How to Spot a Narcissist

Posted by: Dr. Justin D'Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP

How to Spot a Narcissist!

How to spot a narcissist? Dr. D’Arienzo, Clinical Psychologist here. I am going to share five signs that indicate you might be dealing with a narcissist.

  1. Receiving criticism: Their fragile self-esteem can’t even handle constructive criticism. Feedback seems like a direct attack.
  2. Losing Control: When they lose control of situations and people around them, they feel powerless because it contradicts their grandiose image of themselves.
  3. Not being admired: They thrive on admiration and attention and when they are ignored and don’t get what they think they deserve they pout, and get frustrated and angry.
  4. Being exposed: They create a false persona to maintain their inflated self-image but when someone exposes their true self, vulnerabilities or manipulations, they go on the attack.
  5. Losing a competition: They think they are superior to others and when someone beats them, they feel inferior, so they react with rage, make excuses, and “file away” a serious resentment. Losing is personal to a narcissist.

Obviously, we all have some of these traits, but if you’re narcissist, you would have most of these and to the extreme. If that’s you or your in a relationship with one, get professional help.

According to the DSM-V-TR, the clinical symptoms of narcissism are as follows:

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (fantasy or behavior), a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy that begins by early adulthood, as indicated by at least five of the following:

  • A grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements, expects to be recognized as superior without actually completing the achievements)
  • Preoccupation with fantasies of success, power, brilliance, beauty, or perfect love.
  • A belief that they are “special” and can only be understood by or should only associate with other special people (or institutions).
  • Require excessive admiration.
  • Possess a sense of entitlement, such as an unreasonable expectation of favorable treatment or compliance with his or her expectations).
  • Is exploitative and takes advantage of others to achieve their own ends.
  • Lacks empathy and is unwilling to identify with the needs of others.
  • Often are envious of others or believes that others are envious of them.
  • Show arrogant, haughty behaviors and attitudes.

The diagnosis of NPD as other personality disorders requires evaluation of long-term patterns of functioning. Certainly, the diagnosis is overused and over spoken of today. It should only be diagnosed by a psychologist or psychiatrist.

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