How To Spot A Narcissist: 7 Subtle Signs

 / 

,
how to spot a narcissist

Narcissists are experts at deceiving and tricking people with their mind games and toxicity. However, if you look a bit carefully you will see signs that will help you spot a narcissist. Read on to know how to spot a narcissist.

Narcissists can be beguiling and charismatic. In fact, one study showed that their likable veneer was only penetrable after seven meetings. But you don’t want to fall in love with one. Over time you can end up feeling ignored, uncared about, and unimportant.

Typically, a narcissist’s criticism, demands, and emotional unavailability increase, while your confidence and self-esteem decrease. You’ll try harder, but despite pleas and efforts, the narcissist appears to lack consideration for your feelings and needs.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) occurs more in men than women. As described in “Do You Love a Narcissist?” someone with NPD is grandiose (sometimes only in fantasy), lacks empathy, and seeks admiration from others, as indicated by five of these summarized characteristics:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance and exaggerates achievements and talents.

2. Dreams of unlimited power, success, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

3. Requires excessive admiration.

4. Believes he or she is special and unique, and can only be understood by, or should associate with other special or of high-status people (or institutions).

5. Lacks empathy for the feelings and needs of others.

6. Unreasonably expects special, favorable treatment or compliance from others.

7. Exploits and takes advantage of others to achieve personal ends.

8. Envies others or believes they’re envious of him or her.

9. Has “an attitude” of arrogance or acts that way.

Related: Signs of A Female Narcissist: 7 Ways To Spot Them

How To Spot A Narcissist?

Basically, what this looks and feels like is someone who puts him or herself above all others. However, you might not notice it at first. Here’re signs on how to spot a narcissist:

1) Seeking Admiration.

Narcissists often like to talk about themselves and your job is to be a good audience. They may never ask about you, and if you offer something about yourself, the conversation quickly returns to them. You might start to feel invisible, bored, annoyed, or drained.

On the other hand, many narcissists are charming, beautiful, talented, or successful. So, you may be entranced by their good looks, seduction, or fabulous stories. Beware that some narcissists who excel at seduction may act very interested in you, but that wanes over time. Flattery is also a means to allure you and one of the signs to spot a narcissist.

2) Feeling Grandiose and Special.

Not only do they want to be the center of attention, but they also brag about their accomplishments, trying to impress you. When you first meet, you may not know the extent of their exaggeration, but it’s likely the case. If they haven’t yet achieved their goals, they may brag about how they will, or how they should have more recognition or success than they do. They do this because they need constant validation, appreciation, and recognition. Grandiosity is one of the biggest signs on how to spot a narcissist.

Because they like to associate with high status, they may name-drop celebrities or public figures then know. Similarly, they may drive an expensive car and wear designer clothes, brag about their school, and want to go to the best restaurants. This may dazzle you, just like their charm, but it’s really a symptom of their need for an attractive facade to hide the emptiness underneath. A simple, intimate restaurant you prefer won’t meet their standards or provide them the public visibility they seek.

Want to know more about how you can spot a narcissist? Check this video out below!

Spot a Narcissist

3) Lacking Empathy.

Although some people who aren’t narcissists lack empathy, this trait is a crucial and determining symptom when combined with a sense of entitlement and exploitation. Notice their expression when describing sad stories or reaction to yours and that’s how to spot a narcissist. Do they lack empathy for the hardships of others and in particular your own needs? I once told a narcissist I wouldn’t be able to travel to meet him due to a back injury. I was shocked by his insensitive reply: “You wouldn’t let a little back pain keep you.”

Simple examples are rudeness, not listening, walking ahead of you, ordering what you should eat, ignoring your boundaries, taking calls when you’re talking to them. Admittedly, these are minor things any one of them alone may not be significant, but they add up to paint a picture of someone who doesn’t care about you, and will behave that way on bigger issues.

They’re not comfortable with vulnerability – theirs or others, and are emotionally unavailable. In time, you’ll notice they keep you at a distance because they’re afraid if you get too close, you won’t like what you see.

4) Feeling Entitled.

A sense of entitlement reveals how narcissists believe they’re the center of the universe. They’re not only special and superior but also deserve special treatment. Rules don’t apply to them. They may not just want, but expect a plane or cruise ship to wait for them. If they’re convicted, it’s everyone else’s fault, or the law is wrong. You should also accommodate their needs – stock their favorite treats in your car, like what they like, and meet at their convenience on their timetable.

A relationship with this person will be painfully one-sided, not a two-way street. Narcissists are interested in getting what they want and making the relationship work for them. Your purpose is to serve their needs and wants.

Related: The 6 Types of Narcissists: How To Spot And Cope With Each Of Them

5) Exploiting Others.

You may not spot this trait until you get to know a narcissist better, but if you start to feel used, it may be because you’re being exploited. An example is someone taking credit for your work. A woman (or man) may feel used for sex, or for as arm candy if a narcissist shows no interest in her as a person. A man (or woman) may feel used if he gives money to a narcissist or provides her services. 

Manipulation is a form of covert aggression to influence you to do their bidding. Narcissists are masters of it. To many, dating is an art of game-playing. Whether or not it’s an “intimate relationship,” narcissists usually aren’t concerned about the other person, their feelings, wants, or needs. (Read “How to Tell if a Narcissist Loves You.” When relationships feel one-sided, givers feel exploited. They are because they allow it, and don’t set boundaries.

More serious exploitation involves lying, gas-lighting, cheating, and fraud involving financial and business dealing. These may include legal violations. You might not see this coming, but a narcissist might brag how he put one over on someone he took advantage of. Someone who had an affair may not be a narcissist, but a pattern of lying might be a symptom of several narcissistic traits. Other more obvious signs will show up.

6) Envying Others.

Narcissists want to be the first and best and don’t like their competitors. They want what they have. Instead of being happy for others’ successes, they feel envy. They may tear down the person they envy and say how the person doesn’t deserve what they have. Narcissistic parents do this with their own children and partners! They project and believe other people are envious of them. When someone has a good reason to criticize or not like them, narcissists will dismiss their complaints as envy, because they are so great – and they can’t tolerate criticism.

7) Feeling Arrogant.

Narcissists act superior because deep down they feel inferior. They may put down other people, classes, ethnic groups, or races. Notice how they treat people who serve them, such as waiters and doormen, while sucking up to people of influence. Their critical comments are usually tinged with disdain and are often rude, attacking the individual and not just complaining about the service. It may come out in abrupt anger or covert hostility. This gives you a glimpse of how they will treat you when they know you better.

They typically believe they’re infallible and always right in any conversation. You might feel interrogated or steamrolled in a debate or that your words are twisted. Narcissists never take responsibility (unless it’s for a success), rarely apologize, and frequently blame others for misunderstandings or when things go wrong. Their hostility can take various forms of narcissistic abuse.

Listen to how they talk about their past relationships. Do they act like the victim and still seethe with resentment?

Related: 3 Ways Narcissists and Sociopaths Manipulate To Gain Control Over You

Beware of Falling for a Narcissist

Relationships with narcissists are usually painful and can be emotionally and sometimes physically abusive. If you’re the son or daughter of a narcissistic parent, you’re more susceptible to falling for one, because they feel familiar – like family. Once attached and in love, it’s not easy to leave. Divorcing a narcissist can be costly not only financially, but emotionally frightening and exhausting.

On the other hand, you may feel devastated if you’re rejected and/or replaced. If you’re already involved with a narcissist, read Dealing with a Narcissist: 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People. Email me to join my mailing list for a more extensive “Checklist of Narcissistic Behaviors.”

© Darlene Lancer 2018


Written by Darlene Lancer JD, MFT
How to Spot a Narcissist
How To Spot A Narcissist: 7 Subtle Signs
how to spot a narcissist pin
How To Spot A Narcissist: 7 Subtle Signs

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

Spotting Emotional Neglect In Childhood: 8 Important Clues

Spotting Emotional Neglect In Childhood: Important Clues

Anyone who has been through emotional neglect in childhood knows that it never leaves you; it haunts you for the rest of your life. It’s like an invisible wound, that may not leave invisible scars, but it can shape you in ways you might not even notice.

Maybe it was the feeling that something’s missing from your childhood, but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it. Well you are not alone. Many people experience emotional neglect without even realizing it.

Today we are going to talk about the impact of emotional neglect in childhood, and what are the symptoms of childhood emotional neglect in adults. This isn’t just another list – it’s a chance to understand yourself and your emotions better.

R



Up Next

Romantic Manipulation: 10 Subtle Phrases To Watch Out For

Romantic Manipulation: Sneaky Phrases That Signal Trouble

Romantic manipulation is sneaky, and it can creep into a relationships without either person fully realizing it. We have all heard those phrases that sound sweet or caring but leaves a bitter aftertaste, making us second-guess our feelings.

Manipulative partners often have a way with words, twisting them to control or belittle. So, are you curious to know the signs of romantic manipulation, and the things manipulative partners say?

Whether you’re navigating your own love life, or just looking out for your friends, this article will help you spot the subtle signs of emotional trickery. So, are you ready to dive in?

Related:



Up Next

Flying Monkeys: The Narcissist’s Secret Weapons

Flying Monkeys: The Narcissist’s Secret Weapons

Have you ever heard of the term “flying monkeys” or “flying monkeys of the narcissist”? Who are they and what do they do exactly? This article is going to explore everything about who flying monkeys are and what role they play in narcissistic abuse.

‘Flying Monkey’ is the term given to those agents and allies that collude with an abusive person. Their role is to continue carrying out tormenting the victim on their behalf.

If it’s during the relationship, the abuser gets to abuse by proxy as it’s other people that are getting their hands dirty.

If it’s after the relationship has ended or you’ve left that job or left that area, it’s a way of perpetuating the abuse. Again though, the abusers hands are clean as others are doing the work for them.

<



Up Next

4 Warning Signs Of A Toxic Leader

Warning Signs Of A Toxic Leader

Have you ever worked with a toxic boss or toxic leader? If you have, then you know how horrible and malicious they really are, and if you haven’t, then read on to know the signs of a toxic leader so that it’s easier for you to understand what you are dealing with.

KEY POINTS

Poor, toxic leaders demand unquestioning loyalty and service to the leader.

Bad leaders rule by a sense of fear, both of outsiders and of the leader’s wrath.

Good leadership empowers followers, shows concern for them, and benefits the collective.

All too often, people fall prey to self-serving



Up Next

Eggshell Parenting Meaning: 5 Signs You’re Making These Mistakes!

Eggshell Parenting: Signs You're Making These Mistakes!

Parenting is one of the most sincere tasks in every individual’s life that should be done with utmost care and coherence. However, the relationship between parents and their children is often tampered by the mental, and behavioral issues of the parents.

Thus, mood disorders and the violent nature of parents can affect the child’s life. Eggshell parenting is one such consequence. In this blog, we will guide you to understand eggshell parenting and show you the risky spots you should avoid.

What is Eggshell Parenting?  



Up Next

Top 6 Most Notorious Serial Killers In History and Their Psychology Unleashed

Top Most Notorious Serial Killers In History

Some of the most horrifying and notorious murder cases in criminal history are those in which the most notorious serial killers caused irreversible harm to society by their horrific deeds. Motivated by an intricate network of psychological, social, and frequently pathological elements, these infamous persons have perpetrated atrocities that persistently enthral and appal the public.

Every instance sheds light on the dark psychology of serial killers, from Ed Gein’s horrific acts to Ted Bundy’s deliberate and planned killings. Investigating these sinister tales reveals not only the specifics of their heinous deeds but also the patterns and reasons behind them, providing insights into one of the most ghastly aspects of human nature.

6 Most Notorious Serial Killers In History



Up Next

The Role of Childhood Trauma in Serial Killers: A Deep Dive Into 5 Serial Killers and Their Upbringing

Role of Childhood Trauma in Serial Killers: Case Examples

The public’s fascination with the mystery surrounding serial killers has long sparked conjecture regarding the motivations behind people’s horrific behavior. The role of childhood trauma in serial killers has received a lot of attention, despite the fact that the reasons underlying their actions are complex.

In this blog, we explore the childhood experiences in serial killers to gain insight into their terrifying world. We aim to uncover the intricate relationship between pathology and upbringing by delving into the trauma in serial killers and unfavorable conditions that shaped these individuals’ early years.

This will illuminate the shadowy pasts of some of the most infamous murderers in history. Come along with us as we venture into the darkest recesses of the human brain, where the roots of violence are planted.