I have stolen this title from Dr. M. Scott Peck who wrote a book, same title, on the subject of narcissistic people. I recommend it as a good psychological read. M. Scott Peck was a well-known psychiatrist, now deceased, who also wrote the best-selling book “The Road Less Traveled” which stood atop the NY Times non-fiction best seller list for years, literally.
Narcissus was the guy in Greek mythology who would look lovingly at his own image and fail to see any faults what-so-ever. Unfortunately our society is filled with such people. I offer up Dick Cheney as an excellent example of narcissism. He could lie so well I think he actually believed his own b.s. What is worse about the narcissist is their absolute failure to either see or admit to having a part in anything wrong. They rationalize their own bad behavior in a manner that leaves them blameless.
In his book Peck identifies these people as being evil. It suggests that you need only look at history’s most evil villains and you will find they are all narcissists. The question becomes, then, how do you protect yourself against such people?
I think the first thing you have to do is recognize them when you encounter them. Fortunately they are, it is my belief, relatively rare in their “full blown” form. That is, the total narcissist is not all that common.
Unfortunately, aside from recognizing them and keeping them out of your life as much as possible is about all you can do. I know, no answer, how can that be? Sometimes you run into circumstances that one person cannot overcome. You surround yourself with people who know you, trust you, and love you, and there is nothing the narcssist can do to you that you cannot overcome. Now that you know what you are looking for, be careful and be safe.