narcissism


narcissism

Mental disorder characterized by extreme self-absorption, an exaggerated sense of self-importance, and a need for attention and admiration from others. First identified by Havelock Ellis in 1898, the disorder is named for the mythological Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection. In addition to an inflated self-image and addiction to fantasy, narcissism is characterized by an unusual coolness and composure, which is shaken only when the narcissistic confidence is threatened, and by the tendency to take others for granted or to exploit them. According to Sigmund Freud, narcissism is a normal stage in children's development, but it is considered a disorder when it occurs after puberty.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on narcissism, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up narcissism? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.