What are the types of narcissists?

This article will focus on explaining what are the types of a narcissist, and how each of them can behave. To help you understand that, the article will briefly explain what it means to have a narcissistic personality disorder.

What are the types of narcissists?

Usually, it is said that the types of narcissists will be divided into the ones that have a more adaptive way, which means that their narcissistic traits will help them integrate into society. This means that it can lead them to feel self-assured, and confident.

Or the ones that have maladaptive traits, which means that the narcissistic traits will behave in an unhelpful way to help them deal with life. Causing them to feel entitled, and even become aggressive.

But under maladaptive narcissism, there are other five types of narcissistic traits. Let’s discuss which they are.

Overt narcissism 

This type of narcissism is usually described by the sense of grandiose that the person will have. They will be people that will constantly feel good about themselves, and will not experience negative emotions such as sadness, or loneliness often. 

An overt narcissist will often lack empathy towards others, can have an exaggerated sense of self, and will need the praise of others.

To other people, this type of narcissist may seem outgoing, and sometimes even arrogant. But not only that, but they may also come out as entitled, overbearing, exploitative, and competitive.

It is not set in stone that a person will always be an overt narcissist. They can swing between being overt and a covert narcissist throughout their lives. But there are also subtypes of overt narcissism. Let’s check that out. 

Antagonistic narcissism 

An antagonistic narcissist is a subtype of overt narcissism. This is a person that focuses mainly on competition, and rivalry. They can often be arrogant and will act in ways that they can take advantage, of or compete with others.

They are the type of narcissists that will often get into disagreements and will be the ones that have more trouble forgiving others. Because of those traits, the antagonistic narcissist can be the one that will have more trouble trusting others.

Communal narcissism

Another form of overt narcissism, communal narcissism will often be seen as the opposite of antagonistic narcissism. They will have a higher sense of fairness, and because of that, they will see themselves as an altruistic person.

But there is a difference in the way they perceive themselves, and the way they act. They are people that will easily become morally outraged and will say to others they are empathetic people. 

And this may lead them to believe that they are caring, and fair people. But a communal narcissist will be different from other people because they may say those things, but in their actions, you will be able to notice that their sense of self-importance and social power is extremely important to them.

What are the types of narcissists?

Covert narcissism 

A covert narcissist is one that often hides that they are a narcissist. Because of that, they are also called closeted narcissists, or vulnerable narcissists. This doesn’t mean that they are consciously hiding that they are narcissists, but rather that the traits they show are different from other types.

They are not the loud, overbearing type. A covert narcissist will often be one that will show low self-esteem. They can also be more introverted and feel insecure. In most cases, they will be defensive and will play the role of the victim 

They are also more susceptible to experiencing negative emotions, and also becoming depressed. People with covert narcissism tend to be avoidant. And even though they are self-absorbed, this is a conflict within them with the idea that they are never enough.

Because of all those traits, it can be hard for a person with covert narcissism to accept criticism, but when it happens, they may absorb it, and take it harder than what was intended by the person that said it. 

Malignant narcissism

Viewing narcissism as a spectrum, you may come to understand that malignant narcissism is the most maladaptive one. It is a type of narcissism that can make it harder for the person to live their lives.

This type of narcissism may be more related to covert narcissism, since it may be more related to a sense of insecurity, anxiety, and low self-esteem. But they will also show some basic traits of narcissism such as the need for praise from others.

Malignant narcissism will also be related to them being vindictive. People with that form of narcissism can often have sadist behavior and can be aggressive towards others. Aside from that, they tend to become paranoid and can be constantly worried about possible threats.

They are also people that have a higher chance of developing drug or alcohol abuse. And can even experience legal problems. 

What is a narcissistic personality disorder? 

A narcissistic personality disorder is a name given to the condition of a person that is a narcissist. But a person will not only be a narcissist if they have the disorder, it is also possible that the person will have traits of their personality that show narcissism.

When a person is like that, it means they are often people that will rely on the admiration of others but will have a high sense of self-worth. They are usually people that will maintain a relationship because of what they will gain from it. 

It can be that the other person will constantly praise them, or give them power, so that is a type of relationship a narcissist will likely keep.

People that are narcissists will also have a sense of being grand, and think highly of themselves. They can think that they need to be treated differently and better than others and will feel the need to show just how impressive they are. 

They will often be overly focused on themselves because they feel like they are worth a lot more than other people around them. Which can often lead them to brag about everything. They need others to keep admiring them, so they can feel good about themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):  What are the types of narcissists?  

Is there a cure to being a narcissist?

No, there is no cure to being a narcissist. What can happen is that the narcissist will go through treatment, essentially therapy which will help them deal with the issues it can bring. 

It will help them have a more realistic view of themselves, and others, which can also impact the expectations of both, causing the narcissist to not see everything in such perfect parameters.

It will also help them to set more realistic goals for themselves, though admitting that they are not perfect. In some cases, narcissists can also take medication, but this is often related to other conditions they may develop such as anxiety, or even depression.

Can a narcissist love?

It is possible to say that a narcissist will love, but it is important to understand that their idea of love is not the same as other people have. They will often be in love with someone according to how much they think the other person can give them. 

It can be that during the first stages of contact, they feel like they are in love because the other person is making them feel powerful, feeding them all the praise they think they ever needed. 

But since people can’t keep giving this much to others, at some point they can feel like the person they loved was not perfect at all, which will often lead them to fall out of love, and to look for another person they can put on this perfection pedestal.

What happens when a narcissist realizes you caught them?

The first thing you need to know is that a narcissist will never admit to doing something that is not right. So if you tell them you are aware of what they have been doing, they can act in some ways. 

They can begin to use many manipulative techniques to create a bond with you through trauma. Or they can create many stories to show that you are the one in the wrong. They will often begin to accuse you of things or misinterpret what you said.

And finally, instead of owning up to what they did, narcissists will often begin to project. This is something narcissists do all too well. If you are telling them they are lying, they will begin to tell, to your face, situations in which they feel you have lied to them, and some of them may not even be based in reality.

What type of women do narcissists prefer?

This is a double edge sword question. Narcissists will often be attracted not by the person in itself, but to what the person can give them. In that sense, they can often be attracted to confident women, and have a powerful life, because they see that as a way of them becoming powerful as well.

But it is also true that narcissists will feed on the praise of others, and a self-assured woman will not likely be one to be giving all this attention as the narcissist requires. 

So in some cases, narcissists will also be interested in women that are more unsure of themselves, and even have shaky self-esteem, because they will be willing to give the narcissist all they need.

How do you make a narcissist feel bad?

If you are considering making a narcissist feel bad, know that this is not simple. They will often not care or take responsibility for things enough. But you should know that you can make a narcissist feel bad by not giving them enough attention, or doing something they don’t like.

Aside from that, when they lose they can feel bad, the same way as when you set boundaries with them, and bring logic and facts in a discussion with them, showing you won’t fall for their scene. This type of critical thinking can often cause them to feel completely miserable.

In the same way, people that have spontaneous behaviors that cause them to feel they can’t control things will also make them feel bad when seeing someone else succeed. Going through problems, such as financial problems, that make them feel they are not perfect, will also make them feel bad.

As dealing with emotions, and people that have more authority in matters than they do. Having to commit to something is also something that can make them feel bad, as they feel they are losing their chance of finding something better.


This article showed the types of narcissists, and how they will often behave. Aside from that, the article explained what it means to have a narcissist personality disorder.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write them in the section below.