Over the next 3 blog posts, I will share some of the information gleaned from a recent training I undertook on narcissism. In today’s post, we will look at the traits and characteristics that define narcissism. To begin, we want to think about narcissism as existing on a spectrum, from the most extreme (malignant and much more challenging to treat) to less extreme (annoying, but more amenable to treatment). On this spectrum, we can see the below traits:
- Self-absorption – Struggles around inconveniencing themselves for others, and sees others as sources of gratification rather than people with their own needs/desires.
- Lack of empathy – Unable to imagine the internal world of others.
- Lack of remorse – Difficulty with taking responsibility for their actions and their impact on others.
- Controlling/domineering behaviour – An unbending, inflexible quality that can look like “my way or the highway”.
- Entitlement – They do what they want, when they want it, and how they want it, without consideration for others.
- Grandiose – Seeks extraordinary amounts of external approval/acknowledgement from others.
- Weighted emphasis on performance over connection.
- Quick to anger, frustration and passive aggression rather than accessing more vulnerable feelings.
The intensity and number of traits influence where on the narcissistic spectrum a person falls. More excess (in intensity and number) equals more challenge when it comes to treatment of narcissism. Less intensity and fewer traits suggest a higher degree of amenability to treatment. We will pick in with treatment in the next blog post. Until then, peace.