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The Different Types of Narcissists

Updated on January 17, 2020
Empath Heart profile image

Empath Heart is a recovering victim of emotional and mental abuse, and is doing her best to heal herself and hopefully help others.

Discussing the Breakdown

In my research i have found that there is no set agreement on how many types of narcissists there are. Some say they break down to just three main types. Some say six. Some say nine. Some say there's just one type and that the narcissist can have some or all of the traits that are listed for the different types. So I'm going to list the types I have been able to see repeatedly in my searches. It is my opinion that there are different types, and that One person who has N.P.D can harbor some of the traits from each category, maybe only the traits of one category, or a mix of different categories.

At the end of the day, N.P.D is basically defined as someone who has a long term pattern of exaggerated feelings of self importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy toward other people.

There is no "set cause" of why someone develops this disorder. It could be anything from childhood trauma to abuse to the way they were raised. The determination of why someone has develops this disorder is better left to the professionals.

It is very important to me that I note here that : there is no cure for N.P.D

So my fellow empaths can just stop right there because you cannot fix it ha ha. I know you empaths....we try and fix everything.

It has been said that if someone falls under the understanding that they themselves suffer from N.P.D, that they can seek help and can try to gain control of the way they treat others. I dont know how successful this has ever been, but in my own opinion, so take it with a grain of salt, if you are going against your instinct with how you treat people, that's just more lying. And I wouldn't want to stay with someone who "pretends" to care about my feelings when they really do not. As I said, there is no cure. So there can only be behavior modification. I don't know about anyone else, but i wouldn't want a trained human, I'd need the person I'm with to be driven by real motives. Not well thought out motives. If I seem a little one sided on this, it's because I am. So like I said, take my personal feelings with a grain of salt.


The Types

  • Somatic Narcissist:

Extremely vein. They brag about sexual conquests. They make up stores about sexual conquests. They talk about how they are constantly bombarded with advances. They may go to they gym a lot or spend a lot of time worrying about how they look. Always looking in the mirror. If they aren't cheating on you, it is very likely they are at least texting or messaging other people because the rush of someone flirting with them or them getting any kind of attention in a physical aspect is important to them. This person probably also "chases" you in that way a lot. A lot of bedroom talk, a lot of wanting to try new things in that aspect. Like they can't get enough. If they are feminine they may like to be told how beautiful they are all of the time. If they are masculine they may like to be told how well endowed they are or how strong they are.

  • Covert Narcissist

This type is harder to detect. They play the role of the martyr a lot. They masquerade as someone with high morals and integrity. They are always "sacrificing" themselves for other people. Honestly if they do anything seemingly self sacrificing its only so that they can scream it from the mountaintops or throw it in someones face later. On a personal note, this type is annoying. They need constant praise and recognition of their good deeds. "I did this" and "I did that." Its like, what do you want me to do, put your paycheck on the fridge with a gold star? If you have this type in your life it's honestly better not to ask them to do anything. Because talking about the amazing job they did for however long the recognition suits them is exhausting.

  • Cerebral Narcissist

This type believes they are the smartest person in the room wherever they are. They put others down because it makes them feel superior. They have an inflated ego and strive to win any and all arguments. They do not take no for an answer and need to be seen as superior in all aspects. They like to be in charge at work. If they aren't, they will tell people who don't work with them that they are the bosses "go to" guy or make up stores about how when someone needs something, they go to them. They like telling people what to do and when people have to obey them. As far as romantic relationships go, they don't like being matched with someone of lesser intelligence. This can lead to disinterest in sex when they stop seeing their partner as an intellectual equal. Condescension doesn't even cover it.

  • Boomerang

This one i fell is very common and personally I find it hard to place this behavior in the narcissism category, but that doesn't mean it doesn't fit. A Boomerang narcissist is someone who is always popping in and out of your life on a consistent basis. It is said that they are able to do this with very thin reasoning (aka not very good excuses) and that their partners are simply co-dependent and take whatever this narcissist is willing to give them in the area of time and attention. Its said that the boomerang is a cheater and they ping pong back and forth between 2 or more people, being with whoever fulfills their needs at the time, or if there is an obligation they decide to fill. So if they go to Jane's house on Monday because she has a huge television, they might then be at Jill's on Friday because Jill's kid has a band concert.

  • Parasitic

This one is all of the things that a narcissist is to a T, the only difference is they want to be "kept" in a sense. You know how a tape worm will hitch a ride in your lower intestines and just soak up all of the nutrients you consume, reaping all of the benefits and leaving you feeling drained and exhausted? That's them. Maybe they don't want to work or maybe they have kids they don't want to be responsible for. Maybe they don't have a bank account or they have bad credit and need someone else's name to get on a lease or to get cable. Whatever it is, they are not strong and successful so they find that in someone else and hitch a ride. What is infuriating about this is, you could work a full shift, come home, feed their kids, pay the bills, and still be met with their sense of entitlement and their discontent with your actions and needs. They feed and feed and feed and give nothing back and then turn it around on you, and blame you for everything.

  • Overt

Okay so this one can easily be mistaken for a type A personality or a perfectionist. They have massive ego's. but that's not a surprise as all narcissists do. They do not mask their expectations even in the beginning. They are right, it's all about them, and it has to be done the way they see fit. They are massive control freaks. This is also the type to lacerate your feelings in an argument with absolutely zero contrition. With the overt narcissist its a little more likely there could be physical abuse.

If there is in fact physical abuse happening, I urge you to call the national domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233. I'm not saying verbal and emotional assault isn't as dangerous or serious, but physical violence can escalate rapidly in the moment and is more of an immediate danger. If you are being physically abused, call someone and get help. Point blank if someone is able to be violent, they are unpredictable. You may think you can predict the next move with them, but I don't want you caught by surprise. Please protect yourself by reaching out for help.


A Personal Example

These sub categories of narcissism can be tricky. You can find someone who displays some of the traits or almost all of them. Some have 2 or 3 categories. In my personal experience, my narcissist exemplified traits from the cerebral, somatic, covert, and boomerang categories. These aren't exclusive or inclusive, as there are other categories not listed here. He was overly sexual. At first I saw it as an insane desire for me which was refreshing at first, and then exhausting. I would turn down sexual advances which led to me finding increasing evidence that he was "self soothing" for lack of a better term, which he did not hide. Not to be graphic but every time i moved a throw pillow, made the bed, or put towels away, "used" socks were jumping out at me from cushions and the linen closet like confetti. He would seek validation in a flirtatious way online with other women. I have no concrete evidence that he physically cheated, but there was evidence that he planned on meeting people, times he lied about where he was, he placed ads online and texted the women who responded, intimate messages with women he knew, etc...

He was mean to me. No one else but me. This was the one thing he would try to restrain. He would try to push my buttons until i confronted him and then he would lash out so that I or anyone else would see it as me "starting it" but when it started, he was ruthless and nasty.

As far as boomeranging, this man walked in and out of my life like I was a 24 hour convenience store. Together we lived collectively in 3 different places during the duration of the relationship and i lived in 8. That's 3 for him in 7 years and 8 for me. And that wasn't because I kept leaving him, that was because he kept dropping me like a hot rock and then begging me back.

He wasn't parasitic towards me, but he was towards his mother. In our first house he had gotten fired (which I didn't know for about 5 months) and his mother was paying the rent. I found out when the water got shut off and I called him and he told me to call her. She then paid that bill, told me she was paying the rent, and said it was my fault she had to pay for 2 households. When i told him I wanted to get a job because I was uncomfortable with is parents paying our bills, he threw a fit. "Who's gonna be here when the kids get dropped off, who's gonna do this who's gonna do that, I'm taking care of it....." Ya see, some narcissists try their hardest to make sure you would be nothing without them. When they drop you because you didn't fall in line, they want you to have NOTHING so that when they want to pick you back up, you almost have no choice. He would not pay my phone bill a lot and then make sure i had a phone before he would drop me so that he could keep in contact. But back to his parasitic nature with his parents, he would move in and out of their house like it was a motel. Him and his 3 kids. When he wasn't living there he was borrowing money that he never paid back. when he spoke about them he would say horrendous things about them. He uses them.

So the person in your life with NPD could be using some NPD tactics with you, and completely different tactics with someone else. Like anyone else on this planet, they are resourceful. As long as their needs are being met, they havoc they reek is not always exclusive to you in the duration of the relationship.


I'd actually be interested to hear from anyone who's been in a relationship with a narcissist. Feel free to comment. I'm a good listener.

Stay Genuine

-EH



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