Brenda stumbled upon the definition of narcissism while googling difficult bosses. Curious, she began reading several articles on the subject. At first, she only saw her boss as narcissistic but as she explored further, she began to wonder if she was a narcissist. Several of the characteristics ran true over the course of her life while only a few seemed to be sustaining.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is one of nine diagnosable personality disorders. A personality disorder is pervasive across many environments and is consistently present for a lifetime. The intensity of the disorder can vary depending on the stage of life (20’s, mid-life), environmental factors (employment, family dynamics), and trauma (abuse, deaths). One of the foundational precepts of a personality disorder is the inability to accurately perceive reality.
After studying further, Brenda was even more confused. She often felt like she was unable to see things the way others did, had a history of trauma, and enjoyed the authority her managerial position afforded her. There were moments when she convinced herself that she could not be narcissistic but she wondered if others saw her that way. So she took this test:
1. Do you believe you are better or more superior to others?
2. Do you fantasize about your unlimited power, success, intelligence, and attractiveness?
3. Do you exaggerate your achievements and talents in front of others?
4. Do you expect others to constantly praise and admire you?
5. Do you believe that you are unique and can only associate with other special people?
6. Do you show little to no empathy for others?
7. Do you expect others to go along with your ideas and plans without question?
8. Do you take advantage of others for your personal gain?
9. Do you expresse disdain for those you feel are inferior or beneath you?
10. Do you believe that others are jealous of you and your success?
11. Do you have a pattern of troubled close relationships, especially with family members?
12. Do you set unrealistic goals for others?
13. Do you lie to get what you want or what you think you deserve?
14. Are you easily offended and hate to be embarrassed or ignored?
15. Are you very charming around others?
16. Do you cut off relationships with others without remorse?
17. Are you arrogant in nearly every environment?
18. Do you believe it’s all about you?
19. Do you rarely apologize to others?
20. Are you selfish?
Brenda realized that she had half of the signs listed above. She decided to work on these areas to reduce her narcissistic tendencies. Those who have some traits but not all of them do not have the full-blown personality disorder. While those with most of the traits do have the personality disorder. It is best to get tested by a professional to determine the intensity of the disorder.