People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) have a grandiose sense of self-importance and entitlement with a startling lack of empathy. They require excessive amounts of attention and admiration to such a degree that it is considered pathological. Those with NPD focus solely on having their own needs met, with no regard for the needs of others. Similar to a psychopath, a person with NPD appears to have no empathy for others, as they are unable to understand or relate to anyone else’s feelings.

This apparent super ego, however, is surprisingly fragile. People with NPD may become shocked and angered when they do not receive the praise or treatment they believe is due them. When things don’t go their way, they tend to have a victim mentality, believing their problems are someone else’s fault.

These grandiose feelings of being the center of everyone’s world — which may or may not be conscious or intentional — tend to have a very destructive effect on the narcissist’s relationships and social interactions. People who get into relationships with someone with NPD often suffer from cruel treatment, including manipulation, exploitation and other forms of verbal and emotional abuse.

Many narcissists had at least one parent who was a narcissist as well. It is estimated that approximately 1% of the population has NPD with 75% of these being male. Many people with NPD, however, don’t receive a diagnosis as many don’t seek help. Treatment for NPD typically involves talk therapy.

Example: John became very angry when Lori, who was terribly ill with the flu, asked him to buy a few things for her. How dare she interfere with his busy day by asking for chicken soup? John forced her to apologize for being so selfish.