You’ve most probably read the horror stories about what it’s like to be in a relationship with a narcissist, being a narcissist’s child or being friends with a narcissist.
People with narcissistic personality disorder think that they are deeply important and special. They constantly need admiration and flattery to feel good about themselves. They sometimes also struggle to look at others as anything more than just extensions of themselves, which often times can lead to control issues and abuse.
However, narcissistic personality disorder is unconnected from the trait of narcissism. People with full blown narcissistic personality disorder are not common which if estimated can range from less than one percent to 6.2 percent of the total population, but we all display narcissistic traits and behaviors one way or the other from time to time. Depending on how much control you have over the trait, this may not be as bad as everyone thinks.
According to experts, narcissism is a sequence and where you are on the series determines whether you can use it to reach for your goals, or whether you use it as a means to manipulate the people around you. This personality disorder often happens with substance use, mood and anxiety disorders and other personality disorders. Living with people who have NPD can be a serious setback and require intense professional intervention.
However, on the other side of that spectrum, narcissism can exhibit itself in simple self-confidence or boastfulness. W. Keith Campbell, a psychology professor at the University of Georgia and author of the book The Narcissism Epidemic: Living In The Age Of Entitlement, calls this trait a tool in our toolbox that can help us nail that job interview, pick someone up at a bar or win that new leadership position at work.
Campbell told HuffPost that in this modern society, there are times when you have to brag or toot your own horn. If you can use it, it can be helpful, but only in some areas