In my experience, the vast majority of people who question whether they are narcissists have little to worry about.
That’s because true narcissists generally:
- Don’t know what narcissism is,
- Don’t care whether or not they are a narcissist,
- Avoid introspection for fear of what they’d discover, or
- Wouldn’t find anything wrong with being a narcissist
People who worry most about having narcissistic personality disorder often tend to know one or more narcissists and decidedly do not want to be narcissistic.
But decide for yourself. Ask yourself which of the following 20 statements are true for you most or all of the time:
- I have little empathy for others
- I become angry or depressed if I am not the center of attention
- I have to win and hate to lose
- I rarely apologize
- I am almost never wrong
- I am better than everybody else
- I seek to manipulate others for my own ends
- I have only superficial relationships
- I am obsessed with status, wealth, power, and appearance
- I find fault with nearly everyone around me
- I treat others in condescending ways
- I deserve special treatment
- I violate others’ rights and privacy whenever it suits me
- I delight in spoiling others’ good moods
- I hold grudges over even minor incidents
- I listen impatiently when others talk about themselves because I want the topic to be about me
- I bully others to get what I want
- I get away with things that others consider wrong because I am more clever than everyone else
- I am infuriated when I feel slighted or disrespected
- Other people envy me and want what I have
If you answered yes to six or fewer questions, you are unlikely to have strong narcissistic tendencies or narcissistic personality disorder.
On the other hand, if you answered yes to more than seven of these statements, you may have unhealthy narcissism. If so, and this concerns you, you may wish to seek a qualified therapist for consultation. You also can take an online test here or here to help determine if you may have unhealthy narcissism.
Of course, many of us have occasional self-centered tendencies or act narcissistically from time to time. Many of us sometimes like attention and approval, dislike losing, or treat another person poorly on occasion. But it’s a matter of degree. Unhealthy narcissism is a pervasive, enduring pattern of doing many or most of the above behaviors across a wide range of situations.
If you know someone who you suspect may be narcissistic, simply answer these questions for them based on what you have observed, and draw conclusions accordingly.
Man and mirror photo by DreamBig
My Way Sign by Sam72