Oct 25th 2023
The term narcissist often refers to someone who is arrogant, manipulative, and grandiose. Narcissists can display a variety of traits, which may differ from person to person and vary depending on the gender, age, and background of the individual. It can be helpful to know the different ways that narcissism can present, to help recognize and manage harmful traits and behaviors.
A male narcissist refers to a male who exhibits narcissistic behavior or has been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Male narcissists may display different behaviors to a female narcissist, although some traits will inevitably overlap.
A narcissist is someone who displays some or all of the traits of narcissistic personality disorder. NPD is one of ten personality disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) .
NPD is more likely to affect men than women, although recent research suggests that it is likely to present differently depending on gender. Additionally, studies indicate that there are two prominent types of NPD, known as overt and covert narcissism .
Overt or grandiose narcissists have very high self-esteem, display aggressive behaviors, and are externally expressive. In contrast, covert or vulnerable narcissists have very low self-esteem, are more sensitive to criticism, are more withdrawn, and are more internally expressive .
Studies have shown a significantly higher prevalence of NPD among males, suggesting that females are less likely to develop the condition . However, this may be partly due to the gender differences in how the condition presents, the wording of diagnostic criteria, and biases from diagnosing clinicians .
Some of these differences can be attributed to gender stereotypes and expectations, which are demonstrated and modeled from a young age. As such, if a child is at risk of developing NPD, the parental and societal expectations they experience due to their gender are likely to influence the symptoms and traits that develop .
Similarly, gender norms and stereotypes can also impact how people are diagnosed. The higher prevalence of NPD amongst males may be because males are more likely to experience this condition, but it could also be significantly impacted by misdiagnoses and biases .
It is important to note that these gender differences may not apply to all individuals with NPD, as presentations of these traits can vary depending on several factors aside from gender.
Generally, females are more likely to have covert NPD, while males are more likely to have overt NPD. However, males can also experience covert NPD. Additionally, research suggests that there are fewer gender differences in this type of narcissism .
Dealing with a narcissist can be challenging and draining, so it can be helpful to know how to manage these interactions. It may be helpful to utilize the following:
Many people with narcissistic traits do not choose to seek professional diagnosis or treatment. Often this is because they do not experience any impairments or feel that they need professional help. However, some people with NPD experience symptoms of other conditions for which they require support, such as depression, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse .
Treatment is available to help people manage symptoms of NPD and comorbid conditions, and may include psychotherapy and medication. Receiving professional advice and treatment is the most effective way to manage and reduce mental health symptoms .
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