What is narcissism?

A pattern of traits and behaviours which signify infatuation and obsession with one’s self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one’s gratification, dominance and ambition.

This will be a four part series  here  I will introduce the topic by discussing the signs of narcissistic tendencies, the following  parts of the series  I will discuss the causes and effects it has in our lives and finally how to manage our narcissistic tendencies.

History of narcissism

The term originated from the Greek mythology, where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.

What are the 8 symptoms of a narcissist?

 (1)Self Importance: exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying. Feels superior to everyone without having lots of achievements under their belt.  Some of them can be described asAltruistic Narcissist”,    they make a huge effort with volunteering and charities in an effort to gain approval. Likes to call attention to their Altruistic efforts typical examples Ice bucket challenge posted on Facebook, church donations just to mention but a few.

(2)Obsessed with fame: a name for this type is cerebral narcissist like the word cerebral implies, they have a profound belief that they have a superior intellect, that their intelligence far exceeds that of ordinary folk. They have a vast array of knowledge on just about any topic. They tell stories (real or made up) exemplifying their colossal brilliance. They are quick to point out the failings of others, often showing a great amount of disdain for those of lesser intelligence. Their Narcissistic Supply is generated through their intellect. Their audience admires their wit, stories and superior intelligence.

(3)Obsessed with physical appearance or sexual performance: a name for this type is somatic narcissist, somatic Narcissists are consumed with their physical beauty and prowess.  You will often find somatics working hard at the gym, or on their appearance in some fashion or another. Somatics derive their Narcissistic supply from the reactions of others to their appearance, or sexual conquests.  You will often find a long list of sexual partners in their repertoire.

(4)Obsessed with their uniqueness: they are convinced that they are so unique and special and only be understood and treated by people who are special, unique, high status people or institutions.  Excessive need to have high status friends or status symbols to impress others… Lots of name dropping…

(5)Obsessed with admiration: Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – expects special treatment because they feel they are better than others, demands their expectations have to be met.   Consumed with finding romantic love.

(6)Interpersonally exploitative:  They use others to achieve their own ends… Devious and exploitative.. Narcissists often turn relationships into competitions or contests, whether they are work relationships, friendships, or even love relationships. Here the goal is winning, no matter what the means or cost, in order to prove to others (and themselves) their incomparable superiority. Often social climbers and they think nothing of stepping on or over anyone in their quest for fame and status.

(7)Devoid of empathy: Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others… Cannot relate to others feelings and desires, Behave in a selfish and uncaring manner.

(8)Constant Envy: Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her when there is no reason to feel that way.

Chances are you have encountered a narcissist: might know a friend who loves to hug the stage, always reverting the conversation back to themselves… the colleague who is always bragging about having the latest, greatest … blah, blah. Blah, the family member who thinks she is hotter, smarter and just generally better than you at everything and the guy who keeps breaking girls heart….

Which one are you or which one have you met?

Next article  I will discuss causes of narcissistic behaviour.