A narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which a person has an inflated sense of self or importance. This disorder can cause challenges in all areas of life—at work, at home, in your health, and in your relationships. A narcissist is often characterized by behaviors of grandiosity.
It may be easy to spot narcissistic behavior in someone else, but it can be more difficult to identify that same behavior within oneself. When we’re looking inward, we often sugar coat our behavior or deny it altogether.
If you are a narcissist, you might not think anything is wrong with you. That would be an expected response. It can be an insult to a fragile self-esteem to admit your need for treatment, but we want to encourage you to see a trusted medical provider.
Narcissistic traits are treatable through therapy and a therapist will help you find other ways to improve your self-esteem and self-worth without these damaging behaviors.
25 Narcissistic Traits
If a number of the narcissistic traits listed below are present in your life, we would encourage to reach out to a licensed Christian counselor.
1. You ignore people’s boundaries
You might not feel like other people’s boundaries apply to you or that it’s not a big deal if you cross them. In fact, you may get a kick out of crossing them and getting a reaction out of the individual. On the other hand, you might not even notice another person’s boundaries or pick up on social cues that something is not acceptable.
When someone communicates a boundary with you, you may be shocked and feel a need for them to explain why you have to follow it and why it applies to you rather than simply respecting the boundary.
2. You feel superior to other people
You might look down on other people and feel like you are far superior to them in intelligence, looks, talent, and more. This superiority typically exceeds narcissists actual abilities or talents and is a defense mechanism meant to protect them from feeling vulnerable or putting a dent in their self-esteem.
3. You suffer from extreme perfectionism
You might suffer from extreme perfectionism and get enraged when you or others don’t perform according to your standards.
4. You have an excessive need for constant validation and attention
If you’re not getting attention or validation from other people, you may feel discouraged, unloved, and depressed. You might be incapable of validating yourself or feeling worthwhile without others telling you so.
5. You blame and shame others and never accept responsibility
If another person makes a mistake, you may intentionally shame them in an effort to damage their self-worth (lest they think they’re better than you). When you make a mistake, you also likely never accept responsibility and pass the blame on to someone else.
6. You get pleasure from putting other people down or causing them harm
You might take pleasure in making people cry or hurting their feelings, giving you a sense of power to have such an impact on that person. It may also make you feel a sense of control.
7. You lack empathy and compassion
You may scoff at someone’s misfortune or fail to feel sympathy for someone who is ill. If someone in your life dies, you may feel very little emotion and lack compassion for those who are experiencing a loss.
8. You have a sense of entitlement
You may begrudge the world and think that people owe you. You might think you deserve more than you’ve gotten out of life or that you deserve a better job, higher pay check, better partner, or more expensive car. You may look to the luxuries of the world and believe you have a right to them.
9. You are arrogant and conceited
Paradoxically, underneath it all, narcissists often have very fragile self-esteem and are hypersensitive. But, narcissists are often at the same time extremely arrogant and conceited. You may believe no one would refuse you, find you unattractive or unqualified, or not choose you for a promotion, partner, project, etc.
10. You exaggerate your skills, talents, and achievements
You may over-exaggerate your abilities or what you’ve achieved in life and truly believe that you are at the top-level when it’s very apparent to others that you’re not. When you and someone else tell a story about the same experience but there are glaring differences and inconsistencies.
11. You are preoccupied with success, power, outward appearances, or status symbols
You may be preoccupied with achieving power through money, authority, position, or leadership. You could be obsessed with obtaining status symbols such as a large home, sports car, “trophy wife,” vacation home, yacht, country club membership, and more.
You might be so focused on your appearance that you spend hours obsessing over what you eat, working out, or undergoing plastic surgery. You might also demand a partner do the same, too.
12. You constantly feel underappreciated or undervalued
If you fail to receive the recognition, thanks, or applause you feel you deserve you might feel underappreciated or undervalued. Even if you do receive it, but not to the level or degree you believe you should, you may still feel this way. You might constantly think people are taking advantage of you or do not understand how lucky they are to have you in their life.
13. You are self-righteous
You may believe you do everything right and never make mistakes. You might believe that you follow all of God’s rules or obey the ten commandments and because of this, you are holier than other people.
14. You think everyone else is ignorant
You may think that everyone else is stupid or less knowledgable than you. You may expect them to mess-up, not know what you know, or need your help if they’re going to succeed.
15. You like to control others and get them to do your bidding
You may get a power high from getting others to do your bidding or manipulating them into doing so without them knowing it. You might like to control when a partner can do something and how often. You might also go out of your way to try to control your environment and mitigate risk to your ego.
16. You despise talking about feelings or emotions
Narcissists often struggle controlling their emotions and change the subject any time feelings or emotions are brought up. They may refuse to “go there,” change the topic or huff at the idea of needing to be “sensitive or talk about that kind of thing.”
17. You don’t listen, you just wait to talk
If you’re a narcissist, you may dominate conversations. When someone else is talking, you might not be listening, but rather just waiting to talk or occupying your mind thinking about all that you’re going to say and the points you’re going to make.
18. You are unfaithful in relationships
You might get a kick out of seducing others or getting them to do things they’d never do for you. You might feel an insatiable need to ensure other people are still attracted to you and even hold that over a partner’s head, warning him or her that if he or she isn’t on his or her best behavior, you can always get someone else.
19. You often have people end relationships with you in less than six months
If you find that individuals regularly break up with you once they’ve got time to know you and all comment on similar behaviors as a reason why you might be a narcissist.
Often times in a relationship, it takes a while for the relationship to reach a level of comfort where an individual starts letting their guard down and showing their true character. If partners have repeatedly brought up troublesome behaviors and left you because of it, you may have some narcissistic behaviors.
20. You are a serial dater or seducer
Since narcissists get their validation from other people, you might be a serial dater or serial seducer, getting your sense of worth from how many people say “yes” to you or find you charming or attractive.
21. You are hypersensitive to slights
If you’re a narcissist, you might be incredibly sensitive to slights or criticism. These slights and critiques can be highly damaging to a fragile ego and may cause extreme rage or depression.
22. You demand special favors and compliance
You may constantly demand special favors from people around you or demand extreme compliance from a partner or children. If you don’t receive those favors or compliance, you might become extremely agitated and aggressive. You will never consider that you might have asked too much, but that the individuals don’t understand your worth, value, or entitlement.
23. You struggle to deal with stress and adapting to change
Because narcissists like to control their external environment and other people, they can struggle to adapt to change or stress, which naturally make a person feel out of control.
24. You get aggressively angry when you don’t get what you want
If you don’t get what you want, you may blow up or fly into a rage that includes threatening others, breaking things, causing violence, and more.
25. You get unusually depressed or upset when you fall short or fail
You may beat yourself up (or physically punish yourself) for not achieving a certain result, making a bad decision, or failing at a goal.
Christian Counseling to Overcome Narcissistic Traits
If you recognize these narcissistic traits in yourself, getting treatment can help you overcome your internal and external conflicts for a more enjoyable life and better relationships. Reach out to us for Christian counseling to overcome narcissism.
Kate Motaung, copyright 2019, all rights reserved