20 Signs of A Narcissist: How To Recognize Narcissism

signs of a narcissist
Signs of A Narcissist

Narcissists are people who love themselves too much. More accurately, they are in love with a fantastical, grandiose, godlike version of themselves. This endemic pattern of grandiosity, along with a lack of empathy, is the hallmark of a narcissist.

Narcissists are people who use their relationships to feel good about themselves. Click To Tweet

Twenty Signs of A Narcissist

Most of the time, it is easy to make out the narcissist in the room. They are often the loud ones sharing their compelling life stories to a crowd.

For greater ease at finding them out, even if they are not those typical loudmouths, we gathered the 20 most revealing clues about them.

Here’s a list of 20 telltale signs to spot a narcissist:

  1. They lack empathy and remorse.
  2. They are condescending towards others.
  3. They have high, but fragile, self-esteem.
  4. They bully, demean and intimidate others.
  5. They seek constant attention and admiration.
  6. They can’t handle the mildest of criticisms.
  7. They have an inflated sense of self-importance.
  8. They do not respect other people’s boundaries.
  9. They are highly selfish and self-centered people.
  10. They have superficial, self-serving relationships.
  11. They can’t stand others making decisions for them.
  12. They do not assume responsibility for their mistakes.
  13. They are envious and believe others are envious of them.
  14. They take advantage of others others without shame or guilt.
  15. They feel they’re better, smarter and more competent than others.
  16. They are people who use their relationships to feel good about themselves.
  17. They overestimate their intellectual superiority and physical attractiveness.
  18. They are arrogant and hostile, and find it almost impossible to utter the word “Sorry.”
  19. They live in a fantasy world created by reality-distortion, self-deception, and magical thinking.
  20. They have a strong sense of entitlement. That is, they expect they always get the favorable treatment, and their demands get automatic compliance.

What Is Narcissism: An Ultra-Short Introduction

The concept of narcissism can be traced to the Greek myth of Narcissus who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.

In psychology, it was the British physician Havelock Ellis, who first referred to narcissism as a mental disorder in 1898.

Sigmund Freud, in his 1914 essay On Narcissism, popularized it as a concept in psychoanalytic theory. According to Freud, narcissism is a normal stage in child development, but is a disorder when occurs after puberty.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists the criteria to be met for clinically diagnosing as narcissistic personality disorder or NPD.

There a “milder” form of narcissism called narcissistic personality type. These people show most or all of the characteristics of the NPD but stay within the normal range of personality. These may be referred to as covert narcissists.

Narcissistic personality disorder affects about 1% of the general population.

While the typical narcissist is extroverted, the covert narcissist is more of the introverted type. But they come with the same trouble as the typical ones — they lack in their capacity to regulate their self-esteem.

Both are people manipulators.

When a narcissist senses a break up of a romantic relationship, they present a strong semblance of behavior change. They even start to love-bomb their partner. But pretty soon, they reveal they’re just as repulsive as they always were. Because of this, many narcissists stay stuck in on-again, off-again relationships.

Gaslighting is a form of narcissistic abuse. In this, a narcissist tries to victimize vulnerable people into intellectual and emotional slaves. To quench his thirst for constant affirmation and superiority, he then blames them for their own victimhood.

The narcissists stay ready to lay all blame on others for each of their mistakes. They get unhinged when others point out their faults.

They resist making any change in themselves. Though sometimes, they might appear to have changed positively. But as soon as a stress appears in their lives, the narcissist in them leaps out of the shadows.

How To Protect Yourself From A Narcissist

Three effective ways to protect yourself from a narcissist are:

  • Set healthy boundaries
  • Create physical distance
  • Avoid taking it personally

Final Words

Narcissists want positive feedback about themselves, and they actively manipulate others to solicit or coerce admiration from them. Accordingly, narcissism is thought to reflect a form of chronic interpersonal self-esteem regulation. — Encyclopedia Britannica

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Author Bio: Sandip Roy is psychology writer, happiness researcher, and medical doctor. Founder of Happiness India Project, and chief editor of its blog. He writes popular-science articles on positive psychology and related topics.


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