Narcissistic People and the 7 Little-Known Facets of the Narcissism Spectrum

/, Personality, Psychology & Mental Health/Narcissistic People and the 7 Little-Known Facets of the Narcissism Spectrum

Here’s a startling truth: Narcissistic people are everywhere. In fact, almost every one of us has certain traits which place us on the narcissistic spectrum.

Narcissism isn’t a rare trait of the human being. The truth is, each and every one of us has narcissistic traits, some more than others. Here’s another way to look at it, a more factual representation: We are all narcissistic people.

“In a broad sense, narcissism refers to feelings and attitudes toward one’s own self and to normal development and self-regulation. It is the core of normal healthy self-esteem, effects, and relationships. In psychoanalytic terms, normal narcissism is defined as a positive investment in a normally functioning self-structure.”

-Elsa Ronningstam

What? I bet that quote kind of made you do a double take, huh? I think that’s the first time I’ve ever read that narcissism could possibly be healthy.

The truth is, I think we’ve all been misusing this word as a blanket term instead of putting emphasis on the personality disorder instead. I think I should redefine the use of the word, “narcissism” itself.

Let’s take a look further to understand our mistakes.

The narcissistic spectrum

The reason why we are all narcissistic people is that every one of us falls upon the spectrum of narcissism. I was unaware of this scale until just a few months ago. The narcissistic spectrum, a scale of 0-10, governs whether we have a little sense of self-importance or if we have a narcissistic personality disorder.

Here are a few little-known placements on the narcissistic spectrum.

1. Placement Zero

At zero on the narcissism spectrum, an individual is acting in an unhealthy manner toward themselves. While they are selfless and often bow to servitude, they also deny their own basic needs. This is obviously extremely unhealthy.

Although those who fall at zero on the spectrum are humble and basically good people, they suffer from their inability to love themselves.

2. Placement One

These individuals can tolerate a bit more attention to themselves than those at the zero range. Maybe on special occasions, they would be willing to have some social interaction but still can become overwhelmed easily.

Although they are still rather humble people, they are capable of some self-importance.

3. Placements 2 and 3

These individuals dream of having things and being more social. They may move out of their comfort zones more often than the people who fall under the previous place on the spectrum. They still restrain themselves and only think of getting attention on a few occasions.

4. Placement between 4-6

This is considered the healthy range of narcissism. In this range, it’s okay to feel special and get attention when it’s appropriate, but it’s also good to be humble when that is the appropriate moment.

You should be able to tell the difference between the two needs and situations. For instance, if you get a promotion, you can claim some attention for that, but on the other hand, when your friend gets a promotion, they should get the attention, not you by association. 😉

5. Placement 7 and 8

These people do find wrong in themselves and will try to make improvements. They still, however, will posture and show off the things that they have. You will see more switching back and forth with these people, and sometimes it will seem as they aren’t quite accepting in who they are.

At the same time, when they are seeking the spotlight, they will enjoy the attention.

6. Placement Nine

At this level, an individual seeks a large amount of attention. However, at some point, they will start to become aware of their unrealistic needs, and start to see the wrong in these feelings.

They may try hard to hide their guilt of wanting too much attention, but they definitely feel a bit more.

7. Placement Ten

On the opposite extreme lies the grandiose, arrogant, and totally self-seeking individuals. This is the personality type characterized as a narcissistic disorder. These individuals will lie, steal, cheat and destroy just to get attention and stay in the spotlight. In short, they will do whatever it takes for attention.

Three types of unhealthy narcissists

Working with this spectrum, we can see three different types of narcissistic personalities. These personalities are different, but they all share one common trait: The feeling that they are better or unique to everyone else.

Extroverted narcissist

This is the obnoxious and loud narcissist that openly craves attention all the time. They are extremely social because they have to be in order to stay in the spotlight. They post pictures constantly, show off purchases, and brag about achievements.

Introverted narcissist

They avoid people because they are afraid of judgments. One of the reasons for this is because they want others to think they have no sense of self when, in fact, they do think they are special. An introverted narcissist separates themselves from others because they always feel quietly superior.

Communal narcissist

These are people who want to give and never take any help. It’s not that they don’t want any attention, they just want attention for the fact that they are givers and never seem to need any help. It’s like they won’t be known as “saviors” for other people.

Narcissistic People

Now that you understand how narcissism works, you can understand yourself as well, and where you fall on the narcissistic spectrum. I found my present place on the scale, but I think I will keep that to myself, as I think I have some improvements to make.

Again, thanks for reading, and I apologize for any terms that I may have incorrectly defined and so forth. I am learning right along with you and as long as we keep learning, we can always help each other be better and do better.

Until next time…

References:

  1. http://journals.sagepub.com
  2. https://www.yourtango.com
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About the Author:

Sherrie is a freelance writer and artist with over 10 years of experience. She spends most of her time giving life to the renegade thoughts. As the words erupt and form new life, she knows that she is yet again free from the nagging persistence of her muse. She is a mother of three and a lifetime fan of the thought-provoking and questionable aspects of the universe.

6 Comments

  1. Imana's cave August 8, 2018 at 12:10 am - Reply

    Athough interesting, I do believe this post to not be entirely true. Please allow me to explain.

    Narcissism is a character trait that everyone does possess, yes. But there is a difference between it and self-importance. As what the post of course stated. But as a contradiction, some of the things stated was confused as narcissism.

    At number 1. placement 0, I’d like to point out that what is described is not exactly narcissism.

    The thing about narcissist is that anytime they are focused on someone else, it is purely for a personal alternative motive. Those alternative motives are usually selfish. No narcissist will ever care for someone out of the goodness of their heart. The motive to doing that is usually a ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours.’ kind of situation or ‘I do it because I feel like it, ‘ because they’re in a giving mood. The mood usually means they’re doing something to make themselves feel good, they don’t really care about the other person. They just want the glory of being praised for a deed. They don’t really care about the other person’s long-lasting happiness. And or that person has something that they want and they pursue that person through gestures of kindness.

    Do not allow someone being nice to the point where it’s unhealthy, be confused with a narcissist attempt of attention showering.

    As said in the following sentence: *”an individual is acting in an unhealthy manner toward themselves. While they are selfless and often bow to servitude, they also deny their own basic needs”*

    This right here is specifically the act of a narcissist because it SPECIFICALLY says BOW to servitude. No genuinely kind person would ever bow to servitude.

    Bow to servitude is strictly the characteristic of a narcissist specifically because narcissist can get so addicted and so obsessed with wanting something from someone. That they deprive themselves of their basic needs like food and sleep.

    I like to use a personal experience. This is a real story, I will refrain from using the person’s name to protect their privacy. The long story short, I knew someone who was so obsessed with a girl he liked. That he dropped everything he was doing in his own country and traveled across the world to not only meet this girl, but marry her. The guy has been speaking to the girl for about 3 years and the girl was half his age. She was a young girl severely mentally ill, she came from an abusive family and she was pretty much vulnerable.

    The guy took it upon himself to make it his soul duty to use that girl’s young innocence, naiveness and mental illness to persuade her not only to agree to marry him, but to move back to his country with him.

    The young girl gave the guy her address so that he can find her. While he was staying in a hotel in the city where she lived, he took it upon himself to research her mental illness. Telling himself that he was going to cure her of her mental illness, he also told himself that he love the girl only as a sister and not as a lover.

    That part was clearly a lie. He did that so that he could not see himself as a pedophile. Despite the fact that in his country there is no age of consent and marrying as young as 13, ( the age of the girl) is approved.

    The young girl was his girlfriend of course.

    He said this because previously before her mental illness became an issue, they had a good relationship before she became ill. He believed that if he read enough on her illness that he could personally cure her, so that she can go back to loving him the way she was before.

    When she became sick her mental illness made her a bit of a jerk, depriving him of the love and attention that he crave from her. He had been grooming this girl since she 11, so he put a lot of time and energy into the relationship. So he was not going to allow it to end just like that.

    So through his computer he found the girls address, tracked her on his phone, got a US Visa. Got on a plane, went to her house, walked her from school and back, try to befriend her family. And in the meantime he visit stores and libraries checking out books on her mental illness.

    The entire time he told himself he was doing a good thing, he was helping her, he was helping her get better; that all his efforts was working.

    But the entire time he was there all he did was woo her with gifts and promises, showering her with attention and affection, and the only thing she gave him in return was a cold shoulder and insults. She insulted him on the way he looked and called him names. But on the flip side with turn around and be kind to him the next minute.

    He told himself she was like this because of her mental illness and so therefore he could not hate her. He said none of that was her fault, he also said the girl had self-esteem issues and suffered from severe depression from her mental illness. He also stated that she was dangerous and would often threaten to kill people. He blame this on her past and he said it it made her that way.

    Even when I tried to warn him of the dangers that the girl could actually maybe one day kill him, if he does succeed in his plan. He said he did not care, he would think about days where he would go to sleep and not wake up and to himself he kept saying he did not care.

    Unfortunately the story ends with her calling the police on him for stalking her and him getting deported.

    After that, he has had on and off feelings of affection and hatred, and resentment towards the girl. Saying he loves her, he’s obsessed with her and will never leave her. But then goes on to smearing her name and talking bad about her.

    Even though he was deported from the country and was refrain from speaking with the girl for a total of 5 years. They still talk sometimes, she apologized for what she did and he forgives her.

    Previously before he left his country to see her, the relationship was already draining him of energy and sleep. He had been rapidly severely losing weight due to the level of stress. Despite those issues, he still relentlessly pursued his goal.

    When he stayed in his hotel he was constantly complaining about being lonely, not having any friends, he was not feeding himself well. He was always complaining that he was hungry. Or that he felt sick.

    That is an example of a placement 0 narcissist bowing to servitude, depriving him self a basic needs and self devaluation. The entire time he did that he was not humble.

    The language of narcissist is to speak unspoken words through spoken words. When a narcissist says there helping, you they mean they’re helping themselves to you.

    As he was preparing to leave his country to see the girl, he had been previously building side relationships also known as shelled secondary sources, to gain the affection that he had been craving but have been deprived of from his mentally ill girlfriend.

    One of those ladies he was pursuing as a primary secondary source, if his primary veiled Source failed. This young lady was fortunately around his age.

    Moving on.

    *”Although those who fall at zero on the spectrum are humble and basically good people, they suffer from their inability to love themselves.”*

    This is half true; half untrue. It’s true because narcissists do suffer from the inability to love themselves. Using the same person I previously stated above. He specifically told me that he hates himself and the only reason why he was obsessed with the girl he pursued was because she hated herself to.

    His philosophy to love was; it is not his responsibility to love himself, it is someone else’s responsibility to love him. And that if you truly cared about someone you would invade their life and make their business your business.

    As a narcissist he has no respect for anything, not himself and certainly not boundaries.

    Narcissist Thrive off of sucking the energy from other people. They’re at their happiest when someone is at their lowest, because the girl he pursued already hated herself. She was still functionable as a human being. Well… she function enough to where he got what he wanted out of her. That made her the perfect veiled Source, she was an appliance that was broken but not so broken to wear it didn’t work.

    When her mental illness made her stop working as efficiently as she previously did, he was looking for a new source of Narcissistic Supply to replace the current one he had.

    The reason why the statement above is untrue was because the entire time he was doing this, he was not humble. He tried to call himself being humble but he really didn’t know what being humble meant; because his displays of humble wasn’t very humble.

    He claimed that he did nice things for people not wanting anything in return, when in reality he really wanted that person to shower him with attention and promises of future interactions. So that he may made leach on their life.

    The unspoken spoken words are ‘I don’t want anything physically in return. I just want your energy.’

    Being humble is the ability to understand that not everybody has the same privileges and position as you. So to avoid making someone feel inferior you do not rub your privileges in their face.

    This narcissist constantly paraded himself around like he was the best thing in the world. Constantly insulting people’s intelligence. If they were not up to his expectations, he would completely dismiss you as an idiot or a moron if you are anything less than perfect because he was also a perfectionist.

    He would constantly make you feel inferior by reminding you of your shortcomings.

    The reason why I said – don’t get that mixed up with self-importance, are because people like Empaths are big empathetic and sympathetic action takers that love to cater to other people out of the gesture of true genuine love and compassion.

    They can get so wrapped up with taking care of other people that they forget to take care of themselves.

    What separates the action of an empath and the narcissist is that once an empath realizes that they are being taken advantage of, that gesture of kindness gets retracted a bit and they are not as giving as much as they used to be.

    They give a little, not a lot and sometimes not at all. It’s because they realize that their integrity is more important then your blatant disregard for their thoughtful and meaningful intentions.

    A narcissist will continue to give as long as they see that there’s an opportunity to get what they want.

    • Imana's cave August 8, 2018 at 12:51 am - Reply

      Placement 1 is not narcissism. Most people can handle attention to themselves. It depends on how well you do in crowd and how much attention you crave from a multitude of people at once that determines whether it’s a narcissistic trait, or you simply being introverted and or shy.

      Most people who fall under that description don’t like to have multitude of people focus on them at once, due to the fact that all that attention makes them feel uncomfortable.

      These people prefer one-on-one attention or a small group of associates, so to not overload with social anxiety.

      I’d like to use my sibling as an example because she is cluster B personality disorder and that contains narcissism. In school she was very popular and had a lot of friends. She really didn’t crave attention from people but she wasn’t shy to attention either. Crowds didn’t bother her.

      She easily made friends was and attractive people. She would often attract the wrong crowd and a lot of those “friends” she had weren’t so much as friends but more as acquaintances or Associates. To her those small group of people that she did claim as friends where is shady and mischievous as she was and would often do things of the nature of a not so trustworthy friend.

      She would often find herself taking advantage of these people not realizing she was taking advantage of them and they would do the same to her. My sister was aware of this and would understand the relationship she had with these people. Believing that she took advantage of them who’s for spite. When in reality she had been doing it from the very beginning even before.

      Similar to the guy I mentioned in my previous post. A thing that he and my sister both have in common are that they take advantage of people in the shapes and forms of living off of them or having them live off of her\ him to make themselves feel like they’re in a higher position of power and success. Basically a non-verbal boast.

      I myself am not so great with crowds. Because of this I prefer a small group a people to friend simply because I’m aware that not everyone is to be trusted. And that a large amount of friends can be overwhelming.

      I do crave attention from people because as a human I am social creature. Humans aren’t really meant to spend time alone for too long, otherwise isolation will drive them insane .Association can sometimes be a want or need depending on the circumstance.

      Wanting attention doesn’t really make you a narcissist, it just makes you human. How much you desire and on what level is what makes you a narcissist.

  2. Imana's cave August 8, 2018 at 1:09 am - Reply

    Placement 2 and 3 is certainly not narcissism. wanting to get out of your comfort zone is someone Desiring to better themselves for the better. To experience new things and make room for new opportunities to widen their horizon and to live more and fear less. This allows space for making more friends and widening a social circle.

    People who do this are often Social Butterflies. They don’t necessarily crave attention but they just enjoy the company of others and appreciate the individual presence of other people, engaging in activities the other person or themselves may favor or enjoy.

    People who are not often Social Butterflies may engage in the same behavior to reinvent themselves, so they may be more Interactive and less reserved.

    It’s something that is highly encouraged amongst introverts and it is very healthy.

    Not narcissistic at all.

    Quickly, pointing out that narcissists are attention seekers. They rarely exercise restraint.

    Healthy narcissists are people who try to find narcissistic supply in a healthy way. Basically putting their gifts to good use.

  3. Imana's cave August 8, 2018 at 1:19 am - Reply

    Placement 4 and 6 may seem narcissistic but it’s really not.

    Recognizing how special you are is not really narcissism, it’s just stating a simple fact.

    Recognizing your position and holding yourself to a responsibility is not narcissism, it’s just integrity.

    Narcissism is being so high on your horse that you see your integrity as a given right to be given special treatment.

    Lots of people who have integrity who are not narcissist, use that position as a way of providing for other people. They’re humble gesture of providing for other people is part of that integrity.

    As long as they do not see themselves above others they are not narcissist.

  4. Imana's cave August 8, 2018 at 1:34 am - Reply

    5. Placement 7 and 8:
    *”These people do find wrong in themselves and will try to make improvements.”*

    This is true, however I must clarify that the only reason why they see to make improvements are to make there other narcissistic characteristics more effective. Or they’re just having an emotional moment and they’re wallowing in their own despair with no true intentions of actually changing.

    For example, a hoovering narcissist will study up on ways to be more successful in their hoover’s. One of their tactics is to admit to their faults to whoever they are hoovering, to give that person a false sense of security that, that individual is trying to change. When in reality it’s just to hoover them back in, so that the narcissist can start the cycle all over again.

    It’s like when your boyfriend tells you to don’t leave and that they admit their faults, and that they really do need to change. Just to keep you from leaving.

    This is why the following statement exist.

    *”They still, however, will posture and show off the things that they have. You will see more switching back and forth with these people, and sometimes it will seem as they aren’t quite accepting in who they are.”*

    Specifically the last sentence.Depending on the individual narcissists, some narcissists do recognize they are narcissists and do understand, and accept who they are; and like it. Then there are narcissist who haven’t yet realize that they are and they deny being a narcissist.

  5. Imana's cave August 8, 2018 at 1:45 am - Reply

    Last comment. All people contain narcissistic characteristics, But those who have healthy characteristics of narcissism. These character traits can be switched on and off like a light bulb at will and they are only applied in special circumstances.

    People with healthy narcissistic character traits don’t develop these character traits naturally. These character traits are actually learned through interactions with people. Specifically those who are a little more selfish and lean closer to the narcissistic spectrum.People who are narcissists at the neural level, which is biological.

    Their brains process information in a way that gradually develops into narcissism. These people can be around the most nicest, non narcissistic people in the world and can still develop narcissistic characteristics.

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