Passive aggressive vs. Narcissism? Are they overlapping?

There are a lot of symptoms in common between those two personality disorders. So, could they be overlapping?

What's the difference between them?


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  • Passive-aggressive personality disorder:

    A pervasive pattern of negativistic attitudes and passive resistance to demands for adequate performance, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicted by four (or more) of the following:

    1. passively resists fulfilling routine social and occupational tasks

    2. complains of being misunderstood and unappreciated by others

    3. is sullen and argumentative

    4. unreasonably criticizes and scorns authority

    5. expresses envy and resentment toward those apparently more fortunate

    6. voices exaggerated and persistent complaints of personal misfortune

    7. alternates between hostile defiance and contrition

    Does not occur exclusively during major depressive episodes and is not better accounted for by dysthymic disorder.

    Narcissistic personality disorder:

    A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

    1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents,

    expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

    2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

    3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

    4. Requires excessive admiration

    5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

    6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

    7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

    8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her

    9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

    I'd say the two are pretty different.

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      I know the symptoms :D Could you explain the difference? link

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      Narcissists are perfectly capable of proactive behaviors. Narcissists can, and often do, put in significant work into achieving their goals. However, they expect greater results than what they generally can get. A narcissist may complain about how everyone/the world/life is so unfair - but they will also take actions to make their lives better.

      In a nutshell - does the person take action. Are they capable of being proactive? That is the main difference in the outward symptoms.

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      He is proactive, yes. Good point :)