This personality disorder is characterized by excessive egocentrism (interested only in one's own needs), grandiosity, self-centeredness, preoccupation with feelings of envy, fragile self-esteem, and behavior that is often seeking approval or admiration. The person usually has little empathy (identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings or motives), volatile interpersonal relationships, and periodic depression.
Grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
Believes that they are "special" and unique and can only be understoody by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
Requires excessive admiration.
Has a sense of entitlement i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with their expectations.
Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve their own needs.
Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of them.
Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
We are born with a genetically determined temperament that will continually influence our behaviors throughout life. Understanding of personality disorders and how it affects your life is important -- increased awareness does not lead to radical change but rather to a smoothing of the rough edges and a greater ease of going with their natural flow. To either change or learn how to work with and around personality disorders will require large doses of honesty, hard work, humility, and courage.
Difficult to make fundamental changes.
Goal will be healing the narcissistic would that inevitably occur in life.
Learn what your own particular and personal narcissistic triggers are -- the more quickly you can identify these triggers, the less likely that a sudden disappointment will jolt you.
Accept that life is filled with slings, arrows, outrageous fate, inevitable losses, and regrets, but also has its moments of undeniable joy, dignity, and triumphs.
Keep yourself focused on the things you have achieved and the positive experiences you have had, rather than becoming preoccupied with what you have failed to achieve or what you have lost.
Realize that narcissistic wounds always heal with time, the support of others, new accomplishments, and new opportunities.
Treatment goals should focus on goal development, improving self-esteem, inceased sensitivity towards others, and increased self-awareness.
Information and or Criteria summarized from:
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.