The Psychology of Narcissism: Why They Feel the Need to Control Others' Perceptions of You

The Psychology of Narcissism: Why They Feel the Need to Control Others' Perceptions of You

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a mental health condition that affects about 1% of the population. Individuals with NPD have an inflated sense of self-importance and a deep need for admiration and attention. As a result, they often try to control others' perceptions of them, manipulating their image to maintain their grandiose self-image.

 

‍Disclosure - this article may contain affiliate links for which I may receive compensation for their use. See full disclosure/disclaimer here: Disclaimer/Disclosure – Stylin Spirit (stylin-spirit.com)

NEW Bundles Make It Easy to Shop! Save time shopping for back to school

 

Understanding the psychology of narcissism is crucial to dealing with them effectively. In this article, we'll delve into the reasons why narcissists feel the need to control others' perceptions of you. We'll explore the underlying psychological mechanisms that drive their behavior, from their fragile self-esteem to their fear of being exposed as frauds. We'll also provide practical tips on how to handle narcissistic individuals and protect yourself from their toxic influence. Whether you're dealing with a narcissistic boss, partner, or family member, this article will give you valuable insights into their behavior and help you navigate their complex world.

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. Individuals with NPD often have an inflated sense of self-importance and believe that they are superior to others. They may exaggerate their achievements and talents and be preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

Narcissists also have a deep need for attention and admiration from others. They often seek out situations where they can be the center of attention and bask in the admiration of others. They may also demand special treatment and expect others to cater to their needs and desires.

The Narcissist's Need for Control

One of the hallmarks of narcissism is the need for control. Narcissists often feel a strong need to control others' perceptions of them, as they believe that their image is crucial to maintaining their grandiose sense of self. They may go to great lengths to manipulate others' perceptions of them, using a variety of tactics to maintain their image of superiority and perfection.

For example, a narcissistic boss may try to control their employees' perceptions of them by micromanaging their work, criticizing them excessively, and taking credit for their achievements. A narcissistic partner may try to control their partner's perceptions of them by isolating them from friends and family, gaslighting them, and projecting their own faults onto them.

Once the narcissist is done with you, everyone in their life must be done with you. There is no staying neutral; there is no common ground. This black and white thinking is very prevalent with narcissists. It allows them to maintain control over their narrative, and they will do everything in their power to destroy your reputation and relationships to ostracize you from the workplace, family, children, and friends.

Signs of Narcissistic Control

If you're dealing with a narcissistic individual, it's important to recognize the signs of selfish control. Some common signs include:

  • Gaslighting: Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which the narcissist tries to make you doubt your own perception of reality. They may deny things you know to be true, distort the truth, or blame you for things that are not your fault. Over time, gaslighting can erode your sense of self-worth and make you doubt your own sanity.
  • Projection: Narcissists often project their own faults and insecurities onto others. For example, a narcissistic partner may accuse you of cheating, even if you have been entirely faithful. This is because they are prone to cheating and are projecting their own behavior onto you.
  • Isolation: Narcissists may try to isolate you from friends and family members, as they see these relationships as threats to their control. They may discourage you from spending time with loved ones or sabotage your relationships.
  • Criticism: Narcissists may criticize you excessively, often for things that are beyond your control. They may also use criticism to control you, making you feel like you are never good enough.
  • Manipulation: Narcissists are masters of manipulation. They may use charm, flattery, and other tactics to get what they want. They may also use guilt or fear to control you.
Shop Allies of Skin NEW Peptides & Omega Firming Cream

The Psychology of Narcissistic Control

So why do narcissists feel the need to control others' perceptions of them? There are several underlying psychological mechanisms at play.

First, narcissists have a fragile sense of self-esteem. Despite their grandiose self-image, they are deeply insecure and fear being exposed as frauds. As a result, they try to control others' perceptions of them to maintain their inflated sense of self.

Second, narcissists often have a sense of entitlement. They believe that they are special and deserve special treatment. They may see others as objects to be manipulated to meet their needs rather than as individuals with their own needs and desires.

Third, narcissists lack empathy for others. They may be unable to understand or care about how their behavior affects others. As a result, they may use others to boost their own self-esteem without regard for the harm they are causing.

The Impact of Narcissistic Control on Victims

The impact of narcissistic control on victims can be devastating. Victims of narcissistic abuse may experience a range of emotional and psychological effects, including:

  • Low self-esteem: Narcissistic abuse can erode your sense of self-worth, making you feel as though you are not good enough.
  • Anxiety: Victims of narcissistic abuse may live in a constant state of anxiety, always on edge and waiting for the next attack.
  • Depression: Narcissistic abuse can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair.
  • PTSD: In some cases, victims of narcissistic abuse may develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which can cause intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and nightmares.

Coping Strategies for Dealing with Narcissistic Control

If you're dealing with a narcissistic individual, it's important to have coping strategies in place to protect yourself from their toxic influence. Here are some tips:

  • Set boundaries: Set clear boundaries with the narcissist and stick to them. Let them know what behavior is unacceptable and the consequences if they cross the line.
  • Stay calm: Narcissists thrive on drama and chaos. Stay calm and composed in their presence, and don't engage in their games.
  • Practice self-care: Take care of yourself emotionally and physically. Practice self-care activities like exercise, meditation, and spending time with loved ones.
  • Seek support: Reach out to friends, family members, or a therapist for support. Someone who understands what you're going through can be beneficial.

Seeking Professional Help for Narcissistic Abuse

If you're struggling to cope with narcissistic abuse, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist can help you work through your feelings, develop coping strategies, and heal from the effects of narcissistic abuse.

Breaking Free from Narcissistic Control - Healing and Recovery

Breaking free from narcissistic control can be a long and difficult process, but healing and recovery are possible. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Educate yourself: Learn everything you can about narcissistic abuse and the effects it has on victims. Knowledge is power, and understanding what you're dealing with can help you regain control.
  • Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself, and don't blame yourself for the abuse you've experienced. Remember that the narcissist is responsible for their own behavior.
  • Find support: Reach out to friends, family members, or a support group for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Talking to others who have been through similar experiences can be incredibly healing.
  • Work with a therapist: A therapist can help you work through your feelings, develop coping strategies, and heal from the effects of narcissistic abuse.

Conclusion - Understanding and Overcoming Narcissistic Control

In conclusion, narcissistic control is a common tactic used by individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Narcissists feel the need to control others' perceptions of them to maintain their grandiose self-image and fear being exposed as frauds. The impact of narcissistic control on victims can be devastating, leading to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Coping strategies for dealing with narcissistic control include setting boundaries, staying calm, practicing self-care, and seeking support. Breaking free from narcissistic control and healing from the effects of narcissistic abuse is possible with education, self-compassion, support, and the help of a therapist. Remember, you are not alone, and healing is possible.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Picture of Danielle and her son

Remember in life, everything is a practice, not a perfect. Doing your best is all you can do and that is enough!

Please help me create a supportive space here, comment and share!

Featured collection Handcrafted Items

Welcome! I am Danielle the owner at Stylin' Spirit. I am a woman, mother, survivor, designer and I would love to share my creative works with you.

1 of 4