With shows like The Pickup Artist on the radar, it seems that male narcissism is flourishing if not becoming epidemic while being fueled by our culture and the media. While egomaniacs may make for irritating but good TV, they can have a truly destructive impact on the lives of their loved ones.
While considering the narcissistic levels of ourselves or loved ones is not new, a recent Chicago Tribune article about dating narcissists offered some handy tips on how to diagnose and, more importantly, decide to live with (or leave) a narcissist. The American Psychological Association lists nine core traits of narcissism, but someone only needs five of these to qualify for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
- Feels grandiose and self-important for reasons not supported by reality. Umm do unattractive guys with insufficient employment and horrible personalities who think they deserve to date supermodels sound familiar to you? You may have encountered a walking NPD.
- Obsessed with fantasies about unlimited success, fame, power or omnipotence. “After I travel the world and write my book I’ll sell it to Hollywood, Johnny Depp will play me, then I’ll start my business and consult, giving speeches around the world for six figures…” etc etc etc. Yawn.
- Believes he/she is unique and special and can be understood by and associate with only other unique or high-status people. The No-One-Gets-Me-Guy. He is so unique and rare that no one can compete with him and you probably can’t even comprehend half of the amazing thoughts he has in his head.
- Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation. You: “Oh yes, you sounded perfect on the phone with your boss! You were firm but not overbearing, you flattered him but got in some good points about yourself, I can’t believe how well you handled that.” Repeat x’s 100 or however long it takes for him to stop fishing for compliments and positive analysis.
- Is devoid of empathy. He can complain and whine for hours about all of his problems, real and imagined but when you need to talk about your constantly undermining coworker or sick relative, suddenly he is busy or maybe just returns a blank stare and a “Oh I’m sure it will be fine.” kind of remark. Anyway, don’t bore him, he has really important things on his mind!
And yes, there are even a few more signs that he may be a narcissist right here!
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