Chances are you will meet a narcissistic person at least once in your live. Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, interpersonal exploitation, and lack of empathy. A lack of emotional empathy is not common for most of us. Therefore, you might wonder what a conversation with a narcissistic person looks like. Will they be able to understand how you feel? Will they empathize with you?
Emotional empathy is a vital ingredient for humanity, think about your daily interaction with your social contacts, the daily need for cooperation at your workplace and the need for friendships. As our everyday lives in today’s society are charged by stressful situations and interpersonal problems, lacking this vital ingredient can make living in a society more difficult. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how narcissistic people cope with this kind of stress.
In our study, we, a group of second year psychology students, hypothesized that the increased low affective-empathic understanding narcissists exhibit differentiates between grandiose and vulnerable types of narcissism. We further hypothesized that the differential influence of the types of narcissism on empathic understanding and selfishness relates to a variant trait predisposition for neuroticism. We expected high narcissism to relate to a low emotional empathy and for this effect to differ across their level of neuroticism. Findings, providing support of this hypothesis would provide a better understanding of narcissists behaviour in social contexts and in relation to others in their surroundings.