What is Narcissism & How Do You Spot It? Expert weighs in

There are a lot of misconceptions peddled in society when it comes to narcissism. In this video, W. Keith Campbell elaborates on the history of narcissism and explains what exactly it is and how to spot a narcissist.

Keith Campbell is an American social psychologist known for his research on narcissism. He is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Georgia’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. He received a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, an MA from the University of California, San Diego, and a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has published over 120 peer-reviewed papers and books, including The Handbook of Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Theoretical Approaches.


The myth (ancient Greek myth about Narcissus) captures the basic idea of narcissism, elevated and sometimes detrimental self-involvement.”

Scholarly articles and research papers describe narcissists as individuals either living with NPD or exhibiting narcissistic tendencies such as an over-inflated sense of self-importance, lack of empathy, grandiose personality and obsessions with their own needs.

The psychological definition of narcissism is an inflated, grandiose self-image.”

Narcissists often see themselves as perfect, better than everyone else and deserving of admiration, praise, and special treatment.

To varying degrees, narcissists think they’re better looking, smarter, and more important than other people and that they deserve special treatment.”

Narcissism is classified into two categories: grandiose or vulnerable narcissism.

Grandiose narcissists show extroverted, dominant behavior. Because of their inflated sense of self-worth and their extroverted nature, most are found in positions of power.

Grandiose narcissists pursue attention and power, sometimes as politicians, celebrities, or cultural leaders.”

Vulnerable narcissists are the opposites of grandiose narcissists. They are introverted, quiet and reserved.


The dark side of narcissism shows up over the long term. Narcissists tend to act selfishly, so narcissistic leaders may make risky or unethical decisions, and narcissistic partners may be dishonest or unfaithful. When their rosy view of themselves is challenged, they can become resentful and aggressive.”

Knowing how to spot a narcissist can go a long way in helping you find ways to stay away, protect your personal space and put up clear boundaries. This will ensure you do not become a victim of narcissistic abuse, which is often the outcome of having a narcissist in your life.

You can learn more about narcissists and narcissism on mensgroup.com.