Unveiling Narcissism: Understanding the Personality Disorder that can Destroy Your Relationships

Peter Diaz
6 min readApr 10, 2023
Understanding narcissism

Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by an inflated opinion of one’s importance, a lack of empathy for others, and a constant need for admiration and attention.

People with narcissistic personality disorder often have trouble forming strong connections with others and might engage in harmful behaviors to keep their sense of superiority over others. We’ll talk about what narcissism is, how it affects relationships, and how to spot narcissistic traits in people.

What is Narcissism?

Narcissism is classified as personality disorder and characterized by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for other people. People with narcissistic personality disorder frequently exaggerate their sense of importance and may think they deserve special attention because they are special or unique. They may constantly crave praise and attention and use coercive or exploitative tactics to get what they want from others.

Narcissistic traits can be acquired, especially if a person is raised in a setting where they are regularly complimented and celebrated for their accomplishments and where their needs and wants are constantly put before those of others. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that not everyone who grows up in such environments will exhibit narcissistic traits. A number of other variables, such as genetics, brain chemistry, and early experiences, can contribute to the development of narcissism.

Is Narcissism Real Or Just People Being Spoilt, Entitled Or Just Plain Evil?

Narcissism is not only real but it is also a diagnosable personality disorder that is recognized by mental health professionals. While it is true that some individuals who exhibit narcissistic behaviors may be spoiled or entitled, it is crucial to recognize that narcissism is a complex and multifaceted condition that extends beyond simply being self-centered or entitled.

People with narcissistic personality disorder often have an excessive sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for how others feel, and an insatiable need for admiration and attention. They may be manipulative or use others for their own gain, and usually have difficulty forming and maintaining healthy relationships. These habits can cause significant damage to both the narcissist and the people around them.

While it can be tempting to label the narcissist as “evil” or morally corrupt, it’s important to remember that these are also people deserving our compassion and that these narcissistic behaviors are often indicative of deep-seated psychological and emotional issues. With the appropriate treatment and support, people with narcissistic personality disorder can change their behaviors and form stronger relationships.

How Narcissism Impacts Relationships

Narcissism has a significant negative impact on relationships. Individuals with narcissistic disorder may find it difficulty to form healthy, long lasting, relationships because they are obsessed with themselves and their own needs. They may not be able to show empathize or understand how others are feeling, which can lead to conflict and problems with others. They may also tend to manipulate or take advantage of others for their own gain, which can be very damaging to relationships.

In romantic relationships, narcissists may be excessively critical of their partner, dismissive of his or her needs, and unwilling to accept responsibility for their actions. When their partner does not meet their expectations or requirements, they may also be quick to anger or display aggression.

People with narcissistic tendencies may be extremely competitive in friendships, always attempting to be the center of attention and coming out on top. They may also be extremely critical of their friends and averse to offer assistance or compassion when their friends are in need.They may be highly ambitious and motivated in the workplace, but they may also be highly critical of their coworkers and averse to collaborate with others. In order to advance their own careers at the expense of others, they may also engage in manipulative or exploitative behavior.

Identifying Narcissistic Tendencies

If you think you or someone you know may have narcissistic tendencies, there are several signs to look out for. These include:

  • An exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • A lack of empathy for others
  • A need for constant admiration and attention
  • A tendency to manipulate or exploit others

But let us delve into these traits in a little more detail.

  1. Exaggerated sense of self-importance: Narcissistic individuals frequently have an exaggerated sense of their own significance and competence. They might consider themselves special, singular, or deserving of special care, and they might anticipate approval from others. This may result in a lack of humility and a refusal to take into account the opinions or requirements of others.
  2. Lack of empathy for others: The capacity for empathy is the capacity to make sense of and experience other people’s emotions. Narcissistic individuals may find it difficult to empathize with others, concentrating only on their own needs and wants. They might be indifferent to other people’s feelings, intolerant of their concerns, and unable to understand their motivations.
  3. Need for constant admiration and attention: Narcissistic people yearn for praise and adoration from others. In social settings, they might go to great lengths to be the center of attention and actively seek compliments and praise from others to boost their self-esteem. They may become irate or upset when they do not receive the amount of admiration or attention they believe they deserve.
  4. Tendency to manipulate or exploit others: Individuals with narcissistic tendencies may employ tactics of manipulation and exploitation in order to achieve their desired outcomes from others. They may exploit others for personal benefit, without considering their emotional or physical welfare. Individuals may exhibit a willingness to engage in deceptive or dishonest behavior as a means of attaining their objectives.

Both the person with narcissistic tendencies and those around them may be significantly harmed by these traits. While it’s essential to keep in mind that not everyone who exhibits some of these traits is a narcissist, you should be wary if you see a pattern of these behaviors repeated in someone’s behavior. It’s crucial to get support and professional help if you believe that you or someone you know is dealing with narcissistic traits.

What if the narcissist is you?

So how do you know if you have narcissistic tendencies? It can be difficult to recognize these traits in ourselves, but the common signs would be the same. They would include an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, a need for constant admiration and attention, and a tendency to manipulate or exploit others. But if you’re having trouble with your relationships, that could be a sign that you’re the narcissist. Do you tend to fight with others and have difficulty keeping friends or lovers? Do you tend to be rude or inconsiderate of others? Especially if you feel you are better than them? Or are you consistently kind and considerate with people, regardless of how important they seem?

If you suspect that you may have narcissistic tendencies, seeking professional help and support can be a very beneficial step for several reasons:

  1. Understanding and managing your behaviors: You can better understand your narcissistic tendencies and how they affect your relationships and general well-being with the help of a mental health professional. They can also help you to develop a plan for controlling your actions and creating better relationships and routines.
  2. Developing empathy: Lack of concern for others is one of the main traits of narcissism. Working with a mental health professional can help in your development of empathy and help you understand other people’s thoughts and emotions better.
  3. Building healthier relationships: Relationships can be severely compromised by narcissistic behaviors. You can learn how to form and maintain healthier relationships with others, based on mutual respect, empathy, and trust, by working with a mental health professional.
  4. Addressing underlying issues: Narcissistic tendencies may stem from underlying psychological or emotional problems, such as low self-esteem, anxiety, or melancholy. You can address these underlying issues and work towards a more positive and fulfilling life by seeking help from a professional.

In short, seeking professional help for narcissistic tendencies can help you better understand and manage your behaviors, develop empathy and healthier relationships, and address underlying issues that may be contributing to your behaviors. It can be a very positive step towards a more fulfilling and satisfying life.


Narcissism is a complex and multifaceted personality disorder that significantly affects interpersonal relationships. Whether you suspect you have narcissistic tendencies or are concerned about someone else’s behavior, seeking professional help and guidance is wise.

Individuals can work toward a more positive and fulfilling life by understanding and managing narcissistic behaviors, developing empathy and healthier relationships, and addressing underlying issues.

It is never too late to get support and make positive changes for you and those around you. Everyone deserves the opportunity to experience healthy relationships based on mutual respect, empathy, and trust.

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Peter Diaz

Peter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author, professional speaker and mental health social worker. Check https://www.thewmhi.com