They always put themselves first

Valuing one’s time and energy is great. Considering it to be of more importance than anyone else’s? Less great! If someone you know is always putting themselves before you and others, that’s a trait of a narcissist through and through. Narcissists will always see their lives and resources as mattering more than those of the people around them.

They charmed you to begin with

Because they consider themselves to be extraordinary, narcissists have a tendency to veil new parts of their lives in grand fantasies. Because of this, the start of a relationship with a narcissist will be romantic to the max. It can feel good to have someone be forward with us – it’s nice to feel wanted! Be cautious with them though, as it could be on account of narcissism.

They’re entitled

For narcissists, things tend to be pretty black and white with them always being the right, the light, and the good. They need to be on top to feel safe, so anything else feels wrong to them. This is where a narcissist’s entitlement often comes from. Them being on top is simply correct to them, and so they expect it, feeling entitled to all the best things.

They’re always looking for attention

If a narcissist is in the room and isn’t the centre of attention, you’ll know, because they will do everything they can to get the attention back on them. Due to the inflated sense of self-importance that narcissists have, they seek to always be the centre of attention. This is because narcissists only count validation if it comes from other people, as they struggle to form it for themselves.

They’re only in touch when they need something

The relationships that narcissists form are often exploitative in nature. Because they are at the top of their hierarchy, they often view other people in their life as being there to serve them. If someone in your life only gets in touch when they want something from you and they do this consistently, then you might be dealing with a narcissist.

They’re a perfectionist

Narcissists believe that life should play out exactly as they have pictured, with everyone and everything around them being perfect and up to their standards. This need for perfectionism leads to many narcissists being perpetually unsatisfied with life and their surroundings. If someone has obscenely high standards for things and people around them, it could be due to them dealing with narcissism.

They talk about themselves a lot

Some people just don’t seem to grasp how conversations should work. Conversations usually having a ping-pong effect, with both people talking for approximately equal amounts of time. Narcissists tend to miss this since they’re so focused on themselves. As a result, a narcissist will usually spend the whole time talking about themselves without realising that they haven’t given you a chance to chip in at all.

Their relationships are superficial

A narcissist will not base their relationships with others on what makes those people unique or interesting. Narcissists instead tend to build and keep friendships based on very superficial reasoning. If someone’s friendships never go below surface level and they’re OK with that, then they’re most likely a narcissist.

They need to be in control

There are things in this life that we simply can’t change, but narcissists believe that they should be able to. Because they believe everything revolves around them, narcissists have a need to control everything around them. If someone you know is controlling to the max about every aspect of their life, their narcissism could be the reason why.

They’re not empathetic

Most of us refrain from hurting people’s feelings and feel bad when we see someone sad or in pain due to our natural quality of empathy. Narcissists often lack empathy and sometimes scarcely care about others at all. Acting without empathy and not understanding how someone else could be feeling is a trait most narcissists know well.

They don’t hold long-term friendships

Narcissists often have conflicts in the relationships they hold. This is due to them often being very critical of others and they need constant attention and admiration. People who are self-involved the way narcissists are do not have the skills required to hold down a friendship for a long time.

They don’t take responsibility

We all know those people who will make any excuse to blame someone else for something they’ve done wrong. This can be a sign of narcissism. Someone who is a narcissist will never accept that they have made a mistake, because they think so highly of themselves. This will make them believe they have nothing they need to improve upon.

They put people down

Narcissistic people have large egos and think themselves above others. When their superiority feels threatened, they can often respond by putting other people down. This makes them feel affirmed and puts them back on the pedestal they believe they belong on. Putting people down in order to feel better about themselves is a classic narcissist trait.

They gaslight

Gaslighting is when someone lies about what happened in a way that can make you question reality. It is a way of manipulating others and emotionally abusing them in order for them to see the abuser as an authority on truth. Narcissists will often gaslight others and lie about reality in order to spin the version of reality they want to see. This is especially likely if their position of superiority is threatened, or if they are afraid of you leaving them.

They don’t have boundaries

Many people struggle with maintaining and respecting boundaries, but this is a consistent trait of narcissists. This is because narcissists do not see others as being completely separate to them, as they believe everything belongs – or should belong – to them. This often results in them crossing others’ boundaries and taking advantage of their time and possessions when they can. A narcissist will be insulted and surprised to be met with the word ‘no’, and therefore often won’t respect it.

They can’t handle rejection

Rejection always hurts a little, and we all like to be accepted. However, narcissists tend to take it worse than most people. To them, any kind of rejection feels like a rejection of their entire character. It takes them out of their feeling of superiority and makes their entire worldview feel threatened. Narcissists will therefore often seek revenge of some kind or keep you out of their life so they don’t have to encounter someone who rejected them.

They don’t apologise

Someone who knows they are wrong should have the capability to apologise for what they have done. A narcissist, on the other hand, does not have the word ‘sorry’ in their vocabulary. Narcissists struggle to understand that people have views and feelings that don’t align with theirs and therefore don’t see that they’ve truly done anything wrong or affected others negatively.

They lack nuance

People who are not narcissists understand that not everything is black and white. Things are nuanced, we have to compromise sometimes, and we can love people with flaws. For narcissists, this kind of thinking just isn’t possible. They tend to split everything in their life up into the categories of good and bad, including their friends’ traits. If parts of a thing are negative to a narcissist, they will often label the whole of it as bad or a failure.

They’re always a hero or victim

Narcissists love to tell stories about themselves, and when those stories relate to other people in any way, they will always present themselves as being one of two things: either the hero of the hour or the victim. When someone is telling you tales of how they helped or protected everyone one minute and the next they’re saying how people are always out to hurt them, pay attention. You’re likely dealing with a narcissist.

They give advice no one asked for

It is generally considered polite to give advice to people who ask for it and otherwise refrain from doing so. Narcissists, however, believe they always know more than other people. In acting like they know more, they are supporting their feelings of superiority, and using it as an opportunity to rise even further above the people around them.

They love keeping people who look up to them around

While some of us keep people around because they’re our friends who we value as people, narcissists will often keep people around because of the way those people look up to them. If someone looks up to a narcissist, the narcissist in question will have their ego boosted, and it will affirm their belief of them being superior to others.

They just can’t wait

Whether it be a queue for checkout at a shop or being on hold on the phone, a narcissist cannot abide being told they have to wait for anything. Since their universe revolves around them, narcissists cannot understand why they need to let other people go before them for anything, no matter how long others have been waiting.

They hold endless grudges

Some people think holding a grudge against someone who has wronged them for a long time is a sign of confidence. The opposite is true for narcissists, who hold grudges because they cannot handle criticism. Anyone who has said anything that does not align with the narcissist’s version of reality will often have a grudge held against them. This way, the narcissist won’t have to accept that they might be wrong about something.

They start out love-bombing and then withdraw

Love-bombing refers to people who give excessive amounts of attention, love, gifts etc to someone when they first get to know each other. It is often done by people who are seeking validation, which narcissists do. They then withdraw, which will leave you trying to figure out what you can do to gain back the favour you had from them before. This is a manipulation tactic that some narcissists don’t even realise they’re doing.

Their reputation is precious to them

Narcissists often care more about what people will think than they do about the actual conflicts they have with people. An example of this is that when a narcissist has a public argument, they’ll worry more about what people will think of them because of the argument than they will about the thing they were arguing about. What people think of a narcissist matters to them because they need to be thought of as superior in the way they believe they are.

They get bored really easily

When most of us have free time after a busy week, relaxing with a film or crafting can help us to replenish our energy. Narcissists get bored with most activities very easily, though. This is because sustaining almost any activity means they’re spending time without being fed compliments and validation.

They’re competitive

Due to a narcissist’s black and white thinking, everything in life also becomes a competition to them. This includes very normal life experiences such as buying a great outfit or getting a new job. To a narcissist, everything is either a win or a loss, so when they see other people succeeding in life or enjoying themselves, it means the other person is winning in that moment – meaning they must be losing.

They make everything about themselves

If you are struggling with something, most people would want to acknowledge what you’re going through and help you out just because you need it. A narcissist will find a way to make your pain or suffering about themselves. If you broke your leg, they might make the situation about how heroic they are for helping you. If you cancelled a plan because you got sick, the narcissist will make it about how awful it is for them that you cancelled on them.

They’re ambitious

Many people have dreams and goals they’d love to achieve in life, but it doesn’t stop there for narcissists. Instead, a narcissist will always see more to aspire to. Nothing is ever enough for them, since they view themselves as above everyone else, so they aspire to be the richest, the most famous, and the most skilled at everything ever. Their need to be admired means there is always more to be had.

They’re cold

Narcissists have difficulty responding to others’ emotions as they find it hard to validate those feelings as real. Sometimes cold due to their lack of understanding and inability to tune into others’ emotions, narcissists will also sometimes act cold towards others as a punishment, since withdrawing their attention is one of the worst things they can think to do.

They look at themselves a lot

Narcissists think highly of themselves in every aspect of their life including their appearance. Many people like to look at themselves when they feel they look particularly good. Narcissists, on the other hand, spend a lot of time analysing themselves, which crosses into analysing themselves physically. It doesn’t hurt that narcissists tend to be more attractive than the average person as well, which only boosts their ego further.

They believe everyone envies them

A narcissist will constantly compare themselves to other people. Because they struggle with understanding that other people perceive the world differently than they do, they believe that everyone else is also constantly comparing themselves to others. Because a narcissist believes they are above everyone else, they will believe that everyone around them is envious of them specifically.

They’re rude to ‘extras’

In a narcissist’s life, there are the people they focus on, whether that means people they adore and want to be in their life to boost their ego, and there are ‘extras’ who are little inconveniences or are inconsequential. These people are seen as being mere extras to a narcissist. If someone does not matter to a narcissist, there is no reason to be nice to them. An example of this would be treating the waiter or shop assistant with disdain.

They don’t do compliments

It can be so lovely to see your friends succeed, and the natural response is to feel happy for them and congratulate them, even if you have a tiny pang of jealousy deep down. A narcissist, though, will not feel good about anyone else’s achievements. They will instead just feel bad about themselves and dislike that someone else has had a success and is the centre of attention, even if it’s just for a moment. A narcissist won’t compliment anyone, and will probably give a backhanded compliment or snide remark instead.

You can’t call them out on anything

Being called out does not feel good. Confronting things we have done wrong is hard and uncomfortable, but we do it because we don’t want to hurt or inconvenience those around us. A narcissist will refuse to face what they have done and will likely go off on you for calling them out at all. They will feel threatened that you dared to question their actions, and they may respond to this with rage and a desire for revenge, even if you didn’t call them out to hurt them.

They try to separate you from others

When it comes to relationships, a narcissist feels that they don’t only have to be better than their partner – they need to be the only person in their life as well. Without this, how will they make sure they’re always the best and most important person in their partner’s life as well as being immune to criticism from their peers? If someone in your life is demonising all your friends, leaving you with no one but them to lean on, this could be narcissistic manipulation.

All their exes are evil and crazy

Dating someone means you liked them at some point. If someone has only terrible things to say about the people they’ve dated in the past, be wary of them. Demonising all their exes, talking about them as two-dimensional people, and taking no responsibility for any negative parts of their previous relationships are all signs of a narcissist.

They avoid questions

Avoiding questions is a key sign of either not knowing the answer, or of lying. This rings true for narcissists, who tend to distort the truth to fit the reality they want to present to the world. A narcissist will want to hide things from you often, to keep themselves in control, naturally. So if this is a behaviour you’re seeing in someone, they could be a narcissist.

They’re always fishing for compliments

Narcissists tend to have a lot of insecurity, stemming from their belief that they are superior to others. (This is because any success by any other person is a threat to their worldview.) A narcissist will occasionally say something to make them seem insecure, by insulting their appearance, style, or talent – something they know they are valued for. This is a way of fishing for compliments from those around them to boost their own ego.

They break rules

There are some rules that are OK to break occasionally, and most people will do so. Narcissists, however, will break rules wherever the rules are even slightly inconvenient for them. This is because they do not think the rules should apply to them, and they enjoy seeing what they’re able to get away with. They see breaking the rules as just another sign that they are better than other people.