Narcissistic Personality Disorder has nine traits. In order to be diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder a person must have at least 5 of the traits.
Narcissism is on a spectrum.
There are many people that have 2, 3 or 4 of the characteristics on this list. These people may have elements of narcissism. They would be said to have “narcissistic traits” but rather than “full blown” narcissistic personality disorder.
People that have all 9 traits would be diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder. They are a psychopath. The more traits someone has, the more potentially dangerous they are to you.
It is difficult to know a psychopath well enough to be able to identify all of their traits because they keep things hidden and cover up their pathology by acting like a different person when they interact with others.
Here are the nine traits of narcissistic personality disorder.
1. Grandiosity – This is an unrealistic view of oneself that they are bigger than life and better than others. They feel that they have a godlike, divine or extremely powerful purpose of being on the earth. Their very being is to be admired and obeyed. Nothing is more important than they are.
2. Arrogant and Domineering – think they are better than everyone else. They know more than anyone else. Controlling of others and dominating. They see others as inferior to them in intelligence, vision, looks, and everything else. They expect other people to admire and be in awe of them.
3. Preoccupation with Success and Power – They have a need to be powerful and have a cult of followers that admire them. They like to have a harem of sorts of people around them, as if they are a king or a queen. Their drive for success and power is due to their need for narcissistic supply and to get into positions where they have manipulate people.
4. Lack of empathy – an inability to care about the feelings of others or put themselves in someone else’s shoes in an emotional way. Actually narcissists and psychopaths have a cold empathy which allows them to understand your fears, weaknesses, hopes and dreams. They can take an inventory of you and then use the your feelings against you.
5. Belief of being unique – They believe that they are very special and that they are better than everyone else. They often think that they have a unique powerful purpose that sets them above everyone else and gives them an excuse to do whatever they want and take whatever they want.
6. Sense of entitlement – They feel that they are entitled to anything and anyone they want. This includes things that belong to other people. It includes taking over the lives of other people and using people and then throwing them away like trash. There is no appreciation when people do anything for them because they were entitled to it, in the first place.
7. Requires excessive admiration – they want to be admired and paid attention to all the time. They have no tolerance for anyone else being in the spotlight. Because they need to have their false self validated, they need people to pay attention to, talk about, admire and basically worship their false self. That way the illusion of the false self stays strong.
8. Exploitative – they will take advantage of other people for their own best interest. They will take more than they give, refuse to pay people for their services in a fair way …if at all, and use people up until there is nothing left of them
9. Envious of others – they are resentful when other people have things that they feel entitled to. They become angry when they see that other people have things that they do not.
It does not matter if the other person worked for it and they did not. They are envious of the property, authority, and reputations of others. There is speculation that they are
I have included a documentary below that you might find interesting. It goes through each of the nine traits of narcissism and explains them.
Sam Vaknin is interviewed in this documentary. He is a level 9 narcissist who is unusual in that he is self aware. He is aware that he has this disorder.
One of the things that Sam says in this film, was very familiar to what I heard my most recent ex narcissist say many times.
Sam says ” …the slightest hint of criticism or disagreement threatens the precarious balance that I have created over many years…the balance that constitutes my personality…you are out to destroy and kill me, so I am out to destroy and kill you..”
My ex used to get disproportionately angry when anyone criticized him or even offered any advice or suggestion that he change anything. Even suggestions from business coaches, that he paid to advise him, were taken as a threat.
Any time anyone disagreed with him or suggested that he change anything, he would become so angry that he would become violent and inflict self harm in front of them.
I think this was a way of acting out and also of frightening people. He would scream, he would hit his own head with his fist. On a few occasions he actually strangled his own neck with his hands.
He also was known to yell in anger and rip and tear his own shirt, in front of his employees. He would threaten self harm and even suicide when anyone asked him to do anything. He said that people should do things for him. They had no right to ask him to do things, because he could not tolerate any demands.