Sometimes narcissism can be hard to spot — especially if you’ve never met a narcissist. But as you might imagine, most people do not react well when their pedestal is knocked off. This is why narcissists can thrive in environments where they are the center of attention and adored for their achievements.
Narcissism is a personality disorder that involves an inflated sense of one’s importance. It’s often accompanied by self-centeredness, a conceited nature, and extreme selfishness, with unfortunate consequences for every area of life.
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It is not just any immature concept. It’s a complex psychological condition that negatively affects how people think, feel, and act. Those on the higher end of the narcissistic spectrum may fit into the category of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), but some people do not. Thus, they fall in the lower range.
Types of narcissism
Selfish behavior can take different forms depending on the type of narcissism exhibited.
Adaptive narcissism, or healthy narcissism, is characterized by adaptive behaviors and development. Often, individuals who score high on this scale seek stimulating environments and abundant resources to improve their self-esteem.
This type of narcissism does not always denote someone who is self-absorbed or selfish, but rather someone motivated to meet their own needs. However, these individuals know that a positive outlook can help them through life’s challenges.
Maladaptive narcissism is a condition that occurs when someone cannot empathize with or appreciate the emotions and experiences of other people. This disorder is characterized by an individual who feels like they have to be the center of attention and demand constant praise and admiration while criticizing others.
A maladaptive personality type is the result of the difficulty in adapting to life. Several factors can cause this, but one of the most significant (and expected) is caused by mental disorder.
What are the signs and symptoms of narcissism?
Narcissism still requires better understanding as time goes on, but there are some common personality traits that many people have. These include:
- Sense of superiority
- Controlling behavior
- Need for validation
- Gaslighting behavior
- Rude or abusive behavior
Can narcissism be cured?
Narcissism is a deep-rooted and persistent behavior pattern that can’t be cured, but with correct and continuous treatment, it can be managed.
These are the following types of therapy that can help manage this disorder.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is brief, supportive therapy that attempts to address issues throughout your life. A trained therapist uses cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic techniques to help you understand your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Mentalization-based therapy, also called MBT, is a therapy where you learn to use your thoughts to manage and create changes in your life. You are taught to self-reflect and put yourself in others’ shoes.
This allows you to recognize your emotions, thoughts, and needs as you relate to the people around you. This type of psychotherapy is usually short-term and focused on solving specific problems that are causing distress.
Schema-focused psychotherapy is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that uses attachment and psychodynamic theories. The emphasis is on modifying negative perceptions of self and others, including beliefs about one’s origins and the nature of being human.
How to deal with a narcissist?
There are many ways to deal with a narcissist, so let’s look at some simple tips.
- Have clear boundaries
- Educate yourself
- Be clear and concise with them
- Remain calm and cool
- Be sensitive with your words
Whether you are a friend, family member, or significant other to someone suffering from narcissism, it can be challenging to cope. However, a better understanding of this disorder and what to watch out for can help you cope more healthily with this person’s condition.