Male and female narcissists have similar symptoms but express them differently.
Men are more external in how they interact with the world; women are more interpersonal.
Both genders tend toward vanity and materialism, and both are pathologically dishonest.
In addition to the sense of entitlement, grandiosity and dishonesty of pathological narcissism, female narcissists often display characteristics common to histrionic personality disorder.
People with histrionic personality disorder regard things in an emotional way–and are attention seekers.
They are uncomfortable or feel unappreciated when they are not the center of attention.
They are lively and dramatic and initially charm new acquaintances by their enthusiasm, apparent openness, or flirtatiousness.
They commandeer the role of the life of the party.
Personal interests and conversation is self-focused.
They use physical appearance to draw attention to themselves.
Emotional expression is often shallow and rapidly shifting.
Their style of speech and writing is excessively digressive, illogical and lacks detail.
They have difficulty with tasks that need logic or analytical thinking.
Female narcissists create conflict to make themselves the center of attention.
To a pathological narcissist, negative attention is better than no attention.
When people leave her, the female narcissist will say it’s because she is too independent, feisty, strong-minded, intimidating and intelligent.
On the surface narcissists look like unbeatable monsters.
Pathological narcissism is a set of cognitive distortions.
A woman who worked for me in a mental health facility thought she was the most informed person in the facility.
She believed she knew more than the clinical team and openly ridiculed her peers.
The patients hated her and complained that she either ignored or berated them.
She terrified the rest of the staff.
As her supervisor my attempts to improve her performance or discipline her resulted in accusations of sexual harassment.
When I pointed out that I am gay the accusation changed to misogyny; because obviously gay men hate women.
I knew that was a danger to the patients and began to document every complaint and interaction.
One night I received a call from the facility; it was a patient who told me to listen.
He stood in the hall with his cell phone in his hand and I heard this woman loudly berate an elderly patient and threatened to discharge him to the street.
It was midnight.
I fired her, but not before she managed to undermine treatment for hundreds of under-served mental health clients over the course of four years.
These are the ten fatal flaws of the pathological Narcissist.
I base this list on personal experience.
For a more clinical understanding of narcissism I suggest Medical News Today.
Fatal Flaw #1:
She believes that she is superior to everyone and becomes arrogant toward people who disagree.
This feature of pathological Narcissism impairs intellectual functioning so that they are not truly smarter than everyone.
But they are good at getting away with bad behavior.
Anything they view as a negative assessment of their worth results in lies, blame shifting and whisper campaigns.
Eventually the people around them see the pattern and the narcissist finds herself isolated.
Fatal Flaw #2
Being right is a matter of survival for a pathological narcissist.
Any contradiction of her point of view results in irrational outbursts of rage.
She will do everything she can to destroy someone she thinks is a threat to her control and there is nothing she won’t do.
Narcissists think they have a birthright to the kind of creative and professional credibility other people earn.
Frustration of their sense of entitlement results in narcissistic rage.
Eventually people see the pattern and move on.
Fatal Flaw #3
They project their faults and dump their shame on others.
The narcissist believes she is perfect and perfectly entitled.
She believes other people believe everything she says.
She also believes everyone is like her so she projects her failure and bad behavior onto other people.
The problem is that she cannot isolate and control everyone.
Once again, it’s a pattern of behavior that becomes obvious and
the people in her life move on.
Fatal Flaw #4
They lack insight.
Refusal to take responsibility for their actions is the defining feature of pathological narcissism, regardless of gender.
This is the source of their shamelessness.
Fatal Flaw #5
They expect their friends and family members to act as props to their grandiose
sense of superiority.
Healthy people resist and move on.
Fatal Flaw #6
They take pride in their vicious attacks.
A narcissist will boast about doing things other people find offensive. They will describe their humiliation of someone as if it is an act of courage.
Healthy people will have nothing to do with it; and eventually their enablers become targets of their scorn.
Fatal Flaw #7
Narcissists don’t mature with age.
Their sense of superiority makes it impossible for them to learn from their mistakes and like children, they continue to bully or seek revenge on people for imagined insults, or any talent that threatens their delusions of superiority.
The female narcissist is always the best and most deserving little girl in the world.
Fatal Flaw #8
Their conversations revolve exclusively around themselves, their projects and their achievements.
Fatal Flaw #9
People who fail to collude with the narcissist in her grandiosity and devaluation of other people are worthless.
The result is that their relationships are shallow and short.
Fatal Flaw #10
The Narcissist must have total control over the people in her life which includes what they think.
Fatal Flaw # 11:
The narcissist assumes everyone is devoid of insight and shame.
She becomes paranoid because she believes that other people are as vindictive as she is and are also out for revenge.
She will make up a conflict to restore a sense of equilibrium and to have a crisis to bring to her enablers.
She wanders from relationship to relationship and enabler to enabler because she always drops the mask and reveals the ugliness of her narcissism.
More that anything, Narcissists fear the shame of exposure.
Rob Goldstein (c) 2016