How did I Succumb to Narcissism?

If you suffer from narcissism, you’re not alone. In fact, recent studies show that over 6% of the population has been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD.) That same study also shows that your NPD impacts men and women at roughly the same rate. 47% of patients are male, and 53% of patients are female.

Still, you may be asking yourself, “How did I Succumb to Narcissism?” It’s a difficult problem to understand, and many choose to blame themselves. It’s also not the same thing as other personality disorders. You may be struggling to correctly identify your problem.

In this post, we’ll examine the common causes and reasons people succumb to narcissism.

Recognizing Your Feelings

Before we talk about the common causes of narcissism, let’s first help you identify some of the feelings you likely experience. Maybe you’ve been officially diagnosed with NPD, or perhaps you have a sneaking suspicion that you have it.

Either way, if any of these emotions or scenarios seem familiar, we can help you understand how people succumb to narcissism:

  • People see you as charismatic when they first meet you, and initially, you’re pretty outgoing.
    • But people always seem to let you down, and you’d prefer not to spend your time with moochers and losers.
    • Often, people seem upset.
  • You think everyone around you is way too sensitive.
    • It seems like they break down over nothing.
  • You feel like you have the worst luck in the world.
    • No matter what you do, nothing seems to go your way.
  • You’re obsessed with material objects.
    • You always buy the latest watch, bag, or even car – but move onto something else quickly.
  • You feel like people don’t respect you
    • People don’t understand how valuable they are. You feel like people couldn’t be where they are today without your help.
  • You frequently post on social media
  • You feel like everyone is constantly ganging up on you
    • People are always criticizing you for no reason
  • You feel like you’re the only person who can do the job right
  • You feel envious at the accomplishments of others
  • You often feel ashamed of yourself
    • You have a deep fear of failure – but you’d never let anyone know.

Recognizing these feelings and situations in yourself is the first step. Now, you can start understanding how easy it is for people like you to unwillingly and unknowingly succumb to narcissism.

So, How Did I Succumb To Narcissism?

Interestingly, many psychologists and other mental health professionals agree that narcissism isn’t something you’re born with. Rather, it comes as a result of your external circumstances and environment. It can even come from relationships in the earlier part of your life.

Many people dealing with narcissism are relieved to hear this. Because it means that it’s not something they can’t overcome. It’s not out of their control. Even if you weren’t born a narcissist, you may have been placed in situations as a child that made you fall to narcissism as a survival tactic. Or, you wanted your voice to be heard.

Unfortunately, the road to recovery is long, tough, and requires serious inner strength. The good news? We know you have it in you. It Starts From Birth The idea may sound far-fetched at first. But mental health professionals believe that the circumstances of your birth, and how your mother and father reacted to you during the birthing process, matter.

They may have made you succumb to narcissism. For example, was your birth was especially traumatic? If so, your transition from the isolation and comfort of the womb to the brutal, unfamiliar world around you would have been really rough.

Also, your parents would have been traumatized by your birth. This means that they may not have been able to do much to smooth out that transition for you. When you, as a, are completely dependent on your mother and father for survival, any lack of care can have a lasting impact.

If your mother experienced physical and mental consequences (like postpartum depression) of your birth, and in the first few months of your life, it likely directly impacted your personality.

This is the moment your lifelong battle to make yourself heard, and appreciated, began. It’s Influenced By Your Surroundings Of course, to fully develop, NPD needs to be in an environment where it can “thrive,” basically.

Our culture, especially in America, may have a lot to do with it. Everyone wants to prove online, or in person, that they have the “perfect life.” People post statuses about promotions, marriages, the birth of their children, and even weight loss. It’s only natural to compare ourselves to others, but for people with narcissistic tendencies, social media can be especially toxic.

It gives you pretty much unlimited access to the successes of others, and you can easily get into a cycle of jealousy, anger, and then self-loathing. It can also play into feelings that other people, not you, have all the luck. But it’s not just social media that can lead you to succumb to narcissism. Sometimes, too much love is also to blame.

When you were growing up – or even when you entered into a relationship – did your parent or partner constantly tell you that you could do anything? That you were the brightest and best out of everyone around you? That you made them feel better than anyone else?

Such intense and constant praise, especially when repeated over time, can start to impact your patterns of thought. It makes sense – these are people you love and trust, telling you nice things. We would all want what they’re saying to be true.

Finally, while the majority of mental health professionals don’t think that narcissists are born, they do agree that growing up in an environment of other narcissists can make you more susceptible.

Ask yourself if a parent or another member of your family also exhibited the signs of narcissism when you were growing up.

How Can I Get Help?

We know you don’t want to feel this way forever, and we know that especially the socially isolating effects of narcissism can be emotionally difficult to deal with.

If you’ve wondered how it was possible for you to succumb to narcissism, you’ve probably also wondered if help is truly possible.

The good news: it absolutely is. To find out more, look into common treatment plans and programs. Spend some more time on our website and blog to understand even more about NPD.

  • Finding this website is a God send. I have been living with a VN for 28 years and have only started to understand what I am dealing with in the last 2 years. In the first years, i attributed it to an abusing childhood and failed first marriage. Then i thought hormonal, mood swings and arguementative nature. Then menapause was 4 years of constant scrwaming, blaming, that even I had to seak therapy. Then our daughter said she is not bipolar, she is a narcisist. So I looked to see what she was talking about. The search for help can be daunting. What I found was like taking the gorilla off of my back. I feel I can contribute to research that you present.

  • Dear Alex,
    For several years I was in a on again, off again, relationship with a man that was narcissist. Through counseling and much time I have been able to overcome codependency and the mental abuse at his hand.

    I was under the impression that there is a difference between a narcissist and someone with narcissistic personality disorder. The difference being one is mentally ill while the other is not.

    Would you mind clarifying this please?

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