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Narcissistic Personality Symptoms

  1. grandiosity / exaggeration
  2. fantastic thinking / romantic
  3. believes special / unique
  4. requires admiration
  5. entitled / demanding
  6. exploitive / manipulative
  7. lacks empathy
  8. envious / jealous
  9. arrogant / haughty

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All text is copyrighted © Stephen McDonnell 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007,2008, 2009. 2010, 2011.


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Stories about narcissists

The names have been changed to protect the innocent...


I remember one of my math teachers - she walked around in high heels, always dressed to kill, flirting with the male teachers. Because I had taken a new math course where I learned to do figures in my head, I was a math whizz, and could put down answers to problems without putting down the process in my workbooks. The math teacher, even when she saw me doing it, accused me of cheating and forced me to redo all of my math work books. Years later I realized she was jealous of my talent and wanted to destroy it. Conclusion: Narcissists are jealous of people who are more talented or smarter and they are drawn to positions of authority like teaching. Not all teachers are narcissists.


Children of narcissistic parents often fall sick trying to get attention. The narcissist parent may ignore a normal child, but society frowns on a parent who neglects a sick child. A narcissistic child may play sick to get attention as well. Or a narcissistic parent may make a child sick by manipulation, using indirect means (telling the child, you are always sick in winter, you will get sick if you stay in a draft etc), or direct means - leading to Munchauser by proxy syndrome. This pattern of behavior is hard to detect, and may last for years. Many young girls, who suffer from anorexia, may be reacting to either societal pressures or from an overbearing narcissistic parent. The narcissist is always projecting onto others what they don't like about themselves, they are always trying to control others, always trying to be the center of attention. The child of the narcissist bears the brunt of this mental storm.

Play acting

Narcissists are drawn to the theatre, born thespians, because they like being in front of an audience, seeking applause and stardom. Even in normal life, they will assign people roles, using black and white thinking, saying so and so is good or bad. They like to play act. They have panache. They walk around acting as if they are the most important people in the world. Only their opinions are right or matter.


A guy I know is an Obama fanatic. He told me that Obama would bring about world peace, even solve all the problems in Africa! He was projecting his hopes onto Obama. Narcissists project onto famous people, making them into heros. In local politics, I have attended meetings where the same people show up to voice their opinions, over and over. Give a narcissist a microphone and they will hog it. In fact they are usually the ones who speak the most - some of them have good ideas, and others are just blow hards.

Volunteer Organization

One place you wouldn't expect to find Narcissists is in charity. But think about it - they love the attention of 'helping others.' Over and over I have seen them in clubs, charity events or organizations. They love to take over, and be the boss. Most people get an ego boost from helping others, but narcissists motives are more insidious. They want to run the show, be the star. Give them a difficult job away from the public and they will quit, they need to be where people are.


I know of two handicaped people, a woman and a man, who use their disability to get attention and to manipulate others. The woman related a story of how she and her sister were in the hospital at the same time, her sister with a life threatening condition, but that her sister still paid attention to her. Not all handicap people are narcissists, of course.

Hero worship

A couple of years ago I attended a talk by a former astronaut where I overheard the women in audience oohing and awing over him. Narcissists like to associate with important, rich or famous people. Over the years I have bumped into this one fellow at parties who would tell me how he was going to come with some VIP, who cancelled at the last minute because of an important political crises. A woman friend used to bed men depending on their professsion - she had a fireman after 9/11 - as if she was going through the yellow pages. She would walk around looking for important people. (She was a college graduate and professional woman, not a floozee.) I once was president of an organization and found myself the center of attention from narcissists.


There are intellectual narcissists who say they hate sex, and somatic narcissists who are sexual. Male and female narcissists use sex to exploit, control and to receive attention. A narcissist wants to control others and needs attention from admirers. Sex is just a tool they use to achieve these goals. If your partner is a narcissist, you are either lucky or damned to be used and abused.


Watching the American reality TV show Momma's boys last night, I saw mothers who seemed to confuse love and control/possession. Narcissistic mothers and fathers see their children as extensions of themselves to do with as they choose. No one can come in-between them and their possession - their flesh and blood. Love for a narcissist is a tool for controlling others, and to get attention and worship. Narcissists will go on and on about love but are basically clueless as to what it means and how to give and take. To a narcissist it means; you worship me and do whatever I want. I remember a woman who used to say to her children, 'you will never be able to pay me back for all I did for you.' Talk about using guilt!





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