What is a Narcissist?

Narcissism is defined as self-love and self-gratification by complimenting oneself. Sigmund Freud formed the view that narcissistic behaviours are apart of a normal stage of development but many psychologist thereafter contested this view. Being a narcissist isn’t a personality trait that lies with all individual but just a few.

According to a study by conducted in the U.S by the National Institute of Health (NIH) 6.2% of the population has narcissistic personality disorder. 62% were men and 38% were woman and 40% of people with one personality disorder have another due to many symptoms crossing over into another; most likely borderline personality disorder.

Starting by early adulthood the main characteristics to look out for are grandiose ideas or actions and these can manifest through symptoms such as self importance and boastfulness. Here are some examples of what a narcissist could mean to you:

A Narcissist in a relationship:

Is your partner always preoccupied with their own fantasies of unlimited success where they play the staring role? Their fantasies of their own self-image could be of achieving more power, beauty, status or other desirable attributes. They are likely to continuously talk about themselves for long periods of time but never think to ask about you; this can leave you feeling neglected or disinteresting. He or she is likely to be incredibly charming, charismatic and persuasive, when they are interested in you for their own self-gratification they are likely to make you feel wanted. But once they have you their focus and attention can move elsewhere.

A Narcissist at work:

You could be working with someone who is likely to break the rules to get what they want, or use people to improve their profile. Narcissists enjoy breaking the rules and social norms such as violating traffic laws or stealing office supplies. They also have a sense of entitlement and expect preferential treatment from others, their every need should be catered to and yours won’t even be considered in return. Essentially the world revolves around them.

Nowadays the term ‘Narcissist’ is used in everyday language to describe an egocentric work colleague or grandiose family member. Could a change in our culture have contributed to the rise in narcissistic personality traits; could a culture of social media contribute to the rise in narcissism in people? With platforms like Instagram and Facebook users are ‘trying to keep up with the Jones” daily or hourly. Spending hours taking and editing selfies or other images of how they want others to perceive them and their life which isn’t close to reality.

Read more here on the social media detox.

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