What Is NPD? Understanding The Behaviors OF Narcissistic Personality Disorder
What Is NPD? Understanding The Behaviors OF Narcissistic Personality Disorder
16 Feb 2024

What Is NPD? Understanding The Behaviors OF Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Do you suspect that you or a loved one has Narcissistic Personality Disorder? This condition causes severe interpersonal problems, deeply affecting the person with the disorder and all those around them. But it is treatable.

In this blog, we delve into what is NPD, look at the characteristics and behaviors associated with it, and also examine how NPD can be treated.

What Is NPD?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, an exaggerated sense of self-importance, and a constant need for admiration. Individuals with NPD often lack empathy for others and may display arrogant, entitled behaviors. It's essential to note that NPD exists on a spectrum, and not every individual exhibiting narcissistic traits has a full-blown personality disorder.

Key Behaviors And Traits Of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Here are some of the defining characteristics of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Understanding these allows you to understand exactly what is NPD.


People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) often exhibit a grandiose sense of self-importance, perpetually inflating their achievements and talents. This grandiosity extends beyond confidence and into a belief that they are inherently special and unique.

Their self-perceived superiority can lead to an exaggerated sense of entitlement, expecting preferential treatment from other people and asserting dominance in various aspects of their lives.

Lack Of Empathy

Empathy, a fundamental aspect of human connection, is deficient in people with NPD. People with NPD struggle to recognize or understand the feelings and needs of others, and may seem emotionally detached or indifferent.

This lack of empathy contributes to challenges in forming meaningful and reciprocal relationships, as their interactions often center around their own desires and needs without regard for the feelings of others.

Fantasies Of Unlimited Success, Power, Or Beauty

People with NPD often engage in elaborate fantasies where they envision unlimited success, power, brilliance, or physical beauty. These fantasies serve as a coping mechanism, allowing them to escape from the perceived realities of their lives. The conviction that they are destined for greatness reinforces their need for constant admiration and acknowledgment from those around them.

Sense Of Entitlement

A pervasive sense of entitlement characterizes people with NPD. They firmly believe that rules and societal norms don't apply to them, expecting special treatment and privileges. This entitlement can manifest in both personal and professional spheres, where they demand exceptional consideration without reciprocating the same regard for others.

This sense of entitlement is a key factor in understanding what is NPD, and you will find this sense of entitlement in all people with this disorder.

Exploitative Behavior

Driven by their insatiable need for validation and success, people with NPD may resort to exploitative behaviors to achieve their goals. In interpersonal relationships, this can manifest as manipulation or taking advantage of others for personal gain. Their interactions often revolve around how others can serve their needs, rather than fostering mutually beneficial connections.

Envy And Belief Others Are Envious

Envy becomes a recurring theme in the mindset of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. They may harbor intense jealousy toward others' accomplishments while believing that others are envious of their perceived brilliance. This paradoxical thinking fuels a constant internal struggle for validation and recognition.

Arrogance And Haughty Attitude

Arrogance and a haughty attitude are external manifestations of the internal grandiosity inherent in NPD. People with NPD can come across as dismissive or condescending, viewing themselves as superior to those around them. This attitude serves as a defense mechanism, shielding them from potential threats to their fragile self-esteem.

Impact On Relationships

Narcissistic Personality Disorder can significantly impact relationships, both personally and professionally. People with NPD may struggle with forming deep emotional connections, leading to strained relationships and interpersonal conflicts. Their need for constant admiration and lack of empathy can make it challenging for others to relate to them on a genuine level.

What Causes Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

When looking at what is NPD, it can be helpful to also look at what causes NPD. While people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can sometimes be difficult to be around, understanding its roots can help you to have more empathy for people with this condition.

Genetic Factors

Genetic predisposition may contribute to the development of NPD. Studies have suggested that people with a family history of personality disorders, including narcissistic traits, may be at a higher risk of developing NPD. Genetic factors can influence personality traits and how people interact with their environment.

Neurobiological Factors

Brain structure and function are also considered in understanding the origins of NPD. Neurobiological differences, including variations in brain regions associated with empathy and emotional regulation, may contribute to the manifestation of narcissistic traits. Imbalances in neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, could also play a role.

Childhood Experiences

Early life experiences and the quality of attachment formed during childhood are crucial in shaping personality development. People who experienced inconsistent or insufficient caregiving, neglect, or emotional abuse may develop maladaptive coping mechanisms, including the adoption of narcissistic traits, as a defense mechanism against perceived threats to their self-esteem.

Parental Influence

Parental influence, particularly the dynamics between a child and their primary caregivers, plays a significant role. Children who receive excessive praise without a balanced acknowledgment of their limitations or who are subjected to unrealistic expectations may develop an inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement.

Coping Mechanisms

NPD can be seen as a maladaptive coping mechanism developed in response to feelings of inadequacy, vulnerability, or low self-worth. People with NPD may adopt narcissistic traits as a way to shield themselves from perceived threats and insecurities.

Trauma And Rejection

Experiencing significant trauma, rejection, or perceived failures can also contribute to the development of NPD. People with NPD may adopt narcissistic behaviors as a defense mechanism to cope with the emotional pain associated with these experiences.

What Does Treatment For Narcissistic Personality Disorder Involve?

At Samarpan Health, our approach to treating NPD centers around psychotherapy. We recognize the challenges people with NPD face in acknowledging and addressing maladaptive behaviors.

We use evidence-based modalities such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy to treat NPD, as studies show that these modalities are the most effective for treating this disorder.. These approaches are carefully tailored to explore the underlying issues contributing to narcissistic traits, fostering self-awareness, empathy, and the development of healthier interpersonal skills.

We understand that people with NPD may initially resist seeking help, and emphasize the significance of a therapeutic alliance that fosters a willingness to engage in self-reflection as a crucial component of successful treatment.

Samarpan Health NPD Treatment

Being close with someone with NPD can be challenging. And it is also difficult living with NPD. The initial stages of treatment for NPD are often tough, as people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder tend to be resistant to treatment.

But it is possible for someone with NPD to go for treatment, allowing them to work on their NPD traits so they can be happier, and have more fulfilling relationships with the people around them. If you would like to speak with us about how we can get you or your loved one with their NPD, call us today on +91 81809 19090.

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