Narcissistic personality disorder: effect on relationships

Ala Nurse. 2012;39(4):12-3; quiz 14.


Background: Personality disorders, by definition, affect relationships. Narcissistic Personality Disorder can negatively impact relationships in all areas of life: the workplace, the community, and the family. A clear understanding of the types and extent of interpersonal impairment can assist nurses in establishing therapeutic relationships with those diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Aim: The purpose of this activity is to examine the negative impact of Narcissistic Personality Disorder on interpersonal relationships.

Method: A review of literature connecting Narcissistic Personality Disorder to impairment in relationships.

Results: Research findings show that Narcissistic Personality Disorder symptoms and behaviors will negatively impact interpersonal relationships across all areas of life. CONCLUSIONS AND COMMENT: Nurses interact with diverse populations in a variety of settings. Establishment of a therapeutic relationship with individuals who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be aided by a clear understanding of the associated relationship issues.

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Employment / psychology
  • Family / psychology
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis
  • Personality Disorders / psychology*
  • Spouses / psychology