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Signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Updated on October 3, 2019
Dean Traylor profile image

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects including education and creative writing.

From  thomasvan
From thomasvan | Source

It's hard to ignore people with narcissistic personal disorder. Being high on ego, selfishness, and arrogance, these individuals usually find a way to get almost anyone to notice them. And, it doesn't matter if it's through positive or negative actions. Also, with the advent of mass media such as reality TV and talent shows, they can infuriate or disgust millions of people across the globe.

Signs that someone has this type of personality disorder can be agonizingly noticeable. They’re the ones who appear to be annoying, spiteful, or condescending toward others. Also, they rarely take the blame for their own faults, and will often manipulate a situation -- as well as the people around them -- for their own gains.

Still, there are those with this condition who are not aware of their own shortcomings. A great example of that would be some of the contestants on American Idol. Usually, the first two weeks of the show will parade a collection of hopefuls who believe they have what it takes to become the next pop star. While some do have it, others don’t. And of that latter group, there are those who are totally convinced they have the ability, despite what the judges say (or what the audience must endure to hear). They’ll argue, badger, even ridicule the judges by stating that they “totally missed the next big thing.”

Fun and jokes aside, it’s usually a good sign that this group of contestants has NPD. However, this condition goes beyond clueless contestants on a televised talent show. People with this disorder can be found at work, school, and within a family.

... a person with NPD may have intentionally – or unintentionally – insulted. In many cases, that person will not be aware of the words or actions he or she had directed toward the one that was tormented.

The Signs of NPD

So, what are the signs that someone has this condition? The made a list of possible symptoms, or signs, of NPD. According to this list from the Mayo Clinic, a person with this condition will have the following:

  • A belief that he or she is better than everyone else
  • Fantasies about having power, success, and attractiveness (whether he or she actually has it or not).
  • He or she exaggerates about their achievements or talents.
  • Has a belief that he or she is “special” and acts accordingly.
  • Fails to recognize other people’s emotions or feelings.
  • Expects others to go along with his/her ideas or plans
  • Takes advantage of others. Always jealous of others.
  • Believes that others are jealous of him/her.
  • Expresses disdain for those he or she feels are inferior.
  • Has trouble keeping healthy relationships (often goes through a relationship quickly and often with nasty results).
  • Sets unrealistic goals (something the rejected “Idol” contestants seem to have in common).
  • Seem to be easily hurt or rejected.
  • Has fragile self-esteem.

from snowleopard
from snowleopard | Source

Other Factors

Other factors that may be a sign of NPD are the way a person handles the angry reactions that come from somebody a person with NPD may have intentionally – or unintentionally – insulted. In many cases, that person will not be aware of the words or actions he or she had directed toward the one that was tormented. Instead, a person with NPD may react to the backlash as if being personally attacked and victimized without taking any faults. He or she may even think that that person reacting to his/her action was the aggressor.


Whatever the case may be, signs of NPD may shed light onto why a certain person acts in a particular way. A person with NPD may not be the most pleasant person to be associated with; however, knowing its signs can help other people understand how to - and possibly learn to - deal with someone with NPD.

from Mary Hynes
from Mary Hynes | Source

© 2015 Dean Traylor


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    • profile image

      Maria Dempsey 

      4 years ago

      Hi there, I live next door to someone who has npd, she has bullied and made my childs live hell, her comments on my mums death and my childs mental health, now i understand her condition, the horrible thing is, she is involed in foroige youth club and a youth service. We have made them aware of her but i think she is a great actress and laughs in our face, very very dangerous person!!!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Oh boy, you've hit the proverbial 'nail on the head' with this informative hub. Lived with an NPD person for years. Not fun. Never again. Big thanks !

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 

      5 years ago from U.S.

      I agree with Sunshine, and I like to surround myself with positive, nice people. I have always tried to do that even as a teenager and growing up. What's weird is that I have known a few people in the past that have these traits and then I wonder sometimes if they had this condition, although many of us don't attribute it to a condition, we just think they are rude, just like that song Rude by Magic.

      Interesting article.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I tend to steer clear of those who exhibit signs of NPD. Ain't nobody got time for that! :)


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