How To Spot A Narcissist

“Sharon Diaz, a psychotherapist and marriage and family therapist, tells SheKnows that people with NPD-Narcissistic Personality Disorder - are frequently charismatic — but pay attention, because "the conversation will always be more about them than you unless you can serve a purpose for them."

Diaz says other qualities exhibited by people with NPD include entitlement, lack of empathy, mental or emotional put-downs, refusal to take accountability for their actions and "a distorted sense of reality because they twist situations to suit them."

I'm thrilled to be part of this article written by Caitlin Flynn for SheKnows. Read the article at the below link. I've added more than what was in the article in the outline below...

  1.  May be charismatic, but the conversation will be more about them than you, unless you can serve a purpose for them. They will do whatever it takes to pull you in. Once you give them what they want, they will take advantage of you and your importance diminishes. You begin to see their charism as being more arrogance.
  2. Ask them what they think their worst faults are. If they have none, or if previous relationships didn't work because it was the other person's fault, then they are probably narcissistic.
  3. Charm revolves around all they do, all they have, how much money they have, their sense of power - which is more about entitlement, being admired and being controlling, rather than enhancing a relationship.
  4. They have little to no empathy. Everything that is important to them is what matters. What matters to you doesn't count.
  5. Mental or emotional put downs become more and more common. Name calling is their attempt at making you feel inferior.
  6. Rejection and blame are their coping skills. 
  7. They will never be accountable for their part in conflict, or disagreement or perpetration of hurt.
  8. Their actions will always be justifiable in their mind.
  9. Their thoughts show a distorted sense of reality because they twist situations to suit them. Chaos becomes rampant.
  10. They try their best to make you think you're the crazy one. If you find yourself questioning your sanity, it's time to get out of the relationship.

Narcissism never changes. It is not moderated with medication. It is a personality disorder, noted under Cluster C of the DSM-5 identified as Dramatic and Erratic. There is no inner desire for them to change, because they can't acknowledge any faults or improper behavior.

If you want a superficial relationship, that you will be subservient to and are okay with that, then the relationship can be maintained.

Some people get into a relationship with a narcissist for their own need, whether it is for money, fame, attention, a business deal. Be clear that the arrangement you think you have, will not be mutually satisfactory for long. 

Be prepared to be hurt or disappointed by them on a regular basis, but don't take it personally. If you can separate mentally/emotionally and not buy into the chaos, the control, the need to be superior to you, you will do okay.

If you choose to stay in relationship with a narcissist, agree with them all the time, do not point out their faults, and then do your own thing.


Sharon Diaz LPC, LADC is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist in Shelton CT. She is also the award-winning author of "Melodee Roo & The Wantoks Too! Letters For Grieving Children Like You".