Narcissism is a personality disorder characterised by exaggerated feelings of self-importance and it often masks low self-esteem. Narcissistic people have a deep need for attention and admiration and exhibit behaviour that is self-centred, egocentric and selfish and act in an entitled manner. It can be extremely difficult for others to cope with their sometimes toxic behaviour, can affect the wellbeing of those around them and can lead to troubled or even abusive relationships.
There is increasing belief that narcissism is growing, particular in young people as a result of social media and materialism (see the work of Professor Twenge, Psychology for more information), although other research doesn’t currently support this. As with any behavioural problem, there is a spectrum of severity.
Published: 26 July 2021