Quora Answers: The Subtypes Of Narcissists



What Are The Different Types Of NPD?
When I Read About This, It Seems My Ex, Who Was Clinically Diagnosed, Has A Dash Over All Types In The Mix.


People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are distinguished by which type of narcissism they have, based on their actions. Although those with the disorder don’t necessarily fit into just one category, there are three subtypes: Exhibitionist – also referred to as Somatic; Closet – also referred to as Covert; and Toxic – also referred to as Malignant.

Narcissism exists on a spectrum; therefore, each individual’s symptoms will have different levels of severity. Regardless of category, all narcissists have to meet five of these nine criteria to be diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

  • A sense of self-importance or grandiose behavior
  • Fantasies about being wealthy, influential, or famous
  • Exaggerating their abilities and accomplishments
  • Craving admiration and praise
  • Preoccupied with beauty, love, power, or success
  • Extreme sense of entitlement
  • Believing themselves to be unique or special
  • Exploiting others
  • Lacking empathy

Exhibitionist Narcissists:

These types always have to be the center of attention. They do not hide their belief that they’re superior to others. Those who are classified as an exhibitionist are the stereotypical grandiose narcissist. Their behaviors are overt, or not hidden.

NPD is a Cluster B Personality Disorder.

They’re bullies who won’t hesitate to yell at waiters and subordinates. Often rude, loud, and obnoxious, they’re easier to recognize than the other types due to their extroverted actions. They’ll never apologize for their behaviors, nor have any remorse for the abuse they inflict on others.


They see nothing wrong with causing pain because they deem everyone as inferior to themselves. They have an inflated sense of entitlement, use others mercilessly to further their own agenda, and completely lack empathy.

They are incapable of loving anyone, including their own children. They’re blatant liars who will deny culpability, even if caught in the act of wrongdoing.

Closet Narcissists:

Closet Narcissists have a completely different persona. They may seem withdrawn or inhibited, often appearing shy and awkward. Unlike the overt, grandiosity of the Exhibitionist, the Closet Narcissist’s behaviors are covert, or hidden.

These types are harder to identify as predators due to their hidden narcissistic behaviors. They are very adept at not showing their true natures, always careful to keep their masks intact. Inside their minds, though, they consider themselves superior and believe others to be beneath them.

Lacking empathy and the ability to form attachments to others, they’re very skilled actors who can easily convince victims that they’re sincere, loving, and kind. They go about sabotaging the lives of others covertly, often being above suspicion due to their outward appearances.

Covert Narcissists are fully capable of physical violence. Maintaining their persona is of utmost importance, which makes them more likely to hire someone else to do their dirty work.


Toxic Narcissists:

Toxic Narcissists are sadistic and horribly cruel, though victims rarely see that side until their lives are already intwined. Their behaviors may be overt, covert, or a combination of both. Prone to violence, they use intimidation techniques to cause fear in their victims.

Like other narcissists, they enjoy creating drama and chaos in the lives of their victims. The Malignant Narcissist takes it up a notch, however. They are the ones most likely to seriously injure or murder their partners.

Sometimes called psychopaths or sociopaths, the Toxic Narcissist is capable of unimaginable acts of cruelty, especially to those closest to him. They’re sexually deviant and do not believe laws apply to them.

Besides having NPD, this type also has at least one additional Cluster B Personality Disorder. They may exhibit symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and/or Histrionic Personality Disorder.


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