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Difference between narcissism and NPD?

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Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby SillySalmon » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:09 pm

What distinguishes a narcissistic person from someone who has NPD? Is it based on the number of diagnostic criteria that a person meets? Or is it a matter of severity? At what point does narcissism become a personality disorder? Is it black and white, or are there people in between who are sort of halfway there?
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby Winteriscoming » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:13 pm

I thought narcissism was having NPD. Some poeple will have it worse than others and there will be people with some traits that don't have the full blown disorder.
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby My Username » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Those with NPD are quite a bit different than plain old narcissists. Some easy ways to differentiate..

NPD
- Lacks empathy - sees no wrong in personally attacking others, or completely ignoring you
- Being told "no" comes off as a personal attack
- Is oblivious to his own disorder
- Treats others as sub-human, but sees it as "they way it should be"
- Has few friends
- Is asocial when no attention from others is available

Basically, NPD is narcissism in all aspects of life - it is all pervasive. It is woven into the personality of the individual, and no amount of love or introspection can change their own opinion about their god-like self.

Yes, people can have it worse than others. Narcissism (most all college kids) is very common, especially in fields like law and business. NPD however, is quite unique. Some will argue NPD is on a spectrum with psychopathy, the psychopath being "very narcissistic".


But i understand why you ask.. NPD is very hard to spot. They are slick, kind, charming, whatever they need to be to get you to respect them. Your average narcissist will look like an a$$hole standing next to someone with NPD who is trying to make a good impression. Most with NPD do not come out from behind the mask until they are very close to you.

They guard their inner world every second of every day. They are directing a movie in which they are the lead actor and the director. They manipulate their words, emotions, and thoughts in order to create a self that is ideal. They are utterly fake, but do not even know it. You will never see what is inside of them, until they act out in such a way that contradicts all that you thought they stood for.
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby Winteriscoming » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:15 pm

My Username wrote: Some will argue NPD is on a spectrum with psychopathy, the psychopath being "very narcissistic".


NPD and psychopathy are quite distinct. Psychopathy is about a total lack of prosocial emotions (emotional empathy, guilt, remorse, altruism) as well as secondary features such manipulativeness and inpolsiveness. NPD is mostly about the egotism being completly obssesed and in love with themselves, being unable to admit inperfections, they also may lack empathy and be manipulative.
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby katana » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:59 pm

To clarify if you're talking about narcissism as a personality trait i.e. "grandiosity" I think that conversation has been done 100 times over, lol.

Though if you're talking about narcissistic defence mechanisms, personality structure, or "narcissistic disorders" they come in many shapes and forms not all of which might tend to attract the NPD label. Some might be considered to be covered better by other PDs, some might tend to fall under NPD.
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby Esquire » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:21 am

My Username wrote:Those with NPD are quite a bit different than plain old narcissists. Some easy ways to differentiate..

NPD
- Lacks empathy - sees no wrong in personally attacking others, or completely ignoring you
- Being told "no" comes off as a personal attack
- Is oblivious to his own disorder
- Treats others as sub-human, but sees it as "they way it should be"
- Has few friends
- Is asocial when no attention from others is available

Basically, NPD is narcissism in all aspects of life - it is all pervasive. It is woven into the personality of the individual, and no amount of love or introspection can change their own opinion about their god-like self.

Yes, people can have it worse than others. Narcissism (most all college kids) is very common, especially in fields like law and business. NPD however, is quite unique. Some will argue NPD is on a spectrum with psychopathy, the psychopath being "very narcissistic".


But i understand why you ask.. NPD is very hard to spot. They are slick, kind, charming, whatever they need to be to get you to respect them. Your average narcissist will look like an a$$hole standing next to someone with NPD who is trying to make a good impression. Most with NPD do not come out from behind the mask until they are very close to you.

They guard their inner world every second of every day. They are directing a movie in which they are the lead actor and the director. They manipulate their words, emotions, and thoughts in order to create a self that is ideal. They are utterly fake, but do not even know it. You will never see what is inside of them, until they act out in such a way that contradicts all that you thought they stood for.


Beautifully stated. This should be required reading for everyone who wonders about Narcissism.

Two of the biggest myths about NPDs are 1) that NPDs are just selfish, spoiled people who don't think of you because they're selfish and spoiled, and 2) that NPDs are totally awesome people who are so rich, handsome, and lucky that their lives have been a cakewalk and they like to lord it over everyone else. The truth is far different. Most NPDs aren't going to be identified as a man-child throwing a temper tantrum, or as a rich, handsome guy talking about how awesome he is. True Narcissism is something that afflicts an individual from the inside. The NPD is not just someone spoiled, shallow, and vain, it's someone tortured on the inside by lifelong fear, and by an unyielding superego. The NPD is more likely to be the middle-aged chubby guy in the board room than the hot movie star. The NPD's actions are motivated by his own internal torture, and they come out in ways that are subtle so that they remain unidentified by most people. That's why so many people are turned into emotional wrecks by NPDs. If the NPD was just a silly overgrown spoiled child, they wouldn't have the ability to do the real psychological damage that they do.
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby rivergirl » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:42 am

VirginiaEsquire wrote:Beautifully stated. This should be required reading for everyone who wonders about Narcissism.

Two of the biggest myths about NPDs are 1) that NPDs are just selfish, spoiled people who don't think of you because they're selfish and spoiled, and 2) that NPDs are totally awesome people who are so rich, handsome, and lucky that their lives have been a cakewalk and they like to lord it over everyone else. The truth is far different. Most NPDs aren't going to be identified as a man-child throwing a temper tantrum, or as a rich, handsome guy talking about how awesome he is. True Narcissism is something that afflicts an individual from the inside. The NPD is not just someone spoiled, shallow, and vain, it's someone tortured on the inside by lifelong fear, and by an unyielding superego. The NPD is more likely to be the middle-aged chubby guy in the board room than the hot movie star. The NPD's actions are motivated by his own internal torture, and they come out in ways that are subtle so that they remain unidentified by most people. That's why so many people are turned into emotional wrecks by NPDs. If the NPD was just a silly overgrown spoiled child, they wouldn't have the ability to do the real psychological damage that they do.


This. Right here. Most of the time, if you see someone's disorder, the people around him won't...except the few who may have been very, very close to him. And those people tend to not want to say anything at all. Everyone sort of ends up in fly under the radar mode.
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby katana » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:08 am

2 main messages I got from that post:

"people with NPD are not successful showoffs who everyone hates, they're more likely to not fulfil their potential and may be none of the things they see themselves as. they're tortured inside, they're damaged people"

(NPD is not about those people you can't stand - these people are not spoilt children they are genuinely deeply damaged.)

And

"a spoilt child wouldn't be able to create that kind of damage!"


(People with NPD are superior at manipulation. The spoilt child is too inferior for NPD.)

Is anyone potentially afraid of being (or being seen as) that spoilt child? Has anyone been treated as if they were a spoilt child if they ever tried to get recognised/validated/praised, etc. ? If anyone is, being afraid of being that way or being seen that way doesn't mean that you are like that btw. The same way being afraid of being a histrionic wouldn't make me one.
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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby MissAli » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:57 pm

I would like to thank My Username for bringing this topic to my attention!


I fully agree that this belongs in the "Stickies" section of NPD, and not in the body of the public posts. I have moved this up, and will be monitoring this thread to ensure that people do not attack, but however come here to use this post to further their knowledge and understanding.


Rock on, guys! Keep up the amazing work around here :0).


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Re: Difference between narcissism and NPD?

Postby Esquire » Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:15 am

katana wrote:Is anyone potentially afraid of being (or being seen as) that spoilt child? Has anyone been treated as if they were a spoilt child if they ever tried to get recognised/validated/praised, etc. ? If anyone is, being afraid of being that way or being seen that way doesn't mean that you are like that btw. The same way being afraid of being a histrionic wouldn't make me one.


Most Narcissists, I suspect, rarely have their feelings validated. Narcissists wallow in self-pity. Every slight, every bruise, everything that's happened in our lives that fell short of perfection, or that's left us less happy than we could be, is something that we ruminate on and voice our displeasure about. What if I had talked to the girl at the subway? What if I had gone out with the prom queen? What if I had majored in this subject instead of in that subject? What if I made more money? These are things that Narcissists will frequently complain about, and of course very few people are going to validate all of these complaints. Others will simply call the Narcissist a whiner, or someone who thinks the world owes him something. The Narcissist, then, is used to not having his feelings validated by others. This begins at such an early age that it's nothing new to the Narc. But it will never change the Narc's mind. The Narc will continue to believe that he is owed everything that he's ever wanted and more, and will dismiss the opinions of those who refuse to validate his feelings and devalue them immediately.

It's important to understand the role that other people play to the Narcissist. They are other objects and nothing more. When they get in his way of what he wants, they are like a vending machine that swallowed his quarters. The Narc will "shake the vending machine," so to speak, in order to get what he wants, i.e., manipulate those around him without concern for them. The Narcissist, of course, needs other people to praise him, admire him, respect him, have sex with him, or do other things to feed his ego and give him supply. But that should not confuse the Non into thinking that the Narc values any of their opinions and needs them to validate his emotions. He does not. Their praise, respect, admiration, love, or giving their very bodies over to him are nothing more than the candy falling from the vending machine. Once he has eaten the candy he will throw the wrapper away and forget it ever existed. The Narc does not need others to validate his emotions. His emotions are valid simply because he feels them and is experiencing them. This makes them prima facie valid. Anything else will not be considered, because the Narc cares about one thing in the entire universe: himself.
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