Narcissistic Personality Disorder (Symptoms)

  • Reacts to criticism with anger, shame or humiliation
  • Takes advantage of others to reach his or her own goals
  • Exaggerates own importance
  • Exaggerates achievements and talents
  • Entertains unrealistic fantasies about success, power, beauty, intelligence or romance
  • Has unreasonable expectation of favorable treatment
  • Requires constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
  • Is easily jealous
  • Disregards the feelings of others, lacks empathy
  • Has obsessive self-interest
  • Pursues mainly selfish goals

Also, narcissists are usually physically attractive and charming at first glance, so they may have advantages when they first meet people (making a sale, getting a first date, gaining popularity). However, the long-term outcomes for narcissists are usually quite dismal, especially socially (e.g., long-term relationship difficulties). On average, levels of narcissism drop quite dramatically by age 30.


Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Last reviewed 12/31/1969
  • American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Revised.
  • Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Assessment and Treatment of Patients with Coexisting Mental Illness and Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No.9.
  • National Institutes of Health - National Library of Medicine
  • Brad Bushman, W. Keith Campbell, Del Paulhus, Richard W. Robins