How to tell if someone is a narcissist

With all the selfies the modern day epoch has in their phone, the term narcissist has become a part of our everyday lingo.


How to tell if someone is a narcissist


The American Psychiatric Association defines Narcissistic Personality disorder as “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy and behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts”.





Narcissists are defined by their grandiose sense of self importance.

They are preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, beauty and love.

They believe that they are special and can only be understood by a select few. People who are as special as they are.

They require excessive admiration.

They have a sense of supreme entitlement.

They are exploitative of others.

They lack empathy and are unwilling to recognise the feelings of others.

They are jealous of others.

They are arrogant and rude.


Social media has certainly added fuel to the fire. Every where you look people are busy taking snapshots of themselves. Jealousy is rampant and as a generation we feel more alienated than ever.


How long can you live without Facebook? How long can you go without checking your updates? Social media has become an addiction. For some it is a vital food group. Viewed this way, narcissists are just people who have been addicted to themselves before there was social media.


How to tell if someone is a narcissist


All of us fall on the spectrum of narcissism, again with everything else there is this bell curve distribution. So how do you tell if someone is narcissistic?

Young people are more likely to be narcissistic. Unless you come across a CEO of a fortune 500, in which case take some well earned business advice.

Once you do have someone in mind you would like to get to know better, check off the traits I’ve listed above against them. Or as I like to do, by playing a game of truth and dare. The more traits someone has the more narcissistic they are.

Narcissism is manifested differently between the two sexes. Still a lack of empathy and grandiosity are present. They both have an insatiable ego.

Sam Gosling in his book Snoop tells how they developed a test where they observed people walking past a mirror. What happened? Some more than others, took a longer time to see themselves in the mirror.

When it comes to telling whether someone is a narcissist or not, words are you best allies. They will put you down. If you confront them, they will make themselves the victim. The best way of telling whether someone is a narcissist or not is by listening to them when they describe their old relationships. Ask the narcissist what they think of someone else. This is a very famous test that will reveal a person’s own character as they are describing someone else’s. Read more about this test by clicking here.



  1. Em

    They never mention covert narcissism. That’s even worse than overt. Coverts don’t come off as grandiose and instead play the victim extremely well. Poor them; they have had such a rough time and have been treated so poorly by (parents, exes, friends, dogs, etc.) and then they use whatever pity you feel for them to manipulate you. They don’t mention how they beat up their dad, told mom they hated her every day, kicked the dog, raped the girlfriend and threatened her with weapons, and stole all their friend’s weed. They are the eternal victim and nothing is ever their fault. They are very special and they always look for ways to put other people down, in fact you would be shocked if you knew how much time they wasted finding faults in other people. But that’s how they keep up the delusion that they are special and everyone else is “beneath” them. In reality they are trying to cover up deep and incurable feelings of worthlessness that stem from early childhood neglect or maybe some genetic factor.

    The way media describes narcissism is really uninformed. Having a big ego doesn’t mean you are a narcissist.

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