Narcissism PSA

Narcissism PSA

Narcissism PSA. Lots of talk about the topic. Not lots of clarity. A few things to know.

1) There is healthy narcissism, as in confidence, assertiveness, solid self-esteem, belief in talent, belief in abilities, even a sort of badassery that comes off, to some, as arrogance. Nothing wrong with healthy narcissism. It correlates with success in the world.

2) What amounts to pathological narcissism comes in two broad types: grandiose and vulnerable (or, closeted, stealth narcissism). The grandiose form is easy to spot. It’s in your face and, eventually, unignorable (at first, grandiose narcissists are captivating; slowly, they turn rancid). The vulnerable form is trickier: “I suck but I’m still far superior to you” (implied, not said out loud) or a quiet, shy, reticent, but totally thoroughgoing subtextual entitlement.

3) An inventory exists for detecting particularly pathological narcissistic trends. Here are the factors: contingent self-esteem (thirsty need for admiration/external validation); exploitiveness (manipulative user of others); self-sacrificing self-enhancement (self-glorification disguised as altruism); hiding the self (inability to display faults); grandiose fantasy (self explanatory); devaluing (no need for others who don’t puff you up); entitlement rage (fury when entitled expectations not met).

narc14) These factors are invariant across gender, btw, and they map onto the grandiose and vulnerable types.