Fundamental to narcissism…

…is it is a one-way street.  The narcissist must define and control “reality” so it travels in only one direction—from them to you.

Narcissism is a zero-sum game. The narcissist must win and cannot allow deeply shared realities that require nuance and complexity.

Most narcissists will act maliciously to achieve these ends.

Malice (often hidden), zero-sum, and one-way streets are very strong signs of narcissism.

If you are dealing with a narcissist, especially interpersonally, their narcissism will probably not be clear to you. That’s why you are staying in the relationship.

If you suspect you are dealing with a narcissist look for one or more of the signs above.

Malice, which frequently is concealed, can be the hardest to see. Narcissists gas light, abuse, reputation damage, backbite, physically harm, destroy property, steal, poison, and more. Their pleasure comes from watching you suffer.

Their one-way street deeply needs to define you and your reality. This is typically easier to see than their malice. They may come right out and say what kind of person they think you are. Just saying this does not make a person a narcissist, but saying it often and never accepting your explanations does. And if you say something similar to them, they will become angry either openly or concealed. Remember, it’s a one-way street with a narcissist.

You not only can’t win with a narcissist you can’t even break even because they are always playing a zero-sum game.

At the same time, most narcissists are skilled at “impression management.” They need other people to see them as being right and you being wrong. This is why narcissists often conceal their malice. They may conceal it completely. Or they may hide it in plain sight by explaining to everyone around you (behind you back) what your “problems” are and how they are only trying to help.

If you see any of these signs in parents, siblings, friends, or mates, look more closely. Don’t jump to conclusions. Ask yourself, is my relationship with that person deeply shared or is it a one-way street?

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