While the term narcissist is often thrown around freely, many individuals aren’t aware narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is classified as a mental health disorder.
Like many mental health disorders, narcism isn’t black and white. Some characteristics might be obvious, but others can be extremely subtle.
But how do you diagnose a narcissist and what are the most common traits? Here are seven questions to ask yourself if you believe someone you may know could be a narcissist.
1) Do they spearhead every conversation and incessantly talk about themselves?
Narcissists often think they’re better and smarter than everyone else. Because of this they’ll constantly talk about their own accomplishments and achievements rather than engaging in conversation with you.
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2) Do they lack empathy?
One of the hallmark characteristics of a narcissist is their inability to feel how another person is feeling. They lack the skill to make a person feel seen or understood merely because they don’t grasp the concept of emotions.
3) Do they have many long-term friends?
If you examine a narcissist’s connections, you might notice they only have casual acquaintances or nemeses. This is because most narcissists don’t have any long-term, real friends. You may even notice them criticizing your friends, or making you feel guilty for spending time with them.
4) Do they ‘gaslight’ you?
If you discover that voicing your concerns always turns into an argument, that’s a huge red flag. It’s also a form of psychological manipulation known as gaslighting. Gaslighting is when someone makes another person question their own memory, perception, or judgment; redirecting blame to the other individual.
Gaslighting can leave a lasting impact on someone’s mental health, to the point where they feel everything they do is wrong and thinking it’s their fault when things go wrong.
5) Do they always think they’re right and never apologize for anything?
Most individuals are able to recognize when they’ve done something wrong and acknowledge it. But that is not the case with a narcissist.
Arguing with a narcissist can leave you feeling exhausted, simply because there is no debating or compromising with them. They’re always right, which can leave a person feeling misunderstood or unheard.
6) Do they constantly pick on you?
What might start off as a casual roast can swiftly become mean and more constant. From your choice of clothing to how you speak, a narcissist will chip away at your self-esteem by calling you names, hitting below the belt, and making jokes that aren’t funny.
7) Do they always need to be praised and admired?
The most common characteristic of a narcissist is their urge for validation from others, where they constantly boast or exaggerate about their accomplishments. The boost to their ego often makes them feel appreciated due to their underlying insecurity.