People with narcissistic personalities feel that they are superior to others. They often take great offense at the slightest criticism. These people tend to exploit others. If you know someone narcissistic, you may wonder if this is a learned behavior or if genetics plays a role. The answer is that narcissism can be genetic and environmental. Additionally, society may play a significant role.
Two Types of Narcissism
Narcissistic personality order fall into two types. The first is grandiose narcissism, where the person openly focuses on themselves and feels a sense of entitlement. The second is vulnerable narcissism, where a person experiences a sense of over-the-top pride and deep shame. Yet, they still focus on themselves.
The Genetics of Narcissism
Research shows that both types of narcissism have a genetic factor. Those with the grandiose type are less likely to get theirs through genetics and more likely to be influenced by their environment. The opposite is true. Those with the vulnerable type are more likely to have genetic causes and are less likely to be affected by their environment. Yet, most researchers agree that your genes cause less than 23% of this personality type.
According to a study done by University of Chicago Medicine psychiatrist and personality disorder specialist Royce Lee, people with this personality disorder have higher levels of oxidative stress in their bloodstreams. This puts additional pressure on the body and may be why people with this personality disorder have so many problems dealing with shame.
The Role of Nurturing
While people with this personality disorder may have a yet-to-be-identified gene that causes them to develop this personality disorder, it is equally clear that a child’s early environment plays a significant role. When a child is raised in a home where they are constantly praised or in a home where they are always put down, they are more likely to develop this personality disorder.
Role of Society
Lee also suggests that society may play a role. The number of people diagnosed with this personality disorder continues to climb annually. He suggests that people who frequently use social media are likely to experience higher metabolic stress levels.
Regardless of the reasons, there is help available to those dealing with narcissism. Reach out to us today to get the help you need to experience good mental health and wellness.