Pulled from a web site. This is an important list of the traits of narcissism. I would add one that is important in my mind. That is an inability to do the opposite of these traits regardless of the outside evidence or lessons.
Almost everyone can be in some of these traits, if you were raised by one then examples can take time to unlearn. However, in order to start throwing this label around there needs to be a differentiation between immaturity that people grow out of over time vs. a personality problem that doesn’t seem to change with experience.
Diagnosis criteria for narcissistic personality disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder is defined as having a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood. There must be at least five criteria met out of nine:
- A grandiose sense of self-importance
- A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
- A belief that he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions
- A need for excessive admiration
- A sense of entitlement
- Interpersonally exploitative behavior
- A lack of empathy
- Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her
- A demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes
The above definition is from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), which is used as a guide by UK doctors.
Taken one at a time
Grandiose self importance if normalized would be an in the zone of comfort, a sense of self acceptance when doing well or struggling that accurately assesses the person’s current level of life.
A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love- would be solved by gratitude over fear in the present, seeing themselves as valuable at each level of life, getting rid of the concept of competitiveness and success failure that is too black and white in this type of person.
A belief that he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions. Demonstrations of that all people are ordinary and that extraordinary accomplishment is more often achieved in those who accept their ordinariness goes a long way in a normal nervous system.
The need for excessive admiration goes away when a person is aware of how their need is how they are played by others and exploited.
Sense of entitlement is eliminated through healthy self esteem through earning.
Interpersonally exploitative behavior is addressed through boundary training and putting the person in the position of those who have been exploited long enough to empathize.
Lack of empathy is a multi faceted problem in that first the person must sort out that others are like them and that they themselves can go through the same experiences as those who they are witnessing. The person must drop their performance anxiety long enough to have time to consider self and others.
Envy of others is the symptom most obvious in a clinical narcissist when you are consulting them or training them. They will shut down upon correction and begin to resent the people who would be the best examples. Training in method acting the person and demonstration that envy and resentment mean they will not learn it because they resent it will begin to open the door to their learning to let this go if they have the ability to learn.
The demonstration of arrogant behavior is eliminated in a false way superficially in the intelligent person who is a narcissist in order to appear to care. But, to actually get this ego up thing to let go is rare.