Narcissists are everywhere, and they can be incredibly draining and challenging to deal with. Here are 7 things you need to know about narcissists, written from my perspective as a social psychologist and also inspired by my personal experiences with narcissists in my daily life.
1. A Significant Portion of the US Population are Narcissists
An estimated 6.2% of the US population suffers from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), meaning they meet five or more of the following criteria according to the DSM-V: (as you read these, think about people you may know who might fit with the diagnosis)
-Has a grandiose sense of self-importance, exaggerating their abilities and achievements
-Has persistent fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
-Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and should only associate with people of the same status
-Has a constant need for attention, affirmation and praise
-Has a strong sense of entitlement and an expectation of special treatment
-Is exploitative of others, taking advantage of them for personal gain
-Lacks empathy for others
-Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of them
-Regularly shows arrogant or haughty behaviors and attitudes
Many more people do not meet all of the criteria for NPD, but may still exhibit narcissistic personality traits from time to time. For this reason it is difficult to know for sure how many narcissists might be out there!