Anxiety Is a Narcissist
If anxiety were a person, it would likely have narcissistic personality disorder. Anxiety shares many traits with narcissism, making it a card-carrying narcissist. To be sure, both anxiety and a narcissist are difficult to deal with, but they have other characteristics in common as well. Knowing what they are and how to deal with them can help tame narcissistic anxiety.
Narcissistic Traits of Anxiety
- Self-centeredness: To a narcissist, the entire world and all who dwell in it revolve around him/her. Anxiety tends to be just like that. It takes control of one's entire being so that thoughts, emotions, and behaviors revolve around anxiety.
- Exploitative nature: Narcissists take advantage of others, so does anxiety. When you think about it, doesn't anxiety take advantage of you when it controls and limits you just to increase its own power?
- Lack of empathy: Neither narcissism nor anxiety has much regard for others. Anxiety doesn't care when it drives us to panic attacks or anxiety attacks or when it creates such fear and worry that we shrink from our own lives. It doesn't care that it seems to completely take over our mind and our thoughts. It makes us miserable, and it hardly notices.
- Preoccupation with fantasies of success: Overcome by grandiose thoughts and beliefs, the narcissist dreams of great success. Here, too, anxiety is a narcissist. The fantasies it dreams up and imposes upon us are that we and are loved ones are doomed to disaster (as in generalized anxiety disorder), that everyone is judging us and we'll never measure up (social anxiety disorder), intense fears of specific things (phobias), and more--anxiety is very creative in what it can dream up and impose upon us.
Tips for Dealing with Anxiety the Narcissist
Thankfully, there are ways to deal with a narcissist in your life, even if that narcissist is anxiety. Here are a few:
- Know what you're dealing with: Just as there are different types of narcissists, there are different types of anxiety disorders. There are anxiety treatments that work for all anxiety in general, and there are other treatments that are specific to certain types of anxiety. Knowing about your own specific anxiety/anxieties can help you target it.
- Make your life about you, not the anxiety: Self-centered and commanding as it is, anxiety wants to be the focus of your world. Rather than letting it do so, turn your attention away from it. Begin to define what you want your life to be like (not simply "no anxiety" but instead what specific, positive things do you want in it). Determine what little steps you can take every day to walk away from anxiety and toward your real life.
- Be realistic in expectations of timing: As a narcissist, anxiety won't give up easily. It can have a strong hold and it loves it's power. That said, anxiety isn't you; it isn't who you are. It is a controlling parasite that has latched on. When you continue to seek help for anxiety and build your toolbox of strategies to beat it, you will shake it loose.
Yes, anxiety is a narcissist. It's nothing but a thing that wants to control you. When you begin to see it as something separate from you, something that wants to feed it's own power, you can begin to take measures to push it out of your life.
Peterson, T. (2015, March 5). Anxiety Is a Narcissist, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, February 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/03/anxiety-is-a-narcissist