It is said that there is an epidemic of narcissists in the world today. Many people go out in the dating world, trying to find someone who is relatively willing and able to have a committed relationship after a certain amount of time. Many of us want partners who are emotionally mature, able to communicate with us, and able to provide intimacy and trust in the relationship.
There is no way to get a completely accurate picture of how many narcissists there truly are in the world. Sam Vaknin indicates in his book Malignant Self Love-Revisited that it could be around 15 percent, but people with narcissistic traits and those with full-blown narcissistic personality disorder would rarely seek treatment long enough to be diagnosed, would be likely to lie on any tests or questionnaires, and would not pursue treatment. In other words, the numbers could truly be much higher because of the inability to really capture this subgenre of individuals to count them all.
Narcissists are generally seriously damaged inside by some type of narcissistic injury. Some people with narcissistic traits may have had head injuries or may have some form of autistic spectrum disorder. They may have been born lacking certain areas of their brain that help them to empathize with others, to read social cues, and to break out of their repetition. They may have experienced intrusive, abusive, or neglectful parents who taught them maladjusted ways to relate in the world.
People who display narcissistic tendencies may have been born with severely underdeveloped areas of the brain that even lead to psychopathic traits and behaviors (impulsivity, lack of remorse, intense boredom, criminal behavior). Some of these individuals go on to become CEOs while others go on to become serial killers or spouse batterers.
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