How To Deal With A Narcissist(Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz et al., 2010)


This time the theme is how to deal with narcissists.
The contents to be introduced are broadly as follows.

  • Why we are so attracted to narcissists
    Let's first understand our traits towards narcissists.
  • Why narcissists continue to engage in self-contradictory behavior
    Next, let's understand the traits of a narcissist.
    In fact, there are several paradoxes in the behavior of narcissists.
  • How should we deal with narcissists
    Based on our traits towards narcissists and the narcissist's owntraits, I will explain how to deal with narcissists.
  • Introduction of scientific papers referred to this time
    Lastly, I would like to introduce the scientific papers I referred tothis time.

Why we are so attracted to narcissists

The study this time reveals why the first impression of a narcissistis so attractive.
In the study, an experiment was conducted.
First, the researchers asked the 73 freshmen to introduce themselvesto each other.
Of course, the freshmen have never met each other before.
Then, each new student was evaluated on how well liked they were bythe others after they introduced themselves.
Finally, the researchers asked the new students to fill out a questionnaire.
The questionnaire contained items to assess the personality traits ofnarcissists, and from the content of the responses, this study wasable to determine which freshmen were actually narcissists.
Here're the research results on first impressions of narcissists.

  • Narcissists were more popular than those who weren't.
    Freshmen who were identified as narcissistic made a better firstimpression than non-narcissistic freshmen.
  • What the subjects were particularly attracted to was that thenarcissist seemed to think of himself as special.
    This experiment studied narcissists from the following four aspects
    • Leadership / Authority
    • Self-admiration / Self-absorption
    • Arrogance / Superiority
    • Entitlement / Exploitativeness

    The result is that the last aspect was the aspect that attractedothers the most.

  • The narcissist had a higher overall rating.
    There are many other reasons why narcissists were so popular.
    The narcissist tended to have a charming facial expression, aconfident tone, good fashion, and interesting stories.

Why narcissists continue to engage in self-contradictory behavior

In these way, the narcissists make a good first impression and areattractive.
However, that impression will not last.
Usually, the narcissistic traits are quickly revealed. (e.g., beingself-absorbed, authoritarian, arrogant, and exploitative.)
And they will be shunned by those around them.
Because few people want to be the target of a narcissist.
However, despite this situation, narcissist behavior has the followingparadoxes.

  • The narcissist continues to act as selfishly as ever afterwards,despite ruining relationships with other people.
  • Narcissists are desperate for praise from others, but they don'tappreciate others at all.
  • Narcissists don't notice the cycle of attracting people with theirfirst impression and then being shunned.

These can be partially explained by the study results that showed thatnarcissist traits are initially attractive to other people.
In other words, when narcissists are shunned by others, instead ofrepairing the relationship, they compensates for it by finding a newperson to worship them.
It may also be that the reason narcissists don't notice this cycle isbecause their friends and partners can't be around them long enough tochange their personality.

How should we deal with narcissists

So, how do we actually deal with narcissists?
The answer is that we should not pay attention to narcissists.
Also, don't flatter the narcissist.
The closer we get to the narcissist, the more the narcissist will tryto take advantage of or exploit us.
If we do that, we risk hurting ourselves.
Furthermore, it would deprive them of the chance for narcissists tonotice the negative cycle.
So, also for the sake of narcissists, you shouldn't pay any attentionto them.

Referenced Scientific Papers

Research InstituteJohannes Gutenberg-University Mainz et al.
Year The Study Was Published2010
Quote SourceBack et al., 2010


  • The narcissist has a good first impression and seems attractive fortheir looks, speaking tones and moves.
  • However, their narcissist traits are soon revealed and they areshunned by those around them. (Traits examples: narcissistic,authoritarian, arrogant, exploitative)
  • Narcissists repeat the cycle of finding a new person to worship themevery time they are shunned by others.
  • The effective way to deal with a narcissist is to not pay attention tothem.
  • Not to pay attention to narcissists is the effective remedy for them too.
  • If we don't pay attention to the narcissist, we can get out of riskinghurting ourselves, and the narcissist can get a chance to notice thenegative cycle.
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