Being called "narcissistic"—stemming from the Greek mythical character Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection—isn't necessarily the most flowery of compliments. One automatically thinks of the guy who uses a spoon to gaze at his reflection during brunch, or the chick who can't bear to leave the house without a throng of male admirers—or any other combination of self-bloated annoyingness. Throw a rock hard enough and you'll find one (or twenty).
On an even deeper level, a Narcissistic Personality Disorder is described by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a "pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy." Some very obvious examples would be Kanye West calling himself God's vessel and Kimora Lee Simmons wading her way through a thick stack of Russell Simmons' money. Those two could probably serve as the manual's case studies, with visuals and videos as study aids.
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It isn't surprising that larger than life celebrities are the first to come to mind when thinking of narcissism. Just ask Dr. Drew Pinsky (you know him—Dr. Drew, of LoveLine and Celebrity Rehab fame) who penned the book, The Mirror Effect, How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America. He and co-author S. Mark Young have devised a tool called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory for all of you out there wondering if you have a secret Narcissus living inside your head.
Out of 40 questions, and a point given for each narcissistic answer, Dr Drew has found 15.3 the average of the general public and 17.8 for celebrities. Of course, this just reinforces Dr. Drew's celebrity narcissism theory.
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We took the test, and scored a modest 14 (go us!) but actually found ourselves wishing we had a bit more of this ego Dr. Drew speaks of. Indeed, as with most things, there is a thin line between having a healthy amount of self sufficiency (one of the narcissistic traits) and an obscene need to look in the mirror every 10 minutes.
See how you score.