There is so much speculation regarding whether or not narcissism is genetic or whether it is a learned behavior. Studies have been conducted using identical twins in which some grew up in the same environment, while others had been separated at birth therefore creating a completely different environmental upbringing.
The studies have shown that there are some narcissistic traits that were found in both sets of twins, even those with different upbringing.
The study did not indicate that the twins were in face narcissistic, simply whether or not they had some of the traits a narcissist possesses. You see….we all have narcissism in us…there is healthy narcissism, and unhealthy narcissism which leads to NPD. Those that may score high on the pendulum does not necessarily indicate that they have NPD.
Learning and understanding this helps us to understand that while some people no doubt have narcissistic tendencies ….there are different degrees of narcissism and some may be more difficult and abusive than others.
The link I posted at the bottom of this page is an example of how the world tries to find out just how narcissistic a person is. It gives a scale between 1 and 40…the higher the number the stronger the likelihood that you are narcissistic.
I, myself, took the text and scored a 6 out of 40.
However as I was reading the questions…..I knew that my ex would not score high on this test as a narcissist…
Some of the questions that people tend to automatically think would identify a narcissist are:
1) Do you like to look at yourself in the mirror?
2) Do you think you are above others?
3) Do you consider yourself like everyone else or special?
My ex….who was a master manipulator would have answered:
1) No I think that is vain and whats on the inside is more important than whats on the outside.
2) Of course not, the bible tells us that we should put others above ourselves.
3) I think everyone is special in his or her own way.
By those answers, his “narcissism score” would be much lower than it truly should be.
So WHY IS THAT?
Because there are narcissists who hide their narcissism underneath a façade of godliness, and they know what to say to sound “spiritual”.
Which is why to me…..these tests are inaccurate. Also…its very difficult to get a true narcissist, one diagnosed with NPD to take one of these tests….so evaluation is so extremely difficult.
And rare is the moment, no extinct is the moment a narcissist seeks therapy to get “help” for their personality disorder.
So please keep this in mind when you are trying to evaluate whether a family member, spouse or friend is or isn’t narcissistic. And remember that even if they do not have NPD…..they can still exhibit narcissistic traits that can be extremely abusive and toxic.
Here is the link to one of the tests