It’s easy to label anyone as a “narcissist”, someone who spends a bit too much time obsessing over themselves or who never seems to doubt themselves, but pathologically narcissistic personalities are relatively rare—an estimated 1% of the population.
What is narcissism?
Narcissism is a term more complex than it may seem: It’s different from a surplus of self-confidence, encompassing a need for appreciation, a sense of distinctiveness, and a deficit of empathy, along with other characteristics that can prove damaging in relationships.
In addition to thinking they are superior and more deserving than other narcissistic people often admit that they are more self-centered, too.
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) have an inflated sense of their own importance and a need for admiration. Those with NPD, believe that they are better than others and have little regard for other people’s feelings. Being stuck with narcissist family members can be too much to take.
But behind this mask of immense confidence lies an easily damaged self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.
Such relationships can be harmful and here are 10 obvious signs of being in any relationship with a narcissist or having a narcissist family :
1. Conversation hoarder
Narcissists love to talk about themselves and they don’t give you a chance to take part in a two-way conversation. You usually struggle to share your views or have your feelings heard.
Even if you manage to get heard, if it’s not in agreement with the narcissist, your comments/views are likely to be dismissed, corrected or ignored. They always think that they know better!
2. Conversation interrupter
While many people have the weak communication habit of interrupting others, the narcissist interrupts and quickly switches the focus back to themselves. They show little genuine interest in you.
3. Likes to break rules!
The narcissist takes pride in getting away with violating rules and social norms, such as cutting in line, stealing stuff, breaking multiple appointments, or disobeying traffic laws.
4. Violating boundaries
Deliberately shows disregard for other people’s thoughts, feelings, possessions, and physical space. Exceed their limits and uses others without consideration or sensitivity. Often breaks promises and obligations repeatedly. Shows the little amount of guilt and blames the victim for one’s own lack of respect.
5. False image display
Many narcissists like to do things that will impress others by making themselves look good externally. This habit can exhibit itself, romantically, physically, socially, religiously, financially, materially, professionally or academically.
In these situations, they easily use people, objects, status, and/or accomplishments to represent themselves, covering for the perceived, inadequate “real” self.
They often expect to receive preferential treatment from others. They expect others to instantly cater to their needs, without being considerate in return. According to them, the world revolves around them.
7. Can be very charming
Narcissists have a very charismatic personality and have strong persuading skills. When they try to hook someone in (for their own gratification), they make you feel very special and wanted.
However, once they get what they want and lose interest in you, they may drop you without a second thought.
Narcissists can be very engaging and sociable, as long as you’re fulfilling what they desire, and giving them all of your attention.
8. Boast about themselves
Narcissists tend to think of themselves as a hero or heroine, a prince or princess, or one of a kind special.
Some narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-importance, and believe that others cannot live or survive without his or her glorious contributions.
9. Negative emotions
Many narcissists enjoy spreading and triggering negative emotions to seek attention, feel powerful, and make you feel insecure. They easily get upset at any real or perceived slights or inattentiveness. They may throw a tantrum if you disagree with them, or fail to meet their expectations.
They are super sensitive to criticism, and typically respond with a heated argument or cold behavior. Narcissists are often quick to judge and criticize you. Some narcissists tend to be emotionally abusive. They blame you for almost everything and make you feel inferior to boost their fragile ego, which makes them feel better about themselves.
The narcissist may use their romantic partner to meet unreasonable self-serving needs, fulfill unrealized dreams, or hide self-perceived inadequacies and flaws. They like making decisions for others to suit their own needs.
Another way narcissists manipulate is through guilt, by portraying themselves as a victim and holding you responsible for it. They take over your emotions, and beguile you to make unreasonable sacrifices.