What does superficial mean? Superficial means “skin deep”, or existing on or at the surface, so in terms of a person, you would describe them as being “superficial” if they appeared to be very shallow or false. So what are superficial aspects of a personality and can they be a symptom of an underlying personality disorder?
Real emotions are more than skin deep; they resonate to the core of our being. If we love someone we will move heaven and earth to do anything for them, but a superficial person might say they love you, yet their actions do not back this declaration up. Superficial emotions are not “real” emotions. They are like a cardboard cut-out of how someone thinks they should be acting based on the situation. There is no depth to a superficial emotion and essentially they are false.
What does superficial mean in psychopathy?
One of the characteristics of a psychopathic personality is that they possess a tendency to be very superficially charming. Psychopaths are insincere and their emotions are shallow. Superficial people can be described as saying the right words, but upon analysis there is no solid foundation to their talk. This is a very apt description of superficial charm since a psychopath is very good at talking the talk without meaning a word of it.
Psychopaths have very shallow emotions and do not feel things in the same way as a normal person. They are incapable of forming real emotional bonds and they cannot feel love, but they are adept at pretending to feel such emotions in order to appear normal to the outside world. A psychopath’s relationships can often be described as superficial because the emotional bond is utterly lacking, although the psychopath may be very good at feigning their emotional response.
What does superficial mean in narcissism?
Narcissists can also be very charming in their social interactions, yet extremely superficial at the same time. A narcissist will fake their emotions in order to draw their victim in: they appear to be loving, attentive, and charming and before long the recipient of their attention is fooled by what appears to be a genuine and loving individual. But because the charm of a narcissist is only superficial, it is not long before the charm offensive wanes and the fake love and affection is withdrawn, with devastating effect.
People who are socially adept are often very superficial. They appear to be charming and personable, but scratch beneath the surface of the charismatic personality and there is often a deeply bored and dissatisfied individual: the person is essentially playing a role in order to fulfil their job or other peoples’ expectations of them.
Superficially charming people are often very good actors. They have great social skills and love to be the centre of attention, but their superficial persona is false and in some cases, it can cause a problem—the superficial person is sometimes deeply unhappy because their true needs are not being met and nobody sees the “real” person beneath the glib charm and superficial sparkle.