Narcissism is a term used to describe a person who is completely self-absorbed. The origin of the term is rooted in Greek mythology detailing the life of young Narcissus, who fell in love with his reflection in a pool of water.
There are levels and degrees of narcissism, but all have the same root; a traumatic event, usually occurring in childhood in which this personality was birthed. A narcissist is typically skilled at protecting, hiding, and covering. These survival techniques are generally learned early on in life in an attempt to thwart any possibility of future hurts.
The Seven Deadly Sins according to Sandy Hotchkiss are as follows:
Shamelessness: Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.
Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.
Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.
Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist, there is no boundary between self and others.
Hotchkiss, Sandy & Masterson, James F. Why Is It Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism (2003) Wikipedia.com
Narcissism, a Device the Enemy Uses "Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil". --Ephesians 6:11(NLT)
"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." -- 2Corinthians 2:11(KJV)
We must understand that Satan does not fight fair. The word of tells us not to be ignorant of his devices. He will make every attempt to impede us from reaching our destiny, keep us from pursuing a relationship with God the Father, as well as prevent us from enjoying healthy, whole relationships with others.
He typically launches vicious attacks in the formative year of our lives--our youth and early childhood, a time in which we are developing emotionally. Satan wants us to be emotionally deformed. If he can to skew how we see ourselves and cast a shadow in the light of what God has said, at an early age, then he has gotten the advantage.
Victory Over Narcissism The Bible is very clear on how to overcome and get victory in this area! Ephesians 6:11 tells us to put on our spiritual armor. This is an important spiritual discipline to adhere to, because we are not in physical fight. Most of our battles take place in the mind; memories, images, feelings, sensations, smells, voices from the past, etc. all evoke an emotional response. That is why we need the helmet of salvation!
No matter what abuse you may have incurred in your childhood or in your life, and the memories thereof, it can never stand in the face of God's love. Give God your traumatic experience. Allow him to do a healing work in you heart.
It is possible to change and get victory in this area. But, it takes time, diligence, and hard-work.