19 Ways to Spot a Narcissist Before It’s Too Late

Narcissists aren’t the easiest people to deal with, yet they can be challenging to spot if you don’t know what to look for. Here are 19 warning signs that suggest someone is likely a narcissist.

Constant Need for Admiration

Constant Need for Admiration
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Narcissists crave attention and validation. This means they always want to be admired and to talk about their achievements. If they don’t get the praise they expect, they get upset or dismissive.

Exaggerated Sense of Self-Importance

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Narcissists often think they’re better than everyone else and inflate their accomplishments and abilities. They boast about themselves and constantly seek compliments from others.

Excessive Entitlement

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Narcissists feel entitled to special treatment, so they can get angry or resentful if they don’t get what they think they deserve.

Manipulative Behavior

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Narcissists are skilled at manipulating others. They use tactics like guilt-tripping or gaslighting to control people and get what they want. To stay in control, they take advantage of people’s vulnerabilities.

Lack of Empathy

Lack of Emotional Investment
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Narcissists struggle to understand and care about other people’s feelings and needs. They can be cold and callous, finding it hard to genuinely connect with others.

Envy of Others

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Narcissists often feel jealous of other people’s success or possessions. They see them as a threat to their self-image. They may compete excessively or try to undermine others to maintain their sense of superiority.

Arrogant Attitude

Arrogant Attitude
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Narcissists have an inflated and superior attitude. Seeing themselves as better than others leads to condescending or disparaging behavior towards those they consider inferior.

Obsession with Power and Control

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Narcissists desire power and control in their relationships. They use manipulation, coercion, or intimidation to maintain their position. This obsession creates unhealthy and unbalanced dynamics.

Frequent Lying

Pathological Lying
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Narcissists often lie to manipulate others or protect their inflated self-image. They have a distorted view of reality and will bend the truth to fit their narrative.

Difficulty with Criticism

Difficulty with Criticism
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Narcissists can’t handle criticism. They react with anger or defensiveness when their flaws are pointed out. Then they blame others or make excuses to avoid responsibility for their actions.

Exploitative Relationships

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Narcissists exploit others for personal gain without caring about their well-being. They have no problem exploiting people’s kindness, trust, or resources.

Belittling Others

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To feel superior, narcissists often belittle or demean others. They use sarcasm, put-downs, or mockery, creating a hostile and uncomfortable environment for those around them.

Idealizing and Devaluing

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Narcissists idealize new relationships initially, showering their partners with praise and attention. But this quickly changes to devaluing as they find faults and withdraw affection.

Mood Swings

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Narcissists can have unpredictable mood swings. They can switch from being charming and charismatic to angry or scornful with little warning. This makes interactions with them confusing and unstable.

Projection

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Narcissists commonly project their negative qualities or actions onto others. They do this to avoid taking responsibility for their behavior and maintain their inflated self-image.

Superficial Charm

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Narcissists often have a superficial charm. They use charisma and flattery to win people over. But this charm is usually manipulative and insincere, hiding their true intentions or lack of genuine interest in others.

Inability to Sustain Relationships

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Because of their self-centeredness and lack of empathy, narcissists struggle to maintain long-term relationships. They often have a history of broken friendships, romantic relationships, or professional partnerships.

Excessive Need for Control

Aggressive Teen Punishments
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Narcissists have an overwhelming need to control various aspects of their life. This includes personal relationships and work settings. They become agitated or aggressive when they feel their authority is challenged or undermined.

Disregard for Boundaries

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Narcissists blatantly ignore the boundaries and privacy of others. They invade personal space, overshare intimate details, or pressure others into uncomfortable situations. They do this to maintain their control and dominance.

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