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Narcissistic personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of grandiose thoughts and/or behavior, need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents while minimizing failures, expects to be recognized as superior without earning that reverence).
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love; often becomes a life goal.
3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4. Requires excessive admiration, regardless of whether they earned the admiration.
5. Has a sense of entitlement, unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance from others.
6. Exploits other people, using them to achieve his or her own ends.
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
Narcissistic personality disorder often manifests in corporate CEOs, politicians (like Kim-Jong Il, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, etc.), cult leaders (like Jim Jones, David Berg, Warren Jeffs, Joseph Smith, etc), corrupt authorities, corrupt clergy or religious leaders, criminals (like Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Gertrude Baniszewski, Diane Downs, etc), celebrities (like Rush Limbaugh, OJ Simpson, Donald Trump, etc.) among others.

Personality disorders usually overlap and the narcissist shares many traits with the paranoid, histrionic and antisocial personalities: the paranoid and the narcissist are both often irrationally suspicious and distrustful but the paranoid acts in self-defense while narcissists fear any exposure of their failures and flaws; the histrionic and narcissist both want to be the centre of attention, but the histrionic is usually playful, dependent, is more exaggerated in emotional display, and craves *any* attention (good or bad) while the narcissist is haughty, exploits others, and will only accept admiration; the antisocial personality and the narcissist are both ruthless, glib manipulators who ruin lives but the antisocial personality does not need excessive admiration, is deceptive, impulsive, aggressive, and degrades and manipulates others for profit or pleasure while narcissists publicly disparage others, think of their futures, and bully others to bolster their own egos.
by Lorelili April 08, 2012