The Student Room Group

Question about narcissism

I was always wondering. If Narcissistic Personality Disorder is on a spectrum, it means you may have some of the 9 symptoms but not all but I am wondering if it is possible to, for example have these 5 symptoms:
- Extraordinary self-importance
- Desire for Admiration
- Arrogance/ Entitlement
- Being exploitative/manipulative
- Jealousy of others
And not at all lack empathy? Seeing that it is on a spectrum, you can have any of above mentioned symptoms or you may have different ones and not have some of them. Lack of empathy is pressumed to be the most common, even referred to as the root for establishing NPD but are there any narcisissts out there that have feeling of grandiosity and are selfish and arrogant but still feel empathy normally without any decrease in it?
All mental disorders, including personality disorders, are experienced on a spectrum.

There are different types of empathy; narcissists generally have impaired emotional empathy ('feeling' with someone) but their cognitive empathy (the ability to understand someone else's perspective) remains unchanged.

That said, narcissists tend to lack self-awareness, so if you're worrying about being a nacissist, you're probably not one.
Only 5/9 symptoms are required to qualify for a diagnosis. What matters is the severity of the symptoms and the amount to which they negatively impact the patient’s life, not the having all of the symptoms. Further, low empathy is actually much less common in NPD than originally thought, and some people argue that it’s more a double empathy problem similar to with “low empathy” in autistic people (people with NPD don’t struggle to empathise with neurotypicals more than neurotypicals struggle to empathise with them), or that low empathy is only considered a symptom because of confusion with ASPD. NPD is a self-esteem disorder where a person has a very low sense of self-worth and an excessive need to compensate for it by being seen as the Best™️; it’s not EvilPerson™️ disorder. While it does coincide with low empathy, a lack of empathy is not inherent to the disorder in the same way the self-esteem symptoms are (eg in the same way addiction is much more common in people with depression without being inherent to the disease in the same way the actual depression symptoms are)

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