Have you ever asked yourself, “Is he a narcissist?” What has surprised me the most is that NONE of us are immune to red flag blindness, pain, toxic relationships, and also believing that our “inadequacy” is at the root of it all. We ALL Google our exes’ problems, as well as our own problems and fears. We ALL stalk, obsess and feel isolated in our suffering.
Is he a Narcissist
Whatever the case may be, I believe we can all agree that we are related to and have had relationships (both friendship and romantic) with narcissistic people. I’m going to concentrate on narcissistic ex-partners in this post.
If you’re wondering, “Is he a narcissist?” here are five lessons I’ve learned:
- Narcissists are emotionally aloof.
- Like attracts like – who else would be drawn to a narcissist but another narcissist? (I refer to this as “Reverse Narcissism“). You have one person who is completely oblivious to anything other than their own needs, agenda, and attention-seeking. You then have another person who has blinders on when it comes to anything other than making their narcissistic partner’s selfish behavior all about their perceived lack of value.
- The same red flags that you choose to ignore/ignore/turn a blind eye to are the same reasons that you are in toxic relationship territory. But they’ll be the same reasons you split up.
- It is possible to miss someone while knowing they are unsuitable for you. It’s okay to miss a narcissistic ex even if you know you can’t get back together with them. However, if you continue to be hurt by someone, it IS possible to remove your heart from the boxing ring. It IS possible to break the link between being beaten and being pursued.
- Narcissistic ex-partners are the most difficult to overcome. The highs are unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, and the lows, while horrifying, are more easily overlooked. As the anticipation for the next high grows, you cling to the memory of the previous one.
Signs You’re Dealing With A Narcissist
Most people make determining whether someone is a narcissist more difficult than it needs to be. I use the duck test, which states that if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is most likely a duck. But there are no physical blood tests, MRIs, or precise diagnoses that can detect narcissism. Even therapists must rely solely on observations of a person’s behavior and attitudes. So, here are all of the characteristics and behaviors that indicate a narcissist.
Not all of these characteristics must be present in order to diagnose narcissism: To be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, a person must exhibit only 55% of the identified characteristics, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which therapists use as a guide.
1. Claims of superiority and entitlement
Superiority is the most common symptom of a narcissist. This is distinct from mere self-assurance. The narcissist’s world is all about good/bad, superior/inferior, and right/wrong. There is a clear hierarchy, with the narcissist at the apex because it is the only place they feel safe. Narcissists must be the best, the most correct, and the most competent; they must do everything their way; they must own everything, and they must control everyone.
Surprisingly, narcissists can get that superior feeling by being the worst, the most wrong, or the sickest, upset, or injured. Then they believe they have the right to receive soothing concern and recompense, as well as the right to hurt you or demand apologies; to “make things right.” This is also referred to as vulnerable or covert narcissism.
2. An exaggerated desire for attention and approval
Another core narcissist trait is the constant need for attention—even if it is as simple as following you around the house, asking you to find things, or constantly saying something to catch your attention. Validation is only meaningful to a narcissist if it comes from others. Even so, it doesn’t mean much. The need for validation in a narcissist is like a funnel. You pour positive, encouraging words in, and they just flow out the other end and disappear. No matter how many times you tell a narcissist that you love, admire, or approve of them, they never feel it’s enough—because they don’t believe anyone can love them.
Despite their self-absorbed, grandiose boasting, narcissists are actually very insecure and fearful of falling short. They are constantly trying to elicit praise and approval from others in order to shore up their fragile egos; however, no matter how much they have given, they always want more.
A narcissist can be identified by their extreme need for everything to be perfect. They believe they should be perfect, you should be perfect, events should unfold exactly as planned, and life should unfold exactly as they imagine it. This is an excruciatingly difficult demand, which leaves the narcissist dissatisfied and miserable most of the time. The narcissist’s need for perfection causes him or her to complain and be dissatisfied all of the time.
4. There is a strong need for control.
Trying to take control of everything is classic narcissist behavior. Because narcissists are constantly dissatisfied with the imperfect way life unfolds, they want to do everything they can to control and shape it to their liking. They want and demand to be in charge, and their sense of entitlement leads them to believe that they should be in charge of everything.
Narcissists always have a preconceived notion of what each “character” in their interaction should say and do. They become agitated and unsettled when you do not behave as expected. They’re not sure what to expect next because you’re deviating from the script. They expect you to say and do exactly what they want so that they can reach their desired conclusion.
5. Absence of accountability—blaming and deflecting
A narcissist’s lack of responsibility is a dead giveaway. Although narcissists want to be in charge, they never want to be held accountable for the outcomes—unless, of course, everything goes exactly as planned and the desired outcome occurs. When things don’t go as planned, or they feel criticized or less than perfect, the narcissist places all of the blame and responsibility on you. Someone else must be to blame. That blame is sometimes generalized—everyone is out to get them. Most of the time, however, the narcissist blames the one person in their life who is the most emotionally close, attached, loyal, and loving—you. To maintain their perfectionism, narcissists must always blame someone or something else. You are the least likely to leave or reject them, so you are the safest person to blame.
6. Absence of boundaries
Many people lack boundaries or regularly cross other people’s boundaries, but for narcissists, this is normal behavior. Narcissists can’t tell where they end and you start. They resemble two-year-olds. They believe that everything belongs to them, that everyone thinks and feels the same way they do, and that everyone desires the same things that they do. If a narcissist desires something from you, they will go to great lengths to obtain it, whether by persistence, cajoling, demanding, rejecting, or pouting. All of these are typical narcissist behaviors.
7. Empathy deficit
Narcissists have a limited ability to empathize with others; this lack of empathy is a distinguishing feature of narcissism. Narcissists are selfish and self-centered, and they are often unable to understand how others feel. They expect others to think and feel the same way they do and rarely consider how others feel. They are rarely sorry, remorseful, or guilty.
Some narcissists do not understand the nature of emotions. In a nutshell, narcissists believe you are the source of their feelings, especially negative ones. They conclude that you are to blame because you did not follow their plan or made them feel vulnerable.
True emotional connection and relationships with narcissists are made difficult or impossible by this lack of empathy. They simply do not notice how others are feeling.
8. Believing that everything is a threat
Although they are acutely aware of perceived threats, anger, and rejection from others, narcissists frequently misread subtle facial expressions and are predisposed to interpret negative facial expressions. The narcissist will not accurately perceive your emotions unless you act them out dramatically. When the narcissist is on edge and angry, even saying “I’m sorry” or “I love you” can backfire. They will not believe you and may misinterpret your comment as an attack.
Furthermore, if your words and expressions are inconsistent, the narcissist will most likely respond incorrectly or become defensive. This is why narcissists frequently misinterpret sarcasm as actual agreement or other people’s joking as a personal attack. One reason narcissists are insufficiently empathetic to your feelings is a lack of ability to correctly read body language, which is a common narcissist trait. They don’t notice them, they misinterpret them, and they don’t believe you feel any differently than they do.
9. Emotional deliberation
You’ve most likely made the error of attempting to reason and use logic with the narcissist in order to get them to understand the painful impact their behaviors have on you. You believe that if they realize how much their behavior is causing you pain, they will change. Your explanations, however, are incomprehensible to the narcissist, who appears to be only aware of their own thoughts and feelings. Although narcissists may claim to understand, they do not.
As a result, narcissists base the majority of their decisions on how they feel about something. They simply must have that red sports car, regardless of how they feel driving it or whether it is a good decision for the family or the budget. Always want to move, end a relationship, or start a new business if they are bored or depressed. They are always looking for something or someone outside of themselves to help them deal with their feelings and needs.
The narcissist’s personality is divided into good and bad parts, and they divide everything in their relationships into good and bad parts as well. Any negative thoughts or behaviors are blamed on you or others, while they take credit for everything good and positive. Always deny their negative words and actions while accusing you of being critical.
Here are some examples of narcissist splitting behavior in action: Marty declared the entire vacation ruined and the worst he had ever experienced because the hotel room did not meet his expectations and the weather was not ideal. Narcissists are incapable of seeing, feeling, or remembering both the positive and negative aspects of a situation. They can only deal with one point of view at a time: their own.
11. Fear of rejection and mockery
Fear motivates and energizes the narcissist’s entire life. However, you would not immediately recognize this as a sign of a narcissist because most narcissists’ fears are deeply buried and repressed. They are constantly afraid of being mocked, rejected, or incorrect. They may be afraid of germs, of losing all of their money, of being emotionally or physically attacked, of being perceived as bad or inadequate, or of being abandoned. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the narcissist to trust others.
In fact, the closer your relationship grows, the less trust they will have in you. Narcissists are afraid of genuine intimacy or vulnerability because they are afraid you will see their flaws and judge or reject them. Because narcissists despise and reject their own flaws, no amount of reassurance seems to make a difference. Narcissists never seem to develop trust in the love of others, and they constantly put you through your paces with worse and worse behaviors in order to find your breaking point. Their gripping fear of being “discovered” or abandoned never seems to fade.
Anxiety is a persistent, irrational fear that something bad is happening or is about to happen. Some narcissists show their anxiety by constantly talking about the impending doom, while others hide and repress their anxiety. Most narcissists, however, project their anxiety onto their closest loved ones, accusing them of being negative, unsupportive, or mentally ill; of not putting them first, of not responding to their needs, or of being selfish. All of this is intended to transfer anxiety to the loved one in order for them to avoid feeling it themselves. The narcissist feels better and better as you get worse. In fact, as your anxiety and depression worsen, they feel stronger and more superior.
13. Deeply buried shame
Narcissists don’t feel much guilt because they believe they are always correct, and they don’t believe their actions have any impact on anyone else. They do, however, carry a great deal of shame. Shame is the conviction that there is something deeply and permanently wrong or bad about one’s own identity. All the insecurities, fears, and rejected traits that the narcissist is constantly on guard to hide from everyone, including themselves, are buried in a deeply repressed part of the narcissist. The narcissist is deeply embarrassed by all of these rejected thoughts and feelings. Keeping their vulnerabilities hidden is critical to the narcissist’s false self-esteem. However, this ultimately makes it impossible for them to be completely genuine and transparent.
14. A lack of ability to be truly vulnerable
Narcissists are unable to truly love or connect emotionally with others due to their inability to understand feelings, lack of empathy, and constant need for self-protection. They are unable to see the world through the eyes of others. As a result, they become emotionally dependent. When one relationship is no longer satisfying, they frequently overlap or begin a new one as soon as possible. They desperately want someone to understand their anguish, to sympathize with them, and to make everything perfect for them. It’s a type of codependency, except they don’t have the ability to respond to your pain, fear, or even your day-to-day need for care and sympathy.
15. An inability to communicate or collaborate as a member of a team
Thoughtful, cooperative behaviors necessitate a genuine understanding of each other’s emotions. What will the other person think? Will this action make us both happy? What effect will this have on our relationship? These are questions that narcissists lack the capacity or motivation to consider. Expect the narcissist to understand your feelings, cave in, or give up anything for your sake. It’s pointless. There are many different types of narcissists, but these are some characteristics that they all share.
Can a Narcissist Test Tell You Anything You Didn’t Know Before?
Despite the amount of time they spend agonizing over their self-image, many people who may meet the criteria for being a narcissist have difficulty recognizing it. As a result, when they take a narcissist test, the results may surprise them. Taking a test like this can also reveal whether or not you have narcissistic tendencies. Having these tendencies, however, does not make you a bad person. Even having a narcissistic personality disorder does not make you a good or bad person.
Is He a Narcissist Test
Narcissism is more than just thinking you look good and are smart; it is a narcissistic personality disorder. To begin with, symptoms of this disorder include a grandiose sense of self-importance, fantasizing about unlimited success and beauty, having a sense of entitlement, and lacking empathy. Take this quiz to find out if you’re living with a narcissist if you recognize these signs in your partner!
Questions & Answers
1. Does your partner ever make an offer to someone else?
A. Yes, but only if you expect more in return.
B. Yes, but I don’t believe it’s because of generosity.
C. They do this at times, but not all of the time.
D. Yes, purely out of generosity.
2. Does your partner put you under pressure to do things their way?
A. Always, and they get upset if I don’t do what they ask.
B. On occasion
D. Never, ever
3. Does your partner violate any rules?
A. Yes, and they are proud of it.
B. Yes, on occasion.
C. Not at all.
D. Never, ever
4. What is your partner’s reaction when you don’t give them what they want?
A. They become enraged and resort to ridicule and personal attacks.
B. They give me the cold shoulder and refuse to show me affection.
C. They are upset, but they will get over it.
D. They accept it
5. What are your partner’s thoughts on their accomplishments?
A. They exaggerate it.
B. They like to brag, but they are correct.
C. They talk about their accomplishments without bragging.
D. They are extremely modest about it.
6. Is your partner open to opposing viewpoints?
A. No and they become enraged when they are contradicted.
B. No, and they disregard them.
C. Regardless of whether they like it or not.
D. They accept them without hesitation.
7. Is your partner’s needs the most important to them?
A. They would constantly disregard our children’s needs.
B. I’m afraid I’ll have to say no.
C. On occasion
D. Never, ever
8. Is your partner envious of other people?
A. Quite a bit, in fact.
B. Yes, on occasion.
C. On occasion
D. Never, ever
9. Does your partner reveal private information that the majority of people would prefer to keep private?
A. Yes, and it’s quite embarrassing.
B. They occasionally succumb to this temptation.
D. Never, ever
10. What is your partner’s reaction to criticism?
A. They become enraged and begin to defend themselves.
B. They simply disregard it.
C. They are dissatisfied, but they listen to critics.
D. They listen to their critics and strive to improve.
Is he a Narcissist or simply insecure?
According to a new study by a team of psychology researchers, narcissism is motivated by insecurity rather than an inflated sense of self. Its research, which provides a more in-depth understanding of this long-studied phenomenon, may also explain what motivates the self-centered nature of social media activity.
“For a long time, it was unclear why narcissists engage in unpleasant behaviors, such as self-congratulation, because it actually makes others think less of them,” explains Pascal Wallisch, clinical associate professor in both New York University’s Department of Psychology and Center for Data Science, and senior author of the paper, which appears in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. “In the age of social media, this has become quite common—a behavior dubbed ‘flexing.’
“Our research shows that these narcissists are not grandiose, but rather insecure, and this appears to be how they cope with their insecurities.” “More specifically, the findings suggest that narcissism is better understood as a compensatory adaptation to overcome and cover-up low self-worth,” says Mary Kowalchyk, lead author of the paper and an NYU graduate student at the time of the study. “Narcissists are insecure, and they deal with it by flexing.” This makes others dislike them in the long run, exacerbating their insecurities and leading to a vicious cycle of flexing behaviors.”
The survey’s nearly 300 participants—approximately 60% female and 40% male—had a median age of 20 and answered 151 computer-based questions. The researchers looked into Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), which is defined as excessive self-love and has two subtypes: grandiose and vulnerable narcissism. A grandiose sense of self is also a feature of psychopathy, a related disorder. They aimed to improve their understanding of how these conditions are related.
How to Deal with a Narcissistic Personality
The term narcissist is commonly used to describe someone who is self-centered and lacks empathy. However, it’s important to remember that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a legitimate mental health condition that requires a professional diagnosis. Even if a person does not have NPD, he or she may exhibit some narcissistic characteristics. These could include:
- An exaggerated sense of self
- Requiring constant affirmation
- Using others to one’s advantage
- Failure to recognize or care about the needs of others
To complicate matters further, people with NPD or narcissistic tendencies are often extremely sensitive to criticism, despite their high self-esteem. Here are some practical strategies for dealing with someone who has NPD or narcissistic tendencies, as well as some pointers for recognizing when it’s time to move on.
1. Recognize them for who they truly are.
Those with narcissistic personalities can be quite charming when they want to be. You might be drawn to their grandiose ideas and promises. This can also make them particularly popular in the workplace. But, before you get too involved, observe how they treat people when they aren’t “on stage.” There’s no reason to believe they won’t do the same to you if you catch them lying, manipulating, or openly disrespecting others.
Regardless of what a narcissistic person says, your wants and needs are most likely unimportant to them. If you try to bring this up, you may encounter resistance. The first step in dealing with a narcissistic personality is simply accepting that this is who they are — there isn’t much you can do about it.
2. Break the spell by ceasing to focus on them.
When you’re in the presence of a narcissistic personality, attention seems to gravitate toward them. That’s on purpose — whether it’s negative or positive attention, those with narcissistic personalities work hard to stay in the spotlight.
You may soon find yourself succumbing to this tactic, ignoring your own needs in order to keep them satisfied. If you’re hoping for a lull in their attention-seeking behavior, it might never come. No matter how much you change your life to accommodate their needs, it will never be enough.
Allow a narcissistic personality to infiltrate your sense of self or define your world if you must deal with one. You are important as well. Remind yourself of your strengths, desires, and goals on a regular basis. Take control and schedule some “me time.” Take care of yourself first, and keep in mind that it is not your responsibility to fix them.
3. Advocate for yourself
There are times when ignoring something or simply walking away is the best course of action — you have to pick your battles, right? However, a lot is dependent on the relationship. Dealing with a boss, parent, or spouse, for example, may necessitate different strategies than dealing with a coworker, sibling, or child.
Some narcissistic people enjoy making others uncomfortable. If this is the case, try not to become visibly agitated or irritated, as this will only encourage them to continue. If this is someone you want to keep in your life, you owe it to yourself to speak up. Try to do this in a gentle, calm manner.
You must inform them of the impact their words and actions have on your life. Be clear and consistent about what you don’t accept and how you expect to be treated. But be prepared for the possibility that they will simply not understand — or care.
4. Establish firm boundaries
A narcissistic personality is frequently quite self-absorbed. They may believe they have the right to go wherever they want, snoop through your personal belongings, and tell you how you should feel. Perhaps they offer you unsolicited advice and take credit for things you’ve accomplished. Or pressurize you to discuss private matters in public.
They may also have a poor sense of personal space, causing them to cross many boundaries.
Most of the time, they don’t even notice them. That is why you must be very clear about the boundaries that are important to you. Why should the ramifications matter to them? Because someone with a narcissistic personality is more likely to pay attention when something affects them personally.
5. Be prepared for pushback.
You can expect someone with a narcissistic personality to respond if you speak up. When you speak up and set boundaries, they may respond with their own demands. They may also attempt to manipulate you into feeling guilty or as if you are the one who is unreasonable and controlling. They might try to elicit sympathy. Prepare to defend yourself. They won’t take you seriously the next time you take a step back.
6. Remember that you are not to blame.
A narcissistic personality disordered person is unlikely to admit a mistake or accept responsibility for hurting you. Rather, they tend to project their own negative behaviors onto you or another person. You may be tempted to keep the peace by accepting blame; however, you do not have to belittle yourself in order to save their ego. You are aware of the truth. Don’t let anyone steal it from you.
7. Locate a support system.
If you can’t avoid the person, try to strengthen your healthy relationships and social support network. Spending too much time in a dysfunctional relationship with a narcissistic personality can drain you emotionally.
Rekindle old friendships and cultivate new ones. Spend more time with your family. If your social circle is smaller than you’d like, consider taking a class to learn about a new hobby. Participate in community activities or volunteer for a local charity. Do something that will allow you to meet more people with whom you are comfortable.
8. Demand immediate action rather than promises.
Promises are easy for people with narcissistic personalities to make. They promise to do what you want and to avoid doing what you despise. They promise to do better in general. And they may even be sincere in their promises. But make no mistake: For someone with a narcissistic personality, the promise is merely a means to an end.
When they get what they want, the motivation fades. You can’t rely on their actions to match their words. Ask for what you want and don’t back down. Insist on only fulfilling their requests after they have fulfilled yours. Don’t cave on this one. Consistency will aid in hammering it home.
9. Recognize that a narcissistic person may require professional assistance.
People with NPD frequently do not recognize a problem — at least not in themselves. As a result, they are unlikely to seek professional help. However, people with NPD are more likely to have other disorders, such as substance abuse or other mental health or personality disorders. Having another disorder may be what motivates someone to seek treatment.
You can suggest that they seek professional assistance, but you cannot compel them to do so. It is completely their fault, not yours. Remember that, while NPD is a mental health condition, it does not excuse inappropriate or abusive behavior.
10. Recognize when you require assistance.
Dealing with someone who has a narcissistic personality on a regular basis can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. Consult your primary care physician first if you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, or unexplained physical ailments. Following your checkup, you can request referrals to other services such as therapists and support groups. Reach out to family and friends, and activate your support system. There is no reason to go it alone.
How to End a Relationship with a Narcissist
If this list has hit a little too close to home for you and you’re starting to realize your relationship may not be as perfect as you once thought, it’s time to have a conversation, both with your partner and with yourself. One of the main reasons you’re dating a narcissist is a lack of self-esteem. Those suffering from NPD will encounter people who struggle with confidence, manipulating the situation in order to make you feel helpless and worthless in the absence of them.
The first step toward resolving the problem is to remind yourself that you deserve better.
Victims, like narcissists, move in predictable patterns. It pays to fortify your bonds with sympathetic friends, forming a strong support network with your close relationships. Discuss it with your partner and think about going to therapy. Most importantly, you should not be afraid of love.
“After encountering a narcissist, you may learn to look for less charismatic, but far kinder people who are less obvious,” Vicelich says. “Be aware of your vulnerabilities and begin looking for qualities that make a better long-term partner – compassion, kindness, respect, and empathy – rather than charisma and charm.”
Anyone, regardless of background or personality, can be “insecure.” It is a broad and ambiguous concept. The term “Narcissist” should be reserved for people who have made a very specific adaptation to a childhood situation, which has left them with difficulty regulating their self-esteem, hierarchical thinking, a lack of whole object relations and object constancy, low emotional empathy, and a very heightened sensitivity to perceived slights or criticism.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a narcissist man behave?
A pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behavior, a lack of empathy and consideration for others, and an excessive need for admiration characterize narcissistic personality disorder. Others frequently describe people with NPD as arrogant, manipulative, self-centered, patronizing, and demanding.
What type of person does a narcissist want?
Narcissists insist on having their own way. They are rule-followers who like to be in charge. They are unyielding. It is advantageous for narcissists to have partners who are willing to go with the flow and never make a big deal about anything.
What drives a narcissist insane?
The lack of control and the absence of a fight is what drives a narcissist insane. “The less you fight back, the less power you give them over you,” she says. And they never apologize because they never believe they are wrong.