The psychology of narcissism

According to the Greek, there was someone who was highly obsessed with his own image. His name was Narcissus who was a very handsome guy and was deeply in search of someone so that he can love. Following the search, he rejected Echo, a nymph.

Later, he accidently caught a glimpse of his own reflection in a mirror and instantly fell in love with himself. He was so obsessed that he was unable to tear away which led him to drown. After that, a flower was marked at the spot of the location of the death and in today’s time that flower is known as the Narcissus.



According to psychologists, narcissism is defined as a pretentious self-image where the narcissists assume that they look good and are smart and hold greater importance as compared to other people. They also think that they are worthy of special treatment.


Psychologists have well established that grandiose narcissism and vulnerable narcissism are the two traits of narcissism.

Grandiose narcissism

It is the most common type of narcissism. The following are the characteristics of grandiose narcissism:-

  • Extrovert
  • Dominant
  • Attention seeker

These kinds of narcissists pursue positions that are centered on power such as celebrities, politicians and so on. But this does not mean that not everyone who is in such a position or is pursuing such positions is a grandiose narcissist.

Vulnerable narcissism

These kinds of narcissists are quiet and mostly reserved. Though having a definite sense of entitlement, these narcissists get easily threatened.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

When the narcissism reaches up to the extreme level, it becomes a disease that is famously known as narcissistic personality disorder. One to two percent of the population are affected and happens mostly among men.

Traits of narcissistic personality disorder

The fifth edition of American psychiatric association’s diagnostic and statistical manual describes the following as the traits of narcissistic personality disorder:-

  • Grandiose view of oneself
  • Sense of entitlement
  • Difficulty with empathy
  • Constant need of admiration or sometimes even attention

These kinds of personality traits eventually take over people’s life causing significant problems.

Cause Of Narcissism

According to a twin study, there was a display of strong genetic components where the gene that was involved was not identified. Environment too plays a great deal in developing narcissism in a person.

Improving The Narcissistic Traits

There is a high chance of possibility of improving the narcissistic traits. For example, one can opt for the following practices:-

  • Honest reflection of one’s own behavior
  • Caring for others
  • Practicing compassion towards others

It has been observed that narcissists act recklessly where they sometimes seek the help of unethical decisions. In terms of narcissist partners, they are more likely to be dishonest and if things come to worse then they may become aggressive as well. Therefore, people with such kind of narcissism should seek help so that their conditions can be improved.

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