Types of narcissism

  • By BD
  • July 1, 2023
  • 0
A terrified lady worried about a narcissist

Narcissism can be broadly categorized into different types or subtypes based on various characteristics and patterns of behaviour. Here are a few commonly recognized types of narcissism:

  1. Grandiose Narcissism: This is the classic or overt form of narcissism that most people associate with the term. Grandiose narcissists have an inflated sense of self-importance, a constant need for admiration and attention, and a belief that they are special or superior to others. They often display arrogance, a sense of entitlement, and a tendency to exploit and manipulate others to meet their own needs.
  2. Vulnerable Narcissism: Vulnerable narcissism, also known as covert or closet narcissism, is characterized by fragile self-esteem and an underlying sense of inadequacy. Individuals with vulnerable narcissism may appear shy, introverted, or even self-deprecating. They seek validation and affirmation from others but may struggle with criticism or rejection, leading to hypersensitivity and defensiveness.
  3. Malignant Narcissism: Malignant narcissism is a more severe and destructive form of narcissism. It combines traits of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) with antisocial behaviour, sadism, and a lack of empathy. Individuals with malignant narcissism often display manipulative, exploitative, and even abusive tendencies. They can be highly vindictive, seek revenge, and engage in harmful behaviours without remorse.
  4. Communal Narcissism: While less commonly discussed, communal narcissism involves a focus on appearing selfless, altruistic, or morally superior. Individuals with communal narcissism may engage in acts of generosity or charity, but their motives are often driven by a need for admiration, validation, or to maintain a positive self-image. They may also seek recognition for their supposed selflessness.

It’s important to note that these types of narcissism are not mutually exclusive, and individuals may exhibit a combination of different narcissistic traits. Additionally, not all individuals with narcissistic traits meet the diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), which is a specific personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of narcissistic behaviour.

Understanding these different types of narcissism can help in recognizing and navigating relationships with individuals who exhibit narcissistic traits. However, diagnosing and treating narcissistic personality disorder requires professional assessment and intervention by mental health professionals.