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About Narcissistic Personality Disorder

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

I think many will have heard of the term Narcissist. It often gets used when someone seems to be very self-centred but when you encounter a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD as its referred as, then the stakes and risks are on a different level.

Narcissists can be quite hard to spot. They understand how to manipulate and control their victims and manage to do this without most people realising.

What makes it even harder and can be confusing for the victim is that they don't all act in exactly the same way and can act differently at different times. Some behaviours are a consistent feature of the different types such as idealising, devaluing, and then treating their partners badly. It is commonly understood that there are different types of narcissists who don’t act the same outwardly.

The main common traits of a narcissist are:

  • Have issues with their own self-esteem

  • Very self-centered and focussed on themselves

  • They have a lack empathy for others

  • Very sensitive to perceived criticism

  • Have a bad temper and get angry easily

  • They Devalue others putting them down 

  • Very conscious of their status and how they are seen by others


What are the types of narcissist and how to spot them?

There are commonly defined into 3 types that are similar in some ways bud different in others:

  1. Covert or Closet Narcissist

  2. Exhibitionist Narcissist

  3. Toxic Narcissist


Covert Narcissist

Sometimes called also a Closet Narcissist, they like to be in a relationship with a person that they can idealise as special. They feed off that person’s status and think it makes them better. They can be uncomfortable when the spotlight is directly on them as they are conflicted.

They have often earned from childhood that they will be attacked if they seek admiration themselves because they have often come from as family with a Narcissist parent or sibling who devalued them as they were thought of as competition. Their narcissistic traits were hidden to protect themselves from the parent and were only praised when they praised the parent.

Often Closet Narcissists are quite insecure and feel vulnerable if they are the centre of attention. They fear others can see their flaws and devalue them like the Narcissistic parent.  So sometimes they get involved with people, causes, religions, and other things that they think are special and will make them look good via association.

They are not always overly demanding, but they manipulate situations to get their own way or what they want. Making themselves the victim and use your empathy make you do what they want you to do. They put op a pretence of being nice when they are not and its not at all how they feel in themselves.

Many Covert Narcissists let themselves to be used by others and work hard for things and people they admire to look good.


Exhibitionist Narcissist

They very insensitive and controlling and come across initially as perhaps bossy. They expect everyone to look up to them and agree with whatever they say or want. Any form of non-agreement is perceived as criticism and is dismissed and devalued. They require continual reassurance and ego boosts confirming they are perfect, amazing and always right.

They like to be the centre of attention and always want to dominate conversations and situations. They have a sense of entitlement to being treated as if they are so special. They can act with complete confidence. Can be excellent at telling stories and handing out their advice even if it isn’t asked for. When they feel insecure, they get angry easily and like to put the person in their sights down and often in the most awful way.

No matter what happens they believe they are better than everyone else, that they are perfect and know everything. They expect those around them to submit with their point of view because they are always right.  They have a real superiority complex and so everyone else is just rubbish.

This arrogance is just a façade and not how they really feel inside. Therefore, it is easy to disrupt and break their self-image.  This makes Exhibitionist Narcissists react very badly and excessively to even minor critism. They are very quick to anger and will start a fight over simple things that most people might not even think anything of. They can also be vicious and cruel to those around them as they lack and time of empathy or emotional stability.

They like to brag and tell stories about their amazing achievements but then put down and devalue anyone who dares to disagree with them. They will make fun of someone very cruelly and don’t care if they can hear or not. They like to tell people how fat, stupid, useless, ugly, dumb they are.

They have little sympathy or even awareness for other people’s upset, feelings or reactions to their behaviour.  They are so blinded by their own superiority they think everyone thinks they are amazing.

Toxic Narcissist

They establish themselves as superior to you and try to make you feel that you are not good enough.  You would spend your whole time with them being put down and devalued.  You will never be able to please them or make them happy.  They never never give you any praise for anything you have done or achieved, instead they criticise and pull you down.  Any confidence in yourself that you may have had when you met them gets ground down and replaced with anxiety and self-doubt.

Toxic Narcissists are “crazy” and are not content with just being the centre of attention, they want to dominate all around them. They can be often be sadistic and seem to actually enjoy hurting other people not just physically but also mentally. They need you to submit to their way and be scared of them.

Some have a real chip on their shoulders about the fact that they cannot attain their own unrealistic expectations of themselves. They are jealous of anybody who has success or happiness that they believe they should have and seem bent on destroying other people’s happiness. This relates more to those closest to them including partner, there own parents and even their children.

They are poisonous and act just like a bully, sometimes you can easily think they are a psychopath. They will try and publicly humiliate people where they think they can get away from it but always humiliate people when they are one on one. They store any little thing you have done and rake it up and beat you up about out over and over again without remorse.

Toxic Narcissists can also act like a Covert Narcissist at times, dropping in little digs with a smile to rile you and get you angry. They can also act very nice at times which reels you back in under a false sense of security then – bam, they got you.

If you think you may be in a relationship with a narcissist then my advice is to get out as soon as you can.

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