If you are someone who knows what the meaning of narcissist is, then you may be questioning “am I a narcissist?” A narcissist is someone who is so self-absorbed and into themselves that they use everyone in their wake.
Everyone they come into contact with is considered a means to their end. The truth is that only a psychological professional can determine whether you have a narcissistic personality. But, in general, if you even wondered if you are one, then there is a good likelihood that you aren’t.
Why is that?
The cornerstone of being a narcissist is that you will do anything to protect your ego including making excuses and diffusing, as well as refusing to accept any responsibility for things in your life. If you are asking, “am I a narcissist” you are actually admitting that you have some tendencies to be self-involved.
Fear not, we ALL have those tendencies in us. Recognizing them probably negates the likelihood that you are a narcissist. And, even if you are, it is an excellent first step to recovery. [Read: 16 clear signs you’re in a narcissistic relationship]
There are several telltale signs of a narcissist. It isn’t just that you possess specific qualities, or that you move in and out of selfish tendencies at times. Narcissism is an entire systematic way of viewing life, manipulating people in your path, and leaving broken hearts, damaged goods, and failed relationships everywhere you go.
These ten things answer the question “am I a narcissist” with a “no!”
If you do the following things, then chances are good that you are not a narcissist… you are just human. Of course, you’re not perfect, but asking the question shows you care enough to see the error of your ways and have remorse for your behaviors and actions. Here are 10 signs that you might not be a narcissist.
#1 Am I a narcissist? A narcissist would never admit that they have the personality disorder. At every turn, a narcissist will do whatever necessary to protect their self-image.
They will continually throw shade on their behavior by finding what everyone else is doing to cause their bad behavior and refuse to check themselves. [Read: 25 signs of covert narcissism – A special kind of mind game]
#2 Do you feel bad about your behavior? A narcissist treats people in their lives with depraved indifference. They are the type of people who can make someone cry, destroy their career, take their girlfriend, or cheat to win, and be able to justify their actions without any remorse or bad feelings whatsoever. The belief in “survival of the fittest” is a narcissist’s rationalization that leads to no feelings of remorse.
#3 Have you had successful relationships? Even if not all your relationships have ended in happily ever after, a narcissist is incapable of having a close bond or relationship with anyone.
They often have a series of hurt and damaged people in their past. Because they prey on people with low self-esteem, their relationships rarely work without co-dependence or complete destruction of both, the relationship and the individual who they are in it with.
If you have had some pretty tumultuous relationships with others that simply weren’t marriage-worthy, that doesn’t make you a narcissist. You may be difficult to live with, yes, but narcissistic… probably not. [Read: 12 signs of a narcissist and 5 ways to break up with them]
#4 Do you feel bad for people? If someone in your life is going through a hard time and you can feel bad for them, you are probably not a narcissist. One of the defining characteristics of a narcissist is that they have absolutely no ability to show something called empathy.
Empathy is the capacity to put yourself into someone else’s shoes and feel what they feel. That means when you see someone suffering, you can suffer with them. If you are capable of feeling sorry for someone, then you are probably not a narcissist.
Someone who is a narcissist refuses to pity anyone else because they are unable to feel for them and often put the ominous on the person who is going through a hard time. Seeing the person of misfortune as being responsible for their own problems, a narcissist rarely feels bad or offers to help someone in need, unless there is a reward in it for them.
#5 Would you cross the boundary into the dark side? If you want something and see a clear boundary between right and wrong, you are probably not a narcissist. A narcissist is someone who has no conscience and doesn’t know when they are crossing into a realm of no return. [Read: 10 signs you’re dating a self-obsessed narcissist]
For a narcissist, stealing, lying, destroying, calling names and just about anything else the rest of us deem not-so-nice, is totally okay. “All is fair in love and war” was probably first notable by a narcissist.
#6 Would you put someone else’s needs above yours? If you use your own hard-earned money to buy something for someone else instead of splurging on yourself, then you are probably not a narcissistic personality.
If you put the needs of your partner, your friend, or even a stranger above your own, that would negate you being a narcissist. Being selfish is just one of the characteristics of a true narcissistic personality, but a really dominant one.
#7 Are you truly capable of accepting constructive criticism? If someone has something constructive to say about your personal behavior or professional performance and you don’t explode or get angry, then you are probably not a true narcissistic personality.
A narcissist is unwilling to listen to anything negative that comes from outside. If you challenge them, try to present your side, or question their beliefs of behaviors, especially in relation to their behavior, they meet you with an explosion of anger and something called “gas lighting.”
It is a psychological tool that throws gas all over the issue to distract the opponent from any validity in their argument or suggestion. If you are open to hearing another’s side of a story, or acknowledge that you may have been wrong, then the likelihood that you are a narcissist is pretty low. [Read: Gaslighting – 16 ways someone can mess with your mind]
#8 Do you put others down? A narcissist usually uses the tactics of putting others down to make themselves feel better. Bullying, calling names, or outright destroying anyone who they feel in competition with just comes naturally to the narcissist.
Someone who is a narcissist has no boundaries for their acts of retaliation, nor did they learn or will they adhere to the Golden Rule of “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
#9 Do you withhold love? One of the best tools in a narcissist’s arsenal is withholding love. A narcissist is completely incapable of providing unconditional love. They have no problem treating a loved one with indifference to control them and get what they want.
Once the other person in the relationship falls in line, the love starts to flow again. Love isn’t loving for a narcissist; it is the greatest tool they have to make someone do what they want. In fact, most narcissists are incapable of loving anyone but themselves. [Read: 21 big signs of emotional abuse that you might be overlooking]
#10 Do you think you are perfect? The narcissist, being in love with themselves, thinks that they exemplify perfection. If you are willing to admit that you aren’t perfect, that you make mistakes, and that you sometimes wish you were better or nicer then you are, then the answer to “am I a narcissist” is almost assuredly no.
All of us exhibit narcissistic behaviors at times. In fact, we all do things that are self-serving and will put ourselves first when the occasion calls for it. That is not only a part of human nature; it is an evolutionary practice that has allowed us to survive this long.
If you are asking the question “am I a narcissist” that is the first sign that you aren’t. The last thing that a narcissist will do is to admit that they aren’t perfect. They think they’re always in the right, always doing the right thing, and that nothing is their fault or responsibility. [Read: Selfishness in relationships – 15 tips to do the right thing]
That being said, we could all be better and more empathetic people. If you want to feel less like a narcissist and more like the good person you want to be, try putting others first sometimes.
Provide those around you with unconditional love and try to remember that when the people you love are happy, it is a much more joyous feeling than rising to the top knowing you used the backs of everyone around you.
[Read: Relationship with a narcissist – What it really means to love one]
You may not be a narcissist, but within each of us is the ability to be a better person. So, do your best to keep the things you like about yourself and change the things that you don’t, so you don’t have to ask “am I a narcissist?” anyore.
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A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...
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