A narcissistic personality is a type of behavior in which victims display characteristics that show a total disregard of others. A narcissist’s pattern of behavior is a wash with behaviors and traits that denote infatuation and obsession with one’s self. Victims of this behavioral character show complete disregard of the feelings of others in the quest for their personal gratification. In most cases, their desires are driven by ego, dominance, and ambition. Although there is scant research regarding Narcissism, available data show that narcissistic personality has no correlation to the social, cultural, economic or professional predilection of an individual. This paper uses Existential theory to describe a narcissistic personality through choice, freedom and responsibility.
According to the theory existential, Narcissist personality is not a disorder, but rather an expression of one’s inner self. However, many psychologists and researchers sharply differ with this correlation. According to many psychologists, a person with a narcissistic personality exhibits characters and traits that show complete disregard of those around him or her. According to Yalom, (1989), a narcissist does not love anyone including him or herself. Such a person is only preoccupied with the impression that he creates around himself and makes choices that only satisfy his personal needs. He is in profound love with the feeling that he creates and fallaciously feels drawn towards those who are saddened by his mentality. A narcissist is extremely outraged by those who despise him or seek to discredit his mentality. The love and friendship they possess quickly turns into hatred and loathsome disgust when their true character is revealed. People with narcissist personality attract each other. They find comfort in co-dependent partners because such people offer a good environment by offering emotional support.
Existential theory underscores the meaning of personal choices, freedom, and responsibility. The theory states that human beings are in a constant state of evolution and transition. In this respect, the theory highlights the importance of freedoms, independent choice self-determination and personal responsibility. A semblance of narcissism is clearly outlined in this theory. According to Frankl, (2006), the theory emphasizes on personal worth and demeans the aspect of others or the environment. The theory uses death to justify actions that satisfy personal choices. Frankl, (2006), says that from his personal experiences, an individual should have the freedom to make choices. According to the theory, human beings undergo linear development structures. Yalom (1989), during these processes, a person is propelled by the forces of freedom, responsibility and choice. A number of psychodynamic and psychoanalytic models integrate and become part and parcel of a person’s character. The theory justifies that such changes have far-reaching implications on a person’s conduct.
A person with narcissist personality cares for the feeling of others, but in a peculiar way. This is because of the fact that they are unable to handle the perception others. The competitions for attention and societal expectations overwhelm narcissists by a large extend. As a result, a narcissist dislikes the old, the weak and the sick simple because they are a premonition of their own suppressed emotions. A narcissist will act in total disregard of the feelings of others in order to dispel the feelings of fear that build around when in situations that demands attention. Acting in disregard of others means focusing on ones self as stipulated in the existential theory. The theory justifies focus on ones self and fear of failure. One of the principles of the theory is that a person needs to act in a way that satisfies him individually.
According to Yalom, (1989), how others feel about ones action is not important because personal satisfaction and freedom of choice supersedes the feelings of others. In existentialism, an individual’s freedom, responsibility and choice are founded on what is known as existential attitude. In this regard, the theory justifies narcissism in a number of ways. For instance, a narcissist demonstrates grandiose and self-important by exaggerating his talents, accomplishments, contacts and everything around him. According to this person, the end does not justify the means. He demands to be recognized as a superior achiever without the corresponding achievements. Frankl, (2006) asserts that person with narcissistic personal does not seem to realize that achievement must be founded in personal responsibility as opposite to empty posturing.
Existential theory justifies an individual’s obsession with fantasies of infinite accomplishments, fearsome power, and unparalleled brilliance. The theory advocates for individualism in terms of character, personal choice and responsibility. It discredits historical and psychological view of humanity as one. According to the theory, human beings are different in many aspects and, therefore, they are not bound by a common personality. The theory states that the destiny for all existence is death, meaning that lives will end through death. This is similar to narcissistic traits and characters. Narcissists believe in the final outcome of their action and not the means.
People with narcissistic personality can not see their own mistakes or faults. They do not appreciate their personal mistakes, instead, their claim their right to freedom, choice and fear of failure as a guide to their actions. Peoples have fear for people with narcissistic personality because they consider such people to be superior to them. Most psychologist concur that it is not easy to interact with persons with narcissistic personality because it is hard for them to imagine that they can make mistakes or that their actions have negative consequences on the feelings of others. These groups of people believe that they are perfect in anything. They think that they are superior to other people and people must appreciate what they do. Narcissism goes beyond false pride and is guided by fear of failure. It is complete believe in ones self and total disregard of others. People with narcissistic personality are literally blind because they can not see others.
The theory of existential seems to support the view that all human beings are narcissistic in a way. We are all directed and rules by the egoistic forces that guide every human being. The theory justifies repression and defense in personal characters because they act as protective measures. According to the theory, death is a motivator. All human actions are triggered by thoughts of death. Individuals love life in, such a way that, the idea of death as an eventuality leaves people with negative feelings. The theory further claims that feelings of loneliness and anxiety are natural feelings that all living organisms that have feelings experience. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with a person feeling lonely and segregated. These feelings help human beings to better their actions.
According to Frankl, (2006), personality coils and deforms itself until it attains a functional equilibrium. The fantasy world and the negative feelings are drawn from death act as a springboard to one’s character. Most of people’s actions are based on the assumption that death will ultimately take away our lives. There is great similarity between the theory of existential and narcissistic personal disorder. The concept of authenticity as advanced in the theory is similar to what narcissists subscribe to. A person with narcissistic personality acts based his or her personal desires. In his action and thinking one can easily discern the similarity between narcissistic characters and the theory of existential. The aspect of authenticity as propagated in the theory advocates for individualism and disregard of others in ones actions. It advocates for personal responsibility as opposite to collective responsibility. This means that a person must act in accordance to his wishes. It does not matter whether his actions undermine others or not. The theory also advocates for the concept of facticity; it advocate for “being and nothingness”. This concept emphasizes on the aspect of being ones self in the quest for personal gains. Persons with narcissistic personal exhibit symptoms similar to those propagated in the theory of existential.