Narcissism is a spectrum disorder that ranges from healthy self-love to pathological levels of grandiosity and entitlement. It’s estimated that 1-5% of the population meets the diagnostic criteria for narcissistic personality disorder, but many more exhibit some level of narcissism. Narcissists are often charming and charismatic individuals, but they can also be quite destructive. If you’re unfortunate enough to have a narcissist in your life, it’s important to learn how to spot them and deal with them effectively. In this blog post, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of vulnerable narcissists, as well as ways to protect yourself from their harmful behavior.
Who Is a Vulnerable Narcissist?
Vulnerable narcissists share some characteristics with “regular” narcissists, but there are key ways in which they differ. For one, vulnerable narcissists are generally less successful than their grandiose counterparts. They also tend to be more sensitive and insecure, and as a result, they’re much more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
What’s more, vulnerable narcissists are often very dependent on others for validation and approval. This neediness can lead them to be clingy, jealous, and controlling in their relationships. They may also have difficulty maintaining healthy boundaries, which can make them seem overly dramatic or emotional.
When someone is a vulnerable narcissist, it’s important to remember that they’re operating from a place of insecurity. As such, it’s important to avoid triggering their insecurities by being critical or dismissive. Instead, try to be understanding and supportive. If you can do this, you’ll likely find that the relationship is much more enjoyable for both of you.
Of course, there are also times when it’s simply not possible to deal with a vulnerable narcissist. If someone is constantly putting you down, gaslighting you, or otherwise making your life miserable, it may be best to cut ties and move on. Remember, you don’t owe anyone your time or energy—especially if they’re not respecting your boundaries.
Signs of a Vulnerable Narcissist
Many signs can indicate someone is a vulnerable narcissist. Here are some common ones:
Need for Constant Admiration
One of the main signs of any narcissist is the need for constant admiration and positive reinforcement. A vulnerable narcissist will go to great lengths to get this validation, whether it’s fishing for compliments from others or constantly posting about their accomplishments on social media. Sometimes there may also be underlying insecurity that drives this need for attention.
Another sign of a vulnerable narcissist is hypersensitivity. This can manifest itself in a few different ways, such as being easily offended or feeling like they’re constantly under attack. They may also have an inflated sense of self-importance and react angrily or defensively when their ego is bruised. In some cases, this hypersensitivity can lead to paranoid thoughts and delusional behaviors.
Vulnerable narcissists are also often the center of their drama. They may create conflict where there is none or exaggerate minor issues into major ones. This can be exhausting for those around them, and it’s often a way for the narcissist to get attention. Additionally, vulnerable narcissists may enjoy playing the victim role and may milk sympathy from others. It can also be difficult to have a healthy relationship with a vulnerable narcissist because they’re often so wrapped up in their world.
A fragile ego is another common sign of a vulnerable narcissist. This means that their self-esteem is very fragile and can be easily bruised. As a result, they’re constantly seeking validation and reassurance from others. They may also have difficulty handling criticism or constructive feedback. Additionally, because their ego is so fragile, they may react angrily or defensively when it’s threatened in any way.
The constant need for reassurance
As previously mentioned, vulnerable narcissists often have a constant need for reassurance. This can manifest itself in a few different ways, such as always needing others to agree with them or needing constant validation. Additionally, they may fish for compliments or try to make others feel inferior to them. This need for reassurance is often driven by underlying insecurity and low self-esteem.
Another common sign of a vulnerable narcissist is manipulative behavior. They may use manipulation tactics to get what they want from others or to control those around them. Additionally, they may take advantage of others’ kindness or goodwill. In some cases, this manipulative behavior can be difficult to spot because it’s often done subtly.
The constant need for attention
As previously mentioned, narcissists often have a constant need for attention. This is also true for vulnerable narcissists. They may seek out others’ validation and admiration or try to make themselves the center of attention. Additionally, they may fish for compliments or post about their accomplishments on social media. This need for attention can be exhausting for those around them and can often lead to conflict.
Problems with intimacy
Another common sign of a vulnerable narcissist is problems with intimacy. They may have difficulty being emotionally open or sharing their feelings with others. Additionally, they may struggle to trust or be trusting of others. This can make it difficult to maintain healthy relationships. In some cases, this lack of intimacy may also be driven by fear or insecurity.
Constant feelings of emptiness
Vulnerable narcissists often have a constant sense of emptiness. This can be due to a lack of real and meaningful connections in their life. Additionally, they may seek validation and attention from others to try to fill this emptiness. However, this is often only a temporary fix and the feelings of emptiness will eventually return.
Need of Control
Vulnerable narcissists often feel the need to control those around them. They may try to control the conversation, what others do, or how others think. Additionally, they may seek out power and authority positions. This need for control is often driven by underlying insecurity and fear. Additionally, it can lead to conflict and tension in relationships.
While not all vulnerable narcissists will exhibit all of these signs, most will display several of them. These signs can be difficult to deal with, but it’s important to remember that narcissist is often unaware of their behavior.
Different Thoughts of Vulnerable Narcissists
Vulnerable narcissists are people who have a deep need for admiration and approval. They also have an inflated sense of self-importance and a deep need to be the center of attention.
Vulnerable narcissists often put others down to feel better about themselves. They may also be quick to anger or become easily offended.
Here are some different thoughts on vulnerable narcissists:
They feel like they’re not getting the attention they deserve
This is one of the most common narcissistic traits. If you know someone who is always fishing for compliments and seems to get upset when they’re not the center of attention, they may be a vulnerable narcissist. It may also be difficult to have a conversation with them because they will often steer the topic back to themselves.
They have difficulty handling criticism
Vulnerable narcissists often can’t take criticism well. If you point out something they did wrong, they may become defensive or even lash out. It’s important to be careful when giving feedback to someone with this type of personality, as they may interpret it as an attack on their character.
They’re always trying to prove themselves
Vulnerable narcissists are always trying to prove their worth. They may brag about their accomplishments or try to one-up others in conversation. This need to prove themselves can often lead to them taking unnecessary risks or making poor decisions.
They think that they’re better than everyone else
Sometimes, vulnerable narcissists may think that they’re better than everyone else. They may have a sense of entitlement and feel that they deserve special treatment. This can often lead to conflict with others, as they may not be willing to compromise or see other people’s points of view.
They’re easily offended and quick to anger
Anger is a common emotion for vulnerable narcissists. They may become easily offended by criticism or perceived slights. This can often lead to them lashing out at others, either verbally or physically. It’s important to be careful when interacting with someone with this personality type, as they may not be able to control their anger.
They have a hard time empathizing with others
Another common trait of vulnerable narcissists is that they have a hard time empathizing with others. They may not be able to see things from another person’s perspective and may have difficulty understanding their emotions. This can often make it difficult to build relationships with them.
What Does Vulnerable Narcissist Want?
Vulnerable narcissists want two things: admiration and control. They need to be the center of attention at all times and will go to great lengths to make sure that happens. They also need to have a sense of control over their environment and the people in it. This need for control often manifests itself in manipulative behavior.
Sometimes the wants of a vulnerable narcissist can seem harmless. They may just want you to listen to them talk or they may want you to do something for them. But, if you don’t comply with their wishes, they may become angry or even abusive. These wants also tend to change over time. What a vulnerable narcissist wants today may be different from what they want tomorrow.
If you’re in a relationship with a vulnerable narcissist, it’s important to be aware of their needs and how they might try to control you. It’s also important to set boundaries and stick to them. Only you can decide what you’re willing to do for the narcissist and what you’re not. But, if you don’t give them what they want, they may become angry or abusive. So, it’s important to be firm in your boundaries and be prepared for the possibility of conflict.
Causes of Vulnerable Narcissists
Other than signs, what causes a narcissist to be vulnerable? While we all like to think that we are in control of our lives, many factors can contribute to the development of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Some of these are:
One of the most common causes of NPD is abuse. Whether it is physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse, any type of abuse can cause a person to develop narcissistic tendencies. This is because abuse often leads to feelings of insecurity, low self-esteem, and shame.
Another common cause of NPD is neglect. If a child does not feel loved or valued by their parents, they may start to believe that they are unworthy of love and attention. This can lead to them seeking validation and admiration from others to make up for the lack of love they feel.
Invalidation is another factor that can contribute to the development of NPD. Also, Invalidation occurs when someone repeatedly tells you that your thoughts and feelings are wrong or that you are not good enough. This can cause you to doubt yourself and your worth, leading to the need for validation from others.
One of the less talked about causes of NPD is genetics. Studies have shown that there is a link between NPD and certain genes. This means that if you have a family member with NPD, you may be more likely to develop the disorder yourself.
An event that causes psychological trauma can also lead to the development of NPD. Trauma can include anything from witnessing a traumatic event to experiencing abuse yourself. This is because trauma often leads to feelings of insecurity, low self-esteem, and shame.
One of the most controversial causes of NPD is brain chemistry. Some experts believe that there is a link between NPD and certain chemicals in the brain. This theory is still being researched, but it may one day help to explain why some people develop NPD while others do not.
These are some of the causes of vulnerable narcissists. It is important to remember that not all narcissists are created equal. Some may be more vulnerable than others, and some may be more susceptible to developing NPD due to their genes or brain chemistry. However, all narcissists share one common trait: they all need validation from others to feel good about themselves.
Vulnerable Narcissist v/s Covert Narcissist
The differences between a vulnerable and a covert narcissist are not always easy to spot.
Vulnerable narcissists tend to be more emotionally volatile, while covert narcissists are more prone to withdrawing from social situations.
Both types of narcissists can be manipulative and difficult to deal with, but there are some key ways to tell them apart.
One major difference between the two is how they respond to criticism. A vulnerable narcissist will often react angrily or be defensive when faced with criticism, while a covert narcissist is more likely to shut down or withdraw completely.
Another difference is in their relationships with others. Vulnerable Narcissists tend to have difficulty sustaining long-term relationships, while covert narcissists may appear to be shyer or more introverted. Sometimes, the covert narcissist will use relationships as a way to control or manipulate others.
Another difference is how they view themselves. Vulnerable narcissists tend to have a fragile ego, while covert narcissists may seem to have a more positive self-image. There may be some truth to this self-image, as covert narcissists are often able to disguise their true nature very well.
If you think you may be dealing with a narcissist, the best thing to do is to get some professional help. These types of personality disorders can be very difficult to deal with on your own. A therapist can help you understand what you’re dealing with and give you some tools for coping.
How To Treat Vulnerable Narcissists?
Treating a vulnerable narcissist can be tricky. They are, by definition, insecure and hypersensitive to any perceived slights or criticisms. This makes them difficult to work with and be around. However, there are some things you can do to make the situation more manageable:
Some of these treatment methods are:
One of the most effective treatments for narcissism is medication. antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and mood stabilizers can all help to lessen the symptoms of narcissism and make the person more manageable. Some of these medications can have side effects, so it’s important to work closely with a doctor to find the right one.
Psychotherapy is another treatment option for narcissism. This type of therapy can help the person to understand their disorder and learn how to deal with its symptoms. It can also help them to develop healthier relationships and learn better-coping skills.
Family therapy can be helpful for both the narcissist and their family members. This type of therapy can help to improve communication and increase understanding between everyone involved. It can also help the family to develop healthy boundaries and set realistic expectations.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that can help the person to change their thinking patterns and develop healthier coping skills. This type of therapy can be very effective in treating narcissism.
Exposure therapy is a type of treatment that involves gradually exposing the person to the things they fear. This type of therapy can help the person to overcome their fears and learn how to deal with them healthily.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a type of therapy that helps the person to accept their disorder and learn to live with it healthily. This type of therapy can be very helpful in treating narcissism.
Support groups can provide a safe space for people with narcissism to share their experiences and learn from others. These groups can also offer support and understanding to family members and loved ones.
An important part of treatment for narcissism is self-care. This means taking care of yourself emotionally and mentally. It’s important to find healthy ways to cope with stress and take time for yourself. This can help you to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
These are some of the treatment options for narcissism. If you think you may be dealing with a narcissist, the best thing to do is to get some professional help. These types of personality disorders can be very difficult to deal with on your own. A therapist can help you understand what you’re dealing with and give you some tools for coping.
How To Help Someone Vulnerable Narcissist?
Helping someone who is a vulnerable narcissist can be difficult. They may not want help, or they may only want help from people who they feel are superior to them. They may also try to take advantage of people who are trying to help them. It is important to remember that you cannot change or fix someone else, but you can offer support and understanding.
If you know someone who is a vulnerable narcissist, here are some things you can do to help:
One of the main things you can do to help someone who is a vulnerable narcissist is to educate yourself about the condition. This will help you understand why they act the way they do and how to best support them.
There are many excellent books and articles about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), so start doing some research. It will also be helpful to talk to other people who have experience dealing with narcissists. These people can provide valuable insight and support.
Offer Emotional Support
Another thing you can do to help someone with NPD is to offer them emotional support. This means being there for them when they need someone to talk to, listening without judgment, and offering words of encouragement. You mustn’t enable their bad behavior but simply offer support and understanding.
If the person you are helping is willing to seek treatment, encourage them to do so. Treatment can be very helpful for people with NPD, and it may be necessary to improve their condition. There are many different types of treatment available, so talk to a professional about what would be best for the person you are helping.
It is important that you set boundaries with someone who has NPD. This means that you need to be honest with them about your feelings and what you will and will not tolerate from them. You also need to stick to these boundaries, even if they become upset or try to manipulate you. Remember that you cannot change or fix someone else, but you can take care of yourself.
Vulnerable narcissists are some of the most difficult people to deal with. They are manipulative, controlling, and oftentimes very abusive. If you find yourself in a relationship with a vulnerable narcissist, it is important to be aware of their behaviors and take steps to protect yourself. While it may be difficult, ending the relationship is often the best option.
If you know someone who is in a relationship with a vulnerable narcissist, please reach out to them and offer support. This type of abuse can be extremely damaging and oftentimes hard to spot. With your help, they may be able to see the situation for what it is and get out before it’s too late.
Hope this article was of help to you! If you are suffering from narcissism, you may seek help from Therapy Mantra. We have a team of highly trained and experienced therapists who can provide you with the tools and skills necessary for overcoming narcissism. Contact us today to schedule an online therapy or download our free Android or iOS app for more information.