The Truth About Narcissism

Narcissists cut a wide, swashbuckling figure through the world.  At one end of the self-loving spectrum is the charismatic leader with an excess of charm, whose only vice may be his or her inflated amour-propre. At the far end of the spectrum reside individuals with narcissistic personality disorder, whose grandiosity soars to such heights that they are manipulative and easily angered, especially when they don't receive the attention they consider their birthright. Here's how to figure out whether the big talker in your office really believes his own hype.

Recent Posts on Narcissism

“American Psycho” and the Dark Side of 3’s

"The film reflects our own narcissism, and the shallow American culture it was spawned from, with piercing effectiveness.”

Are You Looking for Love in All the Right Places?

Does it matter whether you meet a potential mate at a party or a class? A new study has found that where you meet a love interest can say a lot about their personality — and whether a relationship will last.

Is Narcissistic Rage Real?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on May 07, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
Narcissists are people who feed off the energy of others. They draw from people around them to boost their self-esteem. As a result, they are extraordinarily self-centered. If you have a narcissist for a boss, that can be very difficult. Narcissists are reluctant to share credit with others.

Why We Care So Much About What Others Think of Us

By Peg Streep on May 05, 2015 in Tech Support
Are we hardwired to crave status and to respond to people in programmed ways depending on their status? Is status about what money can buy or something else? A close look at what the research shows...

10 Signs Your Boss / Manager is a Narcissist

The Mayo Clinic defines narcissistic personality disorder as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration." At the workplace, a pathologically narcissistic manager can be insensitive and conceited at best, and exploitative or abusive at worst. Here are ten signs that your boss might be a narcissist...

Mother's Day for Those Raised by Narcissistic Parents

Mother’s Day is approaching. Is it time to run and hide or stumble into a Hallmark store to desperately search for that empty card that says nothing upon which you simply sign your name? How sad, awful, taboo, and misunderstood this is for adult children raised by narcissistic parents. Who woulda thunk it?

Wisdom From a Psychopath?

Research by Dr. Kevin Dutton shows that psychopathic traits may be appealing to individuals, but are harmful for communities.

Are Killers Born or Made? Both

By Temma Ehrenfeld on April 29, 2015 in Open Gently
A loving childhood can turn a natural-born killer into an aggressive but law-abiding guy.

10 Signs Your Co-Worker / Colleague is a Narcissist

The Mayo Clinic research group defines narcissistic personality disorder as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance. At the workplace, a pathologically narcissistic co-worker can be annoying and frustrating at best, and a serious threat to your career at worst. Here are ten signs that your colleague might be a narcissist...

What Your Facebook Use Reveals About Your Personality

Research shows the way you interact on social media says a lot about your personality and your self-esteem.

Why We Need to Stop Throwing the 'Narcissist' Label Around

By Craig Malkin on April 12, 2015 in Romance Redux
The current promiscuous use of "narcissist" not only trivializes the pain of people who've suffered greatly in abusive relationships, it generates massive confusion about what narcissism really is. Here's the truth about narcissism and narcissists--and why we need to stop, take a breath, and think carefully before we use either word as an insult.

Her Marriage, and His

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on April 11, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Why it is so hard to make a marriage last.

The Key To Diagnosing Narcissism Diagnosers

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on April 10, 2015 in Ambigamy
Psychology Today's most popular articles are about how to diagnose narcissists. What drives our interest? Here are some factors to consider.

The Making of a Murderer

From poverty to riches, serial killers to gang members, behind almost every violent person, there is a story of despair. Not every trauma creates a killer, but most killers are created from trauma.

3 Big Obstacles to Change and How to Overcome Them

By Craig Malkin on April 09, 2015 in Romance Redux
Recently, Justin Bieber’s been trying to overhaul his image. Reception has been mixed, mostly because some people doubt the sincerity of his efforts, but his attempts, as well as the skepticism surrounding them, have highlighted a truth that resonates for us all: It’s really hard to change. Here's why—and what you can do about it.

The Epidemic of Insecurity

The stressors in your life adversely impact your self-esteem and trigger insecurities. Because you cannot avoid them, learn how to negate them. These steps will help you combat your insecurities and strengthen your confidence in you own worth and abilities.

Can Narcissists Ever Change?

We tend to associate narcissism with psychological problems that impact a variety of everyday behaviors and relationships. However, according to a new theory of narcissism, one of the three basic types has the chance to grow up psychologically healthy.

7 Types of Toxic Bosses

What type of toxic behaviors does your boss exhibit? Narcissism? Bullying? Gossiping? Here are 7 types with tips for making the best of a toxic situation.

Boys and Girls, with Guns

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on April 06, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
Dr. Peter Langman examined 48 cases of school shootings to show which assumptions are wrong and what we should actually pay attention to.

What We All Get So Wrong About Narcissists

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on April 05, 2015 in Living Single
To determine whether narcissists really do use more "I-talk" (I, me, my, mine) than everyone else, 9 psychologists from 7 universities analyzed data from more than 4,000 people in 15 samples. They looked at face-to-face introductions and personal essays and Facebook pages and classrooms and small groups. They explain why they did not find what you thought they would.

8 Signs You're in a Relationship with a Sexual Narcissist

Sexual narcissism can be defined as a grandiose sense of one’s sexual prowess which, in the mind of the sexual narcissist, entitles him or her to engage in acts of emotional and physical manipulation at the partner’s expense. How do you know when your partner may be a sexual narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

Facebook Friends and Attraction

People who spend excessive time on Facebook are often seen as more introverted.

Is It Safe to Fly? Suicide as Murder

Killing affects more than the dead.

Selfie Stick Mania

What's the deal with the Selfie stick "phenomenon"?

Indiana: Where "Freedom" Requires Discrimination

By Marty Klein PhD on March 31, 2015 in Sexual Intelligence
"Religious freedom" was never intended to exempt people from legal obligations.

The Top 4 Reasons Relationships Fail

Committed relationships can survive ups and downs, but some patterns and behaviors can create more permanent damage. Infidelity is only one of the reasons relationships break up. These four negative patterns raise red flags about the state of your relationship or marriage. If you recognize your relationship here, it's time to change course.

Advocacy or Privacy?

By Liza Long on March 30, 2015 in The Accidental Advocate
Is it oversharing to talk about your child's mental illness? What if your child has cancer?

The Facts of (Business) Life

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in A Sideways View
Is the Business School degree the ideal passport to health, wealth and happiness?

After the Germanwings Crash, 7 Lessons About Mental Illness

By Carrie Barron M.D. on March 30, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Not all depressions are alike. Severe depression with psychotic features may elude a clinician as they are well masked or not present at the time of the exam. Symptoms ebb and flow, troubled people can be high functioning and we have much to uncover about the conditions of the Germanwings co-pilot.

Is Facebook Really a Playground for Narcissists?

By Catalina Toma Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in Virtual You
Facebook is beloved by narcissists because it allows them to self-promote. But do narcissists also receive the attention and social validation they crave on Facebook?