The word “narcissist” is being thrown around a little lightly these days. While it’s always good to protect ourselves against other people’s harmful behavior or negative vibes, how can we tell if someone is just a selfish person, and when they’re truly narcissistic?
We all know someone who thinks the world revolves around them, but this is my rule of thumb: a narcissist isn’t just self-centered – they don’t care about you or other people, even if that means hurting your feelings. They are also generally in denial about the way they behave.
Everyone shows their selfishness a little differently, but I think that these four things are big red flags that someone is a sure narcissist. Once you see these, keep your distance for your mental health.
The person lacks empathy
Being empathetic shows that we care for other people and their feelings. Narcissists ignore feelings that aren’t their own – because to them, your feelings don’t matter.
Many narcissists don’t just fail to relate or show concern for you: they may express being bored with hearing you talk about your feelings. If someone doesn’t seem to care that you had a horrible day at work or got into a fight with a friend, this should set off warning bells in your head.
You’re being Gaslit
Gaslighting refers to emotional manipulation and the use of lies to distort your belief that certain events happened or certain things are true. This is a devastating tactic used by narcissists to control people and make you believe something is your fault, even when it isn’t.
This behavior is particularly damaging because it makes you question your self-worth and reality. If you find yourself asking “Am I crazy, or does something feel wrong about the way they’re presenting what just happened?”, chances are that you’re being gaslit. Over time, gaslighting can deeply distort your perception of reality. Two words: run away.
They need your constant praise and never seem to praise anyone else
Narcissists treat attention like oxygen. It’s not just bragging when they’ve done something great – they can’t stand it when someone else is in the limelight. These two things are often combined in a narcissist’s personality.
They have a very “look at me” way of puffing themselves up, and they often belittle other people. No one is allowed to be better than them in any way. Plus, they’re really good at talking down to people. Some would say they enjoy it.
You’re wrong, they’re right.
We all make mistakes, but narcissists will die before they admit they’re wrong. They will find ridiculous, convoluted ways to explain that something was your fault.
They are very defensive, hate being corrected, and will insist that they’re not to blame – even when they clearly are. Narcissists will resort to lies and gaslighting to reinforce this idea that you’re the one in the wrong.
I’m no psychologist, but I know harmful behavior when I see it, and how it can hurt other people who try to change narcissists or understand them. Learn to spot these signs, and don’t get tempted to try to change these people!
Even if they appear to change for the better, this may not last for long. Trust words, not actions –setting healthy boundaries is the key to having healthy relationships with the right people!