Sometimes I get my ideas for a post by using the search engine terms. One of my friends pointed this part of the dashboard out to me when I first started blogging. She said, “Look to see the search engine phrases people use to find your blog…” I call these my FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions.
I have been asked a few times on my blog, if I think that there are levels, or stages of NPD. I actually had never really thought about it before. I never got past the fact that I was targeted by a very sick individual. I never wondered if there were other narcissists who weren’t as bad. I spoke to a psychologist recently and she stated that “like anything, NPD is a spectrum disorder.”
Here’s some things that we know – speaking of N’s.
We know that (or educated individuals have stated) Narcissists get worse with age.
We know that they have been classified into two types: Cerebral & Somatic.
Think of it this way: Cerebral N’s are brainy and Somatics think that they are “all that” sexually.
There is research by a Theodore Million, where he suggests that there are 5 subtypes of narcissism. But in reading through his descriptions, in my humble opinion, I still think they still fall into one the two categories.
We know that narcissism has been filed into the Cluster B (dramatic) personality types with Histronic, Borderline and Antisocial. There also seems to be some agreement that there is a spectrum to Narcissism.
There is Healthy Narcissism…we take care of ourselves…we shower…
There are narcissistic traits that some people seem to have and yet they are still very nice, kind individuals. We may chalk up these trait(s) as simply as a few character flaws. Maybe this individual has just a few of the 20 traits of the N.
Then, there is the full on Narcissist – don’t mess with this one…..too late. This is no doubt the type that we all were taken in by.
The N I “knew” had 17 of the 20 traits…although he probably had the other three, I was just lucky enough to not have witnessed those behaviors.
Some psychologists believe that lastly at the far end of this spectrum is “Malignant Narcissism” where all the traits of the narcissists are unleashed – including the rage. If any of you have witnessed an N in full on rage, you know what I am talking about. Take cover.
While I was researching this “frequently asked question” I found information about an interesting book entitled, Identifying and Understanding the Narcissistic Personality by Elsa F. Ronningstam. (You can find it on Amazon) It is a college/post grad source, from Oxford Press, published in 2005. It was actually amusing to read the small portion of the book that was shown in the link…(you’ve got to buy it in order to get all the information) because the author was basically plagiarised on many of the internet sites I found while looking for answers.
I think it is safe to say that psychologists feel that yes, there is a spectrum of narcissists and their behaviors and if you get the choice, take a pass on having anything to do with one.