7 Personality Traits of a Narcissist, and How to Spot Them
Are you in a relationship with someone who is always putting themselves first? Do they have an inflated sense of self-importance? If so, they may be a narcissist.
Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by a lack of empathy, grandiosity, and a need for admiration. It affects about 0.5% of the US population, or about 1 in 200 people. The question is, how do you spot a narcissist?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the seven most common personality traits of a narcissist and how you can spot them.
1. They Lack Empathy
Narcissists don’t have empathy because they can’t see things from other people’s perspectives.
They’re focused on their own needs and wants and have difficulty understanding how others might feel. This is basically one of the most common narcissistic personality traits.
This lack of empathy makes it difficult for them to respond appropriately to other people’s emotions or show any genuine concern for others. They might also react with anger or contempt when they feel someone is trying to get close to them emotionally.
If you’re unsure if someone lacks empathy, ask yourself if they ever say things like “I don’t know how you feel” or “You’re overreacting.”
Do they seem unable to understand why you’re upset or why something is important to you? If so, they might lack empathy.
2. Always Need to Be in Control
Narcissists need to be in control all the time because they’re afraid of rejection or abandonment. They have a deep-seated fear that they are not good enough and that others will find out. So, they try to control everything and everyone around them to feel safe.
They might also try to control you with guilt or manipulation. For example, a person with a narcissistic personality might say something like, “If you really loved me, you would do this for me.”
You may have noticed this tendency if you deal with an alcoholic narcissist. Or, they might try to control the situation by making all the decisions.
Moreover, they might try to control your feelings by constantly putting themselves down or making self-deprecating jokes.
3. They Lack Responsibility
Narcissists are always looking for someone else to blame when things go wrong. It’s never their fault. They’ll always find a way to make you feel like it’s your responsibility to make them happy or fix their problems.
Narcissists also tend to be very irresponsible with money and other people’s belongings. They have a sense of entitlement and believe they should be able to use or borrow things without asking.
If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, you may find yourself constantly walking on eggshells, trying to keep them happy and avoiding their wrath. You may also feel like you’re always picking up the slack for them, financially or otherwise.
4. They Lack Boundaries
Narcissists have a hard time seeing where they end and others begin. This can manifest in several ways:
- They might not respect other people’s personal space or privacy
- They might interrupt conversations or butt into them
- They might not understand that other people have different opinions or feelings
- They might want to control everything and everyone around them
A narcissist will be surprised when you say not to them and will go to great lengths to get their way. They’ll do anything, including cajoling, rejecting, demanding, or persistence.
The best way to deal with a narcissist is to set boundaries and stick to them. Be assertive and firm with your words and actions. Don’t let them control the conversation or the situation.
5. Perceiving Everything to Be a Threat
A narcissist’s fragile ego is always under threat. They’re constantly on the lookout for anything that might undermine their sense of self-importance or make them look bad. It’s one of those really common narcissistic personality traits.
They see potential threats everywhere and react to them with anger, defensiveness, or sometimes even aggression. For example, a co-worker who gets a promotion that the narcissist was hoping for, or a friend who cancels plans at the last minute, may be seen as a personal attack.
This hypersensitivity to potential threats can make life very difficult for those around the narcissist. It can also lead to conflict and arguments that could have been easily avoided.
If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, you may have to tiptoe around their ego and be careful not to do anything that might upset them.
6. Emotional Reasoning
Narcissists tend to reason from their emotions rather than logic. They believe that whatever they feel must be true.
For example, if they feel rejected or unimportant, they will assume it’s because you don’t care about them. If they feel threatened or jealous, they’ll automatically assume you’re trying to harm them in some way.
This emotional reasoning can lead to a lot of misunderstandings and conflicts in their relationships. If you find yourself constantly having to defend your actions or intentions, it may be because your partner is reasoning from their emotions instead of logic.
7. Fear of Ridicule and Rejection
Narcissists are terrified of embarrassment or humiliation. They’ll go to great lengths to avoid any situation where they might be rejected, ridiculed, or made to look foolish. This is because their false self is so fragile that they can’t handle any criticism or negative feedback.
The narcissist’s fear of rejection is also why they constantly seek approval and validation from others. They need constant reassurance that they are good enough, smart enough, and attractive enough. They also have a high need for attention.
If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, you may have noticed that they are always trying to one-up you or put you down. This is because they’re afraid of being seen as inferior to you.
They may also try to control you and the relationship by making all the decisions or always needing to be right. This is because they can’t handle feeling like they are not in control.
A Guide to the Personality Traits of a Narcissist
While these are just a few of the personality traits of a narcissist, they should give you a better idea of what to look for if you suspect your partner may be one. If you’re in a relationship with someone who exhibits any of these traits, seek professional help so you can learn how to best deal with them.
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