How to Spot a Narcissist

A relationship with a narcissist can lead to physical and emotional injuries as well as low self-esteem. Narcissists can be self-absorbed and believe that they should always have their way in everything – even if it means treating their partners and friends poorly. However, deep down, they feel wounded, disenfranchised, and small but do not want to admit it. Unfortunately, most of them do not know that they are actually hurting others with their behaviors.

Here is how to spot a narcissist:

1. Self – Obsessed
Narcissists love to talk about themselves and do not give other’s a chance to take part in the conversation. If you do get the opportunity to speak and they do not like your idea, your comment will be ignored, dismissed or corrected.

2. Interrupts other people’s conversations
Narcissists often interrupt others when talking and divert the focus back to themselves. If the conversation is not about them then he or she will not listen, but instead will interject at every opportunity.

3. Habitual rule breaker
A narcissist enjoys breaking the laid down rules and established social norms. This person often gets in trouble for cutting the line, stealing in the office, disobeying traffic rules, getting into unnecessary fights, and not delivering his work on time. Most narcissists feel that the rules of society should not apply to them.

4. Does not keep boundaries
These personas show wanton disregard for personal and physical space. He or she oversteps their mandate, brushes off others, and uses anyone in their way without considering the repercussions of his or her behaviors. He or she does not keep his promises and obligations. To make matters worse, he will show little remorse for bad behavior or inaction. Some narcissists even go so far as to blame the victim for their failures.

5. A false self-elevation
Most of the narcissists go through so much to impress the people around them. They try to look extremely good socially, professionally, financially and academically among others. They use status, objects, and people around them to represent their status and substitute their inadequate self image with high achievements. They have false merit badges and often exaggerate their achievements.

6. Expect preferential treatment
All narcissists feel special to others, thus, they expect preferential treatment. Their world revolves around ‘me’ and no one else.

7. They are charming
When narcissists are interested in you for their personal gratification, they will do everything to ensure that you feel special and loved. However, they will drop you once they get bored with you (and have gotten whatever they needed from you).

It is important that you know the behaviors of a narcissist so that you can spot and know how to deal with them for the sake of your well being.

Polly Sykes, Registered Psychotherapist, MEd, RP, is a Toronto Psychotherapist with extensive post-graduate training and experience in the treatment of Trauma, and the use of Emotion-Focused Therapy for both Individuals and Couples. The support of an experienced and highly-skilled Psychotherapist can be a powerful tool to help you face the challenges of life with more hope, more self-acceptance, and stronger relational bonds.