Grandiose Narcissist – Everything You Need To Know

What is a grandiose narcissist? How do you deal with a grandiose narcissist? What do I do if I am in a relationship with a grandiose narcissist? Can you fix a grandiose narcissist? If you are looking for answers to these and more questions, this article is for you.

My name is Sean Galla, and I have been an online support group facilitator for over a decade. During this time, I have overseen numerous support groups, including facilitating narcissist support groups for male survivors of grandiose narcissists. Part of the work we do in our support group is to offer information to help members better understand the disorder, including the different types of narcissism.

In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about grandiose narcissistic personality disorder.

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Written by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.


Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a broad mental health diagnosis. According to research ( by Joshua D. Miller et al., narcissism has two distinct dimensions. On one end of the narcissistic spectrum is vulnerable or covert narcissism, comprising people with low self-esteem and fragile egos. The other end lies the grandiose narcissists with high self-esteem and confidence.

Vulnerable narcissists will not wear fancy clothes, drive flashy cars, or live in lavish homes. Instead, they are introverted and suffer from depressive symptoms. They may also portray self-image issues, feelings of shame, self-doubt, anxiety, and neurosis. Neuroticism is the tendency to be self-conscious and feel negative emotions, often reacting strongly to criticism.

While a grandiose narc will seem happier and live in ignorance of how they affect other people, a covert narcissist may feel sad and worried.

Grandiose Narcissist – Who Are They? 

People with narcissistic personality disorder have a reputation for being mean or overly aggressive and pushy. Grandiose narcissism, also known as overt narcissism, is a disorder that manifests in exaggerated self-importance and a sense of superiority.

Grandiose narcissists crave excessive admiration, validation, and praise and live lavish lifestyles to achieve this. They also blame others when things go wrong and never accept their mistakes.

Grandiose narcs have an inflated ego, which affects their relationships. Such a person relies on others to validate them. They lead a fake life and post flashy lifestyles on social media to gain admiration.

Overt narcs are charismatic and outgoing and have a gift of drawing people to them. The narcissist makes people want to be around them, making them feel privileged when they spend time with them. The narc is often a successful professional or leads people to think of them as successful.

The DSM-5 does not have an official diagnosis of grandiose narcissism. DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is the American Psychiatric Association handbook that guides professionals in diagnosing mental disorders. However, narcissistic personality disorder may manifest in different sub-types, one of which is grandiose narcissism.

Grandiose Narcissist: What are the Traits of a Grandiose Narcissist?

As with other personality disorders, it might be challenging to spot an overt narc. They may present themselves as successful business leaders, high-functioning members of society, and highly accomplished individuals.

A scholarly article by Charles A. O’Reilly and Nicholas Hall shows that people with grandiose narcissistic traits exhibit the following personality traits.

Illusions of grandeur

As the name suggests, grandiosity defines an overt narc with an unrealistic superiority complex. They feel they are unique and better than ‘normal’ people. The narc feels too good for anything they consider ordinary and only wants association with high-status places, things, and people.

Overt narcs believe that since they are better than others, they should get special recognition. The grandiose narc often lies or exaggerates about what they have achieved and what they can do. Their fantasies are a shield against their feelings of shame and emptiness. Anyone who tries to burst their bubble meets rage and defensiveness.


Need for constant validation and admiration.

A narc’s inflated ego deflates without constant validation, admiration, and praise. An overt narc’s ego constantly feeds off of attention. They brag a lot and ensure those around them are willing to feed their obsessive craving for praise. These one-sided relationships only last as long as the narc’s admirer keeps up the constant affirmations and praise.

 Sense of entitlement

The grandiose narc thinks they are special and expects others to treat them as such. They believe they deserve everything they want and expect people to cater to their every whim. If you don’t comply or dare to defy or ask them to do something in return, they ignore you or express rage and aggression.


Grandiose narcissists act impulsively without considering others or consequences. This behavior can lead to dangerous behaviors like gambling or reckless activities.


Narcissists suffer from a lack of empathy and self-centeredness. They never develop an ability to identify with other people’s feelings. The grandiose narc lacks emotional intelligence and views people as objects that exist to serve them and their own needs. They do not hesitate to take advantage of others for their gain without shame.


Grandiose narcissists have an air of arrogance and superiority. Since they feel they are better than others, they expect special treatment. They are mean to others and belittle them to assert their dominance.

Here is a comprehensive guide on how to stop being a narcissist.

Grandiose Narcissist: How is It Diagnosed?

Narcissistic personality disorder shares features with other disorders. If more than one disorder is present, diagnosis can become complicated. The basis of the diagnosis relies on the following:

Psychological evaluations

An in-depth psychological evaluation rules out other mental disorders related to NPD, such as:

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Histrionic personality disorder(individuals engage in provocative acts to seek attention)
  • Antisocial personality disorder

 DSM-5 guidelines

A diagnosis of NPD in the DSM-5 includes criteria such as:

  • Self-importance
  • Self-centeredness
  • Arrogance
  • Pre-occupation with a fantasy world
  • Lack of empathy

The individual’s personality traits must persist over time and remain consistent across various situations. These behaviors should not be the result of drug or alcohol use or medication.

How Do You Deal With A Grandiose Narcissist?

Learning how to deal with a narcissist is tough but not impossible. All narcs are good at gaslighting, ignoring other people’s perspectives, rejecting criticism, and responding angrily. Here are a few tips on how to rise above the manipulation and effectively deal with a grandiose narcissist:

Identify the narc

Identify the grandiose characteristics and notice how they present themselves. Grandiose narcissists may have individual differences, but all appear happy, confident, and loud.

Set boundaries

You must set boundaries with grandiose narcissists. They are manipulative and selfish and can harm others. Let them know you won’t tolerate it, describe the consequences, and ensure you follow through with them.



To deal with a grandiose narcissist, you may need to leave them, especially in a romantic relationship. This applies to friends, family, coworkers, or romantic partners. If their behavior is causing you too much stress, reduce your contact with them.

Seek Help

Seek help from a mental health specialist to ensure that you can handle the situation without compromising your well-being.

Grandiose Narcissist: Being in a Relationship with a Grandiose Narc

Grandiose narcissism negatively affects personal and professional relationships. Overt narcs struggle with forming deep connections, lack empathy, and prioritize their own needs. They may manipulate and exploit you for personal gain, and their lack of empathy makes it almost impossible to fall in love. This fact may be hard to accept, especially if you are already in love with the narc, making the narcissistic abuse harder to spot.

You cannot hold a person with narcissistic personality disorder responsible for their feelings, thoughts, or actions towards you. Educate yourself on the disorder, especially if you question their ability to give and receive love. Take the time to understand the disorder by educating yourself. Scholars like M Zajenkowski have numerous articles online on narcissism that will prepare you for a relationship with a grandiose narc.

Grandiose Narcissist: Can Grandiose Narcissism Be Treated?

Grandiose narcissism has a poor prognosis as it is treatment-resistant. Grandiose narcs rarely accept they have a problem as they live under the illusion that their life is great. If they agree to get treatment, they can rarely achieve any meaningful change since they have a high sense of superiority.

There is no specific therapy that treats grandiose narcissistic disorder. In new frontiers in psychology, scholars like Emanuel Jauk delve into more contemporary ways of treating Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), vulnerable, grandiose, and pathological narcissism using neuroscience.

Joining a Support Group

Men have a harder time finding someone they can talk to. Men’s Group is a men-only support forum that offers resources and meetings to anyone dealing with a grandiose narcissist. With the proper support, you can heal, grow, and learn how to live with a grandiose narc. The overt narc can be anyone: wife, child, sibling, parent, colleague, or boss.

MensGroup is an all-men online platform where you can get the support you need. You will join a group of other men who have been through grandiose narcissistic abuse and understand what you are going through. This platform gives you a safe space to share and learn from others who have been through a similar experience. With the support of others who have gone through similar experiences, you can overcome trauma and lead a healthy, successful, and happy life.


When someone in your life lives with grandiose Narcissistic Personality Disorder, take your time and understand the disorder. Information on the disorder makes you better equipped to deal with the grandiose narcissist. Acceptance and joining a support group like MensGroup will go a long way in helping you to cope and heal.