According To Experts, These Are the Signs You Should Be Looking For To Spot Narcissists

Spotting a narcissist isn’t as simple as seeing someone who’s self-centered or boastful. It’s more nuanced, with signs that can slip under the radar if you’re unaware of what to look for.

Experts suggest that certain behaviors, like a constant need for admiration, a sense of entitlement, and a lack of empathy, are key indicators of narcissism. But how can you determine if these traits are just a one-off or part of a larger pattern?

Having some of the following traits is a strong sign that someone is a Narcissist.

#1 Over Confidence:

They constantly talk about their accomplishments, skills, and connections, firmly believing in their superiority.

One glaring trait you’ll notice in narcissists is their overconfidence, often showcased through constant bragging about their achievements, abilities, and social ties, reflecting their deep-seated belief in their superiority.

They’ll waste no time telling you they’re the best at what they do, effortlessly outshining everyone else. They’ll take every chance to remind you of their connections, dropping names like confetti.

However, don’t mistake this for harmless self-esteem. It’s a distorted sense of self-worth designed to mask their insecurities. They quickly dismiss others’ accomplishments, always turning the spotlight back on themselves.

This overconfidence doesn’t just permeate their conversations but also their actions, as they make decisions without considering potential consequences or the feelings of others.

#2 Need for Adoration

They continually seek compliments and affirmations about their appearance, abilities, or achievements.

Narcissists’ ongoing need for adoration manifests in their constant quest for compliments and affirmations about their looks, talents, or accomplishments.

They’re always fishing for praise, ensuring the spotlight is perpetually on them. They revel in being the center of attention, using every opportunity to showcase their perceived superiority.

Be aware, though, as this isn’t just about vanity. It’s a crucial part of their self-image, a necessity for survival.

They’re dependent on admiration to validate their inflated self-worth. Any slight hint of criticism or perceived insult is met with hostility or profound distress.

#3 Sense of Entitlement

They often demand your time and attention and expect you to prioritize their needs over yours.

Narcissists have a deep-seated sense of entitlement, often manifesting as constant demands for your time and attention.

It’s as if they’re the sun, and you’re expected to revolve around them, always at their beck and call. Their needs, desires, and whims take precedence over yours.

They’re often indignant if you can’t, or won’t, drop everything to cater to their demands. It’s not unusual for them to react with anger or sulking if they don’t get their way.

They’ve a firm belief that they’re inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. This sense of entitlement isn’t just limited to you; they’ll expect the same from others.

#4 Lack of empathy

They may show little understanding or regard for your feelings or experiences, often dismissing or downplaying your emotions.

You might notice a startling lack of empathy in your interactions with them. They’ll show scant regard for your feelings or experiences, often doubting your emotions as trivial.

You might share a painful experience, expecting support or understanding, but they’ll dismiss it without a second thought. It’s as if your hurt isn’t worth their time. You may even feel like they’re belittling your emotions, making you question their validity.

This lack of empathy isn’t because they can’t understand your feelings; they don’t care. It’s not that they’re incapable of empathy. It’s that they choose to ignore it.

#5 Playing the Victim

They portray themselves as the innocent party or the victim in situations, often to manipulate you or shift the blame.

You might often find covert narcissists donning the mantle of victimhood to manipulate situations to their advantage. They’re experts at playing the innocent party, even when they’re clearly at fault. It’s a strategy they use to shift blame or to gain sympathy.

You’ll notice them blaming others for their mistakes or spinning stories to make themselves look like victims. They’re masters at avoiding responsibility and twisting reality to suit their narrative.

#6 Jealousy

They may feel threatened or resentful when you succeed or garner positive attention.

When you’re shining in the spotlight or basking in the glory of an achievement, covert narcissists often seethe with jealousy, feeling threatened or resentful.

Why? Because your success diverts attention from them. This attention, in their view, is rightfully theirs.

They’re unable to celebrate your victories genuinely. Instead, they may downplay your accomplishments or compare them unfavorably to their own.

They’ll likely feel intense envy, resentment, bitterness, or hostility. You’ll notice this through their negative comments, cold attitude, or blatant disregard for your achievement.

#7 Passive Aggression

They may brood or act out instead of openly communicating what’s bothering them.

Another telltale sign of a covert narcissist’s behavior is their tendency to brood or act out rather than communicate openly about what’s bothering them. This passive-aggressive behavior can make it hard for you to understand their feelings.

Instead of sharing their problems, they might pout, give you the silent treatment, or behave destructively.

They’re not upfront about their emotions, and this indirect approach can lead to confusion and tension. It’s a way for them to maintain control and avoid vulnerability.

#8 Dominating Conversations

They may often monopolize conversations, making it difficult for others to get a word in.

Often, covert narcissists will seize control of conversations, leaving little room for others to express their thoughts or opinions. They’ll steer discussions towards themselves, and you may find it challenging to get a word in.

It’s not just about them talking a lot; it’s about them dominating the conversation to keep the focus on their experiences, achievements, or problems. They tend to disregard what you’ve said, rarely asking questions about your life or feelings.

This isn’t a simple case of being talkative; it’s a way for them to maintain control and assert superiority.

So, if you’re constantly feeling unheard, overshadowed, or invalidated during discussions with someone, it might be a sign that you’re dealing with a narcissist. Keep an eye out for such behavior, it’s a strong red flag.

#9 Defensiveness

They frequently react negatively to criticism or commentary, whether constructive or relatively minor.

You might be dealing with a covert narcissist if you notice a consistent pattern of negative reactions to criticism, regardless of how minor or constructive it may be.

This defensiveness often stems from a fragile self-esteem they’re eager to protect. Any hint of critique can be seen as a direct attack on their self-worth, prompting them to retaliate or withdraw.

They’re likely to twist the situation, painting themselves as the victim. It’s common for them to become argumentative, refusing to acknowledge any validity in your point.

It’s not just about their reaction to big issues. Pay close attention to how they respond to even the smallest critique. A pattern of disproportionate defensiveness can be a clear sign of covert narcissism.

#10 Exaggerated Storytelling

They often recreate stories or situations to put themselves in a better light, appearing more impressive or important.

Moving on, if they’re regularly embellishing stories to make themselves look better or more important, you could be dealing with a covert narcissist.

They’re masters of exaggerated storytelling, often reshaping narratives to cast themselves in a more favorable light. It’s not just about being the hero; they want to be the most heroic.

They don’t just attend events; they’re the life of the party. This constant need to outdo others, even in storytelling, is a clear sign of narcissism. But remember, it’s not your job to fix them, nor should you feel obligated to endure their grandiosity.

#11 Need for Control

They tend to insist on making all decisions, often reducing your freedom of choice.

If you’ve noticed a relentless need for control in someone who insists on making all decisions to the point of limiting your freedom of choice, you might be dealing with a covert narcissist. This characteristic, a hallmark of narcissistic personality disorder, is often subtle and can be mistaken for assertiveness or confidence.

However, it’s the insidious, pervasive nature of this control that sets it apart. They’ll make choices for you, disregarding your opinions or desires, and justify it with excuses like ‘I know what’s best.’ This is a clear red flag.

#12 Overreacting to Spotlight Shifts

They may act out or seethe with jealousy when the attention shifts from them to someone else, demonstrating a lack of ability to share the spotlight.

When the spotlight shifts away from a covert narcissist, they often react with jealousy or even anger, unable to share their attention with others. They’re like a child who can’t stand it when their sibling gets a present.

When you’re chatting about a friend’s accomplishment, they’ll likely interject with a similar, if not grander, tale. Or, they’ll criticize the individual you’re praising, trying to shift the focus back onto themselves. Their inability to celebrate others’ successes is a red flag for narcissism.

They might even overreact, throwing tantrums or sulking in a corner. Their envy is palpable, and they’re not good at hiding it.

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