Personal or Business, Living with the “N” Word…Narcissism



So whether it’s narcissistic behaviors or other behaviors that are not to our liking, we ultimately have the power to make the change and move on.

The term “Narcissist” comes up more often then we care to hear and so it seemed fitting to share an incident from some years ago involving the refusal of some dessert wine.

We were sitting having dinner one night at a bar which is something we often enjoyed doing, when suddenly he tilts his head back and with an arrogant loud laughter says, “Yes, I think I’m a bit narcissistic!” I looked at him with a puzzled expression, I was not sure if to laugh while nodding my head in agreement or to defend him by coming across with words of defense as if insulted. He would often use terms I was not familiar with in an attempt to impress or intimidate me. This was one of those moments. I quietly excused myself to the ladies room, at which point I contacted my close lifeline known as Google and did my best to type out the word N-a-r-c-i-s-s-i-s-t. I realized there were multiple S’s and C’s and spellcheck once again became my love hate relationship partner.

As I read the basics of who, what, where, and why of Narcissism, I was left in shock as a felt someone was playing a cruel joke on me. How could this be such an exact description of the man I loved and idolized?  Who had written a book about him? My mouth was dry, and a fear came over me that he would read the look of guilt on my face the moment we made eye contact.  My eyes were beginning to open never to be closed again.

After a few moments I returned to the bar and continued with my meal. I found an uncomfortable yet all too common quiet space between us, which happened often in public. He would some how notice my change in behavior, notice my silent awkwardness and begin to probe. He would often start by asking if I was okay, I would respond with a “yes” or a nod of the head while all along, I wondered what was going on with him and what it was that seemed “off”. I could never really pinpoint it just that things seemed somehow “not right.” I felt he could read my thoughts, my chest would pound and my palms would begin to sweat. He would begin to stare at me as though he was looking through me. He would attempt to catch my eye gaze as if to intimidate me and if I looked at others he often asked what I was looking at. I recall he once told me I should not look at others in the eyes even when speaking with them because making eye contact with people made him uncomfortable.

Next page: This particular evening


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