Signs That Allow Identifying The Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder can only be made by mental health professionals. However, before taking that step, it is possible to recognize some warning signs that, as a guide, help to know if there is a probability that a person has developed this psychopathology.

Feelings Of Grandiosity

People with pathological narcissism have a tendency to greatly overestimate their objective abilities (for example, artistic abilities, mental agility, athletic abilities, etc.) and also believe that they deserve privileged treatment from others. It is as if they had inflated self-esteem, although, as we will see.

Self-Esteem Issues

Despite the grandiose characteristics typical of this personality disorder, very vulnerable self-esteem and high sensitivity to criticism are often hidden behind this façade of superiority, thus generating a dissonance that produces feelings of humiliation and can provoke angry or angry reactions.


Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder expect everything to suit their immediate preferences and desires, and they feel great frustration if their environment does not provide them with what they think it should provide at all times. This dynamic based on self-centeredness makes it easier for them to get used to constantly giving in to their impulses, adopting a short-term view of their own well-being. Therefore, it is not surprising that among people with narcissistic personality disorder, there is a predisposition to drug use (which does not mean that all of them suffer from addictive disorders or take psychoactive substances regularly).

However, as we will see, the fact of developing this psychopathology does not imply that the ability to repress impulses is entirely annulled. In some cases, those who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder are capable of adopting an obsessive mentality with the avoidance of certain experiences if they perceive that they threaten their identity or desire “I”.

Tendency to take great care of the appearance

As narcissistic personality disorder has a lot to do with seeking admiration and approval from others, it is very common for these people to take extreme care of their image. In some cases, this makes them vulnerable to developing very serious illnesses; thus, it has been seen that among them, there is a higher percentage of individuals with anorexia nervosa.

Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder

Currently, there is no psychological treatment that can completely reverse any personality disorder, so psychotherapeutic support is applied with the aim of mitigating symptoms and offering the person and their environment the necessary tools to lead a life as comfortable as possible autonomous and happy as possible.

Yes, there are some management strategies and recommendations to treat each personality disorder in the clinical setting. Regarding narcissistic personality disorder, measures are taken such as not entering into a power struggle with the patient; Given the tendency to show fanciful thoughts, we will help them focus on more concrete and real issues, set realistic goals and work on possible cognitive distortions that may be present.

Continue Reading

How To Handle A Narcissist?

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can become a very frustrating and stressful one. In their craving for control and admiration, narcissistic people can manipulate and exploit others, damaging their self-esteem and even changing the way the victims perceive the world. Arguing with a narcissist about their way of treating others is a useless task because they will not be aware of the damage they cause.

Therefore, one of the best solutions is to set limits and emotionally distance yourself from this type of person. We must recognize that we cannot always control our feelings about a person, but we can control how we respond to their behaviour. Many people choose to cut the ties that bind them to a narcissistic partner, a narcissistic family member, or a narcissistic boss. However, in the long term, it is best to do everything possible to get these people to go to therapy.

This psychopathology causes the person with the disorder to have conflicts in their interpersonal relationships, especially because of the markedly narcissistic person’s lack of empathy. It also manifests itself in the form of antagonism, motivated by the need to be the centre of attention. If someone says one thing, the narcissistic person has a great need to say just the opposite and emphasize that whoever said that thing is wrong, even if it is almost common sense that it is the narcissist who is wrong.

As pathological narcissism is part of personality disorders, its symptoms are present in practically all areas of a person’s life, being “fused” with their way of being in all kinds of situations. That is why the psychological treatment of this disorder is complicated, especially considering that those who develop pathological narcissism do not usually welcome the idea of going to mental health professionals.

The truth is that both perspectives are partly right: narcissism can be an element of personality, or it can be a type of personality disorder. The important thing is to be clear that there is a clear difference between both meanings and that it is convenient not to mix both meanings.

That is why today we are going to talk about what narcissism is in psychology, addressing both the trait at normal levels and when healthy limits are exceeded and a narcissistic personality disorder, or pathological narcissism, is fully involved.

Continue Reading

Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Psychotherapy

When the person engages in long-term treatment, a therapist may be able to help them, among other things, to: regulate and understand their emotions, identify behaviours and attitudes that can lead to conflicts with other people, and develop the ability to prevent and modify these behaviours and much more.

Not all personality disorders show the same symptoms or pathological personality traits. This is why they are classified into three different groups or clusters.

This classification is based on their most representative personality traits: Cluster A: unusual and eccentric; Cluster B: dramatic and irregular; Cluster C: fearful and anxious. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is part of the B cluster of personality disorders.

Symptoms of the disorder

More specifically, doctors diagnose narcissism when a person exhibits five or more specific symptoms. These symptoms were established by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Grandiosity and presumption

Exaggeration is often the basis of grandiosity. This means that people with this disorder tend to have an inflated sense of self-importance. They may feel more powerful, intelligent, capable and charming than they actually are and more than other people in general.

To reaffirm this sense of superiority, someone with a narcissistic personality may exaggerate or lie about their accomplishments, skills and talents.

Fantasies of perfection and superiority

People with narcissistic personalities may constantly fantasize about having unlimited power, intelligence, beauty, acceptance, or love.

Sense of particularity and uniqueness

People may need to highlight how special and unique they are compared to everyone else.

This also leads them to believe that they can only be understood or associated with other special and unique people and groups. If someone does not “take” them, it is because they are not that smart, special or unique.

Need for praise and attention

People with narcissistic personalities may have a constant need to be admired and praised. They may seek constant attention and may not accept any form of criticism well.

They may also resent others who don’t think what they are doing and saying is great.

Strong sense of right

Someone with DPN may be convinced that they deserve special treatment and are entitled to all available privileges.

Likewise, people with DPN may feel that everyone should meet their expectations and demands.

A tendency to exploit others

Manipulation and exploitation tactics are very common in many people with narcissistic personalities. This means that they can take advantage of others to achieve their goals because there is a need for personal gain above all else.

They might also use strategies like spreading lies about others to move forward.

Lack of empathy

Someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder may not be able to connect with the needs of others or put themselves in someone else’s shoes. This is one of the main reasons why they may behave in a cruel or exploitative way.

This lack of empathy could also manifest itself as selfishness, contempt, and a lack of compassion for what others are experiencing or feeling.

Jealousy, envy and distrust

People with this personality disorder usually believe that others are competing with them or are envious of who they are. Likewise, they can often compete with others or envy their achievements.

Arrogance and contempt

Some people with narcissistic personalities may ignore others because they are deemed useless, ridiculous, or despicable. This belief can lead them to show an attitude of arrogance and contempt.

Overt narcissism vs hidden narcissism

It is now accepted that there are different levels and types of narcissism. Primarily, experts focus on two different subtypes.

Overt narcissism

This subtype of narcissism, also called grandiose narcissism, is the most recognized. It is characterized mainly by attitudes and behaviours that are characterized by a style: arrogant, pretentious, dominant, exhibitionist, aggressive, and self-confident.

Hidden narcissism

This other subtype of narcissism refers to people whose attitudes and behaviours are more typically characterized by style: anxious, overly sensitive, insecure, withdrawn.

While this type of narcissism is less obvious, someone with hidden narcissism will still exhibit self-centredbehaviours, secretly believe they are superior to everyone else and have a reduced ability to put themselves in others’ shoes.…

Continue Reading

Differentiating Between Functional Narcissism And Pathological Narcissism

The tool that has served to define at what point an individual can be considered to have a narcissistic problem is the “Narcissistic Personality Inventory” (NPI), developed by Robert Raskin and Calvin S. Hall in 1979. This is a questionnaire that serves to measure narcissism as a trait, assessing it in scores from 0 to 40, with normal scores being those that do not exceed the value of 20.

People with a “healthy” personality who score a bit high within limits can be perceived as exceptionally charming, especially in the first encounters, but with the passage of time, they become a bit banal. These individuals may have stressful and strange encounters with other people, but they are still fundamentally healthy personalities.

The most dysfunctional aspects of pathological narcissism are the following:

• Tendency to always use others as a tool for one’s own ends
• Absolute inability to take criticism
• The high degree of discomfort at the idea of not having the admiration and approval of others.
• Tendency to excessive competitiveness
• Extreme overvaluation of one’s own abilities and aptitudes.

It is generally assumed that narcissistic people do not realize that they are. However, the research seems to indicate that there is some awareness that they have a very self-centred view, and they don’t see it as something exactly negative. They see themselves as superior people, or what comes to the same thing; pathologically narcissistic people naturally see others below them and are intolerant towards disagreement and questioning.

Can it be positive to be a little narcissistic?

Another aspect in which it is seen that narcissism does not have to be pathological is found in the fact that, in its fair measure, it can be advantageous.

Scientific research indicates that narcissism at subclinical levels (that is, not pathological) can bring some benefits. On average, highly narcissistic individuals who do not exceed the threshold of what is considered narcissistic personality disorder appear to have a higher degree of mental toughness and perform better in high-pressure situations, in addition to enjoying higher academic performance and labour. They have a more positive view of themselves and greater assertiveness. In addition, non-pathological narcissism has also been related to a low incidence of depression.

Another beneficial aspect of non-pathological narcissists is that they tend to have an intense drive for power, attention, and assertiveness, which can be beneficial to them when it comes to finding and performing in professions where an important quality is a leadership. However, once in office, their efforts are often geared towards promotion and promotion, and they deny any opinion that disagrees with their point of view, in addition to exhibiting a significant lack of empathy towards their employees, which can degenerate into conflict in the workplace.

From an evolutionary perspective, it has been hypothesized that narcissism entails mating advantages, increasing mating success in the short term. It basically means that highly narcissistic people have a higher percentage of sexual encounters. Their features generate such a good first impression because it gives the feeling that they have a lot of self-esteem, something that is positively valued in every sexual encounter.

Of course, neither of these advantages is present in the case of pathological narcissism. These people end up adopting behaviour patterns focused on short-termism that make healthy affective relationships unfeasible and end up generating more obstacles than advantages in the professional and social context. It is the price of having a highly distorted vision of oneself that does not correspond to the abilities and aptitudes that one really has.…

Continue Reading

Why Does The Narcissist Go To Therapy?

When we talk about pathological personalities, narcissism is usually one of the most prominent and causes the most intrigue and curiosity. Obviously, absolutely all people can have certain narcissistic traits or behaviours, even presenting them without associating them with narcissism. When we talk about the narcissistic personality, we mean that this trait is predominant and generates dysfunction in some vital areas.

Generally, the most affected areas are those related to social interactions and bonds (friendships, other relationships). Those related to personal and affective ties (partner and family) and the labour area. However, depending on the severity of the psychopathology, other relevant vital areas may be affected.

But… for what reasons does the narcissist go to therapy?

A person with a narcissistic personality disorder is not always aware that they suffer from this pathology. In fact, he often notices that the relationships he establishes with the environment are not healthy or constructive, and he incurs constant feelings of feeling attacked, offended or misunderstood. This leads to problems related to mood and anxiety.

For this reason, the narcissist may consult with symptoms compatible with depressive disorder, major depressive episode, generalized anxiety disorder and other types of anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder with agoraphobia. On very few occasions is, personality pathology itself the main reason for consultation, which makes it difficult for the professional to work on these narcissistic traits that cause so many problems for the patient and their environment.

Can narcissistic personality traits be worked on?

The short answer is: it depends on the severity of the case, but generally, yes. Therapeutic work is essential in this problem, but it is often very important to have the active participation of the family, partner or friends in consultation in order to broaden the therapeutic horizon. And although it is very helpful to have these external agents, sometimes it is the patient himself who refuses to let other people participate in the process. This does represent an important turning point in the therapeutic process.

Continue Reading

Treatment for Narcissism Through Counselling

Narcissism is a concept widely used by both society and psychology. It is used interchangeably for people; in this article, we clarify that and also provide the best therapy or treatment for narcissism.

Narcissism can be understood from different perspectives.

On the one hand, it is usually defined as a personality disorder that encompasses certain pathological traits, such as feelings of excessive greatness and the excessive need for admiration.

However, on the other hand, narcissism is also understood as a phase of the psychological development of the person, in which he acquires self-confidence to face the world.

The term narcissism has also advanced in society and is used colloquially to designate people who have higher self-esteem than normal and is similar to concepts such as self-centeredness and pride.

Characteristics of a Narcissistic Person

Beyond the fact that it is important to have solid self-esteem to face the challenges of life, that security may become destructive for himself and those around him, developing characteristics such as the following:

• Inability to create intimacy with the other.
• Need to be admired.
• They do not have contact with their feelings, nor can they empathize.
• They can’t ask for help.
• They can be arrogant and aggressive.
• They do not usually thank or consider the other.
• Apparently, they can’t be hurt by others.
• They do not accept the help or advice of the other.
• They are not aware of their narcissism

The most effective, though sometimes long-lasting, treatment for narcissism is psychological therapy. This treatment can be of a psychoanalytic, cognitive or existential nature, among other recommended psychological currents. The therapy deals with a meeting, generally weekly, of 45 to 50 minutes, working on the total personality of the individual. The modality of these meetings can be both face-to-face and online, both equally effective.

Due to the particular characteristics that people with this disorder have, it is difficult for them to seek help on their own. Many times they go because of pressure or recommendation from a family member or friend. Unless the narcissist has entered a deep depression, and there he does go because of the extreme situation of his health.

For the treatment to have an effect, like any process, the person needs to attend treatment regularly, that is, adhere to it, in order to really see progress and improvements.

Being able to see how our relationships are and how we contact others is a good indication of knowing if there is a narcissistic trait in us. Generating a certain intimacy with others, taking them into account and consideration, will help us move away from narcissism and connect with love.

Can a narcissist change?

Yes, you can change, but you need, first, to recognize your pathology so that, with a lot of personal work, you can contact your deep wound. The narcissist can improve if he embarks, committed, on a journey of self-knowledge. It is very important that this person begins to generate awareness of himself and the other.

Can a narcissist have a partner?

Yes. The problem is what that relationship is like. It can be very asymmetric, or take advantage of the meeting to grow, get to know each other and see your own vulnerability. In this way, leaving behind narcissism and a superficial bond to enter the depth of love.


If you know a person or doubt if you are a narcissist yourself, it is always advisable to go to a professional psychologist to rule out doubts or to guide you in the process of recommending the best treatment. Remember that on our platform, we have hundreds of professional psychologists qualified to make psychological diagnoses and treatments for narcissism.…

Continue Reading