April 10, 2008


Excessive self-admiration and self-centeredness
In psychiatry, a personality disorder characterized by the patient's overestimation of his or her own appearance and abilities and an excessive need for admiration. In psychoanalytic theory, emphasis is placed on the element of self-directed sexual desire in the condition.

Narcissism describes the character trait of self love, based on self-image or ego.

Coping with a narcissist
Often, people have difficulty in coping with a narcissist, particularly if the narcissist is a colleague or a family member. Usually the best way to cope with a narcissist is to avoid too much contact with him/her, but this is not possible when the narcissist is a colleague or family member, in which case the following strategies have sometimes been suggested.

Never tell the narcissist that you disagree with him or her (particularly if you think the narcissist is lying) and try to avoid contradicting the narcissist.
Take steps to protect your self esteem since a narcissist can damage the self esteem of the people that he/she has frequent contact with.

There are two derivations of the name. One is that of the youth of Greek mythology called Narcissus, who, in at least one of many variations of the tale, became so obsessed with his own reflection as he kneeled and gazed into a pool of water that he fell into the water and drowned. The legend continues that the Narcissus plant first sprang from where he died. The other derivation is that the plant is named after its narcotic properties (narkoa, to numb in Greek).

Typical traits of a narcissist
The following traits are commonly found in narcissists: