Modern society has become incredibly self-centered and competitive. Mild forms of narcissism are encouraged, and there’s never been a better day to be narcissistic than in this day and age.
W. Keith Campbell, author of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, says that there’s a range of narcissism and that most of us are on a continuum on it. Every person has some nuances of it, with some in the middle, while others have clinically diagnosed narcissistic personality disorder.
Extreme narcissism can have severe and negative repercussions on relationships as well your daily life, so it should help spotting a narcissist while they’re a mile away. Here are five traits that give narcissists away.
Feels unique or different from others
Craig Malkin, the author of “Rethinking Narcissism,” says that all narcissists are very focused on self-enhancement. They want to and do stand out from the pack. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) lists this as a “belief that he or she is special and can only be understood by other special people.”
Karyl McBride, Ph.D., author of The Legacy of Distorted Love , says that this thinking drives the mantra of the narcissist. They value you for what you do, not for what you are. Narcissists choose friends by their achievements, neglecting any genuinely intimate connections. In a healthy relationship, friends are valued for their personality as well as their character traits, which is what makes connections feel meaningful amongst people.
They have a ‘trophy’ complex
It’s been said that one of the most common markers of a narcissist is the expectation of unconditional praise. Katherine Schafler, a psychotherapist, on her article on the Business Insider writes “They expect people to lose their cookies when they show up to an event or a party and are often surprised or perplexed if people don’t.”The narcissist will use objects, status, people or accomplishments to represent themselves.
Psychologists think that this is a substitution for their perceived, inadequate ‘real’ self. Overstating one’s achievements, especially if not entirely true, points to significant levels of internal turmoil and fragility. Genuinely confident people do not usually have a pervasive need to brag.
Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. Author of Evolution of the Self, says that childhood trauma is always at the heart of the trophy complex that narcissists have. Many narcissists weren’t acknowledged satisfactorily in their childhood. This is why they try to rectify their insecurities by getting the world to recognize them instead.
They leave a trail of wrecked relationships behind them
Narcissists are interpersonally exploitative, and other peoples’ needs rarely matter to them. They will take advantage of others to have their own needs and goals met. A narcissist doesn’t necessarily take advantage of solely their partners. This
They lack empathy
A narcissist cannot love, because they’re unable to identify with the feelings of other people. At most times, they will utter devastating words or behave cruelly. Other times, they might criticize and destroy their relationships. While some do try to act loving, this charade always gives way in time because it’s unsustainable.
Hypersensitive to criticism
Being under a spotlight of criticism is rarely fun, but a narcissist is exceptionally thin-skinned. They will fight, deny, throw tantrums, and make excuses to avoid criticism. When said behavior doesn’t prevent the narcisisst from receiving criticism, they’ll use other tactics or nefarious forms of passive aggression to shut you up.