The selfishness and desire to be the focus of attention that characterize the most traditional kind of narcissism. However, narcissism can also manifest as a ferocious need to succeed at any costs or a thirst for social power. Even though they may come across as meek, people with covert NPD frequently play the victim or desire others to fail. Although “narcissism” has gained widespread popularity as a term to characterize people who put too much emphasis on themselves, there is much more to it than that. In some situations, narcissistic conduct can be nearly invisible, while in others, it is considerably more noticeable.
The general term “narcissistic personality disorder” refers to a variety of narcissistic subtypes. Stephanie Freitag, a certified clinical psychologist at Westchester Child and Adult Psychological Services , claims that the only recognized medical diagnostic for narcissism is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) .
Narcissists can be recognized by their many patterns of behavior or narcissistic behavior.
Here are six narcissistic behaviors to watch out for.
1. GRANDIOSE/OVERT The “classic” form of narcissism that most people associate with narcissists is overt or grandiose. According to Freitag, this type of narcissist is particularly easy to identify because they have an obvious excess of admiration for themselves.
These narcissists also display other recognizable narcissistic characteristics, such as:
love to be in the spotlight possibly charming Make it quite evident that they believe they are superior to everyone else. abound in competition According to Laurel Steinberg , a licensed psychologist in private practice, overt narcissists may also “want and expect applause while revealing their successes, in an overbearing and uncomfortable-to-be-around fashion,”
Depending on the person, different manifestations of this behavior occur. According to Freitag, three subsets of narcissism fall within the category of grandiose narcissism:
Agentic antagonistic communal 2. COUNCIL According to Freitag, communal narcissists may try to portray themselves as Mother Theresa or some other form of savior.
These narcissists may volunteer or associate with worthy causes, but their motivations are erroneous and serve merely to boost their own egos.
The way they utilize it to promote themselves or their “brand” and their preference for personal attention or “fame” over the success of the cause, according to Freitag, is how you can tell this is the case.
“They try to look sympathetic or concerned by promoting social concerns. Instead of doing this because they care about the situation, they do it to receive respect and acclaim “says Nakpangi Thomas , a traumatologist and certified professional counselor with Choosing Therapy .
These persons may perceive themselves as, or appear to be, according to an 2019 study :
incredibly beneficial Extra reliable very cordial According to Thomas, some warning indicators to watch out for are:
Have the conviction that they are the finest at something, notwithstanding the lack of supporting evidence. Instead than concentrating on the cause, emphasize how they are the best helper or raised the most money. They only publicly express their support for charities, and they would never provide money in an anonymous manner. Lying to advance in leadership positions Disrupt the team or cause trouble, putting their own interests before the team’s best interests. 3. NEGATIVE Narcissists who are antagonistic are fiercely competitive and preoccupied with winning or being the greatest. They argue or talk excessively to illustrate their position because they have a “them versus me” mentality, according to Thomas.
According to Steinberg, there may not even be a solid cause for them to debate; instead, they may do so out of pure arrogance and a desire to establish their own superiority.
Other indications of hostile narcissists, according to an 2020 study , include:
Become combative if their ego is endangered. exploitation of others Discredit other people According to Steinberg, devaluing someone may entail putting them down, whether out loud or behind their back, while exploiting someone may entail taking advantage of them or cheating them for their own gain.
Basically, you’ll probably feel attacked, abused, or mistreated by an antagonist narcissist whether you’re arguing with one or are being taken advantage of or undervalued by one, according to Steinberg.
(4) AGENT About seeking social power is narcissistic agentialism. According to Steinberg, “This kind of narcissist significantly overdramatizes their talents to lead and then exhibits intolerance for criticism when their performance falls short.”
For instance, she claims that an agentic narcissist may persuade people to elect them to a community board, but once they are in office, they would either not show up when work needs to be done or they will make excuses.
narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) 0 that aid in identifying this kind include:
exaggerate their originality and intelligence Acting conceited Feel deserving of social influence believe they are capable of more than others According to an 2019 study , communal and hostile narcissism are intimately related to agentic narcissism.
5. COVERT/VIOLENT On the other end of the spectrum from overt narcissists are those who are covertly narcissistic. Contrary to overt narcissists, however, covert narcissists are typically more reclusive and may even come off as bashful.
Even if they are still absorbed in themselves, they appear more self-conscious narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) 1
“This kind of narcissist is intolerant of criticism because they are unable to handle the concept of failing in any way. They battle with the constant worry of failing since it would mean they are failures themselves “says Steinberg.
According to Thomas, some further telltale indications of covert narcissism include:
possess a high threshold for criticism and perceive it as a personal attack Never take responsibility for their own acts and always play the victim utilize the silent treatment or passive aggression Considering everyone to be in competition Bring down others by critiquing them or delivering purposefully negative advise 6. MALIGNANT Malignant narcissism, according to Freitag, is the most deadly variety.
According to Freitag, “those with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) 2 tend to have psychopathic traits and a tendency to be sadistic or hostile with others.”
They could be so self-centered that they have little regard for the feelings of others.
Similar to grandiose narcissism, this type is easy to identify in others because the behavior is overtly obvious.
According to Thomas, individuals may exhibit malignant narcissism if they:
Manipulate Lies are incredibly combative Are physically or emotionally violent Absent empathy INSIDER’S KEY LESSON Narcissism manifests itself in a variety of forms, from quiet, hidden narcissism to loud, blatant grandiosism. Or, in the instance of malignant narcissism, it might be blatantly malicious.
According to Thomas, it’s crucial to remember that these narcissistic personality types are flexible, and narcissists frequently switch between them.
It can be incredibly taxing and possibly harmful to your health if you think you’re dealing with a narcissist. Don’t be reluctant to ask a mental health professional for assistance.