Are you in love with a narcissist? Seven signs to watch out for

  • Sanya Panwar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 07, 2016 16:51 IST
If you’ve found yourself dealing with a difficult personality lately, and can’t quite put your finger on why the person is so hard to be around, here are seven subtle signs you may have a narcissist on your hands. (Shutterstock)

We all probably think we know a narcissist when we see one. They’re the people who seem totally in love with themselves. Right?


The reality is that there is a spectrum of narcissism and there are subtle signs, than the obvious show of self-admiration, that tell you if you are dealing with a narcissist and what sort.

We list out some of those signs. Mind you though, these characteristics are only indicative of narcissistic traits, but may not necessarily determine a narcissistic personality disorder.

1 They constantly interrupt

In a piece for Psychology Today, author and professor Preston Ni notes that a classic sign of the narcissist is that they interrupt conversations a lot. “The narcissist loves to talk about him or herself, and doesn’t give you a chance to take part in a two-way conversation,” Ni noted.

Read: Perfectionists tend to be narcissistic, anti-social

2 They’re bad at waiting

Psychologist and counselor Polly Sengupta notes that the narcissist is typically extremely bad at waiting in lines – and waiting in general. “Whatever a narcissist’s needs are, they need to be met now,” she says. “They want automatic compliance because they are that important.”

3 They lose interest when you get real

Sengupta says that the narcissist will typically lose interest the second you start opening up about yourself or begin talking about your problems. “Watch out if you spend hours listening to the other person talk about themselves, but then feel like their eyes are glazing over whenever you need a friend.”

Read: Beware of narcissists! They are more likely to commit sexual crimes

4 They’re charming

The narcissist can be extremely charming when they want to be, and in fact this very well could be why you were drawn to them in the first place. Sengupta warns that if you get the sense that a person turns their charm on and off depending on who they’re talking to (as opposed to consistently being gregarious or extroverted), that could be a big red flag.

5 They don’t have a single bad picture on Facebook

In a piece for The Huffington Post, W Keith Campbell, head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Georgia, notes that the narcissist is often the person with a ton of Facebook friends, but not a single bad Facebook photo. He notes this is because the narcissist is extremely image-conscious and strives to project an idealised image of their self to the world.

Read: Scientists say narcissists post more selfies on social media

6 It’s never their fault

The same HuffPost piece notes that when it comes to narcissistic people, you’ll often begin to notice that things are never their fault. Even when in a story where they got in trouble, or were reprimanded at work, it will come down to how they were not being valued, or how they feel emotionally victimised. You will likely never hear, “It was ultimately my fault and I’ve learned a valuable lesson from the experience.”

7 They can’t handle criticism

Sengupta stresses the fact that as confident as the narcissist may seem on the surface, they absolutely can’t handle even minor criticism and definitely can’t let it roll off their backs. If you’ve noticed this contradiction in a friend or colleague, they could have the makings of a narcissistic personality.

The author tweets as @SanyaHoon

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