It’s supremely ironic. Narcissists are notorious for ruthlessly manipulating others to gain a strategic advantage over them. Yet they’re exceptionally vulnerable to being duped themselves because of their powerful psychological defenses, which—if recognized—can be vigorously used against them.
To adopt a common expression: “The bigger they [think they] are, the harder they fall.”
The DSM-5, the standard manual for diagnosing mental and emotional disorders, lists nine criteria for determining whether an individual is afflicted with this serious disorder. And this post will demonstrate how virtually all of these criteria indirectly suggest pathological narcissists’ curious susceptibility to others’ outmaneuvering them. For as rigidly constricted as the narcissist’s character structure is, their fabricated, super-sized “false self” still requires the assistance of others to remain securely (though artificially) inflated.