Are All Narcissists Also Sadistic?

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By Seth Meyers, Psy.D.

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Narcissism is a broad term used to refer to a common personality trait and also to the clinical disorder known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a severe and pervasive personality style that underlies an individual’s entire approach to others and the world around him or her. This disorder is included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

A narcissistic personality is difficult for people who aren’t narcissistic to understand because what’s on the outside looks completely different from what’s on the inside. Analysis of the narcissistic personality is made even more complex due to the many differences among narcissistic individuals. Theodore Millon suggests that there are four different types of narcissists (Millon, 1996). This is not widely accepted in the literature but to be fair, there’s not much about narcissism that is widely accepted beyond the obvious signs of the clinical disorder (e.g., little empathy for …

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