Oppositionality is an often overlooked part of the disorder.
Anecdotally, having worked with many children and teenagers who have Oppositional Defiant Disorder, I have noticed an interesting overlap between that disorder and adult Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The overlap is worth examining, because it will help you to see how so much of the narcissist’s mental approach and behavior is inherently oppositional under the surface.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (known as ODD in clinical circles) is a mental disorder seen in school-aged children. The diagnosis includes the following criteria: often loses temper; often argues with adults; often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules; often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior; is often angry and resentful; and is often spiteful or vindictive. If you are in close proximity to a narcissist, you see the shared characteristics.
What kind of a relationship can you have with a severe narcissist?
Given the highly abnormal relationship dynamic a narcissist requires, what kind of relationship can you have with a severe narcissist? The answer isn’t simple. If you don’t emotionally trigger the narcissist, you can have a semblance of a relationship. There won’t be real intimacy — because intimacy is about equals, and narcissists can’t do that, no matter what — but you can coexist. But if you are someone who feels good about yourself, gets noticed and praised by others, and holds themselves or anyone else accountable for major social or relationship violations, there can usually be no relationship. To make it work with a narcissist, you must alter your entire line of thinking with them in the this way: They have the power, they are in control, and they matter more. Without adopting this skewed, counterintuitive framework, the narcissist, from time to time, will always end up making you pay a price for the self-esteem you have.