In simple layman’s terms, a narcissist is someone who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves. Some would call this merely being a jerk or any other slew of words or curses you can throw their way. There is no test to determine if an individual is a narcissist or not. You can only determine on your own if the person is eliciting “signs” of narcissism.
There is actually a name for this called NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. People with this condition typically have a lack of empathy and can be described as arrogant or self-centered. They think they’re better than everyone, or as my mom would say, “He thinks his shit doesn’t stink.” The majority of narcissists tend to be men (go figure), upwards of 50% and higher.
So how do you know someone is a narcissist? Here are some key signs to watch out for.
10 Warning Signs of a Narcissist
Exaggerates the importance of themselves
The world revolves around the narcissist, or at least that’s what they think. Without them, the human race would almost certainly collapse. Everything has to be done their way because it is the best and they can’t possibly be wrong, ever. The reverse can also work for the narcissist. Since they are starved for attention, they can also be the sickest or injured, therefore craving the most attention.
The narcissist dreams big, all the time. These dreams are more along the lines of fantasies of bigger and better things. A better romance, house, car, career, you name it, and it needs to be bigger and better than everyone else.
Narcissists can not trust others, so they want to be in control continually. In their minds, by being in control, they can make sure the outcome is how they want it to be. If the result is not how they thought it would be, it’s not their fault.
Nothing is ever the fault of the narcissist because they can do no wrong in their eyes. Therefore, if something doesn’t go according to plan, it is always someone else’s fault, never theirs. They cannot own up to any responsibility for errors or mistakes, even if it is blatantly a mistake they made.
Craves constant attention and admiration
A narcissist is always on the prowl for attention and admiration from others. The need attention all the time and will often act out to elicit a reaction. They need constant praise and validation and need to be told they are great or the best. A narcissist will often brag, but many times, that comes from a feeling of insecurity. They tend to be shallow and have easily fractured egos.
Takes advantage of others to reach his or her own goals
A narcissist will step over anyone to get what they want. One reason is because of their lack of empathy (see below) but also because they feel they are more important than you, so why shouldn’t you do as asked. There is no sense of caring for how you feel or how a decision they make will affect you.
Disregards the feelings of others, lacks empathy
Narcissists are selfish people, self-involved with only what directly affects them. They don’t understand how other people are feeling because they don’t take the time to listen. It is about them and only them. You will rarely receive an apology from a narcissist. They also have little to no understanding of how and why their feelings occur, which is why they blame someone else for the way they are feeling.
Since the narcissist has problems listening to others and empathizing, they tend to have issues in real relationships. These can be romantic relationships or close friendships. No one wants to be around a person who continually tells you how much better they are than you.
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Shows arrogant behaviors and attitudes
A narcissist has no problem talking down to someone or demeaning the person for their gain. If they feel threatened in any way, they will strike back with insults or arrogant behaviors to one-up the other person or put them back in their place. They have no problem attacking and name-calling when necessary.
No one is perfect. But the narcissist believes everything should be perfect because, you guessed it, they’re perfect. When things aren’t perfect, you will hear complaining, and this will often occur because… (no one and nothing is perfect). It is a vicious cycle to try to escape.
At some point in your life, you’ve most likely encountered a narcissist. It is a difficult situation to deal with or be around, which is why it’s difficult for a narcissist to receive the treatment they need or even acknowledge they have a problem. Some form of psychotherapy is necessary to help the narcissist to begin to heal and change.
I hope this article helps you recognize the warning signs you might experience in future relationships at work or in your personal life. Have you ever experienced a narcissistic person before? How did you handle it? Let me know in the comment section.