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5 Reasons People May Think You are a Narcissist

am i a narcissist

Have you noticed that people who you thought were your friends seem to avoid you? Do you find it difficult to make plans with others because nobody returns your calls? Has a pattern emerged where people have labeled you as selfish?

If so, it might be time to conduct an honest personal inventory to discover how some of your personal behaviors may be influencing your reputation. Specifically, we are talking about narcissism. If one of your life goals is to become more likeable, this post is for you!

You may believe that narcissism is about being preoccupied with your physical appearance. That is certainly part of the equation however, it’s a little more complex than that. In truth, narcissism is about one sided, personal interactions that are designed to bring the focus of attention to you.

What follows are follows are five reasons why other people might think you are a narcissist.

As part of your self-assessment, consider taking the narcissism quiz. Disclaimer: Look at these 5 points in their totality, contextualized with other behaviors that may suggest the people in your life think of you as self-absorbed.

Remember, there is a big difference between feeling confident and acting grandiose.

Are you ready? Let’s jump right in!

1. You never ask questions about the person

When you are having a conversation with another person, do ask the individual a few questions from time to time about their life. For example, if you meet someone and they ask what you do for a living, don’t use that as an opportunity to talk about how great you are. Instead, simply state what you do and ask the other person a similar question in return. Learn the art of small-talk.

2. You dump when you call

Rather you know it or not, people can spot a narcissist a mile away. How can they tell? One major give-away is because whenever you call – which is infrequent – the conversation is always about you. Typically, you will go on forever and a day about how bad your day was in agonizing detail. There’s never a chance to get in one word edgewise.

When you are done with your dump-job, you don’t take the time to ask, “Hey, how are you?” Instead, you simply conclude the communication with a “goodbye” because something “important” suddenly came up.

For once, can you just call to say hello and see how someone else might be getting on? If possible, try to be somewhat empathic towards the needs of others.

3. You never celebrate the accomplishments of others

Once in a while, it would be great if you could put down your own self-touting bullhorn and try to celebrate someone else’s accomplishments. This means allowing that person to have their moment in the sun without you making the occasion all about you.

Example: Your nephew got a new job at as a bank teller. Rather than rubbing it in his face about how great of a money manager you are, just keep your mouth shut (please). Don’t talk about your considerable experience in finance or how much money you have accumulated over the years. Just keep your yap shut and let your nephew enjoy his 15 minutes in the spotlight.

4. Your social media presence is all about you

One potential reason people are disappearing from your life relates to your behaviors on social media. If all you do is continually post pictures of yourself or brag about your accomplishments without responding to what others share, that’s a major indication people think you are self-absorbed.

Once in a while, you are going to have to force yourself to “Like” other people’s posts. Oh – it helps to comment about a topic someone else has shared without making it about you.

5. All of your sentences start with “I” and “me”.

One strong indicator that people may think you are narcissistic relates to how you engage in conversations with others. For example, if a group of co-workers is talking about a recent movie release and you somehow make the plot of that movie all about you, people are going to get turned off.

This happens when most all of the sentences that come out of your mouth start with the words “I” and “Me”. Example: I saw that movie and it could have been about my life! Another example: People always tell me I look at lot like that actor.

Try to be more mindful of how you join conversations and do your level best not to make the subject about you. This means not being a topper.

What is a topper you might ask?

Well, a topper is a person who has to “top” someone else’s personal story by sharing something similar but with a twist – usually with you at the center of the narrative!

Final Thoughts

If you want folks to like you, it is going to require a lot of change on your part. This means you will need to shift the focus away from yourself and onto others. If you are a true narcissist however, this is easier said than done.


A great book to consider reading is, Why is it always about you? by Sandy Hotchkiss. Inside, you will learn the 7 deadly sins of narcissism and their origins.

While the material may be emotionally difficult to read because it strikes a chord of familiarity, it may help you to create greater awareness around your behaviors and hopefully, spark change. Talk-therapy can also help with shifting narcissistic behaviors over the long term.

Tip: Take time to study the lives of people who are truly liked. Notice their key personality traits; generosity, kindness, compassion and humility. Examples include people like Chris Evans and now deceased Paul Walker. Others include Amy Poehler and Jennifer Lawrence.

If you would like to add other behaviors to this post that may indicate narcissism, please feel free to share.

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5 Reasons People May Think You are a Narcissist

John D. Moore, PhD

Described as folksy and down to earth, Dr. John Moore infuses current events and pop culture into his posts as a way of communicating wider points on issues related to wellness and goal attainment. His work has been featured in nationally syndicated media, including Cosmo, Men's Fitness and CBS Market Watch. He is a consultant to a number of Fortune 500 companies and institutions of Higher Learning. Dr. Moore is author of Confusing Love with Obsessionand Editor in Chief at: Guy Counseling.

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APA Reference
Moore, J. (2015). 5 Reasons People May Think You are a Narcissist. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 24, 2020, from


Last updated: 13 Apr 2015
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