Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is distinguished by three types, based on the person’s actions. Since Narcissism exists on a spectrum, each individual’s symptoms will have different levels of severity. There are three subtypes: Exhibitionist, Covert, and Malignant.
Regardless of category, all narcissists have to meet at least 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
The Subtypes of Narcissists
Also referred to as overt or grandiose, this type has to be the center of attention.Their behaviors are overt, or not hidden.
They’re bullies who 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 remorse for the abuse they inflict on others.
Due to an inflated sense of entitlement, they use others to further their own agenda,and lack empathy. Incapable of loving anyone, including their own children, they’re also blatant liars. Even if caught in the act of wrongdoing, they deny culpability.
Covert Narcissists have a completely different persona.They may seem withdrawn or inhibited, often appearing shy and awkward. Also referred to as Closet Narcissists, their behaviors are covert, or hidden.
These types are harder to identify as predators. They’re very adept at not showing their true natures, always careful to keep their masks intact.They consider themselves to be superior, and think everyone else is beneath them.
Lacking empathy and the ability to form attachments to others, they’re very skilled actors. They easily convince victims that they’re sincere, loving, and kind. The whole time, they’re sabotaging other people’s lives, largely without suspicion.
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.
Also called Toxic Narcissists, these types are sadistic and cruel. 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’re the type most likely to seriously injure or murder their partners.
Toxic Narcissists are 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.
Orcid ID 0000-0003-4028-598X