When I say narcissist, I don’t mean the run of the mill narcissist person exhibiting some of the selfish narcissistic traits. I mean the actual narcissist with Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD). It is difficult to spot the narcissist because unlike their BPD (Borderline) and HPD (Histrionic) counterparts, they appear completely in control of themselves. You would never know the charming person you just met is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They can control your perception towards them by stealthy manipulation. No matter how good self-esteem you have, Narcissist can bring down your self-esteem like a house of cards. Victims of Narcissist abuse never know what hit them, most victims end up blaming themselves for the Narcissist abuse.
10 ways to identify a Narcissist (NPD)
- Persistent Narcissistic Jealousy- If you are good at reading the expressions of people, you can easily identify a narcissist when they are jealous, which they are quite frequently. They simply can’t tolerate sharing the space with anyone who is better than them at anything. They will constantly nitpick or try to belittle the person all the time. If the person is in a position of power or possible love interest they will seem to congratulate them on their special skills, but it is not sincere. You can see the jealously raging in their eyes. They simply can’t genuinely appreciate the person better than them at something with an open warm genuine smile. For this reason, they also tend to be at loggerheads with their boss, supervisors, doctors, or lawyers. They resent and harbor jealousy for anyone who possesses the skills that they cannot out-do or at least mimic.
Once I showed a little nice hand movement trick to the narcissist which he couldn’t do after multiple attempts. He simply couldn’t appreciate it. The jealously and rage in his eyes was scary and funny at the same time. He simply declared the trick stupid, belittled it, brought the attention back to himself, and embarked on telling me the stories of how he single-handedly defeated the aliens from planet LALAland.
- Failure in Public- A narcissist will never forgive you if you have successfully embarrassed him/her in public. They protect their self-image in public with life. Most normal people accept their shortcomings and appreciate constructive criticism or feedback. A narcissist would however feel under attack if their failures are publically exposed. Instead of accepting their mistake or failure they will put the blame on someone else and hold the grudge. They believe themselves to be their best version and see no reason to improve themselves or accept the obvious failures. It exposes their fear of not being the all perfect that they always assume they are.
Once I suggested the narcissist take up a course to improve the job skills (his company was laying off people) in a group gathering. Oh boy! how dare I say that he was not already perfect and asking him to take such courses was disrespect to the all-knowing majesty. Eventually, he was fired after a month for incompetency, and somehow it was my fault…Hmmm
- Eternal Victims- Narcissists have very amusing self-perception. They believe that the entire world is always conspiring against them and is jealous of them. They always have a sob-story up their sleeves. How their ex cheated on them (it was other way around), how they came out of an abusive relationship (they were the abusers) and how their ex-employer accused them of misappropriating companies fund (which is true). Basically, they are the eternal victims, fishing for sympathy and attention from anyone who is willing to listen to them. Their stories have many inconsistencies, loopholes, and lies by omission that though your mind finds the stories improbable, your heart might give it a benefit of doubt owing to the cute puppy face they make while narrating their victimhood. They will at the end declare how bad everyone else, and they don’t need anyone in their life.
The narcissist I knew of told me the sob story of his experience growing up in poverty and being sexually abused as a child. Later on, I came to know from his family and friends that it’s not at all true. It was just a ploy to garner the sympathy and attention out of the unsuspecting prey.
- Relationship History- If you take a careful look at a narcissist relationship history, you will notice that there are plenty of short relationships and breakups and most importantly they would not take responsibility for any of the relationships not working out. They might claim they wanting to be with one person and say they prefer monogamous relationships, but their actions and relationship history say otherwise. Clue- See the actions, don’t believe the words. Narcissists are skillful liars.
I had an interesting conversation with an ex of a narcissist. She told me the narcissist she was with gave her a ring as a symbol of his love. After she broke up with him due to his infidelity and threw the ring at his face, she got to know that he had given the same ring to the girl he was seeing before her. Apparently, he has passed the ring to the next girl he is seeing as a symbol of his love.
- Look out for new things- Narcissists are always on the lookout for something new. Be it job, relationships, friends, or gadgets. Most of it has to do it with their ego. They have to have new things in order to impress people, built up a false image, and seek attention. Narcissists hardly feel remorse for the destruction they leave behind or the people they hurt. They tend to use and throw people and look out for new people with who they can impress and associate. A narcissist individual won’t care about the loss the company might suffer or the emotional trauma their loved ones or friends have to suffer. Loyalty is not something to be expected of a narcissist.
Narcissists use others as mirrors. The reflection in the mirror should be perfect. When the narcissist gets bored with the reflection they receive through the victim, or if the reflection is not to his liking, they drop the victim like a hot potato and start looking for someone new.
We were traveling on a four people group trip to a beach city during spring break. Everything was planned, the narcissist suddenly found an opportunity to hang out with someone new he met at the airport. He left our group spoiling the entire travel plan and leaving us in a lurch after announcing he will meet us at the airport gate at the end of our planned trip.
- The perspective of family long term friends & Colleagues- Narcissists are not perceived well by their long term friends and family. Most likely they had hurt them, betrayed their trust, and have just a namesake relationship. You might wonder why they don’t like the narcissist while he is so helpful and well behaved whenever he is with you. Later on, you will know it is all a smokescreen. In reality, a narcissist’s indoor behavior and the way he behaves in public with unknown people are vastly different. A narcissist would rather prefer to be appreciated and liked by complete strangers than his own kin.
The sister of the narcissist was always angry and criticized him badly. I never knew the reason. Later I know he used to torment her and steal from her through his old mutual friends. If you want to identify the narcissist pay close attention to his relationship with his family and old-time friends or colleagues.
- Fashion & Style- Narcissists have a very quirky sense of fashion. They tend to keep on changing their hairstyle, dressing style, and look. They hardly keep a constant sense of style. Usually, they try and mimic a celebrity or change their look according to the latest movie of the celebrity. The clothes and accessories have the sole purpose of getting them as much attention and admiration as possible.
All the narcissist I know claim to look like or try to make you believe they look like a particular celebrity.
- Weird Sexual Fantasies- Narcissists tend to harbor weird sexual fantasies and fetishes. BDSM or a similar version of it is likely to be the narcissist favorite. Sex is all about domination and the display of power for them. For that reason, they might not even care about gender and are also most likely to be bisexual. Since they treat humans as objects, sex has to be all about them. The other person is just a fancy sex kit for them. They also tend to withhold sex as a relationship power maneuver.
The narcissist I knew would always go for someone who looked like a celebrity. He would treat the sex with them as some kind of trophy to show off. He also used to keep their underwear, photos, gifts, etc as souvenirs. This is the area I am afraid narcissists can give good competition to psychopaths.
- Boredom– Narcissist can’t stand to be bored. Boredom is the bane of a narcissist. If you want to get rid of your narcissist, be boring. I believe it is part of the projection. Narcissists themselves tend to be very boring. They say the same things, the same stories over and over to people. Though they can be creative in terms of attention-seeking behavior, it gets old too fast. Narcissist relies on others to entertain them since they themselves tend to be very boring after a while. Boredom to a Narcissist is like Garlic to a Vampire.
A narcissist once told me, the reason he left his last girlfriend was that she was boring. She is a news editor in a reputed magazine and a professional tennis player. By far the most interesting and lively person I have ever met. The Narcissist meanwhile has no real hobbies except for watching football and getting drunk at the local watering hole.
- Gifts- Narcissists are the worst gift-givers. They lack the compassion and empathetic aspect of gift-giving. They either see it as a chore or as an opportunity to impress and gain attention. It is not uncommon for a narcissist to avoid accepting gifts. They might hate receiving gifts as much as giving them due to give and take aspect involved. By accepting the gift Narcissist somehow feel that the person who gave them the gift is higher than them. A narcissist can’t stand someone being higher than them. They resent the gift-giving and receiving unless it benefits them or boosts their ego.
Once I asked the narcissist what he was planning to gift his long time colleague as the retiring present, he said- A set of Tupperware bowls. Share your experience in the comment section.
Any thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
Emily is an INFP who believes that people should always live their lives to the fullest everyday. She loves her dog JiJi. Emily has graduated from University of Michigan and is a passionate relationship blogger who is looking forward to her career as relationship and dating coach. She is an avid book reader with special liking for romance, horror and sci-fi genre. You can find her on Tumbler.