Narcissism (as defined by the Free Dictionary): 1. Excessive love or admiration for oneself. 2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem. 3. Erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one’s own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development. 4. The attribute of the human psyche characterized by admiration of oneself but within normal limits.
Other similar words include conceited, self-absorbed, egotistic, self-centered, selfish, self-loving, vain, stuck-up, and prideful.
Grandiose narcissists are less sensitive and more confident. They know they are superior and will seek revenge or go into a vicious rage against those who don’t treat them with respect or dare to give them negative feedback. They appear to have no sense of shame about themselves and truly have very high self-esteem. Their parents or caregivers may have treated them as superior from early childhood, so unlike VNs, they are not compensating for anything. They’re simply acting out their expectations.
They don’t care as much about how their partners see them and may easily walk out of the relationship if they don’t get the respect and admiration they know they deserve. They may openly have multiple relationships/affairs and pride themselves on how many people see how wonderful they are. Like people with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), they can be very aggressive and dominance-seeking without empathy or remorse.
“Unlike the more vulnerable or neurotic type, grandiose narcissists don’t care what you think of them and don’t feel the need to prove themselves. They know they’re great. And if you don’t seem to recognize that, they not only have little use for you but also in some ways pity you. After all, if you only really knew and appreciated who they are and what you were getting in them, you’d be worshiping at their feet night and day. This is why the grandiose type has no compunction about showing their disdain for all those they see as “beneath” them. Whereas we once thought they belittled others as a way of building up their own sense of self (we used to erroneously think similar things about bullies, too), they’re simply being dismissive of those they view as inferior and therefore unworthy in comparison. And it’s the dismissive quality of grandiose narcissists that can really get under the skin of their relationship partners.”