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    Narcissism in women and men – How to spot it in less than 5 min!

    Narcissism. Want to know if you have one among your friends? Here is how to spot them! The term gets thrown around casually these days, often to describe someone who seems overly self-absorbed or attention-seeking. But narcissism can exist on a spectrum, ranging from occasional, harmless behaviors to a full-blown personality disorder. This article dives into the complexities of narcissism, exploring its signs, causes, and different manifestations.

    Narcissism Definition: Beyond Self-Love

    At its core, narcissism refers to an inflated sense of self-importance, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. People with narcissistic tendencies often believe they are superior and deserve special treatment. They crave constant praise and validation, and their self-esteem hinges on external approval.

    It’s important to distinguish between healthy self-confidence and narcissism. Confident individuals have a positive self-image without needing to belittle others. Narcissists, however, derive their sense of self from external sources and use manipulation or negativity to prop themselves up.

    Narcissism: 5 Signs to Help You Spot Narcissistic Behavior

    While a formal diagnosis requires a mental health professional, here are some common red flags to watch out for:

    Grandiose Sense of Self-Importance: Narcissists often exaggerate their achievements and talents. They may believe they are uniquely gifted or destined for greatness. Conversations frequently revolve around their accomplishments, and they may downplay the successes of others.

    Preoccupation with Fantasies of Power and Success: Narcissists often get lost in daydreams of wealth, fame, or power. They might fantasize about grand achievements and envision themselves surpassing everyone else.

    Need for Constant Admiration: Narcissists crave constant praise and validation. They fish for compliments and feel threatened by anyone who seems to garner more attention. Criticism, even constructive feedback, is often met with defensiveness or anger.

    Lack of Empathy: Narcissists struggle to understand or share the feelings of others. They have difficulty putting themselves in someone else’s shoes and may dismiss or belittle the emotions of those around them.

    Sense of Entitlement: Narcissists believe they deserve special treatment and privileges. They expect others to cater to their needs and may become frustrated or angry if their desires aren’t met.

    It’s important to remember that these are just a few signs, and not everyone who exhibits one or two of these traits will have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder – Symptoms and Causes

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a more severe form of narcissism characterized by a pervasive pattern of the behaviors mentioned above. People with NPD have a fragile self-esteem that requires constant validation. They often struggle with healthy relationships and may exploit others for personal gain.

    The exact causes of NPD are unknown, but a combination of genetic and environmental factors may play a role. Some potential contributing factors include:

    Childhood experiences: A lack of parental warmth or excessive praise in childhood can contribute to narcissistic development.

    Defense mechanism: Narcissistic traits may develop as a defense against feelings of insecurity or low self-esteem.

    Cultural influences: Cultures that emphasize excessive self-importance or materialism may foster narcissistic tendencies.

    It’s crucial to seek professional help if you suspect someone you know has NPD. Therapy can help individuals with NPD develop healthier coping mechanisms and improve their relationships.

    Mental Illness and Narcissism

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a recognized mental illness. However, it’s important to distinguish narcissism from other mental health conditions such as:

    Antisocial Personality Disorder: Individuals with antisocial personality disorder may also lack empathy and manipulate others. However, they often display a disregard for social norms and may engage in criminal behavior.

    Borderline Personality Disorder: People with borderline personality disorder may also experience a fear of abandonment and engage in impulsive behaviors. However, they often exhibit intense emotional swings and have a distorted self-image.

    A mental health professional can accurately diagnose the specific condition based on an individual’s symptoms and behavioral patterns.

    Types of Narcissism

    There are several different subtypes of narcissism, each with its own set of characteristics:

    Grandiose Narcissist: This is the stereotypical narcissist – arrogant, boastful, and preoccupied with fantasies of power and success.

    Covert Narcissist: These individuals may appear shy or self-deprecating on the surface. However, they crave admiration and have a hidden sense of entitlement.

    Malignant Narcissist: This is the most severe type, characterized by aggression, manipulation, and a lack of remorse. Malignant narcissists often exploit and abuse others.

    Understanding these subtypes can help you identify different manifestations of narcissistic behavior.


    Here’s a breakdown of how a narcissist might think and behave in various situations:

    What a narcissist thinks?

    Self-absorption: Their inner world revolves around themselves. They believe their thoughts, feelings, and needs are superior to others.
    Entitlement: They see themselves as deserving of special treatment and unwavering admiration. Rules and expectations rarely apply to them.
    Insecurity (Masked by Confidence): Despite their outward confidence, they often harbor deep-seated insecurities. They rely on external validation to maintain a positive self-image.
    Competition: They view most interactions as competitions. They need to be the best, smartest, or most successful in every situation.
    Black and White Thinking: The world is divided into winners and losers. There’s no room for nuance or empathy for those they perceive as inferior.

    What are narcissist red flags?

    Here are some key red flags to watch out for when interacting with someone who might be a narcissist:

    Grandiosity and entitlement: Exaggerating their achievements, expecting special treatment.
    Need for admiration: Constantly seeking praise, envious of others’ success.
    Lack of empathy: Difficulty understanding or relating to others’ feelings.
    Manipulative behavior: Using guilt, emotional blackmail, and gaslighting.

    Remember, not everyone who exhibits a few of these traits is a narcissist. However, if you notice a consistent pattern of these behaviors, it’s important to be cautious and prioritize your own well-being.

    How a narcissist treats his wife?

    Control and Manipulation: He may try to control her behavior, finances, and social circle. Manipulation tactics like guilt-tripping, gaslighting, or emotional blackmail are common.

    Jealousy and Possessiveness: He might be excessively jealous of her attention toward others, even friends and family. This possessiveness stems from his need for constant adoration.

    Public Facade vs. Private Reality: He may project a charming and attentive persona in public, while behind closed doors, he criticizes, belittles, and withholds affection.

    Lack of Emotional Support: He struggles to understand or validate her feelings. Her needs and emotions become secondary to his own.

    Does a narcissist apologize?

    Rare and Self-Serving: A genuine apology is unlikely. If they utter an apology, it’s often to shift blame, manipulate the situation, or maintain control. They might apologize for how their actions made you feel, deflecting responsibility for their own behavior.

    What Words Can Destroy a Narcissist?

    Exposing Their Facade: Narcissists rely on carefully constructed illusions. Highlighting inconsistencies in their stories or exposing their manipulative tactics can be threatening.

    Setting Boundaries: Their power comes from controlling others. Asserting your boundaries and refusing to be manipulated can be a powerful blow.

    Walking Away: The most effective way to “destroy” a narcissist is to remove yourself from their influence. Ending the relationship takes away their power to exploit and control you.

    Does a Narcissist Cry?

    Yes, but for Specific Reasons: While they may shed tears, it’s often not out of genuine sadness or empathy. They might cry to manipulate a situation, garner sympathy, or play the victim.

    Do Narcissists Have Friends?

    Superficial Relationships: They may have a network of acquaintances or admirers, but true friendships are rare. Friendships require mutual respect and reciprocity, which are qualities narcissists struggle with.

    Can Narcissists Be Loyal?

    Loyalty is Conditional: Their loyalty is contingent on how much someone fulfills their needs for admiration and reinforces their sense of superiority. If a friend or colleague outshines them or withholds praise, their loyalty can vanish.

    Gabriela Luigia
    Gabriela Luigia
    Gabriela Luigia Sterie is Editor in Chief at Gherf. She's a researcher and her focus areas encompass digital marketing, social media, fake news, branding, consumer behavior and user behavior. Her research has been published in emerging journals. Moreover, she obtained a scientific research grant in the fake news sharing studying area. Her passion for research developed from her passion for writing. She is a copywriter and content writer with over 5 years of experience.


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