Everyone knows someone who seems to be completely wrapped up in themselves. They seem to only care about themselves, and they seem to think that they are better than every one. Some of these people probably have narcissistic personality disorder. This personality disorder is defined as, “...a broad pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy” (Comer, 2010, p. 531). People with narcissistic personality disorder are convinced of their own greatness; whether it be their success, artistic skill, or beauty. They also require the constant attention and admiration of the people around them. But, this is not all that is involved in this disorder.
People with narcissistic personality disorder are extremely self occupied, but also tend to exhibit a certain type of charm. These people tend to exaggerate their achievements and talents, giving themselves an appearance of self-confidence. However, after a time the people associated with those that have this disorder begin to become less and less enamored by them. An example of this can be found in the case of Brother John. Brother John is a member of a teaching ministry, and an excellent teacher (Rosetti, 1999). Initially the people in the community were impressed by Brother John, however before long he became a divisive person as he became increasingly critical of the communities leadership. This seems to be common amongst those with this order.
People with narcissistic personality disorder often seem confident, often to the point of arrogance. But, they do not take criticism well, and often become angry if their skills are called into question. Again we can find example of this in the case of Brother John. He would present himself as someone who knew how to lead the community, and expected others to follow him. When his ideas were not followed he became deeply hurt (Rosetti, 1999). This too is typical of people with narcissistic personality disorder.
People with this disorder tend to be very picky, or choosey, when it come to who their friends and associates are. Since they consider themselves to be special, they think that only those who are also “special” are deserving of their time. A narcissistic personality may also surround themselves with dependent personalities, because those with dependent personalities will give them the constant praise and adulation that they require. Again we turn to Brother John for an example, “He is an excellent teacher and has inspired many students. He has always had a group of students, usually dependent personalities...” (Rosetti, 1999). These students would often be called upon to defend Brother John when his behavior was questioned by supervisors.
Brother John using his students in this way touches upon another trait common to those with narcissistic personality disorder. People with this disorder are often manipulative, and use other to achieve their own ends. According to Ronald Comer, they may do this partly out of envy...