With shows like The Pickup Artist remaining perennially popular, it seems that male narcissism is flourishing if not becoming epidemic while being fueled by our culture and the media. While egomaniacs may make for irritating but good TV, they can have a truly destructive impact on the lives of their loved ones.
While considering the narcissistic levels of ourselves or loved ones is not new, dating narcissists can offer some handy tips on how to spot a narcissist and, more importantly, decide to live with (or leave) a narcissist. The American Psychological Association lists nine core traits of narcissism, but someone only needs five of these to qualify for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
Here’s how to spot a narcissist with 9 behaviors:
1. He feels grandiose and self-important for reasons not supported by reality.
Do unattractive guys with insufficient employment and horrible personalities who think they deserve to date supermodels sound familiar to you? You may have encountered a walking NPD.
2. He’s obsessed with fantasies about unlimited success, fame, power, or omnipotence.
“After I travel the world and write my book I’ll sell it to Hollywood, Johnny Depp will play me, then I’ll start my business and consult, giving speeches around the world for six figures…” Yawn.
3. He believes he’s unique and special and can be understood by and associate with only other unique or high-status people.
The No-One-Gets-Me-Guy. He is so unique and rare that no one can compete with him and you probably can’t even comprehend half of the amazing thoughts he has in his head. Right.
4. He requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention, and affirmation.
You: “Oh yes, you sounded perfect on the phone with your boss! You were firm but not overbearing, you flattered him but got in some good points about yourself, I can’t believe how well you handled that.” Repeat x’s 100 or however long it takes for him to stop fishing for compliments and positive analysis.
5. He feels a sense of entitlement.
This extends to everything from your time, your body, to possessions and service. Expecting you to have sex when he wants it, even when you’ve had a terrible day and are not in the mood, would be one example.
6. He exploits others without guilt or remorse.
“Of course my sister is going to drop everything and find a babysitter for the kids and rush over here to help me paint my bathroom!”
7. He’s devoid of empathy.
He can complain and whine for hours about all of his problems, real and imagined but when you need to talk about your constantly undermining coworker or sick relative, suddenly he is busy or maybe just returns a blank stare and an, “Oh I’m sure it will be fine” kind of remark.
8. He tends to be envious of others or believes others are envious of him.
He may think no one else deserves a high-paying job, flashy material possessions or hot wife and will not hesitate to announce this and compare others unfavorably against himself, as he is clearly is more deserving of these “rewards.”
9. He displays arrogant and haughty behavior.
He thinks he’s better than everyone, displays a marked disinterest in anything not directly related to or helpful to him, including your friends and family and interests. Struts around like he’s the cock of the walk, speaks in a loud, broadcasting voice so everyone hears everything he says, obsesses over appearance, you get the idea.
Not too appealing, right? The professional psychology community is mostly in agreement that a narcissist can’t be changed much, so either you can live with it or you leave him.
Gwendolyn Bond-Upson is a freelance writer and Communications Manager at Awesome Stories who frequently contributes to YourTango. Follow her on Twitter.