Having good self-esteem is important in many aspects of our lives. This factor makes it easier for us to get involved in important projects capable of leading us to improve our quality of life, makes it easier for us to socialize, and contributes to the fact that the crises and small defeats of everyday life do not sink us completely psychologically.
However, like virtually any psychological factor linked to personality, excessive self-esteem can lead to problems… both for yourself and those around you. When these high levels of self-esteem turn into narcissism, everything changes.
In this article we will see what the different types of narcissism are and how they can be expressed in a person’s behaviour.
The different types of narcissism
We could define narcissism as a psychological predisposition to obtain the recognition of others in the form of expressly positive evaluations or in an indirect way, with a particularly respectful treatment and mixed with admiration.
In addition, narcissists are characterized by other traits that are in line with this expansive self-esteem: ideas of grandiosity about oneself , the predisposition to underestimate other people, and difficulties in empathizing, among other things.
This is a personality element that can be present in varying degrees of intensity, so the more extreme it is, the more likely it is to fall into one of the groups of symptoms of a mental disorder. However, not all people with a high level of narcissism have a mental disorder that significantly impairs their quality of life.
But just as we can find differences in the degrees of intensity of this mental phenomenon , it is also possible to recognize some qualitative differences in the ways in which narcissism is expressed. In particular, Dr. Bruce Stevens offers a classification of types of narcissism that can help us to better understand all the nuances of this element of the personality.
In this case we are not talking about the stereotype of a person who is delighted to have met himself, very happy with who he is and what he can achieve. On the contrary; this type of narcissism is characterized by the desperation with which one seeks validation from others .
Thus, these people combine a certain feeling of very subtle superiority, on the one hand, with the realization that this superiority cannot be put into practice, and therefore special treatment is needed to compensate for this situation. Their desire to obtain approval from others gives them an obsessive character.
This is a type of narcissism focused on demonstrations of power, that is, imposing their will on others. Whoever presents it, enjoys subjecting those around him .
These types of narcissists isolate themselves in an imaginary world where their feelings of greatness correspond to how they see themselves. The tendency to fantasize is therefore a way of resolving the incongruity of feeling special while believing themselves to be mediocre in their particular way of behaving on a daily basis.
This is one of the types of narcissism in which more importance is given to the image projected before others. Specifically, all attention is focused on the valuation of one’s own body, and on the way in which corresponds to certain canons of beauty .
Of course, this appreciation for aesthetics also translates into the need to receive compliments and praise on a regular basis.
This category includes people who feel good about themselves by feeling skilled when they try to deceive others in exchange for personal gain. It is a type of narcissism that has much in common with typically psychopathic traits.
It is a type of narcissism oriented to couple life and love. In this case, unreasonable expectations about what the relationship with another person should be make it very easy to get into a crisis.
The love bond is idealised , since it is maintained that one’s own is a special love, and therefore, when problems arise, one does not adopt a constructive mentality towards them.
The person sees himself or herself as someone capable of transforming lives and, specifically, of educating others to fit into a way of being that fits one’s personality.
In this case, the person has a very low threshold of frustration when he or she detects that he or she has been disrespected or has not been treated with due diligence. As a result, unjustified outbursts of anger are frequent.
Their social life is often very uneven because any situation of ambiguity can lead to problems.
The ideas of grandiosity here focus on the idea that one is more worthy than normal because one suffers and because one sacrifices.