When someone says narcissist, I believe the most common image that pops up in people’s minds is a confident, know-it-all individual who has a huge sense of entitlement and likes to think they’re on top of the world.
Naturally, we perceive these people as fairly outgoing individuals. However, just because the stereotype of a narcissist tells us they possess an incredibly attention-seeking nature, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t introverted people with a narcissistic personality.
They might be rare, but they are real.
Dr. Gerard Lawson, president of the American Counseling Association and an associate professor at Virginia Tech explains that “What we’re really talking about are folks that have this underlying sort of fragile and insecure beliefs about themselves, things that began when they were very, very young,”
He says that the superior behavior they tend to manifest is only a “cover up for the doubts and the insecurity and the self-criticism that they feel internally, and they just don’t know how to manage.”
So, while the majority of people diagnosed with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder are probably the most confident and arrogant beings alive, those rare introverted narcissists give more subtle clues, because they’re actually struggling to cope with their own insecurities.
So, here’s everything you need to know about the personality of introverted narcissists:
1. THEY’RE IRRESPONSIBLE
According to Dr. Gerard Lawson, one of the characteristics of people diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder is the unwillingness and inability to behave responsibly.
They are extremely sensitive, irresponsible and their lack of maturity makes them difficult to interact with.
“For these individuals, lack of effort or follow-through protects them from facing their ‘normalness’ by not even trying,” Lawson says.
2. THEY’RE BAD LISTENERS
Being a bad listener isn’t necessarily correlated with being an introvert narcissist, but the truth is – introverted narcissists are usually very bad at listening to people.
They don’t like to ask questions or listen to what you have to say. They would rather give you a quick advice and continue with their subject.
3. THEY CAN’T DEAL WITH REAL RELATIONSHIPS
These individuals, according to Lawson have a hard time maintaining a healthy relationship because they have the desperate need to find a certain person who would make them superior. Someone who would perceive them as a divine being. A God.
Lawson explains that their relationships must be of some kind of use to them.
‘I’m getting one thing from this partner and nothing more. They are there specifically to make me feel better about myself, to portray to the world that I’m superior.’
4. THEY’RE DESPERATE FOR ATTENTION (LIKES)
You’ve got to admit, we’re all kind of addicted to the social media. However, even though posting a selfie every now and then and checking your likes is a normal thing, this can also be a hint that a person is an introverted narcissist.
According to Dr. Richard Shuster, clinical psychologist and creator and host of The Daily Helping podcast, frequent posting on social media is the equivalent of telling someone how great you actually are without making yourself the center of attention.
5. THEY CAN’T WORK WITH OTHERS
As I mentioned before, an introverted narcissist can be really difficult to collaborate with. They can be quite the challenge, especially because they aren’t used to compromise. It’s usually their way or nothing at all.
6. THEY MINIMIZE PEOPLE’S EMOTIONS
Introverted narcissists usually think that other people’s feelings and beliefs are less important than their own.
“One of the differentiating points is that the extroverted types act out their beliefs that they are superior, whereas the introverts internalize their fears that no one will recognize their superiority,” explains Lawson.
7. THEY TEND TO BEHAVE PASSIVE- AGGRESSIVELY
As one of their commonly used defensive mechanism is the passive-aggressive behavior. Since they don’t really know how to accept criticism, they simply ignore or agree to change something, and then continue doing what they were doing.
8. THEY LACK EMPATHY
And the most common trait vulnerable and introvert narcissists share is an ego-centric attitude that shows no empathy. They won’t waste a single minute to listen to you because what they have to say is usually more important.
They might look like they care, but in reality, they aren’t interested in anyone or anything outside of what directly affects them.