Last Updated on April 16, 2021 by Alexander Burgemeester
A study conducted showed 1 in 16 Americans suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder.
It can be difficult to identify who has a narcissistic trait and who suffers from a disorder. If you spot the signs, the best thing you can do is distance yourself.
In this article, we’ll break down 4 common types of narcissism so you know how to identify and handle them.
1. Overt Narcissism
Almost everyone has had an encounter with an overt narcissist for this is the most common out of all the types of narcissism.
Overt narcissists tend to always be loud. No matter what, they are always right and seek to control people and situations. You will always know when you’re in their presence because they are obnoxious and quite oppressive.
This narcissist has high expectations and will make sure other people know it. If you don’t live up to their unrealistic expectations, they’re not afraid to give you their opinion even if you don’t want to hear it.
Their large egos lead them to believe their ways are better and they’re not afraid to let you know. This is one of the reasons why they come across as bullies.
They make themselves bigger and more powerful by tearing down those people around them. Mocking, belittling, and even threatening are their weapons of choice.
Overt narcissists don’t tend to feel remorse after their brutal verbal attacks.
The best way to deal with this type is by not confronting them directly. If you try to confront them or challenge them, they won’t play fair.
Try to avoid them as much as possible and put as much distance between you and them. Don’t keep them in your immediate circle of friends or let them into your private life.
If you must deal with them on a regular basis, listen to what they have to say but don’t give it too much importance. Having a sense of humor will help you dodge any attacks.
2. Seductive Narcissism
It’s more difficult to spot a seductive narcissist because they don’t employ vicious attacks. Unlike other types of narcissism, this type will make you feel good about yourself.
They always start by showering their victims with compliments and building them up. One might get the impression that the narcissist idolizes you when in fact, they hide their real motives.
In reality, what they are looking for is for their victims to do the same for them. They constantly need their egos built and seek validation.
Most of them have more than one person at the same time in order to maintain the level of attention they desire.
Another characteristic is their hot and cold approach. They are affectionate for a short period before they withdraw and become distant. Then the cycle starts over again which creates a toxic attachment to the victim.
It may be difficult to stay away from them especially when you like all the compliments they give you. Try to remain humble and not get addicted to the extra attention they provide you with.
Observe how they treat the people who they don’t typically flatter or have conflicts with. Try to cut ties with them and don’t maintain a friendship after it’s over.
3. Covert Narcissism
This type of narcissist tends to be the most two-faced of them all. When they’re outside their home, or out of reach from those closest to them they put on a good face.
They might come across as thoughtful, kind, and figures of high moral integrity, but the truth is they are the complete opposite. They are cruel and manipulative to their immediate family and close friends.
These narcissists are often people in positions of power who have to maintain a well-liked image. Politicians, teachers, religious leaders, and other positions of authority hold the most covert narcissists.
Most of their public tactics are parasitic, which means they pretend to obtain what they want from others without having to do any of the work. They will trick you out of money, favors, and anything else just so they can obtain more power.
In their private life, they use cruelty and extreme cases of manipulation to get what they want. Even when they are cruel and manipulative they still play the role of the victim.
It might seem impossible to learn how to deal with a covert narcissist, especially if they’re a family member.
The first thing you should do is try to avoid engaging in their blame games. Don’t criticise them in public, always do it in private. When you talk to them focus on the positive things they do rather than in all the negative.
4. Vindictive Narcissism
Out of all the types of narcissism, this is the most dangerous. Although they share some characteristics with overt narcissists, they will make it their life mission to make their victim’s lives a nightmare.
They always want to feel superior and if you challenge their superiority or status they will make you pay.
These people love chaos and feed off the negative outcomes they create. They enjoy talking behind people’s backs and creating conflict where there wasn’t any.
If they ever consider you an enemy, you should be careful because they will stop at nothing to destroy your life. They might resort to damaging your career through slander, instigate in your personal relationships, and any other way they can think of.
While you can still manage to tolerate an overt narcissist who is a bully, a vindictive narcissist is a whole other game.
If you spot one early enough, try to distance yourself as soon as you can. Sometimes it’s difficult to spot them because they’re experts in disguising their true nature.
Once you’re their victim, the only thing you can do is collect as much evidence against them as possible. Keep all methods of communications sustained such as emails, texts, notes and anything else you can present as hard-evidence.
Do You Recognize These Types of Narcissism?
It’s difficult to deal with narcissistic people in your life. The key is to understand this condition and know how to distance yourself.