Narcissism is a generalized personality trait characterized by egotism, vanity, pride, or selfishness. The point of this article is to demonstrate that narcissism isn’t necessarily a bad thing and that almost every human that I know of shares in the traits and what defines a narcissist. So from one narcissist to another. Enjoy! Oops, that was un-narcissistic of me. My apologies. Shit did it again.
16 Narcissistic Traits Defined:
Obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges.
I can’t think of many people that don’t focus on themselves in some fashion in an interpersonal exchange. In fact, you’ve probably been on the phone with someone who only talks about themselves or their problems without listening to yours.
Would it surprise you that some of your best friends display traits of narcissism?
Lots of people like to feel important, more important than others, so they name drop people they know, things they have, or something cool about themselves in every conversation.
Just so we’re clear, if you have a Facebook account and you’ve posted a status update, you probably suffer from this trait of narcissism. Facebook is all about the cool things you’re doing and how much fun you’re having, rarely is it used for actual interpersonal exchanges that do not focus on yourself.
The status bar alone asks you what’s on your mind!
Facebook is a breeding ground for narcissists, those that frequently use it feel the need to be actively involved in telling others what they are doing and spying on what others are up to. If there was ever a time in our history where narcissist identification cards would be handed out, they would be called Facebook accounts.
Problems in sustaining satisfying relationships.
This trait is a double edged sword that’s always taken out of context. People look at you, even your once significant other, and say “You have problems sustaining a relationship” or better yet “All of your relationships are short.”
Fortunately, if they were your significant other they forget that they were part of that short lived or unhealthy relationship and are guilty right along with you. For those people that you weren’t in a relationship with they want to peg you with the stigmata of being in short relationships.
The reality is that being in a long-term codependent relationship is no better.
Perhaps you’re smarter and end your relationships sooner than others when they go bad instead of suffering and trying to stick them out like everyone else. So while this says sustaining a relationship, sometimes the people who sustain them actually belong in this trait group as well. The keyword is satisfying or in other words a healthy relationship.
The other downside of this condition is that the people you attract also suffer from pathological and psychological conditions. You may grow sick of it after awhile. So when they bitch at you, complain, or do things you dislike – you’ll be quick to sever the connection and end it. The bad thing is not that you end it or couldn’t sustain it but rather that you attracted this type of person to you in the first place.
A lack of psychological awareness.
Almost everyone, and by almost everyone, I mean everyone has some narcissistic traits. Denying that you do is a failure to recognize your own psychological condition. This is where people will deny that they have any form of narcissism although they are quick to point the finger at others and stereotype them.
If you tell someone you think they match a trait of narcissism and after discussing it with them they still don’t even see how it might be possible or admit that they display traits sometimes, then you’re dealing with a narcissist in full form because they have this trait.
Difficulty with empathy.
This is the inability to feel and understand the emotions of others, whether they are standing right in front of you or fictional characters in a movie. If you’re with someone who’s never cried and lacks any type of emotion, even laughter or happiness, then they match this trait.
A lot of people commonly misunderstand this as empathy towards your partner or toward a specific individual, however, this is not the case. Most people when put through repetitive or cyclical drama will build a wall against that form of drama. These people will develop the ability to watch you cry with a straight face. In this instance, this is not a trait match.
It can be easily summed up as a rerun of the same show or an enactment of the same play where people assume roles and act out a poorly constructed drama that would receive bad ratings if it were on TV. Essentially it means, we’ve been through this before, the same song and dance, and I’m not buying it this time.
Problems distinguishing the self from others.
In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between themselves and others. This attitude can be found in the saying, “If you don’t serve me, then move the fuck around.” Those that succumb to the will of a narcissist will be treated as an extension of them where they have expectations of them that require them to forfeit their own individuality.
A narcissist treats their significant other or others as if they belonged to them. This can also be found in the use of “We” or the self-proclaimed acquisition of physical assets such as money. This is common in relationships where one person foots the bill for everything but the other person treats this money as if it belongs to them as well.
When they talk to other people about money they oftentimes say things like “we have” “we will” “we can’t afford” but the reality in this circumstance is the other person as an individual may not even have the ability or right to say such things. By grouping themselves with another person they use them as an extension of themselves in many more forms than on a monetary or asset level. Even in mental assets like “we think”, your thoughts must align with theirs because they are treated as the same.
When the disparity is obvious and there is a dissenting opinion or thought between this “we” pack (the minority report, because even between two people you are the minority to the controller) it will break out into a huge fight. Usually the fight will be over the smallest thing because you are not allowed to have your own opinion or thought, regardless as to whether it was a negative one or not.
Hypersensitivity to insults or imagined insults.
Yes, if you are overly sensitive to taking criticism you share a trait of narcissism. Considering that at some point people get upset over criticism this means almost everyone shares this trait.
Imagined insults are where the serious offenders really show themselves. Have you ever talked with someone and said something and they took it out of context and in the completely wrong way, jumping through hoops of fire, to try to make it seem like or suggest you insulted them?
Have you ever told someone that they could improve their health by working out and they came back with “What are you trying to say I’m fat?”
Congratulations, you’ve found yourself a narcissistic trait. Some people will go out of their way to make it seem like you’re insulting them in some way, usually pertaining to their physical appearance, social status, religious beliefs, or poverty level. Narcissists love to feel insulted.
If you talk about welfare in a political conversation and you happen to say that most of the people on welfare are abusing the system and someone says
“Hey I’m on welfare and it’s not my fault I can’t get a job or I can’t afford school” – narcissist
“My sister is on welfare and it’s not her fault, she tries really hard” – narcissistic
Should I go on?
They will take a philosophical discussion not aimed at anyone in particular and make it about them or someone they know being offended or getting overly emotional about it.
Speaking of politics. Most democrats operate from an emotional mindset. If you’ve ever watched CSPAN live they are always crying or whining about some person and their situation and why they need to save this or that. By definition, most Democrats are narcissists.
Did that offend you? Good, because now you understand that you have a narcissistic trait as well.
Vulnerability to shame rather than guilt.
Because there is such a fine line between shame and guilt I will do my best to explain this one. Narcissists are more concerned with the act than the consequences of the act and it’s effects on others.
They believe they are superhuman and they rely on their ability to be superior over others. If they were part of a hunter-gatherer society they would be more affected by the fact they may have missed a deer with their bow rather than the fact that their family and tribe will have to go without food.
Their vulnerability to shame can be so devastating that it consumes them.
The kicker who misses the game winning field goal in a super bowl will oftentimes relive that kick. He/she will spend hours thinking about it, even going to the football field at random times to put the ball back in the same place it was and practice that kick, over and over and over again. The kicker will be more affected by this (shame) than the fact his team didn’t win the super bowl (guilt). He is more affected by the lack of his ability than the fact his team lost because of it.
Haughty body language.
Haughty is defined as being arrogant and full of pride. Haughty body language is comprised of adopting body language that screams I’m better than you. Whether you walk around with your nose held high, roll your eyes, or smirk – anything that gives off the impression your shit doesn’t stink is haughty body language.
We’ve all seen the movies with the rich stuck up people in them, usually portrayed by a woman. A narcissist with this behavior doesn’t actually have to be rich to act like them.
If you describe anyone you know as stuck-up or spoiled, then they probably have this trait of narcissism.
Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them.
Narcissists are nice to people who admire them for their abilities or socially accept them into their “pack” – anyone else they want nothing to do with and don’t care to listen to your opinion.
Detesting those who do not admire them.
Those who do not admire them will not be included in their circle. They will be quickly shelved and placed out of existence. Narcissists choose to hang around only those who will glorify them and will not hang around people who don’t think they are awesome, even if those people aren’t necessarily saying anything bad about them. They do not like to hang around anyone who considers themselves an equal unless that group of people is better than everyone else in some way.
If you’ve ever met someone who you’ve called a “one-upper” or someone who has to “keep up with the jones’s” you’ve ran across this before. No matter what story you have to tell or how awesome it may be they will tell you about something they did or what someone they know did and it will always be better than your story. They have to be the center of attention, no one can have or be better than them.
Using other people without considering the cost of doing so.
A narcissist will convince their best friend to go commit a crime for their benefit without feeling guilty at all when they get caught and are sent to jail. They probably won’t even show up to visit or consider you a friend anymore. In fact, they may look down on you for getting caught.
Pretending to be more important than they really are.
“I’m an administrative assistant.” — no, you’re a fucking secretary.
Everyone has ran across someone who has to appear to be more important or special than they really are. They just can’t tell it like it is. They glorify the smallest things they do.
They’ll tell you they run a branch of one of the most prestigious and fastest growing restaurants in the world — to late find out that they are an assistant manager at the local McDonalds.
We all have met these types.
Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements.
Bragging is not just a side hobby, it’s a core profession of a narcissist. As a natural element of how they talk they throw in random blips just to talk about what they did.
They are always telling a story of an adventure or some experience they had that’s somehow related to what is going on.
You could be talking about Jesus Christ and how it he travelled the world feeding and healing people and they’ll tell you that they went to an orphanage once and fed a bunch of kids. They may even tell you that they were studying to become a doctor. Anything they can to get your attention.
When it comes to achievements. A third place finish out of five in a local community race becomes a professional state competition where they took third out of ten thousand people with a heroic story on why they lost to the other two that would make the movie 300 look small in comparison.
The fish they caught was an epic battle where they fell off their boat and had to go under water and wrestle it out with their bare hands. Of course it was the biggest fish to have ever lived and would have set a record but they let it go because they didn’t want to displace the current record holder out of their generosity.
Claiming to be an “expert” at many things.
There are actually people that know many things and could be considered an expert at “everything” but it’s not that it’s actually “everything” it just happens to be something they want to talk about.
The way to get rid of the fakers is to ask them about their background in the subject they are talking about. You’ll find many of them heard and are repeating someones opinion from TV or a news program and not sharing something they actually know anything about.
The honest ones will come right out and tell you how they know what they know the fakers will conceal it. They won’t tell you that TV Anchor Larry said it on the 6 o’clock news, they will pawn it off as their own knowledge.
But you should be advised there are a lot of people that have credentials to back up a lot of things they are saying, whether or not they are right, or their sources are right, is one that can be openly debated or discussed – but you can’t write everyone off as a narcissist because they seem to know something.
Now they might be a narcissist because when they tell you about what they know they brag about it or match some of the other traits and that would be understandable. But calling them a narcissist otherwise matches yourself to a narcissistic trait, so point the finger right back at yourself.
Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people.
Without the ability to change your paradigm or view of the world you will lack the ability to understand and change – which will inhibit your ability to grow. You’ll be stuck as you are and not be able to progress. You’ll advance confidently as a narcissist thinking everyone else around you is wrong because you don’t understand them.
Meanwhile you’ll be trapped in your own little world of loneliness hearing nothing but your own thoughts and the sound of your voice — while you’re scantily breathing.
Are you even alive?
Denial of remorse and gratitude.
No matter how they really feel, if they feel at all. They will openly deny any form of regret and openly deny any gratitude toward others. They will not appreciate you or say thanks nor will they feel regret for anything they do to you. Plain and simple. They expect things to go how they are supposed to in their own little world.
Hope you enjoyed this clarification and welcome to club narcissism, meetings are everyday solely because other clubs only meet once a week and we want to outdo them.