7 ways narcissists sabotage themselves and others

According to Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D., here’s how you recognize a narcissist: obsessively pursues fame and attention, cares nothing of how their behavior affects others, blames others for their mistakes and misdeeds, is unreliable, uses people, and cannot handle criticism.

When someone calls a narcissist out on their behavior, the narcissist realizes they’ve lost control over that person. They respond with anger and will attempt to alienate that person by using the “silent treatment” and by talking negatively about that person to others. By repeating this pattern, the narcissist ends up pushing away anyone who cares about them enough to hold them accountable for their behavior. It’s a one of the many forms of sabotage toward themselves and the people they have relationships with.

A narcissist is defined as a person who is so self-absorbed in their own interests and ways of thinking that they refuse to consider anyone else’s point of view. There are at least seven different ways that narcissist sabotage themselves and those around them.

Disrespect the Time of Others 

A person with narcissism is so interested in their own thoughts and sharing those with others that they tend to monopolize conversations. Even if someone tries to tell them that it is time to be quiet, they usually ignore those suggestions and keep on rambling even if the other person does not care.

Fail to Listen to Others 

Even when someone reaches out and tries to help a narcissist improve their behavior, they seldom are willing to listen. Therefore, they often find themselves isolated and alone.

Critical of Others 

The narcissist often fails to realize that everyone has their own faults, so they often leave others feeling belittled. They often use you phrases to make the other person feel that they are at fault when problems arise in a relationship.

They Become Dictators 

It is hard to convince a narcissist that their way of thinking is wrong. In fact, they often try to become domineering in forcing their viewpoint. This may leave those around them feeling embarrassed for the way that the narcissists choose to behave.

Believe They Have Special Abilities 

While the narcissist is not delusional to the point that they believe they have an alter-ego, they often act like it by putting their own safety or the safety of those around them at risk. They may be so driven by what they think is the right solution that they never stop to think that someone might get hurt.

Sees Rules as Applying Only to Others 

A narcissist often sees rules as applying only to others, and they feel justified in breaking them. They also may not realize that their ideas are making others feel uncomfortable because they have a very hard time respecting the moral boundaries of others.

Expect Help From Others 

The narcissist expects everyone around them to put their personal projects on hold to help them with a project, but they are not willing to return the favor when the time comes. After being burned so often, others often pull away making the narcissist wonder what they have done wrong.

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  1. Did Heinz Kohut outline a possible therapy for Narcissists? I am curious if a Narcissist can benefit from counseling if they are willing to seek it. My father was diagnosed as being psychotic. I know that he had Narcissism because I have learned the symptoms. I wonder if intense counseling ever helps.

    1. Great article. Narcissists are just lunatics, and we all need to move away from them if we don’t want to end up crazy and completely miserable.

  2. I’ve read and listened to every aspect of Narcissism behavior during the past year. It was never written or talked about on any of the Narco news or workshops that being or having Narco behavior could be resolved with a mental health therapist.Is this true?

    1. I’m not a mental health professional, but from my understanding the issue is that narcissists don’t actually see anything wrong with their behavior or feel a need to change, so they are unlikely to seek out therapy. I *do* know of one man diagnosed with NPD who is in therapy and is working to educate others about the disorder. His videos are very eye opening. His username is mentalhealness on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@mentalhealness

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