Defining the different types of narcissists

Wendy Behary, LCSW Psychotherapist & Author, explains the different types of narcissism and the common characteristics that define each type of narcissist
The Different Types Of Narcissists
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Defining the different types of narcissists

There are actually different types of narcissist. Not just one. You would think about one type being the narcissist who can be, in fact, very aggressive, demanding, controlling, demeaning, overpowering, very super-entitled, breaking the rules, shows no remorse. This is a very aggressive type of narcissism. There's another type of narcissism that has become more commonly known as the covert narcissist. And that's the one - I think of them more as the shy narcissist or the martyr type. This is the narcissist who would say to you something like 'well, I don't know why people always have to brag about all of the money that they give to Foundations. I mean I would never go around telling people about the million of dollars that I donated to X Charity. That's not really my goal. I do it's in my heart'. Right, so they are covert in their capacity, or it's the martyr who ... the divas you might think of 'oh, I've so much to deal with. And I've so much .. I've so much on my plate, and my children, and my husband and my charities and my work and I don't know how I get through it all. But I'm not one to complain'. So there's the covert type as well. They'll kind of sneak in from behind the scenes. We also have healthy narcissists - those that there's a lot of emphasis on themselves and their achievements, but the intention is really toward a greater good. And so there's a lot of celebrities you could think of, like this, and perhaps some (not too many) of our political leaders, but many wear the intention. We think of them as the narcissist with a heart of gold. And then there's normal narcissism - children. Adolescents. The stages of development. They are supposed to be narcissistic. It's supposed to be about them. And it's supposed to be about the parent who can figure out the time to trim and curb the way, so that they start to notice that they are not the only people in the world.

Wendy Behary, LCSW Psychotherapist & Author, explains the different types of narcissism and the common characteristics that define each type of narcissist


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Wendy T. Behary, LCSW

Psychotherapist & Author

With 25 years post-graduate training and advanced level certifications, Wendy Behary is the founder and director of The Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey and The New Jersey Institute for Schema Therapy. She has been treating clients, training professionals and supervising psychotherapists for more than 20 years. Wendy is also on the faculty of the Cognitive Therapy Center and Schema Therapy Institute of New York, where she has trained and worked with Dr. Jeffrey Young since 1989. She is a founding fellow of The Academy of Cognitive Therapy (Dr. Aaron T. Beck). Wendy is also the President of the Executive Board of the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST).

Wendy Behary has co-authored several chapters and articles on schema therapy and cognitive therapy. She is the author of the New Harbinger Publication (1st and upcoming 2nd edition) Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed. Wendy has a specialty in treating narcissists and the people who live with and deal with them. As an author and an expert on the subject of narcissism, she is a contributing chapter author of several chapters on schema therapy for narcissism. She lectures both nationally and internationally to professional and general audiences on schema therapy, and the subject of narcissism, relationships, and dealing with difficult people. Her work with industry has included speaking engagements focused on interpersonal conflict resolution. Her private practice is primarily devoted to treating narcissists, partners/people dealing with them, and couples experiencing relationship problems. She is also an expert in coaching individuals in interviewing, public speaking, and interpersonal skills enhancement.

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