What is narcissism, exactly?
In today’s world, the term “narcissistic” has come to mean little more than vain. But narcissism is far more complex than that. It exists in many shades along a continuum from extra-healthy ego to pathological grandiosity. A large 2009 study estimated that 6% of people in the U.S. suffer from full-blown narcissistic personality disorder. But it’s likely that many more fall short of the strict diagnostic criteria.
So how can you tell if you lie somewhere on the spectrum? Read on to learn about 10 common narcissistic traits—and see how many feel familiar. If you find that you share more than a few, you may want to seek help from a therapist. At its core, narcissism is a disguise for a deep-seated sense of shame that you may not even realize is there.