Narcissism is a term that is often thrown around lightly, but what does it actually mean? If you are worried that you may be a narcissist, or if you want to help someone else who may be struggling with narcissism, read on for more information.
In this blog post, I will discuss the signs of narcissism, how to tell if you’re a narcissist, and what to do if you are seriously concerned and need help.
What are the main characteristics and behaviours of narcissists?
Narcissists tend to have an inflated sense of self-importance and a need for admiration. They usually believe that they are superior to others and that only people who are special or high-status like they are can understand them.
People with narcissistic personality disorder often require excessive amounts of attention and praise. If they do not get the adulation they believe they deserve, they may become disappointed or even enraged. They may also have a sense of entitlement, expecting others to defer to them or go along with whatever they want.
Narcissists are often very charming and charismatic at first, but their true colours may start to show as the relationship progresses.
Typical obsessions, delusions and behaviours of narcissists include:
- Being preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, or ideal love.
- Believing they are special and unique.
- Requiring excessive amounts of attention and praise.
- Feeling entitled to favourable treatment or having an expectation of always getting their own way.
- Lacking empathy for others, and as a result being unwilling to recognise or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
- Being envious of others or believing that others are envious of them.
- Behaving arrogantly or haughtily.
- Having a sense of entitlement – expecting special treatment or automatic compliance with their expectations.
- Isolating themselves from people they perceive as inferior or unimportant.
- Manipulating or taking advantage of others to get what they want.
What are the consequences of having narcissistic personality disorder?
Living with narcissistic personality disorder can be extremely difficult, both for the person struggling with the disorder and for those who are close to them. NPD can cause problems in all areas of life, such as work, school, or personal relationships.
Narcissism can also lead to problems with intimacy, as narcissists may find it difficult to empathise with or understand the feelings of others. This can make it hard to maintain close relationships.
So how can you tell if you are a narcissist?
It’s not that easy to tell if someone is a narcissist. The right way of doing it would be to go to a mental health professional and to get assessed according to the diagnostic criteria of the DSM-5. This is the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, issued by the American Psychiatric Association.
If you are seriously worried, however, you could start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you feel that you should always be the centre of attention wherever you go?
- Do you need constant praise in order to feel good about yourself?
- Are you always trying to one-up others or put them down in order to feel better about yourself?
- Do you have difficulty empathizing with others or understanding their feelings?
These are just some of the signs that you may be a narcissist. However they are too vague to establish a diagnosis. So if you are genuinely concerned that you may be suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, it is important to seek professional help.
A qualified mental health professional can assess you and provide a diagnosis, if necessary. They can also help you to understand your condition and develop coping mechanisms to deal with the symptoms.
What should you do if you are seriously concerned that you may be a narcissist?
If you think you may be struggling with narcissistic personality disorder, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder can include talk therapy, medication, and hospitalisation in severe cases. With treatment, many people with narcissistic personality disorder are able to live happy and productive lives.