Narcissistic behavior is characterized by egotism, vanity and too much love for oneself. Explore the article to know what narcissism is and what its basic traits are.

What Is Narcissistic Behavior

Narcissism can be simply understood as an intense affection and love for oneself. Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud was the first person to use this term, which has been derived from the name of a Greek mythological character, Narcissus, who fell in love with himself after seeing his own reflection in water. However, it has been seen that most narcissists suffer from a deep sense of insecurity and low self-confidence and the outer arrogance and an exaggerated sense of superiority is just a facade, or a defense mechanism to be more correct, to hide what is underneath.
Narcissistic behavior is a potent indicator of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines NPD as "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy." This is not to say that every person who exhibits shades of narcissist behavior is a suffering from NPD. NPD is generally seen as the extreme end of the spectrum and many people may display egotism, vanity and other traits of narcissism, though they may not be exactly victims of NPD. To a certain extent, narcissism exists in every person. With this article, we will help you explore narcissism and its traits in detail.
Characteristics Of Narcissist Behavior
A typical narcissist displays the following characteristics: 
  • Preoccupation with hiding real or perceived flaws
  • Overestimation of importance, achievements, talents and skills
  • Maladaptive, attention seeking behavior
  • Inability to empathize with others
  • Excessive anger and shame in response to criticism, often resulting in rage
  • Expectation of special treatment, irrespective of the circumstances
  • Craving for admiration and adulation from everyone
  • Exaggeration about his/her accomplishments
  • Often trying to dominate the conversation
  • Attempts to manipulate and brainwash people around
  • The need to come across as right all the time
  • A constant feeling that others envy them 
Causes Of Narcissistic Behavior
Researchers across the world have laid down the following causes to be responsible for narcissist behavior: 
  • An oversensitive temperament at birth
  • Overindulgence and overvaluation by parents
  • Valued by parents as a means to regulate their own self-esteem
  • Excessive admiration that is never balanced with realistic feedback
  • Unpredictable or unreliable caretaking by parents
  • Severe emotional abuse in childhood
  • Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or talents by adults
  • Excessive praise for good behavior or excessive criticism for poor behavior, in childhood 
Treatment of NPD
When narcissist behavior reaches its extreme and becomes a personality disorder, it needs to be treated efficiently. There are no particular medicines that can guarantee to treat this disorder successfully. However, psychotherapy has come across as very effective in curing NPD. Psychotherapy or counseling is believed to pull an individual out of the trauma that caused narcissistic personality disorder in the first place. Psychotherapy in NPD aims at: 
  • Providing the individual with greater self-awareness and insight into his problem
  • Developing better confidence and a realistic self image
  • Inculcating a more realistic and practicable approach towards the society

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