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23 Secret Signs of Narcissism People Overlook Until It’s Too Late

The odds are, you already know someone who’s a narcissist. But how do you really know that someone is a narcissist? Here are the signs of narcissism.

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 these 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 a totally acceptable. However, narcissism is the extreme of that. It’s beyond self-love. Instead, it’s self-obsession.

23 signs of narcissism most of us overlook

Now, you may think a narcissist is very obvious to point out, but not always. But they usually exhibit some core traits which seem to be prevalent in almost all narcissists. You just have to keep your eyes open because narcissists will mentally drain you. Here are the 23 signs of narcism you may not have noticed already.

Drum roll, please…

#1 Lack of empathy. They don’t actually want to understand other people’s feelings. Actually, 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. 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. [Read: 16 reasons why you’re always being taken for granted by others around you]

#2 They aren’t all loud and in your face. You have two types of narcissism. You have your typical narcissists which 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 – A special kind of mind game]

#3 They don’t listen. 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.

#4 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.

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.

#5 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 will put you down and become passive-aggressive. It’s like dealing with a two-year-old. [Read: How to quickly spot narcissistic traits in any relationship]

#6 They like being the boss. Makes sense, though, right? They want to rule the world, so naturally, they would love being in any form of power position. Many narcissists are in leadership roles because they love to dominate. Hello, Donald Trump.

#7 Constantly feeling unappreciated. Another one of the signs of narcissism is that they feel unappreciated. They just aren’t given the respect they deserve… it must be so hard to be a narcissist. 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.

#8 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 that are “below” them. They’re usually very rude to people that they feel are not worthy of their attention.

#9 They think they’re hot and wanted by all. Oh yeah, narcissists are just the hottest of the hot. They think everyone wants to have sex with them. Weird thing, though, is that usually narcissists are generally more attractive and stylish. Funny how that works out.

#10 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: 12 signs of a narcissist and 5 ways to break up with them]

#11 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. Doesn’t take that long for their colors to show, eh?

#12 They cheat. Narcissists are more likely to cheat on their partners. They’re charming, and everyone wants to sleep with them. They think they are amazing, so, of course, you can see why they would be inclined to cheat.

#13 They have to be in control. Of literally everything. 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. You’ll notice when someone is a control freak and if they have these other attributes, they’re a narcissist. [Read: 16 clear signs you’re in a narcissistic relationship]

#14 They choose friends based on self-interest. They can’t have friends because they actually care about them. That would mean that they’re emotionally invested in someone that isn’t themselves. So, instead, they choose friends which offer them something of interest. Maybe their friends are rich and famous – it has to be something that makes their own image rise.

#15 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. If they show emotion, this means they care. [Read: 10 signs you’re dating a self-obsessed narcissist]

#16 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 a classic way to boost your self-esteem. It’s their fix.

#17 Fake humility. They may on occasion 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.

#18 They like perfection. It’s all about creating the perfect life. They are perfection. They have rich and influential friends, an amazing job, a hot girl/boyfriend – everything you could possibly ever want. So, if you show them something that’s imperfect and flawed, they’ll dismiss it.

#19 They make you look like the crazy one. If you know a narcissist, well, you’re probably going insane. I don’t blame you. In fact, you’re most likely in the right. However, they’re able to twist things and now you look like the lunatic. 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: 15 types of toxic relationships to watch out for]

#20 Their social media is pristine. They have thousands of ‘friends’ and use their social media as a way to show their status in society. They’re popular, 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.

#21 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… a classic move.

#22 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. 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.

#23 They don’t know they’re a narcissist. All these attributes make it really difficult for narcissists to actually see that they are narcissists. They think they’re the best, everything is perfect around them, they’re in control – so how would they see that they have a problem? Exactly. They built themselves into a bubble of delusion.

[Read: How to recognize and stop selfish people from hurting you]

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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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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