The 11 Most Common Narcissistic Personality Disorder Traits

Reviewed by Aaron Horn, LMFT

Published 06/27/2022

Whenever someone refers to a person as a narcissist, you immediately form an opinion about how the person behaves. A narcissist is someone that is thought to have a high opinion of themselves. However, there is usually a lot more to it than that, especially if they are experiencing narcissistic personality disorder. Keep reading to learn more about how this disorder impacts people.

What Is Narcissist Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD, is a mental health condition in which a person has high regard for themselves and wants to be praised quite often. When they are around others, they may seem arrogant. However, when a person with NPD is alone, they may feel depressed or not as confident as they seem outwardly. Either way, this condition can cause disruptions when it comes to their personal, work, and social life. This is why it is important to seek treatment if you notice that you are experiencing these conditions.


There are a few possible causes that may contribute to NPD. One is a genetic connection. If someone in your family experiences narcissism, you may also experience narcissism.

If you were subject to abuse or neglect when you were a young child, this could be a contributing factor to NPD development. Additionally, a child that was praised or punished excessively are at risk of experiencing NPD. This is also true if you were subject to trauma at an earlier age and did not receive treatment afterward.

Can NPD be prevented?

While there is no way to know if NPD can be prevented entirely, there are a few things you can do to lessen your chances of experiencing this type of disorder.

One is to get help when you need it. If you were abused at an early age, try to see a therapist as soon as you can. You may not be able to do this until you are an adult, but it can still be beneficial many years later.

If the abuse is still going on or you want to continue to have a relationship with your family, you can also opt for group therapy or family therapy. This involves numerous people in your family attending therapy with you. This may provide a safe space to talk about problems and things that have happened to be processed and addressed.

If you have a family of your own, you should reach out for therapy to be a better parent. You might want to take a class to increase your parenting skills.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms Or Traits

Here is a look at 10 of the most common NPD traits someone may experience.

Feeling like they are more important than others.

  1. A need to be praised or noticed for the things they do.
  2. Exaggerating what they have accomplished.
  3. Feeling like they are better than other people.
  4. Doing whatever it takes to get what they want.
  5. Needing to have the best of everything.
  6. Butting into conversations.
  7. Unable to notice other people’s feelings.
  8. Jealous of people and things that they have.
  9. Unable to control emotions.
  10. Issues handling stress.

So, you may be wondering, what are some other of a narcissist? According to the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, there are other traits related to NPD. This information is published online at the National Institute of Health website. The traits are:

  • Feels important, like they are better than others
  • Obsessed about having money, success, or the perfect life
  • Thinking they are different and only certain people could understand them.
  • A need to be revered.
  • Believe that they need to be treated a certain way.
  • Will step on others to get what they want.
  • Unable to consider how others feel.
  • Feel others are jealous of them and are jealous of others.
  • Inflated attitude towards themselves.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these traits and you don’t know what to do, consider taking this narcissism test for information on the next step.

Also, when you want to know, “What are the character traits of a narcissist?” be sure to do your research to find out more. You can check out medically reviewed articles for more information.


When it comes to treating NPD, some things make it quite difficult. As reported in The American Journal of Psychiatry, the dysfunctional symptoms need to be witnessed, as they are traits that a person has. Another issue is that many that experience NPD also have an additional psychological condition as well. For instance, some people with NPD also experience depression or other mood and personality disorders.

In some cases, a person with NPD may seek treatment for their depression and be unaware that they are also experiencing narcissism traits.

There are still several ways to treat this disorder, however.

One is through the use of psychotherapy. Through this type of therapy, a psychiatrist can work with a person to help them learn how to interact with others and change how they think about themselves and the people they care about. They may also be able to ascertain why they act a certain way and alter these behaviors. Moreover, they might be able to learn how to handle their emotions and stress better.

Another possible treatment option is medicines. There are certain medicines that a doctor may prescribe to lessen certain symptoms that are being experienced. This is even truer if you experience NPD as well as another type of mental condition.

Sometimes, therapy and prescriptions are used in conjunction with one another to offer a more wide-reaching approach. Talk to your doctor about any prescriptions you are taking to limit the side effects. It can take a while to find a medicine that works best for you and your symptoms.

Treatments For Loved Ones

If your loved one has a narcissistic personality disorder, you may need to reach out for help as well. In some cases, those that experience NPD do not take advantage of the treatment options available to them and even if they do, you may need help for yourself.

You might want to consider getting psychotherapy for yourself. This can allow you to gain knowledge and tools to help you make the best decisions for yourself. You can also opt to join support groups, where you can gain insight from others' perspectives. Talk to your mental health professional about how you should approach your treatment.

You should also do your best to be there for your loved one. Having someone to help them along the way may help them succeed and make necessary changes.

Can A Narcissist Change?

A narcissist can change, especially if they take advantage of all the available resources, like therapy and their support system. Simultaneously, it can take a lot of work for someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder to reduce his or her symptoms. This doesn’t mean that they can’t go away. They can, but you have to follow your therapist’s advice and be serious about your treatment. You will also need to be honest with them about your symptoms and other important aspects, such as side effects from medicines. You should stay away from drugs and alcohol, whether you have had a problem with them in the past or not. You need to stay focused on your treatment. This help can change your life for the better, leading to fewer disruptions in your life.

Many people with NPD can change and work on their relationships. Others may not reach out for support and continue to have narcissistic traits. If you care about someone with these traits, do what you need to do for yourself while being as supportive as you can. However, they must reach out for the help they need, and unfortunately, this isn’t something you can do for them. You can be there for them when they do and help them through the process. A person with NPD can see a difference in how they feel and act when they have a proper treatment plan, so there is hope.