A narcissistic woman is usually easy to spot because she is all over TikTok and Reels.
Narcissists are charmers who constantly boast about themselves and their exploits while trashing others from inside their bubble. If you are close to one such woman, it can jeopardize your mental sanity and inner peace.
However, let us move out from the guessing game and dive into psychology to find out the telltale signs of a female narcissist.
Campbell and his colleagues were the first to study narcissism back in 2002.
Since then, the last 20 years have seen a spike in narcissism research. It has given us tools to measure Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and find out how narcissists behave in certain situations.
7 Signs of A Female Narcissist (From Dark Psychology)
Here are seven of the everyday signs of a female narcissist, drawn from authentic research:
1. They Make Excellent First Impression
A woman narcissist can be irresistibly charming when you first see her.
She will most likely be an extrovert entertaining a small group of people who will be so engrossed in her talks that they will have forgotten about the dinner.
Narcissists make great first impressions with people they meet for the first few times.
Researcher Back and colleagues discovered in 2010 that obvious narcissistic behaviors include a charming smile, self-assured body movements, and upright body posture.
In 2008, Vazire and the team found that narcissists associate with attractive physical appearance and are more likely to wear expensive clothes and present a neat and tidy appearance.
And in 2010, Holtzman and Strube found evidence suggesting narcissists are more attractive than an average person.
2. They Make Bad Long-Time Partners
It takes about two weeks to discover that the alluring woman you’re going out with is a selfish vixen.
In 1996, Murray & Holmes found that narcissists are more likely to have conflicts in their long-term relationships with coworkers, friends, and romantic partners.
In 1998, psychologist Delroy Paulhus observed that people found narcissists likable, well-adjusted, and competent on the first meeting.
However, after 7 weeks, people seem to have unmasked them and were rating them negatively.
And in 2003, Baumeister & Campbell found that they frequently alienate others in the long run.
Not surprisingly, Campbell, Rudich, and Sedikides (2002) found that narcissists are more likely than non-narcissists to be unfaithful and cheat on you in a relationship.
3. They Are Impulsive Attention Seekers
Narcissists thrive on attention. However, it is usually positive attention that they seek, and they are in a hurry to obtain it.
Of course, if they expect to receive negative attention or no attention (since they excel at sensing the mood of a room), they may simply leave the place quietly.
In 2006, Vazire & Funder found that narcissists tend to be impulsive and seek short-term gains.
Bushman, Bonacci, van Dijk, & Baumeister, 2003, found that narcissists were somewhat more likely to have sexually coercive tendencies.
That is, they want to get physically intimate sooner than normal.
Holtzman and Strube argue that this could be because narcissists recognize they would be disliked in the long run, hence they tend to have short-term mating patterns, which may have molded narcissism over evolutionary time.
4. They Exaggerate Their Personal Capabilities
While all of us generally like to see ourselves in a positive light, narcissists have unrealistic ideas about themselves. A typical woman narcissist would say things like:
“I know I am good because everybody keeps telling me so.”
“I bring life to a party. All know that I am the centerpiece of attraction.”
“I can usually talk my way out of anything.”
“I have a natural talent for influencing people.”
“I have a million followers. How many do you have?”
A narcissistic woman will overplay her talents and never miss a chance to show she knows more than you.
This self-enhancement act motivates them to feel good about themselves and to maintain self-esteem. Research suggests there are 2 types of self-enhancers – moralistic and egoistic. Narcissists are egoistic ones.
However, narcissistic women do not exaggerate their abilities to impress you; they truly believe they are superior to you.
Self-deception is a part of narcissistic behavior. In that sense, they are not lying about their superior abilities.
5. They Swear More And Behave More Rudely
Narcissists use more swear words and anger words in their daily conversations. They also argue more. The swearing and arguing behavior, however, is more common in male narcissists.
Research by Holtzman and Vazire found that “narcissism correlated with greater sexual language use. This relationship was similar in magnitude for both men and women, and was strong for the exploitativeness or entitlement and leadership or authority facets.”
Surprisingly, the authors surmise:
“It is possible that sexual language use is a manifestation of (or simply bolsters) the proposed evolutionary function of narcissism: short-term reproduction.”
6. They React Negatively To Any Criticism
“Do I look fat?”
The woman narcissist who posed the question above may attack you viciously if you had responded with a “Yes.”
In 2003, Baumeister and colleagues found that narcissists are more likely to bully others, and may respond very negatively to criticism.
Surprisingly, narcissists seem to recognize the “narcissistic” parts of their behaviors, despite engaging in such behaviors, as pointed out by Carlson, Vazire, & Oltmanns in 2011.
So, in all likelihood, a narcissistic woman you are close to will be aware of her behaviors that others find obnoxious.
And they can be frankly honest about it.
7. They Are Unwilling To Change For The Better
While they are aware of their flaws, narcissistic women do not want or even wish to improve.
First, they will attack your ideas about them changing for the better.
Second, they will never agree to seriously evaluate themselves. They know that if they analyze themselves, they might be forced to change.
It is significantly easier for them to sustain their negative behavior and protect themselves from anyone who might harm their low self-esteem.
10 (Culturally Obscured) Traits of A Narcissist Woman
- She is extremely materialistic. You are good for her as long as you can buy her expensive stuff.
- Her conversations with you are mostly about herself. She will refuse to respect your boundaries.
- She will blame you for all her mistakes and the criticism she receives from others. In fact, you may realize that she is full of microaggressions for you.
- Her sensitivity to criticism is very high, and she does not tolerate even the most minor annoyances.
- She is convinced that everyone else is envious of her and intends to rob her.
- Once she is sure you are dependent on them, she will terrorize you. She can insult you both privately and publicly to keep you under control.
- She will manipulate you into revealing your darkest secrets, which she fully plans to use against you if they lose their control over you.
- Her reaction to all the wonderful things you do for her will be one of apathy. She will revel in your painful ordeals while pretending to be distressed.
- She is quick and skilled at switching her role so that they appear as victims.
- She might withhold intimacy to punish you for being as obedient to her as she desires.
What creates a female narcissist?
A typical narcissist is often the result of arrested emotional development. Experts believe that when the evolution of empathy remains incomplete in a child, mostly because of parental neglect or abuse, narcissistic traits emerge in adulthood.
A tough childhood can make anyone of any gender a narcissist. So, a female narcissist is not much different from a male narcissist.
How does a female narcissist behave in a relationship?
Narcissists typically struggle to genuinely love someone. To be fair, they cannot even love themselves. They are so concerned about safeguarding their self-esteem from harm that they “see” their partner as an extension of themselves rather than distinct people. Their relationships exist solely to satisfy their needs and meet their demands.
This research-based piece may have appealed to narcissistic people. We hope it helped you understand yourself better.
However, we urge you to never self-diagnose based on information found online. Please seek the advice of a mental health expert to diagnose and treat your issues.
Finally, some of you may have thought of a narcissistic person who might be interested in reading this and reflecting over the research. Please share it with them.
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy — medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes on mental wellbeing, happiness, positive psychology, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
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