Miley Cyrus says she 'inherited narcissism' from her father. Here's what to know about the personality traits, disorder.

Miley Cyrus with her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus.
Miley Cyrus opens up to David Letterman about inheriting her father's "narcissism." (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Miley Cyrus says she "inherited narcissism" from her father, fellow singer Billy Ray Cyrus.

In a new episode of David Letterman’s Netflix interview series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, the singer detailed the early days of her career. When asked which of her siblings moved from Tennessee to Los Angeles with her when she was a preteen for Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana, Cyrus said, “I have a terrible memory, because I also inherited narcissism from my father. I don’t know anything about my siblings, except for the part that I was doing.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Cyrus said of Billy Ray, “I'm grateful for being able to watch him ahead of me. He's almost given me this map. And there's a map of what to do and what not to do, and he's guided me on both.”

Though she declared her mom, Tish Cyrus, her “hero,” she said that she and her dad are similar as creatives, which always made her “feel safer” in her “own mind.” “I think a lot of his perspective on reality and on life, I've inherited from him, more so than the way that I was raised — which really, my mom raised me,” she added.

What is narcissism, and what impact does it have on someone’s life? Here’s what to know.

Narcissism generally refers to traits like “excessive self-focus, a need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others,” psychologist Ryan C. Warner tells Yahoo Life. Its most severe form is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) he says, where these traits are “extreme and affect daily life and relationships.” (It’s important to note that Cyrus did not claim that she nor her father were diagnosed clinically with any form of narcissism.)

Natalie Jambazian, a therapist specializing in NPD and narcissistic abuse recovery, tells Yahoo Life that “narcissism is a spectrum,” and that you can be considered a narcissistic person without being diagnosed with NPD. Common traits that all narcissists have include a sense of grandiosity, or exaggerated self-importance, as well as a level of entitlement on what they expect from other people. They also lack empathy for others.

Jambazian, who is the author of the book Detoxing from a Narcissist, says that many narcissistic personality traits can be modeled — so, if you have a parent with narcissistic traits, you may find yourself mirroring their behavior.

Jambazian says that narcissists get into a cycle of abuse with their romantic partners or other loved ones. They might initially “love bomb” these partners by showering them with attention, only to later enter a cycle of “devaluation,” where they will criticize them, or even go as far as to act coldly and withhold the love they initially gave out in spades.

For many people, it’s possible to recognize narcissistic qualities and change them. Jambazian says that people who are on the lower end of the narcissism spectrum are able to recognize these traits within themselves — and “awareness is key” in order to shift one’s thinking. Therapy, she says, can help people create new patterns of behavior.

However, not all narcissists are capable of change — because those with the most extreme form of narcissism don’t actually think there’s any problem whatsoever.

“They don't really take accountability or responsibility,” she explains. “They don't think that they have the issue — everybody else is the problem. They victimized themselves. They don't think that they have narcissism, even if somebody calls them out. So if they're higher on the spectrum, there is a very, very low chance that they're going to change.”