Narcissism is a complex personality trait that often manifests in various behaviors, attitudes, and interactions. Dr. David Hawkins, the director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute, sheds light on the traits of highly narcissistic individuals. One prominent characteristic of these individuals is their belief that they are special, unique, talented, and smart. In this article, we will explore why narcissists believe they are special, why they hold onto this perception and how it influences their behavior. We will also discuss strategies for dealing with highly narcissistic individuals and maintaining healthy interactions.
The Illusion of Uniqueness
The highly narcissistic person projects an image of themselves as unparalleled in their qualities—unique, special, talented, and smart. This perception is not only a self-assured attitude but also serves as a justification for their often egregious behavior. Dr. Hawkins highlights the overlap of these traits, emphasizing that they collectively contribute to the narcissist’s belief that they have the right to act in ways that others do not.
The Power Dynamics of Narcissism
The belief in one’s uniqueness and specialness provides narcissists with a sense of entitlement. They feel empowered to act in ways that might be considered socially unacceptable or even abusive. Dr. Hawkins notes that highly narcissistic individuals can wield incredible power, leveraging their perceived intelligence and talent to justify their behavior. This power dynamic often allows them to escape accountability for their actions.
Recognizing the Illusion
The first step in dealing with highly narcissistic individuals is to recognize that their perceived uniqueness and specialness are, in fact, an illusion. It is easy to be mesmerized by their accomplishments, credentials, and apparent intelligence, but it is crucial to see through this facade. Dr. Hawkins advises against getting caught up in treating them exactly the way they want to be treated. It is essential to maintain a clear perspective and not succumb to the charm of their projected image.
To navigate interactions with narcissists, Dr. Hawkins suggests interacting with them honestly. This means resisting the temptation to treat them as uniquely special and instead approaching them as colleagues, friends, or partners. By showing up as your authentic self, you set the tone for a more genuine and balanced relationship. This approach challenges the narcissist’s expectation of being treated with excessive admiration.
Establishing Ground Rules
Interacting honestly also involves establishing clear ground rules for how you expect to be treated. By doing so, you communicate your boundaries and expectations, creating a framework for a healthier dynamic. Dr. Hawkins emphasizes the importance of stating these expectations explicitly, even if the narcissist may not adhere to them. This step is essential for maintaining your self-respect and not succumbing to manipulative tactics.
Conclusion – Why Narcissists Believe They Are Special?
Understanding why narcissists believe they are special provides valuable insights into their behavior and helps individuals navigate interactions with them more effectively. By recognizing the illusion of uniqueness, interacting honestly, and establishing clear ground rules, one can mitigate the impact of narcissistic behavior and maintain healthier relationships. Dealing with highly narcissistic individuals requires a balanced approach that prioritizes self-respect and genuine connection over succumbing to the allure of their projected image.
To learn how we can help, reach out to us at (206) 219-0145 or firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with a Client Care Specialist
Also read: What It’s Like Talking To a Narcissist?
About Dr. Hawkins:
The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.
Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.
He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.
In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.