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An Exploration of Narcissistic Personality Disorder Behaviors

written by: Roohi Khan • edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick • updated: 9/28/2010

Narcissistic personality disorder behaviors are characteristically dramatic and emotional. Here, we will explain what exactly narcissism is and talk about the nature of these dramatic and exaggerated feelings and behaviors associated with it.

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    What is Narcissism?

    If you have been raised by a narcissistic parent, you probably already know that these people consider themselves as superior to everyone and have little respect for the feelings of others. Narcissism is one of several types of personality disorders where the individual has certain traits that make them behave inappropriately in social situations and limits their ability to sustain relationships and perform well in areas such as work or school. Let's have a brief look at some of the key narcissistic personality disorder behaviors that can help you identify whether you have a narcissist in your family.

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    What are the Features of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

    The word "narcissism" comes from a Greek myth about a handsome young man named Narcissus who fell in love with himself when he saw his own reflection in a pool of water. Just like Narcissus, people with narcissistic personality disorder have an abnormal love of self. They have an inflated sense of their own importance and consider themselves as superior to others. These people are constantly preoccupied with power, success, and attractiveness.

    Although their attitudes and behaviors make them seem like they are truly self-confident, the fact is that they are quite different from people who have a healthy level of confidence and self-esteem. People with an appropriate and rational level of self-assurance and self-esteem value others as much as they value themselves. However, narcissists think they are far superior to others and value themselves more than they value others.

    A fragile self-esteem is a one of the chief features of narcissism. Even the slightest criticism can upset them and make them feel hurt and rejected. They have a sense of shame and humiliation which they are constantly hiding. To make themselves feel better, they will react with rage or contempt to anyone who criticizes them even slightly.

    One of the key behaviors of narcissistic personality disorder is looking down or belittling the people who they think are inferior to them. They feel that they deserve special treatment everywhere and if they don't get that, they can become impatient and angry. In conversations, they often don't allow the other person much opportunity to say their bit. They come across as conceited and pretentious.

    Narcissists exaggerate their achievements and talents and may even lie about them. They may not have any proof of their accomplishments, however; they demand that they be recognized as superior.

    Failure to recognize and attach suitable importance to the feelings and emotions of others is one of the key features of narcissism. They expect others to go along with their ideas and plans without giving any due respect to the opinions of others. People with this personality disorder will not think twice about taking advantage of others. They believe that others are jealous of them, although they are the ones who are jealous of others.

    Their disregard for the sensitivities of other people, need for admiration, and the belief of being entitled to special treatment makes it difficult for them to maintain healthy relationships whether at home or at work.

    You may notice these narcissistic personality disorder behaviors in someone you know or even in yourself. Since narcissists do not accept that anything is wrong with them as it goes against their own self-image, it is very difficult to get one in treatment. However, narcissism is a personality disorder that causes problems in many areas of life which can lead to a sense of unhappiness and loneliness. Consulting a mental health provider and getting started on the right kind of treatment is, therefore, the best option to get back to a normal life.

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    References

    MayoClinic.com: Narcissistic personality disorder

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/narcissistic-personality-disorder/DS00652

    Medicine Net: Mental Health: Narcissistic Personality Disorder

    http://www.medicinenet.com/narcissistic_personality_disorder/article.htm

    Healthy Place: Narcissistic Personality Disorder

    http://www.healthyplace.com/personality-disorders/malignant-self-love/narcissistic-personality-disorder-npd-definition/menu-id-1471/

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