A healthy dose of narcissism is necessary for all of us; if we don’t believe ourselves worthy, then we wouldn’t manage to do anything. But there are some people who take narcissism to the next level. While only a qualified therapist can diagnose a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), there are some red flags you should watch out for.
1. They charmed you when you first laid eyes on them
Narcissists are all about appearances. It’s likely that when you met them, they were well dressed, standing in a cool pose and said just the right things. You felt as if you were in great company and they made you feel that by talking to you, they had elevated you to a higher status.
2. Somehow all conversations revolve around them
You could be talking about anything, but sooner or later, they bring the conversation back to themselves. You mostly end up hearing about how sweet, good looking, kind, loving, talented and generally all-out-awesome they are.
3. They will constantly interrupt others
The narcissist isn’t interested in you or your opinions; if you try to talk about yourself or something more general, they will not hesitate to cut in and bring the discussion back to their favorite topic – themselves.
4. They’re either victims or winners in all their stories
There’s nothing the narcissist loves more than telling tall tales of their victories over all the horrible people who are jealous of them. However, to excuse their bad behavior or to get someone to like them, they’ll spin tales of all the trauma they underwent.
5. They don’t respect your boundaries
Narcissists will often ignore other’s sense of personal space. They will stand too close, talk over you, take your things without asking, expect you to pay for them and if you ever complain about it, they’ll make it seem like it’s your fault.
6. They constantly try to break you down
Gaslighting is a perfected art with narcissists. They might start by calling you ‘crazy’ as a joke but after a while, they almost convince you that you are mad. They want to take away your trust in yourself and your ability to distinguish right from wrong.
7. If you ever confide in them, they’ll exploit it
They have no shame in using your weaknesses against you. If they know that a certain topic bothers you, they’ll make it a point to constantly talk about it. They will insensitively make fun of your insecurities and make you feel worse about them.
8. They are highly materialistic
Most of us are guilty of some materialism, but the narcissist’s crutch is their possessions. They want the most expensive and flashy items. They buy these things not because they like them but because they think it’ll show their high status.
9. They have very cultivated images
Narcissists are all about appearances. They will carefully maintain their hair, nails, clothes, shoes, etc. You’ll rarely ever find them with messy hair, untidy nails, or accessories that look like they’ve stood the test of time.
10. If you criticize them, you’ll face their rage
A narcissist will spend quite a bit of time telling you all that is wrong with you, but you can never return the favor. While most of us don’t like being criticized, for a narcissist, criticism is very hard to tolerate because it shatters their image of self perfection.
11. They have a history of bad relationships
Whether it’s work relationships or romantic ones, narcissistic people leave a trail of wreckage behind them. They use and abuse people before discarding them and moving on to the next victim. If everybody they once knew hates them, that’s a big red flag.
12. You’re either for them or against them
There is no neutral ground with a narcissist. You can either be their friend or their enemy. So, even if you present a slight disagreement on a minor issue, the narcissist will react with extreme rage and treat you like a backstabber.
13. They never think they have a problem
While the narcissist knows that everyone who once knew them closely would hate to meet them again, they always think it’s because the other person is petty, jealous, or stupid. They never stop to consider that maybe they have a problem and need professional help.
14. The easiest way to deal with them is by flattering them
You will come to realize that things run way more smoothly if you just keep praising your narcissist. That’s the fuel they need to survive. You’ll find yourself flattering them just to avoid having a fight or to keep things running smoothly.
15. They have no real empathy
Narcissists learn to make the right sounds and say the right words when something tragic is being discussed, but they have no real compassion. In a critical situation, they’ll surprise you with how cold and uncaring they are.
16. If you’re in a romantic relationship with one, you’re confused
Narcissists first chase their target but once the target gives in, they start playing hot and cold and ultimately show utter indifference towards their partners. Then the partners become, needy, clingy and obsessive while trying to keep the relationship going.
17. You start taking on the narcissist’s traits
Since the narcissist has convinced you that they’re the best thing out there, you tend to follow their example. You’ll start being rude and short tempered even if you weren’t like that before you met the narcissist. They turn you into your worse self.
18. They try and break off any of your close relationships
If the narcissist knows you’re attached to certain family members or friends, they will work to break these relationships off. If you have loving people who will advise you to do the right thing, then you won’t become the perfect slave that the narcissist needs.