9 signs of a narcissist: from healthy self-interest to pathological narcissism

Narcissism is a term that describes human behavior. It usually involves complacency, overly inflated self-esteem, manipulation in relationships, and taking advantage of other people. In modern psychology there is even a narcissistic personality type. In psychiatry there is such a thing as narcissistic personality disorder. In this case, narcissism is no longer just some complex of human character traits, but a real mental illness that cannot be completely cured. The good news is that narcissism in such a serious form is very rare. However, in this article, let's talk about the normal kind of narcissism. Here is a list of 18 types of behavior of people who are narcissists (or narcissists), based on scientific research as well as expert opinion. It, of course, will not help you diagnose anything, but with its help you will already be able to identify the narcissist from your environment. Or maybe he is hiding inside you?

You are a smug interlocutor

Narcissists often believe that their views are the right and best. And they definitely need others to recognize this. For example, a narcissist believes that he has some special connection with a higher power. But it’s not enough for him to just think like that. He needs others to know this and admire how deeply spiritual he is.

How did the term come about?

The term "narcissus" for this disorder was chosen due to an ancient Greek legend that tells how the flower of the same name came into being. Legend tells that the nymph Echo once met the beautiful Narcissus, with whom she fell in love. But the young man did not reciprocate her feelings; instead, he looked at his reflection in the water surface and admired his own beauty. The nymph wasted away from love, and soon all that was left of her was a voice wandering in the mountains.

The young man was punished for his arrogance. The goddess Nemesis made him fall in love with his own reflection. Narcissus was so fascinated that he could not take his eyes off him even for a second. He stood by the pond, bowing his head over the water, until he died of hunger. And later, a beautiful flower grew in that place, bending over as if looking into a water mirror. This legend very well describes the internal state of people with narcissistic disorder, whose entire attention is focused on their own personality.

Do you consider yourself the most beautiful

According to a study conducted by Seemin Wazir, a psychologist at the University of Washington, narcissistic people are generally rated by society as being more flamboyant and attractive in appearance. However, this is not always the case. During the experiment, narcissists highly rated their external characteristics and mental abilities. However, when taking the IQ test, they didn’t show anything outstanding. When peers were asked to evaluate their narcissistic friends based on external appearance, their opinion was lower in this regard than the view of narcissists about themselves.

You are a bad athlete

Some narcissists turn out to be bullies, and one of their most difficult character traits is their tendency to misperceive both failures and victories.

For example, when they lose in a sporting competition, they may try to humiliate the referee. When they win, they may gloat excessively or insult the losing party.

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You fall in love easily and blindly

People who are characterized by narcissism quickly and easily fall in love and just as quickly and easily lose interest in the person. And all because at first the narcissist, arriving with rose-colored glasses, sees in front of him an absolutely ideal partner who perfectly complements his own perfection. This continues until his “glasses” fall off and he sees everything as real. Then he understands that the ideal he saw is just an illusion. And it is this fact that will put an end to their romantic relationship. After all, imperfection cannot be next to perfection, right?


A narcissistic person is not that uncommon, especially now that society is too fixated on people's appearance. Nowadays, people are often judged by how they look. This forces many people from birth to feel complex about their appearance, or, conversely, to put themselves above others.

Who are narcissists

Narcissism is a permanent and difficult to change state of a person, in which he has inflated self-esteem, despite quite ordinary abilities in general. Most narcissists are arrogant, in love with themselves and know how to think only about themselves, showing selfishness in everything.

Narcissists consider themselves not only the most beautiful, but also often the smartest, although their level of intelligence is mediocre, and their achievements are, to put it mildly, lacking. These people have certain differences, certain characteristic features, including:

Frequent changes of opinion about oneself . Yes, yes, narcissists can see themselves as hopeless freaks, or they can think of themselves as deities. Changes in mood are the norm for such people, although not a mandatory trait;

avoidance of responsibility . Narcissistic people are almost always confident in their “innocence.” They prefer to shift the blame onto others, removing it from themselves. They do this automatically, not on purpose;

selfishness . It is felt especially strongly and painfully in a love or friendly relationship with a narcissist. Narcissistic people even pose a great danger to relatives;

expecting recognition from other people. To some extent, they are the strongest energy vampires, because the only thing that fuels them is your recognition. Telling a narcissistic lady that she is beautiful can lift her out of deep depression into great positive excitement. A narcissist man is also easy to lift emotionally. Your compliments and recognition recharge them again and again, no matter how long they are in a state of “hypersleep” without it;

they are empty inside . They don’t know how to empathize, help people, and don’t know how to love normally. People in old age often become much richer internally, while narcissists, on the contrary, fade away. This is their peculiarity, without exception;

endless reproaches on their part . When you communicate with such a person, he willy-nilly forces you to justify yourself, which is very unpleasant.

Around narcissists, everyone is always guilty of something, everything is always awry. Of course, there are simply difficult people, but one should not think that narcissism is not hidden. Someone knows how to deal with its consequences. There are already many more such people, so their narcissism can be healthy.

Helpful Traits of Narcissists

In addition to its disadvantages, narcissism can also bring its advantages. Of course, we are all a little like this, but that’s good, because everything is beautiful in moderation. Being a little narcissistic is good because you will learn not to reject yourself and become more aware of your desires.

In general, narcissism is useful only occasionally, but it is precisely in such moments that we lack it most. To make the heart feel better, selfishness and self-love must be present in an embryonic, dormant state. You need to be able to regulate this, otherwise there will be problems. An overabundance of narcissism will never be good for any personality, because this love blinds, kills your inner self.

Loving their bodies often makes narcissists look very beautiful, but sometimes this goes too far. It is for this reason that you can identify a narcissistic person even by appearance. Such people love to attract attention, but this cannot be equated with stupidity and low intelligence, they are simply dependent on the attention of the people around them. This is a definite plus, because narcissists often manage to look 5+.

One way or another, there are safe ways to increase self-esteem. Becoming a narcissistic person is not so difficult, but returning everything to normal is no longer a task for weak people. It’s easy to drown in this pool. It is enough that in childhood you were pampered and helped to believe in your eternal rightness.

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05.02.2018 00:50

You like to rise at the expense of others

People subject to narcissism like to suppress others in order to further stroke their ego. Experts also believe that the desire for admiration is like a drug for narcissists. However, things get complicated because others won't admire them all the time. Therefore, narcissistic people are forced to look for new acquaintances and connections from whom they can receive a new portion of applause.

Why do people become narcissists?

From a psychological point of view, the main causes of narcissism are errors in upbringing and mental trauma experienced in early childhood. Most often, this personality disorder develops at the age of 2-3 years, when the baby develops a conscious perception of the world around him and begins to communicate quite meaningfully with his parents. If during this period a child begins to be reproached for mistakes “for educational purposes” (broken toys, incorrect movements, poor learning ability), his self-esteem is disturbed and social connections are established incorrectly.

Every child needs the approval of their parents when showing them the first drawing or craft they created with their own hands. If his parents criticize his work or simply brush him off, he receives psychological trauma, which he will try to compensate for as an adult. Excessive admiration can also lead to a similar result. From childhood, a child must understand that one can only receive praise for achievements once. His efforts cannot be ignored, but there is no need to praise him undeservedly either.

You want to always be in control of everything

Narcissists love to control everything without falling into aggression. For example, in romantic relationships, their control may manifest through constant unpunctuality or requests to give up everything and do as they want. This is how narcissistic people provide themselves with a certain comfort zone in a relationship where the other partner cannot somehow influence the situation or change anything. By doing this, narcissists maintain the sense of independence and self-sufficiency that they so desperately need.

Author. Harper's BAZAAR Kazakhstan. Photo. Shutterstock.com.


Why is a narcissistic person attracted to sensitive people? Such people are compassionate and empathetic by nature. They feel other people's pain and instinctively want to help. Additionally, narcissists are experts at manipulation and control, so they take advantage of the big hearts of sensitive people to achieve their goals. Sensitive people may feel so much love and compassion for people that they believe their love can heal others. Often a narcissistic person responds to this love with subtle flattery. People respond to this praise by feeling pressure to give even more. But as this pattern continues, they give more and more, eventually creating a situation where there is nothing left and nothing received in return. And all this happens with the mistaken belief that if we gave a little more, then it would be enough. But this is never enough, because it is a narcissistic bottomless vessel.

Are you willing to tolerate other people's narcissistic traits?

It turns out that best friends tend to show similar levels of narcissism. The greatest similarities were found between male friends who are extremely narcissistic.

One of the many possible reasons for this phenomenon is that narcissists are less put off by other people's narcissism because they only pay attention to themselves.

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Prevention of narcissism

People don't suddenly become narcissists. They grow up with them. It is important for parents who understand this and do not want their son to turn into a narcissistic egoist to learn:

  1. stop being led by children's whims;
  2. praise the child only for real achievements;
  3. express admiration for the child’s achievements to strangers only if his successes seriously exceed generally accepted standards;
  4. explain to your son how much weight someone else’s opinion has and why it needs to be respected;
  5. prevent the indulgence of the child’s whims on the part of older relatives.

You can learn more about the peculiarities of the formation of narcissism in children from the video:

Well, the answer to the question, can a narcissist really change:

You hate your own emotions

The very act of showing emotion in the presence of another person suggests that you may be emotionally moved by friends, family, partners, random tragedy or misfortune. This is why narcissists try to avoid any emotional expression.

The presence of emotions challenges the narcissist's perfect autonomy.

As a result, the narcissist will usually try to change the topic of conversation if it affects feelings - especially his own.

You are probably a young man

After conducting interviews with 34,653 people, psychologist Frederick Stinson found that men tend to be more narcissistic than women. Narcissism is believed to peak during adolescence and decline as people get older.

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Types of narcissism

  1. Construction type . The phenomenon is quite healthy. A person realizes his strengths. Uses skills and experience to benefit others. Rejoices in his achievements.
  2. Destructive type. It is considered a pathology. A man idealizes himself and focuses only on his needs. There is unhealthy narcissism. In critical situations, he can despise himself, but does not change his outlook on life.
  3. Perverse type. Dangerous deviation. Tendency to violence. Aggression and pressure on loved ones. Blatant manipulation. Parasitizing on someone else's life.
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