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I've met more and more highly narcissist people. I'm lucky and/or attuned enough I don't think I've dated one, but they appear all around me. They say 6% of the worlds population have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). In fact it's a sliding scale, and we all have some traits of narcissism... maybe just having an instagram is pretty narcissistic... but at the end of the day it's important to recognize people who are completely selfish, versus those that genuinely enjoy seeing and creating happiness in other human beings.

On this page I write down some good videos and notes I've found about recognizing people who are narcissists. This isn't to say that narcissists are all terrible. My own father is probably pretty high on this scale, but has been amazing at helping the environment and several other great qualities.

The Narcissism Scale based on my Narcissists articles.

How to Recognize Narcissistic Personalities

Narcissist Traits

Ask yourself how many of these traits you or your person of interest exhibit. These are classic traits of a narcissist.

  1. Me Talk - Narcissists find ways to make every conversation about them, and every reference leads back to them - constantly the center of attention, and prompting others to uptake them by asking questions like "what do you like about me".
  2. Exaggerated Language - Narcissists make themselves the hero of hero of every story, they exaggerate every detail.
  3. Obsession with Status - Narcissists often brag about money and connections they have, they want people around them to feel inferior... and might shy away from people with real power... narcissists usually feel they are better than you.
  4. Requiring Constant Validation - Nothing is worth doing unless there are other people there to see you. Without validation they might get lazy or desperate in seeking compliments.
  5. Lack of Positivity - Narcissists are less likely to acknowledges other people's success. They might undermine or take credit for your success to ensure they stay on top, they don't want you to look better than them, even if you are dating them. Pay attention to someone who never praises you. Narcissists are often persammists because they can't generate their own joy from just being.
  6. Violating the Rules - Narcissists hate being told what to do, so they do anything to prove how powerful, fearless and superior they are, they might brag about rules they broken because rules are there to be broken. They have a problem with authority, unless they are in charge.
  7. Inflexible Empathy - Narcissists have unreasonably high expectations of you... they expect you to be perfect and might belittle you just for being a few minutes late. They command your loyalty.
  8. Low Follow Through (Unreliable) - Narcissists can talk a big game, but often don't follow through and tell you that "everything is under control", which is often a lie. Ask yourself if they are actually dependable, because lack of consistency is a red flag.
  9. False Entitlement - Narcissists don't like to hear no - if they want it you are supposed to bring it to them... they might make unreasonable demands and act like your time is less important. They might also get angry at server or clerks that make them wait. This pattern of disrespect is a red flag.
  10. Failure to Commit - Narcissists might appear scared of actual commitment, but they might say things like "I don't like labels", they might be looking for the best benefits of every relationships with none of the commitment. They will

Narcissist Mind Games

Narcissist are well known to play mind games to get their way. Here are the main ones to look out for.

  1. Initial Magnetism - A lifetime of practice to be charismatic in making themselves sound amazing. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. In dating this might mean love-bombing you to the extreme.
  2. Gaslighting - Narcissists can lie so persistently and consistently that they can change the narrative, making you think you said something you didn't.
  3. Projection - Reducing their negative load by convincing you that you are the one that has their negative qualities.
  4. Guilt Tripping - Reminding them that they owe you and reminding you of every way you might have wronged them, even if trivial.
  5. Silent Treatment - A narcissist believes that talking to you is a gift, so they feel like the silence treatment is torture for you. And if you have low self-esteem it is torture. Do not fall for it.
  6. Feigned Ignorance - The one thing you can count on a narcissist for is having an excuse for everything. They have answers prepared, they can manipulate you into thinking they didn't know any better and convince you they are a good person.
  7. Playing the Victim - They want your symphony and that the world has treated them unfairly to take advantage of your compassion.
  8. Throwing Tantrums - Narcissists don't respond well to you standing your ground, and throwing a tantrum is a great way to throw you off.

The Self-Admission Trick

Most narcissists will often (counter intuitively) admit to their self-destructive behaviors, manipulation, entitlement, negativity, non-supportive and not caring about other people. So there is self-awareness. They have too much pride to actually change, because it's hard to break out of the "I am better than everyone else" thinking. If you show a narcissist the list of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) traits... they'll be able to recognize most of these in themselves. If you think you are dating a narcissist, you might be surprised to get a confession if you just ask. Do you legitimately care about others or do you think you deserve more than others?

Dating a Narcissist: A False Sense of Security Followed By Beating You Down

I spoke to a friend who dated a narcissist just after I started this article and we decided that indeed, true narcissists have some kind of superiority complex. They always need to be right and they always need to be better than everyone else. This might manifest as them uptalking themselves (bigtime), but when that fails... when they realize that they may not be better than you, they the only other way to be better is to drag you down. So maybe at the beginning of the relationship they were over-the-top singing your praises, and now suddenly it's a 180 and you are the worst. Suddenly they criticize everything about you. It's almost akin to how Trump switches on people, and suddenly they are fired and he tells everyone they were pieces of crap. It's a mixture of projection and immediately resentment when you don't do everything they demand of you. In that case it's a god complex, but in the case of my friend... in the case of romantic relationships.... well they are very likely to take a different tactile. It might start with the love bombing, charming conversation, flowers and rainbows, but then they may gradually try to isolate you from your friends. They'll tell you all your friends are crap, and I've heard of cases where they even move you away from your support structure, so that you are completely dependent on them. They might even forbid you from contacting your old friends and family - in the worst cases they are so controlling they will try to monitor all your communication, and somehow still convince you that if anyone is the victim in the relationship or in life it is them. It's happened to so many people, please don't ever let it happen to you. Once you are away from the people who actually care able you, the emotional (and in some cases physical) abuse can begin. You've just fallen into a trap.

Wonderful can go through a breakup and eventually say positive things about their ex's. A narcissist probably doesn't have a single good thing to say about any ex.... if they were to admit what actually happened it would threaten their identity. If you are dating someone who claims all their exes are awful, you just got a massive red flag. If you were to actually talk to one or two of these exes you might see that they are wonderful people - just like you - and maybe they have the kind of story and warning that can save you from making a terrible life decision.

If someone switches from positive to negative - if you went on magical dates together and now suddenly they just complain and say the world is bleak - there is another possibility too. This might be Borderline Personality Disorder... not to be confused with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, although I'm sure they are also not mutually exclusive.

If you're already in a trap, the brave thing to do is reach out for help from someone that actually loves you. Admit your terrible mistake, and ask them to quite literally drive over and extract you. You might be devastated for a while, but your emotionless partner will likely move on pretty quickly to their next pray once they realize they've lost you. You're not the first person they've done this too. I know this sounds bleak, but I've heard this story from many friends of mine, so I've written it out here.


See Also

  • Narcissism Scale - A fun graphical representation of this... I've included it as a thumbnail at the start of this article too.