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It is not always easy to clearly recognize the signs of a narcissistic sister. Most people are capable of being a little narcissistic at times, and some entire countries have been accused of being narcissistic. Generally speaking, narcissists are people who do not have the same priorities as others when it comes to what is important in life. Sigmund Freud believed that healthy narcissism was key to full psychological development, but extreme narcissistic behavior could be a sign of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Some mental health specialists feel NPD is the result of unhealthy upbringing.
On occasion most people can display some narcissistic behavior, and selfish tendencies can be prevalent in many societies. The pursuit of wealth and belongings is often idolized in some countries like the U.S. Mass media and advertising often support narcissistic notions that success, social status, acquisition of expensive luxuries, and physical appearance are the most important parts of life.
Many people in the world might say that family, friends, health, spirituality, job security, shelter, peace and sufficient food are top priorities. The narcissist, however, has a different set of concerns. Physical appearance, wealth, acquiring luxury items, power and social status are priorities for the narcissist. These things might be nice, but most people do not necessarily need them to thrive and be happy.
The renowned psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud believed that “healthy” narcissism was necessary for complete human psychological development. Healthy narcissism consists of characteristics like high self-esteem based on realistic expectations. In addition, the healthy narcissist might appreciate power, but would not pursue it to the extent where it damages other people.
A few observations of behavior can help one distinguish between a little healthy narcissism and a narcissistic sister with a full-blown psychological disorder. The signs of NPD include an unreasonable sense of superiority and entitlement. A narcissistic sister with NPD does not have much regard for other people’s needs or their well-being. The pathologically ill narcissist cares about gaining power regardless of the consequences. Her real concern is with how she can manipulate other people to get what she wants and still look fabulous in the process.
People with NPD lack stable morals and values, and tend to drift between different relationships and interests. Putting other people down often makes narcissists feel better about themselves. Narcissists are more susceptible to feelings of shame and then guilt, because they care so much about what other people think. They change their minds a lot due to boredom and lack of interest. When narcissism is this severe, it impacts a person’s psychological health and chances for having a productive, happy life.
Some mental health experts feel that people with NPD have experienced an unhappy childhood and were not nurtured by their parents. Parents' inconsistent behavior and lack of emotional support can contribute to a child growing up to be a narcissist. In other words, parents who exhibit narcissistic behavior can create a narcissist child. If the adage, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” is true, a person who wonders about the signs of a narcissistic sister might be best advised to examine his or her own behavior as well.
It is healthy to recognize extreme narcissism in a relationship so as to better deal with the fallout. The point is not to find fault with another, but to arm yourself and cope better if you are in a toxic relationship with someone who is narcissistic.
This is an interesting article. I'm not sure that I agree with the statement that "Most people are capable of being a little narcissistic at times." I know lots of people who are incredibly humble and completely unwilling to draw attention to themselves.
However, I do like the last sentence - "If the adage, 'The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,' is true, a person who wonders about the signs of a narcissistic sister might be best advised to examine his or her own behavior as well." Reminds of the biblical verse - "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
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