How Can You Tell a Narcissist That He is a Narcissist?

Q: How can you tell a narcissist that he is a narcissist?

A: You can tell him or her bluntly or tactfully, neither will make any difference as a narcissist will strongly deny being a narcissist (and believe it). They might even twist it around to make YOU seem like the narcissist!

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11 Responses to “How Can You Tell a Narcissist That He is a Narcissist?”

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  1. Ken says:

    Does that mean those who proudly claim themselves to be narcissists are merely using a sophisticated form of gaslighting? Just wondered … !

  2. Judy says:

    Can you explain what gas lighting means?

    • Ken says:

      It’s a reference to an old Ingrid Bergman film

      In it the husband is engaged in a variety of subterfuge and deception, including having access to part of the house she doesn’t know about. When he goes there, and turns the lights on, the light in the rest of the house dims.

      She suspects something is up and keeps asking him about this. He of course denies everything and says she is imagining it, to the point where she begins to doubt her sanity. It’s all about fiddling with reality and lying about what has happened to promote paranoia and confusion in the victim.

      With my parents this included routinely lying about various historic abusive events, breaking promises, stealing/damaging/hiding my things and lying about it. Also they had very strict rules about arbitrary stuff that would attract harsh punishment if I dared to break them, which they would later claim never existed.

      If you look at my reply to Kat (below) you’ll see another example.

      I might be wrong, but my interpretation is that the abuser is trying to break your independence and free will with all this. You should accept their reality, do what they tell you, not question it, not even think about it. And as a child, I did, but the mental stress you are then under is incredible, and just gets worse as you age.

    • Ken says:

      Messing around with someone’s reality until they begin losing confidence in their own sanity. Have a look on wikipedia.

      (Tried to put links in, but I don’t think the forum allows it)

  3. kat says:

    Lol Ken,yes because they believe their own lies and often live them!Never under estimate the gaslighting!I approached my npd mom about all the horrific abuse she allowed to happen to me,now according to what I’ve heard, she’s telling people I am an abusive daughter, projection at its finest!

    • Ken says:

      Oh yes, I used to get no end of vitriol for “telling other people lies about what I did to you as a child!”. Even to the point of him (Disordered father) telling various people I didn’t even know that I’d been spreading rumours about him to other unknown people. Head spinning yet? mine certainly was.
      1. His abuse was extreme, prolific, violent and utterly destructive.
      2. I never spoke to anyone about it until I went NC 6 months ago. Even now it’s done anonymously, like this.
      3. The one thing he didn’t do was sexually touch me, so that’s what he chose to say I was claiming.
      4. Ironically (or perhaps not) most of his abuse revolved around wrongly accusing me of being dishonest to the point of the childhood me not knowing which way was up.
      He’s spent the last 2 decades on this mad rumour-spreading trip, I guess it’s how he has to get his kicks since I left home and got away from the madness.

  4. JPJ says:

    Therapists say that Narcissists are almost impossible to treat and help, so it is a lot to ask them to admit to anyone telling them they are that way.(They actually use therapy to learn new tricks in order to become better “preditors.”)
    So they may just laugh in your face and as previously noted, turn the tables on you. They will call you, “over sensitive”, “can`t take a joke” or the famous,”I was only kidding.”
    They could also take note of what you said and put you on their secret “hit list.”
    This means a stealth war against you that could include undermining friendships behind your back,starting bad rumors, false accusations to family/friends…..
    the list goes on but you probably get the picture.
    Remember the words to the song, “Smiling faces tell lies, they don`t tell the truth…..beware of the stab in the back……”

    • ST says:

      I have been out of the relationship for one year now.
      So many times during the three years together, I felt as though he was acting against me to our friends and his family….rumors, accusations…etc..
      People who had previously been very friendly suddenly would address me differently. It was weird and he told me I was crazy for even thinking that.
      I believed everything he said.
      Not believing in myself played a large part in not seeing the truth.

  5. Ryan says:

    I refused to believe I had NPD until I was shown the wikipedia entry for it and even then demanded that a Psychologist give me an objective opinion on the matter, which came back as a resounding yes.

    She gave me a few tests, and by that point I assumed I had it after having thought over what I had read about it, and by being brutally honest with myself.
    When she brought the results, I had a smile on my face. She asked why I was smiling, to which I said “I passed, didn’t I?”. She said that’s not necessarily something to be proud of, and my reply was “Ya gotta love what you do”.

    I’m an unashamed narcissist. Ever since that day, it’s been my primary handle on video games I play and forums I visit.

    It takes conscious effort on my part to curb my tendencies around those who I truly love, and it is not an easy thing to keep in check even around them. Around strangers who I feel are of no consequence(which is damn near everyone) I let it all out, and don’t feel a single shred of remorse about it.

    That may not be the healthiest way to handle it, but it’s honestly the best I could come up with in order to not alienate those closest to me.

    There is no easy way to get a true narcissist to realize their issue. For me it took some life changing events to even get me to consider the possibility. The best advice I can give is to try and find a way or a situation or time for them to start to realize it themselves, otherwise they will deny it and deflect until they die.

    • Swell says:

      Hi Ryan!

      Maybe you could answer some questions I’m interested in, maybe you read this reply and do not feel it offensive.

      I’m truly interested if you ever had some childhood traumas/abuse that developed narcissism in you or you were truly born this way?
      Is there any kind of sentence or thought that might make a narcissist to think about the possibility of being a narcissist and not take it immediately as an offence?
      Is there such a thing that might move the narcissist’s heart, for example a child is born?

      Thank you for the answers.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Narcissists never change…whilst being wheeled out of theatre after a miscarriage new years eve, I asked my gyne when we could try again for a child, the NARC’S response ‘Why the F… would you want to do that?’
    Finally, after nine years of living together I confronted him asking him if it was possible he had a personality disorder, along with his alcoholism….he ran away with another AA member. I was the 3rd woman he had done this to. They leave collateral damage everywhere they go, children who they have attempted to step-parent after calling them ‘nothing but F…… Moles’ & biological children who have been totally emotionally neglected & raised by their other parent, who by the way, think he is just wonderful because he buys them their cars & portrays a caring, nurturing father figure.
    He s been gone for 18 months now & has not only tried to contact my children & I several times, but has stalked me at the shopping centre, met for coffee & grabbed me outside the cafe. Their way of still installing the control even after the abandonment. The light bulb moment was when he texted me telling me that his dog had died & that ‘he must be grateful for what the dog gave HIM’-lol… Unfortunately for the victim & the narcissist, we as the victim, make excuses & allowances for the narcissist & enable the behaviour to continue, when we really should nip it in the bud early, NOT nine years down the track.
    Love your children, fill their lives with hope & tell them everyday they are good people who need to be respectful to others & to themselves. I was very fortunate, although I lived in total dysfunction as a child, I had positive grandparents who believed in me & supported me-thus the empathy. Narcisssists love empaths. We feed their ego. A comment made very early in the relationship by the NARC ‘Water finds it’s own level’ sooo true. I am not going to be that water level, nor should ANYONE else. Not sure what came first ‘the chicken or the egg’
    In my ex narc’s case, he was emotionally deprived from an early age, had an alcoholic mother who died of Wernicke Korsakoff Syndrome, & a practising/recovering alcoholic himself, always looking to fill that ‘void’ inside of him. The problem was, however, that once he had that in me he didn’t want it anymore he got bored, saw me as a threat, making comments such as ‘You’ve got the F…house, the F….. kids and you are a professional. I’ve got nothing!’ He had everything, he just couldn’t see it, or was it ‘not enough’? His addictive personality made him resentful, full of hatred for everyone who was doing better than him, & made him drop every relationship he ever had because ‘something better’ came along.
    I strongly recommend that anyone dealing with this abuse seeks professional help through a Mental Health Professional in order to grow strong again & read as much as you can about ‘narcissistic abuse’. The mental trauma is like going to war & suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They’re always in your head..If you allow them to be.

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