Introduction | What is a personality disorder? | Narcissistic Personality Disorder
How to recognize a narcissist | Traits discussed | "Now We Are Six" | "It's a Good Life"
What's normal? | Further reading | Attachment | Narcissus in art | Aftermath | Beyond | Music
What's normal?

What's normal varies from time to time and from place to place. There are fads in psychology as well as everywhere else, and only time will tell what's just a passing fad and what's actual progress. What I mean by normal is this: capable of loving, working, and adapting constructively to changing conditions and different people.

"Distinctions between Self-Esteem and Narcissism: Implications for Practice" by Lilian G. Katz. This is specifically about primary education but is of general interest. Interesting and well-written (no jargon). Bibliography.

The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love, and Act the Way You Do by John M. Oldham, M.D., and Lois B. Morris [Bantam, 1995] describes fourteen different normal personality "styles" and their companion personality disorders. Descriptions are based on the diagnostic criteria of DSM-III-R and DSM-IV. The book contains a questionnaire for determining your own personality style, and it also has advice about making the most of your style, managing your weaknesses, getting along with people with different personality styles, and also how to cope with people with personality disorders.

You can find brief descriptions of the personality styles, along with questionnaires, here. Here's another quiz, only 20 questions on this one, most of them similar to the Oldham questionnaire: Online Screening for Personality Disorders.
[Here's an article, originally in Harper's, February 1997, reflecting on DSM-IV's tendency to pathologize everything: "The Encyclopedia of Insanity" by L. J. Davis.]

Personality Style Personality Disorder
Conscientious
  "The Right Stuff"
Self-Confident
  "Star Quality"
Devoted
  "The Good Mate"
Dramatic
  "The Life of the Party"
Vigilant
  "The Survivor"
Sensitive
  "The Homebody"
Leisurely
  "California Dreaming"
Adventurous
  "The Challenger"
Idiosyncratic
  "The Different Drummer"
Solitary
  "The Loner"
Mercurial
  "Fire and Ice"
Self-Sacrificing
  "The Altruist"
Aggressive
  "Top Dog"
Serious
  "The Realist"
Obsessive-Compulsive

Narcissistic

Dependent

Histrionic

Paranoid

Avoidant

Passive-Aggressive

Antisocial

Schizotypal

Schizoid

Borderline

Self-Defeating

Sadistic

Depressive

A different perspective on normal personality patterns may be found at Myers-Briggs FAQ from alt.psychology.personality and Keirsey Temperament Sorter. See also "Forces in Human Development" by Jerome Kagan.

[For the light-hearted, some amusing novelties: Hershey's Miniatures Personality Indicator, Personality Test, Symbol Test, The Lucky Charms Test, The Lipstick Personality Test, What Breed of Dog Are You? More tests, both serious and silly, at Barbarian's Online Tests Page.]

Introduction | What is a personality disorder? | Narcissistic Personality Disorder
How to recognize a narcissist | Traits discussed | "Now We Are Six" | "It's a Good Life"
What's normal? | Attachment | Narcissus in art | Aftermath | Beyond | Music
Feel free to drop me a note with questions or comments.
©1998-2004 by Joanna M. Ashmun.