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73 Red Flag Narcissism Signs & Traits of a Narcissist to Read Them Like a Book

There are plenty of overly selfish people in the world. But are they narcissists? Here are the signs of narcissism so you can figure it out for yourself.

signs of narcissism

We all have that one friend who stands in front of the mirror for a little too long or is always showing off the new car they just bought. And we all have those moments where we think we’re on top of the world, so what makes you different from a narcissist? Are there any subtle signs of narcissism most of us overlook? Of course!

So, there’s something called self-love, which we all should aim to have… and that’s totally acceptable.

However, narcissism is the extreme of that. It’s beyond self-love. Instead, it’s self-obsession to the point of using and abusing others! [Read: How to deal with a narcissist in the best way you possibly can]

What is a narcissist?

A narcissist is someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD. This is someone who has the most self-inflated sense of self you can imagine. They lack empathy and sensitivity.

As a result, they belittle and bully other people easily. They don’t even realize that what they are doing is wrong, but if they do, they often take pleasure in it. [Read: 23 secret signs of narcissism people overlook until it’s too late]

The biggest issue is that narcissists are masters of disguise and able to turn the charm on and off when it suits them. However, none of it is real.

It’s all an illusion designed to help to boost their own self-esteem which is surprisingly low under the whole facade. 

Are narcissists born? Or do they learn these traits over time? Nobody is really sure. However, researchers believe that children who have narcissistic parents are more likely to become narcissistic themselves. [Read: What causes narcissism? The facts and theories to read a narcissist]

What causes a person to become a narcissist?

We have all known a narcissist. But have you ever wondered how they got to be that way? What on earth could have happened to make them turn out to be such self-centered, unpleasant people?

It’s easy to be very judgmental of them. After all, they are making your life miserable, so why wouldn’t you criticize them for infringing on your happiness?

It’s human nature to sit back and judge them for all the horrible things they inflict on other people. But let’s take a step back with a little empathy here. Yes, it’s strange to have empathy for a narcissist. [Read: Narcissist relationship pattern – the stages you have to face]

And that’s not to say that you should tolerate their horrible behavior – because you shouldn’t! However, it really helps to think about how they might have become the way they are.

1. Childhood trauma

Childhood trauma is a big contributing factor to how someone becomes a narcissist. Perhaps they grew up with abusive parents. One or both of them may have emotionally, mentally, and/or physically abused them. [Read: Being raised by narcissists – 18 harmful ways it affects your life]

You would think that someone who had childhood trauma would turn out to be a nice person, not a narcissist, wouldn’t you? It makes sense that they wouldn’t want to put other people through the horrible things they experienced as a child.

But here’s why they don’t do that. People tend to model the behavior of people around them – especially the behavior they saw in their parents growing up. It becomes “normal” to them, and they probably don’t know any other way to behave.

That’s why they say that the abused become the abuser. It’s like “monkey see, monkey do.”

They don’t really give much thought to their behavior and how it affects other people, unfortunately. This is not an excuse for you to tolerate their behavior, but it does explain it. [Read: How to tell if someone is a narcissist and recognize them instantly]

2. Excessive parental pampering

On the other end of the spectrum, maybe their parents were overly doting and pampering. Perhaps they were an only child and grew up rich, getting whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.

If they grew up thinking that the world revolved around them, then they probably didn’t have any practice at all in thinking about other people’s feelings. It has made them practically devoid of any kind of empathy.

They’re always thinking, “What’s in it for me?” and “What can I get out of this?” This is excessive selfishness. [Read: How do people become self-centered and stop caring about others?]

When you are allowed to do anything you want to do for the first 18 years of your life, there’s no doubt that you will turn into a narcissist.

3. Brain chemistry

The first two reasons were more socially related. But this reason is that they may have something wrong with their brain chemistry. [Read: Narcissists and empaths – why they’re a match made in dating hell]

Most mental health problems have some sort of component that has to do with what is happening in the brain. This is why doctors prescribe medications to help balance the brain chemistry of patients with mental health disorders.

This helps bring them into a more normal range of behavior. Narcissists could also have their share of a problem with brain chemistry. [Read: Narcissistic sociopath – how they think, 31 signs and ways to deal with them]

Why do you need to look out for signs of narcissism?

You might be wondering why it matters if someone has a sign of narcissism. Surely it only causes people to think badly of them and nothing else.

But that’s not really true. The issue is that narcissists are master manipulators. They manipulate situations and the feelings of others to make someone believe that they’re the most wonderful person on the planet.

When that happens, they’re able to control others and inflict a world of pain on the helpless victim who trusts them, be it a friend or partner. [Read: How to spot a narcissist instantly and save yourself a world of pain]

It’s no surprise that many people who have escaped the grips of a narcissistic relationship usually seek therapy to heal from the abuse.

They need assistance in unpicking a period of manipulation, mental torture, and emotional abuse that causes them to question their thoughts and sanity.

Signs of narcissism might not appear too damaging on the surface, but you’ll soon see that not only are they dangerous, but they can also ruin your future as well. [Read: How to recognize and stop selfish people from hurting you]

How do narcissists hook people so easily?

Manipulation. It’s difficult to explain why it’s easy to fall into the clutches of a narcissist unless you’ve experienced it yourself or you’ve seen it happening to someone close to you. 

Gaslighting is one of the most common forms of manipulation used by narcissists. But they’re also very good at identifying who is a good target.

They will often go for people who are sensitive emotionally, then will work to isolate them from those around them, such as friends and family members. [Read: How to know if you’re an empath who feels deeper and connects more than others]

The most common signs of narcissism most of us overlook

Now, you may think a narcissist is very obvious to point out, but not always. They usually exhibit some core signs of narcissism which seem to be prevalent in almost all narcissists.

You just have to keep your eyes open because narcissists will mentally drain you when you’re just hoping they’ll enrich your life! Here are the most important signs of narcissism you may not have noticed already.

1. You like them at first

That’s the thing with narcissistic people, you like them. They know how to have a good time. They can chat up a storm and entertain you. But that only lasts for so long. [Read: Dark triad personality – what it is and 25 signs and ways to deal with them]

Eventually, you realize the only thing they talk about and care about is themselves. They always make good first impressions but don’t do well in long-term scenarios.

2. Lack of empathy

They don’t want to understand other people’s feelings. This is because, in actuality, they don’t care. Sure, they may sit and listen to you, but they’re not really listening.

They’re concerned about how these feelings will affect their own agenda. [Read: 16 reasons why you’re always being taken for granted by others around you]

If you know someone who has a tendency to only be around you during the good times, well, that’s one of the huge signs of narcissism.

3. They aren’t all loud and in-your-face

You have two types of narcissism. You have your typical narcissists who are loud, proud, and obnoxious. But then you also have your covert narcissists. Those are people who are introverts and are highly defensive with anxiety.

At the end of the day, they both share the traits of being selfish, not empathetic, and arrogant. [Read: 25 signs of covert narcissism and the special kind of mind game they play]

4. They don’t listen to you

They’ll sit there with their cup of tea, but everything you’re saying is going in one ear and out the other. Their advice will be quickly formulated and not given much thought, so if you’re seeking advice, go call your mom instead.

If they ask you for advice, most likely they’re waiting to hear what they want to hear, not what they need to hear.

5. Downplay other people’s needs

You may be very upset about your dog dying, but their response is, “oh well, he was old anyways.” They make it so that your feelings are not as important as theirs. [Read: 24 signs of people who lack empathy to know they don’t care what you think]

They don’t want to explore how an event affected you because they don’t care. That’s energy wasted on something that doesn’t involve them.

6. Can’t take criticism

In fact, that’s something it’s best you just don’t do with them. They don’t take criticism well, and when they hear it, you’ll get a very immature reply.

They won’t be angry, but instead, they will put you down and become passive-aggressive. It’s like dealing with a two-year-old. [Read: Narcissistic rage and how to handle the angry backlash when you criticize them]

7. They like being the boss

Makes sense, though, right? They want to rule the world, so naturally, they would love to be in any position of power. Many narcissists are in leadership roles because they love to dominate.

8. Constantly feeling unappreciated

Another sign of narcissism is that they feel unappreciated. They feel as if they just aren’t given the respect they deserve.

Everything comes with a sense of entitlement and not receiving the proper recognition. If it was up to them, we would all be kissing their feet for the smallest things.

9. They’re mean to people

They’re dicks. it’s really that plain and simple. They think they’re the best so they don’t have to show any respect or courtesy for others they deem below them.

They’re usually very rude to people whom they feel are not worthy of their attention. [Read: Why do narcissists ignore texts and do the selfish things they do?]

10. They think they’re hot and desired by all

Oh yeah, narcissists are just the hottest of the hot. They think everyone wants to have sex with them. The weird thing, though, is that usually, narcissists are generally more attractive and stylish. Funny how that works out.

11. They’re a serial dater

Narcissists are charming as hell. If you’re dating one, they probably swept you off your feet and you fell hard for them.

However, that usually is only in the beginning since that reality is pretty hard to hold up in the long term. One of the classic signs of narcissism. [Read: Why do people fall for narcissists when they know they shouldn’t?]

12. Four months is their mark

They typically can’t hold a relationship longer than four months. Usually, by the four-month mark, the other person finally sees that they’re dating a narcissist.

13. They cheat

Narcissists are more likely to cheat on their partners. They’re charming, and everyone wants to sleep with them, right? [Read: How do cheaters react when accused? Anger and what you should expect]

They think they are amazing, so, of course, you can see why they would be inclined to cheat and convince themselves just how much everyone wants to f*ck them!

14. They have to be in control

If they’re not in control, things go south fast. They’re on a pedestal of greatness, and if they’re not in control of that, they’re at the mercy of others. [Read: How do narcissists control you so subtly? And why you allow them]

Being able to control others gives a narcissist power and they crave that power. And being able to guilt or manipulate people is something they do regularly. [Read: Controlling vs caring? The thin line controlling people love to cross]

15. They choose friends based on self-interest

They can’t have friends because they need to actually care about others to stay friends. That would mean that they’re emotionally invested in someone that isn’t themselves.

So, instead, they choose friends who offer them something of interest. Maybe their friends are rich and famous – it has to be something that makes their image rise.

16. Have issues showing emotions

Why would they want to show emotions? That would make them have to care and have feelings that don’t revolve around them. [Read: Narcissistic supply – how to control a narcissist and cut their power]

17. Love to put people down

Another one of the big signs of narcissism is putting people down. They need to keep the idea that they are the best, they need that positive image for themselves.

So, how do you get that? You put other people down. It’s the easiest and classic way to boost your self-esteem. It’s their fix.

They often do this through bullying. Although they would prefer to talk about themselves, if someone is taking their attention away, they will find a way to bring them down. [Read: Emotional bully – how to recognize a bully and stand your ground]

18. Fake humility

They may try to play off that they’re modest and humble. In the beginning, you may believe them, however, you’ll notice eventually that it’s a lie.

This false humility allows them to play the victim and get their ego stroked. But it’s all a show, you can’t fake humility. [Read: 20 signs of a narcissistic relationship that’ll destroy you slowly]

19. They like perfection

It’s all about creating the perfect life. They are perfect. They have rich and influential friends, an amazing job, a hot significant other – everything you could possibly ever want.

So, if you show them something that’s imperfect and flawed about themselves, they’ll dismiss it.

20. They gaslight you and make you look like the crazy one

Gaslighting is a method of manipulation that causes you to question your thoughts and, in the end, your sanity. [Read: How to spot gaslighting in a relationship instantly and shut it down]

For instance, the narcissist will tell you that they’re going to do something for you and then they don’t. When you question it, they tell you that they never said such a thing. Laughing, they’ll suggest that you’re going crazy or becoming forgetful. 

It’s subtle, but over time it can add up to someone not trusting their own mind anymore. Gaslighting is extremely dangerous and a form of emotional manipulation and abuse. [Read: Gaslighting – what it is, how it works and 22 signs to spot it ASAP]

Unfortunately, someone who is subjected to gaslighting often doesn’t realize until later down the line when they look back and something clicks.  

Don’t let them twist your mind. The best thing to do is walk away because this is one of the major signs of narcissism. [Read: Signs someone’s gaslighting and playing mind games with you]

21. Their social media is pristine

They have thousands of “friends” and use their social media as a way to show their status in society.  All their pictures are flawless with thousands of likes. In reality, they’re alone, but it doesn’t matter.

They have an illusion that shows them as something greater than all of us. [Read: Social media addiction – the 16 alarming symptoms and how to break out]

They post a lot on social media. In fact, they will delete photos that don’t get a lot of likes and repost hoping to get more. They are also likely to comment on other people’s photos with both praise and hate. [Read: Instagram envy and how to keep yourself calm when you’re green with envy]

22. Excuses, excuses, excuses

This is probably their biggest strength – they can have an excuse for anything.

They never fail at anything because if they did, it’s someone else’s fault for that failure, not actually theirs. Throw a problem at them and they’ll give you an excuse and blame it on someone else.

23. They love taking everything personally

You can joke around with them but you can’t make a joke about them. It’s not going to fly. [Read: How to beat a narcissist – ways to win over their manipulation]

Why? Because making fun of them isn’t something to joke about. They’re perfect and making fun of them is an attack. Everything is personal because, well, it’s always about them.

24. They have low self-esteem

Does this one surprise you? It probably does! The reason that this trait might sound wrong to you is that narcissists parade around as if they are God’s gift to humanity. And because of that, most people think that they have an inflated sense of self-esteem.

But you see, it’s actually the opposite. They don’t feel good about themselves. That’s exactly why they treat other people badly – to try to make themselves feel superior. [Read: How to deal with a narcissist in the best way you possibly can]

25. A hugely inflated sense of self-importance

The most common of all the signs of narcissism is someone who believes themselves to be amazing. They believe they’re more important than everyone else, fantastic at everything, and the best of the best. 

26. They’re extremely selfish

Narcissists don’t have a radar that tells them what you need and they’re not able to identify when you might be feeling a certain way.

Everything is about them in their mind. They’re not only selfish, but they’re completely self-absorbed too. [Read: Why do narcissists ignore texts and do the selfish things they do?]

27. They must have the best of everything

Narcissists want the best of everything. This is because they believe it further pushes forth the idea that they’re important and fantastic at everything. When something is no longer in fashion or attractive, they’ll drop it and move on. 

Narcissistic people also love status. Today, status is usually achieved through materialism. So, they’ll strive to have a fancy car, a nice apartment, and will wear the newest collections.

They want people to know they’re not the average person, they’re on a higher level. [Read: How to know if a narcissist is finished with you and ready to discard you]

28. They need constant validation from those around them

Despite appearing extremely confident on the outside, narcissists are surprisingly lacking in confidence.

They need people to validate them and tell them how amazing they are in order to feel good. When they don’t get it, they become moody and difficult. [Read: Psychopath vs. sociopath vs. narcissist – 27 subtle ways to tell the difference]

29. They’re manipulative

Narcissists snare victims into their traps by using manipulation, and this is one of the key signs of narcissism.

They’re experts at it, to the point where they don’t even have to think about it in order to do it. 

Again, the desire to be in control causes them to lie or guilt people into things. They will psychologically trick you into things so they know they can do it. [Read: Psychological manipulation – 16 powerful tactics manipulators use to hook you]

30. Their opinion is the official word

Narcissists believe that their opinion is fact and your opinion is nothing more than a pile of garbage that they will take great pleasure in laughing at and belittling.

They do not understand the concept of opinion being a subjective thing that everyone is entitled to. 

31. They like to isolate people from their loved ones in order to control them

Another common narcissistic trait that narcissists like to use is to isolate victims from friends and family members. [Read: How do people become self-centered and stop caring about others]

They might tell someone that their friend has been talking behind their back or plant a seed of doubt about someone’s loyalty. This can be enough to pull them away from their support network and further into the grips of the narcissist. 

32. They exaggerate literally everything

Narcissists love to exaggerate everything. They don’t just cook a nice meal, they cook the best meal in the world. They don’t just have a nice car, they have a top-of-the-range sports car.

Nor do they just tell an amusing joke, they’re a stand-up comedian all of a sudden. This is one of the most annoying signs of narcissism, for sure. [Read: Do narcissists know they are narcissists or do they just lie to themselves?]

33. They often use passive-aggressive or cold shoulder tactics

When a narcissist doesn’t get what they want, be it a thing or a response they wanted, they’ll use passive-aggressive behavior to bully and punish their victim.

They’re also experts at using the cold shoulder to get you to do whatever it takes to make them speak to you again. Of course, this further enhances their power over you. [Read: How to deal with passive-aggressive behavior calmly and with class]

34. They work their way into important social circles

In addition to wanting the best of the best, they want to be associated with people who have high social standing or are known to be extremely successful. They believe this reflects well on them.

It’s no surprise that narcissists don’t have regular friendships as a result of all of these signs of narcissism we’ve mentioned so far. 

35. They boast about their achievements to anyone who will listen 

Not only do they exaggerate, but they love to boast to anyone who will give them a second to listen. This often makes the narcissist appear extremely arrogant and entitled. [Read: Attention whore – what it is, 23 signs and secrets to handling an attention seeker]

36. They’re extremely arrogant, but surprisingly lacking in confidence too

On the outside, they look super-arrogant and overconfident. Underneath it all, a narcissist is extremely easy to hurt.

That is why they resort to manipulation and cold shoulder tactics, because their pride is hurt, but also their confidence. [Read: Narcissistic supply – How to stop giving them the attention they crave so badly from you]

Narcissists will often take the initiative to sing their own praises and constantly remind all people around them how great they are. Their need for affirmation knows no bounds.

This particular symptom of narcissism is unlikely to win them any friends and serves as one reason why people around them consider them toxic.

37. They have a huge sense of self-entitlement

Narcissists are hugely self-entitled. They believe that they deserve everything and the best of it all. Why shouldn’t they have everything gold-embossed? They’re the best in the world, after all. At least, that’s what they think. 

Entitlement is its own thing, but it can also be a sign of narcissism. Feeling like they are owed or due something is super common for a narcissist.

This can be someone assuming they deserve a job they didn’t earn or someone who thinks they deserve the nicest things even if they can’t afford them. Someone who doesn’t earn what they want but thinks they deserve it anyway is entitled. [Read: How to survive the power of the narcissistic duping delight]

38. They don’t believe they should have to work for anything

They also believe that everything should just fall into their lap and that they don’t need to work hard for anything. Others should simply hand them what they need because they’re far too important to get their own hands dirty. 

39. They expect you to be there for them 24/7

This sense of entitlement also extends to expecting you to be there for them, whenever they demand you to be.

If you have other plans, they don’t matter – you must drop everything! When you turn it around and ask if they would do the same for you, the answer, of course, is “no.” [Read: Why do people fall for narcissists when they know they shouldn’t]

40. They can fly into fits of rage quite easily

When a narcissist doesn’t get what they want, they’re not only great at passive-aggressive behavior and cold shoulder tactics, but they can often fly into fits of rage.

A narcissist is often lacking in a skill when it comes to controlling emotions. As a result, the effects can be worrying. Getting mad, yelling, and throwing things are not normal expressions of anger, and it is pulled from something deeper. [Read: Narcissistic rage and how to handle their angry backlash]

41. They’re not able to love you how you want to be loved

Perhaps the most important of all the signs of narcissism to be aware of is this one. If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, they are not going to change.

They will never love you in the way you want to be loved and the way you deserve to be loved.

They don’t have the empathy required to love someone in the right way and your needs will always be so far down the pecking order that they’ll never see the light of day. You deserve so much more. [Read: Can a narcissist change? The real truth if you’re looking for hope]

42. They talk about themselves

They dominate the conversation by talking about themselves

Narcissistic people want to be the center of attention, which is why they seek to dominate a conversation and keep the topic about themselves. [Read: Do you love talking and hate listening? The signs of a conversational narcissist]

A normal conversation involves both speaking and listening. But talking to a narcissist is like turning on the radio, and the only channel is them bragging about themselves. 

On top of this, narcissists hoard speaking time in a conversation. Once the narcissist starts talking, others will find themselves interrupted or dismissed. A symptom of narcissism is their belief that the only person with something worth saying is them. 

43. They rarely, if ever, ask about you

Someone showing narcissistic behavior won’t ask how you’re doing or what’s been going on with you.

Maybe a friend just got engaged so they spend all of your dinner talking about wedding plans and never asking about your relationship or job. This is a prime example of narcissistic behavior that is unique to this situation.

This person may not always be this way but is currently self-absorbed due to something happening in their life. [Read: 23 secret signs of narcissism people overlook until it’s too late]

44. They need reassurance

Requiring outside assurance and approval is a major sign of narcissistic behavior. Although narcissism is self-involvement, it is deeply seated in low self-esteem. So, relying on others for approval and acceptance means a lot.

45. They seem conceited

Someone who insists everyone is hitting on them or that they know they look amazing all the time is often covering for their internal insecurities. [Read: Confident or cocky? 16 subtle signs that split an arrogant and modest man]

There is nothing wrong with being confident, but insisting you are better than anyone else shows narcissism.

46. They point out your flaws

Whether you are friends or dating someone, if they feel the need to point out your flaws, they may be using their ability to put you down to lift themselves up.

They require perfection from themselves, so they require it of the people in their life too. They will likely insult your clothes, your style, or anything they can. After all, doing this makes them feel better about themselves. [Read: Why do people get defensive? Reasons why and ways to handle them]

47. They can’t apologize

The inability to apologize is a common form of narcissistic behavior. Some people can’t do it at work, others can’t do it at home.

Not being able to admit mistakes shows a lack of vulnerability which is also a part of narcissism. [Read: The biggest traits of toxic people that can hurt and emotionally damage you]

48. They can’t handle rejection

Whether it is a turned-down date or a breakup, they lose it. They will either deny it, lie about it, or fall to pieces about rejection. 

49. They try to get revenge

Revenge is something most well-developed and mature people don’t do. Most people handle a breakup by binging on sad movies and eating ice cream.

When this causes narcissistic behavior, someone may use their ex’s account to order a bunch of stuff or post something embarrassing about them online. [Read: How to make a narcissist miserable and burn with rage]

50. They need attention

Another major symptom of narcissism is the intense craving for attention, praise, and admiration. A narcissist needs praise and admiration, they just can’t live without it.

The narcissist equates their greatness with the amount of praise they get from others. Without this, they will be visibly distressed and go to great lengths to feed their ego. [Read: What makes someone an attention seeker and how to read these traits]

51. They blame others for their problems

If something goes wrong in their life or at work, they always have someone else to blame. If they make a mistake, it’s because someone taught them the wrong way.

52. They have no boundaries

Boundaries? Why would they have boundaries? That would mean they respect you, and we all know a narcissist only has respect and love for themselves. [Read: 16 subtle hints narcissists give away as soon as you meet them]

A narcissist is someone who believes they are above what others want. If you ask them not to invade your client meetings, they will. If you ask them not to eat the yogurt in the fridge with your name on it, they will. 

One of the strongest and yet silly signs of narcissism is their belief that everything belongs to them. If you create a boundary they disagree with, prepare to be challenged. They make sure they get what they want.

53. They’re defensive

If you call out someone for narcissistic behavior, they should be somewhat open to your feedback. But people who get defensive and argumentative about it may be more of a narcissist than not. [Read: How to set personal boundaries and guide other people to respect it]

54. They’re stubborn

Everyone has some level of stubbornness about certain things. But when stubbornness gets in the way of practicality, it may be a sign of narcissism. 

55. They tend to be vain

Being superficial or more into looks than the average person is a sign of self-involvement. They are obsessed with admiring themselves in the mirror and fishing for compliments. [Read: 16 signs of an attention whore who can’t stop seeking attention]

56. They are judgmental

They will roll their eyes at people for watching certain shows. And they will judge people who they don’t know or who don’t live up to their expectations, which to be honest, is most people. 

57. They are a sore loser

Being highly competitive is a sign of narcissism. It is obviously common for athletes and Olympians, but for those who don’t want to play board games anymore because they’re losing, it is probably something else.

58. They like drama

They may act like they hate drama, but somehow, it always surrounds them. Because they want attention they will get it in whatever way they can, even if that means starting drama. [Read: How to recognize emotionally unstable people for less drama in life]

59. An unfounded sense of superiority and importance

A narcissist is often defined by their belief that they are special and better than other people. This is not well-earned pride or confidence, but a belief that they are inherently better than others. 

Their tendency toward grandeur leads them to believe that they are unique, destined for greatness, and a cut above the rest of the world’s population.

The narcissist will expect to be treated as superior by those around them and will react negatively when they are not. This false belief is the primary motivation for many of the other signs of narcissism listed below. [Read: Do you ever wonder what causes narcissism?]

60. Intense envy

A tentpole symptom of narcissism is out-of-control envy. The narcissist will be intensely jealous of others.

Whether their competition is real or imaginary, the narcissist will react badly to anyone they feel challenges them. They will see anyone who could potentially take the attention and admiration away from them as a threat.

People who are more talented or achieved greater things than they have will fall victim to their envy. In addition, the narcissist will believe that people are as envious of them as they are of others. [Read: Signs you’re stuck with a narcissistic friend]

61. They love power or the illusion of power

For narcissists, accolades, awards, titles, citations, and distinguished positions are a solid form of praise and admiration. They also crave positions of power to exercise their sense of entitlement.

One of the signs of narcissism is a preoccupation with fantasies of power, beauty, and the proving of their superiority. The narcissist is drawn to positions of power, whether real or imaginary. [Read: What types of narcissism should you be on the lookout for?]

62. They cannot see themselves in a negative light

A symptom of narcissism is an inability to view oneself negatively. This would lead most to think narcissists always see themselves as a hero of their own story.

If the situation calls for them to take accountability for their actions, they will always paint themselves as the victim of the actions of others. 

Narcissists will never portray their image in a negative light and will protect their self-image at all costs. This often means doing mental backflips to avoid taking the blame and never admitting to fault. [Read: What is vulnerable narcissism and what makes it so dangerous]

63. They may obsess over their physical appearance

Not everyone who likes to look good is a narcissist.

That being said, many narcissists consider their personal appearance the first step to getting the attention and admiration that they crave. Therefore, an obsession with physical appearance can be a symptom of narcissism. 

For these narcissists, a lot of effort is spent to make sure that they are physically attractive to others. They take care of their physique, have a distinct taste for fashion and style, and painstakingly consider every small detail in their appearance.

That being said, there are plenty of narcissists who are objectively unattractive and do not strive for physical beauty. These narcissists believe they deserve praise and admiration for some other aspect of themselves, such as their intellect or personality. 

They may hold others *such as potential partners* to a standard of physical perfection that they do not have, and consider themselves superior for “seeing beyond physical beauty.” [Read: What is the worst thing you can do to a narcissist to hurt them?]

64. They struggle with objectivity

Narcissists are completely incapable of seeing outside of themselves. Because of this, they are unable to see situations objectively.

If something good happens, it’s because of their influence and efforts. But when it comes to taking responsibility for something bad happening, they never apologize let alone admit that it’s their fault.

Blame will be cast on the people around them and never on themselves. [Read: 34 signs of covert narcissists and how to instantly recognize the dirty games they play]

65. Narcissists are comfortable exploiting others

Because of their belief that they are inherently special and better than other people, narcissists have no problem manipulating others to get what they want. 

Whether cheating on romantic relationships for an ego boost or lying about accomplishments for praise and validation, the narcissist will twist the truth to ensure they come out on top. 

They believe that the rules do not apply to them, so they don’t have a guilty conscience for stepping on others to get what they want. [Read: Why people fall for narcissists and the secrets that make them so addictive]

For the narcissist, the means always justify the ends— which is whatever best serves them.

66. They are easily slighted and respond with rage

The narcissist’s ego is big, but it is also fragile. A symptom of narcissism is over-the-top reactions to perceived slights.

The narcissist is easily slighted and will react badly if they feel someone is not giving them the special treatment or praise they feel they deserve. 

The narcissists’ firm belief that they deserve one-sided loyalty from everyone around them can lead to many different interpersonal problems.

They may become infuriated by someone not giving them special treatment and try to belittle the person who slighted them to make themselves feel superior.

67. They’re usually in leadership roles

Well, that shouldn’t be surprising. This is why most of us can’t stand our bosses. They’re obsessed with validation and entitlement.

Narcissistic people strive to become leaders, and because it’s something they push toward, they’re usually more likely to achieve that specific goal. [Read: Why narcissists do the selfish things they do]

68. They love to name drop

Did you know they met Oprah? And they even ate dinner with Barack Obama! Do you know why we know that? Because they told us, and they’ll tell you too.

Narcissistic people love to name drop. When it comes to themselves, they are their biggest promoters. Knowing influential people gives them the ego boost they live for. [Read: How to set boundaries with a narcissist and weaken their hold over you]

69. They’re not always positive

Many of us think narcissistic people love to talk about their victories, but they also enjoy a good revel in their tragedies as well.

As long as the stories are about them, they’re not concerned about positive or negative. [Read: How to stop the negative people in your life from sapping your energy]

70. They don’t know they’re a narcissist

If you have ever wondered if you are a narcissist, you are probably not.

That is because signs of narcissism are ego-syntonic, which means they exist to enforce the narcissist’s ideas about themselves. Namely, that they are special, superior to other people, and deserving of special treatment. 

Narcissists do not reflect on their behavior. To them, everything is as it should be and their beliefs are totally normal. [Read: Do narcissists know they are narcissists or do they just lie to themselves?]

This makes narcissistic people difficult to convince to seek help since they think what they feel is totally valid.

How to deal with narcissistic behavior

When these behaviors are negatively impacting someone’s work, relationships, and everyday lives, then it is more than behavior.

It becomes something for professionals to deal with. But, therapists aren’t only helpful for those with narcissistic tendencies. They can help you deal with them as well. 

A therapist can prevent you from becoming codependent on a narcissist in your life, which can leave you feeling anxious or depressed. [Read: The signs of codependency to know if you’re being taken for granted]

If you talk to the person showing signs of narcissism, and they only show more signs or never change, expecting them to change will only disappoint and leave you feeding into their behavior. 

Instead of waiting for them to change, you need to be firm and call them out on their behavior. Your response to their behavior is valid.

You deserve to express that, but it isn’t always the easiest. Reasoning with a narcissist can be exhausting and impossible. 

A therapist can help you deal with your frustrations so you can live your life without their issues dragging you down.

[Read: How to hurt a narcissist – subtle counterblows to hurt them hard]

Now that you know the subtle signs of narcissism, you’ll be able to spot a narcissist literally a mile away… and hopefully, stay a mile away from them as well!

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...