The personality of a human being can be described from a number of traits or characteristics. When these characteristics form a certain pattern that ends up being dysfunctional or maladaptive, it can be called a personality disorder.
One of the most important elements of this type of disorder is that the pattern is rigid and persistent and leaves its mark in the different areas where the person develops. And another fundamental aspect is that people who suffer from it almost always ignore it or don’t believe that their thoughts and behaviors can be inappropriate.
These types of disorders are usually diagnosed in early adulthood, when the personality has become more established. There are different personality disorders depending on the type of cognitive, emotional and behavioral pattern. One is narcissistic disorder.
Characteristic pathological narcissism
Narcissistic personality disorder affects about 2% of the population, most of whom are men and not women.
In the case of this personality disorder, there are a number of aspects that can help us understand its inner workings.
1. Guilt and responsibility
People with narcissistic personality disorder are not able to assess their own decision or responsibility when the circumstances are not what they want. On another side, they believe others are to blame, and that it is others who are wrong, and not doing it right. This frees them from all responsibility and prevents them from improving or growing.
They are usually very competitive people who come quickly to compare themselves and try to win., and for this reason, in addition they tend to exaggerate and enlarge its capabilities (something that they don’t claim, since they really think they are better).
The social level is perceived as uncooperative, with a strong tendency towards individualism.
4. Security and external validation
They need constant validation on an ongoing basis to reaffirm their position and they often lie, manipulate or distort the truth in order to exalt its qualities.
However, we must understand that what this attitude of magnificence contains is a terrible fear of rejection by the rest, and a fear of failure.
5. Vision of themselves
As we mentioned, they have a very high view of themselves which leads them to consider yourself above others, which leads them to be rejected in many contexts.
6. Emotional management
It is characteristic of people who have low inspection capacity.
7. Communication style
They have a style of communication in which understanding or agreement with the interlocutor does not existbecause they are focusing on themselves again with the intention of demonstrating their own worth or their own posture, so they usually do not listen to each other and tend to adopt a combative attitude. In this area, we also see how they reject and react very negatively to the criticisms addressed to them.
8. Relationship with others
Another striking feature is the lack of empathy and the fact that these are people who stay focused on themselves, so they often try to manipulate others to achieve their goals.
However, behind these behaviors, we can see that these people are strongly influenced by a number of variables that are difficult to manage, such as:
- Fear of failure
- Social skills deficit
- Need for acceptance
Low self esteem
- Emotional addiction
Personality traits and social context
As we mentioned earlier, we are talking about a personality disorder, that is, a set of stable characteristics over time that cause problems in the lives of people or those around them.
However, Many people can have certain personality traits that appear under certain circumstances but do not interfere with their lives. they become functional, so they don’t have a personality disorder. That is, there may be people with personality traits that in some ways resemble narcissism.
In this sense, if we look at our society today, we can see that there is a tendency towards social appreciation, which facilitates the development of these narcissistic traits in the face of the need to emphasize and get environmental recognition in different areas of life.
You could say in a way that they encourage and reward behaviors related to standing out from others, being successful (sometimes without looking at how it’s done).
However, as we have seen throughout this article, to talk about narcissism, there must be a number of difficulties that have more inadequacy and therefore seriousness, so properly address each person’s emotions and needs. person will help us to develop a personality style and an appropriate and healthy approach to reality.
Author: Sara Prieto Gómez: Health psychologist at the TAP Center