The term narcissist has become somewhat diluted. We call people narcissists who are rude or pushy, and those who blather on about themselves without asking about anyone else. Sure, they might ultimately be “narcissists” but true narcissistic personality disorder is rare. What’s not rare, however, is the manifestation of narcissistic traits.

A critical mass of these narcissistic traits adds up to full-blown narcissistic personality disorder. However, these narcissistic traits, when taken individually, can (and do) wreak havoc. What’s more, a little of these traits goes a long way in causing pain and suffering to people unlucky enough to be at the receiving end of the narcissist’s wrath.I recently found this website in which the author, the late Joanna Ashmun, beautifully parses the meaning (and the corresponding) behaviors of the term narcissist. So helpful and so well done.

Read the post here: http://www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/npd/dsm-iv.html

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I read the story. I shook my head. Then I nodded. Then I shook my head again.

If you ask, will a narcissist tell you he or she is a narcissist?

According to a new article in the journal PLOS ONE titled Development and Validation of the Single Item Narcissism Scale (SINS) that is comprised of eleven studies, the authors conclude that narcissists, when specifically asked the question, “Are you a narcissist” will tell you they are narcissists. However, the researchers also conclude that:

“A number of longer measures currently exist to assess narcissism, and many of them are have high reliability and validity.Thus, we believe that this single item measure should only be used when it would be difficult or impossible to include a longer narcissism scale.”

The researchers do say that there were limitations to the study.

“We note, however, that our scale is more face valid than longer narcissism scales, and therefore, impression management concerns could potentially play a larger role. Indeed, we found that people who score high in social desirability have lower scores on the SINS, suggesting that those who worry about pleasing others are less likely to agree that they are narcissistic.”

That last sentence, to me (bold type) says a lot. Image control is a huge part of the narcissistic personality matrix. In which case, a narcissist might reveal they are a narcissist if they sense they will receive approval. Perhaps if they don’t sense the possibility for approval, the answer might be otherwise. And what about shy narcissists? It’s hard to image them bragging about being narcissists.

And as the researchers conclude:

“Researchers who are interested in detecting fine differences in narcissism levels should also use a longer measure.”

 

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Narcissism and Marriage featured on Project: Happily Ever After

How does narcissism look in a love relationship? What does it feel like? How do we know if what we are feeling are the effects of narcissism? New York Times Best Selling author and creator of the award-winning marriage blog, Project: Happily Ever After (with a memoir of the same name) and I discuss the [...]

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Compassion for the narcissist, perhaps~and the self

In Surviving the Self-Involved, I write about cultivating (in ourselves) compassion for the narcissist. The person with narcissism is ill. And, if we are in relationship, we have been affected, and may be contributing to the uneasy patterns of behavior. With all the pain they inflict on others, it can be easy to forget that [...]

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From APA: “A narcissistic society would be a deeply lonely place”

Those are the words of Christopher Barry, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Southern Mississippi in the article from Monitor on Psychology, on the American Psychological Association’s website. The cover story is written by Sadie F. Dingfelder, and titled “Reflecting on Narcissism.”

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Excellent interview by Patt Morrison of Dr. George Woods addressing what is and isn’t narcissism in context of the Isla Vista tragedy

Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times did a terrific interview titled: Dr. George Woods on what went wrong in Isla Vista, and what we can do to curb such shootings. He is a forensic and neuropsychiatrist who next year will become president of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health. An excerpt: Patt [...]

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Songs in the key of narcissism

Songs about falling in love have changed. Instead of focusing on the beauty of one’s face they focus on the size of one’s butt, booty, or, in other words: rear end. Whether the focus was on the face or the backside, I guess you could make the case that the owner of the face or [...]

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You’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MySpace and more. Does that make you a narcissist?

Last year, The New York Times ran a series about social media and narcissism in its “Room for Debate” column. The question was centered around whether or not social media makes people narcissistic. The title: You Like Me! You Really Like Me! Is Facebook turning us into narcissists? I’ve been asked this exact question (and [...]

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When the parent of your child’s friend is a narcissist or just plain difficult

I have a parenting blog over at PsychologyToday.com. When Narcissism: Surviving the Self-Involved came out, I put together a post that addressed the issue of difficult parents. From the post titled: “Is the Carpool Swimming With Narcissists”: “I’ve overheard conversations and spoken with parents who indicate that dealing with the parents of their kids’ friends [...]

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When your aging parent is a narcissist

Narcissism is easy to misunderstand. Many people believe that the narcissist is deeply in love with himself or herself—the true self, that is. If the narcissist is in love with anything, it’s the image of himself. The narcissist is in love with the image of the self he or she has created. That image is [...]

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