Narcissism is multi-faceted and comes in several types. Narcissists will use a variety of tactics and defenses to keep you insecure and ensure their status and their needs are met. It’s easy to be confused, but it’s important to understand and spot which type of narcissist you’re dealing with. Recently, two research teams have identified a common trait.
The Grandiose Narcissist
Although there are different kinds and degrees of narcissism, for years research mainly focused on the familiar — exhibitionistic narcissists who seek the limelight. These are the boastful grandiose narcissists who are public figures and are recognizable in films. They’re described in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
We can all spot those charming, attention-seeking extraverts whose vanity and boldness are at times obnoxious and shameless. They’re self-absorbed, entitled, callous, exploitative, authoritarian, and aggressive. Some are physically abusive. These unempathetic, arrogant narcissists think highly of themselves but spare no disdain for others. Helped by their extraversion, they report high self-esteem and satisfaction with their lives, despite the pain they cause others. Because they outwardly seek acclaim, attention, and domination, grandiose narcissism is externalized. Even in love, they seek power by game-playing. Many do maintain relationships, notwithstanding the lack of intimacy and the unhappiness of their partners who are easily seduced by their charisma and boldness.