If you are or have been in a relationship with a narcissist you will have noticed that they behave very much like children. In many ways, narcissists process information and the world around them the way children do. The reason behind this is because at a certain age (probably between ages 0-6) their emotional development was stunted and they never matured with appropriate emotional intelligence. This was probably often to do with some trauma suffered through neglect or abuse. So they were never able to mature emotionally.
Here are the following ways that Narcissists behave like children:
1. Toddlers and babies are unable to take care of their emotional and physical needs. They cry and act up if their needs are not met. Babies will cry and will not stop, if they’re hungry, angry or uncomfortable, they don’t care if you’re busy, or you’re sick, they want attention right now. Babies lack empathy and compassion because they have not the emotional capability to discern/understand this and act on it. This is the same with a narcissist. They want their needs met now, just like children, they don’t care whether you’re busy or unavailable or sick. Narcissists do not recognise, understand or consider other people’s needs, only their own, just like little children.
2. Children are proficient liars. They can be caught red handed with chocolate all over their mouth and they will flat out lie that they never took the chocolate or that their sibling/friend made them do it. The narcissist will do the same thing. Narcissists are pathological liars, they will lie to get what they want and also to avoid blame at all costs. Sometimes their lies are so blatantly obvious, but with a poker face they will convince you that they are telling the truth. They will lie, even when the truth would be make them look better.
3. Children love being the centre of attention and can became very jealous if they feel attention is on another child. That’s why parents when they’re having another baby are encouraged to engage their child in the process so they do not feel jealous of the newborn baby. Children believe and behave as if the whole world revolves around them and everyone has to fit into their world and their world view. They view the world as one dimensional and believe that their parents/caregivers are extensions of themselves. This is the same with narcissists, they believe that their partners are extensions of themselves and not separate individuals with their own needs and feelings. Narcissists are attention whores and and have an obsessive need to be acknowledged at all times.
4. Smear campaigns, gas lighting (lying), flying monkeys are all behaviour that children display in the playground. They scheme and manipulate friends to stop talking to someone they don’t like at that particular time. Children engage in manipulation, blame shifting, projection, entitlement, etc in order to survive and interact with their world because emotional intelligence in a child hasn’t developed and neither has a narcs. Narcissists, of course are masters of these tactics, as they have never grown out of it.
5. Children are naturally impulsive and will do things without thinking about the consequences, they will do things they feel good about. Narcissists are the same, they exhibit very reckless behaviour, they will do things that make them feel good regardless of the consequences, irrespective of the feelings of others. They often display a total disregard for social laws and morality and have no respect for boundaries.
6. Children will sulk or go into tantrums if they don’t get want they want. Narcissists will do the same, I’ve actually seen a narcissist jump up and down in a rage and go into a hissy fit! Absolutely hilarious if it wasn’t so disturbing!
7. Children are great at creating and inventing fairytale stories about themselves, with imaginary friends and worlds, they do get quite engrossed in it. Narcissists whole life is a fantasy, a false reality, they are delusional, and their whole life is a fabrication of which they are the lead actor/hero, which again is very much like children.
8. Young children can’t tell, the difference between wants and needs. The child believes that he needs some chocolate but really he just desires or wants some chocolate. They narcissist cannot tell the difference between want and need, and just like children, they get very angry when they don’t get what they want. They erupt into a rage when they believe that their needs have not been provided for. They cannot wait for something, they have to have it immediately whether they can afford it or not. They want instant gratification just like a child and are often involved in ‘get rich quick’ schemes. Children will take things that are not theirs and claim it as their own, narcissists will do the same. Narcissists don’t understand boundaries either just like children.
Narcissists are simply unable to view the world as normal people do. Like a child, no matter how much you logically explain there is no boogie man in the closet, they will still have that fear (delusion of reality). This the way a narcs mind works. The difference between the narcissist and a child is that a child will grow out of these childish stages and acquire emotional intelligence. The narcissist never does. So basically, narcissist are just toddlers in adult bodies. They are like emotional toddlers living in an complicated adult world they cannot relate to.