Narcissists are people who are extremely egocentric or self-centered. They are obsessed with their personal abilities and physical appearances. They have this strong belief that they are superior to other individuals. Consequently, their self-esteem is easily threatened by negative feedbacks from other people. Narcissists hardly accept criticisms because they feel being overpowered by others. Likewise, they are close-minded about the idea of being defeated. When the previously mentioned behaviors become persistent and cause distress to a person’s social life during adulthood, they become components of the condition called narcissistic personality disorder.

People with narcissistic personality disorder are indeed highly competent. Their self-confidence contributes enormously in every success they achieve in life. They are self-assured that they are versatile and capable of doing anything. They view themselves as extremely admirable and important beings. However, behind this self-confidence is a bunch of insecurity. Narcissists feel humiliation and self-inadequacy when someone overshadows their abilities.

The cause of narcissistic personality disorder remains unknown. However, various researchers had determined contributory factors from childhood that might have lead to the development of this disorder.

1. Oversensitive persona during childhood

A person with narcissistic personality disorder exhibits an oversensitive character during childhood. This type of person easily becomes very emotional.

2. Too much praise for professed outstanding appearance or abilities of the child by the adults

Adults have the tendency to over praise a child with outstanding appearance or looks. As a result, this child develops the feeling of superiority against others. Apart from this, the sense of supremacy triggers the child’s manipulative and dominant behavior. However, commending the child’s outstanding appearance or abilities has positive consequence as well, which is building up the child’s self-confidence. On the other hand, excessive admiration can be a risk of making the child arrogantly confident. This is considered another factor that could possibly result to narcissistic personality disorder.

3. Unrealistic feedback on behaviors

Adults may excessively honor positive conducts or excessively condemn negative conducts of a child. This makes the child oversensitive to criticisms. The fear of receiving negative comments encourages the child to continue the good behaviors. However, the child might consider any negative feedback as threat to his/her self-esteem.

4. Being overvalued by parents

In general, parents give great value to their child. In fact, the happiness and satisfaction of their child is usually their top priority. However, parents may become overprotective and overly generous sometimes. They have the habit of providing more than what their child desires. In the same way, they have the passion on making their child feel much secured. Consequently, being too much valued by parents may result to the child’s selfish behavior. The child ends up considering himself/herself more excessively important than other people. This is also evident on individuals with narcissistic personality disorder.

The childhood behaviors that might be developed from the abovementioned factors could be considered normal depending on the child’s age. However, such behaviors must be retained during childhood only. If they are still possessed by the person until adulthood and had severely affected the person’s social life, then the person might have developed narcissistic personality disorder. There are no laboratory examinations to diagnose this disorder. On the other hand, mental health experts had developed a tool to categorize mental illness, including narcissistic personality disorder.

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