PTypes - Personality Types
PTypes Neurotic Solutions Schizoid

Neurotic Solution: Compensatory Narcissistic Type 

Compensatory Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Inventive Personality Type
Expansive Solution 



Neurotic Needs

Compulsive Attachments

Compulsive Aversions

  • admiration
  • recognition
  • approval
  • attention
  • perfection
  • always being at one's best
  • identity
  • image
  • status
  • prestige
  • success
  • triumph
  • greatness
  • genius
  • stardom
  • fame
  • glory
  • wealth
  • inventiveness
  • cleverness
  • mockery
  • innovativeness
  • imagination
  • intellectualism
  • romanticism
  • stylishness
  • independence
  • being one-up
  • high hopes
  • high expectations
  • disfavor
  • obscurity
  • anonymity
  • failure
  • role confusion
  • anybody getting ahead of you
  • poverty
  • being thought inferior
  • being low in the pecking order
  • being one-down
  • dependence
  • imperfection
  • poor performance
  • negative reactions from others
  • critical judgments of others
  • evaluation by others
  • disapproval
  • being inadequate
  • being deficient
  • poor health
  • low hopes
  • low expectations





Neurotic Solution


Unstable, "overtly narcissistic behaviors [that] derive from an underlying sense of insecurity and weakness rather than from genuine feelings of self-confidence and high self-esteem" (Millon). 




  • seeks to create an illusion of superiority and to build up an image of high self-worth (Millon);


  • has disturbances in the capacity for empathy (Forman);


  • strives for recognition and prestige to compensate for the lack of a feeling of self-worth;


  • may acquire a deprecatory attitude in which the achievements of others are ridiculed and degraded (Millon);


  • has persistent aspirations for glory and status (Millon);


  • has a tendency to exaggerate and boast (Millon);


  • is sensitive to how others react to him or her, watches and listens carefully for critical judgment, and feels slighted by disapproval (Millon);


  • is prone to feel shamed and humiliated and especially hyper-anxious and vulnerable to the judgments of others (Millon);


  • covers up a sense of inadequacy and deficiency with pseudo-arrogance and pseudo-grandiosity (Millon);


  • has a tendency to periodic hypochondria (Forman);


  • alternates between feelings of emptiness and deadness and states of excitement and excess energy (Forman);


  • entertains fantasies of greatness, constantly striving for perfection, genius, or stardom (Forman);


  • has a history of searching for an idealized partner and has an intense need for affirmation and confirmation in relationships (Forman);


  • frequently entertains a wishful, exaggerated, and unrealistic concept of himself or herself which he or she can't possibly measure up to (Reich);


  • produces (too quickly) work not up to the level of his or her abilities because of an overwhelmingly strong need for the immediate gratification of success (Reich);


  • is touchy, quick to take offense at the slightest provocation, continually anticipating attack and danger, reacting with anger and fantasies of revenge when he or she feels frustrated in his or her need for constant admiration (Reich);


  • is self-conscious, due to a dependence on approval from others (Reich);


  • suffers regularly from repetitive oscillations of self-esteem (Reich);


  • seeks to undo feelings of inadequacy by forcing everyone's attention and admiration upon himself or herself (Reich);


  • may react with self-contempt and depression to the lack of fulfillment of his or her grandiose expectations (Riso).





 Neurotic Beliefs and Attitudes 

Rationalizations and reinforcements of the compulsive attachments and aversions and the neurotic solution that they engender.

  • I will accept nothing less than perfection from myself (Stavola, 35).
  • In order to be loved and successful, I must be perfect (35).
  • I must be loved (36).
  • I have so many faults that I must be approved of in other ways (36).
  • I need to please others to gain their acceptance (Donaldson, 195).
  • I should be able to dominate life (Fitzgerald, 69).
  • It is very important to get recognition, praise, and admiration (Beck, Freeman, and associates, 361).
  • Other people don't deserve the admiration or riches that they get (362).
  • I've got to try hard to be at my best at all times (Donaldson, 192).
  • I need to be necessary to people (Stavola, 75).
  • I have an immense desire to give people a sense of security (75).
  • I must be a personage, one who is never thought of apart from what he's done (75).
  • I am constantly in search of the best forms to guide and control life (75).
  • I must transform the world around me to confirm my own personality (75).
  • I have an all-consuming need for identity (137).



Idealized Image

The particular "solution" is idealized (Horney, 1950, pg. 22)



  1. Status. Individuals of the Inventive personality type are highly competitive in pursuit of success and prestige. They want very much to be outstanding in some way (Riso, 103), to gain recognition, even fame and glory.

  2. Idealized self-image. They develop highly idealized images of themselves with which they identify and which they love. The person is his idealized self and seems to adore it (Glad, 494).

  3. Subdued demeanor. Persons of the Inventive type are energetic, but phlegmatic in temperament. "They can be quiet, rather private, subdued in demeanor, and have artistic interests and aesthetic sensibilities (Riso, 102)."

  4. Attention. Individuals of the Inventive type have a tendency to behave in such a way as to attract attention. "They can be subtle show-offs, but show-offs nonetheless (Riso, 103)."

  5. Openness to culture. The Inventive person has unusual thought processes, values intellectual matters, and judges in unconventional terms. He or she is aesthetically reactive and has a wide range of interests (McCrae and John).

  6. Intelligence. "Intelligence will typically be emphasized in their self-images and social dealings." They put great stock in their ideas and demand that others do likewise (Riso, 103).

  7. Competence. The faith of those of the Inventive type is "in their ability to improvise something, and they display an unusual talent for rising to the expediency of a situation (Keirsey, 184)." Their focus is on competent excellence in performance.

  8. Innovation. The Inventive type maintains an independent view and is "the most reluctant of all the types to do things in a particular manner just because that is the way things always have been done (Keirsey, 183)." They are inventors and innovators.

  9. Cleverness. They are mentally bright and quick-witted. For those of the Inventive type "to be taken in, to be manipulated by another, is humiliating; this offends their joy in being masters of the art of oneupmanship (Keirsey, 185)."

  10. Self-consciousness Persons of the Inventive type look to others for approval (Reich, 47). They are very conscious of how others treat them (Riso, 103) and highly sensitive to criticism (Oldham, 89) and negative evaluation.



 Attributes of the Idealized Image

  1. Originality, Artistry, Culture, Inquisitiveness, Boldness, Spontaneity, Creativity, Humorousness, Wittiness.
  2. Refinement, Idealism.
  3. Cheerfulness, Confidence, Self-Esteem, Hope, Joyfulness, Sociability, Tactfulness.
  4. Discipline, Earnestness.
  5. Diligence, Industriousness, Energy, Attentiveness, Persistence, Perseverance, Purposefulness, Enthusiasm.
  6. Judiciousness, Alertness, Rationality, Intelligence, Resourcefulness.
  7. Firmness, Tenacity, Independence.
  8. Tidiness, Cleanness, Orderliness, Meticulousness.
  9. Courtesy, politeness, Equitableness.
  10. Generosity, Liberality


Neurotic Pride


Neurotic Claims


Neurotic Search for Glory

 The neurotic search for glory is the comprehensive drive to actualize the idealized self. Besides self-idealization it consists of the need for perfection, neurotic ambition, and the drive for vindictive triumph. The need for perfection functions in the personality as, what Horney called, "tyrannical shoulds."

Tyrannical Shoulds






American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV. 4th ed. Washington: Author.

American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed., text revision. Washington: Author.

Aaron T. Beck, Arthur M. Freeman and Associates (1990). Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders. New York: Guilford Press.

Terry D. Cooper (2003). Sin, Pride, and Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology and Psychology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Karen Horney (1950). Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: W. W. Norton.

John M.Oldham and Lois B. Morris (1995). The New Personality Self-Portrait. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam.

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Copyright 1998-2006 Dave Kelly

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