Narcissism runs along a scale from standard-issue self-centeredness to full blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It seems the label
"narcissist" is used more frequently since the election of 2016 and the current president. Many people label him as a narcissist. People label him even though they are not actually certified to diagnose him. People who have had no opportunity to personally examine him label him. Interestingly though, he is not alone. People now label everyone as narcissistic from their bosses, to their spouse, to their siblings. Once you read about the traits of a narcissist, you can find examples of those traits in just about everyone. Where one falls on the scale of narcissism depends on how it impacts others.
We are living in an age when self esteem has taken a big hit and suicide rates are at an all-time high. So we encourage people to be more self-loving, but when does self-love cross a line to narcissism? The line may be when it interferes with your relationships or your job in a significant way. When self-promotion leads to destroying another person's self esteem, it has become something harmful. When a person's only concern is his or her own happiness at the expense of others, that is a red flag. True narcissists have no empathy for others, even when they may have a shared experience.
If you have a relationship with someone who is high on the scale of narcissism, you may feel deflated, anxious, or depressed (or all of the above). Educating yourself about narcissism can provide you with the knowledge you need to navigate the relationship while also maintaining your own self-worth. Sometimes the only way to navigate the relationship is to free yourself from it, and you can learn strategies to protect yourself.
Dan Harris hosts the "Ten Percent Happier" podcast. The podcast generally focuses on the benefits of meditation, finding peace, and coping with stress and anxiety. On September 21, the topic was "How to Handle a Narcissist (Including, Maybe...Yourself)". You can find the podcast wherever you find podcasts--I find mine on Spotify. The podcast hosts Keith Campbell, author of The New Science of Narcissism. He provides helpful advice on how to manage your relationships with a narcissist, particularly a spouse and offers advice on things you can to do help prevent your children from becoming narcissistic.
You can find more information and Ten Percent Happier Podcasts at the link below: