Can an ENFP be a narcissist? (Symptoms of Narcissism & MBTI)

In this brief guide, we will look at the question “Can an ENFP be a narcissist?” as well as other concepts related to ENFP, narcissism, and MBTI personality types.

Can an ENFP be a Narcissist?

Yes, an ENFP can be a narcissist because there are no particular rules about Myers Briggs personality type crossing over with narcissism, as they are independent things; Myers Briggs is based on Jungian cognitive functions and narcissism exists independently of those functions, therefore an ENFP can be a narcissist.

How a narcissistic ENFP might go about achieving the things they want to or how they may behave exactly may depend to some extent on their function stack, but for the most part, the ENFP personality may not affect narcissism very much.

Many people wonder if maybe ENFP tends to be more narcissistic than other MBTI personality types, as the statements that they tend to relate to sound more ego-centric than others, some examples of which may include:

  • “I do not mind being the centre of attention” 
  • “I’m convinced of the fact that I’m special”
  • “I’m unlike anyone else I know”
  • “People look to me for a leader”

Not all ENFPs may relate equally strongly to these statements, but in general, most ENFPs tend to agree that they feel very drawn to these conclusions, but does that mean all ENFPs are somewhat narcissistic? No, it does not.

Narcissism entails a variety of signs and symptoms, a lot of which are unlikely to be present in the healthy ENFP, as they tend to be people-oriented and have a good capacity for compassion and empathy, which may not necessarily be a strong suit of the typical narcissist.

If the ENFP were a narcissist, they are more likely to be a vulnerable narcissist, who may bristle at the slightest criticism and may not take kindly to failures or inability to do things.

ENFPs, if they had narcissistic traits, would also be likely to seek validation and attention from others. 

Grandiosity is unlikely in the ENFP due to the introverted feeling function which means that they are more likely to internalize their feelings of shame and doubt, instead of aiming it outward at the people and environment around them.

The narcissistic ENFP would also probably use their relationships with others to hide their core sense of shame, and even as they manipulate those around them they may grapple with this shame at their core.

Narcissism: Definition and Symptoms

Narcissism, or narcissistic personality disorder, is defined as “one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.”

The symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder according to the MayoClinic are as follows:

  • “Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration
  • Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerate achievements and talents
  • Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty, or the perfect mate
  • Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people
  • Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior
  • Expect special favours and unquestioning compliance with their expectations
  • Take advantage of others to get what they want
  • Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Be envious of others and believe others envy them
  • Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful, and pretentious
  • Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office”

The vulnerable narcissist, though this is not a clinical distinction yet and tends to exist mostly in literature, may have symptoms that look more like this:

  • “Become impatient or angry when they don’t receive special treatment
  • Have significant interpersonal problems and easily feel slighted
  • React with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make themselves appear superior
  • Have difficulty regulating emotions and behaviour.
  • Experience major problems dealing with stress and adapting to change
  • Feel depressed and moody because they fall short of perfection
  • Have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability, and humiliation”

Narcissism is a part of the cluster B of personality disorder in the diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM), which is a group that is characterized especially by interpersonal problems and emotionally unstable behaviour.

According to psychological research, there are 6 main types of narcissists, which are discussed below.

Types of Narcissists 

Toxic Narcissist

Toxic narcissism, as the name suggests, refers to someone who causes a lot of emotional troubles and actively hurts others around them.

A toxic narcissist may most likely be grandiose and make a lot of scenes and constantly try to draw attention to themselves, in the process also hurting those around them.

John Mayer, a Ph.D. clinical psychologist, talks about toxic narcissist saying that they are likely to “continually causes drama in others’ lives at the very least and causes pain and destruction at the very worst.”

Usually if one has a friend who tends to take up all their time and whose sob stories or success stories just never seem to leave any time for others to discuss theirs, they may be dealing with a toxic narcissist.

This kind of narcissist may also cause serious problems like getting people fired from their jobs or just throwing a wrench in their life plans somehow.

The Psychopathic Narcissist

A psychopathic narcissist is also known as a malignant narcissist, and this is likely to be one of the most dangerous of all personality disorder types, and chances of finding them in society are low, as they mostly tend to be fringe elements and may likely be criminals rather than active members of the society.

A psychopathic narcissist may also have machiavellian traits and be part of the dark triad, and it has been hypothesized that this kind of personality may be found in a lot of the cruel leaders in history, as well as those with dictatorial tendencies of any kind.

A psychopathic narcissist tends to be unstable and aggressive, and similar to other kinds of narcissists, these people will show no remorse for their actions.

According to Dr Mayer, this type of narcissism is usually found in serial killers.

Closet Narcissist

A closet narcissist may be more likely to be a vulnerable narcissist than a grandiose narcissist, meaning that their ego is still very fragile but they deal with it in slightly different ways.

“A closet narcissist is one who doesn’t inflict their personality upon others or society but firmly believes in the characteristics of narcissism,” says Dr. Mayer. 

The closet or vulnerable narcissist will, first of all, be extremely sensitive to any kind of criticism, and they may feel a sense of entitlement about things that they don’t receive or lose out on.

They may feel a great deal of anger as well and feel jealous and envious of those that achieve anything at all, even if it was something they did not necessarily want in the first place.

According to psychotherapist Alisa Ruby Bash, the closet narcissist tends to be more internalized than the other types as they are more vulnerable.

“They’re a bit more codependent,”  she says, “They often try to pretend that they’re really selfless, but like to associate themselves with someone that they admire and ride their coattails.”

Exhibitionist Narcissist

This may be a term for what is known as grandiose narcissism as well, and these are the kind of people generally categorized as narcissistic by the general public that does not necessarily know about the intricacies of narcissism.

the exhibitionist narcissist is explained by Dr. John Mayer as the following: “This is the narcissist who lets everyone around them know that they are narcissistic, they need to be in the spotlight and get uncomfortable when they’re not,” meaning that this type of narcissist may be characterized by the commonly recognized traits of haughtiness and arrogance that are almost trademark of this personality type.

Bullying Narcissist

These narcissists bully out of the simple drive that they feel small and unworthy on the inside and bullying may feel like an adequate release to them.

They may not necessarily score particularly high on typical narcissism tests, but because their bullying and horrible behaviour comes out of the same narcissistic injury as the others, they have been included under the types of narcissism.

Seducer Narcissist

These narcissists are incredibly manipulative in nature and usually do it because they need to have the comfort of knowing that they have someone around who accepts them, while at the same time they will not give them the devotion they need to.

Dr Mayer says that the seducer narcissist will “make you feel great about yourself just to ‘win’ you over as a sexual or love conquest,” and one might think of Regina George from the movie mean girls to get a somewhat accurate idea of what this type is like.

Which MBTI type is most likely to be a narcissist?

No matter which MBTI type we talk about, usually the turbulent variants of any MBTI personality type are more likely to be narcissists, as those individuals have a tendency to be more unstable and unhappy with themselves and most turbulent personality types, for example, ENFP-T, report feeling that they are not good enough.

Additionally, ESTP has been considered one of the types that are very likely to be narcissistic, due to their talents related to people and their ability to manipulate people as well as their need to achieve great things.

Other MBTI personality types that are likely to be narcissistic are ESTJ, ENFP, INTJ, and INTP, and the turbulent versions of these personalities are more likely to be narcissistic.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we looked at the question “Can an ENFP be a narcissist?” as well as other concepts related to ENFP, narcissism, and MBTI personality types. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can an ENFP be a Narcissist?

Which personality type is most likely to be a narcissist?

The personality type that is thought to be most likely to be a narcissist are INTJs, but this is not confirmed in any way.

INTj personality type is most likely seen as being a narcissist because of their rarity in society and them being highly focused and self-oriented individuals.

Can Enfp be manipulative?

Yes, ENFPs can be manipulative as they are very good at playing into the emotions of other people, and they may even use their own emotions to do so. 

ENFPs can be manipulative by using emotional or guilt manipulation to get what they want from others.

Can you tell a narcissist that they are narcissistic?

You can tell a narcissist that they are narcissistic if you have psychology or psychology-related degree and you are qualified to give a diagnosis because otherwise, you cannot be sure that they are a narcissist.

Most therapists would not recommend telling somebody “you’re a narcissist.” as it is rather pejorative in many ways.

Besides, telling a narcissist they are a narcissist is likely to have to effect whatsoever anyway, and if they are not they will be quite insulted.

Citations

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20366662

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.