Narcissistic Definition: A Guide to Egoism
Do you have a friend who you think was unbelievably full of themselves? It may seem like they think the entire world revolves around them. Well, there’s a name for that, and it’s called narcissism.
What is Narcissism?
Many people suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder. The narcissistic definition is a person who thinks extremely high of themselves, such as deep admiration and a great sense of importance. The narcissistic personality disorder is only one of many disorders that affects a person’s personality.
Symptoms of Narcissism
A narcissistic personality is characterized by many different things, such as emotional and dramatic behavior. You may be surprised that these behaviors are categorized in the same family as borderline and antisocial personality disorders. There are many different symptoms of narcissism.
- Believing You are Better Than Others: People who are narcissistic often look down upon other people and feel they are superior. Sometimes the money and other financial statuses play a role in this situation, such as having an expensive car, house, and wearing expensive clothing. Other times, money does not play a role here, and there are other factors that are noticed, such as appearance and marital status.
- Fantasizing about power, Success, and Attractiveness: This person believes they are king or queen of the world. A narcissistic person is under the impression they are the most successful, prettiest or most handsome human being on the planet. A person may often fantasize about having an important, powerful role in life, such as being president or a role that is similar in power for negative reasons.
- Exaggerating Achievements and Talents: A person who is narcissistic has a long list of achievements and talents, and half of the things on the list are false. The list is long because they need to feel worthy and impress themselves. Most of the time, a narcissistic person doesn’t care too much about the thoughts and opinions of others, they do things to prove to themselves they are better than everyone in the world.
- Expecting Continuous Admiration and Praise: The praise factor can be dangerous. A person who is in a narcissistic state of mind needs constant praise and admiration. Most of the time, this admiration is for things they should be done normally, without praise, such as arriving to work on time, paying bills on time, or doing something nice for a friend or family member. When it comes to doing nice things, a narcissistic person will never let you forget what they did for you, every chance they get.
- The Act of Believing You’re Special: A lot of people blame this symptom of narcissism on television and other factors, but this is a problem that is usually born at home. Parents who constantly praise their children have great intentions, but the outcome is not always favorable. Constant praise sets in a child’s mind, and as they grow up, they keep the same expectations into adulthood.
- Blinded to Other People’s Feeling and Emotions: A narcissistic person doesn’t care to recognize the feelings that other people have because they are too busy worry about themselves and what they want and need. A lot of the time, a narcissistic person is not able to register that other people have feelings or emotions. A narcissistic person lives by one rule you can always count on: if it doesn’t involve them, they have no reference for it, and they don’t care.
- Expecting Others to Go Along with Ideas and Plans: Anyone who has a narcissistic personality disorder believes they have the greatest ideas and plans, and they expect you to go along with them. Regardless of how terrible the plan may be, a narcissistic person believes it’s the greatest plan in the world, but it’s not fool proof and it often hasn’t been thought through.
- Taking Advantage of Others: Taking advantage of others is easy for a person who suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder. Not too many people in this state of mind what to be involved in something that doesn’t affect them directly. In other situations, a narcissistic person will take advantage of friends and family members to get what they want.
- The Expression of Disdain: Disdain is the most common symptom of someone who suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder. A person in this state of mind has no regard, respect or sympathy for people who they feel they are better than.
- The Jealousy Factor: The smallest things make a narcissistic person jealous. Whether it’s an achievement of another person or something that someone else has that they want, it’s not difficult to make a narcissistic person jealous.
- Believing Others are Jealous: Narcissistic people believe they are so great that everyone is jealous of them and the things they have. Most of the time, people aren’t paying them any attention, but in the mind of a narcissistic person, believe that someone is not giving them all of their attention is beyond hard to believe.
- Trouble in the Relationship Department: A narcissistic person can’t keep a long-term relationship, mainly because they are too busy worrying about themselves. Not too many people will stick around and continue to be in a relationship where there is not an opportunity for both parties to grow.
- Setting Unrealistic Goals: There is nothing that can go wrong or can’t be done in the mind of a narcissist. They often set unrealistic goals, but they have the intention of somehow completing these goals. Setting unrealistic goals are another way for a narcissistic person to increase their self-worth in their mind.
- Easy to Hurt: Surprisingly, narcissistic people don’t mind hurting the feelings of others, but they do not handle rejection or their feelings being hurt.
- Fragile Self-Esteem: A narcissistic person’s self-esteem is more fragile than any other person’s self-esteem. Anything you say to them or about them could make them experience a deep depression.
- Appearing Unemotional: A narcissistic person may appear to be unemotional and somewhat detached. A person in this state of mind may appear to be overly nonchalant and not seem to care about too many things.
Causes of a Narcissism
There is not a definite cause of this mental condition, but there are a few suggestions of how this can happen. The cause of any mental disorder is complex and involves many different issues, especially during a person’s childhood. As far as narcissism is concerned, many doctors believe that this is a mental disorder that has to do with a dysfunctional childhood. This is an issue that, like others, point to the parents. A dysfunctional childhood in this situation involves, everything in an excessive manner, such as praise, pampering, and high expectations. Abuse and neglect are other factors that can have an effect on someone’s childhood. Studies reveal that genetics and psychobiology may have a connection with this mental condition.
Risk Factors of Narcissism
Narcissistic personality disorder is rare and occurs in more men than women. Narcissism is a condition that often shows signs in early childhood, and carry into adulthood. Some adolescents have many different traits of narcissism, but this is not a guarantee that they will fall victim to this mental condition. A few risk factors include:
- Parental disdain
- Lack of affection
- Lack of praise
- Excessive praise
- Unreliable parents
- Learning negative behaviors from parents
- Feeling Insecure
Narcissistic people are more insecure than others, but they are not aware of it. Narcissistic people can’t accept blame for their mistakes, so they blame other people.
- Needing Admiration
Narcissistic people need to be praised, and to them, there is no way around it. People who suffer from this condition need to be praised and admired every second of the day.
- Fear of Emotion
Narcissistic people are afraid to show their emotions because they do not want to be emotionally attached to someone, such as friends, and relatives.
Narcissistic people are often overly sensitive to criticism and opinions. People who suffer from narcissistic behavior feel they are being insulted and attacked every time someone addresses an opinion or suggests something.
- Idol Worship
People who are narcissistic have to find someone to relate to which is why they often choose celebrities as their idol.
- Controlling Issues
People who suffer from narcissism cannot bring themselves to ask for help or use the opinions of others. People suffering from this mental condition prefer not to depend on others and in turn, they may become controlling. Everything has to be their way or they feel inferior.
- Lack of Empathy
Narcissistic people are self-centered and have difficultly considering other people’s opinion and taking the time to see other people’s stand point on various issues and concerns.
- Violent Tendencies
Narcissistic people tend to throw fits and have tantrums. If they can’t get what they want, when they want, there will be trouble. A few instances of violent tendencies include screaming and yelling, and physical violence.
- Body Language
The body language of a narcissist is that of being better than someone. A person in this mind set goes beyond holding their head high. A narcissist does not mind showing they are arrogant by walking with pride, rolling their eyes when someone does not acknowledge them, and smirking at other people.
If a narcissistic personality is left unattended or untreated, serious complications can occur, including substance and alcohol abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, relationship difficulties, and problems at school and work.
Substance Abuse: As far as substance abuse is concerned, people who suffer from narcissism may find it difficult to cope with everyday life and situations that may occur. People in this situation may turn to substance abuse.
Alcohol Abuse: When it comes to alcohol abuse, narcissistic people often experience issues within themselves, and turn to alcohol to ease the pain temporarily.
Depression: Depression can occur for many different reasons. A narcissistic person may experience depression more than other people. The smallest situation can send a narcissistic person into a depression frenzy.
Suicidal Thoughts & Behavior: Suicidal thoughts are the most extreme type of complication in this situation. Substance abuse and alcohol may not give a narcissist the edge they are looking for, so they feel there is no way out because they do not have anywhere else to turn.
Relationship Difficulties: Being in a relationship with a narcissist is not a picnic. There will be many difficulties to overcome, especially if they let this condition go on for too long.
Problems at School and Work: A narcissistic person may have difficulty focusing, when it isn’t focused on themselves. Narcissistic people find it difficult to think about and consider things that don’t involve themselves.
Seeing a Doctor
When you prepare to see a doctor, there are a few things you can do to prepare for your doctor’s visit.
The first thing you should do is make note of the symptoms you experience and when they occur. The symptoms you write down will help your doctor pinpoint treatments that will be the most effective.
Another thing you should make note of is personal information. If you or someone in your family has mental health issues, this is something you need to address with your doctor. The names of supplements and medications you currently take need to be written down to help your doctor choose a treatment that will work best for you.
It is important that you take a friend or relative with you when you visit your doctor. People who have known you for a long period of time may be able to answer questions or help you answer questions the doctor may ask. Parents and grandparents can offer insight to family medical history.
Another thing you may want to do is create a list of questions that you will want to ask. Writing down questions is a great way to address every issue you have and make your doctor aware of your fears and concerns.
Tests & Diagnosis
In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, certain criteria needs to be met. This criteria includes:
- Behaving in an arrogant manner
- Being envious of other people
- Experiencing an exaggerated sense of self-importance
- Pre-occupying yourself with fantasies about beauty, power, and success
- Believing you are more special than other people
- Requiring constant praise
- Having a strong sense of entitlement
- Taking advantage of other people
Family Therapy: Family therapy is one form of treatment that doctors use to help people cope with their narcissism. This form of therapy brings your entire family together to discuss important matters within the family, such as conflicts and communication problems. Family therapy is preferred with most doctors because it gives the entire family a chance to become involved and get more active.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This form of therapy helps a person suffering from narcissism to identify underlying issues and problems, and factors that may be contributing to their condition. Cognitive therapy is focused on addressing underlying problems and issues, then replacing these negative instances with positive ones. Sometimes, an entire lifestyle change is needed for the positive effects to remain long-term.
Group Therapy: Group therapy is another form of treatment that is available for people who suffer from narcissism. Group therapy is where people who suffer from narcissism can relate to other people who suffer from the same condition and experience many of the same symptoms and situations on a daily basis. During group therapy, people have a chance to talk and discuss their problems and concerns with other people with a certified expert listening and taking notes. No medication is prescribed. Many people who suffer from narcissism find group therapy exceptional helpful with dealing with their condition.
As far as therapy is concerned, therapy can take as long as seven to eight years to take effect and change a person’s life for the better. Group therapy helps people set new, realistic goals, and paint a new self-image of themselves. Group therapy is one of the most effective forms of treatment because people are able to relate to each other and set goals together. Group therapy helps people set long-term and short-term goals.
Psychotherapy is another form of treatment that many people who suffer from this disease find effective. This type of therapy is best for people who suffer from narcissism who have difficulty starting and maintaining a relationship. Psychotherapy helps people understand the feelings of others and accepting help from other people. This form of therapy helps reality set in and helps people move forward in relationships and friendships. Psychotherapy and group therapy is similar to rehab for an addict. These forms of therapy help people come to terms with their condition and help them cope in a way they understand and do not have any issues relating to. Although therapy can take years to get the desired results, it is the best form of treatment for people who suffer from narcissism.