The Insecurity of Narcissists
Narcissists are some of the most confusing people. They can be charming and magnetic one minute and then turn cold and distant the next. They just love to be the centre of attention, but they're also hypersensitive to criticism. So, what's going on with these enigmatic individuals? Why are narcissists so insecure?
Narcissism is, at its core, a defence mechanism. Individuals who develop narcissistic personality disorder do so as a way of protecting themselves from emotional hurt. They build up a false sense of self-importance as a way of guarding themselves against feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.
Understanding Defense Mechanisms
We all have a subconscious mind that is constantly at work. This part of our brain is responsible for a lot of things, like keeping our heart rate stable and regulating our breathing. It’s also responsible for our defence mechanisms.
Defence mechanisms are the coping mechanisms that we use to protect ourselves from stressful or painful situations. They help us to deal with difficult situations in a way that doesn’t overwhelm us. When we use defence mechanisms, we are usually unaware that we are doing it.
There are different types of defence mechanisms, and they all serve a different purpose. Some common defence mechanisms include:
- Denial: This is when we refuse to accept that something is true. For example, if someone close to us dies, we might deny that it happened because the pain is too much to bear.
- Repression: This is when we push down painful memories into our subconscious mind so that we don’t have to think about them. For example, if we were abused as children, we might repress those memories because they are too painful to deal with.
- Projection: This is when we take our own negative feelings and attributes them onto someone else. For example, if we are feeling insecure, we might project those feelings onto someone else and say that they are the ones who are insecure.
- Displacement: This is when we take our anger or frustration out on someone else who is not the source of our stress. For example, if we get into a fight with our boss, we might come home and take our anger out on our spouse or children.
- Regression: This is when we go back to behaving in a childlike manner when we are under stress. For example, if we are having a difficult time at work, we might start procrastinating or throwing tantrums like a child would.
- Rationalization: This is when we make excuses for our behaviour or find reasons to justify it. For example, if we cheat on a test, we might rationalize it by saying that everyone else does it or that the test was unfair anyway.
- Identification: This is when we adopt the behaviours or attributes of someone else as our own. For example, if our parent is an alcoholic, we might be more likely to become an alcoholic ourselves because it’s something that we’ve seen firsthand and can identify with.
- Substitution: This is when we replace one thing for another because the first thing is too difficult to deal with. For example, if we are grieving the loss of a loved one, we might throw ourselves into work so that we don’t have to think about our pain.
- Compensation: This is when We try to make up for something that We perceive as being deficient in ourselves by excelling in other areas . For example , If We feel like We‘re not smart enough, We Might try To overcompensate by getting Straight A‘s.
These are just some of the most popular defence mechanisms that people use. It’s important to remember that there is nothing wrong with using defence mechanisms—they can actually be helpful in coping with difficult situations. However, there can be problems if you find yourself relying on them too much or using them in an unhealthy way. If you think you might be using defence mechanisms in an unhealthy way, talk to a therapist or counsellor who can support you in managing your stress in a more positive way.
Of course, these defence mechanisms are not foolproof. Narcissists may put up a brave front, but deep down, they're constantly worried about being rejected or abandoned. They're also terrified of being exposed as the frauds they believe themselves to be. This insecurity manifests itself in a number of ways, including:
1. A need for constant attention and validation. Since they don't believe that they're worthy of love and admiration, narcissists are always seeking out others who will give them the attention they crave. They may fish for compliments or try to make others feel inferior in order to boost their own egos.
2. A fear of intimacy. Intimacy requires vulnerability, something that narcissists are unwilling or unable to do. As a result, they often keep others at a distance emotionally, even if they're physically close to them.
3. A need for control. Narcissists need to feel in control at all times because they're afraid that if they lose control, others will see how weak and insecure they really are. This need for control often manifests itself as manipulative behaviour.
4. A propensity for jealousy. Narcissists are jealous of others because they believe that everyone is better than them. They're also afraid that if someone else has something that they want (e.g., success, love, admiration), then that means there's something lacking in them.
Narcissism is a defence mechanism that individuals use to protect themselves from emotional hurt. However, this defence mechanism is not foolproof and often leads to feelings of insecurity and anxiety. These feelings manifest themselves in a number of ways, including a need for constant attention, a fear of intimacy, and a need for control. If you think you may be dating a narcissist, it's imperative to look out for these signs so that you are able to make an informed, healthy choice about whether or not you should stay in the current relationship.