Narcissist is a buzzword right now.
Because so many people only have a basic idea of what it means, I wanted to share the actual traits of a narc.
First, remember that it’s a spectrum. As humans, we all carry a few narcissistic traits. But there’s a difference between traits and full blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Even NPD in itself is a spectrum from less to more severe.
Don’t go around diagnosing anyone, but this is still good information to have so you understand what it means to be a narc and have NPD.
This is an excerpt pulled from an article online. You can read the full article here.
The examples, explanations, and emphasis I provide are my own.
-[NPD is] a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and with lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood, as indicated by at least five of the following:
-Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements, expects to be recognized as superior without actually completing the achievements)
For example, they exaggerate achievements and expect to be recognized as superior without actually completing the work to get the achievements.
They think they are God’s gift to mankind and the most important person on the planet.
The issue is that they will think that because they read one self help book they’re a psychologist. Or because they watched an episode of Chopped they’re a chef. They think that they know everything and should never be questioned.
-Is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, brilliance, beauty, or perfect love.
When it says is preoccupied , should really say obsessed. Obsessed with becoming their version of success. They’re obsessed with being the most attractive, the most powerful, the smartest, the the best, the strongest.
They they want to be the absolute best at everything, no questions asked.
-Believes that they are “special” and can only be understood by or should associate with, other special people (or institutions).
If you’ve seen Legally Blonde, a good example is when Warner told Elle that he needed someone smarter, someone more at his level. He’s too smart, too special, too everything for her and he’s going after better.
This is that same concept. “I’m up at this level, you’re not, so I can’t be associated with you.”
“You don’t understand. I’m so far above you so you never could. My perspective is so much greater and I can’t be with someone like you.”
-Requires excessive admiration.
Narcs need to be told continually how awesome they are. They need to be admired constantly.
They don’t require that you show you care, but that you admire them. That you acknowledge that they’re so far above you.
-Has a sense of entitlement, such as an unreasonable expectation of favorable treatment or compliance with his or her expectations).
“Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you know how special I am?!”
They feel they’re entitled to the best of everything without earning any of it.
-Is exploitative and takes advantage of others to achieve their own ends.
They will do whatever they can to achieve their fantasies because they have to be the best. Being seen and recognized is the most important thing to them.
Even if that means stepping on those who care about them, they won’t give up until they reach what they’re going after.
-Lacks empathy and is unwilling to identify with the needs of others.
They are incapable of relating to someone else’s experience let alone caring about it.
They can see that they hurt you and then get mad at you for giving the reaction they wanted. When you cry yourself to sleep at night, they’ll tell you you’re being overdramatic.
-Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of them.
They are jealous of any and everyone who appears to have anything better than them.
A better job, a better partner, a better car, a better house.
The flip side of this is that they believe that everyone is jealous of them. Which makes sense because they believe that they’re above everyone. They thrive on that feeling.
-Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors and attitudes
Just like I’ve demonstrated throughout all of these, they think that they are better than you and they will do every single thing they can in their power to get you to believe that
The diagnosis of NPD as other personality disorder requires evaluation of long-term patterns of functioning. One needs to be cautious not to jump into hasty conclusions because NPD can trigger countertransference. A careful evaluation of the different aspects of a person’s life, in addition to an understanding of the person’s childhood development, can assist in the evaluation and diagnosis of NPD. (End of excerpt)
Again remember, five of these at the exact same time is what classifies as NPD.
However, even if someone isn’t diagnosed, if you recognize these it’s best to run the other direction.
If this resonated with you and you’re ready to heal from your experience with a narc, then you should check out the Worthy of Recovery printable journal. Every day for 30 days you’ll complete a journal prompt and document your gratitude and your daily victories. Worried that you don’t have the time? Included with the journal is a course that teaches you how to journal your way to freedom in less than 15 minutes a day. As an added bonus, you also get over 45 printable affirmation cards. It has all the pieces that helped me on my recovery journey and I know it’ll help you, too. Click here to grab yours!