12 Traits of a Narcissist – A Guide to Recognizing Narcissists

A narcissist is someone who exhibits an excessive interest in themselves and their own needs, often at the expense of others. They may appear charming and confident on the surface, but beneath that façade lies a deep-seated insecurity that fuels their need for admiration and attention. Let’s take a closer look at the 12 traits that typify a narcissist.

Recognizing the Red Flags of Narcissism

Recognizing narcissistic traits and red flags is the first step in understanding how to protect yourself or someone you love from potential harm. This article will discuss the 12 most common traits of a narcissist and provide insight into how to identify and handle them.

The 12 Traits of a Narcissist – (1) Entitlement

Narcissists view themselves as superior to others and expect special treatment as a result. They believe they are more important than everyone else and should always be given priority over other people’s needs or wants.

This entitlement means that narcissists often disregard the opinions, needs, or feelings of others, expecting instead that people should cater to their own wishes and desires.

Furthermore, when things don’t go their way they may lash out by blaming others or throwing a fit.

When dealing with an entitled narcissist, it is important to remain firm yet compassionate. Acknowledge their feelings and validate them, but also be clear that you will not accept bad behaviour. It is important to set boundaries and limits in order to protect yourself, and don’t let the narcissist coerce you into doing anything that you are not comfortable with.

The 12 Traits of a Narcissist – (2) Grandiosity

Narcissists have grandiose views of themselves, believing they are superior to others and deserving of recognition and special treatment. They are also likely to dismiss the achievements or abilities of those around them in order to make themselves seem better by comparison.

When dealing with a grandiose narcissist, it is important to keep in mind that this person likely has very fragile self-esteem, despite their outward show of superiority. Set boundaries and limits as needed and strive to remain calm when faced with difficult behaviours. As hard as it may be, try not to take their outbursts or unreasonable requests personally. Their behaviour says a lot about them but nothing about you.

The 12 Traits of a Narcissist – (3) Exploitation

Narcissists are known for their self-centeredness and exploitation of others to get what they want. They will use guilt trips, manipulation tactics or simply blatantly disregard the feelings and needs of those around them in order to achieve their goals.

To prevent a narcissist from exploiting you, it is important to be aware of their tendencies and set clear boundaries.

Stand up for yourself when necessary by being assertive but not aggressive.

Refuse to give in to unreasonable demands or expectations and don’t hesitate to walk away if the situation becomes too toxic or manipulative.

It is also important that you remain wary of giving anyone too much power over you either emotionally or financially. Aim for a balanced relationship where no single person has complete control.

The 12 Traits of a Narcissist – (4) Lack of Empathy

Narcissists don’t usually care about how their actions affect other people, nor do they feel guilty when they hurt someone else’s feelings or cause them pain.

This lack of empathy can be hurtful and damaging not only to the narcissist’s victims, but also to the narcissist themselves as they become increasingly isolated from real human connection.

Red flags to look out for include their disregard for your opinion, constant manipulation and inability to take responsibility for their own actions. Trust your intuition when it tells you something is wrong, and don’t be afraid to walk away if necessary for your mental wellbeing.

The 12 Traits of a Narcissist – (5) Arrogance

Narcissists come off as extremely confident and self-assured in their interactions with others, displaying an air of superiority. They tend to talk down to people, belittling their opinion or devaluing their accomplishments.

The typical narcissist will rarely listen to others, talking over them instead and pushing forward with their own agenda only.

When dealing with an arrogant narcissist, it is important to remain level-headed and keep your composure. Avoid engaging in arguments or power struggles as this could make the situation worse. Instead, stay focused on your own goals, needs and values without allowing the narcissist to sway you.

If the conversations become too heated or toxic, don’t be afraid to just walk away until the person has calmed down. Remember that while you cannot change them, you can control how you react and choose not to let their attitude affect you negatively.

The 12 Traits of a Narcissist – (6) Jealousy

The jealousy exhibited by narcissists is usually directed towards anyone who appears to be “better” than them in any way, be it professionally, personally, financially, etc., and can even extend towards family members or close friends if they seem to be receiving too much attention from someone else (in the narcissistic individual’s opinion).

Dealing with someone who is jealous of your successes can be challenging, especially if they are a close friend or family member. It is important to remember that while dealing with a jealous person can be difficult, you have every right to celebrate your successes and be proud of your accomplishments. Remind yourself why your success is worth celebrating, without letting anyone else’s opinion influence how you feel about it.

The 12 Traits of a Narcissist – (7) Selfishness

Narcissists will sacrifice the welfare of others without a second thought in order to further their own agenda. Their sense of entitlement, lack of empathy and obsessive need for admiration and attention, means that they could not care less about how their actions could adversely affect those around them – emotionally, physically, financially or otherwise.

It is important to recognize this behaviour from afar and practice healthy boundaries with such people in order to protect yourself from harm caused by their destructive tendencies.

The 12 Traits of a Narcissist – (8) Lack Of Accountability

Narcissists rarely take responsibility for any bad behaviour. Instead they will try to deflect responsibility away from themselves by blaming someone else.

In extreme cases, narcissists will project their own negative thoughts, behaviours and beliefs onto others. This is done not only as a way to externalize their flaws but also to try and manipulate the perception of those around them. By attempting to make someone else appear ‘bad’ or wrong, narcissists can avoid taking responsibility for their own behaviour and help maintain a false self-image in the eyes of those who they are trying to manipulate.

If a narcissist is attempting to blame you for something they did themselves, it is important to recognize and stand up for your rights. Be firm and assertive in communicating that you are not responsible for their actions and will not tolerate them trying to shift the blame onto you. In some cases, removing yourself from the situation entirely may be the best thing to do in order to keep yourself safe and avoid being taken advantage of.

The 12 Traits of a Narcissist – (9) Manipulation

Narcissists often use manipulation to get what they want and maintain control. This can range from subtle tactics such as passive aggression, guilt trips, gaslighting, or more direct threats and blackmail. Such manipulative behaviours are often utilized in order to gain attention, power and superiority over someone else — an attempt to make themselves feel better by attempting to make others look or feel worse.

When it comes to protecting yourself from gaslighting, the key is awareness and boundaries. It’s important to recognize signs of gaslighting such as manipulation, denial or distortion of facts, undermining one’s sense of reality, invalidating opinions or perspectives, as well as other forms of psychological abuse. Setting strong personal boundaries is essential for self-protection — do not tolerate any form of gaslighting and be clear about your expectations for respect and communication. Additionally, make sure that you have a support system in place who can provide validation and understanding when you are feeling overwhelmed or confused by a situation.

The 12 Traits of a Narcissist – (10) Impulsivity

Impulsivity is a hallmark trait of narcissism that can lead to dangerous behaviours, such as taking excessive risks or making decisions without considering the potential consequences.

Financial abuse is another consequence of impulsivity, which could take the form of irresponsible spending, misuse of bank accounts or credit cards, unreasonable demands for money, and more. If the victim is not careful, the narcissist can empty their bank accounts and max their credit cards, destroying their credit rating and causing general financial mayhem

It’s important to be aware of this risk and protect yourself by setting clear financial boundaries with narcissistic individuals.

The 12 Traits of a Narcissist – (11) Detachment

Narcissists often come across as detached and aloof. This detachment can manifest itself physically, through behaviours such as avoiding physical contact or reducing the amount of time spent with people. It can also manifest emotionally as a person may refuse to discuss certain topics or express their true feelings about a situation.

Due to this trait, attempting to form an emotional attachment with a narcissist is usually impossible. So it is best to recognize their limitations and focus on taking care of your own wellbeing by setting healthy boundaries and focusing on your own needs and safety first.

The 12 Traits of a Narcissist – (12) Narcissistic Rage

Narcissistic rage is a reaction to a perceived threat to the narcissist’s self-esteem or self-image. It can manifest in many forms, from lashing out verbally and physically, to displays of arrogance, entitlement and contempt for those who do not meet their expectations.

This type of rage is often completely disproportionate to the situation at hand and can be incredibly damaging for everyone involved. It can leave victims feeling frightened, invalidated, and powerless.

If you are dealing with someone exhibiting narcissistic rage, it is important to take steps to protect yourself emotionally and physically. This includes having an exit plan so that you can leave the situation quickly if needed. It is also good to have a friend or family member on standby who can provide support if necessary. Having an escape plan can give you peace of mind and increase safety by providing a way out if things become overwhelming or dangerous.


When meeting new people and building new relationships it is very important to look out for these red flags and narcissistic traits. Pay attention to how someone behaves and don’t be afraid to take a step back if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

It is also important to keep in mind that narcissistic behaviour is deeply rooted and hard to change. Therefore, it is highly recommended to seek out professional advice if dealing with a narcissist. Additionally, having compassion for yourself and the other person involved will go a long way. Even if you decide to cut your losses and move on, understanding the situation can still provide valuable insight into how to better handle these difficult situations in the future.

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