What if you could spot a narcissist before they take advantage of you, or make your life miserable? Wouldn’t that save you a lot of hassle (and your sanity)?
In the last article we went through a journey to try to understand the narcissist’s mind in “Peek Inside the Narcissist’s Mind”.
You would profit to read the previous article in order to better understand and use this one. If you haven’t read it you can do so by following the link above.
The list below with 11 signs will serve as a rough guide to identify narcissists in real life (or in your life).
Remember that we all share in some degree narcissistic characteristics. The difference is that a narcissist will score most of the 11 signs bellow, whereas a non narcissist person will just exhibit one, two, or three of those, and to a lesser degree.
When you use the list below remember that a full diagnosis of a narcissist should only be done by a credited health care professional.
“I have a very simple question to people…who seem to suffer from excessive narcissism: Please name three other persons who are smarter and more capable than you, in the field you work in. (In most cases they are utterly unable to answer that question honestly.)”
– Ingo Molnar
11 Signs Narcissist Identification List
- Sense of Grandiose and Self Importance
- Me, Me, and Me
- Feels Entitled
- Lack of Empathy and Respect for Others
- Manipulates, Deceives, and Lies
- Lack of Guilt or Remorse
- Lashes Out When Challenged
- Obsessed With Fantasies of Limitless Success
- Impulsivity and Poor Behavior Control
- Rule Breaker
Let’s see each one of those signs in more detail.
1 – Sense of Grandiose and Self Importance
Grossly inflated view of one’s self worth, abilities, self-assured, opinionated, braggart, and cocky. Behaves arrogantly, haughtily, and believe they are superior to others without presenting corresponding achievements.
The narcissist looks for people and situations that will feed their need for excessive adulation, attention, admiration, and affirmation.:
Some examples of this grandiose image making
- “My accomplishments are everything” ― Anonymous executive
- “I dyed my hair blond and enlarged my breasts to get men’s attention—and to make other women jealous” ― Anonymous
- “I never want to be looked upon as poor. My fiancé and I each drive a Mercedes. The best man at our upcoming wedding also drives a Mercedes.” ― Anonymous
2 – Me, Me, and Me
The narcissist loves to be the center of attention.
In conversations they monopolize the space and just talk about themselves. They don’t seem interested in knowing about you, your views or your feelings. You will struggle to get your message across.
Selfies will be abundant. If in a group photo the narcissist will be at the center of the photo. The world revolves around them.
3 – Charmer
When they are interested in you, the narcissist will be very persuasive and charismatic, making you feel very special and wanted. Of course they are interested in you for their own interest and gratification.
While you satisfy their desires and need for attention the narcissist will be very sociable and engaging, but when they lose interest in you or got what they want, you will be left in the cold without a second thought.
“Narcissists commonly cut people off and out of their lives due to their shallow emotional style of seeing others as either good or bad.”
– Karyl McBride
4 – Feels Entitled
Being treated like everybody else is not enough for the narcissist. They feel that they should be treated differently by others. They expect automatic and full compliance with their unreasonable needs, demands, and expectations. They do this without being considerate in return. They expect preferential treatment.
5 – Lack of Empathy and Respect for Others
Narcissists show a lack of empathy and feelings towards others: no heart resonance. They can be coldhearted, inconsiderate, disdainful, and tactless.
They often put people down as it feeds their need to feel grandiose.
Other people’s boundaries are ignored and disregarded, including their thoughts, feelings, physical space and possessions. They show unnecessary disregard for other people’s thoughts, feelings, possessions, and physical space. They overstep others limits and use them without sensitivity or consideration. They may borrow items or money without returning them back. Narcissists break obligations and promises repeatedly. They show little or no remorse for others, and blames the victim for the lack of respect.
6 – Manipulates, Deceives, and Lies
Narcissists consider others as an extension of them, and as such, they have no problem making decisions for others to suit one’s own needs. Other people may be used by the narcissist to fulfill unrealized dreams, or to cover up self-perceived flaws and inadequacies: “If my daughter doesn’t grow up to be a doctor, I’ll disown her”.
Narcissists can manipulate you by playing the “victim” card and making you feel guilty, eg: “You must help me or you’re not a good person”, or “I’ve made all those sacrifices for you, and you’re so ungrateful”. They take over your emotions, and seduce you to unreasonable demands.
They can make use of deception and deceit to con, cheat, or defraud others for personal gain.
Pay attention to inconsistencies as they are prone to lie. They may behave in crafty, shrewd, sly, clever, and cunning ways. Some narcissists may even be cunning, deceitful, unethical, deceptive, dishonest, and unscrupulous.
7 – Lack of Guilt or Remorse
Narcissists show little or no concern for the feelings or losses, suffering, and pain of one’s victims. There is a tendency to be dispassionate, unconcerned, unempathic, and coldhearted.
They seldom or never apologize.
“There’s a reason narcissists don’t learn from mistakes and that’s because they never get past the first step which is admitting that they made one.”
– Jeffrey Kluger
8 – Lashes Out When Challenged
When you say or express something that is not in accord or agreement with the narcissist, they will likely correct it, ignore it or dismiss it.
If the narcissist gets frustrated, confronted, or contradicted, they might get infuriated and express rage.
9 – Obsessed With Fantasies of Limitless Success
Narcissists are obsessed with get rich fast schemes, fame, unlimited success, omnipotence, or fearsome power, mental brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily wellness and beauty or sexual attraction and performance (the somatic narcissist). You also have the idealistic one obsessed with, all-conquering, everlasting love or passion.
10 – Impulsivity and Poor Behavior Control
Narcissists often lack planning or reflection. They jump into action without evaluating consequences as they are unable to resist frustrations, temptations, and urges. They may act in unpredictable ways, foolhardy, erratic, rash, and reckless.
All this is due to poor behavior control as they let run free their expression of annoyance, impatience, irritability, verbal abuse, threats, and aggression. Often narcissists act hastily, lashing out with anger and temper tantrums.
11 – Rule Breaker
Narcissist get a kick out of violating social norms and rules, and getting away with it, some examples: breaking multiple appointments, cutting in line, stealing office supplies, tax evasion, chronic under-tipping, or disobeying traffic laws. A good example is the following quote
“I take pride in persuading people to give me exceptions to their rules”
Use It Wisely
Hope this 11 tips will serve you well and help you avoid unpleasant and abusive encounters, making your life more enjoyable, free, truthful, and peaceful.
The next post will be about ways to deal with narcissists in your life, including practical strategies to protect yourself and stay safe. If you don’t want to lose this article please subscribe to our mailing list bellow and receive email notifications of new posts. Stay tuned.
If you enjoyed the post please leave your comment bellow or share your personal experience with narcissists in your life. Thank you. See you soon.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM–5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.
Carlson, E. N., Naumann, L. P., & Vazire, S. (2012). Getting to Know a Narcissist Inside and Out. In The Handbook of Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (Vol. 28, pp. 283–299). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. http://doi.org/10.1002/9781118093108.ch25
DuBrin, A. (n.d.). Who is a Workplace Narcissist? Edward Elgar Publishing. http://doi.org/10.4337/9781781001363.00005
Holtzman, N. S., Vazire, S., & Mehl, M. R. (2010). Sounds like a narcissist: Behavioral manifestations of narcissism in everyday life. Journal of Research in Personality, 44(4), 478–484. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2010.06.001