When we think of narcissists, we often think of vain people like themselves. We may think they are over-confident, egotistic, and better than others. But what if I told you narcissists believe others are better than them? What if I told you that narcissists must hide and suppress themselves — here’s how they do it.
Narcissists must hide and suppress themselves. Their entire lives are a charade, a show that they put on to hide the real them. The real them is a deep well of insecurities and feeling unloved. The false self is grandiose and often greedy or materialistic.
It is entitled and full of envy, cunning, and deceit. It is in control of the authentic self and can be manipulative, cold, and cruel. The real self is an insecure child who feels unloved and afraid of being abandoned. The false self is the idealized self. It is the adult who is in control of the real self. The real self is who the person is. The false self is the person who wants to be (or wants others to think they are).
The narcissist as a child
One of the most difficult challenges facing any parent of a child with a narcissistic personality disorder is that they are born with it. It is not something that they learn and grows out of.
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a lifelong disorder that, in some cases, never fully goes away. As the child grows and develops, the narcissist will do what they can to hide their disorder from others. This can be difficult, especially for those who can’t hide it very well.
People who have narcissistic personality disorder are often very insecure and lack self-worth. They are constantly looking for validation from others and frequently feel jealous of others who have what they don’t. Because of this, they need to create an image of themselves that they can control to make them appear more stable and secure.
2. The narcissist’s false self
The False Self is a psychological defense mechanism that people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder tend to use to hide their true self, the self that is damaged and insecure, the self that is not free of fear and shame, the self that is not perfect, the self that is not in control. The narcissist knows that this self is flawed and imperfect, creating a false self.
The narcissist puts on a mask and pretends to be somebody else. He creates a new personality for himself, a new way of being, in which he is in control, superior, and always suitable. The narcissist is out of control and frightened; he feels inferior and inadequate, creating a facade, a false self.
3. The narcissist’s grandiose fantasies
A narcissist’s fantasies are grandiose and unrealistic. They are often so irrational and absurd that the narcissist has no choice but to suppress them. Suppression of these fantasies is not easy for the narcissist because it requires much psychological effort. The narcissist must transform himself into a sort of automaton to survive.
This automaton is characterized by rigid, “robotic” behavior, a lack of emotions, and a cold, detached attitude towards others. Consequently, the narcissist “lives” a double life.
He exists in his real life, in which he performs his social roles and functions adequately, even with flair. But he also lives in his fantasy life, in which he is a superior being, and all the people around him are mere pawns in his games. The narcissist’s life is a series of splits, divisions, and compartmentalizations.
4. The narcissist’s hypersensitivity
Many narcissists try to put up a false self to conceal their authentic self. They are hypersensitive to insults and setbacks. They often feel humiliated and react with anger and rage or depression.
They are frequently ashamed of themselves and try to hide their perceived flaws and imperfections. They are too weak to confront life and often feel fragile and broken.
5. The narcissist’s aggression and bullying
Narcissists are aggressive personalities. Their aggression is aimed at intimidating and controlling their environment, and they are willing to do or say anything to get their way. To accomplish this, they must present a false self to the world.
The false self is the narcissist’s mask or persona. It is the image they project to others. The narcissist is always in character. The narcissist’s mask is formed in early childhood. The narcissist learns to pretend to be like everyone else to be liked and accepted.
The false self is the result of this psychological process. It is a constructed identity that is presented to the world. Behind this mask lies the real self. The real self is a vulnerable and fragile child-like self terrified of criticism, judgment, and abandonment.
The narcissist’s real self is formed in infancy when the child is traumatized by criticism, judgment, and abandonment. The narcissist’s real self is formed in infancy when the child is traumatized by criticism, judgment, and abandonment. The trauma can be caused by the narcissist’s parents, grandparents, teachers, peers, or even strangers.
6. The narcissist’s paranoid tendencies
When we think of narcissists, we often only think of their superb and arrogant qualities. But narcissism isn’t just an inflated ego and a lack of empathy. Narcissists are also paranoid, and their paranoia manifests in many ways.
Narcissist is extremely sensitive to any slight, real or imagined, so they must hide their perceived weaknesses and flaws behind a veil of superiority and entitlement. They also have a strong need to control and manipulate others, so they must manipulate themselves.
7. The narcissist’s exploitation of others
People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are constantly trying to hide the authentic, false self they present to the world. This hidden self is selfish, self-centered, and demanding.
It is also fragile, vulnerable, and easily hurt by criticism. The narcissist’s exploitation of others is a means of protecting this false self. Exploiting others is a natural extension of the narcissist’s primary trait: self-centeredness. The false self is a façade, a mask that the narcissist wears to get what they want from others.
To maintain the integrity of the façade and avoid the pain of criticism, the narcissist must suppress any behaviors or traits that would reveal the true self. The narcissist hides their real, vulnerable, and often unhappy self behind a mask of exaggerated self-confidence, grandiosity, self-absorption, and non-empathy.
The narcissist projects an image of superiority, charm, and intelligence to mask these deficits. This is the false, or narcissistic, self.
8. The narcissist’s haughtiness and sense of entitlement
One of the most common traits of a narcissist is their sense of entitlement. Narcissists tend to feel they are so incredible that they deserve the best in life. They also feel they deserve special treatment from everyone. For example, a narcissist would expect to be seated in the front row at a concert, get the best parking spaces, or be helped first at the supermarket. Narcissists think nothing of this treatment, and in fact, they expect it.
How do narcissists get away with their sense of entitlement? What’s the narcissist’s secret? It’s simple. Narcissists aren’t entitled. They are very self-conscious, and they have to do everything to hide that. Narcissists are some of the most insecure people around.
9. The narcissist’s envy and jealousy
At the core of narcissism are envy and jealousy. The narcissist wants all the attention, admiration, and glory that he craves only for himself. He wants to be the star, the center of attention, the admired one. He will do anything to avoid being the one who is envied and jealous. He will destroy others to prevent them from being recognized and admired.
The narcissist is the one who is envied and jealous, but he will never admit it. He will never accept it. He will never allow himself to be envied and jealous. The narcissist is the one who needs attention and admiration. He is the one who needs to be the center of attention and the star.
He is the one who needs to be admired and to be told how great he is. He is the one who has the esteem problem. But he will never admit to any of this. He will never accept it. He will never allow himself to be in need or to be lacking in any way. He is the one who is always on top, the winner, the one who is better than everyone else. He is the one who is superior to everyone else. He is the perfect one.
10. The narcissist’s feelings of inferiority and shame
A narcissist feels more than one way about himself. In his true self, he feels like a loser, a failure. He is inadequate, helpless, and worthless. He is in pain. He is insignificant. He is trapped. He is in shit. He is nothing. He is a fake, a phony, and a fraud.
He is not worthy of anything or anyone. He is alone. He is vulnerable. He is shameful. He is afraid. He is a coward. He is a fraud. He is a charlatan. He is a fake. He is a crook. He is a cheater. He is a criminal. He is a failure. He is a mess. He is a loser. He is a phony.
He is a punk. He is a scoundrel. He is a snake. He is trash. He is vile. He is worthless. He is a worm. He is a loser. He is a freak. He is a joke. He is nothing. He is less than nothing.
The false self is a defense mechanism
The narcissist’s false self is not a part of him. It is a mask, a role, a game. The narcissist puts it on in the morning, along with his makeup, nice clothes, and well-shined shoes. It enables him to play the social game, get what he wants, and avoid what he doesn’t like. It is an excellent game of pretending, and it convinces the narcissist that he is indeed superior, more deserving, and more entitled than others. It is a complex, multi-layered construct, and it has a lot of moving parts.