writing this article as a registered medical practitioner who is a fellow in the study of human behaviour and psychology
What Is Definition ?
Narcissism is also used as a "noun" which means excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one's physical appearance.
But Psychologically -Narcissism is defined as -selfishness, involving a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration, as characterizing a personality type. or self-centred-ness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.1
Psychology basically identifies Narcissism as a "Mental Disorder" or "Mental Disease". Prevalence estimates of Narcissism range from 0 to 6.2% in community samples. Of those individuals diagnosed with Narcissism, 50%–75% are male. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) classifies NPD( Narcissistic Personality Disorder) as a Cluster B (“dramatic, emotional, and erratic”) personality disorder, a category that also includes Antisocial, Borderline, and Histrionic Personality Disorders.2,3
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Causes And Risk Factors
The exact cause is not known. Like most mental and personality disorders, it’s likely due to a complex combination of factors including:
- Environment, including parent-child relationships
- Neurobiology (the connection between your behaviour and your nervous system)
People whose parents put them on a pedestal and showered them with endless praise may be at higher risk for NPD, a recent study found. Then again, the opposite is true, too. Children who are ignored or abused may develop NPD almost as a survival instinct. They may feel they need to look out for themselves because no one else will.
Narcissism Is All About "Self Importance"
Socio-Economic Culture Is Prime Reason For Thriving Narcissism In society
The development of personality traits of Narcissist are closely related to the existing contemporary cultural environment.5-8 Cultural environments can be classified as individualistic or collectivistic. 9,10
Individualistic cultures encourage a stronger focus on the self, whereas collectivistic cultures emphasize the importance of social values. Narcissism contains a strong focus on the self, accompanied by a high need for admiration, grandiose & fantasies.7-10 Therefore members of individualistic cultures (individual or family-centric cultures) result in the existence of more narcissistic individuals than collectivistic cultures (a primitive type of cultures, where groups of people are centre at the society & individuality of a person is less important- for example -Tribal Cultures of Africa or Asia).11
In short socio-cultural factors, Family lineages contribute in a major way, to imbibe traits of narcissism in the personalities of the affected individuals and even further encourage them to keep destroying their own society.
It will not be an exaggeration of fact by claiming that - Narcissism is used to thrive in "individualistic societies" where "Individual identities of subjects of society " is far more important than, betterment of the entire society as a whole.
Narcissism Is Mental Disorder & Perversion Of Personality ,Which Needed To Be Identified And Then treated Well ,To Save Society
How To Diagnose Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
As per, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders any person if be found carrying 5 or more than 5 below the mention personality trait then he or she can be diagnosed with NPD. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)1 classifies NPD as a Cluster B (“dramatic, emotional, and erratic”) personality disorder, a category that also includes Antisocial, Borderline, and Histrionic Personality Disorders4. There is also a need to mention here that, no test that can identify narcissistic personality.
The DSM-5 lists nine key narcissistic traits:
- exaggerated feelings of self-superiority and self-importance
- self-made fantasies about personal power, intelligence, success, or attractiveness
- a firm belief in personal special-ness
- a strong need for attention, praise, and admiration from other people (attention-seeking)
- (Self-declared)entitled behaviour, such as a desire for special treatment
- a habit of using manipulation tactics
- low empathy or disinterest in the emotional needs of others (lack of empathy)
- a tendency to envy others or assume others envy them (when the contrary is true)
arrogance and scorn/contempt for others
To formally diagnose NPD, a mental health professional will look for the presence of at least five narcissistic traits. There is also a need to mention here that merely carrying 1-2 above mentioned Narcissistic traits or occasionally expressing those, by oneself -don't make anyone - NPD suffering person, as to be diagnosed for NPD one need to be present with these Narcissistic traits on regular basis and disturbing one's life on a daily basis with serious adverse effects and outcomes.
Traits Of Narcissism
How Many Types Of Narcissism Are There?
While a person can be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), there is no clinical diagnosis for any subtypes of narcissism. Some types of narcissism have been identified through research, whereas other types have been informally named and claimed by various mental health professionals. Thus, there is no concrete number of narcissistic subtypes, as Narccissitic Person is used to express 2-3 type narcissistic type at a single time.
As such, there are eight types of narcissism recognized by experts and by common people
Types Of Narcissism
|Types of Narcissism|
1. Healthy Narcissism
8. Spiritual Narcissist
1. Healthy Narcissism
Yes, Don't get shocked, as Healthy Narcissism do exist.
Please try to understand that, just because someone has narcissistic traits doesn't mean they have a narcissistic personality disorder. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), to be clinically diagnosed with NPD, a person has to exhibit at least 55% of the most common signs of narcissism. Many people may have traits of narcissism without meeting the criteria for the disorder. Healthy narcissism is a category of its own and is actually positive.
"Each person has a bit of healthy narcissism within them," As if a person feel proud and if want to share those accomplishments with others, that does not make them NPD patient, If one's want to see oneself special & feel satisfied, that can far to far turn a person into "Attention Seeker" and not a person with "NPD" even after carrying initial traits of Narcissism as such. Even such healthy Narcissism is also be seen helping a person to escalate on the social ladder, to be famous and successful to a certain level. "Over Confident Person" may be a lot of the time used to express - Healthy Narsiccism in them, which may help them to climb up the ladder of success to a certain level.
So "Healthy Narcissism" does exist and it is limited to only oneself and helpful for once happiness also to a certain extent.
2. Grandiose Narcissism
As per psychology, grandiosity refers to having "an unrealistic sense of superiority". Grandiose narcissism thus involves overestimating one's abilities, tries to exercise one's dominance over others. Such people have - a generally inflated sense of self-esteem at the root.
This type of narcissism has been well researched.
"Grandiose narcissism is when someone's narcissistic qualities—entitlement and self-obsession—are openly displayed, often at the expense of others,"
Such types of narcissists can be charming but often lack empathy. Grandiose Narcissist is all about "me, me, me " type personality, who thinks the entire universe is rotating only around him only.
When dealing with a grandiose narcissist, or any type of narcissist for that matter, it's important to set boundaries against them. As Grndinose Narcissist they will push your boundaries & will keep eroding them, to impose a lower level of treatment for you. Which will soon become the new normal. So rather than to be a victim of Grandinose Narcissist, it is better, to walk away."
For example - "Evil of Racism" in America & "Honour killings" through Brahmin Cast/Upper cast supremacy in the Indian subcontinent are examples of - Grandinose Narcissistic Behaviours of aggressors against their victim.
3. Vulnerable Narcissism / Covert Narcissism
In opposition to the grandiose narcissists, these types of Narcissist tend to be shy and self-effacing. According to the American Journal of Psychiatry(AJP), the "covert subtype is inhibited, manifestly distressed, hypersensitive to the evaluations of others while chronically envious for success & merits of other's." They crave people's recognition and get very defensive in the face of criticism.
People with covert narcissism generally spend more time thinking about their abilities and achievements than talking about them. They are used to keep weaving fantasies about one's superiority and one's supreme power, which are non-existent at all.
“They may withdraw into fantasy, into an inner narrative world that’s not equivalent to reality, where they have inflated importance, powers, or a specialness that is opposite of what their actual life is like.
Covert narcissists are often abjectly miserable and believe their suffering is worse than anyone else's. It is quite possible that covert narcissism is an acquired trait of someone's personality, but as you are not responsible for their sufferings, it is not your duty to heal them by facing all evils of their narcissistic personality, onto you
For Example - "ISIS ideology" is nothing but "covert narcissism" propagated by some "Islamic fanatic who thinks that the entire Islamic world is existing only due to them.
4. Malignant Narcissism
Malignant narcissists as the name itself indicate, are manipulative and malicious. They show signs of sadism and aggression and use to scheme and run conspiracies against their victim.
"They get pleasure seeing people writhe in pain and discomfort, so it is recommended that it is always far-far better to avoid them completely. Any attempts to outsmart them will be unsuccessful and exhausting as Malignant Narcissists basically lack any morality and used to degrade to any level to fulfil their evil motives of seeking pleasure through sadism inflicted upon their victims by them.
Malignant Narcissist are basically -- "fully developed for Narcissism"- where Narcissistic traits of NPD person -has been fully grown and sharpen, to take a toll on their victims till no limits
For Example:- "Fictitious Novel Character Dracula" is the best suitable example to understand - what "Malignant Narcissist " means metaphorically.
5. Sexual Narcissism
Sexual narcissists have an overly positive, egotistical admiration of their own sexual prowess. They can become consumed by their obsession with sexual performance and the need for the sexual admiration of others."
Sexual narcissists are often characterless- serial cheaters, use sex to manipulate people, and may behave violently during sex. To protect yourself from this type of narcissist, your safest option is to get out of the relationship and seek therapy to help you get through the breakup with a narcissist.
Sexual narcissism is part of a three-part narcissism typing system that includes sexual narcissism, somatic narcissism, and cerebral narcissism. None of them is authenticated by research, but the system has been gaining some popularity as some mental health practitioners use them to further categorize different types of narcissism.
For example:- Devdasi tradition in Indian Subcontinent, is an example of "Sexual Narcissism" , which was run by - Priestly Caste / Brahmin Cast in Indian Temples
Child Sex Abuse run by Vatican Church Fathers is also an example of "Sexual Narcissism ", which is run by such people who can practice-paid sex, but still want to abuse and exploit their position and authority by running such heinous crimes
6. Somatic Narcissism
Somatic narcissists derive their self-worth from their bodies. "This may manifest as someone feeling more beautiful, stronger, or fitter than others."
Somatic narcissists often obsess over their weight and physical appearance and criticize others based on their appearance. They usually ignore the needs of others and prioritize their own. Generally, such types of Narcissists are seen as "toxic or delusional -people" in common sense and used to damage their own health by keeping boasting about - their Superb Body fitness and Body structure.
For example - Synthetic muscle oil injectors , seen on various internet web sites ,who are used to inject synthetic oil into their muscles , to look more strong and more fit , than others , to that level they need to ampute or loose their arms and limbs ,for permanent damage.
Typical Example Of Somatic Narcissism
7. Cerebral Narcissist
Cerebral or (Pseudo) Intellectual narcissists derive their self-importance from their minds, compared to the somatic narcissist who derives worth from their bodies. "Cerebral narcissists get their supply from feeling smarter, more clever, and more intelligent than others,".
Cerebral narcissists believe they're smarter than others even though the contrary is true. If you let them allow you to invade your boundaries then, they will try to make you feel unintelligent. If you're dealing with a cerebral narcissist, insulate yourself from their words and use the best weapon against them and that is "Ignorance to their claims and arguments".
For example: - In Indian subcontinent since last 2000-3000 years - Brahmin cast people, were not used to allow lower caste people to study, just because their claims were "they are specially chosen" to study anything for having birth in some Brahmin cast famil, with any level of IQ level. This has seriously damaged the Indian Education system by denying education to true scholars and allowing any fool from the "Brahmin cast" to be called as "most genius person" , just because he is born in some Brahmin cast.
The Indian cast system is basically the best example of Cerebraller Narcissism, run by some "minuscule IQ level - Brahmin cast people" for ages.
Cerebraller Narcissism - Self Declared Brahmins (Scholars) of India
8. Spiritual Narcissist
Spiritual narcissists often use their spirituality to justify harmful behaviours and use spiritual jargon to intimidate others. Let there be any type of Narcissist, all narcissist needs to project an idealized version of himself to escape his broken, insecure self," Spiritual narcissists use seemingly sensitive and spiritual actions as a way to elevate themselves above others, but they lack conviction at deeper level for their own (fake) spiritual persecution.
Young people or people who have experienced significant emotional upheavals, like childhood emotional traumas or divorce, are more vulnerable to turn into -Spiritual Narcissists", to cover up their perverse and abusive behaviour patterns. If someone you know uses their spirituality as a tool to manipulate or belittle you, separate from them, as you possibly facing a "Spiritual Narcissist. "
For example - "Fake healers" of Churches who are used to run miracles to fool and then loot masses, all over the world -are the best examples of -Spiritual Narcissism
Frauds of Spiritual Narcissist
What Are Over All Characters Or Behavior Patterns Of Narcissistic Personality?
They are as follows:
Delusion & Denial
Narcissists can't deal with reality because it contradicts what they want to be true, and this creates painful emotions. As a coping mechanism, they learn to delude themselves that what is real is actually not real, and however, they see the situation is real, even though it isn't.
Sometimes they truly see it that way. Other times it is just a story they tell themselves and to others. And often the longer you tell a story, the more you believe it, even if initially you know it's not true. And so eventually they may start truly believing it.
Either way, the first step of any -Narcissistic Person -is to create a version of events that is an alternative to what actually happened or what's going on.
"Delusion is a self-limiting process, But lying and denial is often in the context of other people & run in sustenance"
Normal people deal with their problems by themselves, internally & rarely let them get to the surface. But Narcissists don't have people like that in their life and are not really interested in actually resolving anything or being introspective. They run -attention-seeking and enjoy playing victimhood when everything seems to be contrary.
Narcissists simply want to know that they are in the right position. For that, they need other peoples false validation to establish their "non-existing" self-esteem. They need to find people who would agree with them without much questioning. And to trap such, negligent/ignorant people, the narcissist used to run lies and to present a different story than what is actually true all the time.
Narcissists, always used to target low IQ people to be an alibi for their (non-existing) noble-hood, caring, virtuous character and to portrait their victims -as "cruel, wicked, immoral type of Person".
By Doing so Narcissist Person is used to gain control of other people and then keep enjoying - predatory harassment of his/her victim.
The next weapon of Narcissist is "Projection". The most common way narcissists create alternative narratives is by projecting. The mechanism here is that in the narcissist's mind they try to attribute their own unhealthy behaviour, perspective, and character traits to the other person because it shifts attention and responsibility from them to demonize their victims.
Hence If Narcissist is seen claiming that the other person is jealous of them, then one must know that the narcissist is jealous of himself/herself.
If Narcissist says that the other person was cruel to them, then one must know that the narcissist was cruel to the other person.
If Narcissists says that the other person was lying and cheating, then one must know that Narcissists is the one who is lying and cheating on another person.
So as a wise person, it is the duty of every person, to be intelligent enough to listen and to understand both side's stories before accusing or levelling any allegation against anyone in day to day life, to save oneself from these tricks of Narcissistic Person.
Framing The Story
Narcissists also like to truncate/cheery pick the story and present only a bit where the aggrieved party reacted to their toxic behaviour, framing it as if that's where the story started Or they twist it by using euphemisms and deceiving language.
For example, if a narcissist dislikes you and tries to sexually harass you but you stand up for yourself, then they will frame it as if they are the ones being a victim of your sexual harassment. In their narrative, they were just touching you casually or joking around and you started being mean to them and "harass them sexually by grabbing their hand, which was sliding into your shirt.
Here, by leaving out or downplaying their "sexually perverse behaviour" they simply frame you engaging in self-defence as vile aggression against them. And then they will force people to think that: How dare you react or challenge them! You're so sensitive and unfair by grabbing their hand (which was sliding in your shirt) That's why you deserve everything by them and you must be harassed sexually at the next level.
( solution for -such type of character of Narcissist, there is need to stand, expose Narcissist to appropriate authority and not let Narcissist go away with it, as otherwise, Narcissist will surely bring out more for next time for you )
Practice of Slander, Triangulation, Character Assassination
There are several ways how the narcissist conspires their lies and projections, and the goal is always to turn others against you, ensuring that other people then won't try to figure out the truth and true nature of Narcissist.
Triangulation, in psychology, means controlling and manipulating communication between two parties. It is related to gossiping, smearing, and slandering, where the narcissist spreads false information around by bringing in more /another Narcissist friend of him/her. A more extreme version of Triangulation is character assassination, where the lies of Narcissists are much more severe and damaging leading to complete devastation of the life of the Victim /Targeted individual of Narcissist.
Narcissists have been shown to be more likely to exaggerate their competencies or weave lies to get ahead, even when they know that the truth can be unveiled.12,13 They are more likely to make high-risk investments high risk -misadventures and will less hesitantly attempt to maximize short-term profits at the cost of long-term losses.14,15
Together, these findings suggest that the narcissistic status motive is manifested in a behavioural profile of pervasive & compulsive status pursuit. This observation builds on early theoretical accounts of narcissistic behaviour. And if one can be aware of this - behaviour pattern of Narcissist, then one can easily judge or -pre-estimate next action of Narcissistic person, to avoid any further or future trouble from such Narcissist.
Early psychological studies suggest that Narcissists as agentic and antagonistic individuals: Regarding the former, they have been depicted as adept at leading, impressing, and demonstrating their superiority but, regarding the latter, they have been depicted as aggressive, confrontational, and arrogant.16 It is also found that Narcissists’ agentic and antagonistic interpersonal behaviours, may result in the acquisition of high status by manipulation of reality and Truths (as Conman are used to achieve). To explain the motivational roots of narcissistic behaviours, psychological studies have underlined that it is Narcissist's craving for respect and self-declared superiority, may help them to build up a strong status motive.17
( Agenetic means - A person that behaves like an agent, assuming no responsibility for actions or their consequences, only following the orders of someone in authority )
Overall ,Simple Analysis Of Narcissitic Personality Traits
If one calmly examines the narcissist's character, one can quickly notice that they are full of idiot-ness and extreme liars and embodiment of immorality.
One can experience all such typical characters of Narcissists in day to day life on a daily basis.
For example:- If one sees, a narcissistic parent who tells his own child that how the child is hurting them and say mean things, then one can notice that Narcissistic Parents are the one who constantly demeans, disrespects, and manipulates their own adult-child. And when the child becomes more assertive and stops giving them resources (time, money, attention), they see it as aggression because they feel entitled to those resources forgetting their own irresponsible and insensitive behaviour.
If one examines further, one can notice that not only the narcissistic parent was initially disrespecting the adult-child's boundaries, but is also retaliating further now by manipulating others into siding with them against their own well-grown child.
The same is the case in professional environments or personal relationships. The narcissistic party does something toxic, the aggrieved party reacts and stops the perpetrator or distances from them, and then the narcissist retaliates by trying to shape the social opinion into a narrative where they are the good, righteous party. Sometimes they even convince others to bully and intimidate the target further.
These methods often rely on the target not having a support system or being isolated. This increases the narcissist's chances of others siding with them and not with the victim.
Dangers Of Narcissism
When Narcissism is thriving in our society, narcissists keep destroying surrounding society with their "negative personality traits" & "lack of empathy" for others. Narcissists by being - Politicians, office bosses, College teachers, High Ranking Police officers, Priests and so and so on, only spreading crime against humanity in one or another way. Hence as a being responsible and aware member of any society, one needs to know who is Narcissist and Which Narcissist is damaging his/her society and responsible for all disturbance of peace & tranquillity in the society.
All the examples of Tyrant - Kings and Dictators are basically - Narcissistic trait carrying personalities, who only keep propagating self-importance by sacrificing lives of millions & million innocent people, just to prove themselves more right and more special.
Treatment For Narcissism
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment
There is no cure, but therapy can help. The goal is to build up the person’s poor self-esteem and have more realistic expectations of others. Treatment usually centres on talk therapy. Sometimes people call this psychotherapy.
Talk therapy can help a person with NPD relate to other people better and understand their feelings and behaviours and to accept their own flaws and human limitations to a certain level (if he or she has not crossed the limits to be the malignant type of Narcissist ). Talk therapy can help a person with NPD to:
- Accept and maintain relationships with other people, including co-workers
- Recognize their own strengths and weaknesses
- Learn to accept criticism or failures
- Develop more realistic goals
Besides this, there aren’t drugs to treat this mental disorder, but depression and anxiety sometimes go hand in hand with narcissism, and there are helpful drugs for those conditions.
If the narcissist abuses alcohol or drugs, which is common, it’s important to get treatment for the addictions, too.
With children, experts suggest that parents who give too much praise cut back, while those who don’t pay enough attention step up.
Narcissists can learn how to relate to others in more positive ways, but it depends on how open they are to critical feedback and how willing they are to change and how socioeconomic & cultural factors are helping them to deny their -Narcissistic behaviour.
It is not possible to improvise -Natzi SS Batallion head, for his Narcissistic behaviour, when Hitler is planning to Bomb Paris.
So Narcissistic Personality Disorder is needed to be treated at the level of Society also, which is itself a herculean task.
Use " I AM " response To Tackle Narcissist, If They Are Cohabiting With You
If you are living with or in a close relationship with a person with NPD, here are tips to taking care of yourself:-Call it, as "I AM " response against a Narcissistic Person
Remember that - spelling of Narcissist starts by letter "N" and there are 13 Alphabets in English before the letter "N" which can be used to tackle any Narcissist
What is this -" I AM " response against "N" name Narcissist?
Iterate -Who you are again & again? ,
This simple questioning to yourself -- will invoke, faith in yourself and will remember you, about your importance for your existence
Then "AM" is basically -A to M response designed against Narcissist, to get rid of all "Poison of Narcissism poured by Narcissist " in your life,
A to M is basically about:-
- Accept, their Narcissistic Personality as a "disorder"
- Break the spell of Narcissistic abuse/exploitation
- Call out for help, by exposing Narcissist
- Demand action for grievance against Narcissist
- Expect pushback and resistance form Narcissist
- Find support from - appropriate authority or friend circle
- Guess:- Narcissist may need Psychiatric help for delusion and low IQ levels
- Heal yourself from all emotional Trauma inflicted on you by Narcissist
- Inhibit Narcissist, from influencing your life, further
- Just Follow the Truth -as Narcissist, always ran away from "truth" as it is always against Narcissist only
- Kindly, Inoculate happiness and joy in your life as the "Existence of a Narcissist around You", is not at all your fault
- Left away their way of viewing you, as you are surely "Better " than Narcissist which is the only reason -Narcissist chose you to attack/latch on
- Move on for the relationship to change, if Narcissist is your life partner or friend
Summary And Closing Words
Narcissists can't accept that they may not be wonderful & Special people. But in reality, they are incredibly fragile and low IQ persons, and not having enough courage to face an idea that they did something wrong, or not competent enough or not special enough. Therefore Narcissists will do anything and everything to maintain a fantasy of self that they are always good, all while perceiving the other party as evil.
Not only that, narcissists constantly need other peoples validation that their delusion is true. To achieve that, they create preposterous, slanderous, manipulative narratives where all of that is true and try to convince others of it. And since many people are unwilling and unable to look into the truth behind it, the narcissist can find that validation they so desperately crave and even act out their revenge fantasies. Often the reason is as simple as hating to see others doing well because they themselves are miserable.
As a result, due to Narcissistic behaviour, all the time people get seriously hurt: socially, financially, emotionally, or even physically. But the narcissist doesn't care about that. In fact, they are often glad because in their narrative the target deserves it by being evil, so whatever happens, is justified.
Of course, not everyone can see the truth when listening to the narcissist but it's quite evident looking from the outside or if you have enough psychological insight and experience. And if you are wise and educated enough on it, you can avoid getting into these situations, minimize the damage, sever your ties with them more quickly, and protect yourself for better.
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This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2021 Dr Nilesh Jaybhaye