About Narcissism with Dr. Ramani Durvasula - Deepstash
About Narcissism with Dr. Ramani Durvasula

About Narcissism with Dr. Ramani Durvasula

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What is Narcisism?

What is Narcisism?

Dr. Ramani Durvasula defines narcissism as a collection of traits that center around an inflated sense of self-importance, a constant need for admiration, and a deep lack of empathy for others.

However, Dr. Ramani also emphasizes the complexity of narcissism. She highlights that narcissists can be very charming and charismatic at first . It's the shift, where the manipulative and controlling behaviors emerge, that can be confusing.


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Signs of a Narcisist

Signs of a Narcisist

  • Grandiosity: An inflated sense of self-importance, believing they are superior
  • Entitlement: A sense of deserving special treatment and privileges
  • Lack of empathy: Inability to understand the feelings of others
  • Need for admiration: Constant craving for praise & validation.
  • Hypersensitivity to criticism: Reacting poorly to any feedback or disagreement
  • Charismatic but manipulative: Initially charming, but controlling
  • Prone to gaslighting: Deliberately manipulating situations to make their target question their own reality
  • Projecting blame: Shifting responsibility to others
  • Un-accountable


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Different Types of Narcissism

Different Types of Narcissism

Grandiose Narcissism: They have big dreams and appear larger than life. Successful, but also tend to hold grudges and view others as obstacles to their success.

Vulnerable Narcissism: They see themselves as victims and struggle with feelings of inadequacy. A grandiose narcissist can become vulnerable if they do not get their way.

Malignant Narcissism: The most severe type, it involves manipulative and isolating behavior. They may show some remorse, but it is the stepping stone towards psychopathy.

Communal Narcissism: They are fixated on being seen as kind and charitable.


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Narcissism in Society

Narcissism in Society

How many narcissists are there in society?

  • The estimated percentage of observable narcissists is about 18%. Approximatively 1 in 6 people. 
  • Narcissism exists on a spectrum and can be observed in varying degrees in all individuals.

Some professions tend to attract more narcissists, such as management or business, while others, like politics and social activism, are dominated by narcissists.


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Narcissism and Success

Narcissism and Success

Many successful individuals are narcissists. From politicians to business leaders, the qualities that make them successful often include a lack of empathy & a strong sense of self-importance. While this may lead to great accomplishments, their intelligence and charm can also make them terrible partners:

  • Narcissists are often driven by their own self-interest, rather than the greater good.
  • They may achieve great success, but it can come at a cost to those around them.

As the saying goes, "You can appreciate a narcissist in charge of a company, just don't marry one!" 😜


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Narcisism and Gender

Narcisism and Gender

There is no numerical difference between men and women when it comes to being narcissists. But they are different in type.

Men tend to be more grandiose, while women tend to be more vulnerable. They manifest differently, but they are equally damaging in a relationship.


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Is Social Media Making Us Narcissists?

Is Social Media Making Us Narcissists?

No, narcissism is a psychological trait that cannot be created by technology. However, social media amplifies existing narcissism and turns a small-scale issue into a larger one. "Virtue signalling," for example, is a phenomenon fuelled mostly by communal narcissism.

While most teenagers may appear narcissistic on social media, it is impossible to know for sure until they reach adulthood. The behavior of teenagers is not identical to that of narcissists.


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Are you a narcisist?

Are you a narcisist?

How to know you are one?

Self aware narcissist are very rare. A true narcisist will have very little self awareness of the effect they have on other people. Most would see their narcisism as a super power. A commitment to a goal or an ideal.


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Can you be happy being a relationship with a narcisist?

Yes, but not from the relationship.



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Dealing with a narcisist

Dealing with a narcisist

If you are trapped in a relationship with a narcisist the main practice is radical acceptance. You have to be aware of the trait of the other person and stop hoping you can change him or her.

When the inevitable manipulations begin it's important to stop engaging. You can't productively argue with a narcisist. They will default to gaslighting:

  • Denial: The narcissist will deny things they clearly said or did, twisting the situation
  • Rewriting history: Rewrite past events to fit their narrative, making you doubt your own memories.
  • Diminishing your feelings: Dismiss your emotions as "overreacting"


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Life-long learner. Passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, philosophy, Buddhism & SF. Founder @deepstash.


Narcisism is a one the main negative psychological traits. It's impirtant to be aware of it.


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