The Different Sides of Narcissism

· November 19, 2018
Discovering the different faces of narcissism will help us to know how to identify it both in ourselves and in others.

We all need a good dosage of self-love to know how to value ourselves and have a good self-esteem. However, narcissistic people look very confident in themselves when, deep down, they feel extremely insecure. In this article, we’ll be exposing the different sides of narcissism so we can detect it in others as well as in ourselves.

The main characteristic of narcissistic people is that their ego is so big that it doesn’t leave enough space for others. Before other people’s eyes, they’re usually considered egotistical. They only seek admiration from others and they like to highlight their achievements so that others will consider them great.

Narcissistic people feed on others. If no one admires them or if they don’t have an audience listening to what they have to say, their power decreases. That’s when they finally have to face their dreaded lack of self-esteem. We can say that the different sides of narcissism are the masks they use to avoid this.

Man walking on the beach.

Vulnerable narcissists

Narcissism has many different sides. However, the first ones we’re going to touch on describe narcissists who put on a susceptible mask before others. Don’t let it fool you, though, because behind it there’s fear and an attempt to manipulate others.

  • Dependent narcissists: Their fear of abandonment makes them experience a void. They hold the person they’re with responsible for this feeling. Their emotional demands increase as the relationship progresses. In addition, they also use manipulation techniques to keep the person from leaving. They want to be the center of attention and, most of all, loved by someone.
  • Martyr narcissists: These people use their suffering to justify their need for support and attention. It’s important to note that no one is capable of satisfying them completely. They try to make others feel tied to them by making them feel guilty for not giving them the support they “need”.

As you can see, these types of narcissists have a great void they can’t seem to fill. They resort to manipulation to gain attention or appreciation from others. These types of narcissists are always building destructive and harmful relationships.


“Hate is the complement of fear and narcissists like being feared. It imbues them with an intoxicating sensation of omnipotence.”

-Sam Vaknin-

Malignant narcissists

The types of narcissists we just explained use vulnerability to draw attention. Malignant narcissists, on the other hand, use different techniques. Let’s see the different types of malignant narcissists:

Girl screaming.

  • Vengeful narcissists: Their main goal is using lies and defamation to put others down and feel superior to them. They don’t like people who outshine them. Therefore, they’ll try to humiliate and destroy the self-esteem of those they consider their competition.
  • Deceiving narcissists: They seem like very nice people at first, but this is just a facade. Their kind facial expressions are the weapons they use to make others like them to then take advantage of them.
  • Hostile narcissists: They use words to destroy whoever is around. They’ll take everything you say to them as a personal attack. The only way to ease their anger is to praise them.
  • Tyrant narcissists: They’re unable to establish relationships with others without trying to dominate them. These people think they’re better than everyone else. They look down on everyone around them, so much so that they end up seeing them as objects. In addition, they dominate others to the point where they get abusive.

Other sides of narcissism

There are also narcissists who pay way too much attention to their image. Social media and people’s reoccurring comments praising their physique do nothing but intensify their narcissism. In addition, they think they can get whatever they want because of their image. For example, a job or a significant other.

There are other narcissists who believe to be messianic and like telling others what to do and how to do it. This reinforces their feeling of superiority (or, at least, fights their inferiority). They “help” others even when they don’t ask for help. However, they only do it to rub it in the person’s face and call in the favor later on.

Lastly, there are some narcissists who like to lie about achievements and successes. They just want others to admire them as much as possible. When those around them find out they were all lies, they stop admiring them. That’s when the narcissist leaves the group and joins another one where they can be impressive all over again.

Two masks facing each other.

As you can see, it’s important to know how to identify the different sides of narcissism. Although these people are suffering on the inside, they make others suffer even more. It’s essential to be cautious and learn how to identify them.

Trying to get them to change or go to a therapist are often implausible goals. Narcissists will never admit they’re wrong because they don’t think they make mistakes. Others make mistakes, not them. Additionally, they like to play the victim and often think “Poor me, everyone’s trying to outshine me”.

“Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism.”

-Sigmund Freud-