Narcissist personality disorder is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), 4th edition, of the American Psychiatric Association as:
"A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts."
An individual will exhibit at least 5 of the following nine characteristics...
1. an enormous sense of self-importance, boasts and brags about academic and career achievements and expects to be treated as superior.
2. has dreams and fantasies of having unlimited success, control and power, intelligence, good looks
3. believes that he or she is "special" and different and should associate with high-status people because only they understand.
4. requires excessive praise and admiration
5. has a grandiose sense of entitlement, expects special treatment and believes that their wishes should be carried out immediately
6. exploits others for their own personal gain
7. lacks empathy: does not consider the feelings or desires of others
8. envious: either they of others or believes others are envious of them
9. is arrogant or haughty in their behaviors or attitudes
People with narcissist personality disorder are said to have enormous egos that need attention, praise and admiration on a regular basis. In fact, they can never get enough and they are constantly manipulating others to get what is called their narcissistic supply.
Some say that their ego is very delicate and fragile and that this is behind the need for constant admiration. Many of their victims would disagree. They have never seen evidence of a fragile ego at all. In fact, they often come to believe that they were dealing with such a huge ego that there was no way to protect themselves from it!
This large ego leads them to believe that they should be rulers of the world, that laws and rules do not apply to them, and that other mere mortal folk were put on the Earth to serve them and carry out their every wish. They boast and brag about their conquests, in the office, in the bedroom, on the sports fields. And very often it's all lies, because those with narcissist personality disorder are...
They lie to make themselves look good. They lie to make others look bad. They lie to break up others friendships and relationships. They lie to control others. They lie to their children. They lie to their boss. They lie even when there is a good chance that they will be found out. And sometimes they lie for no good reason at all.
They will often present themselves at first as being friendly, charismatic, witty, intelligent, helpful, and charming. This is a facade, the personality they create to lure people into the web of lies and deceit that they create around themselves.
They will quickly size up their victims weaknesses, strengths and desires and play to these, presenting the victim with a persona that the victim believes is ideal for them. Once the victim has been trapped (manipulated into having a first good impression) the narcissist then begins to take... and take... and take... Read more about this aspect in narcissistic behavior...
Those with narcissist personality disorder have little or no emotions themselves, but they learn how to feign them, how to act as if they are having these emotions. And with these faked emotions they willingly and deliberately manipulate the emotions of the victims.
It is very common, for example, for the narcissist personality disorder to have a past history full of horror and sadness that somehow they have survived. This past is typically totally manufactured with the aim of pulling on the heartstrings of the victims, eliciting pity. This gives the narcissist great leverage in building a relationship very quickly with the victim.
At some stage in the relationship, the narcissist changes. No longer are they the loving, caring, helpful person, but rather they have turned into a demanding, selfish, self-centered, even cruel task master. This transition can be gradual or it can happen suddenly.
The victim is left wondering where the 'nice person' went to, but by then it's too late. They are under the influence and mind control of this horrible creature. And creatures they become.
Emotional vampires, sucking the life out of their victims. Chameleons, acting one way in private and another way in public. Snakes, acting slyly and lying to their victims. Reptiles, doing all this without emotions, without caring in the least for their prey.
However, if you are a victim, or have been a victim, this kind of distinction is more an academic one than a practical one. It doesn't really matter what they are called, they have tricked and deceived you, they have lied to you, they have walked all over you, and taken your time, energy, and probably your money.
It is not always easy and certainly not pleasant coming to this realization. But you can undo the damage, you can learn about narcissism and mind control so that the effect and the hold that these creatures have had on you disappears. Then you get to have your life back.
If you have been unfortunate to be caught by one (and it's never your fault, those with narcissist personality disorder deliberately seek out their victims) it is important that you learn what they did to you so that you can undo the effects. Read more here about dealing with a narcissist, how to leave an abusive relationship and divorcing a narcissist.
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