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Thursday, June 10, 2021

7 Signs Your Friend Is A Narcissist

7 Signs Your Friend Is A Narcissist


Have you ever met a narcissist? Maybe you have and you just don’t know it. After all, narcissists are masters at deception and emotional manipulation. Oftentimes they will try to lure you in with their confidence, wit, and charisma to win you over when you first meet them, but don’t be fooled. Because the moment they know they’ve got you under their spell, they will turn the tables on you and show you just how ruthless, self-absorbed, and manipulative they really are.

The American Psychological Association (2013) defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder as a long-term mental illness that’s characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, entitlement, and a lack of empathy for others. And while only 1% of the global population is actually diagnosed with NPD, it’s a lot more common for people to display narcissistic traits and tendencies. 


Are you worried one of your friends might be a narcissist? Here are 7 warning signs you need to look out for: 

1. They have a grandiose sense of self-importance.

Nothing is more telling of a narcissist than their inflated ego and grandiose sense of self-importance. Does your friend talk about how great or special they are all the time? Do they go on and on about their status, their success, their beauty, or their popularity? And about how lucky you should feel to be friends with them?

Arrogant, vain, and self-obsessed, narcissists are known for having an unrealistically high opinion of themselves and they will often exaggerate or even outright lie about their own accomplishments just to make themselves look better (Carlson, Naumann, & Vazire, 2011). They think the entire universe revolves around them and that they are the best, most powerful, most important person in every room they walk into.


2. They have a distorted world view.

Because narcissists think so highly of themselves and lack self-awareness, they usually live in a fantasy world designed to reaffirm these beliefs and stroke their ego even more. Did your friend ever get rejected by their crush? “It’s probably because they didn’t think they were good enough for me, oh well.” Did they fail to land a role or get a promotion? “It’s because everyone is so threatened by me, they want to sabotage my chances at success.” Have they ever done something poorly? “It’s because I haven’t been practicing, but if I did, I just know I’d be so much better than all of you.” Narcissists often rely on self-deception, excessive defensiveness, and making excuses for themselves to keep their distorted view of the world intact. They are in denial of their own flaws and weaknesses and act out against anyone who questions their superiority (Holtzman, Vazire, & Mehl, 2010).


7 Signs Your Friend Is A Narcissist

3. They need constant praise and admiration.

Another defining trait in a narcissist is their incessant need for praise and admiration. Narcissists always want to be the center of attention, and when they’re not, you can always trust them to steal back the spotlight somehow. They’re not interested in anything that doesn’t have to do with them and they want you to constantly shower them with adoring compliments. This is why so many narcissists gravitate towards generous, kind-hearted people, because they have a way of using your own good nature against you (Ladany & Walker, 2003). They are so obsessed with attaining validation from others and demand that you tell them all the reasons why they are amazing just to keep their ego inflated. 


4. They have a strong sense of entitlement.

When someone acts entitled, it means that they believe they deserve to be given special treatment, even when they’ve done nothing to earn it. Does this sound like your friend? Then that’s a definite red flag. Narcissists believe that they are better than everyone else and that they deserve to get whatever they want because of it (Rhodewalt, 2001). They are selfish, spoiled, and incredibly demanding. They cut in line, they don’t wait for their turn, and they take your things without asking. They expect the people around them to just do what they say and meet their every need, or else they will lash out and throw a tantrum.

5. They have a superiority complex.

Narcissists are obsessed with status and nothing short of “the absolute best” will ever be good enough for them. Because they believe that they are extraordinary and one-of-a-kind, they only want to associate with other high-status people and institutions. They judge people according to their wealth, status, attractiveness, and popularity, and surround themselves only with those they see as their equals (Kluger, 2014). So if you drive a cheaper car than them, or come from a lower-status family, or don’t run in the same social circles as them, don’t expect them to even acknowledge your existence. They’re too good for anything average or ordinary.


6. They lack empathy and remorse.

Because narcissists think about themselves and only themselves, they lack the ability to feel empathy for others or remorse about their own wrongdoings. They are incapable of looking past their own self-interest and, as a result, see other people as nothing more than a means to their ends. They believe everyone around them is there only to serve them and fulfill their needs, so they have no problem exploiting people for their own personal gain. They never apologize, they never feel guilty, and they never stop to consider the consequences of their actions. They don’t care about your opinions or your feelings because, to them, you exist only for them to use (Sankowsky, 2005).


7 Signs Your Friend Is A Narcissist

7. They bully, belittle, or mistreat others.

Does your friend always have a back-handed compliment ready for you every time you tell them good news? Do they have a habit of criticizing you and pointing out all your flaws the moment someone else pays you a compliment? That’s because narcissists don’t like to share the spotlight. They feel threatened by the success, confidence, and popularity of other people and they use criticism to keep you in line (Aslinger, et al., 2018). They undermine your accomplishments (“You only did it because of my help”), belittle your success (“Why is everyone acting like what you did is such a big deal? I can do that, too”), and intimidate you into feeling inferior (“Don’t let any of this go to your head. You and I both know I’m still the best”).

Did anyone in particular come to mind as you were reading this list? If you have a narcissist in your life right now, then you need to be careful. It’s important that you see them for who they really are and not for who you want them to be. No matter how many times they promise to change or do better next time, you need to stop making excuses for them and just walk away. Don’t sacrifice your mental health on someone who doesn’t even want to be saved. It’ll only leave you hurt, humiliated, miserable, and emotionally exhausted the longer you put up with them and their maltreatment. Accept that there’s only one person in the entire world that they care about — and it’s never going to be you. 

[ By Psych2Go ]

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