The Narcissist: How To Recognize And Deal With It


As quoted “A Narcissist love is riding on the rollercoaster of disaster filled with a heart full of tears.” — Sheree Griffin 

Narcissism or narcissist meaning is so commonly used nowadays that it is now a replaceable word for “toxic”. When toxic people are called out for their not-so-acceptable behaviour, the term narcissism is thrown at them especially when it comes to friendship and relationships. Any red flag is called a “narcissistic trait.” Narcissism is so commonly used that the psychological pain behind its diagnosis is camouflaged.

To begin with, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a psychological condition that is diagnosed by a mental health professional

A narcissistic personality disorder is defined by ego and no understanding for others. The pathological nature of this personality disorder causes significant impairment in various aspects of life like personal, social, work, and family. 

Let’s Understand The Various Signs And Symptoms Of Narcissistic Personality Disorder 

1. Lack of empathy for others’ feelings. 

2. Preoccupancy with power, success, and money. 

3. A strong sense of entitlement. 

4. An expectation of special treatment. 

5. Fantasize about fame, power, success, money, and strength. 

6. Exploit others for personal benefits. 

7. Everlasting need for attention, and admiration. 

8. Exaggeration of success and skills. 

9. Jealous of others or have a feeling that others are jealous of them. 

10. Inflated belief that they are special and should only connect to people of similar status.

11. Unable to take up responsibility for actions. 

12. Unable to form healthy boundaries in relationships.

13. Establishing unrealistic goals. 

14. Unable to take up criticism. 

15. Projecting one’s own bad actions to others, means accusing others of the same things they are doing. 

16. Unable to regulate emotions. 

Difference Between Narcissist And Narcissistic Personality Disorder 

“Narcissist” is the term used to describe people who are egoistic people who do anything and everything for themselves. On the other hand, a narcissistic personality disorder is a psychological disorder that has much more to do with self-centeredness and significantly impacts other important aspects of life. 


While the exact cause of narcissistic personality disorder is still unknown yet there is a lot of research that claims that narcissistic personality disorder might be the cause due to

1. Genetic predisposition 

2. Traumatic event 

3. Rejected as a child, lack of validating environment. 

4. Ineffective parenting 

5. Extravagant praise 

Types Of Narcissistic Personality Disorder 

Although the DSM-5 does not distinguish between various types of NPD, there is evidence that symptom expression can vary greatly. According to some experts, there are at least two distinct subtypes of NPD. 

1. Overt Narcissism (Grandiose) – possesses aggressiveness, haughtiness, and grandiose personality qualities. This kind of NPD is more prevalent in people who lack empathy, act aggressively, take advantage of others, and indulge in exhibitionist activities.

2. Covert Narcissism – defensiveness and hypersensitivity are characteristics. They will disappear socially if they don’t get confirmation. Low self-esteem is another possibility for them.


Case Study On Narcissistic Personality Disorder 

ABC is a person who came to therapy sessions with concerns of anhedonia and dysphoria bordering on depression. Anhedonia is a condition where an individual is unable to enjoy any pleasurable activity while dysphoria is a state of discomfort or dissatisfaction. He complains about being unable to tolerate people’s stupidity and selfishness. 

He claims that due to his intellectual levels, which are superior he is unable to interact with a lot of people and finds them stupid additionally is usually unable to understand where they are coming from and how they feel about certain situations. They were found to be talking in the third person and also frequently comparing themselves with a machine-like computer or a superior person who is of an advanced race. 

Others, he believes, are “trying to get him” and are jealous of him. Also, he believes that the quality of his writing prevents people from appreciating his work (he is also a writer). He will not “dumb down.” Instead, he wants to “raise them up to his level” by educating his readers and clients. As he makes it plain that he lacks self-discipline, and regular working habits, and is lazy when he narrates his day. And values his out-of-the-box thinking and also he loves being fiercely independent. 

He is wed but not active sexually. He finds sex boring and considers it to be a “low-level” activity carried out by “empty-headed” people. And he can spend his limited time on better things. Also, he is mindful of his own passing and his contribution to intellectual history. He feels entitled as a result. He never uses conventional channels. Rather, he takes advantage of his contacts to get anything, including car repairs and medical care. Although he believes himself on par with them in his own line of work, he demands the greatest treatment and is hesitant to pay for their services. By establishing boundaries, he shows that he cares little or nothing about the desires, anxieties, priorities, and choices of those closest to him. 

He is surprisingly self-aware and freely admits his flaws, but only to avoid real scrutiny or to court accolades. He boasts about his accomplishments all the time but feels deprived (“I deserve more, much more than that”).

When any of his claims or presumptions are contested, he attempts to defend himself in a condescending manner. If he is unable to persuade his audience, he becomes upset and even angry. He has a tendency to either overvalue or undervalue everyone, viewing individuals as either wise and honourable or foolish and evil. Everyone, though, poses a threat. He attributes his setbacks, losses, and “poor luck” to the outside world. His ambitious initiatives keep failing, which is why he is so frustrated, and he believes that there is a “cosmic conspiracy” against him. 

Treatment Plan For Narcissistic Personality Disorder 

Those who suffer from this personality disorder rarely seek help, since they believe they do not have anything abnormal going on. It is only because of their family, or partners they reach out for help. For this reason, therapy can be very challenging for people with this disorder as they are unwilling to accept their condition. This generally leads to them being in therapy for a really short duration, generally for symptom reduction and not for personality conditions. Some of the treatments that can help them get insights into their ongoing patterns include 

1. Individual psychodynamic psychotherapy- can effectively cure narcissistic personality disorder, but it can be a challenging and drawn-out procedure. 

2. Cognitive Behavior Therapy- This therapy is useful for changing the harmful thoughts and behaviour habits of the patient. The goal of treatment is to repair incorrect thinking and create a more accurate self-image. 

3. Medications- It is commonly used for relief. 

Coping With A Narcissist 

Relationship partners of those who suffer from a narcissist personality disorder may find it difficult to handle their loved one’s behaviour. People with this disorder mostly engage in harmful actions that are intended to attract attention, esteem, or love from others because they lack a cohesive sense of self. 

1. Recognize narcissistic actions and avoid them. People who have NPD may use aggressive tactics to control the thoughts and behaviours of others, such as gaslighting. The first step in dealing with these behaviors more successfully is learning to recognise them.

2. Establish distinct limits. Don’t let the other person behave aggressively, violently, or angrily toward you. Set boundaries and be willing to break them, even if it means ending the relationship.

3. Chat with others. When abusive behaviour is part of your relationship and has become acceptable, it can be challenging to identify them. You can learn to recognise when the person with NPD has overstepped boundaries by having friends, relatives, or a therapist explain the nature of your relationship to you.

Seeking help is a sign of courage. Don't let self-limiting beliefs hold you back from a life you deserve. Avail online therapy to become happier and better. Learn how

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