If You Wonder Whether You Are a Narcissist...
If you're worried about this question, the answer is probably no.
Posted March 31, 2020 | Reviewed by Devon Frye
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.
- 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:
- I expect special treatment in life
- I become furious if I feel slighted or not respected
- I view most people as “losers”
- I don’t believe in apologizing or accepting blame
- I’ll do anything to avoid feeling flawed or illegitimate
- I lack empathy for others
- I must have attention and admiration
- I’m quick to replace partners when a relationship ends
- I view the world in right-or-wrong, black-and-white terms
- I find fault in almost everyone I know
- I’d rather talk than listen
- I see no problem with manipulating others if it gets me what I want
- I am quick to hold grudges and slow to forgive
- I look down on most people
- I am almost never wrong
- I am jealous of others’ good fortune
- I get enraged or withdraw when I don’t get what I want
- I seek to punish others who disappoint me
- I have few really close friends
- I take advantage of others to reach my goals
- I bully others to get what I want
- I demand absolute loyalty from those close to me
- Most rules don’t apply to me
- Most people would want to be like me
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 PsychCentral.com