What You Need to Know About Narcissism

Narcissism.

Narcissism is a personality disorder that involves an inflated sense of one's importance. (Image: Michalsuszycki via Dreamstime)

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 defined

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.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

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.

Maladaptive narcissism is a condition characterized by an individual who feels like they have to be the center of attention and demand constant praise and admiration while criticizing others.
Maladaptive narcissism is a condition characterized by an individual who feels like they have to be the center of attention and demand constant praise and admiration while criticizing others. (Image: Prazis via Dreamstime)

Types of narcissism

Selfish behavior can take different forms depending on the type of narcissism exhibited.

Adaptive

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

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
  • Unsympathetic
  • Gaslighting behavior
  • Rude or abusive behavior
Gaslighting is a personality trait associated with narcissism.
Gaslighting is a personality trait associated with narcissism. (Image: Daniele Mezzadri via Dreamstime)

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

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

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

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. 

Follow us on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

Statue of Chinese alchemist and explorer Xu Fu in Wakayama, Japan.

3 Famous Chinese People Enshrined in Japanese Shrines

Traditionally, Japanese people have great respect for those who are capable or have made outstanding ...

Productivity going up.

Stop Wasting Your Time and Start Doing This

The way you use your time has a significant influence on your capacity to achieve, ...

Pink lotus flower in bloom with planet Earth and flower of life illustration along with fractals and nebulae drawings.

Ancient Chinese Mathematicians With the Power of Divination – Part 1 

There are many mystical and even magical aspects of ancient Chinese mathematicians. Anecdotes of them ...

Wooden emas at a Japanese shrine.

Japanese Shrines Vandalized by Pro-China Forces

In many Shinto and Buddhist shrines, you’ll find racks of emas — small wooden boards ...

Continous-wave lasing.

Continuous-Wave Lasing of Deep-Ultraviolet Laser Diode

A research group led by 2014 Nobel laureate Hiroshi Amano at Nagoya University’s Institute of ...

A cutting laser.

Gamma-Ray Laser Moves a Step Closer to Reality

A physicist at the University of California, Riverside, has performed calculations showing hollow spherical bubbles ...

A sunset with clouds.

The 8 Divinations and Wisdom of Life in Zhouyi

Zhouyi, which is believed to be the oldest text and is named after the Zhou ...

Allosaurus jimmadseni.

New Species of Allosaurus Discovered in Utah

A remarkable new species of meat-eating dinosaur has been unveiled at the Natural History Museum ...

A herbal apothecary.

A Famous Medicinal Herb Merchant in Chang’an During the Tang Dynasty

In the mid-period of the Tang Dynasty, there was a herb merchant named Song Qing ...

Send this to a friend