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Symptoms of Narcissism

Updated on October 10, 2016
Dean Traylor profile image

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher. He is a former journalist who has worked on various community and college publications.

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At some point, everyone will exhibit some form of narcissism. It’s an inescapable fact that we’ll use self-preservation over charity in numerous situations. It’s also part of the reason one can stubbornly stick with old habits, or constantly groom themselves until satisfaction with their looks is reached.

What’s not natural about narcissism is when it either consumes one’s life or affects the people around the individual with an overabundance of narcissism. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a condition in which a person not only strives for selfish needs, he/she may exhibit a need for admiration, have inflated egos, and lack any form of empathy for others. They’re the selfish, self-centered egomaniacs that many people choose to stay away from.

When somebody exhibits this personality disorder, they will display symptoms of aggression, defensiveness, tendency to underachieve or use others for one’s own personal need. They may appear charming and social; however, a narcissist – as those with NPD are called – may want to be the center of the social scene so much that he/she may manipulate, or even emotionally or physically harm, others without any regard for their feelings.

NPD is seen by some researchers as a developmental disorder. One such theory is that its root causes can be found in the family history of the narcissist, in which the parents failed to act as empathic “mirror” during the critical stages of a baby’s development.

Nine Important Symptoms

According the blog site, Families.com, there are several symptoms that need to be present in a narcissist. In order for one to be diagnosed with this condition the must have

1.An exaggerated sense of self-importance, with little actual achievements.

2. Fantasized about unlimited power, success, intelligence, and beauty.

3. A Belief that he/she is “special” and attempts to associate only with those who the sufferer perceives are “like” them or will “appreciate” their talents.

4. A Need for excessive admiration.

5. Expectations, especially favorable treatment by others or automatic agreement by others.

6. Exploited other people for their own advancement.

7. No empathy for others.

8. Envious of others but also believes others are envious of them.

9. Exhibited arrogant behaviors.

source of the name: Greek mythology about a man who falls in love with his own image in the water, but dies when he realizes he can't have "him." It also turns out be a trick caused by one of the Greek goddesses.
source of the name: Greek mythology about a man who falls in love with his own image in the water, but dies when he realizes he can't have "him." It also turns out be a trick caused by one of the Greek goddesses. | Source

Other Possible Symptoms

There are other symptoms or factors that may lead to a diagnosis of NPD. For one thing, NPD is seen by some researchers as a developmental disorder. One such theory is that its root causes can be found in the family history of the narcissist, in which the parents failed to act as empathic “mirror” during the critical stages of a baby’s development. Also, the child appears to be “stuck” in a selfish child stage often associated with early child development. As a result, they never learn how to be empathetic with others.

Another theory has a sociological slant. Some researchers believe that NPD is a result of a Western style society that places too much emphasis on individualism, instant pleasure, and personal success.

...when it’s on the extreme, it fosters extreme behaviors, dissolution of social connections, and the possible creation of a sociopath...

The condition may have physical symptoms as well. Some researchers believe that there may be genetic component to NPD. Many believe that a history of NPD can be traced across family background of the individual.

Narcissism or NPD may not appear to a serious condition. In fact, a little of it may be normal for all individuals. However, when it’s on the extreme, it fosters extreme behaviors, dissolution of social connections, and the possible creation of a sociopath whose out for themselves rather than helping others. Recognizing the symptoms may convince the narcissist to seek help and possibly strengthen social skills. After all, nobody likes to be around a self-indulgent person who doesn’t care for others.

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© 2015 Dean Traylor

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    • Tony Marsden profile image

      Noel Anthony (Tony) Martin 2 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      I just learnt how to design a Hub properly. Loved it. Awesome.

    • Senem Truth profile image

      Senem Truth 18 months ago

      Wow! A new world opened before my eyes! I could not understand why or how some people had these symptoms. I know I can detect and understand why. It will be a new frame to look at myself as well! Thank you, thank you.

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