Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today


If You Wonder Whether You Are a Narcissist...

If you're worried about this question, the answer is probably no.

Source: Shutterstock

If you worry that you are a narcissist... you’re probably not.

That’s because, in my experience, people who actually have Narcissistic Personality Disorder or a narcissistic style rarely wonder or worry about their narcissism.

Narcissists generally:

  • Have little interest in introspection
  • Wouldn’t want to know, or even care, that they might be narcissistic
  • Would justify any narcissistic behavior they exhibit

If you are concerned, read the following 24 statements derived from my clinical and research experience to be characteristics of people with narcissism. Identify any statements that would describe you most or all of the time:

  1. I expect special treatment in life
  2. I become furious if I feel slighted or not respected
  3. I view most people as “losers”
  4. I don’t believe in apologizing or accepting blame
  5. I’ll do anything to avoid feeling flawed or illegitimate
  6. I lack empathy for others
  7. I must have attention and admiration
  8. I’m quick to replace partners when a relationship ends
  9. I view the world in right-or-wrong, black-and-white terms
  10. I find fault in almost everyone I know
  11. I’d rather talk than listen
  12. I see no problem with manipulating others if it gets me what I want
  13. I am quick to hold grudges and slow to forgive
  14. I look down on most people
  15. I am almost never wrong
  16. I am jealous of others’ good fortune
  17. I get enraged or withdraw when I don’t get what I want
  18. I seek to punish others who disappoint me
  19. I have few really close friends
  20. I take advantage of others to reach my goals
  21. I bully others to get what I want
  22. I demand absolute loyalty from those close to me
  23. Most rules don’t apply to me
  24. Most people would want to be like me
Shutterstock/Prazis Images
Source: Shutterstock/Prazis Images

While many people might say that a handful of these statements could describe their thoughts or behaviors from time to time, unless you answered yes to at least a third of these questions (eight out of 24), you are unlikely to have strong narcissistic tendencies or narcissistic personality disorder.

On the other hand, if you answered yes to eight or more of these questions, you may well have unhealthy narcissistic tendencies. The more you answered affirmatively, the more pronounced that narcissism may be. If this concerns you, you may wish to seek a qualified therapist for a consultation.

You also can take a much-used and well-researched test, the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, to measure if you have unhealthy narcissism.

But unhealthy narcissism is a pervasive, enduring pattern of doing many or most of the above behaviors in a variety of settings.

Just as you can use this checklist to identify if you are narcissistic, you can use these questions to discern if someone in your life may be a narcissist.

Copyright © 2020 Dan Neuharth Ph.D. MFT

Note: An earlier version of this blog appeared on

More from Dan Neuharth Ph.D., MFT
More from Psychology Today
More from Dan Neuharth Ph.D., MFT
More from Psychology Today