20 Signs That Tell You You’re Face to Face With a Narcissist

Understanding narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder is essential for navigating one’s relationships and social endeavors. However, many are still left confused and miseducated when it comes to this mental illness. Others are also left questioning whether the actions they’re exhibiting or seeing in others are already signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. If you or the people you know are displaying any of these 20 signs, maybe it’s time to visit a mental health professional!

Manipulative Behavior

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Most narcissists display a controlling or manipulative type of behavior. They would usually try to impress you, please you, or get on your good side just so they could get what they want. However, when dealing with a narcissist, it’s best to remember that their needs will always come first, so don’t fall for their tricks!


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A narcissist’s brain works differently. It’s wired to be self-centered or arrogant because, as a narcissist, they believe they’re above all others. Most of the time, people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are described to be patronizing, demanding, manipulative, selfish, and cocky.

Sense of Entitlement

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People suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder have a selfish, entitled, and self-absorbed view of the world. They think that everything should revolve around them. Mark Manson, the author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, says, “Simply put, narcissism is a chronic state of entitlement.”

Sense of Self-Superiority

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The concept of the self is highlighted in narcissism. This is because most narcissists have a grandiose sense of self that extends into many different aspects of their lives. Psychology Today explains, “Whereas self-esteem refers to a person’s subjective evaluation of their value and worth, narcissism refers to feelings of self-centeredness, self-importance, superiority, grandiosity, and entitlement.”

Lack of Empathy

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Simply put, being a narcissist is having a selfish view of the world. For them, everything should go as they planned or wanted because they deserve it. They’re better people than everyone else, so it’s only right for them to get this and that. They aren’t able to put themselves in others’ shoes, so they are usually associated with having low empathy.

Need for Excessive Admiration

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Narcissists are often believed to have an insatiable need for admiration and validation from others. Though they appear confident on the outside, they actually have deep insecurities that they fear will be revealed. Because of this, they seek reassurance from others to reinforce the idea that they’re exceptional, perfect, and unbeatable.

Preoccupation With Power, Beauty, or Success

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Because of their grandiose sense of self, narcissists constantly want more. They want to be the most powerful, the most beautiful, and the most successful of everyone. They have this constant and inherent need to come out on top.

Grandiose Sense of Self-Importance

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Because narcissists don’t have a great capacity for empathy, it’s no surprise that they deem themselves to be the most important person in the room. After all, narcissists believe they are special. Their grandiosity makes them vane and have an unrealistic sense of superiority.

Need for Control

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Narcissists need to be at the top of the food chain. This means they’ll be the ones controlling you—not the other way around. According to Mindset Therapy, “The narcissist cannot exist without exerting control over others. They need to ensure you never forget their way is the best and only way things should be done.”

Exploitative Behavior

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Narcissists are manipulative and controlling. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they can exploit others to fulfill their own needs. It’s normal for them to attempt to manipulate situations to their advantage or even guilt-trip others into doing what they want.

Need for Perfectionism

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In a way, narcissists could be considered control freaks. They deem themselves perfect, so they want you to be perfect, too! However, aside from that, narcissistic people also want everything around them to be as perfect as can be. For them, events should happen exactly as they planned them out to be, and life should work out exactly how they envisioned it.

Fear of Ridicule and Rejection

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Rejecting, ridiculing, and criticizing a narcissist can lead to everything in their world crumbling down on them. When this happens, they can develop anxiety or even violent tendencies. This is because ridicule and rejection are direct contributors to shame, which narcissists feel when they fail to keep up with their self-imposed expectations and perfectionism.

Constant Need for Attention

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It’s perfectly normal to want your friends and loved ones to pay attention to you. However, it’s a whole different narrative if you constantly want the attention and if you continuously shift the spotlight to you. If this happens, then you might consider getting yourself checked, as the constant need for attention is often a sign of narcissism, histrionic personality disorder, or even borderline personality disorder.

Wanting to Be Around Important or Special People Exclusively

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Narcissistic people want the people around them to be perfect like them. So, it’s no surprise that they only want to associate themselves with people who are important or special. Everyone else they deem to be imperfect or less than them simply isn’t worth their time.

Lack of Accountability

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When someone is a narcissist, they don’t like admitting their mistakes. For them, nothing they do is ever wrong, so why do they need to apologize or be accountable for anything?

Lack of Respect for Others’ Boundaries

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Narcissists are often characterized by having a lack of respect for other people’s boundaries. They have no regard for other people’s personal space, they may violate others’ privacy, and they might not even have the capacity to accept no for an answer. Grouport Therapy explains, “Narcissists often view others as extensions of themselves, which can lead them to overstep boundaries without remorse.”

Perceives Everything as a Threat

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Narcissists appear to be confident, but in truth, they are very conscious. Because of this, they often feel threatened when they encounter people who have something they lack. This is especially highlighted when they find their shortcomings in successful, confident, and popular people.

Envious of Others or Believe That Others Are Envious of Them

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Envy can be two sides of the spectrum for narcissists. On the one hand, because of their grandiose sense of self, they may think that others are—or should be—envious of them. On the flip side, when they see something they like or lack in others, they feel a sense of envy in a way that they want to achieve what they don’t have.

Unable to Feel Guilt

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Remorse is an uncommon feeling for most narcissists. In fact, many are considered unable to feel guilt. This is because they do not have the capability to accept failure, ridicule, or rejection. When something goes wrong, in a narcissist’s eyes, it’s never their fault.

Unable to Connect With Others Emotionally

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Narcissists have a flawed and narrow point of view when it comes to emotions. They’re unable to understand others’ feelings and how their actions affect others. Because of these things and their lack of empathy, most narcissists would find it hard to build relationships with others because they’d be unable to connect with them emotionally.

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Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.