We’ve all played with the term “narcissist” when referring to a self-absorbed person we dealt with on the street, an ex who hurt us, or a colleague who took credit for our work. But when does self-centeredness cross the line to become a narcissistic personality disorder? When and how can you spot a narcissist?
We don’t even need to underline that not every self-centered person you deal with every day possesses the “actual” narcissistic personality disorder. However, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to identify the trademarks of this personality disorder that can help you spot a “real” narcissist.
A narcissist, by definition, showcases persistent signs of grandiosity, a need for admiration, a sense of entitlement, and a lack of empathy. After all, narcissists want you to shower them with attention because that’s something they struggle with the most – they need people to applaud them at all times.
We can all agree that narcissists are far more complex than being labeled “vain” or “self-admiring.” What’s the best way to spot a narcissist, anyway? What are the signs you need to watch out for? Read on for an in-depth look at the most common signs that you’re dealing with a narcissist.
Now, how can you spot a narcissist in your life?
A narcissist is someone who possesses Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and showcases signs of grandiosity, a need for attention and admiration, and a lack of empathy. When we use that definition, though, you might be drawn to believe that narcissists are easy to spot and avoid.
What makes narcissists problematic in today’s society seems to be the fact that they’re extremely charming and charismatic, too.
When you’re dealing with a narcissist, you don’t necessarily know that you’re being manipulated, lied to, or gaslighted – you believe that you’re making things up and projecting.
With that said, narcissists are perfectionists who expect everyone to be exactly how they want them to be. They’re plagued by a need to be the best at everything, to prove themselves to everyone, and to get everyone’s approval. They’re desperate to control everyone and everything, too.
So, how can you spot a narcissist? Check out what we’ve rounded up for you down below!
Signs you’re dealing with a narcissist
1. Narcissists like to be the center of attention
Argh, there’s nothing a narcissist appreciates more than stealing the spotlight and being the center of attention. Narcissists dominate conversations, whether that’s because they’re confident enough to speak to everyone or because they’re charming and charismatic.
Narcissists are compelled to talk about themselves, embellish their stories, and exaggerate their accomplishments. When you’re talking to a narcissist, you feel like you’re talking to a wall because you don’t even get the chance to contribute to the conversation.
2. They’re charming and charismatic
With that said, narcissists are known to be quite charming and charismatic. When you meet someone who showcases narcissistic traits, you might expect them to be difficult to talk to, rude, or unlikable – but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Narcissists know how to make people fall for them within the first few minutes of talking to them. Narcissistic relationships, for example, move pretty quickly because narcissists are great at making others feel like a million dollars – but that’s only because they expect others to make them feel the same way.
3. They’re competitive
After all, narcissists possess a need to win in virtually every domain. Whether they’re playing tennis, trying to score a promotion at the office, or trying to get the attention of someone they’re attracted to, narcissists feel the need to score.
They have to be superior to everyone else. They have to stand out, dominate the world, and come out on top no matter what. When you’re dealing with a narcissist, you might notice that they’re constantly trying to one-up you or make you feel like you’re doing something wrong even when you’re winning.
4. Narcissists have a habit of giving unsolicited advice
Argh, how can you spot a narcissist, you wonder? Narcissists are great at giving unsolicited advice because they’re always trying to show off how knowledgeable, successful, and superior they are to everyone else. Needless to say, you’ll get tired of all the restaurant recommendations pretty quickly.
When you’re talking to a narcissist, you might notice that they’re always trying to shove their opinion down your throat – in a nice, neighborly way, of course. We suggest you try to confront them about their behavior and see what happens – narcissists hate when they’re backed into a corner.
5. They’re never to blame for anything
Now, that’s one thing you need to know about narcissists – they’re never to blame for anything. Narcissists never own up to their mistakes because they truly believe they never do anything wrong. Narcissists never say sorry or try to fix whatever they did wrong.
Quite the contrary, they take a step back, think, and come up with a reason why you’re to blame for whatever happened between the two of you. “I only did that because you pushed me too far!” “I never wanted for this to happen, but you provoked me!” Remember, narcissists are great at shifting the blame.
6. They’re known for holding grudges forever
Narcissists are highly confident people, right? When you talk to them, they’re always boasting about how they don’t care what others think of them, how they’re better than everyone, and how everything comes easy to them.
Little do you know that’s a facade narcissists use to cover what’s really going on – narcissists care too much about what the world thinks of them to be able to let things go lightly.
Well, that’s why you might notice that the narcissist you’re dealing with has trouble tolerating any sort of disapproval or insult and holds a grudge forever.
7. Narcissists detest waiting
Narcissists believe that they’re better than everyone else and that they’re deserving of special treatment. Consequently, they’re known to get annoyed and aggravated when they’re expected to wait in line, wait for someone to respond to their texts, or even wait for a waiter at a restaurant.
Whatever a narcissist’s needs are, they need to be met ASAP, or they’re going to make a scene. Whether they’re aware of that or not, narcissists live their lives with a sense of entitlement that prevents them from enjoying the little things – they’re always on edge.
8. They’re entitled
Narcissists oftentimes possess a sense of entitlement that can affect them negatively at work, at home, or even in romantic relationships. What do we mean by a sense of entitlement?
Narcissists genuinely believe that they deserve admiration, affection, and respect from everyone – even when they don’t earn any of these things. They go through life thinking that everyone exists to serve them and their needs, and they get annoyed and confused when they experience some sort of setback.
When dealing with a narcissist, you might notice that they expect you to treat them a certain way – they might even manipulate you to get what they want.
9. They lack empathy
A lack of empathy seems to be another hallmark trait among people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. After all, narcissists are never at fault.
Sometimes, they seem perfectly reasonable when talking about a specific topic – until they say something that’s outrageously insensitive and act surprised when you call them out.
Narcissists can spend hours and hours talking about themselves without batting an eye, but the moment you try to chime in with a comment about something that happened to you, they change the subject.
Needless to say, they’re unable to empathize with your problems and that’s why they’re unwilling to listen to them.
10. Narcissists are ambitious
We all shoot for the stars and work hard to get there, don’t we? With narcissists, though, you never know what you’re going to get because they truly believe that they’re destined for greatness.
They’re ambitious, but they’re also known to break the rules and step over dead bodies to achieve what they want. They believe that they’re naturally unique and that they’re associated with people of “higher status” simply because they’re – them.
Narcissists are quite obsessed with status symbols, too, and you might notice them showing off designer clothes and spending all their money on overpriced brand-name items.