Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism. This week, we'll explore five different types of narcissism and give you language to talk about them.

Overt or Extroverted Narcissism

You might be familiar with someone who is overtly narcissistic. The overt narcissist is the type most commonly associated with NPD, and they are often diagnosed as such. They're also very likely to be in a relationship with someone who is not overtly narcissistic (like you).

They tend to be brash, manipulative and controlling. Their primary goal seems to be making sure everyone knows how great they are — usually by putting down others. Some examples of this include:

  • Telling you what parts of your body are attractive (or unattractive)
  • Leaving little notes around the house about how much better their life would be if only you were more like them
  • Complaining about anything that may reflect poorly on them in any way (even if it's something out of their control)

Covert or Introverted Narcissism

Covert narcissists are less likely to be seen as narcissists. They're more likely to be seen as introverted, sensitive, caring and self-sacrificing. They usually don't brag or put others down publicly or privately—they may even do the opposite by giving compliments or saying things that are kinder than necessary. Covert narcissists aren't necessarily out of touch with reality; they know how other people feel but their feelings about themselves are inflated.

The biggest difference between covert and overt NPD is that overt NPDs tend to be more obvious about their lack of empathy for other people's feelings whereas covert NPDs tend to be very good at hiding it so that no one notices anything wrong until it's too late!

High-Functioning Narcissism

High-functioning narcissism, also known as covert narcissism, is characterized by a lack of empathy and remorse, which distinguishes it from antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is almost always marked by an obvious lack of empathy for others. However, high-functioning narcissists can be socially adept and charmingly persuasive in their ability to use manipulation tactics that allow them to get what they want out of life—without feeling much remorse.

High-functioning narcissists are often confused with sociopaths or psychopaths because they share some similar characteristics: low empathy levels; superficial charm; pathological lying; tendency toward manipulative behavior; lack of guilt or remorse; callousness toward others' feelings.

However, unlike sociopaths or psychopaths who may go on to commit crimes such as murder without any apparent concern for what they've done wrong (other than being caught), high-functioning narcissists would never do anything serious enough that warrants imprisonment because this would damage their image as successful people who deserve respect from those around them

Communal Narcissism

You've probably encountered this type of narcissist at some point in your life. The communal narcissist is often a very charismatic person who enjoys being the center of attention, but they are also concerned with the well-being of others. They can be popular and have many friends because they're good at making people feel good about themselves, but they can be demanding as well. Communal narcissists tend to be manipulative, which can lead to problems in their relationships later on down the road.

Malignant Narcissism

You might have trouble understanding how someone could be as cruel and callous as narcissists are known to be. But there is a type of narcissism that goes beyond the over-the-top attention seeking: malignant narcissism. Malignant narcissists can be devastatingly sadistic and ruthless, lacking in empathy for other people's feelings or even their own children's feelings. They may even exhibit sociopathic behavior—that is, they lack remorse or a conscience altogether, which means they don't experience guilt when they do something wrong!

Malignant narcissism is associated with three features: an inability to feel genuine love; an excessive need for admiration from others; and lack of empathy toward others' suffering (and sometimes even their own). These traits can lead a person into harmful relationships where there are no checks on their behavior because others fear them too much to challenge them—but this also leaves these individuals vulnerable when people do speak up against them because there may not actually be any limit on what kind of behavior is acceptable.

Being aware of the different types of narcissism can be helpful in managing your relationship with a narcissistic person.

Being aware of the different types of narcissism can be helpful in managing your relationship with a narcissistic person. For example, if you have a partner who suffers from antisocial personality disorder and likes to manipulate others, it would be important for you to understand that this is not simply an issue of disagreeing over what movie to watch on Friday night; it's more like they're trying to create situations where they come out on top no matter what.

To put things into perspective: This person isn't just being manipulative; this person has been diagnosed with a mental health condition and has been given specific treatment options that work best for them. The key here is recognizing why each type is different so you can choose appropriate coping strategies for your situation.


Remember, being in a relationship with a narcissist can be very hard. Sufferers of narcissistic personality disorder often have difficulty forming and maintaining long-lasting social connections, so they may not always have the support they need to get better on their own. This is why it’s important to identify what type of narcissism someone has so you are able to better understand where they are coming from and find more effective ways to help them cope with their condition.