Dominant vs. Narcissistic Personalities: Understanding the Difference

Dominant vs. Narcissistic Personalities: Understanding the Difference

Do you know the difference between a dominant personality and a socially narcissistic one? While both types of individuals may exhibit strong traits, there are important distinctions to be made. Empathy, ego, manipulation, criticism, relationships, ownership, and even origins all play a role in understanding these complex personalities.

As someone with a dominant personality, I have a unique perspective on both traits, and in this series, we'll explore the nuances of each type and what they mean for your personal and professional life. The point here is to help you unravel this complex web. You should have a greater understanding from which you can make your own moral judgements on either.



A dominant personality can be assertive and confident, but they also have empathy for others. They understand the importance of considering others' feelings and perspectives, and they are able to connect with others on an emotional level. Keep in mind dominant personalities tend to express this differently. Narcissists, on the other hand, have a limited capacity for empathy and often lack concern for the feelings and needs of others.



Dominant personalities have a healthy sense of self-confidence, but they are not necessarily preoccupied with their own self-importance or superiority. Typically, dominants may choose not to do certain tasks because they can. Yet, in a pinch, they’ll often break to make sure things function properly. These people will tell your artwork has technical flaws and applaud the correction. They have the ability to set aside their pride for the greater good or their own goals. Narcissists, however, have an inflated sense of self-importance and believe they are entitled to special treatment and admiration. These people will point out the flaws in your artwork and give you advice to ruin it.  They would literally call a Da Vinci work pedestrian cause they once sharted $1 acrylic paint on Michael’s clearance canvas.



Dominant personalities may use assertiveness and persuasion to influence others, but they do not typically resort to manipulative tactics or emotional abuse. Typically, these people are direct communicators. They may use their intimate knowledge of you to avoid resistance from you but will otherwise let you be and feel you. Narcissists, however, readily use manipulation and abuse to control and exploit others for their own benefit. A conversation with a narcissist is never straight forward, they always want something from you. You are a sponge to wring.



A dominant personality can handle criticism and feedback and may even seek it out to improve themselves. Narcissists, however, cannot handle any criticism or negative feedback, and they may react with anger, defensiveness, or even aggression.



Dominant personalities may have healthy, mutually beneficial relationships with others. They understand the importance of give-and-take and are willing to compromise and collaborate. They typically have strong boundaries and ensure violations are addressed. Narcissists, however, may have shallow, one-sided relationships that are based on power and control.



Dominants see some people and all their objects as tools to utilize for goals and mutual benefits. This is how we get to homesteads in history. Narcissists always see everyone and everything as wholly owned possessions, or at least they can warp their reality to become that at any moment. This, kids, is how we get slavery. They do value their possessions for the value they feel in them.


Why they do it:

Dominant personalities typically just are. You see little kids destined to be leaders from the moment they become social. This is simply a natural human thing that has helped us survive and dominate the planet. Narcissism is also natural despite it being antisocial. It’s how every human comes into this world, and everyone loves babies. Civility starts a learned or absorbed skill.


My thoughts:

As a dominant personality I despise and respect narcissists/people who use the traits. It is easy to do and shows weakness/a lack of creativity but the skill to be able to avoid negative feelings when the world has gone to shit cannot be undervalued for survival. That’s how Ned Stark lost his head in Game of Thrones. It can cause issues with people who’re more psychologically vulnerable, but it obviously exists for a reason, despite my feelings. Fairness is a luxury. Even today, many people don’t feel like they have or want to accept it.

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