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  • Narcissists are self-centered individuals who think and act like the world revolves around them.
  • They’re often hard to deal with, but altruists—selfless individuals—might be the best people to take on this tough job.
  • Altruists always put others first, even narcissists; they are able to put their frustrations aside and consider the narcissist’s thoughts and feelings.
  • These selfless individuals are also considerate of opposing views/values and feel fulfilled when they help others which aids their interactions with narcissists.
  • Altruists are also confident in their values and abilities, and they are not easily deterred from a challenge like dealing with a narcissist.
  • Finally, altruists prioritize treating others the way they would want to be treated; they give narcissists the benefit of the doubt and dedicate a little extra effort to understanding them.

Narcissists make everything about themselves. They’re self-obsessed, they brag every chance they get, and they truly think they rank superior to others. These 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 a narcissist. One may argue that it takes a very special person to put up with these self-centered individuals. The best person for the job might be the polar opposite: an altruist.

Altruists are selfless; they prioritize helping and supporting others however they can. They’re often described as friendly, caring, concerned, and generous. Now, there are two frequent arguments made about the compatibility of opposite personalities: they either attract or they fuel one another’s fire. In this case, I believe they attract—or at least that narcissists and altruists can live in harmony, all thanks to the altruistic platform. If you are a true altruist, you have a passion for ensuring the wellbeing of others, which includes the self-absorbed narcissist. Here are 6 signs you’re altruistic and how these traits can potentially help you handle narcissists:

1. You always put other people first.

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

2. You’re considerate of opposing views and values.

Many of us have a difficult time understanding opposing views, values, lifestyles. This, however, is not the case for altruists: altruists are experts at considering and understanding others, even narcissists. Instead of writing them off as selfish, if you’re an altruist you think about the driving behavior and strive to help the narcissist become a better person.

3. You find fulfillment in helping others.

Do you feel a rush of positive feelings after helping someone? If so, you’re likely an altruist. Altruists are 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 aren’t easily deterred.

Because your entire life is built on serving those around you, you are not easily deterred from a challenge. 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 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 morals and rarely doubt yourself, even when confronted with an overpowering or opposing 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 like theirs, there is less potential for a class 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.

Treat others the way you would want to be treated. As an altruist, you enforce and live by this rule, which means you are constantly putting yourself in someone else’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 a match made in heaven. But I am saying that the angelic altruist appears to have the perfect resume for the difficult job of 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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