I've been cleaning up my desktop and came across an informative article by Dr. Elsa Ronningstam:
NPD Basics is a 14-page document, very accessible to the lay person learning about narcissism.
Dr. Ronningstam increases our understanding of people with narcissistic personalities. She corrects erroneous beliefs about narcissism. Such as:
Narcissism isn't "normal"
"Narcissism refers to feelings and attitudes towards one’s own self -- the core of normal healthy self-esteem, affects, and relationships. Normal narcissism relates to positive self-esteem and self-regard, to a sense of agency, mastery, inner autonomy, and control of thoughts, feelings, actions, and impulses. In addition, self-preservation and normal entitlement including survival and protection of one’s own self and territory are also expressions of normal narcissism."Narcissists are grandiose---all the way to the core
"The common and underlying indications of narcissistic personality functioning include self-enhancement and self-esteem fluctuations, vulnerability, inferiority and fear of failing, limitations in interpersonal relationships, compromised empathic functioning and emotion recognition, and intense emotional reactions to threats to self-esteem, and sense of agency and control."Narcissists love themselves too much to contemplate suicide
"People with narcissistic personalities are particularly vulnerable to suicide. Studies have suggested that challenges to self-esteem and to a sense of internal control are contributing factors. Grandiosity and vulnerability, fluctuating self-esteem, intense emotional reactions to threats to self-experience, and limitations in interpersonal relationships are other contributing personality traits."Narcissists are not able to empathize
"Studies have shown that people with NPD can notice and understand others’ internal states and feelings but may not be able to emotionally engage and respond to them. In other words, people with pathological narcissism or NPD have compromised and fluctuating empathy, but they do not lack empathy."Once a narcissist, always a narcissist
"Pathological narcissism and NPD are frequent among people in their late teens and early twenties, due to the specific developmental challenges in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Such disturbances are usually corrected through developmental life experiences and normally do not develop into adult NPD. NPD does not necessarily remit with advanced age. Middle age is an especially critical period for the development or worsening of NPD, and narcissistic pathology and personality disorder have also been found in elderly people."
Let me know what you think about Ronningstam's article and if you're interested in talking about any of her points, feel free to comment!
Ronningstam, Elsa. 2005 Identifying and Understanding the Narcissistic Personality. 2005
Ronningstam, Elsa. 2000 Disorders of Narcissism: Diagnostic, Clinical, and Empirical Implications