The term “narcissist” has been on the rise for several years and is often used as a casual insult. No one likes to be called out on narcissistic behaviour or to be known as a narcissist.
Studies and surveys revealed that 1 in 16 Americans has a narcissistic personality disorder. For many people, it becomes difficult to identify who has narcissistic behaviour and who suffers from a disorder.
But before you label someone a narcissist, consider that there are different types of Narcissism. However, they maintain Narcissism’s basic characteristics but are displayed through other behaviours and vary in degree of severity and danger.
In this article, we will discuss a few different common types of narcissists.
What is Narcissism, and where does it come from?
You can define Narcissism as “an excessive interest in one’s physical appearance or admiration of oneself.” The term was first used in the Greek myth about Narcissus, a handsome Greek man who fell in love with his reflection in a water pool.
However, psychologists have a different point of view regarding Narcissism. They often look for other personality traits, or pointer, to categorize the type of Narcissism in question. The most common pointers include:
- An inflated sense of entitlement
- High-level arrogance
- The lack of ability to empathize
- A preoccupation with power or success
- A grandiose sense of self-importance
- An excessive need for admiration
By looking at these pointers, Narcissism can be defined as Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
How many types of Narcissists are there?
Some types of Narcissism have been identified and validated by peer-reviewed research, whereas various mental health professionals informally name other types. Thus there is no fixed number of Narcissist types.
The Toxic Narcissist
There is a wide range of toxic narcissists, and none of them is good. These type of people causes drama in other’s lives at the very least and causes destruction and pain at the very worst. So, if you have a friend in your circle who constantly demands all your attention and time and make themselves sad if you don’t fulfil those demands, then you should know that you’re dealing with a toxic narcissist.
Similarly, if someone in your life has caused more extreme issues like physically abused you, gotten you fired from your job, or led to the end of a relationship, they can be a toxic narcissist as well.
The Closet Narcissist
This type of narcissist is more complex to spot than other types of narcissists, and the reason is most of the time, they aren’t always obvious about their disorder. Closet narcissists don’t inflict their personality upon others but strongly believe in Narcissism’s characteristics. Now, this can mean a lot of things, like constantly needing other people to admire them, feeling entitled, being jealous of other people, being preoccupied with success, and lacking empathy for others.
Closet narcissists are a bit more codependent and will try to pretend that they are selfless, but in reality, they’re not. They will always like to keep in touch with someone that they admire and ride their coattails.
The Psychopathic Narcissist
A psychopath is a person who is unstable and aggressive. And a psychopathic narcissist also shows these traits. This is a type of toxic narcissist. These types of narcissists will always be violent and show no remorse for their behaviour. Try to distance yourself from these narcissists if you have them in your social circle.
The Exhibitionist Narcissist
The exhibitionist narcissists are on the opposite side of the narcissism spectrum from the closet narcissists. They let everyone around them know that they possess narcissistic behaviour. An exhibitionist narcissist will take advantage of other people and is often arrogant and haughty. They will openly devalue other people if they cannot get admiration.
Most of the time, untrained people mistakenly consider exhibitionist narcissists as toxic narcissists due to their use of devaluation. They always need to be in the spotlight.
The Bullying Narcissist
Bullying narcissists have two terrible traits: bullying and self-absorption. They will trash other people to build themselves up. These people are often fixated on winning and will threaten or mock others to get their way.
They become happy for making other people feel bad, small, or unworthy. Unlike regular bully who likes to put people down, they do it personal motivation.
The Vindictive Narcissist
A vindictive narcissist will never let you go if you challenge them. They will do everything to destroy you. Vindictive narcissists will never waste an opportunity of ending your relationship with your loved ones. They may gossip about you to your friends. There is no surprise that if you’re married to a vindictive narcissist, he will always try to spread hate for you among your children.
Vindictive narcissists are good at hiding their true nature, never leave any evidence. That’s why save texts, emails, and other communications that can later prove that the person was harassing you or trying to harm you. But the better is to try to distance yourself from the beginning.
The Seducer Narcissist
This is also one of the tricky types of narcissists. The seducer narcissist will make you feel good about winning you over as love or sexual conquest. They will often seem to admire you, only to write you off once they no longer have use of you.
Can you change a narcissist?
The answer is NO. Unless you are an experienced psychologist, you cannot fix or change someone’s behaviour. The only thing you can do is to change your reaction to their behaviour.
Let them be who they are, and don’t make their personality disorder your disorder. If you’ve already distanced yourself from a narcissist, keep in mind they will exploit your weaknesses to reel you back in. There are expecting you to fail but be strong and never give up.
The Bottom Line
As I said in the beginning, there are many types of narcissists. Some of them are more dangerous than others. If you’re dealing with someone you think might have a narcissistic personality disorder, the best thing you can do is protect yourself and set strong boundaries.