Characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Among the personality disorders with problems in the field of social relationships is narcissistic personality disorder. Feeling unique and important are fundamental and necessary aspects in the full development of an individual, but these characteristics are taken to the extreme in narcissism, although we must bear in mind that there is talk of a continuum of narcissism with people who are in the middle of it. this one with lighter features.

The term narcissism comes from the Greek myth about Narcissus, a man who saw his reflection in the water and fell in love with it. This exaggerated attraction towards oneself is a characteristic of the disorder, there are many other symptoms that can indicate that someone has this disorder. In this Psychologyorg article, we will talk about some of the characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder.

The salient characteristics of narcissists

In order to know what a person with narcissistic disorder is like, it is important to learn to recognize the most outstanding characteristics of their personality. Here we leave them:

They always talk about themselves

One of the characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder is that these people always tend to think and talk about themselves most of the time, frequently about their physical appearance, their abilities, and achievements… However, these comments tend to be exaggerated. and they are not necessarily true reflections of his life.

They are also characterized by having little consideration for the people around them, it is rare for them to ask how they are, their concerns… This is because they lack empathy and are not capable of recognizing or understanding the needs or feelings of other people.

Recreate fantasies

People with narcissistic personality disorder present elaborate fantasies about their successes, their power, and beauty… And, as a result, they feel that they must be the best in everything, including the material objects they have such as houses, cars, clothes… These fantasies are a way to avoid the inner emptiness, to feel special, and thus obviate the defects. Because of this, when their claims do not match reality, they can become very frustrated.

Superiority belief

Another characteristic of narcissistic personality disorder is that they often present a feeling of grandeur that leads them to feel superior to the rest. They believe that only a few who are as special as they are can really understand them. To maintain that feeling of superiority, they focus on the flaws of others, regardless of whether they are real or imaginary, it is an effective way for them to hide their weaknesses and preserve their self-concept.

Narcissistic people expect others to offer them special favors or comply with their requests without question. If this is not followed, they can be very impatient or angry. Narcissistic people see others as people who have their needs met. This behavior may be reminiscent of a child who has never learned that he is not the center of the world and who becomes angry when others do not immediately comply with his demands.

The constant demand for praise

Despite how certain narcissists appear to be, they are usually very uncertain and have very weak self-esteem. In order to maintain their self-esteem high, they demand constant admiration and compliments from those around them. In addition, they also expect to be recognized as superior even without having achievements to back it up.

This fragility makes them very sensitive to criticism, any comment that brings to light some defect of theirs will produce “narcissistic anger”, causing the person to lie or divert the conversation in a completely different direction.

Characteristics of Narcissistic Personality

Envy and narcissism

Narcissistic personality disorder is also closely related to the feeling of envy. Due to their low self-esteem and their need to be superior to others, they see as a threat people who have those things that they do not have, not only material objects but also admiration from others…

Narcissistic people also tend to believe that others are envious of them and accuse people of it, stating that this feeling can end their relationship. That is why in this other article we give you the keys to learn to live with a narcissist.

Causes and treatment of narcissistic disorder

The causes of narcissistic personality disorder are unknown. Although there is talk that genetic and biological factors, along with environmental factors and certain experiences at an early age can play an important role in the development of the disorder. Therefore, the appearance of the disorder is due to a combination of factors.

Treating a person with narcissistic personality disorder can be difficult as they have great feelings of grandiosity and self-protection, making it difficult for them to recognize their problems and vulnerabilities.

  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy can be useful in helping narcissistic people relate to others in a more compassionate and healthy way. Mentalization-based therapy, transference-focused therapy, and schema-focused therapy have been suggested as effective ways to treat this disorder.
  • Medication – There is no drug treatment for narcissistic personality disorder. However, if the person presents symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or others, psychotropic drugs such as antidepressants or anxiolytics can help.
Characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

This article is just for information, at Psychologyorg we do not have the ability to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We request you go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

Read Also: Debunking the Myth Intelligence and OCD 2023 Psychologyorg


Q: What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

A: Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental health condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a constant need for admiration and validation, a lack of empathy for others, and an obsession with stories of complete success, power, intelligence, or beauty.

Q: What are the common characteristics of individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

A: People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder often exhibit traits such as grandiosity, a sense of entitlement, a belief in their superiority, a need for excessive admiration, a lack of empathy, exploitative behavior, a tendency to envy others, and a sense of arrogance.

Q: What causes Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

A: The exact cause of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is not fully understood, but it is believed to develop as a result of a combination of genetic, environmental, and social factors. Childhood experiences such as excessive praise or criticism, neglect, or abuse may contribute to the development of this disorder.

Q: How does Narcissistic Personality Disorder affect relationships?

A: Narcissistic Personality Disorder can significantly impact relationships. Individuals with NPD often have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships due to their self-centeredness, lack of empathy, and excessive need for admiration. They may exploit others, manipulate situations to their advantage, and struggle to recognize or meet the emotional needs of their partners, friends, or family members.

Q: Can Narcissistic Personality Disorder be treated?

A: While there is no known cure for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, psychotherapy can be helpful in managing and reducing symptoms. Therapy aims to help individuals with NPD gain insight into their behavior, develop empathy and healthier ways of relating to others, and address any underlying issues that contribute to their narcissistic traits. However, it’s important to note that individuals with NPD often have difficulty recognizing their need for therapy and may be resistant to seeking help.

Q: Are all individuals with high self-confidence or self-esteem considered to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

A: No, having high self-confidence or self-esteem does not automatically mean a person has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. While individuals with NPD often exhibit an inflated sense of self-importance, it is essential to consider the overall pattern of behavior, including a lack of empathy, exploitative tendencies, and a consistent need for excessive admiration, to diagnose the disorder.

Q: Can Narcissistic Personality Disorder coexist with other mental health conditions?

A: Yes, it is possible for Narcissistic Personality Disorder to coexist with other mental health conditions. Common comorbidities include depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and other personality disorders. These conditions may interact and influence each other, making treatment more complex.

Q: Can individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder change or improve their behavior?

A: While change is challenging for individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it is not impossible. With therapy, self-reflection, and a genuine desire to change, individuals with NPD can make progress in developing healthier patterns of behavior and improving their relationships. However, it requires consistent effort and a willingness to confront and address their narcissistic traits.

Q: How can someone cope with a relationship with a person who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

A: Coping with a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be challenging. It is important to set boundaries, practice self-care, and seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. Learning effective communication strategies, recognizing manipulative behaviors, and understanding that their behavior is not a reflection of your worth can be helpful in managing the relationship.

Q: Can Narcissistic Personality Disorder be diagnosed by self-assessment or online quizzes?

A: Online quizzes and self-assessment tools can provide some insights, but they cannot replace a proper diagnosis by a trained mental health professional. Diagnosing Narcissistic Personality Disorder requires a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified clinician, considering multiple factors and diagnostic criteria.

If you want to read more articles similar to Characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder, we recommend that you enter our Mental Disorders category.

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