Narcissist or Narcissistic Tendencies?

Before we really dive into this, I want to make sure that everyone is clear on what a narcissist REALLY is.

The word is getting thrown around on the internet a LOt these days, and I worry that people are using it, without a good understanding of what it actually means.

According to Psychology Today: The hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration. People with this condition are frequently described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding.

Other google searches say that Narcissists:

  • feel superior to others and see nothing wrong with that.

  • they have little or no empathy with the feelings or conditions of others.

  • ·they also have no difficultly exploiting others in order to get what they want.

  • It’s important to understand that they have no awareness and no insight into what they do. As a result, they feel no shame or remorse.

  • lack empathy.

  • are manipulative.

If you follow any stepmom or co-parenting blogs, chances are a you’ve come across a post titled “how to co-parent with a narcissist” or “what you need to know when you’re co-parenting with a Narcissist”.

In fact, these days, it seems like everyone and their mom is diagnosing their ex as a Narcissist. For the longest time, I’ve avoided this topic like the plague.

I have two reasons for that: 1. I think a lot of people are confused when they use the word Narcissist. It’s a personality disorder. A personal disorder needs to be diagnosed by a licensed mental health professional—such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker. That’s not me, and I doubt, if you’re reading this, it’s you either! There is a BIG difference between someone BEING a Narcissist and having Narcissistic tendencies, or even demonstrating narcissistic characteristics. 2. Characteristics of a Narcissistic personality are very similar to characteristics of someone with a high conflict personality. They are also similar to someone who is hurt, angry, immature, selfish, or resentful. It’s all about perception!

If we’re being honest, when it comes to high conflict situations, whose ex HASN’T acted like a narcissist? I’m the first to admit I have! But just because someone lacks empathy or is very selfish, doesn’t mean they are a narcissist. Again, the word is VERY overused.

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