We’re all narcissists. We all want attention, we sometimes feel a lack of empathy for others, and we have troubled relationships. However, having a small dose of narcissistic behavior is alright. However, if you begin to display a characteristic of a narcissist all the time, that’s when the problem arises.
You need to pay extra attention when dealing with a narcissist. But to do that, you need to first identify a narcissist. Today, let’s discuss how you can determine if you are friends with or in a relationship with a narcissist.
What Is Narcissistic Behavior?
Also known as a narcissistic personality disorder, narcissistic behavior is a personality trait in which people have a false sense of self-importance and worth. They demand excessive admiration and have less empathy for others. They’re not very understanding and often have troubled relationships.
Moreover, narcissistic people are generally unhappy, angry, and disappointed, especially if they don’t get special attention or admiration. This behavior can arise in any area of life, including work, friendships, and relationships.
Characteristic of a Narcissist: How to Spot Narcissistic Behavior?
It’s essential to understand the difference between showing occasional narcissistic behavior and suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder. As discussed, we all display narcissistic behavior occasionally. The problem arises when it becomes second nature.
Here are some traits to look for to spot narcissistic behavior.
They Turned from Lovable to Disappointed
This point is mainly applicable to those in a relationship. Was your partner charming at first? They made you believe that you were the perfect person for them, and you felt like they were exaggerating. But you did one thing to disappoint them, and they started seeing flaws in you since then.
It’s a common characteristic of a narcissist. They believe they deserve the best partner in the world. And if that partner doesn’t turn out to be the best (according to them), they begin detesting you and treating you poorly.
They Always Compliment Themselves
This one’s easy to spot. If someone always barges into a conversation talking about how great they are, you’re dealing with a narcissist. Again, we all love to talk about our achievements and accomplishments. But if someone does that over and over again, even if nobody wants to hear, that’s a danger sign.
Another sign of confirmation is that narcissists often exaggerate their achievements. Moreover, they won’t listen to you and keep talking about themselves.
They Crave for Compliments
Along with telling others how great they are, narcissists also crave other people’s compliments. Research shows that narcissists may seem like they’re highly self-confident (or even over-confident), but they lack self-esteem. When people have low self-esteem, they need compliments from other people to fulfill their sense of self-worth.
If you’re confused between self-confident and narcissists, here is a quick differentiation. Confident people don’t need other people’s compliments. They’re self-satisfied. Narcissists feed off compliments.
They Don’t Have Many Friends
Don’t get me wrong here. Not having friends is not a sign of narcissistic behavior. Sometimes, people are completely satisfied with their own company. Certain people are introverts and prefer to be left alone. So, you should never think a person is a narcissist just because they don’t have friends.
However, if they tend to meet many people but still have no real, long-term friends, it might be a warning sign. Moreover, such people might get angry at you if you decide to hang out with your friends. They may even make you feel guilty for not spending enough time with them.
They Don’t Have Empathy
Narcissists lack empathy, and it’s easy to spot. They don’t care how the other person might be feeling. They can’t see, understand, validate, or accept someone’s feelings. Even if it’s their partner, they won’t care about their emotions.
For instance, support you had a bad day at work, lost money or fought with your parents. A good partner will understand your feelings and become your pillar of support. Contrarily, a narcissist would get bored of hearing your sad stories and force the attention on themself.
They Never Apologize
It’s impossible to fight with a narcissist because they never realize their mistake or apologize. They think they’re always right and the other person is wrong. They won’t understand you or take responsibility for anything they did. Importantly, they will never compromise or sacrifice anything.
How to Handle Someone with a Characteristic of a Narcissist
In the previous section, we discussed some traits of a person with narcissistic behavior. Now what? You know your partner or friend is a narcissist. What would you do now?
Here are some research-backed tips for dealing with a narcissist.
Accept Them: It’s essential to understand that narcissistic behavior is a personality disorder. No one is born a narcissist. They develop this trait over time. If your partner is a narcissist, accept them for who they are, and hope they’ll give up their behavior.
Stop Giving them Attention: If you can’t love a narcissistic person for who they are, you should stop giving them the attention they crave. They may eventually stop demanding attention.
Set Clear Boundaries: If you often get into a fight with a narcissistic person, set clear boundaries and let them know about it. Whenever they cross the boundary, point them out and warn them.
Get Help: Realize that a narcissistic person might need help. If their behavior is going out of control, you may need to work with a psychologist.
Walk Away: If you feel nothing is working, walk away. You shouldn’t let a narcissist take away peace from your life. If you think things aren’t working out, be willing to walk away.
Wrapping Up: Characteristic of a Narcissist
Dealing with a narcissistic person can be difficult, but identifying a narcissistic person can be more challenging. By following the above list of traits, you can determine whether or not you’re dealing with a narcissist. Once you do that, figure out a way to deal with them. And if nothing seems to work, be ready to walk away.