It’s crazy-making, to say the least.
While there are various types of narcissists and they exist at various levels of toxicity, there are four basic traits that every narcissist has in common, according to a 2013 study published by Kamila Jankowiak-Siuda and Wojciech Zajkowski.
In a narcissism-focused study, the researchers were able to define the following traits as being shared among all narcissists, despite various other definitions and forms of personality disorder. It didn’t matter if they were a covert narcissist or an overt one – or one of the many other types that we’ve currently defined.
4 Qualities Shared by All Narcissists
The qualities that are shared by all narcissists, regardless of classification, include the following.
- Disregarding other people
- Being self-centered
- Lack of empathy
But there are relatively few people diagnosed with NPD. Why is that?
Typically, NPD goes undiagnosed because most narcissists see nothing wrong with their behavior. But just for the sake of discussion, let’s quickly review the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder.
Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, the official list of symptoms is as follows.
- Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
- Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
- Exaggerating your achievements and talents
- Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
- Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
- Requiring constant admiration
- Having a sense of entitlement
- Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
- Taking advantage of others to get what you want
- Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
- Being envious of others and believing others envy you
- Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
As you can guess from the official list of symptoms, diagnosis of NPD would typically be made by a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist when five or more of the characteristics are identified – but generally, the condition goes undiagnosed because narcissists see nothing wrong with their behavior.
Common Narcissist Behaviors
Are narcissists predictable? The playbook they use to predict you.
People who are involved with narcissists and those who have NPD typically report the following kinds of behaviors and characteristics – do we see a pattern?
- The belief that he or she is “special” and the desire to only associate with people he or she perceives are on their wavelength or who will “appreciate” them.
- The need for excessive admiration from those around him or her.
- An expectation of especially favorable treatment and automatic agreement by people around him or her.
- Exploitation of others around them for their own benefit or advancement.
- Inability to empathize with others.
- Feels envious of others, but also feels that others are envious of him or her.
- Acts arrogant, and may try to disguise arrogance with ethics.
- Displays an exaggerated sense of self-importance and is typically extremely judgmental.
So how do you deal with these people if you have one in your life? Well, usually it’s best to distance yourself from a person with NPD. This is especially true because they don’t generally realize that anything is wrong. Plus, there is currently no known “cure” for NPD–though if a person affected with it seeks therapy, change is possible. However, it’s very unusual for a person with NPD to seek therapy since they don’t see a problem with their behavior.
There is so much more to discuss here, but I want to open up the discussion now with the question of the day. The question of the day is have you noticed that someone in your life seems to have all the traits and qualities of a narcissist? Have you ever wondered if they all have a playbook?