A while back, someone who followed my blog disagreed with one of my posts. She stated why she did, & although I respected her opinion, I saw she took some things I said wrong. I explained what I wrote, & left my computer for the evening. The next day, I saw several of my readers understood what I was saying & defended me, including one who got into a rather heated disagreement with the original commenter. The original commenter stopped following my blog & unfriended me on facebook. She obviously held me responsible for what other people said that she didn’t like.
A few years before, a similar incident on facebook cost me a 20+ year friendship, so obviously this wasn’t the first time I’ve seen this type of ridiculous, immature behavior. I’m sure it won’t be the last either.
I realized out of that situation with my blog that this person was a narcissist. While she shared a great deal of insight in her own blog & facebook, sometimes there were very subtle hints of narcissism. I thought I was reading too much into it, but as time went on, I saw more & more hints. For example, when she shared her opinions, she stated them as fact & seemed to have no tolerance for anyone who disagreed with her. Those people were wrong, period. She also brags openly about any accomplishments, such as many shares of a blog post or mental health professional agreeing with something she’s said.
Most people don’t jump to ridiculous conclusions. They don’t read into what you said- they trust that what you said is what you mean, while narcissists find a way to take everything personally. The long friendship of mine that ended? We shared a mutual friend, & he told this friend he “read into” what we said on facebook & knew from that how badly we thought of him. (FYI- mostly what she & I talked about at that time was knitting. I’m not sure how that meant we hated him.)
Most people also realize that you are going to have different opinions than them sometimes, & are OK with it. They won’t think “if you aren’t for me, you’re against me”, but instead accept the fact that no two people agree on absolutely everything. In fact, if they did, it would be very abnormal! Narcissists however believe you have to share their thoughts, feelings, opinions, likes, dislikes, etc. or else you’re wrong.
Narcissists online also share only about themselves- what they think, what they’re doing, what is happening in their lives & probably plenty of pictures of themselves. They almost never ask others how they are doing or what is happening in their lives.
They state their opinions as written in stone fact rather than simply their opinion, & won’t listen to the opinions of others or criticize them. They also demand that you agree with them, because, after all, if you’re not for them, you’re against them! (at least in their mind)
Spotting narcissists online can be trickier than spotting one in person, but remembering these tips can help you.