Having a big ego can be very healthy and beneficial to your self-worth and confidence at times. It propels you forward in life, and helps you make decisions that change how you react to your accomplishments. But what happens when someone’s ego gets out of control, and makes them an egomaniac who believes they’re superior to others?
This amplified craving for flattery and adoration manifests into arrogance and vanity, and eventually corrodes relationships.
Being cocky is all good in moderation, but lack of humility is not an attractive quality to possess. Egomaniasm is born out of insecurity. It indicates a deep need to feel accepted through mass amounts of attention and praise. A lot of egomaniacs have an inferiority complex. They gain their sense of self-worth through other people. Some inflated egos are fueled by genuine success, but a lot are often on the back of no real major accomplishments.
What is the difference between an egomaniac and being a narcissist?
Although possible to be both a narcissist and an egomaniac at the same time, people confuse the two. While they share many similar characteristics, they are not entirely the same thing. [Read: 23 secret signs of narcissism most people overlook until it’s too late]
One of the main differences is that narcissists show lack of remorse or guilt for their actions. Whereas egomaniacs have the ability to empathize but ultimately divert back to their default apathetic and selfish ways once they get the focus back on them.
Narcissists typically give in to sporadic impulses whereas egomaniacs don’t always and are able to hold down jobs or relationships for longer. Despite this, their egotistical nature leaks out as they become more comfortable. It’s not long before you find yourself bending over backwards to please them.
Many egomaniacs function fully in social groups, businesses, and relationships. It can be difficult to suss them out, but once you know how to spot them, the better.
Here are 22 traits that help you figure out if your significant other is an egomaniac.
#1 They’re in denial about their flaws. They hate feeling as if they have any faults at all. Whenever you confront them with something you don’t like about them, they do their best to deflect it as much as possible. In their eyes, everyone should see them and their actions as perfect.
#2 There’s no communication. Sometimes it feels like you talk to a brick wall. They refuse to listen to your points of view, they make you feel silly for voicing your concerns, and they won’t tell you when something’s bothering them. It’s easier for them to just sit back while you try to figure out how to break through their communication barrier. [Read: Emotionally detached? 15 signs they don’t really care about you]
#3 They think they know better than you in every situation. Even when it’s regarding something that’s mostly in your field of expertise, they still think they have more authority to speak about it than you. They consider themselves to be experts about all topics, and rarely take your advice on anything.
#4 They can’t handle a taste of their own medicine. They definitely dish it out, but they can’t seem to take it back. It doesn’t take much to get under their skin by calling them out. They crumble at the first sign of anyone challenging them. They are truly the worst people when handling criticism. [Read: Controlling people – 14 common traits and ways to deal with them]
#5 There’s no responsibility. An egomaniac never likes to take any responsibility for their actions. When something is their fault they try to find a way out of it, and blame someone or something else. By admitting the responsibility falls on them, they admit they have the ability to fail, which is something they avoid at all costs.
#6 They’re master manipulators. They manage to somehow sulk, kick up a fuss, or emotionally blackmail you into getting what they want. When they want something from you, they know all the right things to say and do to press your buttons. Once you react angrily they say you overreact, until you give them the reaction that suits them.
#7 You’re the main driving force behind the relationship. They put in minimal effort when it comes to your relationship and regularly expect you to do most of the work.
You spend lots of your time chasing them to ask about their day, considering their feelings before your own, and taking care of them when they’re ill. They barely ever reciprocate. [Read: Selfish people – 15 ways to spot and stop them from hurting you]
#8 They’re great at twisting situations to suit them. They somehow make you feel like you’re the problem in every situation. When you said something to stick up for yourself, suddenly you attack them. They regularly say things like, “I only got angry and shouted like that because you did something to make me feel that way.”
#9 They don’t know how to apologize. Sure, you get an apology from time to time, but they’re never genuine. They may feel bad for what they did, but they won’t let you know that. Instead they either find a way to make you apologize or give you a passive aggressive or sarcastic response.
#10 They’re a total flirt. You find them constantly flirting with other people, and often have to tell them to stop. You’ve had plenty of fights about it, but they constantly brush it off by saying “It doesn’t mean anything, that’s just what I’m like.” But your instincts tell you different.
They crave the attention of others at all times because they love to fool themselves into thinking everyone finds them unbearably desirable. [Read: Instagram flirting: How it’s secretly ruining your relationship]
#11 They spend more time getting ready than you. When you get ready for a night out together, you’re almost always ready to leave before they are. They spend hours preening themselves for visual consumption. They won’t leave the house until they’ve double checked their appearance, asked for your opinion, and changed their outfit several times.
#12 You’re treated like a trophy. You find they love to show you off to their friends and family and regularly boast in front of other people about how attractive or intelligent you are. With an egomaniac, this is less to do with their pride in you, and more to do with using you to make others jealous or make themselves feel validated.
#13 Everything revolves around their needs. Almost everything they do is for personal gain. They always try to achieve something for their own benefit, even if it means stepping all over what you want to do. If they’re being helpful or caring, chances are they only do it because they know they can get something out of it, or it benefits them in some way. [Read: Emotional manipulation and 14 tricks people use to mess with your mind]
#14 They’re very fashion conscious. You regularly see their Instagram feed filled with endless fashion pages, or style blogs bookmarked on their browser. They feel the need to always be on top of upcoming style movements, so they stay up to date with what trends are the next big thing. Most of their paycheck goes towards materialistic things.
#15 Everything’s always about them. When something terrible happens, it’s all about how sad they feel about it. If you get a promotion at work, it’s all about how it affects them. If you’re not paying enough attention to them, it’s all about how you don’t love them anymore. Eventually every situation revolves around them until your opinion barely even matters. [Read: Emotionally invested: 13 things to consider before going all in]
#16 They love the sound of their own voice. You often find them talking just for the sake of it, or starting a debate in a group of people they know already share the same opinions as them. They do this so that they get validation from people when they compliment their viewpoint. They also love to play devil’s advocate in an argument, just to make sure they never lose.
#17 They’re obsessed with their looks. Every time you go past a reflective surface, they stop and check how they look. You often catch them looking at their reflection in mirrors, or asking people if they look good. It’s almost certain no one ever looks at them as lovingly as they look at themselves.
#18 Their inadequacies come out in bed. If you ever find yourself in a situation where they can’t satisfy you in bed, they get really hurt, really easily. Even if it’s not their fault and instead because you’re too tired, it doesn’t matter. To them, your inability to climax is a direct reflection of their abilities which completely crushes their ego. They constantly feel like you think they’re the best you’ve ever had—even if it’s not true. [Read: Getting rid of sexual insecurity for a better sex life]
#19 They always have to have the upper hand. You’re never allowed to be right, because they think they know best. You always have to be one-upped in every situation. They don’t like it when you start to feel better about yourself than they do. They often use manipulative tactics to knock you down or make you feel inferior so that they feel better about themselves.
#20 They’re always wearing a mask. An egomaniac tends to hide their true feelings or thoughts, and won’t share information that potentially makes you see them in a negative light. They never truly are themselves and open up because that requires showing vulnerability, which is something they regularly try to avoid.
#21 They’re constantly fishing for compliments. Not a day goes by where they don’t crave attention, or subtly try and get you to tell them how awesome they are. You find them acting out in a self-deprecating manner because need reassurance endlessly. Their fragile egos must be validated on a regular basis, or else they feel insufficient. [Read: 16 signs of an insufferable attention whore]
#22 They’re actually pretty mean. They spend a lot of time poking fun at you or using back-handed compliments in a way to undermine you or put you down. But then when you confront them about it, they tell you that they’re just joking or that you shouldn’t take it so seriously. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just a joke, when it’s actually just deliberate ridicule.
[Read: How to deal with a narcissist: 13 ways you can manipulate them]
If you find yourself in a relationship with an egomaniac, either confront them or leave. It’s not worth staying in a relationship with them because before too long they suck all the positive vibes and confidence out of you.
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