What is a Somatic Narcissist (5 Signs to Look Out For)?

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Whether they have narcissistic tendencies or a full-blown personality disorder, you will recognize a narcissist by an inflated self-image, excessive feelings of entitlement and self-importance, a lack of empathy, and an inability to tolerate criticism. 

However, not every narcissist is the same. Knowing the different kinds of narcissism can help you deal with narcissists in your life, whether they are your partner, a family member, or that annoying person at work.

What is a Somatic Narcissist?

Somatic narcissists are obsessed with their bodies and health because they believe their value is based on appearance. Their sense of entitlement comes from the fact that they think they look better than everyone else.

Somatic narcissists spend a lot of time and money on their appearance. Their identity and security depend on the approval of their physical and sexual attractiveness, so they often turn to sex for validation, using sexual partners as their narcissistic supply. 

Like other types of narcissists, somatic narcissists put their own needs ahead of the needs of others. A somatic narcissist frequently criticizes other people’s appearance because they feel more attractive and physically fit than them. At the same time, they are intolerant of criticism and may become defensive or aggressive in response to it because it makes them feel ashamed. 

Cerebral Narcissist vs. Somatic Narcissist: What’s the Difference

It’s difficult to distinguish between different narcissist types because a person can shift from one to another or exhibit symptoms of multiple narcissist types simultaneously. Still, experts believe there are two types of narcissists: cerebral and somatic. 

Cerebral narcissists gain their sense of importance and superiority from their intellect. They are arrogant know-it-alls who use their intelligence, education, and knowledge (whether natural or fake) to control others and get admiration. Cerebral narcissists believe they are more intelligent than everyone else, so they mistreat others and put them down. 

So, the cerebral narcissist’s sense of grandiosity revolves around their intellect. In contrast, somatic narcissists’ sense of entitlement and superiority stems from their physical appearance.

5 Signs of a Somatic Narcissist

Different sorts of narcissists may exhibit different behaviors or employ different manipulative strategies to gain and keep power in their relationships. To successfully navigate your relationship with a somatic narcissist, you must first understand what you’re up against. So, here are 5 signs of a somatic narcissist to look out for.

1) They are Obsessed with Their Appearance

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Somatic narcissists are typically good-looking. They are well aware of this and take pride in their appearance. However, it is much more than that. Somatic narcissists are preoccupied with their looks and may constantly check their reflection in every mirror they pass by. To keep their physical attractiveness, somatic narcissists may engage in grueling exercise routines and restrict their food consumption. 

To sum up, a somatic narcissist’s obsession with body appearance extends well beyond self-care and wellness to dictate their self-worth.

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2) Hypersexuality

Somatic narcissists feel valuable when they are sexually desirable. It’s all about sex and physical attractiveness in a relationship with a somatic narcissist. They typically develop relationships with individuals considered attractive by society’s standards. Still, sex is not associated with emotional intimacy or satisfaction for somatic narcissists but rather with their performance. For example, a somatic narcissist might use sexual partners or engage in ongoing adultery to obtain supply and feel better about themselves.

Their relationships lack emotional depth as they lack empathy and struggle to connect with others. Instead, somatic narcissists usually use their partners as objects to satisfy themselves.

3) They’re Self-Absorbed

Somatic narcissists think highly of themselves and believe they are better than everyone else. It’s all about them. They are obsessed with their appearance, believing themselves to be the personification of beauty, so they demand the admiration and attention of everyone they meet. Somatic narcissists’ social media profiles are typically full of photos that show off their perfectly styled outfits, glowing skin, and lawless figure.

They frequently dominate conversations by telling anecdotes about themselves and their accomplishments. When someone else attempts to share their stories, they redirect the conversation to themselves.

4) They Use Triangulation

Triangulation is a tactic that somatic narcissists use to manipulate and exert control over others. They create a rivalry among people in their lives to create jealousy, competition, and conflicts. They will make people compete for attention and fuel their need for narcissistic supply this way.

5) They are Extremely Vain

Somatic narcissists are arrogant and frequently react negatively when they do not receive the attention and praise they believe they are entitled. They invest enormous time, money, and effort in clothing, grooming, and fitness to get attention and validation.

How to Deal with a Somatic Narcissist

The best way to deal with a somatic narcissist is to set firm boundaries to protect your self-esteem and well-being. Keep interactions brief, focus on neutral topics in conversations with them, unfollow them on social media, and limit discussions about appearance and achievements. A narcissist will try to cross your boundaries and undermine your self-confidence, but try not to let your emotions get in the way.

Self-care should be your top priority. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to a mental health professional.

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Protecting Yourself from Somatic Narcissism

Your relationship with a somatic narcissist can be exhausting due to their constant need for attention, obsession with their looks, and inability to connect with people genuinely.

However, you do not have to go through it alone. Working with a qualified life coach may help you learn about the many types of narcissistic personality disorder, better understand how interactions with a narcissist might affect your life, and protect yourself.

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Kamini Wood

Kamini Wood

Kamini Wood is a Certified Life Coach, and best-selling author. Her mission is to empower high-performing adults and teens to become resilient self-leaders by reducing stress and anxiety, overcoming imposter syndrome, working through trauma, and re-discovering their AuthenticMe®.

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My name is Kamini Wood, and I’m here to accompany you on your journey toward understanding yourself on a deeper level so can create the life you want personally and professionally. It’s time to embrace your AuthenticMe ™