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Narcissists make everything about themselves. They’re self-obsessive, they brag every chance they get, and they truly think they reign superior to others. These very qualities make narcissists extremely hard to deal with—still, we encounter them at work, we find friends in them, and sometimes we even end up dating or marrying them! One may argue that it takes a very special person to put up with these self-centered individuals. And I argue that the best person for the job may be the polar opposite: an altruist.

Altruists are individuals who act out of pure selflessness—they prioritize helping and supporting others however they can. Most altruists are also typically described as friendly, caring, concerned, and generous. Now, there are two arguments often made about opposite personalities: they either attract or they fuel one another’s fire. In this case, I believe that they attract—or at least that narcissists and altruists can exist in harmony, all thanks to the platform of a true altruist.

If you are a true altruist, you have a passion for ensuring the wellbeing of others—and that includes the self-absorbed narcissist in your life. Here are # signs you’re altruistic and how that can equip you with the necessary skills to handle a narcissist:

    1) You put others first.

    In any given situation, you put the other person first and without even thinking twice about it. It’s not that you think lowly of yourself, but because you’re innately thoughtful. This makes you the perfect person to deal with a narcissist, as you don’t let your potential frustration with them get the best of you. Instead, you consider their own thoughts and feelings.

    2) You’re understanding of others.

    Many of us have a difficult time understanding opposing views, lifestyles, and opinions. This, however, is not the case for you altruists: you are experts at being understanding of others—and this does not waver when it comes to narcissists. Instead of writing them off as selfish, you think about the driving behavior and wish to help them become better people.

    3) You are overwhelmed with happiness after helping someone.

    Do you feel a rush of positive feelings after helping someone? If so, you’re likely an altruistic individual; you’re inspired and enlightened by helping others, whether it’s helping out at the animal shelter or simply giving your friend a lift to work. This quality comes in handy with self-centered individuals because you feel inclined to help them too, when most others shut them out.

    4) You are not deterred easily.

    Because your entire life is built on serving those around you, you are not deterred from a challenge very easily. You’re not afraid to go out of your way for a person or a cause that is important to you, which makes it that much easier for you to put up with a narcissist. You might have a hard time understanding their selfish tendencies, but you won’t give up on them like most people do.

    5) You maintain a quiet self-confidence.

    As a selfless, giving individual, many may assume they can walk all over you—this, however, just is not the case. You are confident in your beliefs and morals and rarely doubt yourself… even when confronted with an overpowering or opposite personality. You do not falter, but stand stronger in your beliefs. This is optimal when dealing with a narcissist for a couple reasons: one, because your confidence is not outward or extreme such as their own, there’s less potential for a clash of the two personalities; and two, you aren’t easily intimidated by their confidence, because you stand firm in your own beliefs.

    6) You enforce the golden rule.

    “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” or the classic “treat others the way you want to be treated.” As an altruist, you enforce and live by this rule, which means you are constantly putting yourself in another’s shoes and thinking about how you’d want to be received. Therefore, you are the perfect kind of person to deal with a more selfish individual, who could use the benefit of the doubt and some extra faith.

Now, I’m not saying that narcissists and altruists are made for each other. But I am saying that the angelic altruist appears to have the perfect resume for this most difficult job: for effectively handling, and maybe even bettering, the selfish narcissist.

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is a staff writer at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

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