Narcissistic personality disorder is two-sided. On the one hand, an inflated sense of self-importance and thirst for admiration is central, and on the other, there is an extreme sense of inferiority and insecurity.
Narcissism is not easy to recognize. Those around someone with this disorder usually have to deal with the “great” side of the coin, yet this is not true for all people with narcissism. People with narcissistic personality disorder generally like to talk about their problem-free lives, grand future plans and extraordinary achievements and abilities. And then, when you know such a person superficially, you can become very impressed with such a talented personality.
People with narcissistic personality disorder also often need this admiration and attention to consider themselves worthwhile. Moreover, many people with narcissism feel they are entitled to it. A factor in this is that they feel that because of their exceptionality they deserve certain privileges that others do not have. Someone with narcissistic personality disorder usually feels elevated above others, and some of them will effortlessly “use” another person when they can benefit themselves. Again: recognizing a narcissist is not easy.
People with narcissism are convinced that they are more “special” than other people. They also like to show this to others.
A person with narcissistic personality disorder wants to be constantly admired. He or she enjoys that immensely.
- A lack of empathy
- Played being charming
- Addicted to getting attention
- Exhibiting aggressive behavior
- Lack of emotions
- A big ego
- Wanting power
- Lack of repentance or guilt
- Being extremely jealous
But there are other narcissism symptoms, because deep down, people with narcissism are often lonely, vulnerable and have a great sense of inferiority. Consequently, people with narcissism traits are very sensitive to hurt and rejection. In their minds, criticism of their behavior often leads directly to the undermining of them as a person. They often react with anger in such cases, but in doing so they hide the powerlessness, insecurity and shame they feel deep inside. Added to this, they have great difficulty in tolerating real intimacy, because this also demands that you can show your vulnerability and be allowed to be small.
Incidentally, the sides of the coin just described do not apply to all people with narcissistic personality disorder. In some of them, the “great” side remains more in the background and, instead, we see more of the inferior side on the surface, where they are still very self-centered. People with narcissism often expend a lot of energy on their feelings of inferiority and have little regard for others and their own feelings. Yet they also feel special and unique, where from their inferiority they may think they don’t have to do certain things simply because they are entitled to them.