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If You Wonder Whether You’re A Narcissist . . .

. . . you’re probably not.

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:

  1. Don’t know what narcissism is,
  2. Don’t care whether or not they are a narcissist,
  3. Avoid introspection for fear of what they’d discover, or
  4. 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


If You Wonder Whether You’re A Narcissist . . .

Dan Neuharth, Ph.D., MFT

Dan Neuharth, PhD, is a marriage and family therapist and best-selling author based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has more than 25 years’ experience providing individual, couples and family therapy. Dr. Neuharth is the author of If You Had Controlling Parents: How to Make Peace with Your Past and Take Your Place in the World. He writes two blogs for PsychCentral: Love Matters and Narcissism Decoded. He is licensed as a marriage and family therapist in California, Florida, Texas and Virginia. His website:

Please note: Dr. Neuharth's posts are for information and educational purposes only. These posts are not intended to be therapy or professional psychotherapeutic advice, and are not a replacement for psychotherapy. I cannot give psychotherapeutic advice about your individual situation outside of a therapist-client relationship. The posting of these blogs and the information therein does not constitute the formation of a therapist-client relationship. Please consult your physician or mental health provider for individual advice or support for your health and well-being. If you are in crisis, please call your local 24-hour crisis or mental health hotline or dial 911.

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APA Reference
Neuharth, D. (2019). If You Wonder Whether You’re A Narcissist . . .. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 24 Jul 2019
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