What Is a Narcissist?

By jamie
Article Sources Article Sources
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Human beings generally live in societies with other people; it is how we evolved to survive in an otherwise dangerous world. When living in a society, however, it is important that we respect the people around us. It is important not to think of ourselves as the most important people around, but this is difficult for some people.

A narcissist is somebody that acts as though they are superior to other people. Everything has to be about them, and other people around them are considered to be inferior and not worthy of equal treatment. Here we have listed some of the characteristics that will help you to spot a narcissist.

1. Charming

Some people have a knack of being able to turn on the charm when speaking to others. The ability to charm people can be very powerful as it helps people to get what they want from others. Unfortunately, such a skill is sometimes found in the hands of the wrong people.

When you first meet a narcissist, you are unlikely to notice that they are a narcissist at all. Indeed, they may appear to be the opposite. They really know how to turn on the charm and know-how to make you feel good about yourself. It is, however, often not long before the not so pleasant aspects of their character are revealed.


2. Lacking In Empathy

After you have been washed up in their charming manner, you will start to note negative aspects of a narcissist’s personality. You might begin to notice, for example, that they switch off if you are telling them about a bad day or work or problems in other relationships; as though they just don’t care.

Narcissists tend to lack empathy, which is the ability to understand how other people are feeling. The stories of your bad day at work just won’t tug at any emotional heart-strings, leaving them feeling nothing where they should be feeling sorrow with you. It is a condition that can lead to some very hurtful moments.

3. Always Right

We all make mistakes from time to time. Most of the time they are innocent mistakes and we didn’t mean to harm anybody. Depending on what happened, we should be able to just apologize for what happened and, hopefully, move on from the error. This is not so easily done for some people, though.

Narcissists are always right, even when they are not. They are unwilling to listen when other people point out that they are in the wrong and they are not willing to come to a compromise. This also means they are unlikely to apologize. After all, why would they apologize when they don’t think they have done anything wrong.


4. No Friends

Human beings are social creatures and it is important for us to be around other people. Many of us will strike up relationships with others and these relationships will often last for a very long time. Some people, however, have difficulty in maintaining relationships in the long term and this includes narcissists.

It is common for narcissists to reveal their less pleasant characteristics to other people before long, encouraging others to keep clear. This means that many relationships tend to be short-lived so they will have few, if any, long term friends. Instead of having friends, however, there is a good chance they will have a nemesis or two.

5. Dominate Conversations

When we are having a discussion, it is polite to give other people the opportunity to speak, and it is also polite to listen when they are speaking. Once a particular discussion has come to its natural end then it is fine for somebody to change the topic of discussion and perhaps do the talking themselves.

A narcissist, however, will want to completely dominate conversations themselves. They will take any opportunity they can to change the course of the conversation, and the new topic will be themselves and their achievements. You may also find that they are not willing to listen to stories of other peoples’ achievements.


6. Overstating Achievements

There’s nothing wrong with recognizing your achievements, you likely worked very hard for them after all. It is also OK to tell other people, provided that you don’t overdo it. It is also a good idea to avoid over-embellishing the level of your achievements, telling other people a realistic version instead.

Narcissists, however, are so desperate for people to look up to them that they will gladly embellish any achievements they have made. While there often will be some truth in their stories, they will make them out to be far grander and difficult to achieve than is true. It is often the case that other people will find out that the truth is somewhat different.

7. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a method that some people use to try and make other people start to doubt themselves. It can cause other people to doubt their own abilities and, in some cases, it might even cause them to start doubting their own memories. The person using it can use tools like lying, misdirection, contradiction, and denial to gaslight their victims.

Many narcissists will gaslight others where possible, doing what they can to distort other peoples’ reality. In making their victims doubt themselves, it helps to give the narcissist a feeling of superiority over their victims. Gaslighting is considered to be a form of emotional abuse.


8. Thrive On Compliments

It is nice to be complimented from time to time and friends often will complement each other when it is appropriate to do so. While compliments will help to make us feel better, however, most of us will move on pretty quickly.

For narcissists, complements are far more important. Whereas most people will simply appreciate any compliments that might come their way, a narcissist will likely thrive on them. Such is their craving for compliments that a narcissist will often do what they can to fish for them and they can get quite irritable if the right compliments don’t come their way.

9. Manipulative

Most of us know some people that are willing to help us out, provided we don’t abuse the privilege. We might also call on help from certain people to support us if we are having problems with somebody else, but this usually only happens when there is a genuine problem.

Narcissists find it much easier to manipulate other people for their own gains. They will gladly turn other people against each other and will even turn family members against each other if they stand to gain from it. They can also be very crafty with it and are willing to devastate even long-standing relationships while experiencing no guilt in doing so.

10. Low Self-Esteem

When you meet somebody that is boastful and acts in a superior manner, you might think that they think very highly of themselves. This is not always the case, though. Indeed, in many cases, a low self-esteem can be the underlying cause of narcissistic behavior.

With a low self-esteem, narcissistic people often feel the need for other peoples’ compliments for a lift. Their actions are born out of insecurity and they will often try to pick on other people to push them down, picking themselves up in the process. A person that does have a balanced self-esteem is less likely to feel the need to attack other people to make themselves feel better.


Home | Privacy Policy | Editorial | Unsubscribe | | About Us

This site offers information designed for entertainment & educational purposes only. With any health related topic discussed on this site you should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, treatment, advice, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, treatment, or diagnosis. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.