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10 Unbelievable Behaviors Of The Narcissist


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Do you know what narcissistic personality disorder is? Would you be able to spot it if you had to? For most people, their belief is that narcissism is “easy” to spot because  laymen and pop psychology characterize narcissism as: selfish ambition, arrogance, cockiness, inconsideration for others, and a strong desire to be at the top of the game. But narcissism is truly difficult to spot in everyday life because some of the kindest and nicest people could be a narcissist. Narcissism doesn’t always shine through the moment you meet someone. In fact, narcissism may not fully bloom until you’ve married the person, accepted a job from a company led by a narcissist, or after many years of knowing the person. In reality, narcissistic personality traits are often hidden by the person’s ability to “act” ways they know other people like.

Although you are probably familiar with the millions of articles already written on this topic, this article will highlight the most dangerous narcissistic traits you should run from. Next week’s article will discuss ways to cope with the narcissist. 

41 Comments to
10 Unbelievable Behaviors Of The Narcissist

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  1. This article is brilliant. I went through this for years with a former “friend” who had and still has people completely fooled. Through social media she presents herself as this innocent, kind hearted person which she is not. I saw her unmasked and because I did I was permanently discarded. She also developed a “clique” of blind servants who came to her rescue no matter what and would unleash attacks on me on her behalf. She purposely tarnished my reputation and turned friends and acquaintances against me which left me lonely and unable to defend myself. I am still very angry about all of this and am always looking for ways to out her or get revenge which I know will only make things worse.

    • Hi Stacie,
      Thank you so much. I appreciate that. I’m glad it was helpful.
      Narcissist are truly frightening to be in any kind of relationship with. They are not relational beings. They don’t know how to exist in a healthy relationship. Things always have to go their way or no way. They are often controlling, overbearing, arrogant, insensitive, authoritarian, and detached emotionally. As I stated to another person who commented, it’s best to stay far away from them if you can.
      All the best

      • You hit the nail on the head. Any advice for those with narcissistic spouses? It’s an emotional roller coaster.

      • Hi Diane,
        Thanks for your comment. It is very difficult when it is your spouse because you were most likely under a different assumption about his personality and behaviors when you first met him, dated him, and then married him, if that were the case. You’d want to always protect yourself, ensure you are safe, and then move away from them if they are unable to change.

    • There’s a nickname for the “blind servants.” They’re called flying monkeys after the creatures in The Wizard of Oz who did the wicked witch’s bidding. 🙂

      P.S. I know the same experience(s) as you.

    • Been there. It’s difficult getting revenge. Almost impossible. Just distance yourself and use forums like this for therapy. 😊

      • Hi Nancy,
        Thanks for commenting. Revenge never works and is rarely worth it. Distancing yourself is the best advice, especially for someone who is unable to change or cannot see how they are affecting others. It’s not worth it.

      • After recovering from my anger towards my x-narc, I have to agree with you about revenge. Absolutely not worth it. The best way to get even is to move on and be happy in your new life. I recommend the 25th verse of the Tao te Ching for this situation. Connect to your soul and there you will find the greatness of your eternal self which will have huge payoffs for you. (as for revenge)Eating at or feeding others at the trough of misery never has and never will have any payoff for you or them.

      • Hi Mark,
        Thanks for sharing this. I agree 100% that “feeding others at the trough of misery never has and never will have any payoff for you or them.”
        Wisdom indeed.
        Take care

  2. More detailed descriptions of Donald Trump.

    • 🙂
      Thanks for your comment.

  3. Wow! Perfectly describes my estranged husband. He is a lecturer at the local university and markets himself as affable, “logical,” and service-oriented. Reality: starts clubs and organizations to promote himself, gain supply, manipulate others, and also so he can have a built-in fanclub of flying monkeys/sycophants. He alienates, belittles, and engages in smear-campaigns against those who question him. Had all but a handful leave a club recently. He seems to find people as disordered as himself. Some actually tried to oust him but he got them to infight and deflect from himself. After, he complained about how “they” tried to sabotage “his” club.

    I have had my fill. He abandoned me and is similary casting aspersions on my character. I am trying to heal, but the wounds are deep. How can the person you care about most leave so abruptly and be so cruel? I was discarded like trash.

    • Thank you Cora for your comment. It’s really interesting how similar narcissists are to each other and to psychology text books. I rarely see a narcissistic person who does not fit the complete description of a narcissist described in college books or online. They are truly cookie-cutter characters. It’s always best to steer clear of them. They will “discard you like trash” or throw you away so to speak. It’s frightening.
      Take care

  4. Hi Tamara,
    I really am not all that familiar with this disorder so it was interesting to read about it and learn more. As I read, I asked myself if I know anyone like this. I am still not sure.
    I first thought of a former partner. Long story short but while in public — and even with me for the most part, very charming and social, full of compliments etc. I DO remember early on, it seemed like many people had been “unfair,” “mean” etc to him and several in his family were “abusive.” I initially believed him as I had no reason not to but a lot of things began to not add up. If we’d argue, he had a very difficult time owning his part in anything, would not compromise and somehow would find a way to try and turn it around so that I’d end up either giving up trying to express my feelings or just apologize to keep the peace. Glad it’s over for more reasons than I will get into.
    The other person who I now wonder if she could be a narcissist (I hate to even THINK this) is my niece. She is almost always the one who feels wronged by life, her mother, past teachers on occasion and people in general. She has a horrible temper if she is disagreed with or if for instance, her mom tries to argue her point or even ask for help with chores. She will be vindictive at times and generally seems to become angry very easily and at times holds grudges. But, given that she has grown up with an alcoholic father, in a dysfunctional household, was not given clear boundaries or consistent rules in the home plus she’s still pretty young at almost 23, AND had a bad car accident with head trauma, perhaps this world not apply to her. I hope not – for her sake!
    Have a good upcoming weekend!

    • Hi Lori,
      Thanks for commenting as always.
      Narcissism is difficult to identity and it isn’t present among a large group of people. For me, I have only come in contact with about 2-3 narcissists in my almost 9 years in the field. Interestingly, 1 of my clients displayed narcissistic behaviors while about 2-3 of other professionals showed the symptoms the most! So I don’t blame you for not knowing if you’ve come across this behavior before. It sounds as if your ex may have shown some signs. Guys are very strange in that they do things without fully thinking or considering the emotions and thoughts of the other person. It can be complicated to tease apart if the male is just being a “strange man” or if they are narcissistic. I dated one such guy years ago and then ran away, thanking God I got away…sane!

      As far as your niece Lori, I cannot say for sure. But it might be worth considering. Perhaps there are other reasons for her behavior that may be more fitting.

      Take care

      • Hi Tamara,
        Thanks for responding. (And for your insight!) Can you believe I had myself convinced that you were likely upset with me because a) I comment too much, b) you hadn’t responded last time I checked this post and c) I had posted a comment on an earlier post, mistakenly wrote my full name and then had to write and ask you to remove my last name. Crazy thinking on occasion — sorry lol! I wasn’t going to mention it but decided to because I know I can’t be the only one who sometimes gets anxious over skewed perceptions. At least I hope not!

      • Hi Lori,
        I understand. No worries.
        I don’t think I got that email about your full name! Where did you send that message to? I’ll check and see if I can find it and if I do, I will remove it for you.

        Take care

      • Hi Tamara,
        I wish I could remember the exact post I commented on –I’m thinking it may have been the first one on this topic? Not that big of a deal I suppose if it’s not caught!
        Thanks for your understanding. I much appreciate it!
        Lori

      • No problem!

  5. Timely! My mother has always been very critical of me, her only daughter. I went to therapy because there had o be something wrong with ME! A good therapist pointed out my mother was probably narcissistic. Indeed, her dramatics, grudge holding and silent treatments made sense. Fast forward: she is not welcomed by her 3 sons, she’s in a retirement home in a distant state and I’m the one managing her finances and nursing help. She is pissed that I have to do this, but due to drinking she is unable to care for herself. Even though I know better, at 66 she still knows how to make me crazy. Any help as I find I feel sorry fo her….all alone..

    • Hi Cathyjane

      I understand you feeling sorry for your mum as my sister and I are in the same boat. Unfortunately narcissistic people are difficult to like, we still love them but for our own self preservation we have to remove ourselves from the never ending BS. We grew up being the carers and sadly can hardly remember many fun times with her. She is now in a very nice nursing home, subsidised by us. She is 82 now and still moans and groans about her terrible life, as she is incapable of letting go of the past. It might help if you speak to someone and vent, as it must be difficult dealing with her without support. I hope these few lines helped and if you want to chat further I’m happy to

      Kind regards
      Life’s journey aka Sheree

    • Hi CathyJane,
      I am sorry to hear this. A lot of people identify their parents as “narcissists.” You are certainly not alone.
      I caution most of my clients on over-using this word as it becomes the “typical social” way to refer to someone who is difficult, self-centered, or has a very strong personality. Most people are not narcissist, but some are. It’s difficult to spot them sometimes because they don’t fit the criteria we think they should. Some very narcissistic people appear kind and sweet. Go figure!
      Take care

      • I agree. It’s not always clear-cut, especially for those of us who are not mental health professionals. My mother fit many of the narcissistic traits, but I’ve decided to use a more general term: toxic behaviour. Until I was on my own, I didn’t have a clue that anyone else could see it, too.

      • Yeah. It’s hard to see it sometimes and often we think others cannot. You’d be surprised at how many people see narcissistic behaviors but minimize them, ignore them, or remain silent about them because of how hard it is to get others to believe the person is narcissistic. It’s a catch 22, a strange dichotomy.

  6. Thank you! Excellent article, and yes they do not have may acts or ways of behaviour, ex np was like a text book narc. Now totally transparent to me. And of course I was discarded and of course the was hoovering. Now NC since 3 months. Know now they cannot have a real relation and cannot have intimacy, the totally lack the capacity for that because they have not matured to more than a six year old.

    • Thank you Lovisala. I appreciate your kind comment. And I agree they lack maturity. Stay tuned for my article on how to deal with this 5 year old behavior next week!

  7. When it’s your parent, you’re stuck with them. When you marry one, that’s different, especially if they turn violent on you. But, the one that completely caught me off guard was a BEST friend who had this child-like voice and happiness until I got to know her. Then, she had woes and no amount of pointing toward the future or positive things was good enough. She created drama where there was none. (I am not a big fan of drama.) There was no consoling her, either. My ears perked up when this pillar of society told me I was a better person than her when I tried to help someone with problems catch up to the rest of us in a group. She said she would have thrown them out. I was shocked. That was my first clue something wasn’t right, because her profession was all about helping others. Then, she once said she had previously dumped a best friend and never looked back. Never explained to the person; just dumped her. One day, I was dumped on my ear with no explanation. She just would not answer the phone. I left phone messages and text messages to ask what I had done. Never got an answer. After a few weeks, I realized I had been used and was no longer needed, and my concern for trying to repair a damaged friendship was only feeding her ego. We were never best friends, as far as she was concerned.

  8. Great article. This was right on target. I had no choice but to put up with a narcissist for years. Friends kept saying she was selfish but I couldn’t understand how anyone could be so mean every single day. It was hell to put up with. She put on the “act” for certain higher level people at work who were easily fooled and pulled into her fan club. The rest of the crowd she hung out with were what you describe as “lesser” than the narcissist. She’d ask grown adults to get her coffee, talk to them like children, scold them like children, point the finger like they were bad. She was like the worst teacher imaginable. She volunteered for charity events (pouring lemonade) just to make herself look good. She couldn’t care less about the sick children she was pretending to help. She had angry outbursts over minor incidents. Most of us living with this individual had little knowledge of what narcissism was. Now we’re all reading about it. Can’t wait for next weeks article on how to deal with these people.

    • Thank you Nicki. I appreciate that.
      Stay tuned for next week. I think you’ll like it!
      Take care

  9. Will my ex narrscist change for someone of high status ( Pretty , and her family has money ) He says he is happy now and that he will do anything for someone he actually cares about ( as in not me ) He is also still abusing me but making it very obvious to everyone else he is so happy.

    • Hi Katie,
      Although I don’t know the full situation or your ex, I cannot say for sure. But most likely not, unless she is similar to him in some ways. A narcissist often has little to no empathy and has no idea how they are affecting others. Many times they are concerned about minor things such as money, fame, prestige, attention, etc. and not so much about building a lasting love relationship that is healthy with anyone.

  10. I am very familiar with the disorder. I can spot them a mile away. It might take a few interactions but in the end, I see them. The most recent was my husbands boss. A woman who preys on married men for attention and to conqure. She played my husband so well that he eventually was flirting with her. I told him he was being played. He refused to believe me. It almost ended us. Shes had multiple affairs with other married men. Shes been caught by other wives but I doubt any of them knew what they were really dealing with. In the end, I managed to get some justice but she still has everyone thinking shes a victim. She has many blind servants. Great read and spot on.

    • Thank you Nancy! I appreciate that. I’m glad it was helpful.

  11. I’m diagnosed with NPD and rather than having been the abuser, I’ve been the victim of abuse many times. My psychologist and psychiatrist encourage me to socialize and develop relationships with people, which is difficult because I am very uncomfortable around others. Your articles seem to suggest that I am right to avoid people. Your articles also make it seem as though people with NPD are not so deserving of love or compassion and have little hope of finding peace in life. Reading things like this can be very hurtful and I’m glad I didn’t read this when I still struggled with suicide ideation. If you understood what it’s like to feel so fundamentally different from others, always searching for a sense of belonging that doesn’t exist, feeling like no one could ever truly love someone like you, I don’t think you’d try to tear us down so much. I hope that if anyone else with NPD reads this they are able to find the peace and self-compassion they deserve, and come into contact with much kinder people.

  12. I lived with a man for three years. He had me convinced that I was worthless. I was suicidal. He isolated me from everyone. My family friends and my daughter. He stole 100000.00 from me saying he would make me millions. He made me give up my dogs house and daughter. He would not leave my home and could not live if he did not control my life completely. Anyone in this situation needs to get out at any cost. I may not be alive today without my best friend who did not give up on me.

  13. I will post a longer post later, but for right now, is narcissism a disorder that can be inherited ?
    I believe so.
    I had an aunt who was one and a sister who has it now, and neither one were around each other to see the behaviors to know the behaviors, yet both had identical behavior patterns. The aunt was my fathers sister.

    • Hi Joanne,
      Yes, narcissism is a trait that can be inherited. It has a very firm genetic foundation. In other words, research has confirmed through multiple studies that narcissism is strongly inherited. It is also encouraged by nurture, the way someone is raised or the things the person is exposed to over the course of their development.
      So basically it is both nature and nurture that influences a person to exhibit narcissistic traits.

      Take care

  14. my experience with them they are very sociologically abusing and pulling you down while the areas they have up there pulling them down in your life and high levels of gossip to destroy you. narcissist are not an equal opportunist they try and make you feel bad about yourself

  15. This is the best article on NDP I have read to date. It really explains what narcissistic behavior looks like “on the ground,” so to speak. I had a friend a while back that after about 6 months, I began to wonder if she was a narcissist, but the usual list of “symptoms” where clinical, and often based on the internal feelings of the narcissist themselves. In order to validate my experience of her, I needed to know what signs I might be seeing or experiencing. This article does that, and I am no longer in doubt.

    The friendship unfolded exactly the way this article describes; in the end she got involved in a situation between my husband and I who were having problems at the time, by dropping an “overheard” conversation into an already tense and hurtful time period in my marriage. The fallout was dramatic, and involved more than one friend. Fortunately, I realized that she was the cause and cut off ties with her, and my husband and I eventually healed our relationship.

    Now that I’m in my later 40’s, I am better able to identify and stay away from people with unstable personalities of any kind. It’s unfortunate, because many people with personality disorders have wonderful qualities; but the damage they can cause and their sometimes bottomless pit of need makes them usually not worth the effort it takes to stay friends.

    Thanks again for the article!

    • Hi Ggirl,
      Thank you so much. Glad you found the article helpful. It was inspired by personal experience working in the field. I have had multiple experiences with narcissism and I’ve learned just how tricky, manipulative, uncaring, and harmful individuals with these traits can be. You are better off to run miles away than to stick around to be hurt. Each moment with the narcissist is like a ticking time bomb.
      Take care

  16. Dear Tamara,

    I have married into a family that live, follow and roll in it if “IT” was food or money, called Narcissistic traits. I keep notes every time I am near this type of blood-sucking-Narcs. Days after I feel empty of stealing my time and energy.
    *My husbands’ great grandfather were Narcs based on 200 years of history.
    Alcoholic-sexual deviant-absentee-parenting. CAREER CRIMINALS, jail time, sibling against sibling in courts, children sexual abuse by both parents and grandparents. Drugs by doctor-shopping. All Narcs in this family find jobs to keep their habits going. Two sisters work in Hospice, which out pain pills for ‘look-a-likes’ and tweet at work. King-Ron (rotten to the core) works in a convention center and walks out daily with his big haul of items security didn’t check…on and on with each member of the family.
    *Husband, he’s mild and I find awesome sites like this to educate myself.
    Thank YOU for listening to all.

 

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