Myth 3: All Narcissists Are Sexually Immoral.
The reality is that narcissists differ a great deal in their standards for their own behavior. I know ones who never cheat on their mates and others who are liars and engage in compulsive sexual behavior.
Myth 4: All Narcissists Are Master Manipulators.
The reality is that while I have met a few narcissists who are good long-term planners and great at manipulating other people, they are as rare as great chess players—and not so dissimilar from them. Most narcissists are more similar to children who learn by trial and error how to get what they want from their parents. They take advantage of the other person’s willingness to give in to them. If you have your own firm boundaries, pay attention to what is actually going on, and don’t doubt your own judgment; you are likely to see right through most narcissists’ attempts to manipulate you.
Myth 5: All Narcissists Are Vampire-Like Predators Or Demons.
The reality is that narcissists are people like the rest of us. Narcissists need other people to validate them in order to maintain their sense of self-worth. Their disorder leads them to be insensitive to the feelings and needs of those around them. They lack emotional empathy and are very self-centered. This combination of need + insensitivity + self-centeredness often leads people with a narcissistic personality disorder to be overly selfish and single-minded in their pursuit of what they want.
Myth 6: All Narcissists Are Evil.
The reality is that narcissists may behave in hurtful ways, but they are not inherently evil. They are bad at intimate relationships, but many of them do a great deal of good in the world. Many of our hospitals, libraries, cultural institutions, and schools are supported by exhibitionist narcissists who get their narcissistic supplies from doing good deeds. All they ask in return is to have the hospital wing or theater prominently display their name.
Myth 7: All Narcissists Are Charming.
The reality is that while some narcissists can be superficially charming when you first meet them, others are quite boring and annoying. The charming ones are good at telling stories that make their lives sound fascinating and are likely to know how to make a good first impression. Their charm wears thin after you hear them tell the same stories over and over again, realize that they have absolutely no interest in your life, and use the same techniques with everyone that they meet.
As one of my clients told me: “I thought that I was so special to him because he sent me beautiful cards for my birthday and many other occasions. But then when I was over at his house and opened a drawer to look for a pen, I found stacks of the same exact cards that he sent me.”
Punchline: Narcissists are neither super-heroes nor villains. They are troubled, very self-centered people with low emotional empathy, a host of other narcissistic issues, and are preoccupied with supporting their shaky self-esteem. Unfortunately, their narcissistic flaws interfere with them having mutually satisfying relationships with other people.
Written By: Elinor Greenberg
Originally Appeared On: Psychology Today
There is a thin line exists between Narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder. Sometimes narcissism can be helpful but narcissistic personality disorder can be destructive and sometimes vice versa. That is why it’s important to dispel the myths about narcissistic personality disorder and know the corresponding facts about the same.