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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.


NPD in Movies

Movies are proof of how the narcissist sees the world - everything that is real is transformed by 'tinsel town' into a pastiche of the truth on the screen. Audiences must suspend belief in reality as they watch a movie, they are transported into another world, even if the movie deals with a contemporary story. The director is not doing a documentary film (even they can lie, or distort the truth) but rather is entertaining the audience to a different view of the world. The projected image is another metaphor for the narcissist mirror.

This is what a narcissist does on a smaller scale, distorting other people's understanding and sight and replacing it with the narcissist's vision. Plato, way back in ancient Greece, already had an inkling of the power of a projected image. In the story of the cave, he related how prisoners in a cave saw shadows cast from a window onto the wall of their prison. When one of them escaped and came back and told his fellow prisoners that the shadows were just facsimiles, not the truth, they killed him.

Short list of movies with narcissists or N themes:

Monster in Law

Two narcissists vying for the love of a third narcissist; the mother law exclaims with some irony, "I can do boundaries!"

The Talented Mr. Ripley

The story of a group of young American narcissists living the Dolce Vita in Post WWII Italy. The movie shows how narcissists use and discard people, fuse with them, and practice "Marge Maintenance" to keep their suppliers of adulation and sex happy. Psychopathic Narcissist. Based on a series of books by Patricia Highsmith.

The Prime of Miss Brodie

A school mistress plays queen to a court of young girls, showing the pernicious influence a N can wreck on the young.

The Magus

In the 1968 film, the Magus actors where masks. N love disguises; the head Narcissist plays the Magus.

Wall Street

A power hungry and self centered stock broker in the Reagan years.

Life or Something Like It

Angela Jolie as a reporter who undergoes a transformation from aka NPD to good person - hard to believe.

To Die For

Nicole Kidman plays a TV personality who will do anything to get ahead, including murder.

Broadcast News

Inside look at the crazy narcissism of news gathering, very funny and inside jokes.


The movie about fashion with Sophia Loren and other fashion slaves.


I have not seen it but can imagine what the subject is; there is a TV show on paparazzi following around the actor clowns to see if they really are human, yep they are!

Girl Interrupted

Borderline and other mental disorders, one psychopath narcissist played by Angela Jolie (she must be an expert by now).

White Oleander

The drama between a N mother and her daughter.

Extract of A discussion with White Oleander author Janet Fitch

Question: Can you relate the significance of the title White Oleander?
Janet Fitch : Oleander is a plant that grows well in the worst situations. It blooms in the summer when the weather is 105 degrees, so it is very tough. It is also very poisonous, and the color white is an ongoing symbol in the book. It is a symbol for the mother Ingrid who sees things very much in black and white. If you could say the darker side of white, which is the insistence on purity, she has a fanaticism with purity. I believe a quality that serves us well in the real world is the ability to embrace the various emotional tones of experience. And to insist that reality reflects some ideal, I think, is a dangerous point of view. This is the basis of some of the philosophical arguments of mother and daughter: do you impose a view on the world, or do you look at the world and see what is there. There is a frigidity or sterility in the absolutist view, which is the mother's view. Astrid is afraid of things that are white. She is afraid of milk. She sees in dreams her mother's white eyes. She sees the sky as a cataract over God's eyes etc.

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