Kinds Of Narcissism

There are many levels of "Narcissism". As a disorder, it's a "spectrum" disorder. A person can be extremely narcissistic, or just enough to make life with them more difficult because their behavior is childish. A person can definitely be narcissistic, or even have the disorder, without actually being a sociopath or a psychopath, and it's actually pretty common. Sociopaths don't operate with the same emotional reactions, so they don't actually do some of the behaviors found in most Narcissists. They're not going to go around backstabbing someone every time they feel left out or their ego gets pinched; they aren't that reactive. They have goals in mind, and they try to meet those goals however they can, over and through others. The reason they'll backstab is to cover their tracks and destroy the target's credibility. It's not the same thing as the reactive kind of gossip that most Narcissistic people spread around, trying to get attention, sympathy, and admiration by tearing someone else down. The sociopath's goal is more often tangible, they want something specific, whatever that may be, and they will do whatever it takes to get it, preferable without drawing attention to themselves. They don't want to get caught, because that would STOP THEM from getting what they want. Picture a person who gets a job in a bank and purposely becomes a model employee, JUST SO he or she can eventually gain access to the keys to the safe. That's their goal; they may become very angry when their plan is thwarted, but not so much with social issues. They couldn't care less about who is having lunch with whom, or who is having an affair with whom, or anything else social. They want those keys, they will kiss as much butt as they need to to get them. After they've gotten what they wanted from the vault, they'll probably skip town, and blow off every person they pretended to be "friends" with. These are the kind of Narcissists who are always "in charge" because they are single-minded and focused; they purposely focus on gaining power (on a personal scale all the way to the highest government positions) so they can get access to what they want.

Histrionic Narcissists, on the other hand, are all about social interaction. It's their main supply, so it's their main focus. They want attention and approval, assistance, sympathy, and more sympathy, and admiration. Not the same as acknowledgment and recognition. They don't want people to simply acknowledge their accomplishments, or support them in their endeavors, or assist them when they need it, all of which are normal and healthy human needs (that Narcissists withhold on purpose)... they want to be THE GREATEST one, the MOST BEAUTIFUL one, the MOST HANDSOME one, the SMARTEST, the BEST, the SWEETEST, the MOST DESERVING, the ONE WHO SHOULD GET ALL THE SYMPATHY and HELP because they are the STAR of this family, this community, this school, this business, this circle of friends. And WOE to anyone who seems like competition to them!!!

And then there is the very, very common Narcissism that is seen every day in this modern era: the defensive, brooding, domination-oriented, trying to "prove" that I'm tough enough, cool enough, tougher than YOU, better and more deserving than you, knock down anything others are trying to accomplish, knock down others for any reason whatsoever, especially if they seem confident, bright, happy, or motivated. Trying to make a target stop believing in themselves, trying to make a target the focus of a petty and sad smear campaign that rarely has anything to do with reality. Using sarcasm, sabotage, ostracism, and triangulation against anyone who DARES to veer anywhere near the person's fragile ego, or against anyone who seems like they might know more or get more attention. This kind is often learned from the community one lives in and is exacerbated dramatically by a bully-culture. Constantly putting others down, judging, trying to find excuses to exclude others and make cliques, trying to build one's image up so it's "above" others, treating even members of one's own family, and total strangers like "second-class citizens" or like they're stupid or crazy, attacking"friends" and family every time they talk about anything, especially political or religious. This current epidemic, like other cycles in history, is most likely the result of growing up in a dysfunctional culture filled with bigotry, sexism, racism, a lack of ethics, a lack of critical thinking being taught, and widespread corruption.

There are many more levels and versions of Narcissism, and it manifests in many ways; the common denominator is simply a lack of interest in the well-being of others mostly due to an overwhelming focus on the self. Some are very dangerous, some not so much; it is important to know the difference as members of society, and when we are trying to heal, and when there are children involved.