What is a Narcissist?

When we hear the word "narcissist", which often times can be an overused word, we may think it is describing a toxic, abusive person, or someone who thinks highly of themselves and has no regard for anyone else's feelings; basically a jerk!

To some extent those are good descriptions of a narcissist. However, narcissism is actually very different from being a narcissist.

The DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) states that a person with NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) has to have at least 5 of the following 9 traits in order to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder:

* Has a grandiose sense of self-importance.

* Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or love.

* Believes they are "special" and unique and can only be understood by or should associate with, other special or high-status people ( or institutions).

* Requires excessive admiration.

* Has a sense of entitlement (i.e. unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with their expectations).

* Is interpersonally exploitative. (i.e. takes advantage of others to achieve their own ends).

* Lacks empathy; is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.