Could you be an introverted narcissist? Below, you will find eight signs that might help you.

Narcissism. It’s everywhere you look. From the endless selfies of today’s younger generation to the diva demands of precious celebrities. That’s the whole point with narcissists, they are easy to recognise. But what if I told you there was a different kind of narcissist that isn’t so simple to spot?

Many researchers believe there are two types of narcissists, the first one is extroverted or overt, and the second is the introverted or covert.

Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman explains that extrovert narcissists “tended to be aggressive, self-aggrandizing, exploitative, and have extreme delusions of grandeur and a need for attention,” whereas introverted narcissists were more prone to “feelings of neglect or belittlement, hypersensitivity, anxiety, and delusions of persecution.”

Where do narcissistic traits come from?

Narcissism is thought to be created in childhood when a parent or primary caregiver either over-indulges a child or completely neglects them. The child is either rewarded for doing very little and grows up with a sense of entitlement that is not deserved, or they receive little to no encouragement, which inevitably leaves them emotionally void as they enter adulthood.

Typical extroverted narcissistic traits include:

  • Extreme delusions of grandeur
  • Attention-seeking
  • Manipulation
  • Vanity
  • Self-assuredness
  • Self-aggrandizing
  • Exploitative

As for an introverted narcissist, an individual who suffers from this disorder displays signs of:

  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Hyper-sensitivity
  • Anxiety
  • Insecurity
  • Low self-esteem
  • Timidity

At first glance, these two lists of characteristics could not be any more different, but researchers agree that both types of narcissists share some common traits.

They both have an exaggerated sense of entitlement, share grandiose fantasies, are conceited about their so-called achievements, and put their own needs above all others. The main difference between extroverted narcissists and introverted ones is that introverted narcissists keep their grand notions mostly to themselves.

So how can you tell if you are, or know an introverted narcissist?

Below are eight signs that might help you:

1. Self-deprecation

People that always play down their achievements are really begging you to compliment them. This is a sneaky way of asking for approval in what appears to be a humble way.

2. No Empathy

Any type of narcissist cannot put themselves in your shoes, it’s just impossible. Both extroverted and introverted narcissists believe the world exists to serve their needs, but if others need help it is an inconvenience to them.

3. Childish responses

Question an introverted narcissist and you will get a typically immature response that either shuts you down immediately, or they become passive-aggressive towards you.

4. Quiet sense of superiority

Extroverted narcissists will tell you in no uncertain terms about how great they are. Introverted ones do it slightly differently; they’ll be unbearably smug, quietly condescending, and express their boredom at your achievements with body language such as eye-rolling or yawning.

5. Cannot listen to others

Introverted narcissists do not want to waste time talking to other people about their problems so they definitely do not make good listeners. A good listener is one that puts aside their own dilemmas to concentrate on another person. An introverted narcissist simply doesn’t care enough.

6. Self-Absorbed

A very typical characteristic of an introverted narcissist is their sense of self-absorption. Most people, events or issues are not as important as themselves and they quickly discern who around them will provide them with the attention they require and dismiss the others.

7. Passive-Aggressive

This is a perfect characteristic for an introverted narcissist as they can use a quiet way to disarm or unbalance you. Examples of passive-aggressive behaviour might manifest itself in continued lateness or reneging on previous promises and then acting as if it is not important.

8. Overly Sensitive to Criticism

An introverted narcissist is extremely sensitive to criticism and will either sulk and withdraw from the situation or dismiss you with a smug remark or superior comment.

There are differences between an extroverted and an introverted narcissist. Extroverted narcissists are pretty open about their supposed superiority over others. Introverted narcissists also believe that they are unique and special people but think that they are completely misunderstood by others. By keeping their thoughts to themselves, they manage to maintain a façade, which ultimately, protects them against the outside world. It acts as a comfort to them, as to reveal their vulnerabilities would simply be impossible.



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