Taking Warning Signs Seriously
In my last post, I mentioned a glaring sign of narcissism, or at least of some serious mental problem. It's one you can't miss. It jumps out at you.
But it doesn't happen every day. You may know a person casually for years without ever seeing them react to something in such an off-the-wall way.
Also, when we do observe such behavior in others, because it seems like something that couldn't really have happened, we tend to mentally turn our backs on it and act like it didn't happen.
That's a big mistake. At the very least, tuck the memory away for future reference. Don't just blow it off. You may think that some misunderstanding you're unaware of is possible that could explain it. Fine. In fact it's good to be skeptical and not jump to conclusions about people. Just don't blow off strange behavior.
The best mental health advice I ever saw (sorry I can't remember what website it's on) is to just stay away from mentally unhealthy people.
That's a bit simplistic, because we can't just abandon people we're bound to in some way. Besides, since we understand family members so well, there is no risk in closeness to one who may be mentally ill - unless they're a predator, like a narcissist. On the other hand, since a working relationship is so limited, there is also nothing to worry about in a strictly working relationship with someone like this - again, unless they're a predator.
But we sure don't need purely social friendships with people who may be mentally ill. We don't know them that well, often not nearly as well as we think we do. What goes on in their heads is a mystery to us. So, it's best to keep the relationship with that person cordial but at arm's length.
And, if you suspect that he or she is a predator, it's best to stay far away.