Is Narcissism Hereditary? Read The Surprising Answer Here

Is Narcissism Hereditary

More and more often I get the question in my mailbox:

Vera, is narcissism hereditary? I’m afraid my father/mother is a narcissist! Or that it’s me? What does this mean and what can I do about it?

Wow, what an embarrassing situation that must be. That’s why I rolled up my sleeves and wrote this article for you.

You will also learn whether narcissism can be cured (the answer will surprise you).

Is narcissism hereditary?

If you suspect that your father or mother or perhaps a grandfather or grandmother is a narcissist, this can be a scary question.

Narcissism is an increasingly recognized problem in society and comes with many characteristics. But what exactly is a narcissist?

A narcissist has a narcissistic personality disorder . A disorder in which the person has a deep sense of grandiosity manifested in selfish and self-obsessed behavior.

The narcissist has an exaggerated need for attention and admiration from others. They often lack empathy and cannot empathize with other people’s personal situations.

However, the disorder stems from extreme insecurity and a feeling of inferiority.

Hiding this uncertainty leads to hypersensitivity and strong reactions to criticism or rejection.

This is almost always at the expense of the people in the vicinity. The narcissist often chooses someone as a pecker and takes out his or her insecurity on the people around him.

By never admitting guilt and denying problems, the narcissist tries to ignore the disorder as much as possible. Often the narcissist is not aware of this.

If you are the partner or child of a narcissist, that is an unpleasant situation, but should you be concerned now?

Heredity of Narcissistic Personality Traits

To answer the question of whether narcissism is hereditary, we look at two studies dealing with personality disorders.

Scientifically Proven: In a study  done by Chinese researchers, they looked at 2 personality traits that are common in narcissism.

Those 2 characteristics are delusions of grandeur and  entitlement  (the feeling of being entitled to something in relation to another). In the study they therefore looked at heredity and environmental factors of these characteristics.

The results showed that grandiosity is 23% heritable and the  entitlement  trait is 35% heritable. They also saw that the characteristics did not always occur in the same people.

This indicates that heredity plays a role in these traits but that environmental factors are still much more important.

However, it does not prove that narcissism is hereditary. For that we have to look a little further and we will add another study.

Heredity of narcissism

So we now know that the 2 examined characteristics that have to do with narcissism have some form of heredity.

But what about narcissism itself?

Scientifically Proven: The recognized Canadian psychiatric researcher W. John Livesley already conducted research  into the heredity of personality disorders in the 1990s

He looked at 18 different dimensions of personality disorders and thus narcissism based on the standardized tests of the time.

To make it specific, he also had to look at environmental factors so that they could be filtered out. So he did.

The outcome was remarkable.

Livesley found that of the 18 dimensions studied, narcissism was the most hereditary.

He found in his research that narcissism had a heritability coefficient of 0.64 or that 64% of the disorder is contributed by heredity.

In other words, narcissism is indeed hereditary, but do not be alarmed, this does not mean that 64% of the children of a narcissistic parent will also get it.

My father or mother is a narcissist, do I have it too?

Has this research scared you that you also have narcissism? Wait a minute, then read the following first!

As indicated, this result does not mean that 64% of children who have a narcissistic parent are also narcissists.

It just means that environmental factors have a lesser influence than heredity in people who have been diagnosed with narcissism.

Based on this study, we can therefore only say that heredity has a greater influence on narcissistic personality disorder than environmental factors.

However, there are factors other than heredity that influence the formation of the narcissist. Education is also a factor to take into account.

Narcissism: Hereditary or Educational?

You are probably wondering whether narcissistic behavior is only hereditary or whether education also plays an important role in the formation of narcissists.

Scientifically Proven: The Dutch researcher Eddie Brummelman looked at the role of parenting in narcissism and made an interesting finding.

He investigated whether narcissistic behavior was more common in children who felt a lack of warmth from the parents or children who were overvalued by their parents.

He found a clear difference.

According to Brummelman, narcissistic behavior is not so much in children who felt a lack of warmth.

But it does occur in children who are often placed on a pedestal by their parents.

Past traumas such as childhood abuse can also cause the extreme insecurity from which the narcissistic behavior arises.

Okay, we now know what things affect whether someone is a narcissist or not.

But what can you do now if you are dealing with a narcissistic father or narcissistic mother ?

Can narcissism be cured?

We have now seen that heredity and nurture play a role in narcissism.

But what if you have a narcissist in your life, a partner, or your father or mother.

Can you help that person heal or is it time to distance yourself? To answer that question, we must first go back to one of the characteristics of narcissism.

One of the important characteristics of a narcissist is that he or she does not know that he or she is exhibiting narcissistic behavior. Or that the narcissist knows it, but does not see it as a problem.

It is important for the narcissist to maintain his or her own fantasy world in which they are the most important person on earth.

Much more valuable than thinking about their loved ones and doing something about it by figuring out where the deep-seated insecurity comes from.

It is therefore very rare that people who exhibit narcissistic behavior seek help.

That is one of the reasons that narcissism is very difficult to cure. The advice of the experts is therefore often unambiguous: Try to get away from the narcissist and preferably as soon as possible.

If it is not possible to get away from the narcissist because you can also lose contact with valuable family members, you can learn to deal with the narcissist .

But if you don’t have to, heed the advice of the experts and take steps to get rid of the narcissist ASAP!

A difficult task, I understand that, luckily you are not all alone. I explain how you can do this below.

Follow these 5 steps to break free from the narcissist

Step 1: Determine what it is doing to you right now

You may not fully understand why it is so important to break free from the narcissist.

Therefore, first determine what it actually does to you. Stop focusing on the narcissist, but look at yourself.

It has always been about him or her, you have discounted yourself as much as possible for this person, but that must be over now.

You are the most important!

How do you really feel about this behaviour, what has it done to your self-confidence, to the rest of your life and decide if that is how you want to move on.


Step 2: What are the advantages and disadvantages of contact with the narcissist

Determine the importance for contact with the narcissist by listing and weighing all the advantages and disadvantages.

For example, is it true that if you still want to have good contact with your mother, you have to take your narcissistic father for granted? Then that could be an important reason.

But keeping in touch with your narcissistic father simply because he’s your father doesn’t outweigh the fact that he makes you feel bad.

Or that he makes fun of you in front of his friends, or maybe even your friends. Weigh the pros and cons and you’ll usually conclude that the contact isn’t worth it.

Step 3: Take a long-term view

You now know what it does to you, and what the pros and cons are of contact with the narcissist.

So you’ve made the decision that it’s better for you to break free from the narcissist.

Then keep in mind that this will come with ups and downs, but that it does not mean that you have to fall back into old habits.

For example, write down the bad feeling you have right now. If you then tend to fall back into the old pattern, because you miss things about life with the narcissist.

Then take what you wrote down as a reminder of why you are no longer associating with the narcissist. Then you know why you did it and that it is necessary  to ignore the narcissist .

Many victims of narcissists fall for it anyway because they forget the bad things!

Step 4: Make a plan for yourself (separate from the narcissist)

Before you break away from the narcissist, it is good to think about what you want to do.

After years of dealing with the narcissist, you will face uncertain times.

And in uncertainty, the risk of falling back into old patterns is a lot greater. So make a plan for yourself about what you want to do.

For example, you may be looking for a new home or a new job.

Then you work out how you want to do that, so that you have something to work towards.

Smaller things such as taking a walk every week, taking up a sport, learning to cook or starting a course also provide something to hold on to in an emotional time.


Step 5: Detach yourself from the narcissist

You have now completed all the preparation steps. You now know why you want to break free. You’ve weighed up the pros and cons.

You now clearly know why you are doing it and reduce the risk of wanting to go back to the narcissist again.

And you have a plan of action for the period after you break free from the narcissist.

It’s time to execute the plan. It is not necessary to dwell extensively with the narcissist.

This one will do everything it can to act on your emotion and prevent you from leaving. It’s time to leave.

Choose for yourself and take your life back into your own hands!

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