The term narcissist is thrown around liberally these days. I know I’m guilty of slinging the insult at those that put one too many selfies on their Instagram feed. But narcissistic personality disorder is a real thing–a condition characterized by vanity, grandiosity, entitlement and a lack of empathy.
People with narcissistic personality disorder think they’re extra special individuals who should be admired and respected by others. The term actually comes from the mythical Greek character Narcissus who fell in love with his reflection in the water.
In its extremes, narcissism is a real clinical disorder that’s been widely studied. It’s also linked to bad behavior including defensiveness and self protection. Narcissists have difficulty establishing relationships because of a lack of empathy for others.
Not sure if a friend or family member is a narcissist? One new study in particular identified the easiest way to find out if an individual was one of the 5 percent of definable narcissists–all you have to do is ask.
Narcissists Don’t Think It’s a Bad Thing At All
New research published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that narcissists aren’t afraid to tell you that they’re narcissists because they don’t see it as a bad thing. The study followed 2,250 participants answering questionnaires. One question in particular asks directly and then instructs participants to rate it on a seven point scale:
To what extent do you agree with this statement: ‘I am a narcissist?’ (Note: The word ‘narcissist’ means egotistical, self-focused, and vain.)
The results of this Single Item Narcissism Scale (SINS) were in line with much longer testing devices. It found that 5 percent of the population is narcissistic just as longer studies have found. And those that said they were narcissistic actually were when other metrics were used.
What do you think? Are you a narcissist? And if you were would you tell others openly?
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Image: Michael Dadino