Histrionic and narcissistic personality disorders are two very different types of personality disorders that affect a person’s thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.
While histrionic individuals tend to be highly dramatic and attention-seeking, narcissists are often emotionally cold and self-absorbed.
If you are dealing with someone who has either of these personality disorders, it is important to understand the key differences between them and how they affect your interactions.
What is the difference between histrionic and narcissistic?
There are several key differences that help experts identify histrionic and narcissistic personality disorders. Some of the main ones include the traits below.
Empathy is one of the key differences between histrionic and narcissistic individuals.
While narcissists are often emotionally cold and self-absorbed, histrionics tend to be highly empathetic and sensitive to the feelings of others.
This can make it difficult for them to form authentic connections with others, as they often focus more on appearing likable than truly connecting with others.
However, this also means that they are often better at picking up on the emotions and needs of those around them, which can make them skilled at reading social cues and understanding what others need from them in different situations.
Focus on image
Another key difference between histrionic and narcissistic individuals is their focus on the image.
Narcissists are often more concerned with presenting themselves in a positive light to others, which can lead to them putting up facades or manipulating others to get what they want.
Histrionics, however, tend to be more focused on the impressions they create with others, as they often rely on their ability to appear likable and desirable to get what they want.
While this can make them skilled at creating a positive first impression, it also means that they are often more concerned with superficial relationships than building authentic connections.
Histrionics and narcissists also differ in their emotional regulation skills.
Narcissists tend to be more prone to experiencing strong emotions, but they are not typically good at managing those emotions once they arise.
This can lead them to lash out or engage in other dysfunctional behaviors when dealing with stress or negative feelings, as they lack the tools needed for emotional regulation.
Meanwhile, histrionics have more control over their emotions, but they also experience them more intensely than others.
This can make it difficult for them to manage their feelings effectively in certain situations, which may lead to impulsive or maladaptive behaviors when under pressure.
What causes histrionic and narcissistic?
Causes of histrionic personality disorder
The specific reason for histrionic personality disorder is not currently known, though the condition has been linked to several possible risk factors, which include:
- Genetics: Histrionic personality disorder has been linked to genetic factors, though more research is needed in this area.
- Environment: Certain environments or experiences may also increase your risk of developing a histrionic personality disorder. These could include childhood abuse or neglect, as well as exposure to other traumatic events later in life.
Causes of narcissistic personality disorder
The exact cause of narcissistic personality disorder is not known, but research suggests that both genetic and environmental factors may be involved.
Some possible risk factors for this condition include:
- Family history: Studies have found a strong correlation between narcissism in parents and their children, suggesting that genetics may play a role in the development of the condition.
- Exposure to trauma: Narcissistic individuals are often more prone to traumatic events, either due to the fact that they have heightened tendencies towards risk-taking and impulsive behaviors or because their underlying personality traits make them more likely to encounter difficult circumstances.
Based on the research, it seems likely that a combination of both genetic and environmental factors is involved in the development of histrionic and narcissistic personality disorders.
Further research is needed to better understand these complex interactions, as well as to explore potential treatment options for individuals with these conditions.
There are many similarities between histrionic and narcissistic personality disorders, including common underlying traits such as a strong focus on the self, a tendency toward impulsivity, and difficulty regulating emotions.
Despite these similarities, however, histrionics and narcissists also have important differences in their behaviors and emotional regulation skills.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be dealing with one of these conditions, it may be helpful to seek professional help for proper diagnosis and treatment.