Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

You’ve just entered a new relationship! They were charming and confident, but now you seem to notice them being selfish and shallow…

Is it possible you could be dating or starting a friendship with Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)?


Narcissism is an extreme self-involvement mental health condition where individuals have an unreasonably high sense of importance. These individuals ignore and disregard other’s needs and their feelings.

First identified in 1898 by British essayist and physician, Havelock Ellis, narcissism is described as the addiction to fantasy and an inflated self-image. They are in love with their self-image because it allows them to avoid deep feelings of insecurity.

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) involves a pattern of arrogant thinking and behaviour, excessive need for admiration and a lack of empathy and consideration for other people. They can be described as arrogant, selfish, condescending, demanding, manipulative and self-centred.

Individuals with NPD are extremely resistant to change and tend to blame others for their mistakes. They can be sensitive and react badly to even the slightest disagreement or criticism. Individuals with narcissism are not inherently bad people, however, dating someone with narcissistic traits is challenging and has the potential to negatively affect your mental health.

Whilst only psychologists can diagnose NPD, there are signs to look for when starting to date someone with narcissistic traits. By understanding more about NPD, you can look out for people in your life that may disrupt your healthy boundaries.



  • Lack Empathy

They are unable or unwilling to empathise for other people. Emotional intimacy is not desired, and not practiced in a relationship.

  • Behaves as if they are “exceptional”.

Feel they can only be understood by other “exceptional” individuals.

  • Sense of Entitlement

Feeling as though they are “exceptional”, means they believe they are entitled to receive favourable treatment from those around them. As they are above everyone else, they are owed this treatment and believe that if they want it, they should have it. People who surround a narcissist must always comply with their wish, and if they don’t, conflict, aggression or the cold shoulder can follow.

  • Exploits others without feelings of shame or guilt.

As narcissists lack empathy, they do not have the ability to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. They tend to view people as objects or pawns who exist only to serve their needs. People’s feelings and lives are not even an afterthought to narcissists, they are oblivious to taking advantage of someone for their own needs. The only thing they understand is their own needs.

  • Needs to be the centre of attention.

A narcissist will become increasingly more distressed if they feel ignored or that the attention is on someone else. Individuals with NPD constantly and unapologetically talk about their successes, power and/or earnings. They might even “complain” about how often they receive advances.

  • Needs constant praise or attention.

A compliment here or there is not enough. Narcissists need constant inflating, so they surround themselves that cater to their need for affirmation. Their superiority must always be admired, with a loud applause and recognition.



Narcissists are very charming, charismatic and magnetic by nature. They build relationships easily and it is even easier to fall into the lure that they give off. Individuals seem very flattering self-image; confident and create a fantasy that is inviting. It is easy to get caught up, thinking that these individuals can always make us feel more important and alive. But that is just a fantasy, and soon you will uncover their true intentions.

It is difficult to spot a narcissist – especially when first meeting someone, but if you pay careful attention to the conversation, you may be able to spot a few telling signs:

  1. Do they have need for validation and attention?
  2. Do they find ways to bring up their accomplishments or triumphs into the conversation, without it being particularly relevant?
  3. Can they appear overly charming and confident?
  4. Do they act with no vulnerability?
  5. How are they interacting with those around them?
  6. When someone around them shares a story, must they share a more impressive one about themselves?
  7. Have you caught them in a lie?



Narcissism exists on a spectrum, meaning it can be significantly different between each individual. This means if someone is in your life that has signs of narcissism, there is hope to work through it. However, entering a friendship or relationship with a narcissist can be a mentally exhausting one – here are some tips to help you get through!

Take off the rose-coloured glasses

Take off the rose-coloured glasses and pay close attention to how the person actually is, actually treats you, actually behaves – not your perception of the person you want them to be. If they are displaying bad behaviour – don’t make excuses for them. Don’t be in denial thinking they will change. Narcissistic individuals are resistant to change and cannot see their wrongdoings. Ask yourself, can I continue to live like this?

Focus on your own dreams

Focus on what you want for yourself. Not on their delusions. What are your aspirations? What do you want to work on?

Know Yourself

The best defence to projections, slights and insults from a narcissist is to have a strong sense of self. When you know your strengths and weaknesses, it’s easier to reject any unfair criticisms.



Relationships with a narcissist aren’t black and white. It can be very subtle and hard to identify how they are manipulating you, and then coming to terms with the fact that you are being manipulated or mistreated – especially if you have love for this person.

Perhaps you suspect your partner is a narcissist and you need assistance with how to navigate the relationship, perhaps you have just exited a relationship with a narcissist and need some assistance with getting back to yourself and improving your mental health, perhaps you are just feeling a bit dissatisfied or unhappy with the way your partner is treating you and you want to understand why, or perhaps you have noticed some narcissistic behaviours in yourself and are looking for some education.

Our well-informed psychologists at CBT Professionals can help with these struggles. Choose from three convenient locations, or via telehealth, our Mount Gravatt (Brisbane), Nerang and Coomera (Gold Coast) practices are home to some highly skilled, knowledgeable, and professional psychologists, that can help with identifying and educating on narcissism, create strong boundaries, and ensure you have a strong support system around you.

Please download our referral form here and take it with you to your GP appointment for preparation of a referral.

Contact us now via telephone or submit our online referral form here. That first appointment can be the next step to removing a toxic person from your life!

Coomera – (07) 5551 0251

Nerang – (07) 5668 3490

Mount Gravatt – (07) 3102 1366

If you, or someone you know, required urgent help, please reach out to organisations like Beyond Blue. Or call the mental health helpline on 1300 22 4636. If this is an emergency, please contact 000 or visit your local emergency department.

Disclaimer: Firstly, content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only and is not intended to replace advise from your doctor or registered health professional. Lastly, readers are urged to consult their registered practitioner for diagnosis and treatment for their medical concerns.


HelpGuide. (2022). Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). HelpGuide.’t%20fall%20for%20the%20fantasy&text=It’s%20easy%20to%20get%20caught,fulfilled%20(or%20even%20recognized).

Pedersen, T (2022). How to Know If You’re Dating a Narcissist with Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). PsychCentral.


Wardani, R. (2021). Vector Pro.


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