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Narcissism page 2

The narcissist searches for friends who will allow, if not endorse, his behavior. When his friends question his self-focused behavior, he feels betrayed, rejected and unworthy (Prov. 11:2). But he quickly turns these uncomfortable feelings into contempt for his friends (Prov. 13:10). Because his denial is so intense he does not admit his loss and never grieves it. He keeps most of his relationships superficial as a means of self-protection, and he has a hard time understanding and dealing with complex feelings in others. He will often suffer mild depression as he experiences disappointment in relationships. The depression demonstrates that at some level he is aware of the dishonesty in his attitudes and conduct. King Saul became angry and jealous of David (I Samuel 18:6-9) because he wanted all of the peoples’ praise for himself (Prov. 14:30).

 

Anxiety is another common side effect of narcissism. Because the narcissistic person cannot tolerate anxiety, he covers it up by feigning physical illness and/or developing chemical dependencies. This attention-getting behavior also separates him from meaningful relationships with significant others and with God. Such behavior does not serve or please the Lord (Prov. 8:;13, Gal. 5:19-21).

 

What can we do to help someone recover from narcissism?

 

A narcissistic person who wishes to recover will benefit greatly from working a biblically-sound twelve-step program. The first step is to admit that his life has become unmanageable. This realization is the basis for working a program in which he will honestly and truthfully face himself and his behavior and take steps to change it.

 

If you have a family member or friend who is narcissistic, you can best help them by avoiding a codependent, enmeshed relationship. Learn how to detach and set appropriate boundaries, and hold them accountable for their behavior in a loving, non-threatening way.

 

Group and family therapy will help them to overcome their sense of entitlement and to more realistically see themselves and their lives.

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