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    Know someone who considers themselves superior to others but snaps at the slightest criticism?
    Narcissism (also known as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is characterised as a pattern of self-centered, haughty thinking and acting, a lack of empathy and respect for other people, and an obsessive need for admiration.
    Others often characterise someone with NPD as being arrogant, cunning, egotistical, patronising, and demanding. This personality pattern and behavior can surface in every aspect of the narcissist’s life—from job and friendships to family and romantic relationships.

    Because they lack empathy and place little value on relationships with others, narcissists frequently struggle to establish lasting connections.
    NPD can be difficult to treat because these types of personalities are very resistant to changing their behaviour, even if they are aware that it is causing issues. They tend to place blame elsewhere and take offence at even the smallest comments or disagreements as they view this as a personal attack.

    For those involved in a narcissists life, much often its just easier to comply with their demands and requirements in order to avoid the rage and coldness. However, the good news is that be learning more about NPD, you can identify the narcissists in your life, defend yourself from their power struggles and create healthier boundaries.

    What is NPD?

    NPD is a recognised mental health condition, not just a personality trait or a matter of personal decision.
    Understanding this distinction is essential to managing the official narcissistic symptoms and providing support to someone who has been given this diagnosis.

    A mental health condition, including a personality disorder, affects how someone feels, thinks, and behaves.

    Researchers have discovered that a person with NPD may specifically have less capacity than others to identify and comprehend how and why they think and behave in the way that they do. They may also find it challenging to relate to how or what other people feel.

    What narcissistic personality is not

    In our selfie-obsessed, celebrity-driven world, the word narcissism is frequently used to describe people who appear overly conceited or full of themselves. However, narcissism does not, in psychological terms, mean genuine self-love. It would be more appropriate to say that those who have NPD are in love with an exaggerated, grandiose version of themselves. And they’re in love with this exaggerated sense of who they are because it shields them from crippling insecurities. But it takes a lot of work to support their delusions of grandeur, and that’s where the dysfunctional attitudes and actions come in.
    Its important to note that, at some point in our lives, the majority of us will display at least one narcissistic characteristic. Although these may be construed as narcissistic traits, they are distinct from personality disorders in terms of their severity, frequency, and persistence.
    Some persons may have narcissism as a personality trait, or at least some features of it.
    Others may exhibit these narcissistic qualities to such a degree and intensity that it hurts and permanently alters how they relate to both themselves and other people Keep in mind that NPD is a mental health issue. It doesn’t mean you have NPD if you:
    – have a high sense of self-worth
    – exhibiting social confidence
    – are assertive
    – take pride in your actual accomplishments
    – Look after your physical appearance
    – are competitive

    Symptoms of Narcissism

    Doctors can identify narcissism when a patient exhibits five or more distinct signs. They use a classification guide for establishing precise diagnoses.

    Although not all people with narcissistic personalities may experience these symptoms to the same extent or intensity, five of them must be noticeable over the course of time and in various contexts in order to establish a diagnosis.

    While there is still disagreement among experts, some think that vulnerability, fear, and low self-esteem may help to explain some NPD characteristics.

    Signs may include:

    Grandiosity and self-importance

    Dreams of excellence and superiority

    Those who have NPD frequently have an exaggerated sense of their own importance. They might believe they are stronger, smarter, more capable, and more charming than they actually are, and also than other people as a whole.
    Someone with a narcissistic personality may exaggerate or lie about their accomplishments, skills, and talents in order to reinforce their sense of superiority.
    However, this attitude of superiority may not be as obvious in other NPD sufferers’ behaviour. Even if they are quiet or reserved, some people may truly believe they are better than other people in some or all respects.

    -Dreams of excellence and superiority

    Narcissistic individuals may continually fantasise about possessing limitless strength, wisdom, attractiveness, acceptance, or love. They may think they are more deserving than other people.
    Narcissists often live in a dream world supported by distortion and self-deception because the truth contradicts their inflated perception of themselves. As a result, they create illusions about themselves that make them feel special and in charge, fantasies of unending prosperity, power, intelligence, attractiveness, and ideal love.
    They disregard or rationalise away facts and opinions that contradict them because these fantasies shield them from inner emptiness and guilt. Those close to a narcissist learn to be cautious around their rejection of reality since anything that threatens to shatter the fantasy bubble is met with strong defensiveness.

    -Constant need for praise and adoration

    A continual demand for admiration and praise may be seen in those with narcissistic personalities. They may constantly seek out attention and likely will not react well to criticism of any kind.
    Narcissists surround themselves with people who will satisfy their obsessive need for affirmation because they need constant ego-feeding. These connections are incredibly one-sided. The narcissist always comes first; it is never the other way around. And the narcissist views any stoppage or decrease in the admirer’s attention or admiration as a betrayal

    -A feeling of entitlement

    Narcissists demand favourable treatment because they believe they are special. They genuinely think they should be granted their wishes. Additionally, they assume that everyone around them will always give in to their every whim and request. You are unhelpful if you don’t anticipate and satisfy all of their needs. And if you have the courage to go against what they want or “selfishly” demand anything in return, be ready to face hostility or the cold shoulder.

    – Lack of empathy

    Those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder may struggle to empathise with others’ needs or put themselves in their place. This is one of the key causes of their potential for harsh or exploitative behaviour.
    Selfishness, contempt, and a lack of compassion for what others are going through or feeling are additional possible manifestations of this lack of empathy.

    – Distrust and envy

    NPD personalities frequently think that people are out to get them or are jealous of who they are. They might also frequently compete with others or feel jealous of their successes.

    – Exploits others

    Narcissists never learn to empathise with others’ emotions or to put themselves in their position. Therefore, they are not empathic. They see the people in their lives as things that exist to fulfil their wants in different ways. They consequently have no qualms about taking advantage of others to further their own goals. While this interpersonal abuse is occasionally vindictive, it is frequently just careless. Simply put, narcissists are unaware of how their actions effect other people. Even if you point it out, they won’t really get it. They only comprehend what they need for themselves.

    More on Narcissism

    Look out for the next article which will cover the causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and how to deal with them.
    In the meantime, if you feel like to need help and support, please contact our friendly reception on 1800 327 477 (AU) / 0800 327 477 (NZ) to book an appointment or click here.

    We have a large team of psychologists and psychiatrists ready to provide the support that you need from the comfort of your own home.

    Associated information:
    Setting boundaries
    What is Narcissism
    Causes of Narcissim

    Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder Part 2