Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes. – DSM IV, NPD Criteria
if you’ve ever seen a somatic Narcissist walk past a mirror and glance admiringly at their reflection or bore witness to a cerebral Narcissist engaging in a witty adversarial debate and come out the winner, you’ve seen the arrogant bent of their personalities emerge.
Anyone that has engaged with a Narcissist has seen that creepy, self-satisfying smile appear when they think they have won a game of one-up-manship or said or done something cleaver.
These arrogant and haughty behaviors are a mode of control for the Narcissist. If he or she can convince you that they know better and that you are somehow inferior, one is apt to follow their direction.
One of the most prevalent theories on the origins of Narcissism is that they are raised in an environment with one abusive-narcissistic parent and one who over-compensated with inappropriate praise and a lot of attention. This programs their young mind with both a dose of insecurity and the belief that they are special and deserving of praise for menial accomplishments.
The partner of the Narcissist will have a hard time discerning real confidence vs masked-insecurity. Most partners value confidence in their mates and so this is likely one reason why these types never seem to lack for companionship.
What their partners don’t see coming is that these pseudo-confident behaviors will soon turn on them and they will be treated with behaviors like:
You’re so stupid
You can’t do anything right
You’re lucky to be scene with me
I don’t want anyone to know we’re together – because I can do way better than you
I’m entitled to break the rules of a relationship
I’m so much better than you
I’m using you and you’re so stupid you don’t even know it
This belief that they are so superior and that you in fact cannot pick up the nuances of their deceit is what makes them so skilled at gaslighting.
For others in the narcissist’s life if they challenge the narcissist’s superiority, they will become the recipients of the narcissist’s ire. They may experience a full-on rage or a display of dominance.
For the more insecure of Narcissists, they will save their rants until out of sight of their antagonist and visit them upon their partners instead.
Most narcissists act like everything is all about them There is an assertion that because they are so special and unique that what they want takes precedence over all else. As well, because they lack empathy, the needs and desires of other’s eludes them on an emotional level. This assertion will take on the guise of an arrogant attitude.
Narcissists aren’t looking for equality in their relationships. There always needs to be a power differential. It’s how they maintain control. I am better than you they convey with every word, every thought and every action.
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I married a narcissist. I was only 17 and at first saw him as confident. Being so unhappy at home I fell into his trap and the first year wasn’t too bad as I was very compliant, having been raised to be. It was the first time I questioned his demands that I discovered that saying no was not an option. He was right about everything so conversely I was wrong. I could never please him. 25 years and three children later I left but only because someone gave me a way out. I don’t know that I heard the word narcissist at that time, I was told by one counsellor that he was “a classic textbook case of massive insecurity”. But our three children have all displayed this same arrogance, this same attitude of grandiosity. The phrase I heard most in the home was “Don’t worry, It’ll be all right”, when I questioned their actions. And it rarely was.