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In a world where the term ‘narcissist’ is often thrown around loosely, it’s crucial to understand what true narcissism looks like. It goes beyond mere self-centeredness or vanity; it’s a deep-seated pattern of behavior characterized by a constant need for admiration, lack of empathy, and disregard for others. It hurts the people around them, especially those they are dating. Here are 15 warning signs that may indicate a person is a narcissist.

Grandiose Sense of Self-Importance

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An inflated sense of self-importance is a hallmark sign of narcissism. Narcissists often believe they are superior to others, even without the accomplishments to back it up. They may frequently brag or exaggerate their abilities and achievements, often appearing boastful or pretentious. They will forcefully find a skill or feature of their choice to enhance and stick to it to appear better than the people that surround them.

Preoccupation with Fantasies of Success

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Narcissists are typically consumed by dreams of unlimited power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. They live in a fantasy world of their making where they are always the star, and their achievements are unparalleled, often disregarding the reality of their situations. They’re very ambitious and competitive, and they lead people into thinking they’re confident.

Belief in Being Special and Unique

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Narcissists perceive themselves as exceptionally special and unique. They believe they can only be understood by or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions. This belief further fuels their sense of superiority. They only want to associate and be associated with other high-status people, places, and things even if it is faked.

Requirement of Excessive Admiration

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Narcissists have an insatiable need for admiration and validation. They seek constant attention and praise and may react with disdain or anger when they feel they’re not receiving the admiration they deserve. This is because they typically rely on other people as a source of self-esteem and do not have a defined sense of self.

Sense of Entitlement

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Narcissists generally have a strong sense of entitlement. They expect others to cater to their every whim and often become impatient or angry when they don’t receive the special treatment they believe they deserve. Also, they may recklessly purchase status items and indulge in expensive experiences to make them feel superior.

Exploitative of Others

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Narcissists are known for exploiting others to achieve their own ends. This exploitation can manifest in various ways, like taking advantage of someone’s kindness, manipulating others to do things for them, or using others to gain personal benefits. A narcissist’s sense of entitlement combined with their lack of empathy makes them ripe for taking advantage of people for their own advantage.

Lack of Empathy

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A defining characteristic of narcissism is a lack of empathy. Narcissists struggle to recognize and understand the feelings and needs of others, often disregarding them entirely. They may mock or dismiss others’ feelings as irrelevant or overblown. The lack of empathy can be the result of genetics (or the characteristics you inherited from your parents), environment (especially in early childhood), disease, or physical or psychological damage and trauma related to an event.

Envy of Others

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Narcissists often believe others are envious of them, and they may be envious of others themselves. They may resent others who have what they want—be it material possessions, success, or attention—and may act out in ways to diminish those individuals. They will often project this trait onto others and make their victims feel like the insecure ones. 

Arrogant Behaviors or Attitudes

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Narcissists frequently exhibit arrogance in their behaviors and attitudes. They may come across as conceited, boastful, and pretentious. They often belittle people they perceive as inferior and refuse to acknowledge the accomplishments or talents of others. Because they think of themselves as superior, they come across as very arrogant.

Inability to Handle Any Criticism

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Narcissists typically react negatively to criticism. They may become defensive, angry, or even hostile when faced with feedback or comments that they perceive as critical. This sensitivity to criticism often leads to conflicts in personal and professional relationships. Sometimes, because they are so manipulative, they can act as if they accept the criticism, but in fact, they will be offended by it.

Manipulative and Controlling

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Narcissists often manipulate and control others to meet their own needs or desires. They might use guilt, blame, or victimhood as manipulative tactics, making others feel obligated to cater to their needs. They are often smart in business and will use the same tactics to treat people and manipulate them as they wish.

Unstable Relationships

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Narcissists usually struggle to maintain healthy, long-term relationships. Their relationships are often characterized by highs and lows, with periods of intense affection followed by extreme neglect or abuse. Their relationships go through the narcissistic abuse cycle that starts with the in-love phase and deteriorates progressively.

Unrealistic Goals

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Narcissists often set unrealistic, grandiose goals for themselves. They believe they’re capable of achieving anything, regardless of their skills, abilities, or resources, further reinforcing their inflated self-image. Their sense of entitlement supports their unrealistic expectations. They expect to be worshiped. They expect unreasonable admiration and compliance to their every whim.

Quick to Anger

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Narcissists can be quick to anger, especially when they feel they’re not receiving the admiration or respect they believe they’re entitled to. This can result in bouts of rage, impatience, or inappropriate displays of anger. since they feel the need to be praised, whenever this stops, they will be upset.

Impulsive Behavior

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Narcissists can be highly impulsive, often engaging in risky behaviors without considering the potential consequences. This impulsivity can lead to a range of problems, from financial difficulties to damaged relationships. Their decision-making will result in impulsive purchases and ending relationships on a whim.

Conclusion

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Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be emotionally draining and mentally challenging. It can lead to feelings of worthlessness, depression, anxiety, and even physical health problems due to chronic stress. Therefore, it’s essential to recognize these signs and seek professional help if you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist. Understanding is the first step towards healing. If you or someone you know is dealing with a narcissist, reach out to mental health professionals who can provide guidance and support. Don’t let narcissism control your life; take the first step towards reclaiming your peace and happiness today.

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