By Tim Hayes
Here, in no particular order and for no particular reason, are some interesting definitions discovered recently:
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
The hallmarks of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration. People with this condition are frequently described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. They may also have grandiose fantasies and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. These characteristics typically begin in early adulthood and must be consistently evident in multiple contexts, such as at work and in relationships.
People with NPD often try to associate with other people they believe are unique or gifted in some way, which can enhance their own self-esteem. They tend to seek excessive admiration and attention and have difficulty tolerating criticism or defeat.
Causes of narcissistic personality disorder are not yet well-understood. Genetic and biological factors as well as environment and early life experiences are all thought to play a role in the development of this condition.
Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder can be challenging because people with this condition present with a great deal of grandiosity and defensiveness, which makes it difficult for them to acknowledge problems and vulnerabilities. Psychotherapy may be useful in helping people with narcissistic personality disorder relate to others in a healthier and more compassionate way. (1)
Gregariousness, social dominance, enthusiasm, reward-seeking behavior. A cardinal feature of high extroversion is relentless reward-seeking. Prompted by the activity of dopamine circuits in the brain, highly extroverted actors are driven to pursue positive emotional experiences, whether they come in the form of social approval, fame, or wealth. Indeed, it is the pursuit itself, more so even than the actual attainment of the goal, that extroverts find so gratifying. (2)
A way of knowing the world that permeates a person’s thoughts. Cognitive-science research suggests that people rely on personal schemata to process new social information efficiently and effectively. By their very nature, however, schemata narrow a person’s focus to a few well-worn approaches that may have worked in the past, but may not necessarily bend to accommodate changing circumstances. A key to successful decision-making is knowing what your schemata are, so that you can change them when you need to. (2)
Excessive self-love and the attendant qualities of grandiosity and a sense of entitlement. Highly narcissistic people are always trying to draw attention to themselves. Repeated and inordinate self-reference is a distinguishing feature of their personality.
People with strong narcissistic needs want to love themselves, and they desperately want others to love them too—or at least admire them, see them as brilliant and powerful and beautiful, even just see them, period. The fundamental life goal is to promote the greatness of the self, for all to see.
The renowned psychoanalytic theorist Heinz Kohut argued that narcissism stems from a deficiency in early-life mirroring: The parents fail to lovingly reflect back the young boy’s (or girl’s) own budding grandiosity, leaving the child in desperate need of affirmation from others. Accordingly, some experts insist that narcissistic motivations cover up an underlying insecurity. (2)
[To the narcissist,] any slight or criticism is experienced as a humiliation and degradation. To cope with the resultant hollow and empty feeling, he reacts with what is referred to as narcissistic rage. He is unable to take responsibility for any error, mistake, or failing. His default in that situation is to blame others and to attack the perceived source of his humiliation. These attacks of narcissistic rage can be brutal and destructive. (3)
A pattern of antisocial behaviors and attitudes, including manipulation, deceit, aggression, and a lack of empathy for others. Sociopathy is a non-diagnostic term, and it is not synonymous with psychopathy, though the overlap leads to frequent confusion. Sociopaths may or may not break the law, but by exploiting and manipulating others, they violate the trust that the human enterprise runs on. 
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Fascinating. Terrifying. Appalling. Imagine if someone like this were actually in charge. Crazy, right?
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Copyright 2020 Timothy P. Hayes
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