Ever have one of those relationships with someone where something just doesn’t feel “quite right”? It could be issues that have been surfacing with your spouse for years, someone you’ve considered a friend since childhood, a coworker, even a mere acquaintance.
These are people who have always come off as acting superior to others, even belittling others, they crave attention, they cannot take criticism, among other traits.
If you’ve ever wondered if someone you associate with may be a narcissist, here are some things to consider:
1. Do they lack compassion?
They may demonstrate compassion in some form, i.e., volunteering, providing charitable services, etc., but usually are doing it because there’s something in it for them. Notice how they treat others they feel are “lesser” than they are, even if these other people are equal or even “higher” than the narcissist.
2. Do they twist stories around?
They may tell a tale you know all too well but they will change it in a way that suits their own needs.
3. Are they manipulative?
Kind of going along with twisting stories around, because narcissists don’t like to take “no” for an answer, they will also “twist” things around for their own benefit.
4. Do they play by their own rules?
Narcissists like things their way. They set their own rules and play the game their own way. If there is a meeting and everyone is required to go, the narcissist will feel it doesn’t apply to them, or they will learn of the meeting topic some other way. The narcissist is the singer who doesn’t do dress rehearsal with his band because he “doesn’t like to”, yet the other band members are dedicated enough to go through rehearsal. Then the singer bitches when his microphone doesn’t work and blames someone “below” him because of that.
5. Can they handle criticism?
For an interesting reaction, offend a narcissist and see what happens. Narcissists are quick to find fault with others but have issues handling criticism. They become extremely defensive if judged negatively. Even if they aren’t being criticized directly, or more just questioned in something they said or did, they become very defensive. If you call them on it, they will deny that the criticism bothers them. Yet they chatter on about it, which is clear indication that yes, indeed, it DOES bother them.
6. Do they criticize others?
Narcissists feel that it’s “their way or the highway”. They may feel that what they perceive is “it” and the hell with everyone else. They are difficult to have a conversation with because they feel their opinion is the only one that matters. A person who is constantly passing judgment or criticizing others, indicates a sign of poor self-image and possibly narcissism.
7. Do they need to constantly feel loved?
This one is my favorite. Narcissists lavish attention. Because they have low self-esteem, they feel they have to fish for compliments. The worst thing that can be done with a narcissist is to stroke their ego. Let them stroke their own ego. Narcissists are great at doing that too.
8. Do they try to impress you?
Along with needing to constantly feel loved, they may sometimes act overly confident, patting themselves on the back, mentioning how they would’ve handled something different and had the result be better. For instance, they may brag to you about their new BMW or the luxury Italian vacation they recently took.
9. Are they constantly groomed?
Narcissists love mirrors. Because they love looking at themselves. They love photos of themselves. And they always want to make sure they look gorgeous. Not only do they want to make sure THEY look great, their significant other/children/dog/cat need to also.
10. Do they always need the “best” of everything?
If a narcissist has a neighbor who just bought a Mercedes, they will go out and buy a Lamborghini. They tend to live in huge, over-priced houses, have the need to earn all kinds of money (mainly to keep up with the expensive lifestyle), will send their children to boarding school, and basically will work until their dying day just so they can have it all. They need to fill that emptiness inside.
Above all, if you feel you’re dealing with a narcissist, don’t let them manipulate you any more than they more than likely have. They can be charming, possessive, hard to read and in some cases, dangerous. Psychologists have labeled them as borderline psychotic. Do yourself a favor and run, don’t walk, from your relationship.