It is SO hard to differentiate between a difficult person and a narcissist. While some of the characteristics of difficult people and narcissists are similar, there are some differences that can be subtle as well as noticeable. And even if they have certain similarities, usually the narcissists take it to a whole other level.
What exactly is a difficult person? A difficult person has been defined by many researchers and other experts but the general idea is that a difficult person means having traits or characteristics that make it difficult, if not impossible, to communicate effectively with them. A difficult person also has difficulties in understanding others emotional states. They act and say things that are inappropriate and at times, irrational. They have an inability to play nice. This is just their way of being without having a hidden agenda behind their actions and behaviors.
Narcissists, on the other hand, are quite charming and warm-hearted at first. Do not be fooled. It is only a matter of time until one of their many masks falls off and they expose their despicable true selves. Narcissists will always ask themselves what they are going to get out of the situation and how it’ll benefit their lives. Difficult people are just that….difficult with no ulterior motive.
If you want to know that you’re dealing with a narcissist, read the following list and if most or even half apply to the person you’re dealing with, think twice…maybe even three times before proceeding.
Self-absorbed: acts and talks like everything is about him or her. It is rarely, if ever, about you.
Entitled: he or she makes and breaks the rules. Authority isn’t considered as a factor when they think about consequences of their actions.
Demeaning: he or she bullies you and constantly puts you down.
Demanding: demands you do what he or she wants and when they want.
Distrustful: may accuse you of cheating. Becomes suspicious for no reason.
Approval seeking: craves and needs constant praise, recognition and admiration.
Lack of empathy: they are uninterested and do not care to understand how you feel and what you’re feeling.
Compulsive: becomes overly consumed by details of things or situations.
Emotionally detached: doesn’t allow themselves to feel. They tend to stay away from feelings and emotions.
Lack of remorse: he or she could never apologize and actually mean it. They don’t feel bad or wrong about their actions or behaviors
Snobby: believes they are superior to you and many others. They look down on you because they feel you’re inferior.
Addictive: usually they are unable to let go of bad habits and many have addiction problems.
Perfectionistic: they have rigidly high standards and wants things done their way or no way at all.
If you think someone in your life possesses many of the above listed traits and characteristics, you’re dealing with a narcissist, not a difficult person although they tend to be the most difficult people to deal with, but their personality is not of a difficult person but a manipulative one. If someone in your life has many of the things listed above, start running the opposite way of that person.
Surprisingly enough, there is thing called healthy narcissism. Healthy narcissists tend to be self-aware, collaborative, flexible, respectful and a team player. They are also confident, determined, confrontational and engaging. Covert maladaptive narcissism is considered to be those people that cannot and will not conform to norms, adapt to changing environments, or uphold the most basic expectations in relationships. Narcissism falls on a spectrum where on one end is healthy narcissism and the other end is covert maladaptive narcissism. If you answered yes to a few of the traits listed, you may be dealing with a challenging person with a less severe case of narcissism.
Everyone needs to be aware of narcissism and what it entails. These types of people can appear to be the most charming and wonderful people. It’s temporary and their mask can’t hide them forever. If you think you are dealing with a narcissist, ask yourself if the person is considering your feelings and doing what is in your best interest. If it’s all “me, me,, me”, you may want to reevaluate the person and their overall personality. If you find out you’re dealing with a narcissist, run the other way and never look back. I guarantee you that your life will be better without that person.