Is Narcissism Genetic?

Is Narcissism Genetic? This has been a trending question on the news as many discussions, debates, and claims have been made regarding this question. So what is the truth?

The exact cause of narcissistic personality disorder is yet unknown, but it is believed that various factors do play a crucial role in inclining people towards narcissistic traits. Narcissism is believed to be the result of various factors including genetic factors, environmental factors, heredity, parenting style, and certain brain mutations.

Narcissistic Disorder cannot be cured completely, but it can be controlled with effective therapies and treatments.

Defining Narcissism – What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

NPD(Narcissistic Personality Disorder) or Narcissism portrays some common toxic traits in an intensified state than others. In psychological terms, narcissists who suffer from NPD(Narcissistic Personality Disorder) portray these emotions and traits in a greater magnitude than others. These emotions include a boosted sense of self-importance, inflated self-worth, and a constant need for admiration, adoration, and validation.

Narcissists are often characterized by their boosted sense of self-importance, self-pride, and self-needs. With a narcissist, everything is just about them. Narcissists thrive upon the attention, adoration, and validation that they receive from others, and what makes them distinguished from others is the way they think and the way they behave, which is totally selfish and mean.

If you are dating a narcissist, or have a narcissistic family member then be ready to be surprised by some of their unusual, surprising, or strange behavior patterns. This outlandish behavior may be the cause of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

If a person is diagnosed with NPD(Narcissistic Personality Disorder), then that may be responsible for many behavioral and personality changes for a narcissistic person. So coming across strange behaviors of a narcissistic person would not come to you as a surprise. When you live with a narcissist, you have to be ready to expect the unexpected sometimes.

Symptoms or Signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

These traits may vary for some individuals, thus here mentioned signs can be generalized for majorly all narcissists in all.

Manipulation – Manipulation is a narcissist’s go-to tactic while dealing with others in order to get what they need.

Grandiosity – Narcissists have a boosted sense of self-importance and thus showing off their achievements, talents, plus points, looks and much more becomes their regular ritual.

Lack of Accountability – Narcissists may never take responsibility for their actions even though their actions may cause distress and harm to others. They use the technique called blameshifting to distract everyone and thus ditch their wrongdoings.

Entitlement – Narcissists believe that they are made for special treatment and deserve all the privileges as they are better than others.

Envy – Narcissists easily get jealous of other people, their looks, their achievements, and much more.

Exploitative tendencies – Narcissists can exploit others without giving it a second thought and without even trying to know the consequences of their actions.

Arrogance – Narcissists are filled with arrogance and their attitude towards others says it all.

Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

There are not many rooted answers for the causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but according to many research and analyses provided by psychologists, therapists, mental health and psychology experts, there are a few known key factors that can be the causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

  • Heredity
  • Brain Mutations
  • Genetic transmission from parents to offspring
  • Parenting flaws
  • Acquiring through some arbitrator like friends, partner, or anyone who is influential enough in life

Often it is observed by mental health experts, that the children raised by narcissists have childhood trauma, which affects their upbringing and also makes them the same or even more narcissistic than their parents. Children learn from their parents, so parents would only be passing on narcissistic traits to their children as an inherent quality knowingly or unknowingly, willingly or unwillingly, by choice or without choice.

Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder Genetic? – Is Narcissism Genetic?

Genetics do play a role in the development and maturing of narcissistic personality disorder. Though this is one of the factors that influence narcissism, other factors also play a role in the development of narcissism.

Having a narcissistic member around increases the risk of developing NPD though. This family member may impact a person in developing NPD, and thus this can contribute in terms of environmental factors(If the family member is a close family member like family) and heredity factors.

To categorize something as being heredity refers to the ability to pass down through generations from parents to their children and so on. Heredity also confines something that is passed down biologically from parent to child through DNA. This includes traits, mannerisms, and traditions.

Children learn from their parents, so parents would only be passing on narcissistic traits to their children as an inherent quality and in heredity knowingly or unknowingly, willingly or unwillingly, by choice or without choice. Unless they are guided toward what is right, instead of toxic behavior, there is no way a child will not learn all those narcissistic traits possessed by their Narcissistic parents.

What does the research say about Narcissism and Inheritance?

A study shows that certain narcissistic traits like entitlement and grandiosity could come as inheritance as they are the major aspects of Narcissistic personality disorder.

Some research also suggests that NPD is more likely to be hereditary or impacted by genetics than other personality disorders.

Other Possible Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

There can be different factors that may contribute to narcissism, and thus narcissism is not just passed down in heredity but other factors too.


Parenting style can deeply impact a child’s development. Overprotective parents, Neglecting Parents, Helicopter Parenting, and Snowplow Parenting can leave a child feeling that their parents are either too involved in the child’s life or the child is completely ignored and neglected by the parents. These feelings can develop into NPD.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors include other family members, interactions within the school, and extracurricular activities. Some cultural factors may also contribute to the development of narcissistic personality disorder, like a surge in social media usage, the depiction of narcissistic behavior in fiction and films, or the narcissistic traits portrayed by celebrities.


Brain composition plays a vital role in Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as Brain chemistry and brain mutations can be deeply affected. This even affects the structural development of the brain. The cerebral cortex is responsible for translating sensory data into pleasant and unpleasant emotional responses.

The brains of people with NPD when specifically studied, suggested that such people have lower levels of grey matter, in the insular cortex a part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for efficient and effective functioning of the brain activities.

Can Someone Become A Narcissist Later In Life?

A thorough and competitive study is to be undertaken that may disclose the course of narcissistic personality disorder in people beginning from middle age to older ages, to gain a clearer perception to find the exact connection between aging and narcissism.

There are positive chances of people suffering from narcissistic personality disorder in the later stages of life or the golden years.

While it may be difficult to state clearly whether people are inclined to narcissism with growing age. It is also difficult to say whether narcissists mellow done or grow more toxic with the aging process. The relationship between aging and narcissism is vague and complicated.

It is important to take note of the fact that not all old people or aging people gain narcissistic traits while they age, but there are many possibilities if they are treated poorly by their families.

How is Narcissistic Personality Disorder Diagnosed?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is typically diagnosed by mental health experts that may include a licensed therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist. The experts do this by talking to the individual, knowing their thoughts and feelings, history, and emotional well-being.

This can also include other people’s viewpoints which may include family members, friends, or someone who has closely observed the person. To receive a diagnosis, an individual must display any of the five traits of the following traits,

  • Lack of Empathy
  • Need for excessive admiration
  • Using others to gain personal benefits
  • Overly inflated sense of self-importance
  • Arrogance
  • Feelings of Entitlement
  • Fantasizing power, success, love, or being more attractive than others
  • Feeling superior to other

Behavioral Traits of Narcissists

Some behavioral traits of narcissists are as follows,

  • They use manipulation in all situations where they feel they are losing control
  • They always see the negatives first
  • They are selfish and inconsiderate
  • Narcissists lack sensitivity and empathy.
  • Have uncommon expectations and unusual fantasies
  • You are always the wrongdoer and not them in their eyes
  • They are almost incapable of praising others or giving enough credit to others
  • They act dramatically over trivial matters
  • There is no winning against them in an argument
  • They are highly competitive even with someone who is incomparable
  • They cheat innumerable
  • Have unhealthy relationships.
  • Have regular mood swings.
  • They use past grudges as their trump card
  • They never provide straight answers

Final Thoughts

Narcisistic Personality Diorder is difficult to be diagnossded. This disorder comes with varied contributing factors. Narcissism cannot be cured, but the degree of narcissism can be hauled down by seeking therapies and getting healed emotionally and psychologically.

Ella Carrillo

Ella Carrillo

Hey Reader, I am Ella, an Online and Offline Therapist holding an experience of 6 years in this field. From Relationship, Depression, and Personality Disorder to Narcissistic problems, I have helped a lot of people find their solutions. Upon gathering a number of common problems that people face, I decided to put the information on this blog so that anyone can get their answers easily.

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