Why The Self Absorbed Are Successful?!
An Article by Pschology Today.
Have you noticed that Adult Narcissists and self-absorbed people, such as those with a Destructive Narcissistic Pattern seem to be successful at getting what they want and need much if not all of the time?
Ever wonder why?
Proposed is that Adult Narcissists are people whose behaviours and attitudes meet the diagnostic category for The Narcissistic Personality Disorder and that adult self absorbed people have similar behaviours and attitudes but their’s are fewer in number and lesser in intensity.
The focus here is on the very self absorbed, not the diagnosed Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
These very self absorbed people can act in ways that are troubling to others who have to live, work or otherwise interact with them on a regular basis.
Someone with A Narcissistic Personality Disorder is able to see or understand that what they do or say is having a negative impact on others.
My intent is to begin a short series of thoughts on why these people seem to be successful in spite of their behaviours and attitudes that others find distressing.
Now let’s discuss the two reasons why the very self absorbed mostly get what they want, clarity of goals and lack of any encumbrance of concern for others.
Very self absorbed people are clear in their minds as to what they want or need whether this occurs in the moment or a longer term.
It is not necessary for them to articulate their wants or needs so that others understand their goal or objective and indeed, if asked they may not be able to do so or want to verbalise this.
However their behaviour is goal directed and their focus and actions are on getting what they want regardless of the cost or the discomfort of anyone else.
Having clear goals and objectives can seem laudatory at first and these are certainly helpful in many cases.
However when you factor in the effects of a single minded focus and a willingness to do whatever it takes to reach the goal, you can begin to see that there is a definite downside to the strong focus on goal attainment.
Take for example The Adult who needs to win and then cheats at chess with his eight year old nephew.
Or The Worker who wants to be promoted and uses every opportunity to denigrate or put down coworkers thought to be competitors.
Or The Person who spreads unfounded rumours or gossips about someone so as to appear as being more superior and worthy.
The actions in these examples show the destructive side of having clear goals and a single minded focus to attain the goal.
Another reason the self absorbed can be successful is that they are unencumbered with concerns about the impact of their actions on others.
If someone would confront them or try to help them see that what they are doing or saying has a negative impact on others they will not be able to see or understand that their actions have any contribution to others’ distress.
They are more likely to dismiss any suggestion to what they do or say is in any way improper, hurtful, mean or critical.
They are more likely to deny any responsibility and to characterise others as being overly sensitive or that others misunderstood them or that the person confronting him is wrong.
Confrontation does not work with the self absorbed and instead of feeling that you were being helpful, you are more likely to feel frustrated and in more distress than before.
It is hard to accept that the self absorbed don’t care about their impact on others but they do not or at least they do not care enough to make a difference in what they do or say.
It is easier to see self absorbed behaviours and attitudes in others but just as they are unaware and unaccepting of these for themselves, so too can you be unaware and unaccepting of how some of your behaviours and attitudes are reflective of self absorption.
While overall you may not act in ways that could be termed self absorbed it is possible that you too have more growing and developing to do and it could be helpful to engage in self reflection.
By being self reflective you can be open to the possibility that there are instances where you were acting based on your self interest but could not see that at the time and by doing so had a negative impact on another person.
Reflection can increase your understanding of how and why self absorbed people do not and can’t see that their self absorption is pervasive and destructive to their relationships.