Narcissistic people are hard to spot. Most people can have a trait of narcissism. Just because someone is successful doesn’t make them a narcissist. Just because they take care of their appearance doesn’t make them narcissists. To have the disorder, people need at least five of the nine criteria. Here are a few behaviours of people with the narcissistic personality disorder, based on the nine characteristics of the disorder. It is on the spectrum, so these are just some common behaviours. Not every narcissist will do each one. Some will do all.
1. A grandiose sense of self-importance, a belief they are special.
They are incredibly self-centred and self-entitled. Their needs always come first. People do sometimes put their needs first, yet they will often try to fit in with or help support others. Narcissistic people will only do this if they have something to gain by doing so.
Narcissists will take control of the conversations. It’s all me, me, me. They might be interested in you at the start, but as soon as they have enough information about you, they will no longer listen to you.
Any concerns, problems or issues you bring up will be brought back around within the conversation of why you’re “sensitive.” Or why you should “deal with it.” Anything happening within your life, they will have had far worse if it’s negative or upsetting, and they will have done better if you’ve achieved something, they will find a way to take over the conversation. Not because they’re excited about something or to let you know they know how you feel, but to bring the limelight back onto them.
2. A preoccupation with fantasies of power and success, beauty, and love.
They will sell you that dream to deliver you a living nightmare. They will either talk about what they have achieved, often exaggerating, they don’t seem to understand the word humble, or they will blame all others for why they are not successful, “I didn’t get the promotion as I wouldn’t suck up like the others would.” When in reality, they most likely didn’t put the work ethics in or couldn’t manipulate and exploit the boss as easy as they’d hoped.
Parents will blame their own children for holding them back. They’ll blame the scapegoat for the family not being perfect and show off the golden child like a medal. They’ll either take the children from the healthy parent that the narcissist abused and gaslighted, playing the hero who saved the children from gaining attention, or they’ll play the victim card and claim parental alienation when they walk away or abandon their own children for a new family that had more to offer, to gain sympathy from those around them.
They can be extremely unreliable. They will often promise things and rarely deliver, often saying they never promised in the first place, some people do generally forget from time to time, but they will apologise. Narcissists will just twist all the facts. Hence, they are not accountable, and it’s all your fault. They do not care for the consequences of their actions, and they will blame all others if something doesn’t go their way. Even if they were totally or partly to blame, they would not accept any responsibility.
3. A belief they are special.
They like their egos being stroked and believe they are superior to those around them, and they like to think that all others look up to them. So look out for those who have an intense perception of their image. Whatever that image is to them. Even the victim narcissist may portray themselves very differently around different people.
4. A need for excessive admiration and attention.
They are incredibly impatient, watch how they react if the food takes a long time in a fast-food restaurant, if someone doesn’t give them the correct order, if they are kept waiting by others, as they believe they are entitled, special and deserve special treatment, we can all be impatient when in a rush, however, with narcissists once that mask slips will nearly always be impatient.
They are very easily annoyed when things don’t go their way. They seem unable to take on board others’ opinions or advice.
No one can throw a bigger tantrum than a narcissist not getting their own way.
Some like drama, they like to live on the edge, some people do just enjoy being daredevils and experiencing unique or different things, the narcissist has no respect of the law, some may pretend to, but most think they are above it.
5. A sense of entitlement.
A narcissist believes they are entitled to everything, so they will take, take, take. Yet give little to no thanks. Yet they want to be thanked for things they haven’t even done for you, and you should know when to say it.
They have no real values, just borrowing values from others to pass off as their own to hook people in. They can also switch from super nice to super nasty in seconds.
They will lie about everything, yet some of them have told stories about things that seem ridiculous to others yet. As they tell these stories with such truths, it’s difficult not to believe them. A lot will exaggerate actual events. Some claim to know famous people they don’t actually know. When they are lying, if you pay close attention, they may not even blink, they may also change the tone in their voice, so observation is a must. Observe don’t absorb to protect yourself from people with a narcissist personality disorder. Many people will bend the truth, and the more the lies get out of hand, the more uncomfortable they look, feel and act. As it’s not natural to them, narcissistic people tend to get more confidence and more convincing when they lie. This could be because they actually believe their own false reality within themselves. So a calm demeanour doesn’t mean someone is telling you the truth.
They have an explanation for everything with their word salad, so they do trick our brains with great ease. You really need to pay close attention to your gut instinct. If something feels off, even if you don’t know it, trust your intuition.
When they get caught out with a lie, they will not back down. They can be sat drinking your last can of pop. They will still deny it was yours. In contrast, healthy people would slump their shoulders, apologise and offer to get you another, as narcissists believe they are entitled and have every right to what they want. Their wants come above all others’ needs, so they often think they’ve done nothing wrong and stand firm that they are not in the wrong. Their image is more important than reality, and they will not back down, often with word salad, false apologies, or blame-shifting. They will convince others by doing all they can, gaslighting, and silent treatments. Their reality is fact and that you are wrong, with or without evidence. They are always right.
As they will never be accountable or accept the consequences, some will spend way too much of their and your money. Some will be super tight with their own money, yet they will happily spend yours.
Everyone can be moody, we all wake up some days with no clue as to what’s wrong, yet narcissists can be extremely moody, turning hot and cold without any true reason, leaving those around them confused and often believing it was something they did to the narcissist.
If someone seems far too good to be true, moving things fast, they usually are too good to be true. Nobody falls in love faster than a narcissist who needs somewhere to stay. We all have our faults, we all make mistakes. Authentic people might not like being called out on them or admitting them. If needed, however, they will, especially to those close to them. Narcissistic people project all their faults onto those around them so that the narcissist can escape accountability.
7. Lack of empathy.
They can pretend to love others and care, have empathy. The closer you watch them, you’ll notice they are mirroring you, or they are copying learned behaviour from others. It’s all the admiration face to gain attention, which when they feel their needs are no longer being met, their envious face will appear.
8. Jealousy and envy.
9. Arrogance and Dominance.
They want control of all events, people and situations. If they don’t have control, they will manipulate the situation any way they can until they do, often leaving you thinking you were to blame. They may provoke you to get a reaction from you just so they can blame it all on you, so you believe it was your fault for reacting. They will control you financially, sexual, your friendships with others, your education, and your work. They control the affection they are willing to offer. They will threaten and/or guilt trip to control others.
In the home, they can be completely different to that charming character when out and about, that character you first meet, so it can be incredibly hard to tell people who they indeed are, as those around them only see the narcissists’ good side.
They are good most of the time at reading others, most often going for people who are empathetic and kind.
With a narcissist, it is all about them, so if you find yourself feeling really miserable and drained, you are most likely around a narcissist.
Narcissists are Prone to putting others down. It’s is on a spectrum, and although most of us could act in one of the above ways at times, you do need at least five characters to have a narcissistic personality disorder. However, they may not show all the characteristics to one person at any given time.
If you don’t feel right around someone, if someone continues to hurt you, let you down, cheat you, lie to you, smear your name, bring you down, narcissistic or not, you need to learn to let them go, let them continue on their destructive path, which unfortunately they will it’s who they are, negativity often breeds negativity. We have to walk away and find our own path and our own happiness, others are not responsible for our happiness, and we are not responsible for theirs. We can not change others or make them see the error of their ways. That’s on them. We are only responsible for ourselves, be kind to others, yet have boundaries no one can destroy. This will eliminate toxic people before you’re in deeper than you’d like to be.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
Observe don’t absorb.
You’re not crazy.
The two faces of narcissism.