’t pleasant, the results of their narcissistic behaviour aren’t either. Keep this in mind and protect yourself.
Don’t second guess your boundaries, even when confronted by the narcissist. They use manipulation and games to get their way. Furthermore, don’t internalize things they say or do and make it your fault. Seek shelter from their anger and have a safety plan in place.
If you need help in dealing with a loved one suffering from NPD, seek it immediately. Ask that they do the same. Most narcissists refuse to take this step, and a person might find they have to exit the relationship to protect themselves. Take this step if necessary, as your life is too important to let their behaviour slide. You cannot put a price on your safety.