The word 'narcissist' is derived from Greek mythology, where Narcissus was a figure who fell in love with his own reflection. In modern terms, a narcissist is an individual characterised by Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), a mental health condition marked by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, an insatiable need for admiration, a lack of empathy for others, and inability to feel love, guilt or remorse.
"People with NPD often exhibit an exaggerated sense of self-importance, believing they are unique and deserving of special treatment," says psychotherapist Dr Karen Philip.
Watch: 10 Signs Your Parent Is A Narcissist. Post continues below.
"They may fantasise about unlimited success, power, beauty, or ideal love. They truly believe they are better than others."
What makes them so destructive, is that they use others – typically the people who love them or are vulnerable to them – to drive themselves further.