We’ve read a lot about the narcissistic man, but how does the female narcissist work?
We’ve all met someone who appears to be totally self-absorbed, entitled to other people’s time and energy, and so inconsiderate that they are described as being tough when it comes to other people’s feelings and emotions.
Narcissism is a real phenomenon, with or without label. It is considered a personality disorder. Although included in the DSM-5, narcissistic personality disorder, according to the Psychiatric Times, is still a topic of great debate. One reason is that it is not seen as often in psychiatric settings, while private practice appears to be showing more cases of this disorder.
So what is narcissism and does it differ between the sexes?
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is “a state of mind in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration but behind this mask of overconfidence lies a poor self-esteem that is vulnerable to the slightest criticism.”
It should also be remembered that narcissism occurs across a broad spectrum.
There may be narcissists who are obsessed with their appearance but are not cruel when it comes to the feelings of others. There can also be those who put in a lot of time and energy to appear strong, but who are well aware of their self-esteem is actually weak. The latter is actually often referred to as a “vulnerable narcissist.”
Those who cross the “weak” sides of the spectrum often have a more consistent sense of self, held together by a certain inexhaustible trait.
To some extent, it can be said that narcissism plays differently in the sexes. Look into the world of fashion, clothing, and cosmetics, and you’ll want to think that women are the most narcissistic. However, stores and drugstores will tell you a different story, when you look at the number of product launches that cater to men now. Go to the bike and car dealers, and the aspect of male narcissism will take a more significant turn.
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So what is the difference between male and female narcissism?
Emily Grigava of State University of New York (SUNY) and her team looked at data from nearly half a million adults studied between 1990 and 2013. They based their findings and conclusions on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), across three subjects A selection of 40 phrases in the index counts narcissistic tendencies.
The four factors considered in the study were exploitation/merit, leadership/power, and grandeur/show. The course of the study also included the team looking at the “vulnerable” aspect of narcissism.
The study found that men can actually outperform women on two, if not all, three of the three counts.
In the themes of exploitation/entitlement and leadership/power in particular, men ranked higher, while also in general, men seemed to take the trophy for being more narcissistic. Researchers have linked this to the way men and women are socialized, and men are often recognized for their drive for power and women are punished for it.
On the other hand, in the subject greatArousal: Women tend to excel and researchers have linked this to the possibility that the fairer sex can feel the pressure of appearing more attractive.
As far as the “vulnerable” part of the spectrum goes, it turns out that men and women are equally burned at feeling fragile self-esteem.
How do you then discover a female narcissist?
The question then is: What can you look for in women, to know that you are dealing with narcissism?
Here are 7 ways to spot a female narcissist:
1. Excessive concern about physical appearance.
Across time and cultures, the message that a well-groomed woman should be is more real than ever.
But in the narcissistic scenario, this aspect is taken to a completely different level. From body size to clothing to fitness to makeup, everything associated with “looking good” is usually high on the list for a narcissistic woman.