What Are The 6 Types Of Narcissism, And How Can They Be Dealt With?

Last updated by Katie M.

There are a whole range of narcissistic personalities out there, and they scale from highly toxic to rather positive (surprising, right?!). That being said, most mental health experts agree that there are 6 types of narcissistic profiles, which whilst they may all be based on an inflated sense of self-esteem, they are in reality all drastically different, and more or less severe. When it comes to dealing with this type of personality disorder, it’s best to know what you are up against, in order to react appropriately, as well as to avoid falling into their traps and becoming their latest victim. After all, knowledge is power, and that’s never be truer than in this particular context.

What Are The 6 Types Of Narcissism, And How Can They Be Dealt With?

The term narcissist is often thrown around in the media and on the internet, however, for the most part it is often misused, and simply isn’t precise enough. Indeed, the word narcissist is a blanket term for people who display an enormous sense of their own importance, however, there are several nuances related to this disorder. Just think about it, someone who is simply overconfident isn’t necessarily despicable enough to want to completely destroy someone’s life.

>>> Read up on how to deal with a narcissist.

Discover the 6 forms of narcissism and learn how to react to them

Get one step ahead!

1) Overt or grandiose narcissism

You’ll no doubt spot these people from a mile off because they definitely don’t want to blend into the crowd. They are most definitely not shy and retiring, which goes a way in explaining their self-centered and egotistical attitudes. Whilst at first, these folks may come across as confident, once the facade slips, they soon expose themselves as believing that they are truly superior beings, who are way more intelligent, successful, and interesting. Let’s just say that humility isn’t their strong suit, and they’ll never ever value anyone else’s opinion as much as their own. In short, their self-obsessed behavior and openly overbearing traits often come at the expense of those who surround them, making relationships nigh on impossible with these people.

The one key tip to dealing with an overt / grandiose narcissist

  • Set boundaries - Be clear about what you are uncomfortable with, and stick to your guns. Putting your foot down and protecting your mental health may upset this type of narcissist, but in the long run, it will shield you from their twisted abuse. Plus, other people’s emotions just aren’t your responsibility.

2) Covert narcissism

Now, this form of narcissism is perhaps the craftiest of the 6. Here, people believe that they are always one step ahead of the rest, and that their intelligence is far superior to that of the average person. These folks essentially walk around with a chip on their shoulder and genuinely believe that they deserve better than everyone else. That being said, when we look a little closer, we soon realize that their sense of entitlement actually hides a deeply inset dissatisfaction related to their personal situation. Likewise, these innately sneaky people often hide beneath cloaks of shyness and withdrawal, in an attempt to trick victims into thinking they are harmless. That’s right, a covert narcissist will in fact position themselves as one of life’s downtrodden victims, as a way of canvassing support for themselves. Plus, their ‘feel sorry for me’ attitude works wonders in attracting vulnerable empaths, who they will then proceed to metaphorically destroy.

The one key tip to dealing with a covert narcissist

  • Don’t let your guard down around them - By keeping these expert chameleons at arm’s length, you’ll prevent them from getting a toxic hold on you. Now, keeping them at a safe distance requires lots of willpower and analytical skills to ensure you don’t fool for their act.

3) Malignant narcissism

Malignant narcissists are amongst the most openly evil of the bunch. Just as their scary name implies, they are sadistic, aggressive, and manipulative, which means they should never be underestimated. They are capable of immense damage (both mentally and physically), and truly take pleasure in hurting others because they are truly void of any semblance of empathy. Watching people squirm is their greatest pastime, and nothing will stop them in their quest for revenge and power. They also have an antisocial element to their personality, which makes them even more unsettling and unreasonable. In short, they are heartless and will never change their vindictive ways, regardless of what they promise.

The one key tip to dealing with a malignant narcissist

  • Stay calm - Although their profile is amongst the most intimidating out there, lashing out around them will do absolutely no good, and will encourage them to become even more diabolical towards you. By staying cool, you’ll manage to rattle them, and will therefore prove that you too shouldn’t be messed with.

4) Communal narcissism

These people like to convince others that they are upstanding citizens and that they would never even hurt a fly, when in reality they are completely soulless… They are so good at pulling the wool over people’s eyes that many actually regard them as good folks. Hats off to them for their acting skills! Communal narcissists will actively spend their time doing charity work within the community, in the hope of receiving accolades. That’s right, they’ll do just about anything for a public pat on the back! Yet, in reality, their good deeds are all just a plotted front, which give them something to brag about, as well as throw people off their narcissistic scent. Whilst these folks work hard for various charities, they often abuse and neglect those closest to them, because they prefer to seek recognition publicly.

The one key tip to dealing with a communal narcissist

  • Don’t get sucked into their facade - These smooth talkers know exactly how to draw people, so be wary around them and don’t reveal too much about yourself, because although they may seem respectful, underneath they are pure evil.

>>> Discover how to get revenge on a narcissist

5) Self-righteous narcissism

As the title implies, a self-righteous narcissist is that, annoyingly judgmental person who always seems to look down on other people. That’s right, these folks ALWAYS take the moral high ground in every situation, and can’t help but criticize everyone around them. The truth is, nothing is ever good enough for them because their standards are so unrealistically high, plus, their huge ego means they believe that no one can ever rival them. In short, their demanding traits mixed with their relentlessly self-obsessed side mean that they are completely unbearable and often take pleasure in putting others down.

The one key tip to dealing with a self-righteous narcissist

  • Develop a thick skin - Criticism is undoubtedly hard to take, yet once you learn to be confidence in your abilities, you’ll easily brush it off.

6) Healthy narcissism

You’re probably thinking this is a typo, but rest assured it isn’t. Believe it or not, not all form of narcissism are tinged with evilness, and in fact, some are empowering and inspirational. Healthy narcissism is indeed linked to good self-esteem, and shines through when someone accomplishes a tough task. In today’s society, many of us have trouble when it comes to recognizing our achievements, when in reality, we should be extremely proud of them and all the work we have put into them. Healthy narcissism is about acknowledging your hard work, and has nothing to do with an overinflated ego or vindictive tendencies.

The one key tip to dealing with a healthy narcissist

  • Be more like them - After all, why shouldn’t you be pleased with yourself?!

What is the most common type of narcissist?

Researchers at New York University conducted a study on 270 people with an average age of 20. They used a series of tests to assess the participants' level of different traits, including their level of narcissism, self-esteem, and psychopathy. They then discovered that bending behavior is strongly associated with people who felt a high level of insecurity and guilt. People with psychopathy felt very little guilt.

Scientists thus distinguished the two most common types of narcissists. On one side are the “grandiose narcissists” who have high self-esteem and high self-worth. On the other side are “vulnerable narcissists” who have low self-esteem, emotional dependence, and high sensitivity to criticism.

Editor’s opinion - Analysis is the best form of defense

Let’s face it, people with narcissist personality disorders can be dangerous, but that’s not to say you have to succumb to them. Now, these people are very sneaky, but, by analyzing and observing them, you’ll soon figure out their true intentions, and therefore take the necessary measures to protect yourself. Living in fear of them isn’t an option, however, you do need to be careful and mindful of your proximity to these typically toxic characters.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!


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  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
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How to detect a narcissist?

How to detect a narcissist?

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." 

- Oscar Wilde