Hypnotherapist and counsellor RAMA AWASTHI suggests ways to help narcissists overcome their problem.
The word ‘narcissist’ originates from the name of a Greek man Narcissus who saw his reflection in water and fell in love with himself. A narcissist has a grand, imposing sense of self, and invests a lot of energy in manipulations so he gets validation from others. Narcissists feel or believe that they are always right and want others also to believe that. They lack empathy for others and want only to take or receive. So they are receivers and not givers. Giving can be seen in their behaviour but that is a part of their manipulations and projection of an image.
They sound strong and confident but behind that mask is a person with low self-esteem, vulnerable to even the slightest criticism. The causes of NPD (narcissist personality disorder) could be both genetic and environmental. Upbringing and the collective consciousness of the family during the growth years also play an important role in NPD. A narcissist is likely to suffer from depression. There are medical treatments for depression that could help a narcissist to come out of it.
Narcissists have problems and issues related to all three aspects of life —health, career and relationship — but since they feel they know everything and are always right, the responsibility of all their problems falls on others. They forget or are unaware of their own role in the issues.
Self-praise and boasting are normal human behavioural traits but the narcissist takes it to another level, believing that he is always right. This pushes people away from him. Because of these traits, a narcissist has many serious issues in life. Instead of sorting these out, a narcissist uses them as an opportunity to control others and prove them wrong. In very few cases, a narcissist seeks help. The belief of being always right stops them from seeking help.
When a narcissist goes to a professional for help — counselling or therapy — then his expectation is, how to correct and fix the world, instead of getting help. A narcissist seeks help only when he is forced by a figure of authority — at work or in the family, in most cases at work — or when he finds that he’s all alone in life. The reason for this is that one can’t play a narcissist alone; they need empaths around. So this is the time when they go for help and sometimes it works. Apart from medication, there are certain things which can help a narcissist to lead a better life:
1. Energy Conservation: A narcissist spends a good deal of time in proving his superiority over others and that requires a lot of bragging. So a narcissist has to speak a lot. Also, they believe in a monologue, where they speak and others listen. They invest a lot of energy in talking. So that can be cut down. Practising silence will not only conserve energy but also give an opportunity to look within.
2. Charity: Genuine charity helps in calming down narcissist tendencies such as charity work done from a selfless space that helps in opening the crown chakra. One can do vidya daan and abhaya daan— providing for someone’s education and providing a safe and non-violent environment to others. Here violence can be both physical and verbal.
3. Minimise Engagement With Social Media: Excessive use of social media increases brainwave activity. There are many things happening in the world that we need not know. So cutting down news intake is a better option. Also, chatting a lot with others increases anger, desperation and anxiety. Instead of spending time on social media, reaching out to do some physical activity is a better option.
4. Solar Plexus Chakra: It is the seat of power and self-confidence, situated in our body above the navel and below the rib cage. It is sunshine yellow in colour. Fire is the element of this chakra. Narcissism is related to a false sense of power, low self-esteem and confidence. Working on the solar plexus chakra helps in resolving power-related issues.