We live in an increasingly self-obsessed culture, and we hear the word narcissist thrown around quite often in social media. But what is narcissism, and how can you tell if you are a narcissist?
Here are 21 signs of a narcissist:
- Inflated sense of superiority and entitlement
- Excessive need for constant praise and admiration
- Lack of empathy
- Need for control
- Easily provoked
- Extremely selfish
- Unable to deal with criticism, perceived slights, or disagreements
- Hypersensitive, defensive, and anxious
- Not settling for anything less than what you think you deserve
- Surrounding yourself with people who constantly admire you
- Expecting everyone to comply with your wishes and whims
- Thinking others always need a favor from you
- Exploiting others without guilt or shame
- Taking unfair advantage of others
- Frequently demeaning others
- Getting intimidated by others you perceive as stronger than you
- Fantasizing often about power, brilliance, beauty, and ideal love
- Ignoring facts and opinions that contradict your own
- Refusing to change your behavior no matter how much chaos it creates in your life
- Blaming others for your behavior
What causes narcissistic personality disorder?
While many use the word narcissist to describe someone who is arrogant or self-absorbed, it’s important to understand that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is an actual serious condition.
However, the exact cause of the disorder is unknown. It may stem from a combination of factors such as:
- Genetics (if one of your parents had a narcissistic personality disorder, you have an increased chance of developing it)
- Personality and temperament
- Childhood trauma
- Childhood relationships with parents and siblings
Narcissists have troubled relationships due to their defining traits. Nevertheless, behind the mask of a confident person, they often have fragile self-esteem.
Can you avoid becoming a narcissist?
If you are concerned about your own behavior or that of a loved one, consult a mental health professional. If you are a parent, you can avoid promoting habits that can contribute to narcissism in your kids:
- Showering them with unnecessary praise and attention
- Treating your kids as exceptional or more deserving than anyone else
- Not setting limits and boundaries
- Not teaching respect for others
- Allowing them to get exposed to things that influence them in a negative way
Can people with narcissistic personality disorder get better?
Counseling and talk therapy (psychotherapy) seem to be the most effective treatment for narcissistic personality disorder.
Accepting that you have the problem and wanting to start counseling means you are already halfway there. People with NPD are often incredibly fearful of criticism, which can stop you from accepting help.
However, with counseling, your thought pattern can start to change for the better. Over time, you may notice positive changes in your behavior, and as a result, see improvements in your relationships with others and increased quality of life.
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Mayo Clinic. Narcissistic Personality Disorder. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20366662?p=1
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