The difference between narcissism and perfectionism

Wendy Behary, LCSW Psychotherapist & Author, shares advice for parents on the differences between narcissism and perfectionism in kids
The Differences Between Narcissism And Perfectionism In Kids
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The difference between narcissism and perfectionism

Parents sometimes worry when they see their child developing perfectionistic habits and traits. It’s important to see the difference between perfectionism and narcissism. Narcissist certainly can carry the traits of being highly perfectionistic, wanting to control things, wanting to keep their world in perfect order, but not all narcissist, some are highly disorganized in the same way that someone can be very perfectionistic and even perhaps excessive compulsive, wants things to be in certain way, high standards that might even be unreasonable we would say, but not the Churchill narcissism pushing people around, expecting other people to be perfect too, the other tendencies are showing off for being rude and interruptive and acting in tiled. The perfectionist may just be solely focused about being perfectionistic, you don’t think the disorganized narcissistic, someone who is constantly creating a whirlwind of mess around themselves; their office is disheveled, their desk is covered with stuff and expectation is either clean it up if you don’t like it or your uncomfortable with it, meaning, anyone else in their world, I don’t have to do that. I’m too busy and I’m into important things, I don’t need to take care of this or so they are not perfectionistic at all, in fact their expectations is that anyone else will have to deal with it or fix it.

Wendy Behary, LCSW Psychotherapist & Author, shares advice for parents on the differences between narcissism and perfectionism in kids


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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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