Self-absorbed. Self-centered. Selfish. Narcissist. These are a few of the terms that we normally attribute to a person with an overwhelming sense of entitlement, a belief that they are the center of the universe, and to a person who doesn’t consider how their actions affect anyone else. These individuals will not change unless they choose to. Therefore, understanding them, and knowing how to deal with them is the circle of control you have to work within. If you are on the path of attaining balance and peace in your life, understanding the narcissist is important. You will see an extreme view of selfishness that will help you understand your own nature better through comparison, and you will deal with narcissists better when you know what to expect.

Here are 4 traits that contribute to the Anatomy of a Narcissist, and hints on how to work with them in your life.

What’s Best vs What’s Best for Me
In college, I once witnessed a person that needed to go to the hospital for an emergency ask someone for a ride. The reply was short and simple. “But my favorite television show is about to begin…I can’t leave now!” This level of selfishness can only see their own needs. Everything else is subservient to what’s best for them.

Knowing this allows you to understand the conditions where a narcissist will be helpful and where you shouldn’t rely on them. If you can find the element of a situation that they would be attracted to because it’s something they want, they will happily get involved. However, if you are counting on their ability to be compassionate, you will be disappointed.

Understand that their compassion muscles are atrophied, and their selfish muscles are on steroids.

Bullet Proof Sense of Entitlement
They want “it” because they want it. What other reason could they possibly need? It won’t matter if what they want sets you back, if it hurts someone else, or even if it’s not what’s best for them long term. Once this person sets their eyes on something, they will make everyone else miserable until they get it.

When an over-inflated sense of self comes to you with a request, it’s important to know that when you say no, that they are going to be mad. They may say mean things and they may talk about you. If this happens, you must be strong enough as an individual to take it. What’s interesting is that the next time they think you can give them something they want, they’ll come back to you and act as if nothing ever happened.

Remember, in their world, it’s not about you. It’s all about them in their mind.

Their Wish Is Your Worth
Your importance in their life comes down to what they need from you, how often they need it, or how often you are willing to dedicate time to their endeavors. When they need you, there is no one more important on the planet. When they no longer need you, they could walk right past you and not say hello.

You have to be careful here. If this is someone that you “want to like you”, they will quickly sense it and take advantage of it. They’ll have you following them around like the personal assistant to a celebrity doing all sorts of things to “prove your love”. They’ll even go so far as to blame you for some past failure in an attempt to guilt you into doing yet another thing for them. However, when you understand that your worth to them comes down to what you do for them, you are better able to not take things personally when they seem to have no use for you right now.

Narcissists don’t value you for who you are. They value you for what you can do for them.

Your Feelings Don’t Exist
Narcissists can’t see things from your perspective, because only one perspective is important to them. Likewise, they will also show no consideration for your feelings. That is, unless such consideration will get you to do something for them. It’s not that they know they are hurting you and simply continue to do so. They literally don’t put any energy into thinking about your thoughts and feelings. They are oblivious to how and when they hurt you.

If you allow your feelings to be hurt by this individual, understand that they may not particularly care. Therefore, don’t rely on an apology before you allow yourself to begin to heal and let go. When they need you again, they’ll more than likely apologize then. Remember, they are trying to get you to remove any obstacles that are in the way of you helping them. So, their apology once again serves their needs. Its best to just decide not to allow their actions and lack of concern to bother you.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can hurt your feelings without you permission.” Never give a narcissist that permission.

Author's Bio: 

James LeGrand is the Author of "Evolve!", an Amazon.com best seller in Religion and Spirituality. He is also the publisher of http://www.SpiritualIndividual.com, a free weekly newsletter that presents solutions to life’s issues through the lens of self-help, wisdom, philosophy and spirituality. In addition, James LeGrand is a Life Strategist, an Expert Author with SelfGrowth.com & EzineArticles.com, a former Radio Personality, a Fortune 500 Vice President, and a Sifu in Shaolin Kungfu, which has been known for centuries as a pathway to spiritual enlightenment.