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Picture this: You’re at a party and boom, you’re cornered by Mr. Perfect who can’t stop talking about his greatness.

As you try to escape, you wonder, “Is he just confident or a full-blown narcissist?” Well, fret no more!

This article unveils the 16 most common traits of narcissists, so you can spot them before they devour your patience.

Short answer? They’re self-absorbed, lack empathy, and love admiration.

Keep reading for the nitty-gritty details and up your social survival skills.

Table of contents

Understanding Narcissism: An Overview

Oh, Narcissus. The Greek mythological figure who fell in love with his reflection – the poster boy for narcissism before it was cool (or rather, identified). Today, narcissism is more than a tragic Greek figure; it’s an actual personality disorder. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is like a cocktail mixed with self-absorption, entitlement, lack of empathy, and an insatiable thirst for admiration.

It’s like that person at the party who’s always talking about themselves, taking selfies, and mentioning how they only drink vintage wine. Charming at first, but soon the charm wears off, and you feel like pulling your hair out.

But wait, there’s more to it! Narcissism isn’t black and white. We’ve got the extroverted, larger-than-life overt narcissists, and then the sneaky, often victim-playing covert narcissists. It’s like having a choice between listening to nails on a chalkboard or a never-ending sad violin.

Here’s a tip: If someone builds themselves up as the human reincarnation of a Greek god or behaves like the universe owes them, the ‘N’ alarm should be blaring in your head!

Why is it Important to Identify Common Traits of Narcissists?

“Knowledge is power,” as they say, and identifying the common traits of narcissists is like having a secret weapon. If you can spot a narcissist from miles away, you’ve already won half the battle. It’s like having a Narcissist Radar, or should I say, NAR-dar! Here’s why:

  1. Mental Health Protection: Being entangled with narcissists can be as enjoyable as stepping on Lego barefoot. It can be detrimental to your mental health. Having your NAR-dar on point helps you maintain your sanity.
  2. Avoiding Manipulation: Narcissists are master puppeteers, especially in toxic relationships. They could give Pinocchio a run for his money. Being aware of their tricks saves you from their manipulation and gaslighting.
  3. Setting Boundaries: Knowing when you’re dealing with a narcissist helps you set those much-needed boundaries. It’s like building an emotional fortress, and trust me, you’re going to need a drawbridge.
  4. Empowerment in Relationships: Whether it’s family, friendships, or romance, knowing the common traits of narcissists empowers you to take control. You can decide whether to stay, leave, or simply engage on your own terms.

In conclusion, understanding narcissism and identifying the common traits of narcissists is not about judging or labeling people but about safeguarding your wellbeing. It’s about knowing what you’re dealing with, like a skilled captain sailing through stormy seas. Being forewarned is being forearmed.

Hold on to your NAR-dar, and let’s venture further into this intriguing world in our next sections. Ready? Set? Safari! 🦁

16 Most Common Traits of Narcissists Unveiled

Most Common Traits of Narcissists Unveiled

Here is a table of 16 Most Common Traits of Narcissists:

No.TraitBrief Description
1GrandiosityThey have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and often brag about achievements.
2EntitlementNarcissists believe they deserve special treatment and have unreasonable expectations.
3Attention-seekingThey constantly seek admiration and attention from others.
4Lack of EmpathyThey find it difficult to recognize and understand others’ feelings.
5Manipulative BehaviorNarcissists use manipulative tactics to gain control in relationships.
6Envy of OthersThey often feel envious and believe others are envious of them.
7ArroganceThey display a haughty attitude, acting superior to others.
8ExploitativeThey take advantage of others to achieve personal goals.
9Fantasies of SuccessThey are preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, or beauty.
10Need for ControlNarcissists have a strong need to control situations and people around them.
11ImpulsivenessThey often act on whims without considering consequences.
12Fragile Self-EsteemDespite the façade, their self-esteem can be very fragile.
13Difficulty in Forming RelationshipsThey have trouble forming deep, meaningful relationships due to their behavior.
14Sensitivity to CriticismThey can’t handle criticism and may become angry or defensive.
15Habitual LyingNarcissists often lie or exaggerate to enhance their image.
16Projecting InsecuritiesThey project their own insecurities onto others as a defense mechanism.
16 Most Common Traits of Narcissists

Physical Traits of Narcissists

Let’s get physical, but not in the Olivia Newton-John sense! We’re going to scrutinize the external common traits of narcissists. Imagine yourself as Sherlock Holmes, magnifying glass in hand, as we dissect the physical aspects that might give away our not-so-humble friends.

Attention to Appearance

First things first, narcissists often pay extra attention to their appearance. It’s like they have a personal red carpet rolled out wherever they go. Now, caring about how you look is not inherently bad. But with narcissists, it’s like they’re perpetually ready for a Vogue cover shoot. They often equate self-worth with appearance, so they’ll dress to impress.

And oh! The time they spend in front of the mirror. It’s like an eternal love affair between the mirror and them. Their motto? If looks could kill, I’m a weapon of mass destruction!

Dominating Body Language

Next on the list is their dominating body language. Narcissists tend to carry themselves as though they’re at the top of the social food chain. Picture a peacock with its feathers in full display. They may stand tall, use grand gestures, or invade personal space as if they own the air you breathe.

One study in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that narcissists are more likely to engage in “socially dominant” body language. This is the kind of body language that silently screams, “Bow down, peasants!”

Obsession with Status Symbols

The narc radar goes crazy with this one. Status symbols are like oxygen to narcissists. They often flaunt expensive gadgets, cars, or anything that screams “Look at me, I’m successful!” It’s not just about enjoying fine things; it’s about showing them off. If they could, they’d probably wear a neon sign that says “I’m better than you.”

But remember, dear reader, this isn’t Pokémon; you don’t have to catch ‘em all. Just being aware of these common traits of narcissists can make you more adept at navigating the complicated world of human behavior. So, equip yourself with this knowledge as you would wear a swanky suit of armor. Not only will you look dashing in your metaphorical armor, but you’ll also be protected from the sharp edges of narcissistic tendencies.

Next up, we’ll delve into the emotional traits, where things get even juicier. Grab your popcorn! 🍿

Emotional Traits of Narcissists

Ah, emotions, the spices of life. They can make a dish delightful or downright unpalatable. When it comes to narcissists, their emotional pantry can be…well, a bit past the expiration date. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get down to understanding the emotional common traits of narcissists, seasoned with a sprinkle of science.

Lack of Empathy

If empathy were money, narcissists would be broke. When you’re looking to identify narcissists, watch out for a severe drought of empathy. You’ll notice that they struggle to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, unless, of course, those shoes are designer-made. This emotional trait is as classic as Marilyn Monroe’s white dress.

Expert Says

Antoinette Bonafede, LMSW, DBT, REBT

Senior Associate Therapist, Gateway to Solutions


According to a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) often have difficulty recognizing and understanding the emotions of others. It’s like their emotional antennas are on a perpetual vacation.

Extreme Sensitivity to Criticism

Conversely, narcissists can be as sensitive as a soufflé when it comes to criticism. A tad bit of critique, and they deflate like a punctured balloon. This is because their grandiose self-image is as fragile as an antique vase. If you dare to criticize them, brace yourself for defensiveness or retaliation. They might even throw a tantrum that could win them an Oscar in the drama category.

Overwhelming Need for Admiration

Another characteristic of narcissists is their overwhelming need for admiration. They crave it like a cat craves catnip. If admiration were a cologne, they’d bathe in it. This can manifest as excessive bragging or fishing for compliments. For them, everything is a competition, and they’re the perpetual gold medalists. They’re not participating for participation’s sake, folks!

Disregard for Others’ Feelings

Lastly, narcissists often bulldoze through others’ feelings with the subtlety of a wrecking ball. Whether it’s interrupting, dismissing concerns, or monopolizing conversations, their disregard for others’ emotions is as evident as a peacock in a flock of pigeons.

This behavior can lead to emotional abuse and unhealthy relationships. Remember, it’s important to set boundaries and protect your mental health.

In summary, navigating the emotional labyrinth of narcissism requires awareness and tact. Don’t try to change a narcissist – that’s like teaching a cat to fetch. Instead, arm yourself with knowledge and understanding. That way, you can engage with them, or choose not to, in a way that preserves your emotional wellbeing.

In the next segment, we’ll talk about how narcissists affect relationships and what you can do about it. Stay tuned! 🍿

Behavioral Traits of Narcissists

Now that we’ve cracked open the emotional vault of narcissism, it’s time to tiptoe into the ballroom of behaviors. The behavioral common traits of narcissists can be as flamboyant as a Broadway musical. Here, we’ll explore their grandiosity, theatricality, and that je ne sais quoi that might make you want to facepalm every now and then.

Grandiose Sense of Self-Importance

Let’s begin with the pièce de résistance – grandiosity! Narcissists tend to view themselves as the prime rib in a sea of hot dogs. Their sense of self-importance is so inflated it could lift the Hindenburg. They often exaggerate their achievements and talents, and expect to be recognized as superior, even when the evidence is as scarce as a water fountain in the Sahara.

But wait, there’s more! A study published in Psychological Assessment indicated that grandiosity is a cornerstone in the narcissistic personality disorder. It’s like the parsley on top of the narcissism dish.

Habitual Lying

If Pinocchio had a spirit animal, it would be a narcissist. One of the common traits of narcissists is their proclivity for stretching the truth, sometimes until it snaps. Fabricating stories, embellishing facts, or downplaying their mistakes are all part of their repertoire. Their lies can be as colorful as a Jackson Pollock painting. It’s not that they’re allergic to the truth; it’s just that they’re creatively allergic.

Manipulative Behaviors

Next on the list is manipulative behaviors. If manipulation were an Olympic sport, narcissists would take home the gold. Whether it’s gaslighting, love bombing, or guilt-tripping, they are virtuosos in the art of psychological control.

Manipulation is their Shakespeare, and they are its actors. They don’t need a stage, though – your everyday life will suffice. According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, manipulation is one of the diagnostic criteria for NPD. It’s as much a part of them as sprinkles on a doughnut.

Entitlement and Expectation of Special Treatment

Lastly, let’s talk about their entitlement. Narcissists often believe they’re entitled to a life of luxury, adoration, and a fanfare everywhere they go. If they were a beverage, they’d be a high-maintenance, non-fat, no-foam, extra hot, triple-shot, caramel macchiato.

They expect special treatment and are easily affronted if they don’t receive it. “What? No red carpet for my arrival at the dentist’s office?” – said no one ever, except a narcissist.

So, my dear reader, you’ve just taken a whirlwind tour of the behavioral hallmarks of narcissism. The show is dazzling, but be warned – too much exposure without psychological sunscreen might just give you emotional sunburn.

Stay savvy, set boundaries, and keep an eye out for these theatrical performances. Your mental well-being deserves nothing less than front row seats to happiness.

Next, we’ll be diving into the realm of relationships with narcissists. Fasten your seat belts! 🎢

Cognitive Traits of Narcissists

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re about to embark on the final leg of our narcissistic journey – the hallowed halls of the narcissist’s mind. These cognitive common traits of narcissists are like riddles wrapped in mysteries inside enigmas. Hold on to your neurons, because this rollercoaster of self-absorption is about to take some loopty-loops.

Difficulty in Recognizing Others’ Perspectives

First up, a narcissist’s brain is often like a one-way street when it comes to perspective. “My way or the highway” isn’t just a saying for them; it’s their life mantra. Research in the Journal of Personality has shown that people with narcissistic tendencies have a real noggin-noodle of a time understanding that other people have thoughts, feelings, and perspectives that are just as valid as their own. It’s like trying to explain to a cat why it shouldn’t sit on your laptop; it simply doesn’t compute.

Tendency to Blame Others

Next, let’s take a gander at the blame game. If passing the buck were an art form, narcissists would be Picasso. They have a remarkable ability to treat blame like a hot potato. When anything goes south, they toss that potato at someone else faster than you can say “NPD.” They are never the ones at fault (according to them). There’s scientific backup for this, folks! Studies in Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment link narcissism to externalizing blame.

Expert Says

Laurie Hollman, PhD

Licensed Psychoanalyst, Choosing Therapy | Author, Are You Living with a Narcissist?.


Projecting Their Insecurities onto Others

Step right up and see the Amazing Projecting Narcissist! When they feel insecure, which happens more often than a hiccup, they perform an uncanny magic trick: they project these insecurities onto others. It’s like they’re using the Bat-Signal, but instead of calling Batman, they’re shining their own insecurities on innocent bystanders. This is a classic defense mechanism, as noted by the American Psychological Association. They may be feeling as insecure as a squirrel in a room full of rocking chairs, but they’ll make sure that you look like the nut.

Constant Need to be Right

Last but not least, for narcissists, being right isn’t just nice, it’s a need akin to breathing. They cling to their opinions with the tenacity of a barnacle on a whale. If they were in a ‘who’s right’ contest, they’d win, even if they were dead wrong. They’re like human versions of autocorrect – constantly “correcting” what you say, even when it’s not needed, or worse, when it’s blatantly incorrect.

In the mind of a narcissist, their cognitive traits are like a fortress, built to protect the fragile ego that lies within. Understanding these common traits of narcissists can be as valuable as a map to a treasure chest if you find yourself dealing with these swashbucklers of self-obsession. Use this knowledge wisely, and don’t be afraid to set sail for healthier relationships! 🏴‍☠️

Bon voyage, dear reader! May your journey through the seas of narcissism be enlightening, and may you always keep your compass set to self-improvement and emotional intelligence.

Social Traits of Narcissists

Ahoy, social sailors! Hold onto your life jackets as we dive into the choppy waters of the narcissist’s social escapades. These common traits of narcissists can turn a social gathering into a high-seas adventure of Pirates of the Caribbean proportions. Buckle up! 🌊

Frequent Arguments and Dramatic Relationships

Imagine you’re watching a telenovela. There’s drama, betrayal, and thunderous arguments at every corner. Now, imagine that’s not your TV, but your actual life with a narcissist. Yikes! It’s a well-documented fact that narcissists are often embroiled in tempestuous relationships. Their conversations are not unlike the Battle of Waterloo, with conflict as their trusty steed. A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology highlights how narcissists’ inherent grandiosity and entitlement lead to frequent arguments and dramatic relationships. They make storm-chasers look like amateurs.

Quick tip: When you’re caught in a whirlwind, don’t try to out-tornado a tornado. It’s best to keep a level head and navigate the waves with emotional intelligence.

Manipulation of Social Situations for Personal Gain

Now, let’s talk about the Puppet Masters. A narcissist can manipulate social situations with the dexterity of a world-class marionettist. They can have a room dancing on invisible strings, all for their personal gain. The underlying mechanics? Gaslighting, guilt-tripping, and playing the victim. It’s an elaborate magic show, with their audience often none the wiser. As documented in Psychological Science, they’re adept at using manipulation tactics to maintain their narcissistic supply – the attention and adoration they so desperately crave.

Insider advice: Look out for those red flags! If you spot a puppeteer pulling the strings, it’s time to snip those threads and make a swift exit.

A Pattern of High-Profile Relationships

Finally, let’s talk about name-dropping. For narcissists, relationships are often about status. A-list friends are their golden tickets to the social Oscars. They love high-profile relationships that can be paraded like trophies. It’s like they’re collecting Pokémon cards, but instead, they’re collecting influential people. According to research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, narcissists tend to form relationships that can elevate their social standing. They can be like social chameleons, changing colors to blend into high-profile landscapes.

Here’s a nugget of wisdom: Remember, a true friend is someone who values you for who you are, not what you can offer on the red carpet.

So, dear readers, as we dock back at the harbor, may you be wiser and more nimble in navigating the turbulent waters of the social traits of narcissists. When you encounter these swashbucklers of social manipulation, remember to use your compass of emotional intelligence and set sail towards healthier horizons. 🏝️

Until next time, keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on solid ground. Happy sailing! ⛵

🎬 Conclusion: The Final Act in the Narcissist’s Play

Bravo! You’ve made it to the end of the rollercoaster, understanding the common traits of narcissists. It’s been a journey, with loops and turns that would make any amusement park green with envy. Let’s take a quick recap and arm ourselves with some practical advice before the curtains close.

🔄 Recap: Recognizing the Common Traits of Narcissists

Let’s be honest: navigating the common traits of narcissists is like trying to decipher the plot of Inception on the first watch. We’ve ventured through their emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and social realms, learning that their lack of empathy could freeze the Sahara, and their grandiose sense of self-importance makes King Louis XIV look modest. The tendency to blame others? They’d probably blame the dinosaurs for their own extinction.

Here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

  • Emotional traits: More sensitivity than a toothache, lack of empathy, and an admiration-needy soul.
  • Behavioral traits: They’re the leading actor, and everyone else is just an extra.
  • Cognitive traits: It’s like they’re wearing blinders and earplugs when it comes to other people’s perspectives.
  • Social traits: They’re the captains of the Drama Club, with a ‘VIP-passes only’ social circle.

🛠 Practical Advice for Dealing with Narcissists

1. Knowledge is Power

Understanding what makes narcissists tick is your first line of defense. By recognizing the traits, you can predict their moves like a chess grandmaster.

2. Set Healthy Boundaries

Imagine your boundaries are like the walls of a castle. Keep the drawbridge up and don’t let them invade your emotional kingdom. Sometimes saying ‘no’ is the most powerful spell you can cast.

3. Don’t Take the Bait

When a narcissist throws out bait (like gaslighting or manipulation), don’t bite. Imagine you’re watching a movie and they are just an overzealous character. Munch popcorn, don’t engage.

4. Seek Support

If you’re in a toxic relationship, don’t go it alone. There are friends, family, and professionals willing to be your Samwise Gamgee on your Frodo-esque quest.

5. Self-Care

Dealing with narcissists can be emotionally draining. Look after yourself. Spa day, anyone? 🧖‍♀️

So, folks, it’s time to pack up your bags and take your newfound knowledge and tools into the real world. May your emotional intelligence be sharp, and your heart be light. Don’t forget – you’re the main character in your story, and nobody gets to steal your thunder.

Until next time, be bold, be kind, and keep rocking on! 🚀

📚 Further Resources: Your Treasure Trove to Outsmart the Narcissists!

“Knowledge is power”, said someone wise (probably a Hogwarts alumni). In your quest to understand and deal with the common traits of narcissists, let’s stock up your wizard’s satchel with spellbooks, scrolls, and a trusty owl – metaphorically, at least.

📖 Book Recommendations on Understanding and Navigating Narcissism

Not all heroes wear capes; some carry books. Here’s your arsenal:

  1. “Disarming the Narcissist” by Wendy T. Behary
    • Why it’s great: Unravels the intricacies of narcissism and teaches you how to empathetically disarm them without losing your cool. No wand required.
  2. “Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist” by Ramani Durvasula
    • Why it’s great: Relationship advice meets reality check. Like a navigation system in a maze, it helps you decide if staying is worth the emotional toll.
  3. “Rethinking Narcissism” by Dr. Craig Malkin
    • Why it’s great: Understand the spectrum of narcissism. It’s like your guide to the narcissistic galaxy, without leaving planet earth.

Dive into the ocean of knowledge with these enlightening scrolls:

  1. Narcissism: Behind the Mask
    • Why it’s great: The American Psychological Association breaks down the science behind narcissism and its many masks. It’s like Narcissism 101 with a Ph.D. flavor.
  2. The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement
    • Why it’s great: This research article delves into the surge of narcissistic traits in recent years. A must-read if you’re pondering whether society’s collective self-esteem went through a growth spurt.

☎️ Contact Information for Professional Help and Support

Need a Patronus charm against the Dementor-like energy of narcissists? Summon the professionals:

  1. Psychologist or Therapist
    • How to find one: Psychology Today has an extensive directory of professionals. Seek one with experience in personality disorders and mental health.
  2. Support Groups
    • How to find one: Meetup can be your ticket to connect with others who have experienced relationships with narcissists. It’s like Dumbledore’s Army, but for narcissism.
  3. National Domestic Violence Hotline
    • Why it’s great: If you’re in an abusive relationship, call 1-800-799-7233 or text “START” to 88788. There’s always a kind voice on the other end.

Alright, brave explorer! You’re now equipped with enough knowledge and resources to sail the stormy seas of narcissism. May the winds be in your favor! 🌊🚤


What is the difference between confidence and narcissism?

Confidence is a positive self-assurance in one’s abilities, while narcissism involves an inflated sense of self-importance, a deep need for excessive attention, and a lack of empathy for others. Confidence is healthy, narcissism is often detrimental.

Can a narcissist be cured or change their behavior?

Changing narcissistic behavior is challenging because narcissists often don’t see a problem with their actions. However, therapy can sometimes help, especially when the individual is motivated to change and willing to put in the work.

Is narcissism genetic or is it learned behavior?

Narcissism can be influenced by a combination of genetic factors and environmental influences, such as parenting styles. While genetics can play a role, learned behaviors and experiences can also contribute to the development of narcissistic traits.

How does one deal with a narcissist in a relationship?

Dealing with a narcissist in a relationship requires setting boundaries, maintaining one’s self-esteem, and avoiding getting drawn into their manipulative tactics. Sometimes, seeking counseling or considering ending the relationship may be the best course of action.

Are narcissists always easy to identify?

Not always. While some narcissists are overt and grandiose, others can be covert and may not immediately display the common traits of narcissism. It often takes time and observation to identify the more subtle signs of narcissistic behavior.

Most Common Traits of Narcissists Unveiled 2


This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for clinical care. Please consult a health care provider for guidance specific to your case.

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