People with narcissistic personality disorder symptoms are excessively preoccupied with themselves. They can appear arrogant or haughty and often try to deflate or belittle others to inflate themselves up. Ironically, people with narcissistic personality disorder actually have very low self-esteem although they can appear very confident. These individuals are lacking a substantial ego core and often feel empty.
- Reaction to criticism. When criticized, people with narcissistic personality disorder react with rage or humiliation. They do not like to believe they are less than perfect.
- Positive attention. Narcissists crave constant positive attention and will set up their relationships to try and maintain this illusion. If you give them anything other than positive reinforcement or admiration, they will react by attacking or degrading you or cutting off the relationship.
- Take advantage. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have a very shaky sense of morality and will often resort to many underhanded means to get what they want. They often resort to playing one person off another or acting sweet to your face while they downgrade you to another person. They manipulate relationships in order to maintain a position of power.
- No empathy. The key symptom regarding narcissists and sociopaths is their blatant lack of empathy. Narcissists are stuck in a very early stage of emotional development and they don’t recognize others feelings or needs—only their own—much like a toddler or three year old.
- Fantasies. The fantasies of narcissists involve power, prestige, beauty, intelligence or idealized love relationships. If they don’t have these qualities themselves, they associate with others who they feel do to get a vicarious high feeling from the association.
- Self interest. Because they don’t really care for others, people with narcissistic personality disorder pursue selfish aims. They don’t take what you or other people need or want into account because it doesn’t matter to them, but they can pretend to do so in the short-term to get what they want.