Narcissism is a personality disorder that affects how individuals think, feel and behave. People with narcissistic tendencies tend to be self-centered, lack empathy for others and have an inflated sense of their own importance. They also have a strong need to be the center of attention and will go to great lengths, including manipulating and exploiting others, in order to achieve this goal. In this article we will explore 7 common behaviors of a narcissist that you should look out for.
The 7 Behaviors of a Narcissist – Grandiosity
Narcissists have an extremely high opinion of themselves, often believing that they are superior to others in various aspects of life.
As a result they tend to assume that they deserve special treatment and privileges.
They often expect others to accommodate their needs without question, even if it means inconveniencing or disregarding the feelings of those around them.
This sense of entitlement can strain personal and professional relationships, as narcissists may become frustrated or angry when their expectations are not met.
A narcissist’s grandiose behavior also involves exaggerating their achievements, talents, and abilities.
They will often boast about their accomplishments, even if they are not particularly noteworthy or have been embellished for the sake of impressing others.
They do this because they crave attention and admiration from others, to the point of becoming obsessed with their appearance and public image.
As a result they will invest significant time and effort into curating their social media profiles, seeking validation through likes, comments, and shares.
The truth, of course, is that this constant need for approval reveals the fact that despite their outward confidence and bravado, narcissists struggle with feelings of insecurity and vulnerability.
Their constant need for validation and the fear of being exposed as a fraud leads to a fragile sense of self, with even minor criticisms or setbacks causing significant distress.
They will dismiss any negative input as unwarranted or unjustified, making it difficult for them to learn from their mistakes or grow as individuals.
This internal turmoil may manifest as mood swings, defensiveness, or even aggressive behavior when their self-image is threatened.
The 7 Behaviors of a Narcissist – Lack of Emotional Empathy
While narcissists typically lack emotional empathy, they often possess a strong sense of cognitive empathy.
This means that they are able to understand the impact of their actions on others, but they do not care about or connect with the emotions involved.
Instead, narcissists use their cognitive empathy to work out how best to manipulate and exploit others for personal gain.
Narcissists are skilled at reading people and identifying their vulnerabilities, which allows them to devise strategies for manipulating others’ emotions and behaviors.
By understanding how their actions affect those around them, they can adjust their approach to achieve the desired outcome, whether it be gaining admiration, exerting control, or simply boosting their own ego.
For example, a narcissist might shower someone with praise and attention in order to win their trust and loyalty.
Once they have established this connection, they begin to subtly undermine the victim’s self-esteem, enabling them to assert control over the relationship, reinforcing their belief in their own superiority.
Another way narcissists use cognitive empathy is by playing the victim, appealing to others’ sympathy and compassion.
They may exaggerate or fabricate personal hardships to elicit a supportive response, using this attention to further bolster their self-image or to deflect criticism.
A narcissist’s focus on their own needs and desires, combined with their propensity for manipulation, makes it difficult, if not impossible, for them to establish trust and emotional intimacy with others.
The 7 Behaviors of a Narcissist – Exploiting Others
Narcissists have a strong tendency to exploit others in various ways, often driven by their need for admiration, control, and self-validation.
Exploitation can manifest in different forms, including emotional, financial, and psychological manipulation.
This behavior can be damaging to those around the narcissist, as it often leads to strained relationships and emotional distress.
Narcissists are skilled at identifying and exploiting the emotions of others.
They may use compliments, charm, and flattery to win the trust and affection of their target, only to later undermine their self-esteem and manipulate them into fulfilling the narcissist’s needs.
By exploiting the emotions of others, narcissists can maintain control and receive the admiration and attention they crave.
In some cases, narcissists may take advantage of others financially.
They might use their charm and persuasive abilities to convince others to lend them money or invest in their ventures, with little intention of repaying the debt or honoring their commitments.
Financial exploitation can lead to significant financial losses and feelings of betrayal for those who fall victim to the narcissist’s schemes.
Narcissists often engage in psychological manipulation to exert control over others.
They may use tactics such as gaslighting, where they deliberately distort the truth and cause their target to question their own perceptions and memories.
This can create confusion, self-doubt, and even a sense of dependency on the narcissist, further solidifying their control over the relationship.
Narcissists might also use guilt-tripping, playing the victim, or projecting their own faults onto others as means of manipulation.
These tactics can be emotionally draining and harmful to the mental well-being of those on the receiving end.
The 7 Behaviors of a Narcissist – Sense of Entitlement
Narcissists often expect others to cater to their needs and desires without question or hesitation.
They believe that they are exempt from certain rules or obligations and should be granted special favors due to their perceived superiority.
This sense of entitlement can cause frustration and resentment among those who are expected to comply with the narcissist’s demands, as they are made to feel undervalued and disrespected.
Lack of Reciprocity
A narcissist’s sense of entitlement extends to their relationships, where they often prioritize their own needs and wants above those of their partners, friends, and family members.
They tend to expect constant attention, support, and admiration without offering the same level of care and consideration in return.
This lack of reciprocity leads to one-sided, unbalanced relationships, where the emotional well-being of the other person is consistently overlooked.
Reactions to Unmet Expectations
If a narcissist does not receive what they believe is theirs by right, they become angry and frustrated.
They view any denial of their expectations as a personal affront or an attack on their self-worth, leading to defensive or retaliatory behavior.
The 7 Behaviors of a Narcissist – Arrogance
Narcissists view themselves as more intelligent, talented, or attractive than their peers, leading them to adopt an air of superiority and condescension.
Narcissists exhibit a dismissive attitude towards the opinions, feelings, and accomplishments of others.
They belittle or trivialize the concerns of those around them, acting as though the thoughts and emotions of others are insignificant or unworthy of attention.
Dominance and Control
Arrogant narcissists may feel the need to assert their dominance and control over others, both in personal and professional situations.
They engage in power struggles, frequently asserting their authority or attempting to manipulate others into submission.
Bragging and Exaggeration
In addition, they will often engage in excessive bragging and exaggeration, boasting about their achievements, talents, and possessions to reinforce their perceived superiority.
Lack of Accountability
Arrogant narcissists have difficulty accepting responsibility for their actions and acknowledging their mistakes.
They are quick to place blame on others or make excuses for their shortcomings, as admitting fault could threaten their self-image of superiority.
The 7 Behaviors of a Narcissist – Jealousy
Narcissists are prone to feelings of envy and jealousy, which stem from their constant need for validation and superiority.
When faced with the achievements and success of others, they experience insecurity and a sense of inadequacy, leading them to engage in competitive behavior and to harbor resentment towards those they perceive as threats to their self-worth.
Narcissists become excessively competitive in various aspects of life, including work, relationships, and social settings.
This competitiveness can manifest in destructive ways, such as undermining others’ accomplishments, attempting to outdo others at all costs, or engaging in dishonest tactics to gain an advantage.
Resentment of Others’ Success
When others achieve success or recognition, narcissists may struggle to genuinely celebrate or acknowledge their accomplishments.
Instead, they may feel threatened or overshadowed, leading to feelings of resentment and bitterness.
This resentment can manifest in passive-aggressive behavior, disparaging comments, or attempts to sabotage the success of others in order to maintain their own sense of superiority.
Projection of Envy
In some cases, narcissists may project their feelings of envy onto others, accusing them of being jealous or envious of the narcissist’s achievements or qualities.
This projection serves as a defense mechanism, allowing the narcissist to avoid confronting their own insecurities and maintain their grandiose self-image.
The 7 Behaviors of a Narcissist – Boundary Issues
Narcissists often struggle with respecting and maintaining healthy boundaries, both in their personal and professional relationships.
This disregard for the needs, feelings, and autonomy of others can lead to a host of problems, including emotional distress, strained relationships, and a lack of trust.
Invasion of Personal Space
One common manifestation of boundary issues in narcissists involves invading the personal space of others.
They may feel entitled to access private information, belongings, or areas without permission, disregarding the comfort and privacy of those around them.
Disregard for Emotional Boundaries
Narcissists may also have difficulty respecting the emotional boundaries of others.
They might dismiss or belittle the feelings of others, making it difficult for people to express their emotions or concerns openly.
This disregard for emotional boundaries can lead to a lack of emotional intimacy, support, and understanding within relationships.
Overstepping Professional Boundaries
In the workplace, narcissists struggle to maintain appropriate professional boundaries, potentially causing discomfort or conflict among colleagues.
They might engage in overly familiar or intrusive behavior, make unreasonable demands, or attempt to exert control over their coworkers.
This disregard for professional boundaries can create a hostile work environment and damage professional relationships.
Final Thoughts about the 7 Behaviors of a Narcissist
In conclusion, understanding the various facets of narcissistic behavior is essential for both those who exhibit these traits and those who interact with them, especially when engaging with a narcissist on a regular basis.
By becoming aware of these 7 behaviors of a narcissist, individuals can develop strategies to deal with narcissists more effectively, reducing the potential harm caused by these interactions.