Self righteous narcissism

What Are The 6 Types Of Narcissism, & How Can They Be Dealt With?

  • Discover the 6 forms of narcissism and learn how to react to them
  • Editor’s opinion - Analysis is the best form of defense

The term narcissist is often thrown around in the media and on the internet, however, for the most part it is often misused, and simply isn’t precise enough. Indeed, the word narcissist is a blanket term for people who display an enormous sense of their own importance, however, there are several nuances related to this disorder. Just think about it, someone who is simply overconfident isn’t necessarily despicable enough to want to completely destroy someone’s life.

>>> Read up on how to deal with a narcissist.

Get one step ahead!

1) Overt or grandiose narcissism

You’ll no doubt spot these people from a mile off because they definitely don’t want to blend into the crowd. They are most definitely not shy and retiring, which goes a way in explaining their self-centered and egotistical attitudes. Whilst at first, these folks may come across as confident, once the facade slips, they soon expose themselves as believing that they are truly superior beings, who are way more intelligent, successful, and interesting. Let’s just say that humility isn’t their strong suit, and they’ll never ever value anyone else’s opinion as much as their own. In short, their self-obsessed behavior and openly overbearing traits often come at the expense of those who surround them, making relationships nigh on impossible with these people.

The one key tip to dealing with an overt / grandiose narcissist
  • Set boundaries - Be clear about what you are uncomfortable with, and stick to your guns. Putting your foot down and protecting your mental health may upset this type of narcissist, but in the long run, it will shield you from their twisted abuse. Plus, other people’s emotions just aren’t your responsibility.

2) Covert narcissism

Now, this form of narcissism is perhaps the craftiest of the 6. Here, people believe that they are always one step ahead of the rest, and that their intelligence is far superior to that of the average person. These folks essentially walk around with a chip on their shoulder and genuinely believe that they deserve better than everyone else. That being said, when we look a little closer, we soon realize that their sense of entitlement actually hides a deeply inset dissatisfaction related to their personal situation. Likewise, these innately sneaky people often hide beneath cloaks of shyness and withdrawal, in an attempt to trick victims into thinking they are harmless. That’s right, a covert narcissist will in fact position themselves as one of life’s downtrodden victims, as a way of canvassing support for themselves. Plus, their ‘feel sorry for me’ attitude works wonders in attracting vulnerable empaths, who they will then proceed to metaphorically destroy.

The one key tip to dealing with a covert narcissist
  • Don’t let your guard down around them - By keeping these expert chameleons at arm’s length, you’ll prevent them from getting a toxic hold on you. Now, keeping them at a safe distance requires lots of willpower and analytical skills to ensure you don’t fool for their act.

3) Malignant narcissism

Malignant narcissists are amongst the most openly evil of the bunch. Just as their scary name implies, they are sadistic, aggressive, and manipulative, which means they should never be underestimated. They are capable of immense damage (both mentally and physically), and truly take pleasure in hurting others because they are truly void of any semblance of empathy. Watching people squirm is their greatest pastime, and nothing will stop them in their quest for revenge and power. They also have an antisocial element to their personality, which makes them even more unsettling and unreasonable. In short, they are heartless and will never change their vindictive ways, regardless of what they promise.

The one key tip to dealing with a malignant narcissist
  • Stay calm - Although their profile is amongst the most intimidating out there, lashing out around them will do absolutely no good, and will encourage them to become even more diabolical towards you. By staying cool, you’ll manage to rattle them, and will therefore prove that you too shouldn’t be messed with.

4) Communal narcissism

These people like to convince others that they are upstanding citizens and that they would never even hurt a fly, when in reality they are completely soulless… They are so good at pulling the wool over people’s eyes that many actually regard them as good folks. Hats off to them for their acting skills! Communal narcissists will actively spend their time doing charity work within the community, in the hope of receiving accolades. That’s right, they’ll do just about anything for a public pat on the back! Yet, in reality, their good deeds are all just a plotted front, which give them something to brag about, as well as throw people off their narcissistic scent.  Whilst these folks work hard for various charities, they often abuse and neglect those closest to them, because they prefer to seek recognition publicly.

The one key tip to dealing with a communal narcissist
  • Don’t get sucked into their facade - These smooth talkers know exactly how to draw people, so be wary around them and don’t reveal too much about yourself, because although they may seem respectful, underneath they are pure evil.

>>> Discover how to get revenge on a narcissist

5) Self-righteous narcissism

As the title implies, a self-righteous narcissist is that, annoyingly judgmental person who always seems to look down on other people. That’s right, these folks ALWAYS take the moral high ground in every situation, and can’t help but criticize everyone around them. The truth is, nothing is ever good enough for them because their standards are so unrealistically high, plus, their huge ego means they believe that no one can ever rival them. In short, their demanding traits mixed with their relentlessly self-obsessed side mean that they are completely unbearable and often take pleasure in putting others down.

The one key tip to dealing with a self-righteous narcissist
  • Develop a thick skin - Criticism is undoubtedly hard to take, yet once you learn to be confidence in your abilities, you’ll easily brush it off.

6) Healthy narcissism

You’re probably thinking this is a typo, but rest assured it isn’t. Believe it or not, not all form of narcissism are tinged with evilness, and in fact, some are empowering and inspirational. Healthy narcissism is indeed linked to good self-esteem, and shines through when someone accomplishes a tough task. In today’s society, many of us have trouble when it comes to recognizing our achievements, when in reality, we should be extremely proud of them and all the work we have put into them. Healthy narcissism is about acknowledging your hard work, and has nothing to do with an overinflated ego or vindictive tendencies.

The one key tip to dealing with a healthy narcissist
  • Be more like them - After all, why shouldn’t you be pleased with yourself?!
Editor’s opinion - Analysis is the best form of defense

Let’s face it, people with narcissist personality disorders can be dangerous, but that’s not to say you have to succumb to them. Now, these people are very sneaky, but, by analyzing and observing them, you’ll soon figure out their true intentions, and therefore take the necessary measures to protect yourself. Living in fear of them isn’t an option, however, you do need to be careful and mindful of your proximity to these typically toxic characters.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!


Be sure to check out these articles too;

  • 10 Signs you grew up in a toxic family
  • What is narcissistic injury?
  • What is the 80/20 rule for perfectionism?

Types of Narcissists | TalkingParents

Parenting resources

Narcissism is a word that is thrown around these days to help people understand toxic relationships, difficult divorces, and co-parenting arrangements. It can be a useful framework to maintain when trying to understand these difficult patterns, how you got drawn in, why you were so confused while you were in the relationship, and the co-parenting struggles you may be facing.

Dr. Ramani Durvasula

Posted on

Narcissism is a word that is thrown around these days to help people understand toxic relationships, difficult divorces, and co-parenting arrangements.  It can be a useful framework to maintain when trying to understand these difficult patterns, how you got drawn in, why you were so confused while you were in the relationship, and the co-parenting struggles you may be facing.

When we think of the garden-variety person with a narcissistic personality – we think of someone who is egocentric, unempathetic, grandiose, larger than life, arrogant, difficult, entitled, demanding, manipulative, controlling, dysregulated, but may also have prosocial characteristics including charm, charisma, or confidence.   This pattern describes the classical grandiose narcissist, however, because there are different subtypes of narcissism – it can sometimes leave you feeling a bit more confused about your situation. For example, perhaps the person you were with wasn’t grandiose, or was actually not that socially skilled or charming.  Understanding the subtypes of narcissism may help you with optimal strategies for attempting to co-parent with a person who has a narcissistic personality.

The core of narcissism remains the same for all types.  But the ways these things are expressed or experienced can vary.  

Grandiose Narcissists

Grandiose narcissists are the classical narcissists. The larger than life, arrogant, attention seeking, selfish narcissists who care more about how things look than how they are.  Parenting for grandiose narcissists is often about “putting on a show”. In public they may try to look like devoted parents, but in private they will not be interested in the day-to-day slog of parenting.   They may be the proverbial “Disneyland Parent” – there for the big days and may also push children to an excessive degree to be good at sports, school, or whatever matters to them, and may disconnect from a child when the child is not acting as they want.  The grandiose narcissistic parent needs to be liked, and so will do what they need to do to be liked but they also do not tolerate frustration well so they may get quite angry and have a short fuse with the ups and downs of parenting. Because the grandiose narcissistic parent likes to be the favored parent – you may find yourself having to be the taskmaster and the ”bad one”.  Grandiose narcissists also need lots of admiration and are novelty seekers so they are likely to quickly enter a new relationship, try to introduce children to a new partner, and may attempt to re-marry quickly. This type of parent is also likely to give extravagant gifts or out-spend their co-parent.  

Co-Parenting with a Grandiose Narcissist

When co-parenting with a grandiose narcissist, do not get lost in the competition, or expect they will run their household similarly to yours.   Divorcing a narcissistic partner means ratcheting down your expectations and your need to argue at every moment.  When your co-parent changes their parenting time or visitation arrangements to suit their needs, go with it because it gives you more time with your children, but make sure you document everything thoroughly. Too often, a lot of exhaustion and time goes into trying to force the grandiose parent to “get it right.” It’s likely causing additional stress for you and your children to try to prove that you are correct or to show the co-parent what they are doing.  Consider therapy for your children, especially to cope with inconsistency or the introduction to a new partner.  

Malignant Narcissists

Malignant narcissists are a bit more menacing because they may also be quite exploitative, more manipulative, prone to deceit, and may be paranoid or even sadistic. These patterns often result in rather unsettling divorces (and unsettling relationships).   Malignant narcissists can be quite harsh as parents, and in some cases, children may be anxious with them. These are parents more concerned with power, control, and dominance. In fact, the malignant narcissistic parent may not be that interested in being a parent but may be more apt to attempt to use the courts to punish you by manipulating custody and financial arrangements.  Co-parenting can be very challenging because you are quite anxious yourself and trying to keep your wits about you as you fear the next legal maneuver and your children’s anxiety as well. Malignant narcissistic co-parents may drag (or threaten to drag you) back into court at any moment, leaving you constantly on edge.  

Co-Parenting with a Malignant Narcissist

With a malignant narcissist, safety is important. These co-parents may be quite menacing because they enjoy power and control.  If you can, maintain access to ongoing legal guidance, or work with a local domestic violence program because they often know about low-cost legal resources for these circumstances. Most importantly, document EVERYTHING, and if you are able, consider having cameras outside and inside your home in case you need additional evidence. Use a co-parenting app for communication so that professionals you are working with have access to your communication.

Therapy is very important for your children with a malignant narcissist because it adds another person who is hearing about what your child is experiencing.  In addition, ensure you maintain strong alliances with the school and the children’s teachers as they can notice behavioral or academic changes in your child.  

Covert Narcissists

Covert narcissists are characterized by a more vulnerable, resentful, brooding, and victimized style.  They often present as victims, feeling that life never goes their way, that people are out to get them, and that they deserve so much more from life.  As parents, they will often remain sullen victims. They may share this victimhood with children who in turn may struggle with confusion about guilt and how they can help a parent with this kind of personality style “feel better”. Co-parenting with a covert narcissist may feel as much about babysitting your ex-partner’s needs as managing your own children.  

Co-Parenting with a Covert Narcissist

This can be very challenging because you are managing multiple aspects of victimhood, anger, and entitlement.  A key piece of guidance with a covert narcissist is not to fall into the trap of “rescuing” this person. Keep the communications lean, put things in writing, and be prepared for potential guilt trips. To the degree possible, have mental health services available for your children because this type of parental pattern can result in a lot of guilt and anxiety in the children who may feel that they are to blame for their parent’s self-victimization.  

Communal Narcissists

Communal narcissists derive their validation from doing charitable or good deeds. They often want to be viewed as humanitarians or heroes and will strive to be on center stage or get validation via social media for all they do for others. However, that charitable “do-gooder-ness” seems to fade behind closed doors where the real work takes place. They may be enraptured with struggling children on the other side of the globe that they are helping through their charitable endeavors but are disengaged with their own children on a day-to-day basis since fulfilling their responsibilities will not gain them public notoriety. They may want to display their “parent-ness” for a photo-op without really wanting to do the work and will get even more validation by being a publicly involved parent. Co-parenting with a communal narcissist may also entail having to conform to their scheduling demands and manipulations about how your cooperation is essential to ensure they can do their “important work.”  

Co-Parenting with a Communal Narcissist

“Fluffing” can buy some peace with this kind of co-parent, they just love to hear how great they are and how amazing the things they do for the world are. Tossing them those bones from time to time can sometimes keep their egos propped up and leave them less antagonistic.   Do not attempt to draw parallels between how they give so much to others and little to their children, because you will be stepping into a swamp of rage.  Setting ground rules through attorneys and mediation on how much they can put your children on display over social media or other public platforms is important for both privacy and safety reasons.  

Neglectful Narcissists

Neglectful narcissists are those who literally do not engage with people in their world unless they need something from them.  In that way, neglectful narcissists view people as conveniences of a sort – and only access people when it works for them.  This style will often view children as a major inconvenience, and as such may be very disengaged, disinterested, and remote.  This can be very challenging for a child who is often trying to garner the parent’s attention and may impact the children’s sense of worth as they may feel as though they are not worthy of their parent’s attention. Co-parenting with a neglectful narcissist may be more about managing your child’s concerns and expectations regarding their parent’s disengagement.  

Co-Parenting with a Neglectful Narcissist

A neglectful narcissistic co-parent may disengage or choose to have little time with your children, which can foster a sense of abandonment.  It becomes the balancing act of letting your child know that their parent’s disinterest is not about them, without speaking disparagingly of the other parent.

With a neglectful narcissist co-parent, therapy for your children is essential, because the child may feel a diminished sense of self-esteem and anxiety over not garnering the attention of their other parent. They may blame themselves for their other parent’s lack of interest and may also resist wanting to spend time with that parent. A parent in this kind of co-parenting situation may also want to be in therapy to gain tools to best support their child.  It becomes critical in this kind of situation to ensure you provide consistency, warmth, and empathy in your household as an offset.  

Self-Righteous Narcissists

Self-righteous narcissists are those who derive their narcissistic validation and supply by maintaining themselves as a sort of a morally superior person – and will be more focused on doing things just so and having control, rather than from a more flexible place of heart.  Self-righteous narcissists can be a bit confusing because they often look quite loyal, may closely adhere to rigid rules, but have a clear sense of right and wrong.  This type of narcissist can also be quite judgmental and critical of other people.  There is a tremendous rigidity to them, and even adults will feel like a child in the face of their scold-y and disapproving style.

For a child this can be a very strict, limiting childhood.  Self-righteous parents are often quite rigid, punitive, judgmental, and the child may experience a strong sense of conditionality – a sense of “follow the rules to be loved.”  Co-parenting with a self-righteous narcissist is more about details and control and less about the children. This style of narcissism may also accompany a miserly impecunious style requiring all kinds of hoop-jumping and uncomfortable conversations to merely come to a consensus on small expenditures for your children.  These divorces may very well have come down to arguing about minor household items, and a few dollars here and there on various support payments.  

Co-Parenting with a Self-Righteous Narcissist

Your household may need to be an offset – more relaxed, less harsh, and less obsessive. Your children will want a place where socks on the floor, or whatever over-the-top behavioral standard their self-righteous co-parent may demand, isn’t a big deal. These parents can be extremely punitive, and your child may be dealing with phones being taken away, isolation from peers, and other extreme consequences that are disproportionate to the offense. These consequences can result in negative mood swings in your child. Monitor your children for anxiety, because with a co-parent like this, they often tower over the children them in a chronic sense of disapproval which feels uncomfortable and can often presage rebellion or other forms of acting out the children.

Creating safe spaces for your children to talk, or share their feelings and frustrations becomes very important.  As always, find resources and therapy for your children to talk this out.

In addition, make sure you have your finances set up in a way that you can be flexible and realistic.  This type of co-parent will often pull the rug out from under you financially, leaving you hanging for tuition, medical expenses, or other costs. While you may be able to pursue reimbursements under the stipulations of your divorce, it may mean more court time, more lawyer money, and a large emotional cost. Having some funds set aside to ensure that classes do not get cancelled and your child can keep moving forward is important.  Many people run the risk of grinding in their heels and saying that this kind of co-parent “has to pay, this isn’t my problem” – but alas, it is in your child’s interest, and being prepared for it is an important defense.  

Co-Parenting with a Narcissistic Family

When considering all these patterns in a co-parenting situation you may also have to consider cultural and generational factors such as the role that some extended families play. This includes in-laws that can carry the intergenerational narcissistic mantle and may triangulate or manipulate your children as pawns in their own family dramas. These families may manifest a sense of entitlement regarding access to the children and grandchildren in their midst.  These cycles are likely to get worse after a divorce, especially for those from cultures in which divorce carries more social stigma.

It is important to keep in mind that these types of narcissism can overlap – and many of you are thinking – I have someone who is sometimes grandiose and sometimes covert – yep, that can happen, and then you will experience both sets of challenges.

Co-Parenting Resources

Co-parenting with a narcissist is not easy.  Keep your expectations realistic, your acceptance radical, and your social networks as healthy as possible so you can get the support you need. You may need ongoing legal counsel even after the divorce is finalized. Seeking therapy with a licensed mental health practitioner who understands these high conflict relationships is critical to taking care of you and being the best advocate and parent to your children.



TalkingParents blogs are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Always consult with a qualified attorney regarding legal matters.

About the author

Dr. Ramani Durvasula

Chief Executive Officer LUNA Education, Training & Consulting LLC

Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a clinical psychologist, professor, author and founder and CEO of LUNA Education, Training & Consulting LLC a firm that provides cutting-edge information on narcissism, narcissistic abuse, and best practices to facilitate and foster healing in the wake of high-conflict and toxic relationships.

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What is the problem of narcissistic people and how narcissism destroys life? And this means that such people with a high degree of probability will not start a family and will not give birth to children, but will devote their lives exclusively to themselves.

In addition, people who are prone to excessive narcissism tend to manipulate and subjugate others. With the help of experts, we found out the reasons for this trend, and also learned why you should not confuse everyday and clinical narcissism.

Narcissists find it difficult to start families and raise children, and they themselves have a negative impact on others. Vechernyaya Moskva asked experts what the problem is with narcissists.

Society dictates

One of the reasons that narcissism in society is progressing is the recently popular expression “you must love yourself,” says clinical psychologist Mikhail Khors.

“From the pages of popular publications, from Internet sites, TV channels and radio broadcasts, experts insistently urge you to accept yourself as you are,” says the psychologist. - Do not complex, do not dwell on your shortcomings. On the contrary, every morning in front of the mirror, remind yourself of your attractiveness. Like, until you love yourself, no one will love you.

But a narcissist is a person with psychological problems. As a result of such daily trainings, his perception of his own person ceases to be adequate.

— That is, he begins to love himself not as he really is, but as he imagined himself to be. And then - I have to constantly assert myself so that self-esteem does not fall. As a rule, the narcissist asserts himself at the expense of others. That is, he deliberately belittles those around him in order to seem better against their background, - says Mikhail Khors.

Moreover, the narcissist will not work on himself in other ways and strive to really become better, more educated. He chooses the path of least resistance: either he finds a social circle where he is the leader, or he begins to morally “destroy” those around him through pressure, through humiliation or provoking guilt in them, thereby causing others to feel inferior.

- And if such a "friend" does not agree with something, criticizes the narcissist - they say goodbye to him easily and quickly, they literally throw him out of his life, - says the psychologist.

Social media stars

As a rule, the narcissist is also very active on social media in order to assert himself. So for others, he creates the illusion of an ideal life. Basically, he publishes beautiful photos and tells stories about his life. And not always true.

- At first glance, it seems that such activity does not bother anyone, - says Mikhail Khors. - Like, a person likes to constantly publish their pictures and tell subscribers about every step taken - well, let them. However, this habit of his is actually not so harmless: it can harm impressionable and vulnerable people. So, one of my clients watched the life of her former classmate through the social network for a long time. She constantly posted photos from vacations, from expensive restaurants, described her life in the most attractive colors: supposedly her husband was perfect, and her children were talented. As a result, this client, of course, began to envy someone else's happiness. And she began to project all these virtual stories onto her own life. She believed in everything that her friend wrote so much that it began to seem to her that her husband and children were far from perfect. The house began to nitpick, scandals ... Psychological therapy was needed for this woman to finally understand that such photographs often do not reflect reality in any way - usually this is an ordered professional photo session. And publications about an ideal life are just a banal way to splurge. All this, as a rule, is done for show. And it is likely that in real life - in between publications on the network - exactly the same scandals occur in this family, there are problems that simply cannot be flaunted.

Children believe in beautiful pictures

Narcissus likes to post his personal photos on social networks. Of course, only the most successful ones.

- Modern applications allow you to make yourself perfect skin, hair, "put on" expensive watches and jewelry on your hand . .. Of course, an adult is well aware of the so-called glossy magazine effect - that is, a deceptive edited picture that has little to do with reality. But the child is vulnerable in this case,” says Mikhail Khors.

An immature person will believe that their favorite actor or actress looks the same in everyday life as in photographs. But something is probably wrong with them themselves ... After all, idols have neither acne nor excess weight, and the clothes are always perfectly matched. Only now, the child may not know that there is a whole team of professionals behind one such shot - a makeup artist, photographer, stylist, graphic designer, and so on.

— Due to the fact that a teenager compares himself with his idol or some other, in his opinion, ideal outwardly person, his self-esteem drops, an inferiority complex develops. This age is already difficult: there is a hormonal restructuring of the body, a crisis of self-determination. As a result, after looking at the perfect photos of idols, a teenager can bring himself to anorexia. In extreme cases, self-doubt can even lead to suicidal thoughts.

Therefore, it is very important for parents to take the time to review the photos of these stars together with their child, the psychologist recommends.

— Of course, in today's world it is not possible to completely restrict a child's access to the Internet. If desired, he will be able to access the network secretly. Therefore, more reasonable measures must be taken, the expert advises.

For example, look at pictures of stars together and explain that this picture is fiction. That in everyday life this person can look completely different: without styling, makeup and outfit, you can’t distinguish a star in the crowd from an ordinary passer-by. But just one such conversation is not enough. We need to be patient and often, while at home, question the ideal image of celebrities.

A couple of narcissists will not get along together

Normal healthy family relationships with a person suffering from narcissism are difficult to build, says Gestalt therapist and child psychologist Anfisa Kalistratova.

— A narcissistic partner is cold, constantly demanding increased attention, — says the psychologist. - From his half, he expects admiration and sacrifice. Although he is not ready to give anything in return. These are the people who are used to receiving care and attention. And their partners, in turn, become the so-called energy donors. Often, a narcissist can humiliate his chosen one, leading to mental exhaustion.

Partners, in turn, at first sacrifice some of their principles, bend. But at the same time, they still maintain a relationship with a narcissist for a long time.

“Even if others say that they are in an unhealthy, co-dependent relationship, and their partner behaves strangely, they do not believe in it for a long time, they deny it,” continues Anfisa Kalistratova. - But over time, such people still wonder: what is wrong in my relationship? After all, in their opinion, they did a lot in order to maintain their union and brighten up the life of their beloved. But there is no positive result. And in this case, they reach the so-called bottom: they realize that they have fallen into the trap of a manipulator. It can take years to get to this point. And after that, the victim of the narcissist needs a long therapy. It can be difficult for them to build new relationships in the future.

But two daffodils can't get along with each other. Their relationship will not survive the constant struggle with each other for dominance and attention. Everyone will try to pull the blanket over themselves, but none of the partners will obey.


As a rule, narcissists rarely decide to start a family. Usually they live only for their own pleasure and are not ready to share it with others. Therefore, their parents are cold and distant. Children develop what is known as narcissistic trauma. They may experience a lack of care and attention.

“People who are in love with themselves are not able to give feelings to others, including their children,” explains Anfisa Kalistratova. - Therefore, over time, their children can either grow up as notorious personalities, or, conversely, become the same egoists. They will strive to become like their parents. That is, in the same way in the future they will begin to put themselves above others.

Moreover, there is a possibility that the daughters or sons of narcissistic parents will look for a mate to match their mothers or fathers. And it won't lead to anything good.

- In this case, they will always be in search of the same supposedly ideal, impeccable people. But in the end they will not find such - after all, every person has his own shortcomings. And the child of a narcissist, by the way, firmly believes in the uniqueness of his parent - this is how he was inspired from early childhood. Therefore, the search for the same beautiful person can be delayed until this child understands that all ideality is just an illusion, the psychologist said.

Children of narcissists may also develop a pathological fear of shame. To avoid a negative reaction from others, they can unquestioningly fulfill their every whim. The danger of a narcissistic disorder is that in the future such people are more prone to depression and drug use.

To get rid of it, you need to learn to ask.

According to clinical psychologist Yana Tolmacheva, narcissists often admit that it is difficult for them to ask for something from another person.

- All because they feel shame. It seems to them that in this way they show their weakness and inability to live, - says the psychologist. “For them, asking someone else for help is humiliating. At the same time, narcissists may argue that the people around them are insensitive and cannot offer their help themselves. However, they need to be explained that other people are not able to guess their needs.

Thus, one of the ways to get rid of a narcissistic disorder is to say to yourself the feelings that arise at the moment when you need to ask for help.

- As a rule, as a result of such therapy, the narcissist manages to independently understand that turning to another is not a sign of weakness, but a common routine. And because of such the smallest requests, self-esteem should not suffer, - says Yana Tolmacheva.


Signs of unhealthy complacency

— Every new space is perceived as a potential photo session.

— Among the environment of the narcissist there are only people who admire him and agree on everything. The rest he avoids.

— The social network supersedes all other human interests.

- He literally lives in a virtual world.

- A bad photo causes irritation.

- Depends too much on other people's opinions.


Experts say that narcissistic personality disorder occurs in childhood for two reasons. Or because of too good and reverent attitude from the parents. Or, on the contrary, due to tensions in the family. At the same time, the first option is more widespread: many children begin to believe in their superiority because of the constant praise from their parents. But those who were not bestowed with love, on the contrary, can convince themselves of their impeccability.

Selfishness reigned

Narcissism is directly related to such phenomena in society as a decrease in the number of marriages, an increase in cases of divorce and voluntary refusal to have children. Alexander Sinelnikov, Professor of the Department of Sociology and Demography of the Faculty of Sociology of Moscow State University named after M. V. Lomonosov, came to such conclusions.

A study by the Department of Sociology and Demography of the Faculty of Sociology of Moscow State University named after MV Lomonosov showed that narcissism is most often characteristic of people who have personal freedom and independence occupying a high place in the system of life values.

— And this quality, of course, interferes with the creation of a family, — says Alexander Sinelnikov, professor of the department. - Narcissists do not want to share a roof over their heads with someone - this, in their opinion, is an infringement of freedom. And if they are already in a relationship, then they are in no hurry to register them officially. Even if narcissists decide to take such a responsible step, such marriages often end in divorce: it is difficult to get along with a selfish person. And they are in no hurry to create a family again, as this again can put them in a dependent position.

Alexander Sinelnikov notes that in recent years the number of people living in a civil marriage or refusing to register a relationship has been growing. The number of childless women is also on the rise. And an indirect sign of the emergence of this trend is, among other things, the so-called wave of narcissism.

— Most of those who hold such views on life are the generation of the only children in the family born in the 1990s, — says Alexander Sinelnikov, professor of the department. - For example, in Soviet times, the interests of the collective were taken higher than the interests of one taken individual. Now this ideology has long ceased to be predominant and has lost popularity. But in its place, no other appeared that would help people to stop putting their own interests above all else. At 19In the 1990s, a general "egoization" of the population reigned, especially among young people. All old values ​​collapsed, and new ones did not appear.

In the West, this began to happen even earlier, the expert says.

- Now in many European countries, by the age of 50, no more than half of men and women enter into legal marriage. They either prefer cohabitation or just live alone. For example, a study conducted in Germany showed that 25 percent of women born in 1968 had not given birth to a single child by the age of 50, says Alexander Sinelnikov.

The sociologist suggests that this trend may become typical for our country over the years.

- Since the end of the last century, the birth rate has been declining. But there is a positive moment - the state began to financially support families, - says the expert.

Narcissist is difficult to recognize

Alexander Fedorovich, psychiatrist:

— Narcissism should not be confused with banal narcissism. The first is a diagnosis, a mental personality disorder. Not even every specialist can diagnose it - you need to have certain knowledge and experience. The second is the manner of behavior, which is characteristic of many people. I will give an example of an unhealthy manifestation of narcissism: a person reduces everything that happens in the outside world to his personality, believes that everyone around him thinks and talks only about him, he is convinced of his uniqueness. His behavior is demonstrative - in a word, he does everything for show. Often such traits are characteristic of representatives of the creative intelligentsia.

But if a person just cares about his appearance a little more than usual, strives to look good, spends a lot of time in front of a mirror - this is not yet narcissism, although in everyday life such habits are often called that way.

Self-admiration is normal if it does not force a person out of ordinary life in any way. For example, a narcissist is so obsessed with their appearance that they feel the need for constant admiration. Demands this from others. Therefore, it all comes down to the fact that his circle of friends is only those people against whose background he feels special, the smartest, the most beautiful. In any other company, narcissists feel uncomfortable.

And, getting into a new space, people obsessed with themselves, first of all, look for interiors and angles in order to take a picture and post a new card on their page on a social network. If the pictures are unsuccessful, they are sincerely upset, annoyed. The narcissist perceives each of his appearances or meetings with friends as an occasion for publication.

But it is worth noting that if such habits are observed in adolescents, this is not yet a cause for concern. But if a person over 20 years old literally lives on Instagram, this is already a deviation . .. Of course, in the modern world, many people post photos from their lives online. But if this happens several times a week - this is absolutely normal, there is nothing to worry about. But when virtual life is put in the first place, this is an alarming signal.

Outwardly, daffodils look well-groomed and restrained. Catchy and frilly outfits, extravagant hairstyles, bright hair colors that creative people usually prefer - this is not about them. You will never meet a narcissist on the street in an awkward hat or funny shoes. Such people adhere to the standard generally accepted idea of ​​\u200b\u200bbeauty and try to look in such a way that others want to compliment them every time about their appearance. Without such constant reminders, the narcissist cannot live.

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Opinions Family Psychology


Irina Postnikova

does not assure the author

of the author

with each I have a friend who likes to talk only about himself.

He never misses an opportunity to brag about: a promotion at work, a new car, how smart his kids are, and what an obedient dog he has. He is not interested in your news and problems. But if he has trouble, he will demand your support and participation. However, this does not happen often: as a rule, a friend is sure that he will make a better decision even without you. Usually such people are called narcissists. We talk about narcissism in the next issue of the guide to the psyche.

In the previous issue: what is the spiral of silence.

What you need to know about the work of the brain

The main thing about effective ways not to succumb to stress and thinking errors is in your mail twice a month on Fridays. Free

What it is

Narcissism is a person's confidence in his own exclusivity, the tendency to exaggerate his contribution to a common cause and a strong thirst for recognition. To one degree or another, these traits are inherent in everyone. But they appear with different intensity. This is why psychologists usually talk about narcissism as a spectrum. At one end of which are people who show little to no narcissistic traits, and at the other end are people with a pathological narcissistic disorder.

A healthy level of narcissism is quite helpful. It makes a person more active, inclined to compete with those around him, self-confident and ambitious, makes him strive for success, set ambitious goals for himself and achieve them with all his might. Psychologists note that there are especially many narcissists among executives and political leaders.

Pathological - that is, pronounced - narcissism, on the contrary, interferes with a person's life. In some countries, it is even considered an official mental disorder.


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There is no such diagnosis in the International Classification of Diseases, which is used in Russia. But it is recognized, for example, by the American Psychiatric Association - APA. Her recommendations list the following signs of narcissistic personality disorder:

  1. Huge conceit.
  2. Presence of all-consuming fantasies about one's success, influence, strength, genius, ideal love.
  3. Confidence that such an exceptional person as himself can only be understood by another equally exceptional person. For example, someone who occupies a high position in society.
  4. Need for admiration and praise from others.
  5. Lack of empathy.
  6. Attacks of envy - and the certainty that others envy him.
  7. Demonstrative arrogance, arrogance.

At the same time, as psychologists note, people with a pronounced disorder are rare. Most often, pathological narcissism has a mixed form and does not manifest itself in all areas of human life. Therefore, there are many different classifications of it.

For example, some researchers have identified several subtypes of pathological narcissists.

Open. A person strives all the time to draw attention to himself and demand praise.

Concealed. A person simultaneously considers himself exceptional and at the same time is not sure of himself. And therefore, he may not openly demonstrate his conceit and not demand recognition from those around him.

Toxic. It is also sometimes called malignant. Distinguished by a craving for power, a desire to control others. In communication, he tends to use manipulative techniques, such as gaslighting or double messaging.


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  • "She should be happy with my attention";
  • "These idiots don't understand who they are dealing with";
  • "I am the best";
  • "I will not communicate with those who earn less than me";
  • "No one is able to do it normally except me";
  • “I don't care what makes them uncomfortable. I have to think about myself."
  • Why it occurs

    Because of the natural mechanisms of personality formation. In early childhood, it is believed that each of us goes through the so-called "narcissistic stage": when the child begins to take great pleasure in his own body and what it is capable of. During this period, two models are simultaneously formed in him: a majestic image of himself and an idealized image of his parents.

    As the child grows older, if the child receives enough care and support from adults, these two models change and become more realistic and adequate. But at the same time, in one form or another, narcissistic traits remain with a person until the end of his life. In most cases, this remains the norm.

    Due to the peculiarities of upbringing. This is one of the main reasons for the transition of narcissism into a pathological form. If in early childhood a person did not receive attention from his parents - for example, he was rarely praised for his first achievements or initiative actions - this can form in him a strong need for admiration from others. He will try with all his might to implement it already in adulthood.

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    Due to narcissistic disorder of close relatives or parents. They often realize the need for recognition from others by asserting themselves on the child. He is forced - at least internally - to protect his own self-esteem. Which reinforces his narcissistic traits and behavior patterns, which he unconsciously adopts from the adults raising him.

    What is the danger

    Although people with non-pathological levels of narcissism are often successful in life, they still need external confirmation of their success and positive feedback from other people. If they do not receive this, then they experience internal discomfort. However, it usually does not lead to negative consequences.

    The problems that people with pathological narcissism face are much more serious. The disorder disrupts their ability to adapt in society: it becomes difficult for the narcissist to communicate with others and lead a normal social and professional life. He ceases to adequately perceive reality and flexibly respond to ongoing events.

    In addition, narcissistic disorder can serve as a trigger for the development of mental illness: depression, addiction to alcohol and drugs.

    Difficulties also arise in people who are in romantic, friendly or family relationships with a pathological narcissist. They are constantly attacked, passive-aggressive, and manipulated. This increases the amount of negative emotions and stress in their lives. And in the long term, it can lead to problems with self-esteem, increase anxiety, and give impetus to the development of mental disorders.


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    What to do

    Narcissism is almost impossible to deal with on your own. The help of a psychologist or psychotherapist is needed. They will help you understand yourself and, if necessary, correct the internal attitudes that underlie narcissistic manifestations. Research has shown the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral and analytic psychotherapy. Other methods have not given convincing results in the fight against narcissism.

    But experts note that suspecting yourself of narcissism is a sign that you do not have a serious pathology. People who actually suffer from narcissistic disorder usually don't realize it. Painfully inflated self-esteem often prevents them from realizing that something is wrong with them. Usually, pathological narcissists go to doctors when they want to be cured of an associated mental disorder.

    Communication with a pronounced or pathological narcissist is rarely enjoyable. Usually, such people are not particularly interested in meaningful communication and see others only as a means for their own self-affirmation or achievement of goals. Therefore, many often seek to end such relationships.


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    For those for whom this is not possible, they are advised to build several levels of protection:

    1. Don't try to change a person. Narcissists are usually confident in their ideality, and therefore never admit their mistakes and do not see the need to work on their behavior.
    2. Try to distance yourself emotionally from what the narcissist is telling you. Remember that his insulting and devaluing words are not based on an objective assessment of your personality and abilities. With their help, the narcissist is only trying to manipulate you in order to fulfill an internal need for control, to strengthen his self-esteem.
    3. Put your own interests first, don't sacrifice psychological comfort. For example, if you feel that a conversation with a narcissist is becoming emotionally uncomfortable for you, stop it.
    4. To minimize manipulation attempts by the narcissist, use a few tricks. Answer all questions as clearly as possible so as not to give him the opportunity to accuse you of what you did not mean. And make sure that the conversation does not go away from the original topic.
    5. If you decide to end the relationship, be firm in this decision.
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