I have been thinking about impossible people and frankly, wondering if I am one.
It started this past summer. I probably told you that one of my pastimes when I am puttering around the house is listening to sermons on the radio. When a good one comes on, I often think in my sinful mind “Boy, I wish so-and-so could hear this one.” Then, I end up thinking, “Wait a minute; I needed to hear this more than anyone.”
Humbling, if you are willing to let it happen.
One of my favorite preachers is Erwin Lutzer. I like what he has to say and I like to listen to his style of preaching. Last summer, he preached about how people become hardened, self-centered, and in the end, practically impossible to deal with. I have nicknamed these types of folks “impossibles.” My ears perked up when I started listening, thinking of a short list of folks who needed to hear it.
But honestly, as he went on and on, I started to think about my own actions, attitudes and what have you. He was talking about narcissists and for a period of time, I got down off my ladder and sat transfixed to the radio. I was a bit relieved that I didn’t quite fit all the criteria for a full-blown narcissist.
Bless my heart.
Let me back up and talk about what a narcissist is. The dictionary says a narcissist is a person who has excessive interest or admiration in himself.
In 2 Timothy, he speaks of the last days of this earth and how people will be “lovers of self.” Self-love is on a long list of sins Paul speaks of. In fact, it’s at the top. Read all of 2 Timothy 3 and then read it again. It lists the characteristics of such people. It’s pretty harsh.
Paul ends by saying something like this: “Don’t hang out with these types of folks. Avoid them.”
But you and I know that this is not always possible. What if you have to work with them day after day? What if you are related to them? What if you are married to them? What if you love these people, only to find out they are true narcissists?
How do narcissists think? Well, I found it interesting to know they usually are driven by two central questions: How does this make me look? How does this make me feel? A narcissist believes everything exists for him. I use “him” as a general pronoun here. There are certainly female narcissists. Yes indeed.
Narcissists feel they are entitled. The world owes them something. He or she must feel good; that’s very important. If other people get more recognition, the narcissist is jealous, angry and resentful. You see, other people exist merely to feed the ego of the narcissist. If the ego is not fed, the narcissist becomes demanding, conniving, and even vengeful.
Narcissists often suffer from extreme stress or even some type of disease because they are under constant duress. You see, the world can never truly give them everything they are entitled to and this is hard for the narcissist to take.
If you know one, you will recognize that a narcissist NEVER says “I’m sorry.” Any problem in the world is never the fault of the narcissist. Narcissists hardly ever say the words “thank you” either; everyone owes them and they expect to be given things.
If you offer the narcissist something, he or she will respond with “that’s fine” instead of a gesture of thanks. If the narcissist were to thank you, he or she would admit you are equal to them or worthy to be thanked.
There are times when a narcissist is backed into a corner and has to admit they did something wrong. When they do, they minimize what they have done. Their mistake was not a huge thing. OK, they did something wrong. Now everyone needs to get over it as soon as possible. Because, you see, a narcissist rarely makes a mistake and even if he does, he probably made a mistake because of someone else.
The narcissist has an extramarital affair because he or she is not receiving enough love and admiration from a partner.
Narcissists have a great need to control everyone and be the boss and often use chaos to control things. If he or she believes they can keep everyone guessing or not have a set schedule or set opinion, everyone else is left looking at the narcissist to see what will happen next.
This is a way to control others.
You know the type person: the one who lives by the motto “My way or the highway.”