Narcissistic Personality Disorder traits

It may have become more and more common to call someone a narcissist in today’s selfie-obsessed, celebrity-driven culture, or as a different way of saying someone is too full of themselves, but in the psychology field there is actually a disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).  

The disorder goes beyond just having an inflated sense of self-importance and can greatly affect those who have it, as well as family and friends of those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

What exactly is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)?

According to HelpGuide.org, people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are in love with an idealized, grandiose image of themselves because it allows them to avoid deep feelings of insecurity. NPD also involves a pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behavior that usually accompanies a lack of empathy and consideration for others as well as an excessive need for admiration. 

Those with NPD are said to be “extremely resistant to changing their behavior, even when it’s causing them problems,” and “their tendency is to turn the blame on to others.” NPD can also cause those with it to be extremely sensitive and react badly to criticism, disagreements and different insight, perceiving them as personal attacks.

It is important to note that in order to be considered to have NPD one must harbor extreme versions of these traits to the point that it may negatively affect their lives and relationships.

Narcissistic personality disorder traits

  • Overinflated sense of self-importance.
  • Constant thoughts about being more successful, powerful, smart, loved or attractive than others.
  • Feelings of superiority and desire to only associate with high-status people.
  • Need for excessive admiration.
  • Sense of entitlement.
  • Willingness to take advantage of others to achieve goals.
  • Lack of understanding and consideration for other people’s feelings and needs.
  • Arrogant or snobby behaviors and attitudes

Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder

  • Grandiose sense of self importance
  • Lives in a fantasy world that supports their delusions of grandeur
  • Needs constant praise and admiration
  • Sense of entitlement
  • Frequently demeans, intimidates, bullies or belittles others
  • Exploits others without guilt or shame

With all of this being said, most people with NPD are often reluctant to admit that they have a problem and to seek help. Because of this, working with a skilled therapist to learn to accept responsibility, develop a better sense of proportion, build healthier relationships and work on developing emotional intelligence is vital.

Changing NPD can be difficult, but not impossible, however,  a cognitive – behavioral approach is deemed most successful in changing the narcissistic’s mind set and thus behaviors and actions that follow.

Sources: HelpGuide’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder article

Cleveland Clinic on Narcissistic Personality Disorder

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