Narcissists In The News
That's a headline that I'd love to see on TV some day soon. Because whether we're talking about Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Charlie Sheen and Donald Trump, or the crazyness of Moammar Gadhafi, narcissism is increasingly in the news these days, front and center, right where the narcissists want to be. Our culture seems to have made a decision that promoting the self promoters over everyone else's interests is somehow in our interest. Which isn't true, unless our interest is solely in spectacle and distraction (which, according to one view of history, is evidence of having arrived at the end times for a great nation. See Rome. Greece. Persia. Egypt.)
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Of course, a narcissist on the world stage may be of less pressing concern than that charming and charismatic person with the great smile you just started dating! So in this article, I'll talk about how to spot a narcissist.
But first, as 'they' say, it takes one to know one, so here's a guest on Bill O'Reilly's show explaining to him what a narcissist is. And second, here's a link to learn more about other members in the family of so-called personality disorders (PD), such as Borderline PD, Antisocial PD and Histrionic PD.
Now back to our topic. Perhaps the most obvious place to look is with their most obvious behavior. That's where you'll see the first sign. It's official name is grandiosity (meaning 'in-your-face greatness')
Grandiosity is considered a key symptom of narcissism. From their grand position in that high place above us all, they can be snide, sarcastic, mocking, or make their claims of specialness in appearance, ability or intellect. And this is how you can know them. Combine this need for adulation with a lack of empathy, and odds are you're dealing with a disordered psyche leaning towards toxic or malignant narcissisism.
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But a less noticeable symptom of narcissism is described, far too mildly in my opinion, as 'disturbed personal relationships.' And in this regard, consider just how many disturbances in personal relationships are the result of self absorption and a lack of empathy. So I'd say that some amount of unhealthy narcissism is spread pretty broadly throughout our culture. Indeed, most people have at least some narcissistic moments, at least some of the time, in some of their relationships. (I've even been told that the fact that I blog, promote my business and use my professional title makes me a narcissist...to which I say, fair enough, although I'm being egged on by my business handlers...you know, agents, publishers, content-hungry websites and such!)
Narcissism, like most things in life, isn't an all or none proposition, but rather, happens on a spectrum, ranging from very mild and context specific (only happens under certain where and when conditions) to very malignant ( all narcissism all the time).