You probably have heard of the term narcissism and narcissists. You might have come across them, or perhaps, are one of them.
But how does one identify or know that they have narcissistic tendencies? According to Mayo Clinic, Narcissistic Personality disorder is a mental health condition where a person holds an inflated sense of self-importance, has troubled relationships, lacks empathy for other people's feelings, and believes they deserve extreme attention and admiration.
Speaking to Olive Najjuma during The Brunch Talk on Saturday, Dr. Emmanuel remarked that everyone has narcissistic tendencies, but it becomes a disorder when it starts affecting their relationships with family, friends, work, and finances.
“All of us have some element of narcissism. It is okay to partly be obsessed with yourself because it helps you to love yourself. However, when it comes to abnormal narcissism, it begins to affect the people around you, your work, and finances,” he said.
He explained that narcissists think everything is supposed to revolve around them, such as taking credit for work they haven’t done and turning all conversations to be about them.
In addition to narcissistic tendencies, he gave an example of people imposing their ideas onto others such that it is either done their way or no way. For instance, parents forcing their children to pursue educational courses that are clearly not in the child’s interest but in their own.
According to Dr. Emmanuel, more symptoms of narcissists include a person being very manipulative and secretive, having anger management challenges, addiction to sex, alcohol, and the inability to listen or consider other people’s opinions.
“Narcissistic people have difficulty in recognizing other people’s feelings towards certain things. That is why they have no empathy for others. If they give a harsh comment to another person, they don’t consider how it will make them feel because they assume what they think justifies whatever they say,” he explained.
Dr. Emmanuel added that people with the disorder never apologize because, in their minds, they are always right hence faulting their actions onto their victims. These he said include perpetrators of domestic violence who will blame the victim for their violent behavior.
He said it is hard to convince a narcissist to seek professional help since they rarely believe they have a problem. However, the psychiatrist noted that when narcissists do acknowledge the problem, their condition can be managed through psychotherapy.
Dr. Emmanuel Mpamizzo is a psychiatrist that teaches mental health at Gulu University. He also works with Naalya Children’s Clinic and Safe places Ug.
Brunch Talk is hosted by Olive Najjuma Monica every Saturday from Midday to 1 pm on RX Radio.