Signs of Narcissistic Behavior: How to Recognise and Address the Red Flags.
Narcissistic behaviour is a topic that has gained more attention in recent years, especially with the rise of social media and the increasing focus on individualism and self-promotion. But what exactly constitutes narcissistic behaviour, and how can you recognise it in others? In this article, we will explore the signs of narcissistic behavior and provide evidence-based examples to help you better understand and address this complex issue.
- Always has to be right.
One of the key traits of narcissistic behaviour is the constant need to be right. Individuals with narcissistic tendencies often believe that their opinions and beliefs are superior to others, and they will go to great lengths to prove their point. This can manifest in a variety of ways, from dominating conversations and monopolising discussions to dismissing or belittling the viewpoints of others. For example, a narcissistic individual may adamantly insist on their own version of events, even when presented with evidence to the contrary.
Evidence: A classic example of this behaviour can be seen in a workplace setting, where a co-worker consistently refuses to consider alternative approaches or ideas, insisting that their way is the only right way. This can lead to tension and conflict within the team, as other members feel marginalised and unheard.
- Believes you’re being selfish if they don’t get their own way.
Another common sign of narcissistic behaviour is the tendency to label others as selfish when their own desires are not met. Narcissistic individuals may manipulate and guilt-trip others, using tactics such as emotional blackmail and manipulation to get their own way. They may also be quick to accuse others of selfishness or lack of consideration, even when the situation does not warrant such accusations.
Evidence: For example, a narcissistic partner may become angry or resentful if their needs and desires are not given top priority, even at the expense of others’ well-being. They may use emotional manipulation and gaslighting to make their partner feel guilty for not meeting their demands.
- Inability to take on board any feedback.
Individuals with narcissistic tendencies often struggle to accept any form of feedback or criticism, as they perceive it as a personal attack on their character. They may become defensive, hostile, or dismissive when confronted with their behaviour, and they may go to great lengths to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.
Evidence: In a professional setting, a narcissistic boss may react with anger and hostility when an employee offers constructive feedback or suggestions for improvement. They may perceive any form of critique as a threat to their authority and become defensive, making it difficult for the team to work together effectively.
- Nothing bad is ever their fault.
Narcissistic individuals are adept at deflecting blame and responsibility for their actions, often resorting to gaslighting and manipulation to avoid taking accountability. They may downplay or deny their own mistakes, shifting the blame onto others or external factors, and they may employ a range of tactics to maintain their self-image as flawless and faultless.
Evidence: A narcissistic parent may consistently blame their child for their own shortcomings, making the child feel guilty and responsible for the parent’s emotions and actions. This can have a lasting impact on the child’s self-esteem and mental well-being.
- Takes credit for anything positive.
On the flip side, narcissistic individuals are quick to take credit for anything positive or successful, whether it’s a team project at work or a personal accomplishment. They may exaggerate their role or contribution to inflate their own importance and feed their ego, often at the expense of others’ recognition and achievements.
Evidence: For example, a narcissistic colleague may boast about their key role in a successful project, downplaying the efforts of their team members and seeking acclaim for themselves. This can create resentment and animosity within the team, as others feel undervalued and overshadowed.
- Refusal to acknowledge their own mistakes.
While narcissistic individuals are quick to point out the mistakes of others, they are often unwilling to acknowledge their own faults or errors. This can create a toxic dynamic in relationships and interactions, as the narcissistic individual consistently places themselves above reproach and scrutiny, leading to a lack of accountability and growth.
Evidence: In a romantic relationship, a narcissistic partner may consistently blame their significant other for any issues or conflicts, refusing to acknowledge their own role in the problems. This can lead to a one-sided dynamic where the blame is consistently shifted onto the partner, creating a cycle of emotional abuse and manipulation.
- Doesn’t understand the word “no”.
Narcissistic individuals often struggle to accept boundaries or limitations, as they believe they are entitled to have their desires fulfilled at all times. They may become enraged or vindictive when faced with rejection or refusal, and they may employ a range of tactics to manipulate and coerce others into compliance.
Evidence: For example, a narcissistic friend may consistently pressure others into catering to their needs and wants, becoming angry or distant if their demands are not met. This can create a toxic and one-sided dynamic in the friendship, where the needs of the narcissistic individual consistently take precedence.
- Prefers to impress strangers over caring for family.
Narcissistic individuals often prioritise their own image and status over the well-being of their loved ones, seeking validation and admiration from external sources. They may prioritise impressing strangers and acquaintances, using these interactions to bolster their ego and sense of self-importance, while neglecting the needs and emotions of those closest to them.
Evidence: For example, a narcissistic parent may consistently prioritise social events and engagements over spending quality time with their children, seeking validation and approval from others at the expense of their family’s needs.
- Fails to see a problem in their behaviour.
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of narcissistic behaviour is the individual’s inability to recognise or acknowledge the harm they cause to others. Narcissistic individuals often fail to see the impact of their behaviour on those around them, dismissing the concerns and emotions of others as insignificant or unwarranted.
Evidence: For example, a narcissistic co-worker may consistently engage in belittling and condescending behaviour towards their colleagues, failing to see the harm and distress they cause. This can create a toxic and hostile work environment, as the narcissistic individual remains oblivious to the impact of their actions. When called out on their actions, a narcissist will simply shift the blame, accuse someone of attacking them, claim you’re overreacting, too sensitive or out to get them because they’re better than you.
Narcissistic behaviour encompasses a range of traits and behaviours that can have significant and lasting impacts on those around them. By recognising the signs of narcissistic behaviour and understanding the examples provided in this article, we can better address and respond to these red flags in a constructive and informed manner. Whether it’s within our personal relationships, professional interactions, or broader social dynamics, it’s crucial to be aware of and address narcissistic behaviour to promote healthier and more balanced relationships and environments.
Here are five strategies to cope with narcissistic behaviour:
- Set boundaries: Clearly communicating your limits and expectations to the narcissistic individual doesn’t work with them. They feel entitled to have their own way, get offended and seek to punish you. The best boundaries around narcissists are psychological, emotional and physical distance, and be firm in enforcing them. This would involve reducing contact or interaction with the narcissist.
- Seek support: Surround yourself with a strong support system of friends, family, or mental health professionals who can provide validation, guidance, and understanding as you navigate the challenges of dealing with narcissistic behaviour.
- Practice self-care: Focus on taking care of your physical and emotional well-being, engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, and setting aside time for self-reflection and personal growth.
- Maintain perspective: Remind yourself that the narcissistic individual’s behaviour is not a reflection of your worth or value. Their actions stem from their own insecurities and issues, and it’s important not to internalise their negative behaviour.
- Consider seeking professional help: If the narcissistic behaviour is causing significant distress and harm, consider seeking guidance from a therapist or counsellor who can provide support and strategies for coping with the challenges of dealing with a narcissistic individual. (Sponsored.). https://betterhelp.com/elizabethshaw
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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.