Just become you like to take selfies doesn’t make you an egomaniac – a true egomaniac has a psychological disorder that makes him believe he is the greatest, most important person in the world. – vocabulary.com
The remaining part of the definition is too good to pass up, so we won’t.
You can also use the word to describe someone you know who’s a self-centered jerk, though. Egomaniac, coined in the early 19th century, combines ego, “the self,” and maniac, from the Greek mania, “madness or frenzy.”
The phrase “You can also use the word to describe someone you know who’s a self-centered jerk” likely isn’t groundbreaking to people who has called someone an egomaniac. (The informality of the quotation, followed by a history of the word’s origin caused this writer to do a double take, however.)
Ahem, getting back to the article’s premise.
Egomania is closely related to another abnormal personality type we’ve discussed before: Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). There are, however, some significant differences between egotism (also called egomania), NPD, and other conditions. Why is this important to mention? Because mislabeling someone can cause serious harm, especially to individuals already in pain.
For example, an individual experiencing clinical depression may appear overly self-involved, but this behavior is rooted in a different neurobiological cause (they can’t escape hopeless thoughts, speaking out in desperation hoping someone will help.) Depression, in any form, is a serious condition that demands treatment.
Egotism, on the other hand, often entails unabashedly vocal self-centeredness; NPD often fits this description, as well. Furthermore, it’s incredibly rare for this type of person to seek help.
With that in mind, we present ten common behaviors of egomania:
1. Extreme self-centeredness
Unsurprisingly, egomaniacs are highly self-absorbed individuals. They care for no one else’s wants or needs – the notion simply never crosses their mind.
Most people are “selfish” to a degree, in that they seek to first take care of themselves, but this is a natural way of thinking. An inability to look after oneself – or at least meet one’s basic needs – makes it tough to help anyone else.
Egotists never seek to help anyone, regardless of their circumstances.
2. Intense cruelty
The history books are full of megalomaniacal egotists who exhibited extreme cruelty: Hitler, Stalin, Hussein, and so on. Granted, few if any egotists will ever reach such extreme levels of inhumanity.
That said, egotists aren’t particularly concerned with the welfare (much less the feelings) of others. As such, it’s quite commonplace for them to exhibit irrational malice.
3. Naive self-confidence
Charles Darwin, who infamously discovered the evolutionary theory, once said: “Ignorance frequently begets more confidence than does knowledge.”
Self-confidence is a wonderful attribute to have, lest such confidence originates from some misplaced sense of superiority rather than earned – which is often the case with egomaniacs.
4. Lack of empathy
As mentioned, egotists aren’t known for being considerate towards the feelings of others. Likewise, egotists do not contemplate other’s thoughts or opinions at odds with theirs. An egotist will demonstrate this absence of empathy in conversation; where they’ll disengage at the slightest notion of opposition and without explanation.
5. Sense of entitlement
An egomaniacs sense of entitlement falls in line with that of a narcissist’s. Egomaniacal narcissists misguidedly believe that their needs and wants require “favorable treatment;” any other reaction – or in some cases, non-reaction – from those involved are met with scorn and rage.
6. Lack of maturity
Sigmund Freud, in addition to a majority of psychologists and psychiatrists, believes that humans are born in a state of egomania. One expert states “Infants are primarily concerned with having their own needs met, and very young babies may not be aware of others (i.e. omnipotence) …(young) children eventually develop empathy and interest in others gradually over time.”
Egotists do not appear to undergo these (and other) psychological developments, which seems to correlate with their immature mindset.
7. Calculating and cold
Most egomaniacs possess traits similar to those with NPD. One particular attribute stands out: deliberate and calculated manipulation. Egomaniacs that fit his description perceive others as nothing more than a means to an end. They’ll utilize whatever is at their disposal to get what they “deserve” before quickly discarding the person without remorse.
8. Ill temperament
Because of the egomaniac’s immature mindset, they generally possess undeveloped emotional intelligence. Their impulsivity, in conjunction with a limited capability to manage or adjust their emotions, oftentimes manifests into verbal fits and tirades. Egotists may become very aggressive, even physically.
9. Always alone
Egotists have such a high sense of self-importance that they perceive others to be a waste of time. If one were to browse the Facebook page of a suspected egomaniac, it’s highly likely there’d be very few (if any) photos with other people. At the workplace, it’s common to see these folks distance themselves using whatever means necessary.
10. A lust for extravagance
Not everyone who basks in luxury is an egomaniac – but a good number are. The strange thing about an egotists affinity for the extravagant is that they get less thrill from the actual item than from the attention it garners.
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Collautt, C., Ph.D. (2016). Selfishness: Self-centered v. Ego-centered. Retrieved May 27, 2017, from https://catherinecollautt.com/blog/selfishness-self-centered-v-ego-centered/
GoodTherapy.org (2015, June 08). Egomania. Retrieved May 27, 2017, from http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/egomania
New York Post. (2010, May 23). Why losers have delusions of grandeur. Retrieved May 27, 2017, from http://nypost.com/2010/05/23/why-losers-have-delusions-of-grandeur/
Vocabulary.com. Dictionary definition – egomaniac. Retrieved May 27, 2017, from https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/egomaniac
WebMD. (2016, April 09). Symptoms of Depression. Retrieved May 27, 2017, from http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/detecting-depression#1