Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is defined as “a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy for others.” Individuals with NPD may come off as snobbish, patronizing, and self-centered, as they often believe they are of primary importance compared to everybody else. People with NPD can become preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love.
Psych Central states that people with NPD fear being ordinary. Common beliefs of these individuals are that only “special people” or “extraordinary” people are worthy of attention; being ordinary would mean that they are not special or worthwhile. Individuals with NPD do not like to be confronted with common universal truths that we are all human, we all make mistakes, we all have limitations, and we all suffer losses. To recognize this truth would imply that no one person is better than another, which would make that person feel ordinary.
A 2013 study conducted by a researcher from Harvard Medical School explained that many individuals with NPD are motivated by their fear of failure. The study suggested that individuals with NPD may set lofty standards for themselves regarding self-enhancement, primarily because of their innate fear of rejection and criticism. This fear may translate into overcompensation, exaggerated confidence, and pompous behavior but is inherently a mask to hide the insecurities of not being considered “enough”.
While someone we know and love with NPD may seem selfish, unempathetic, and attention-seeking, learning their fears may provide us with a sense of understanding. Through understanding, we can better connect and support our loved one, lessening the strain on our relationship with them because of their symptoms.
If you have narcissistic personality disorder and want to develop tools to help manage your symptoms and connect with others on a better level, call us today at 888-316-3665. New Vista Behavioral Health is a world-renowned treatment center located in California. Our licensed, experienced health care professionals truly care about your recovery and want you to succeed. We will work with you to develop an individualized plan that will best suit your needs. Call us for a consultation.