SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: “Narcissists, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Egomaniacs.”


Just the other day a friend was eavesdropping on a conversation.

Later he messaged to ask this question:

I saw someone referred to as an egomaniac. I started thinking about it, so can you ask Shane whether a narcissist and an egomaniac are the same thing?

They’re certainly close enough for rock and roll.

Narcissist: a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish.

Egomaniac: psychologically abnormal egotism (excessive and objectionable reference to oneself in conversation or writing; conceit; boastfulness … selfishness; self-centeredness; egoism).

The lines are blurry.

Some of the traits of narcissism –such as inflated sense of self-confidence, arrogance and egocentrism are frequently attributed to people with a “big ego”. But how can you tell if a person “just has a big ego” or if that person has crossed the line into the realm of narcissism?

There are popular usages and clinical applications.

The condition (egomania) is psychologically abnormal. The term egomania is often used by laypersons in a pejorative fashion to describe an individual who is intolerably self-centred. The clinical condition that most resembles the popular conception of egomania is narcissistic personality disorder.

Seeing as “egomaniac” was the specific reference prompting this digression …


An egomaniac is a person who’s obsessively self-absorbed. An egomaniac might only take photos of himself — never of another person.

Just because you like to take selfies doesn’t make you an egomaniac — a true egomaniac has a psychological disorder that makes him believe that he is the greatest, most important person in the world. You can also use the word to describe someone you know who’s a self-centered jerk, though. Egomaniac, coined in the early 19th century, combines ego, “the self,” or in Latin, I, and maniac, from the Greek mania, “madness or frenzy.”

Definitions of egomaniac

1 n an abnormally egotistical person

Type of: egoist, egotist, swellhead, a conceited and self-centered person

In the end, we’ve little choice but to fall back on the words of Justice Potter Stewart, paraphrased: I know them when I see them, so here are ten visual examples plucked at random from the blog archives. Can you even imagine what it would be like to work for a narcissist or an egomaniac — or both?

The mind fairly boggles.