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Introduction to Narcissism

Narcissism is a personality qualities include thinking very highly of oneself, needing admiration, believing others are inferior and lacking empathy for others, In the other words Narcissism is a pursuit of gratification that arises from vanity or egotistic admiration of the idealized self-image of a person. It’s kind of extreme self-involvement to an extent that makes a person ignore the need of those around them. The term Narcissism originated from Greek mythology, wherein a young man named Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in water.

Though narcissism is a trait, it can also be stated as a personality disorder in certain cases. Not every narcissist has (NPD), A narcissism is a spectrum. People at the highest end of this spectrum are classified as NPD.  

In a 2008 study puts the lifetime prevalence rate of NPD at 6.2%. A 2010 analysis of seven previous studies found an average prevalence of 1.06%, and a prevalence range of 0%-6.2%.

Narcissism is a more common trait in men as compared to women. Research published in 2008 suggests a lifetime rate of NPD among 7.7% men compared to 4.85 among women.


Symptoms and the signs of NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and the severity of symptoms vary:

  • Those people have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration.

  • Those people believe that they are superior and can only associate with equally special people.

  • Those people have an exaggerated sense of self-importance.

  •  They mostly expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it.

  • They expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectation.

  • They insist on having the best of everything – for instance, the best car or office.

  • They want to take advantage of others to get what they want.

  • They mostly monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior.

  • And, sometimes they become impatient or angry when they won’t receive special treatment.

  • They feel depressed and moody sometimes because they fall short of perfection.

  • They all have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation.

There Are 4 Distinct Subtypes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder Are Following

  1. High-Functioning:  People who can garner sufficient admiration to satisfy their narcissistic needs are termed high-functioning. However, often these people are very successful and admired by all.

  2. Middle-Functioning:  these types of people with a grandiose sense of importance who may struggle interpersonally, especially if their jobs do not satisfy their need for admiration.

  3. Malignant Narcissists: Apart from the traditional NPD trait, people having “malignant” traits may also display antisocial behaviour. These people may turn out to be paranoid, aggressive, or even sadistic. They are mostly quite difficult to treat.

  4. People With Comorbid Borderline Traits: Mostly peoples with borderline personality struggle to have a coherent sense of self esteem. When borderline personality co-occurs with NPD, these peoples may alternate between grandiosity and suicidal gestures.

Types of Narcissism

There are 2 different types of narcissism that narcissistic behavior can fall under. The 2 types can have common traits but come from different childhood experiences. These 2  types also dictate the different ways people will behave in relationship

  1. Grandiose Narcissism:  People with this behavior were most likely treated as if they were superior or above others during childhood. Those expectations can follow them as they become adults. They tend to brag and be elitist. Those with grandiose narcissism are mostly very aggressive, dominant and exaggerate their importance. They are very self-confident and aren’t sensitive.

  2. Vulnerable Narcissism:  This behavior is usually the results of childhood neglect or abuse. People with this behavior are very sensitive than others. And this behavior helps to protect them against feelings of inadequacy. Even though they go between feelings inferior and superior to others, they feel offended or anxious when others don’t treat them as if they’re special.


It is not called what are the causes of narcissistic personality disorder. As with personality development and with the different mental health disorders, the cause of narcissistic personality disorder may be linked to:

  • Genetics - Inherited characteristic.

  • Environment - Mismatches in parenting relationships with either excessive adoration or excessive criticism that is poorly attuned to the child’s experience.

  • Neurobiology - This connection between the brain and the behavior and the thinking.


People with NPD can learn how to recognize their narcissist behaviour with the right form of treatment. It is likely to be beneficial for them as well as those around them. Historically, narcissistic peoples do not seek help since it doesn’t fit the self image they have of themselves. They may need the encouragement of the loved ones who help them to seek out professional help. However, it may also help to:

  • Get treatment for any mental health problems from childhood days.

  • Takes parents help and seeks guidance from therapists or social workers if needed.

  • Participate in family functions to learn healthy ways to communicate or to cope with conflicts or emotional distress.

  • And, you can begin to change self-esteem to self-compassion. This means treating yourself with kindness neither to comparing yourself to others.

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FAQs on Narcissism

1. Do Narcissists ever change?

NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is a distortion of healthy norms for thinking, feeling and relating. A ‘disordered’ personality is still a personality. No universal agreement is there on this. Most researchers claim that our personalities are not likely to change after the teen years, to any substantial extent.

2. What are the worst things you can do in dealing with narcissists?

It may not work out well if you depend on them, try to change them, or expect reciprocity or enduring loyalty. With many narcissistic peoples, anything you get from them often comes with strings attached.

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