Narcissists are everywhere. They are in our classrooms, our workplaces, our homes, and in our media. And yes, they often thrive in those areas. They can be found anywhere there is power and authority. They are in our businesses and our government. They are our teachers and the people that we work for. They are all around us.
Narcissists are hard to avoid. But that doesn’t mean we can’t acquaint ourselves with them and protect ourselves from them. We can spot a narcissist and spot the effects of their behavior long before they have a chance to make us feel the way they do.
Narcissists are very good at what they do. They are the best at using people, manipulating people, and making people feel like they are the only person in the world who can make them happy.
5 of the most common types of narcissists and their traits.
1. The “Mirroring” Narcissist
“Mirroring narcissists” love talking about themselves — and for a good reason. They try to convince other people (and themselves) that they are worthy. They will often use a lot of “I” and “me” words in their conversations, trying to sell themselves to you as a person.
They will often ask leading questions to try to get you to say nice things about them, too. This is because they always compare themselves to other people and will often be obsessed with their self-image.
Mirroring narcissists always need to be the center of attention. They will often brag about the achievements and achievements of those they are close to.
The Mirroring Narcissist displays a number of traits that can be described as ‘mirroring.’ These are some of the most common characteristics:
- The Mirroring Narcissist is often narcissistic and treats others with respect and dignity. They recognize that they are not perfect, but they take responsibility for their actions.
- The Mirroring Narcissist is insecure, especially in relationships and work. This narcissism is usually the result of an early childhood where he was abused or neglected by his parents or other caregivers. Because of this, he needs to feel special to feel safe from being devalued or discarded again by others.
- The Mirroring Narcissist tries to control people around him through intimidation and manipulation (or mirroring).
2. The “Hoovering” Narcissist
The worst kind of narcissist is the one who’s out to get you. These narcissists are the ones who will pretend to be your best friends and will abuse you in the same way a Hoover vacuum cleaner sucks up dirt: entirely and mercilessly.
The Hoovering narcissist is the one who will suck you into a friendship, create an intimate relationship, and then, when you are most vulnerable, throw you away.
The Hoovering narcissist is the one who will be there for you when you’ve fought with a loved one, and then, once you are at your most vulnerable, will throw you under the bus.
The Hoovering narcissist is the one who will tell you that they love you, only to tell everyone else that you are crazy and that they don’t know what you’re talking about. In other words: the Hoovering narcissist is the one who will hoover you.
3. The “Explosive” Narcissist
The Explosive Narcissist is the most self-centered type of narcissist. This type of person is always on the lookout for any threat to their self-esteem and will react with rage if they feel they have been slighted in any way.
Explosive Narcissists are often found in management positions, where they can control others, or in sales and other positions where they have to compete.
Explosive Narcissists have a hard time being wrong or admitting mistakes. They will shift blame to others and become angry if their mistakes are pointed out. Explosive Narcissists are easily offended by others and will lash out at them.
They are not interested in hearing what others say and can be very controlling. They tend to be very critical of others and often use sarcasm and mockery to put others down. Explosive Narcissists are best avoided.
4. The “Malignant” Narcissist
Malignant narcissists are a type of narcissist that is much more hostile and aggressive than your average narcissist. Malignant narcissists are the type of people who will stop at nothing to get what they want.
They are manipulative, have little to no remorse, are antisocial, and are usually very intelligent but lacking emotional intelligence. They are highly goal-oriented and will do whatever it takes to get what they want.
According to the late Dr. George Simon, the “malignant narcissist” is a particularly virulent narcissist who wrote the book in 1981. Malignant narcissists are not just your garden-variety, run-of-the-mill narcissists.
They are a more destructive, calculated kind of person who is often so covert that other people don’t even realize they’re being manipulated. A malignant narcissist can take over a company, a group, and even a country.
This person is the kind that would pass a law that forces everyone to refer to them as “Your Majesty,” for example.
They are entirely ruthless, without empathy or conscience, and will go to great lengths to achieve their ends — whatever they may be.
The malignant narcissist is a pathological liar and can be criminally and sexually deviant. They are impulsive and prone to rages and outbursts of violence.
They are often so charming, charismatic, and intelligent that other people are drawn to them — but once a malignant narcissist has their claws into you, you may be sorry you ever met them.
5. The “Grandiose” Narcissist
This is the narcissist that I have met the most and have the most experience in dealing with. They are usually the loudest, most obnoxious people on the planet.
They tend to be highly egotistical and self-centered, and they love to brag about themselves. They are the exact opposite of the “vulnerable” narcissist. They are very self-assured and confident.
They may often seem very charming or even seductive with their words, but they are usually very manipulative and dishonest. They will do whatever they can to get others to buy into their lies. They are often very successful because they know how to talk into people’s hearts and minds.
They are typically very charming and are very good at making people feel good about themselves. They love to flaunt their intelligence and accomplishments to anyone who will listen. They love to make themselves feel better by putting others down.
This is the most likely to be in a management position. These people are very hard to deal with, and it is often best to avoid them altogether.