Health

The Spectrum of Narcissism: Different Types of Tests for Identifying Narcissistic Traits

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Narcissism as a personality trait falls on a wide spectrum. On one end you have an individual who may think highly of themselves and have a lot of self-confidence. 

At the other end of the spectrum lies Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD. Narcissism becomes NPD when it impairs their everyday life, relationships, or self-image.

It requires a qualified and licensed professional to diagnose NPD, but you can still use a few narcissist test to identify potentially toxic people in your life.

What is NPD?

Most people with narcissism display four core personality traits:

  • A grandiose sense of themself: Narcissists feel superior to others and entitled to favors or rewards. They will often try to impress other people by showing off intelligence, wealth, physical attractiveness, or status.
  • Extreme self-absorption: Narcissists will concentrate on themselves to the exclusion of all others. They talk about nothing but themselves, lack empathy, and often manipulate others for their own reward.
  • Inflated sense of importance: Those with NPD sometimes exaggerate their own importance or expect better treatment without earning it.
  • Need for compliments and admiration: Narcissists rely on praise from others for a positive picture of themselves and become deeply jealous when others receive compliments.

Narcissism becomes a personality disorder when it’s fundamental to who they are, makes it impossible to have healthy relationships, and when the person lacks the self-awareness and insight to realize they have a problem.

Narcissist Tests to Use in Your Life

Many people will read the description of a narcissistic personality and recognize some of the traits in themselves. This does not, however, mean they’re a narcissist. Like all personality disorders, NPD requires evaluation and diagnosis by a trained, licensed professional.

However, it’s not a bad thing to be able to identify people in your own life who display narcissistic personality traits.

Do They Celebrate Your Successes?

When you share a story of an accomplishment or something that makes you proud, gauge their reaction. A narcissistic person will react negatively.

  • They may change the subject back to themselves.
  • They might dismiss or belittle your success.
  • Do they offer congratulations but display negative body language?

Narcissists are unable to set aside their own jealousy and celebrate others’ success.

Are They There for You in a Crisis?

Lack of empathy is a defining characteristic of narcissists. When you ask a person for a favor or come to them in need of support, evaluate their reaction. A person with narcissistic traits will react with cold indifference, condescension, or dismissal. Some narcissists will even seek to worsen your situation.

Do They Respect Boundaries?

People with narcissistic traits are unable to respect personal boundaries. They feel entitled to do whatever they want without consequence. Healthy people will back off whenever presented with a boundary while a narcissistic might react with anger, even rage. Some will pretend to respect a boundary while repeatedly “accidentally” violating it.

How Do They Respond to Feedback?

Narcissists have a pathological need for praise and admiration. As such, even a mild critique can feel like a personal attack or threat. A person with narcissistic traits will often respond to polite, respectful feedback by lashing out with disproportionate anger and possibly verbal abuse. Some narcissists may react calmly in the moment, but later “punish” you for challenging their sense of superiority.

Remember that “narcissism” is actually a wide spectrum and manifests in ways that are unique to each person. While only a trained professional can diagnose a person with NPD, you should still seek to distance yourself from someone who displays those traits. Set a boundary and if the person is unwilling or unable to respect it, consider leaving the relationship entirely.

Martin Dumav

Hi! I am a passionate writer with expertise in various niches, including technology, entertainment, lifestyle, and current events. My background is in journalism and I have a sharp eye for the latest trends and breaking news in the entertainment world. With my quick wit and engaging writing style, I bring a fresh and exciting perspective to my audience.

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