Day in and day out, you observe their obnoxious behavior. You watch as they hurt people, preserve their egos, and dismiss reality. It can be as shocking as it is disturbing. It’s a dangerous misconception to assume narcissists don’t recognize how their actions affect others. It’s not that they don’t see it- it’s usually that they just don’t care. Indeed, the current research reveals some interesting results: • Narcissists generally understand people perceive them less positively than they perceive themselves. • Narcissists recognize that the power of their positive impressions may fade with time. • Narcissists have some insight into their personality (they’ll describe themselves as confident, narcissist, etc.) At first glance, these results may seem confusing. If narcissists have some insight into their patterns, why would they keep engaging in these ways? Narcissists don’t identify their behaviors as problematic. In other words, even if they think other people don’t like them, they still think they are entitled to play by their own rules. The biggest indicator that narcissists have the awareness that their behaviors are unacceptable and generally looked down upon by society is the fact that they hide their abusive behaviors from most people, but save them for you. This is the most compelling proof that they know what they’re doing. If they weren’t aware or didn’t have control over themselves, they would behave the same way with everyone else as they do with you. But they don’t. If they hide their behavior, then they know it’s wrong.
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