example of narcissistic behavior

Example of Narcissistic Behavior and How to Spot These Traits

When you have a narcissist in your life, it’s like opening the door to constant drama where there’s only one star of the show — the narcissist. A narcissist is essentially someone who has an inflated ego. They’re very self-involved and lack empathy. Being around someone like this can do a number of our mental health because they’re also highly manipulative and love creating chaos.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at narcissism, along with an example of narcissistic behavior and other narcissistic traits you should look out for.

What Is a Narcissist?


A narcissist is a person who has a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). We all behave in narcissistic and self-involved ways sometimes, but it’s not the same as NPD. This personality disorder involved a pattern of selfish behavior, power play, and a lack of empathy toward anyone else.

The term “narcissism” comes from the Greek myth of Narcissus. Narcissus was the beautiful son of Cephissus, a river god, and Liriope, a nymph. Many fell in love with Narcissus, including a nymph named Echo whom Narcissus rejected cruelly. Humiliated, Echo wandered the woods and soon died.

When Nemesis, the god of revenge, heard about this, he punished Narcissus by bringing him to a clear water spring where Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection. Once he realized he could never have his object of desire, Narcissus killed himself.

This story has become the definition of narcissism, which is being too self-absorbed without logic or reason. Depending on the severity of a person’s narcissism, they will not only ignore or look down on others but also can also be highly manipulative without any regard for consequences.

10 Examples of Narcissistic Behavior


#1. Dominating Discussions

An obvious sign of narcissists is that they love to dominate and monopolize conversations. You’ll find them rudely interrupting and talking over others just to make their point.

This behavior is often bordered on compulsion, where the narcissist will bulldoze others into silence so they can talk however much they want to.

A narcissist will also steer the conversation back to them, repeatedly ignore other people’s responses, and express no empathy when needed — all so they can be the center of attention.

#2. Addicted to Appearance

Most people want to look good and love receiving compliments for it. For a narcissist, this is taken to another level of extreme vanity — much like Narcissus.

Narcissists place a lot of importance on appearance. They’ll often spend hours in front of the mirror, scrutinizing their reflection and fixing their clothes. They also love to compare themselves with others in terms of how they look.

This will often involve belittling others based on their body type, clothes, facial features, etc.

#3. Love Being Admired

Narcissists love being praised, complimented, and admired. They love being in the spotlight. These people demand constant praise, even if that compliment is unwarranted or insincere.

And if you don’t feed a narcissist’s bottomless pit for praise, they turn petty and angry. This is when they start saying bad things about people to elevate their sense of self-worth, cut ties with people who are better than them, and even directly make accusations, criticisms, and cruel jokes about others.

#4. Blame and Deflect

Nothing is ever a narcissist’s fault. When a narcissist is caught in a lie or called out on their behavior, they will always find ways to shift blame onto someone else. They deflect and manipulate the situation into a twisted mess just so they come out looking good.

You can’t expect narcissists to take accountability for their offending jokes, petty lies, or hurtful comments because “someone else” made them say or do it.

#5. Envy

Being envious of others is normal, but narcissists hate it if they’re not the best at something. If someone is better at them in any aspect, a narcissist would turn green with envy.

For narcissists, it becomes their life’s goal to be always at the top. They always view others’ success in a negative light. Narcissists also have an irrational belief that everyone is jealous of them.

So, in the workplace, for example, narcissists will downplay others’ achievements, try to take credit for others’ hard work, and try to direct the limelight back to themselves.

#6. No Empathy

Narcissists don’t care about others. They won’t care if they hurt someone, offend a friend, or lose a loved one as long as what matters to them, which is themselves, is continuously glorified and perceived positively.

A narcissist is unable to understand other people’s emotions. They also do not feel any guilt or remorse if someone ends up being hurt because of their words or actions. This is also part of their manipulation because narcissists will often be very calculated about their responses and behavior.

Because of this, it is almost impossible for them to have real, sincere friendships or relationships.

#7. Obsessed with Control

Another behavior typical of narcissists is their need for control. Everything in their lives should unfold how they want it to. A narcissist can’t handle it if they can’t control a person or a situation.

When things don’t unfold according to a narcissist’s plan, they may become irrationally angry and miserable and can’t be satisfied until they finally get their way.

#8. Manipulation

Trying to rationalize with a narcissist is useless. They don’t and won’t see the painful and negative consequences of their decisions, words, and actions. Instead, what they will do is manipulate every single situation to make others miserable.

For narcissists, your feelings don’t matter. They may understand, on some level, that their actions might have hurt you, but it’s the least of their concerns. They will gaslight their victims to make them weaker and more vulnerable and use other coercive tactics to get their way.

#9. Bottled-Up Embarrassment

Despite narcissists not having empathy or taking any accountability, they harbor plenty of shame deep down. In this shame lies all the insecurities and fears. These are the emotions that narcissists will deny even to themselves.

Instead of being more vulnerable, sincere, and opening up to someone, a narcissist uses this to fuel their false sense of self. Shame becomes their excuse and justification for their insensitivity and denial.

#10. No Boundaries

Many people cross boundaries, but it’s often done unknowingly. And once someone makes you aware of their boundaries, you stop and respect these boundaries. But for narcissists, boundaries do not exist.

Narcissists just can’t accept or refuse to understand why someone would draw the line for certain behaviors. They can’t understand being rejected or reprimanded.

For narcissists, everyone is there to serve their needs. They believe people should drop whatever they are doing to appease them. Saying “no” to narcissists can be more difficult than you’d think.

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