10 Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms

By james
Reviewed: Dr. Mera
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In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hunter that found himself to be so beautiful that he became fixated by his own reflection in a pool. Such was his fixation that he lost the will to do anything else, and he died as a result. The story of Narcissus has inspired the name for a personality disorder known as narcissism.

Generally speaking, a narcissist will have an exaggerated sense of self-importance. The condition is estimated to affect around 0.5% of the general population in the US, with up to 75% of those being men. The effects of the condition can range from having a mildly negative effect on those afflicted and those around them to potentially destroying numerous lives. Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Symptom #1: Lacking Empathy

The vast majority of us are able to understand how others are feeling. Then we will generally act accordingly, reassuring people and offering sympathy if they are sad. For the narcissist, though, empathy does not come so easily. Even if you are having a terrible day, the narcissist is unlikely to sympathise, they may not even understand why you are sad at all.

The narcissist is also unlikely to feel bad about any of their own actions that may have caused upset to other people. Instead, they will continue as normal as though nothing has happened. A narcissist is also likely to expect others to feel the same and may even be surprised or annoyed when other people do show empathy.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Symptom #2: Conversation Hogger

Narcissists often want to dominate the conversation, and they often want the conversation to be about their favourite subject: themselves. They love to tell you all about their achievements and will give little to no opportunity to talk about anything else. They will also have no problem with interrupting a conversation and change it to their liking.

What’s more is that the narcissist does not like to be corrected in a conversation. They expect you to agree with them all the time, and they don’t like any suggestion of disagreement. Don’t agree with what they are saying and you can expect to be rebuked, corrected and even completely ignored.

Symptom #3: Self-Importance

The narcissist will often feel as though they are the most important person in the room. They will feel as though their contributions are vital and that others simply will not be able to manage without them. They are happy to let others know of their perceived importance and expect others to fall into line.

This also manifests itself with the notion of self-entitlement. Narcissists tend to feel as though they deserve special treatment. They expect others to treat them like royalty but see no reason why they should do the same in return.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Symptom #4: False Image Projection

The narcissist feels it is important to always give others the impression that they are highly successful. They feel the need to be seen in expensive cars and will often only consider living in high-brow addresses. Their clothes have to be brand name designs, they have to go to the best hairdressers, and they have to let people know all about it.

Not only do they like to adorn themselves with icons of success, they also try to surround themselves with others that appear to be successful. Friends and colleagues will also often drive expensive cars and wear expensive clothes. If you don’t have an image that oozes success yourself, you can expect to miss out on invites to functions and nights out.

Symptom #5: Rule Breaking

Narcissists tend to think that they are above ‘normal’ people and this includes the rules that others are expected to adhere to. This includes social rules such as queuing and waiting for your turn as the narcissist seems to think such rules are in place only for other people to abide by.

More serious rules, such as speed limits, are also often broken. For example, that the narcissist gets to their destination on time is far more important than anything else. You can also expect them to try and have others agree to exclude them from the rules. They like to feel assured that they are above such ‘petty’ inconveniences.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Symptom #6: Strives for Perfection

The narcissist needs everything to be perfect, all of the time. They place heavy expectations of perfection on themselves. They have to look perfect and perform perfectly all day, every day. They can’t have a bad day at work and often find themselves grossly unhappy because they have been unable to meet their own unreasonable expectations.

In addition, they also expect and demand perfection from others. If they go to a restaurant, they expect perfect service and perfect food. Nothing that is perceived to be substandard is allowed. Even a minor slip is not tolerated and complaints about lack of quality in service are frequent.

Symptom #7: Charming

A narcissist will often know how to turn on the charm when it suits them. They can be friendly, considerate, affectionate and endearing. They know how to make you feel good, even special, and they know how to make you laugh. It can be difficult for some to resist their charms, making it easier for them to get just what they want.

Then, once they have what they want, or they become bored, they can change without warning. They are no longer interested in you or your life. They become aloof and show no real interest whatsoever. Instead, they turn their charm to whatever else, or whoever else, is interesting them at the time. That is until you have something that interests them again.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Symptom #8: Manipulation

A narcissist will have little problem in manipulating peoples’ thoughts and emotions to suit their needs. They will gladly try and influence other peoples’ decisions and lives with the sole purpose of benefiting themselves. They will gladly use emotional blackmail to manipulate people into doing what they want.

A narcissist will also have no concern about manipulating even people that are close to them. Spouses, siblings, parents and even children can be manipulated for self-serving gains. The narcissist will also have no problem in turning people against each other if doing so is in their own best interest. Provided the narcissist gets what they want, pretty much anything goes when it comes to manipulating other peoples’ lives.

Symptom #9: Desire for Control

The narcissist will usually have a strong desire to be in complete control. They have to be the ones that are leading the group and they simply cannot allow others to do as they think is best. They certainly can’t allow others to be in control. Everything also has to go according to just how they like it to be.

It’s not just overall control that the narcissist insists on, but every little detail. Every induvial has to act in exact accordance with the narcissists’ plans. Do something a little different or express even a slightly different opinion and the narcissist will feel as though they no longer have control.

Symptom #10: Blame

When everything is going well, the narcissist is more than happy to take the plaudits. Everything is going well because of them, and only them, and things would be quite different without them. When things are not going quite so well, though, then the narcissistic is somehow no longer responsible. A narcissitic patient dosen’t tolerate criticism very well, so it is easier to look the other way when things go bad.

The narcissistic will look to blame what they can, or who they can, when things are not going well. They could lay the blame on general causes such as laws and the government. They might also lay the blame on individuals such as colleagues, staff and even loved ones. In fact, it is usually loved ones that take the brunt of the blame when things go wrong.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

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