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How To Identify A Narcissist: 9 Common Traits of Narcissism

what are the traits of a narcissist

3. Lack of empathy for others

This is the third of the nine traits of narcissism and well defines the characteristics of a narcissistic person. Narcissists lack courtesy and empathy. They cannot tune with the emotions, experiences, and feelings of other people. Narcissists are driven by the attitude – “me and only me”.

They are selfish and merciless enough to breach the personal boundaries of others. Humiliating or devaluing people comes naturally to them. When you talk to them, it’s mostly like a one-way discussion. As you try to share your opinions, ideas, or problems, narcissists will lose their minds. They are on cloud nine when people bend to their desires.

4. Use of manipulative tactics

This is one of the key traits of narcissism and a big red flag that you should stop associating with such people. Narcissists are very egoistic and can go to any extent to turn things in their favor. They can twist the truth in a way that matches their narrative and in the end, it’s you who will go nuts. Getting – attention, status, and validation – is their ultimate priority. So, they never bother lying, cheating, abusing, and what it costs to someone else.

Narcissists are so skilled in manipulating people that you will easily fall into their relationship trap (especially if you are naïve). And, while you are dealing with them, it is hard to recognize that you are being manipulated. After losing some precious years of your life, the realization dawns upon you that you are the victim of narcissism. 

what are the traits of narcissism
what are the traits of narcissism – manipulation

Read Micromanipulation: 5 Ways A Narcissist Controls You

5. Exhibiting an unrealistic sense of superiority

What Are The Traits Of A Narcissist
What Are The Traits Of A Narcissist – Grandiosity

This one really cannot be missed, when discussing what are the traits of a narcissistic person. The word for this distinctive feature of narcissism is Grandiosity. Narcissistic people try to express themselves as superior and as a person living a grand life. They will exaggerate their skills, talents, possessions, experiences, achievements and want to come across as the perfect individual on Earth. 

They have an extraordinary sense of self-importance and that everything in this world belongs to them. They thrive on the need for admiration. You will continue to see this boastfulness, arrogance, and feeling of entitlement, even if they become a leader, a rich person, or a celebrity and are recognized worldwide. Maintaining a fake image of grandeur is one of the key character traits of a narcissist.

Read Identifying Covert and Grandiose Narcissists In Your Life

6. Never take responsibility for anything

Be it work, relationships, or personal life, narcissists never take responsibility for their failures, mistakes, or any kind of wrongdoings. Narcissists are a pro in blame-shifting! When it comes to accepting their flaws, narcissists will leave no stone unturned to deflect that on you. 

They always have wonderful excuses and justifications to prove themselves as innocent, rational, righteous, and maybe even God. They’ll always have the last word and try to win the argument. Being hardly able to recognize the thin line between responsibility and blame, narcissists end up avoiding both. 

7. Predisposition toward control-freak tendencies

This is another red flag if you are dealing with or dating a narcissist. A deep desire to control everything (environment, friends, spouse, workmates, neighbors, etc.) is one of the most frustrating traits of narcissism. They want to control and dictate you, while least interested in different aspects of your life. 

Partners in a relationship with a narcissist often mistake control for love or protection. What’s more? You will have no privacy or personal space. Other than closely monitoring your whereabouts like a CCTV, narcissistic people will also keep an eye on your belongings, personal text messages, and call logs. 

If you are not allowed to make independent decisions in a relationship or think for yourself or have too many restrictions imposed on you or are being criticized for your actions and behaviors, then you are hooked up with a control freak.  

8. Emotionally cold behavior in relationships

If you have a narcissistic friend or spouse, s/he will never comfort you at times of distress, because they are emotionally distant. When you need them most they might turn their back or respond in a cold manner. Driven by the need for self-protection, narcissists are incapable of loving or connecting emotionally with others.

Even when you are shouting on top of your lungs, expressing your deepest concerns or unmet needs, they may just slam the door on your face. Such an attitude may make you even more desperate to get that affection, connection, and love from your partner. But, in vain! “Being emotionally cold” is one of the 9 traits of narcissism, that you must know if you are already in love with a narcissist.

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Louisa Davis

Hi there! I'm just a normal person enjoying the process of life. Practicing Buddhism, I believe in the law of cause and effect. Reading and writing is always a pleasure. I enjoy researching on a range of subjects – science, psychology, and technology. Nothing can satiate my soul than good music, horror movies, psycho-thriller, and crime stuff. I enjoy photography, music and watching comedy videos. Talking to people, learning new experiences, sharing my knowledge through blogs, motivating others are things that I always look forward to.View Author posts