How to spot a narcissist

  • By BD
  • June 18, 2023
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An angry looking woman holding a rifle

Spotting a narcissist can be challenging, as they often possess charismatic and manipulative traits. However, here are some common signs and behaviours that can help you identify a potential narcissist:

  1. Grandiose sense of self-importance: Narcissists have an exaggerated belief in their own abilities, accomplishments, and importance. They may frequently talk about their achievements, talents, or unique qualities, often seeking admiration and validation.
  2. Excessive need for admiration: Narcissists have an insatiable need for attention and admiration from others. They may fish for compliments, seek constant praise, or expect special treatment. They may also surround themselves with individuals who reinforce their self-image.
  3. Lack of empathy: Narcissists often struggle to empathize with others or understand their feelings and perspectives. They may dismiss or disregard the emotions and needs of others, focusing primarily on their own desires and goals.
  4. Sense of entitlement: Narcissists believe they are inherently deserving of special treatment, privileges, or attention. They may display a demanding attitude, expecting others to cater to their needs and desires without question.
  5. Exploitative behaviour: Narcissists may exploit and manipulate others to meet their own needs or gain personal advantage. They may use charm, flattery, or manipulation tactics to achieve their goals, often lacking genuine concern for the well-being of others.
  6. The constant need for validation: Narcissists rely heavily on external validation and approval to maintain their self-esteem. They may seek constant reassurance, seek out positions of power or influence, or engage in attention-seeking behaviours.
  7. Difficulty with criticism or rejection: Narcissists have fragile self-esteem and may react strongly to criticism or rejection. They may become defensive, lash out, or engage in gaslighting tactics to deflect blame and protect their self-image.
  8. Lack of accountability: Narcissists often avoid taking responsibility for their mistakes or shortcomings. They may shift blame onto others, make excuses, or deny their own actions and behaviours.

It’s important to note that identifying a narcissist requires careful observation and consideration of their behaviour patterns over time. These traits can exist on a spectrum, and not all individuals who exhibit some narcissistic traits necessarily have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

If you suspect that someone may be a narcissist, it’s advisable to seek professional guidance from a mental health professional who can provide a comprehensive assessment and guidance on how to navigate relationships with individuals who display narcissistic traits.