5 Ways Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms Manifest

Hey Optimist Minds!

Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD tend to be difficult, arrogant, and antagonistic. Their narcissistic behaviours negatively impact the mental health of most people involved with them. 

However, since most people with NPD are pretty charming and charismatic, it can be hard to recognise the symptoms in early interactions. This video will talk about different ways NPD can manifest in a person’s actions and demeanour.

This information is only meant to be used for educational purposes. Do not use this video to label or condemn anyone who matches the descriptions given here. It takes a licensed and qualified mental health professional to diagnose someone with NPD.

Having said that, here are five ways NPD symptoms manifest.

Number One

They set goals that are unrealistically high or unrealistically low.

An important diagnostic criterion of NPD is impairment in self-functioning due to impractical goal-setting. For example, the individual may have dreams of outstanding financial achievement and success to be exceptional. 

For example, they might want to own an empire someday, but it’s an unreasonable ambition based on the amount of effort they’re putting in.

In contrast, they may set personal standards that are too low because they feel entitled. This can look like irrational expectations of special treatment based on a sense of entitlement. 

Maybe they want to be excused from grunt work because they think they’re too good for it.

Number Two

They think of themselves in exaggerated terms.

Someone with NPD will have trouble regulating their emotions. As a result, their level of self-esteem fluctuates with their emotional regulation. 

When they’re feeling good about themselves, they will boast about how profound they are. So, for example, if you and the narcissist have both achieved something great, they’ll insist their achievement was more significant. 

On the other hand, if they’re feeling bad, they’ll use excessively negative or shameful labels for themselves. But they rarely reveal this side of them. More often than not, they’ll instead project the shame onto others and attack with demeaning statements.

If they had cheated, they’d accuse you of using unfair means to succeed. They may even try to run a smear campaign on you.

Number Three

Their intimate relationships are superficial.

Narcissists seek partners who are incredibly good looking, successful or admired by society. They are less interested in the person inside and more concerned with how their partner contributes to their image.

It makes them happy to think that others are envious of their romantic relationship. But, at the same time, if the partner’s lustre starts receding, they won’t hesitate to break up immediately.

Number Four

They’re unable to recognise the needs and feelings of others.

Lack of empathy is typical for narcissists, but it’s not that simple to spot when manifested in behaviour. In some cases, the individual with NPD does not respond to a situation where empathy is required. For example, they may see someone crying but they don’t react.

At other times, especially if they have an audience, the narcissist may have an exaggerated response. But, unfortunately, these reactions tend to seem shallow and excessive. 

Another possibility is that they read too much into what people are saying and perceive jealousy, sarcasm or hostile, intent, even when it isn’t there.

Number Five

They need to be the centre of attention.

The DSM 5 lists pathological levels of attention-seeking as one of the essential criteria of NPD. This usually manifests in conversations with others.

No matter what you’re talking about, the narcissist somehow manages to bring the topic back to them. This happens even if they started the exchange with something about you.

For instance, if they want to show off their fancy new car, they’ll initiate the topic by asking you about yours. Then, after giving superficial replies to your response, they’ll have you listening to all the swanky details about their new purchase.

Have you ever noticed any of the behaviour manifestations we listed here? Let us know in the comments about your experiences with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.