The 10 Telltale Signs of a Narcissist

by Jenny Hansen

Jenny Hansen blog

I read a post a while back called How Do We Know If Someone Has Truly Changed that really got my wheels turning.

The author asks thought-provoking questions:

Can someone truly change? Do you believe in second chances? How many chances do you give before drawing a line in the sand?

My favorite Maya Angelou quote comes to mind: When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

I love that quote. I live by that quote.

After growing up with a father who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), I trust actions far more than words. And the older I get, the less chances I offer to people who treat me poorly.

NPD is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves.

I’m not talking about someone with a “healthy ego.” I’m talking about living with a toddler forever.

Yeah. Welcome to life with an adult narcissist… It gets exhausting to live with someone who must have the world revolve around them 24/7 x 365. The saddest part? The majority of people with NPD literally can NOT change. Here’s an overview, in case any of you have some NPD in your family or close personal relationships. Hanging out with someone like this is downright confusing until you figure out the problem.

10 Common Traits/Reactions of a Narcissist:

  1. They need someone else to be wrong in any situation that makes them feel bad.

  2. The entire nature of NPD is that nothing is wrong with them so they look to others and the world to explain their problems.

  3. NPD can be improved with medication, but we come back to the question of, “Why would I take medicine if there’s nothing wrong with me?” You see the conundrum? For this reason, most people with NPD go unmedicated.

  4. A true narcissist will most often react to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation (of the person who criticized them).

  5. They’ll have excessive feelings of self-importance and will often exaggerate achievements and talents.

  6. Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love.

  7. Narcissists often have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment.

  8. Need constant attention and admiration.

  9. May disregard the feelings of others and have little ability to feel empathy.

  10. Often have obsessive self-interest and a tendency to take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals.

There’s an old therapist saying that goes something like this:

You always know when you’re dealing with somebody with a personality disorder because they drive everyone around them crazy too.

So going back to the article I referenced at the beginning of this post:

  • Can someone truly change?

  • Do you believe in second chances?

  • How many chances do you give before drawing a line in the sand?

Yes, I believe most people can change if they really, really want to. And I believe in second chances. However, the proverb about “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” needs to be in force if you’re going to have a level playing field while interacting with a narcissist (or most any personality disorder).

I see people draw their line in the sand and say, “Cross this line and you die!” Then they back up over it when someone gives the barest push against their boundary. They back up again….and again…and again. Until they’ve trapped themselves in an unhappy, uncomfortable corner with no boundaries to protect them.

That corner SUCKS. Trust me on this one…you don’t want to hang out there. 🙂

Helpful links:

OK, I’m turning the floor over to you… Have you had to deal with NPD in your close relationships? What about personality disorders of any type? Did you grow up with healthy boundaries or did you have to learn them? Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

~ Jenny

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About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm.

© 2016 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.

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