Narcissist personality - Is it a disorder?

  • 3 min read

What is Narcissism?

Let us understand the word Narcissism first - It is a self-centered personality style characterized as having an excessive pre-occupation with oneself and one's own needs, often at the expense of others. There are also more extreme levels of narcissism, being seen particularly in people who are self-absorbed, or people who have a pathological mental illness like narcissistic personality disorder.

Now let such understand when the Narcissism becomes a personality disorder:

  • Excessive sense of self-importance, nothing the person can see beyond self. Now the most often used words would be I me and myself.
  • Even if the person has done a mistake there would be no grace to accept mistakes. your mistake is your mistake, my mistake also your mistake.
  • The ego would be so high that the person will never be able to see his mistake at all. Even if he sees, he will pass on the blame to someone else and try to justify that this mistake was never his.
  • While in a conversation also it would be about his achievements, his feats.
  • So much self-absorbed, if someone else tells something about them, the person wouldn't listen and if he listens also it's not so much important to him
  • The worst of this disorder is when he does anything and everything to prevent his pride, his image, position, lying, manipulation, or even anything extreme just for securing his ego.
  • When people are submissive and listen, they are okay but when people do not pay attention, they are shattered. They need a lot of attention.
  • There is a lack of empathy and lot of arrogance.

As long as Narcissism is only a personality trait and within limits it is used as an add on like traits of leadership, managing things, getting work done. When this goes overboard then it's a big mess firstly for the person himself and secondly to the people around him or her. The person achievement, zeal to grow and learn and mainly unlearn is somewhere lost.

The close people around this person have to keep working to maintain and feed this pre-tense and the altered ego. Now why did I say altered ego? In Carl Rogers theory he talks about real self and ideal self. Real self and ideal self needs to be congruent. But when Ideal self is far away from Real self, there is a distorted self-image, this is what happens to be a main trait of a person with narcissistic personality disorder.

How to handle people with this narcissistic personality disorder:

  1. It is important to educate yourself about this Disorder. This is not merely dominance or leadership. must understand when it crosses the boundary.
  2. Setting boundaries is important, for e.g. as long as the other person is right in what he says i would listen.
  3. Being around a NPD people there are certain things that we need to remember few things for yourself. we need to develop skills to keep calm. keeping confident. Maintain consistency in what you say or what you do.
  4. Speak up for yourself and communicate your needs and do not compromise on the same. if you need to confront and contradict then you may do so in a subtle way without hurting the other. Remember that our intention is not to put down others but to pave our way through with what feel is right also see that our opinion is also not compromised.
  5. Always go in positive and collaborative way because a vulnerable narcissist’s outward shell of self-centeredness and self-absorption masks a weak inner core.
  6. It is important to be aware of manipulation and gaslighting and do not fall prey to it. Gaslighting involves distorting, altering, or denying reality in order to make you doubtful of your own perception, memory, or sanity.
  7. Finally, if this personality disorder goes overboard then it is important for you to understand that the person may require a professional help.
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Author / Speaker  →

Freelance Clinical psychologist and on call consultant psychologist for Athulya senior care. Expert Panelist for online mental health portals for PARENTUNE and RYTLIFE
A mental wellness therapist/ counsellor/ psychologist. I believe in maintaining healthy mind enriched with healthy postive thoughts.
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  • March 9, 2024, 8:27 a.m.

    Well captured. Yes I have come across person close to me of the behaviour "I, me and myself"
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