“Narcissism is named after Narcissus, a character from the Greek mythology, who fell in love with his own reflection in the mirror.
According to Donald W. Black, narcissists are self-absorbed and constantly need to bolster his or her self-esteem through grandiose fantasy, exaggerated ambition, exhibitionism, and feelings of entitlement.
Notwithstanding the common definition of a Narcissistic character, there are variations that I wish to highlight below.
Psychologists have so far distinguished seven different types of narcissists.
Which ones have you come across?
1. The Narcissistic Winner
This type of narcissisms manifests itself in an extreme desire to compete. For these narcissists, everything is a competition. Their behavior is not confined to naturally competitive areas such as sports, their career, or academics. It also spans onto seemingly collaborative activities, such as parenting, driving, friendship, and even spirituality. A narcissistic winner is rarely happy for a friend’s good fortune.
In their eyes, another person’s success is their own failure. When they “lose” – in reality or in their own perception – their self-esteem takes a huge hit. They may become antagonistic, or try to overcompensate by belittling the achievements of others.
While the negative aspects of such behavior are blatantly obvious, they can become particularly dangerous on the road. There, everyone must obey the specific traffic safety regulations regardless of their temper.
Statistical data suggest that fifty percent of all traffic accidents in the USA in 2018 occurred as a result of aggressive driving. Therefore, a team of psychologists from The Ohio State University and the University of Luxembourg carried out an experiment aimed at establishing a link between narcissism and aggressive driving.
The results convincingly proved that the participants who scored high on the narcissism scale were more likely to commit serious traffic violations. For example, they would tailgate, speed, drive off-road, and even cross the center line into oncoming traffic. These drivers also tend to excessively honk their horns and use foul language at other motorists.
But that’s not all. Three participants even collided into other vehicles, and all of them had predominantly narcissistic character traits. The researchers link this aggressive behavior at the wheel with the narcissists’ tendency to value their own time more than that of the other drivers.
The victim narcissist is the sneakiest of the bunch. These people are master-manipulators, who use affection and emotion to keep you close to them. They are very skilled at playing the underdog, and will often create or seek out situations in which they can do so effectively. A victim narcissist has the perfect sob story to use when the occasion arises. They will easily convince you that the world is out to get them, and that none of their misfortunes is their own doing.
As soon as they sense that you’ve started to give in, they will push you to do something for them. And if you dare refuse, you’ll automatically become one of those nasty people who’ve been playing faulty tricks on them all their life.
These people are firmly convinced that everything has been predestined for them and that they have no control whatsoever on their own life. As a result, a victim narcissist rarely takes responsibility for their own actions.
They use blame and guilt to get what they want from others, often asking for unreasonable favors and handouts. A victim narcissist will become deeply hurt when other people cannot – or will not – solve their problems for them.
3. The Know-It-All Narcissist
This person is convinced that they are more intelligent and better-informed than everyone else. In most cases, however, they are just conceited. They they seldom bother to support their opinion with facts and become deeply offended when faced with counter-arguments. To the know-it-all narcissist, you are either right or wrong – with them or against them. There is no in between. They often preach, but rarely listen. They are known to offer unsolicited advice to friends, family members, and even strangers.
However, they will become offended if someone does the same to them. The know-it-all narcissist feels that they have nothing to learn from others. Unfortunately, this causes them to miss out on quite a lot in life.
These narcissists are absolutely incapable of coping with some unfortunate turn of event or an unexpected situation that requires quick thinking and improvisation. To compensate for this, they find ways to manipulate everyone around them. The puppet master narcissist has learned to control others through several different tactics, and is skilled at finding an individual’s weak spot. They have no concept of integrity or empathy. A narcissist puppet master will lie, cheat, seduce, and withhold affection from loved ones to get what they want.
Oftentimes they resort to setting friends against each other, or using unsuspecting people as pawns. This type of narcissist will seek out your insecurities and vulnerabilities, and exploit them without even a trace of remorse.
5. The Narcissist Antagonist
This type of narcissist always seems to have an enemy. They scream at other drivers, berate waiting staff at restaurants, and leave nasty notes for neighbors who play their music too loud. This expression of their righteous indignation helps them to feel superior and in control. Unfortunately, it also keeps them from maintaining healthy relationships. They likely have few – if any – friends at work, and may even have lost jobs due to office disputes.
Their personal lives are in constant turmoil. If they are in a relationship, their partner is likely to have a very submissive personality with low self-esteem. The narcissist antagonist may be estranged from one or more family members, often with no hope of reconciliation.
6. The Status Narcissist
To this type of narcissist, self-worth is only real if it can be proven in a particular way and validated by others. They have little to no internal sense of self. Instead, they put all of their energy into accumulating money, power, and social status.
For them, their social status is a constant source of reassurance and self-confidence. Similarly, they judge those around them not by who they are, but by what they’ve achieved. This type of narcissist must know how much you paid for your house and can tell you whether or not you hired the “right” interior designer.
In their career, they never settle for anything less than the position of President, Vice President or, as a last option, Chairman of The Board. A status narcissist is often very smart and consistent in the pursuit of their goals and ambitions. Unfortunately, this is where the depth of their personality comes to an end.
7. The Royal Narcissist
– This type of narcissist feels that they are always entitled to the best. They don’t believe in earning special treatment – they feel that they deserve it simply by birthright, much like a royalty does. A royal narcissist will break rules, and will refuse to abide by social norms. When confronted over their misconduct, they will react as though they are being persecuted or treated unfairly. The royal narcissist, after all, is above things like speeding tickets.
They will also treat others, including their superiors in the office, with utmost condescension. This is because they are convinced that the world is their kingdom, and everybody else is here to serve them. The extract from one of my favorite poems below says it all:
“I am in love with you’, I responded.
He laughed the most beguiling and gentle laugh.
‘Of course you are,’ he replied. ‘I understand perfectly because I’m in love with myself. The fact that I’m not transfixed in front of the nearest mirror takes a great deal of self-control.’ It was my turn to laugh.”
Narcissists cannot help being narcissistic. The purpose of this article has been to sharpen our wariness of their presence around us and make us more prepared to handle their behaviors or to avoid them.
Don’t allow a narcissist hurt you, control you, or make you feel down in the dumps. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to turn away and laugh or just to avoid them.