Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is characterized by a sense of grandiosity, lack of empathy, a need for admiration, and often the believe that one is more special or unique than others. Individuals with this disorder are often described as being arrogant, self-centered, demanding, manipulative, and highly concentrated on their own success, beauty, intelligence, etc. When it comes to Emotional intelligence (EI), also known as the ability to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions while also being able to handle interpersonal relationships with empathy, NPD has been questioned with this ability. How are EI and manipulation connected when it comes to NPD? Let’s explore here:

A 2014 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences sought to explore the connections between EI, emotional manipulation, and “dark personalities” such as narcissism, Machiavellianism (a personality trait in which a person is so focused on their own interests that they deceive, manipulate, and exploit others to reach their goals), and psychopathy. The study involved 594 participants total, and all participants completed measures relating to socio-emotional intelligence (emotional sensitivity, emotional expression, etc.), narcissism symptoms, Machiavellianism symptoms, psychopathy symptoms, and emotional manipulation. The results from the study showed that participants with NPD experienced high scores of socio-emotional intelligences than other participants. Emotional manipulation was linked to all three personalities, and it was concluded that people with NPD likely were higher on socio-emotional expression and control because that is what drive’s the disorder need for grandiosity.

For individuals with NPD, empathy isn’t necessarily needed for a person to maintain their high sense of self. Thus, emotional manipulation is only typically needed to serve a person’s personal interests, and sincere, generous connection is not exerted if it does not provide some sort of benefit to the individual with NPD. However, this type of manipulation may only be true for the grandiose type of NPD rather than the vulnerability type.

If you have NPD, recovery is possible, and you can speak with a professional at a reputable treatment center to begin developing the tools you need to better manage various aspects of your life. Don’t wait any longer to seek help.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.



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