What Is Narcissism? How to Spot Narcissistic Behavior
Everyone is a special and unique individual in their own eyes. We all love a little show-off and a little appreciation. Love, belonging and esteem hold important positions in the famous Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Anyone who spends too much time talking about themselves, their goals, habits, or even their looks are often labeled as ‘Narcissist'.
In the age of selfies and social media, many claims that narcissism is on a rise and everyone is a self-obsessed mess. Let us look at what narcissism really is and how do we know the behavior is ‘narcissistic' or not.
If we look at the etymology of the word, it comes from a popular Greek Mythology. The story has many versions, but all about a prince or hunter named ‘Narcissus' who in a forest saw his extremely beautiful reflection and fell completely in love with himself. He got so immersed in this love that he died out of his unfulfilled passion towards himself.
Other adaptations show him either drowning trying to kiss his own reflection or even going as far as committing suicide after realizing that he was in love with his own reflection. The story makes him a symbol of an extreme fixation on oneself. Narcissism is a disproportionate interest and fondness of oneself and one’s physical appearance.
Here are some behaviors that will tell you that you are interacting with someone high on the narcissism spectrum.
- Need for constant admiration: People high on narcissism have a constant need for appreciation. They don’t just like, but need, being complimented, acknowledged and rewarded. When receiving their due admiration, they feel ignored and even insulted.
- Grandiosity: Being high on narcissism comes along with an unrealistic evaluation of the self. They view themselves in extreme positive lightly They rightly feel they are better than most or all people and are high on all desirable qualities including their physical appearance, ability to perform in respective fields and social abilities as well.
- Indifferent and Arrogant: It is common in people high on narcissism to not care about others. They tend to be extremely unempathetic regarding the feelings of other people. Since they spend so much of their time and mental space to think about themselves, they don't have enough space to think about others.
- Entitlement: Individuals high on narcissism have a sense that they deserve everything they need and want in life. They truly believe that because of their superior abilities they deserve the best and desirable outcomes in every scenario.
- Jealousy: Their need for constant attention and admiration makes them immensely vulnerable to jealousy. Looking someone else getting the recognition or rewards they deserve, develops feelings of envy and hatred among people high on narcissism. Being jealous is a common feeling amongst most people on this planet; however, these people tend to get jealous way more easily over smaller occurrences.
- Victim Role: Anyone who seeks constant attention also uses different ways to attract it. People high on narcissism tend to victimize themselves over smaller inconveniences or ordinary struggles. They love to play the victim role to not only seek the attention they want but to rationalize when they don't receive the outcomes they feel entitled for.
While a wide range of common behaviors come under the umbrella of being narcissistic, a diagnosis of ‘narcissistic personality disorder’ is given to the few people with a specific range of symptoms. A list of 9 symptoms specified in DSM-V cover these behaviors that the individual indulges in a way that results in significant impairment of their social, personal or work lives, where such practices show stability across a given time and different situations or social settings.
Find out what is a paranoid personality disorder