Narcissism Psychology

Do you think of someone specific when the question “who are the narcissists”? Does the question remind you of someone close to you? To a family member? A colleague? A boss at work? Your partner or ex-partner? The instructors of this course or those who have taken it are largely people who have gained experience with living, communicating and dealing with people who score high on the narcissistic personality disorder spectrum or NPD.

Who are the narcissists?

For some of you, narcissists would be celebrities or politicians or people of high status. In some organizations they portray themselves in a certain way. Or maybe it are people who like to admire themselves in the mirror, who want to look good. But many of us want to look good. Does it mean that we are all narcissists? Not necessary.


Take a minute or two and think of all people who you think might be narcissists, or at least they are high on personality spectrum disorder.

Results of the reflection

So maybe you’ve heard from somebody that they mother was narcissistic or the ex boyfriend or ex-girlfriend was a narcissist, or maybe it was yours.

– So what do we learn about narcissism in these cases, that a narcissist is someone who is using somebody else? Right. And that can include the partners for their own gains.

– They might be cold and emotionally distant who cannot be sensitive enough to other people’s needs. Right.

– Perhaps you have some other descriptions that you could add here, too.

Differences of people with NPD

But the main thing we need to understand straight away is that who we might call a narcissist and an actual person with a diagnosed NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) might actually have some significant differences, especially when we examine the behavior in detail, as we will do in this course.

NPD is a diagnosis based on strict criteria of several points that demonstrate the actual disorder. Call it an abnormality or a distortion in one’s thinking and perception of themselves and others. This when the disorder is affecting the person’s life and their relationships with others. And this is when the person might be interested in testing and diagnosis and then the treatment of this disorder, NPD.
Many, if not most people with NPD are not aware of their own disorder. They think that there is nothing wrong with them. They will deny that their perceptions of the world, of other people, and of communications are faulty. Instead, they are looking through the prism of their own thinking and they might see others as people with abnormal thinking and very psychological issues instead. It’s not them. It’s all the people.

But how many people around us are actually narcissists? You might wonder. Well, today, more than ever, many people are interested in the topic of narcissism and asking themselves questions such as, are all celebrities a narcissist? Is narcissism a mental health illness? Is narcissism always about thing? Am I or someone from my family is a narcissist? What about my friend or my neighbor who seems to like themselves a bit too much or arrogant? Should I worry about befriending one who might be a narcissist? And if I like to put my own photos on Instagram or other social media, does it make me a narcissist?

San Diego State University and epidemic of narcissism

According to researchers at San Diego State University, we may be living with an epidemic of narcissism in the youth of America. The researchers concluded that permissive parenting, celebrity culture and the Internet may have all contributed. In her book, based on the San Diego State study psychologist Jean Twenge wrote, that has been a 67 percent increase in narcissism over the past two decades, and she estimated 10 percent of the overall population suffers from narcissism, US full blown NPD, which means you live out, the rest of people ask higher narcissistic personality disorder. Those obviously those who qualify, as we would say. As you can see, according to the psychologist, we are living in times when we know, live with or work with someone who can be described as narcissistic or at least someone with strong narcissistic


This is why we need to be aware not only of some main characteristics and behaviors of people with narcissistic traits, but also in what way your relationship with them might negatively affect your own psychological health and well-being. And we have some traits you will recognize in yourself, too. But just be gentle and kind to herself and realize that we are all somewhere on various scales of psychological disorders, whether they would indicate depression and anxiety, all narcissism, your own awareness and what you will be living in here in this course can help you to adjust your behavior, especially when you are thinking of your own relationships with people with narcissistic traits in the best possible for your way.

There is so much we can say here about narcissistic traits and people who have them. But for now, we can see a narcissist can be pretty much anyone who we see on a daily basis, all from time to time, who we work with or live with. And at times we cannot create the distance from them. But we can learn to be aware of their narcissistic behavior, especially when it’s directed to us. And we can respond accordingly. According to the DSM, which is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Psychological and Psychiatric Disorders.

The ciphers of people suffering from NPD

Actual NPD is less common that what we call narcissism.

In the US, for example, it is estimated that one in 200 people can be diagnosed with actual NPD.

But as we say earlier, what we see as narcissistic behavior in people is much more prevalent and all around us. And and also, statistically speaking, NPD more prevalent in men than women.

About 75 percent of individuals with this disorder are men.

Finally, we can add here that according to the recovery village, the prevalence of NPD in certain demographics is higher than others. For example, it is known that you are more likely to meet individuals with NPD amongst first year medical students than, for example, nursing professions or military environments rather than teaching, for
example. That’s interesting and thought provoking, isn’t it? OK.


  • Narcissism has become more frequent in the last decade because of a change in parenting.
  • Parenting styles have become more permissive than ever before
  • Internet and self exposure on social media
  • Celebrity culture that we can follow on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube
  • Narcissism is more like a cluster of specific traits (see next post)
  • Many people have this cluster of traits to a certain degree, which is O.K.
  • NPD is a serious psychological disorder involving testing, diagnosis and treatment

You may live with, work with or regularly communicate with a person with a strong narcissistic traits. And you might not realize that yet these traits have become a common occurrence. And we as a society started getting used to these phenomena without question and eat too much.

Distribution between men and women

In clinical psychology and psychiatry, it is estimated that persons with NPD are typically
males with next distribution:

# Males Females
Percentages: 75% 25%

In next post, we’ll be looking at various signs of narcissistic personality disorder or
somebody who is high on narcissism. And we will have a look at the red flags that you need to support pretty much straight away when you are meeting with people. If you see those red flags and those signs. Be aware about narcissism. Because sadly, our mind can get damage from relationships with people who have narcissistic personality disorder. If we are not prepared to deal with them, if we are not aware of what’s going on.

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