707 Comments to
How to Spot a Narcissist

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  1. Dr. Sam…. tsk, tsk, tsk!! These poor ‘simpletons’- they know not what they do… Please be patient and forgive them- they just don’t ‘understand’, but I DO!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!


  2. Your article made me want to re-examine my own self.With the manifestations that you mentioned, I maybe an extreme narcissist.That won’t alarm me though because I’m pretty sure that this may happen to each and everyone of us,among each of us.

  3. Hi i am a 21 year old mother of two, I have a mother in law who is always trying to controll our lives from the way we raise our kids to the way we use our electricity and the food we eat… I know that most of what she says is hypocritical and she keeps on going on. For the most part i just listen and dont have much to say as i know her response from past events, but at times she pushes me so much and is very unethical and senseless that sometimes i cant hold my tongue… although when i do speak its still respectful but she always takes attitude when i speak up and starts an argument with me and finally ends up cutting me off (not her son)from her life such as in your article. Also shes always looking for opportunity to help us with things (unneeded) just so that she could bring it up in our faces later when we dont do as she says or so she says we dont “listen” Now i have allot of patients and never have problems such as these with any other people but at times i see the same behaviour in my husband (her son) Please tell me am i dealing with narcisist?

  4. Sometimes I think I’m kind of a closet narcissist. I pretend that I’m humble and don’t like to talk about myself, but that is a complete lie. I actually love it when people ask me questions about myself, or tell me things they’ve observed about me — good or bad.

    I try not to indulge myself with this TOO much… but sometimes it’s hard not to.

  5. I totally agree with Sue. It is completely irrational how the author has labeled all of these different people he has encountered in his life as narcissist. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is actually pretty rare and it is highly unlikely that he just runs into one at every turn. It’s like a hypochondriac believing every little thing is a symptom to a deadly disease. He finds reason behind an action that correlates to the disorder to place them under that same category.

    • Betty Sue,

      Perhaps you are right. I appreciate your input.

      Perhaps I attracted more narcissists to me because I have been a “narcissist magnet” by having unhealed issues and needs making me a co-dependent. It is interesting that at one time in my life I was surrounded by these types. As I grew healthier, in terms of what good boundaries are, I got reactions from these individuals, and they started to “peel off” but with pain. These days, I hardly know any narcissists that are close to me any longer. That is a good thing. :)

      Thanks again! :)

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.

  6. Dr. Sam,

    I am so tired, I don’t feel anything anymore, my walls are up. I am too tired to fight, disagree, or even respond. I don’t win, he will always have one up on me. He is so confident in what he says, I always will back down after a while because it becomes a giant circle with the end result of me realizing it’s not foxing my way, and he will win. I have been reading about npd, have written to you before and you said he was an extreme n by what I wrote about a year ago. I know I am an enabler, I try talking but it’s a waste. Our house finally sold, I gave in to where we will move with an understanding to rent in case I won’t like it. He has been wanting to go there for years, it’s all you heard about. I was told years ago if I don’t want to go, get a lawyer he’s going. So I agree to try it, then he says he wants to stay in town where we are, then it changes back, and back and forth and back and forth. I am foxing crazy. I am numb. I see what is going on, I know my opinion doesn’t count. He said he is doing this for me. What a laugh. I never wanted to move where he first said to begin with. Do they really believe this crap. I told him he is nuts. I know about projecting. It seems I know all of this, but after 30 years, where am I, still here. What is my problem? I am exhausted, I am too tired to fight, I have been controlling my panic attacks and taking. No meds. One day he said I should take my little pill if I have to because I didn’t like what he wanted to do if we bought this one home. I don’t know any more, I really don’t. He still hears nothing, nothing that is if he is not interested. How do you know if it’s not early altzheimers, my opinion if he hears you talk about a subject interesting to him, he hears you, otherwise good luck, but just don’t do it to him. I am very spiritual and pray everyday for strength, to do what it is I am suppose to do, to have the strength, to see what I cannot see, to hear what I cannot hear and to know what it is I need to know. I live day to day. I don’t look back I don’t look forward, I live for the day.
    Any advice…..thank you

    • So Tired,

      You may want to join a CoDa group (Codependents Anonymous). There are groups all throughout the USA/world. Go to their website and check to find a good group. http://coda.org/

      You could also pick up a good book on what healthy people look like or healthy boundaries. The books by Townsend and Cloud can be helpful.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.

      Dr. Sam

  7. I just came off a week end from hell….over e mail and phone with my 91 year old mother. when i found this, it must have been written about her 1 omg…i have been th theraphy for 61 years deaing with this person…PERSON…her mother was worse and abused me….thank you…this sealed the deal. my shrink says do not go out in public..NEVER drink with them..be somewhere you can leave from when the abuse begins..i am an only child…i am stuck.

  8. From a reading of your blog I believe you are a narcissist yourself. This may have subconciously piqued your interest in the subject perhaps?

    • Hollygolightly,

      I think we are all narcissists (as I said in the article) to varying degrees. The question is whether we have too much narcissism. Too little = low self-esteem. Some = healthy self-care, and too much = very unhealthy.

      The article is written in anecdotal style, hence it is about personal experiences and perspectives.

      Thanks for your input! :)

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.

  9. Hello!
    I’m very certain I married one. Our first 4 years of marriage were like a dream only to awaken to a 100 o/o different individual- self centered cold only self orientated no empathy no concern . Everything he had said he was or believed was a lie. I believe there’s a sweet child inside but even when I reach him he runs and hides behind the cold callous individual who protects him. His father was also.Such a waste of his life and seven years of mine. Even when he agrees about it it’s just a lie. He won’t truly allow my input because it’s not about HIS NEEDS.

  10. Very informative Article. Inlightened my way of thinking for work and personal life. I am glad I googled the word!!!!

  11. Based on this article, am I to assume that all narcissists are men? Perhaps you might consider working on your gender neutral writing skills?

    Other than that, I find it interesting that you seem to have received your degree(s) from two online universities. Which might explain the fact that your writing is not that of someone who attended a proper university, as any first year doctoral candidate would have certainly been stripped of their tendency to write in terms of He/She.

    I doubt the moderators will allow this comment to be published, however, I think your presence on this website, says a lot about psychcentral.com’s selectivity and calls us to question your academic credentials.


    • Just Jones,

      I have read plenty of Doctoral Dissertations from top tier universities with typos in them. I personally know some doctoral students at very good universities and they employ English majors who edit their work. It is permissible and acceptable. It is standard practice to employ a statistics expert with quantitative dissertations. I have have seen Ph.D.’s from different “brick and mortar” schools write horribly edited emails. I am the first to admit that I am not Shakespeare. Also, I only attended one online school. The rest are “brick and mortar” schools. Keep in mind that there are very good traditional institutions who offer, more and more, online degrees. For example, Columbia University offers around 13 Masters online degrees in Engineering, and around 300 online courses in the Teaching College. Another very good school offering online degrees at every level is the University of Florida: http://www.distance.ufl.edu/online-degree-programs

      When I wrote the article, I wrote it to reach the common person. I did not attempt to write a research paper. You, as well as I know that both require different types of writing (pseudo-scientific Vs. for mass appeal). In this article I was mostly anecdotal. I hope you can understand where I am coming from.

      Best regards.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.

  12. Wow, I think I can republish this article as my autobiography. I am definitely a narcissist. At age 14 I fell madly in love with a cute girl in my area. We made out at a party and that traumatized my “best friend” who then started studying the occult to attain special powers to attain mastery over life. He then used those tools to separate me from my girlfriend and that felt like a “psychic disturbance” at my solar plexus. I was unable to perform socially for a long time because what I was experiencing was beyond my intelligence and will power. I became hypersensitive to people and introverted. I began reading heavyweight technical and philosophical books in order to become someone important. Etc, etc. I am bookmarking this website and will be returning frequently.

  13. I was looking for answers on how to ‘spot a narcissist’ and found myself instead! I recognize certain narcissists quite easily, because I am one, unfortunately.

  14. Having been in serial relationships with narcissists and after a lot of soul searching here are some things you need to be aware of:

    First of all, if you are in a place of emotional vulnerability and stress in your life, and are usually a high achiever, intelligent and attractive you will likely attract a narcisst like a magnet.
    Be careful and extremely self aware of your emotional state — are you looking for a distraction/ a hero to solve your problems or are you looking for a life long partner. If what your thinking/ feeling/ doing and saying is not the same message to the person you are dating — BEWARE!
    How do you feel after going out on dates with this guy: You might be on a “high” but do you feel at some level your energy becomes “haywire” or you feel like you need to “re-energize” or sleep to regain energy — beware!
    If the guy calls/texts/ and part of you loves the attention (in this case your the narcissist) but part of you feels in the slightest bit that this is a little odd, or different — be extremely wary and ask direct questions about when his last breakup/ relationship was? He is not into you, he is merely trying to distract himself from residual feelings from a past relationship.
    Ask him what went wrong in his last relationship and what was his contribution to its demise, if he blames everything on the other woman and doesnt own up to his own bad behaviour – beware!!! he will end up blaming you for the demise of the relationship as well — if you get the feeling that well she lost a great man! what was she thinking well obviously he’s not as great as he makes himself out to be.
    Does he feel envious of other people – for example if you talk about someone you know that recently got a promotion or created an amazing piece of art or is talented in a certain way — do you get the feeling that he feels threatened by that — or does he celebrate the joy of the person — if he feels threatened by it — be extremely cautious your dealing with a grade A narcissist. you can contact me for more tips!

  15. Hello Dr Sam, I am Robert M.
    I Myself am a Paranoid Narcissist 20 Year old man, I Dropped out of school @ age 15, Live with my Parents, Never had a Job, havent spoken to my Friends since i was 15 except once or twice very briefly, but what i want to say is, I am not Jelous of other People, I am honestly Very Humble, I Listen to my iPod in my room, Play my xbox, workout in my Parents Garage(1000 calories a day, My Physic is SEXY!!!) then take a sneaky wank b4 having a shower, i think about God, i think about the AfterLife, I Think My Neighbours hate my Soul but i stay Positive & dont hate people, i just dont talk to them, Am i Evil because i choose to be Reclusive, Will i be Shamed when i Die for keeping myself to myself?? I am getting by the way i live, it gets boring sometimes but i percevear and i honestly think if i live to be an old man i wont be bitter because lord knows my Appearance is already that of a Weirdo, You might regard me to be weird but Am I Wrong For Living How I Feel Comfortable??

    • You’re honest and humble yet you’re a narcissist who is proud of masturbating and dropping out of school?! Do you have any idea how idiotic you sound? It’s blindingly obvious that you have little education as you are technically illiterate and don’t give a damn! I’m afraid your problems go far beyond NPD. Seek immediate mental health assistance! EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! You should probably wear a sign so that people know not to feed you and to keep a safe distance from you. You’re asking all the wrong questions and I honestly don’t think you care for any true answers. Keep bragging about living with your parents and being ignorant! See how that works out for you 10 years from now when you’re wondering why you have absolutely NO (0) meaningful and healthy relationships and why you’re struggling so hard just to get by. You’ll find yourself so confused as to why life is so hard and why you’re so miserable and the answers are already right there in front of you. Good luck in figuring that out before it’s too late and you find yourself wondering why you’re on your deathbed and no one even cares…

  16. I personally think that the term or description can be used for a She as well as a He…. This is not generalizing in any sense other than stating it must be a He…although true in its description the term He I can reject easily….just saying

  17. depending on the degree the Narcissist has the more or less dangerous he/she can be. It is best to avoid the narcissist at all cost, they are advanced master manipulators. they usually never admit their own fault in a situation and are quick to point blame to someone else,like it has been said the Nst wants to be center of attention and boast their superiority especially in a group gathering ,party,event etc.. theyare all about appearances and must be seen and wooed, they commonly gather a group of people called fawners or yesmen to be their to kiss ass and agree with their every comment, they can never be a equal among many. and if they befriend you then you must have something they want,either you offer a social boost or you are targeted as a recruit for a asswhispering position, i don’t buy into the child trauma too much but rather i see the narcissist developed from the parenting where the mother and father spoil the kid rotten and never enforce discipline when needed, the child grows up with the entitlement mentality and whines and complains when things don’t go their way all the while blaming others for it being so.they enjoy watching video of themselves or looking at pictures of themselves and you may notice on their facebook that all they post about is themselves,and if they do make reference to anyone else they are really underhandedly boosting how great they look ,look at me , me ,me ,me and more me.BEWARE cross a narcissist and you will become a target for slander in public articles and if any shared mutual friends will be informed how much of a a**hole Bas*ard you are. take this advise ,AVOID the narcissist at ALL cost.

  18. Well, it turns out I married an extreme narcissist. The last straw was two weeks ago when I hurt my back and was basically unable to move for an entire day. At the end of the day (after crawling on the floor for 15 minutes just to get to the bathroom), I was in bed and he came in with his usual “I’m not getting sex. I deserve it. I demand it.” I was like, you’ve got to be kidding. I cannot move an inch without the worst pain in my life. (including birth of our two children) I was scared and hurting all day. His reply? “Don’t worry, I’m not going to move you. I’m just going to climb on top.”

    Yep, that was the low point of this 8 year marriage. (and NO, he didn’t rape me because there was no way I was going to let that happen!) It was the wake up call I needed to see, despite the signs being there for at least two years now. The verbal abuse, the name calling (but that’s just a joke, but of course you don’t get it because you have no sense of humor!), and so on. Everything is due to MY “mental problems” and he is “perfect”. He starts each day by measuring his chest and bicepts, then weighing himself, then staring at his face close in the mirror and picking at any little flaw he sees. He has zero friends and says “friends are for losers.” He makes fun of other people (for example, pointing out a woman on the side of the road and saying “Look, , a fat chick!”

    He hates all women and blames his mother for ruining his life by divorcing his father. He went to live with his father and received basically zero care or nurturing. His father was abused as a child and is very dysfunctional. His father was not awake in the mornings when my husband went to school, and he didn’t come home until after 7PM. There was little food in the house. Christmas tree remained up until April.

    I actually feel sorry for my husband now that I know WHY he is acting like this. I also feel that his mother (now deceased) was a narcisst herself based on what I know. She also spent $30,000 on cosmetic surgery at age 60. She was always trying to look young, and she was also very demeaning to my husband and his sisters. Her brother was killed in an accident when she was in high school and her father was supposedly very controlling.

    My husband’s two sisters also have serious “issues”, including repression of any “feelings” (they see them as stupid), and one had a major eating disorder and almost died from it.

    It has taken me two years to finally see what is going on in my marriage. Then I thought I could help him to overcome these issues (because I am a healing type person who wants to do good things), but instead, all I got was full on rage, insults from A to Z, and now the silent treatment, combined with the “woe is me” act. He is always the victim somehow.

    I’m working on a plan to leave him. I don’t take this decision lightly and we have tried counseling but of course he thinks the counselor and I are ganging up on him. We have two young children and I am scared to death that they will end up like him. I would sacrifice myself and stay in this marriage if I knew that my kids would grow up to be messed up if we divorce.

  19. Its funny, when I hear people “describe” narcissist….they sound like narcissist. If you go off definition, my wife is the biggest narcissist in the world, yet ever since she learned that word…she walks around calling everyone from her boss to her all of her friends, depending on the day or the “time of the month” it is.

  20. “capable”

  21. I’m amazed as to how ironic it is for a person to be able to label others as narcissists but can’t see one’s self as being as one.

    I could’ve liked the article but I find it somewhat subjective at the later part as the author was speaking about his personal experience with his so-called narcissistic people.
    We should remember that personal experiences are prone to biases; they’re intimate and far different from clinical studies.

    • Mirror,

      Thank you for your input. I was simply trying to put anecdotal stories concerning narcissism. Judge me however you would like. I never have claimed to know it all or have the final word. I’m sorry you feel that way. My wife and my Creator know me well and I hope that I can always treat my fellow man with kindness, respect, and humility.

      Best regards.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.

  22. OH MY GOSH…my life was amazing, perfect credit, record, 2 amazing kids..on fire for the LORD. SOBER 22 yrs…then “in the Name of JESUS”..I met, married a guy (gorgeous, CHARMING and “christian???” wow). I was in ministry, talk show, kids, myself..10 yrs. single Mom..were so doing WELL. I married this guy..at a church I’d been at for 10 yrs. at the time. we married..my honeymoon was so sad/horrible. I thought” he is just nervous”. OH MY GOD. subtle.so subtle. I had an amazing Job. Trade Broker (lost that job..long story, indirectly him)..then had a Tanning salon, he spent $$ ran that to the ground, had to SELL..UGH..and then.went back in the airlines…abuse was subtle..sad/horrible…I began to drink..he encouraged. I fell apart. HE was a trip. I was in love w/ him..for a few years..before I saw it…oh God.
    well, I then build a Manufacturing Company…and the abuse grew…horrible. we travelled a lot w/ business.
    my life fell apart. 3DUI’s…(not his fault..but I was like going CRAZY..it became a “pain killer”)
    I finally got “OUT”..my life is downhill…but NOW? after he LEFT w/ girlfriend when I divorced..he got the company..he hid HUGE amounts of money..
    I have MY FREEEDOM…and even though I’m 60..hard to find a job…w/ the felony DUI…I have never felt this good in my ENTIRE life.
    A year has gone by..and I am seeing this guy..is TOTALLY a Narcissist..AND…for real…Bi Polar…OH MY GOD
    Believing God…that ONE day…I can meet a wonderful man
    my kids were amazing through it all. My son wanted to knock him from here to next year…(that’s mild)..and through it all…I am getting my stregth and tenacity BACK….I’m “BACK”
    what the “HECK”(that’s mild too..ha) WAS THAT?
    I never met anyone like that in my life..makes my other two look like AMAZING angels..
    I’m friends/friendly w/ my other 2 ex’s (they had their own issues..first one we were WAY young…living in Cal. fun/but off the wall)..
    but this guy? OH MY GOSH….it was really
    beyond me…a person like me..to STAY that long
    I was so in love w/ him..so in love 12 yrs.
    it was hard to leave…but I would had died…
    totally WOW

    Thanks Dr. for all of this. He has Mild..but…mild is still CAOS, confusion and borderline sending me/ off to insanity..for real
    my poor kids..but..they are “GOOD”
    I’m FREE…and have grand angels..and amazing kids..amen?

    Thanks again Dr. for this pose…WOW

  23. i recognised myself instantly..i think i recently became one too when i realised my so called friends don’t have the same friendship ethos as me…it was a painful separation and i’ve morphed in to someone else..deliberately push ppl away…i do think the author of this article also sounds like a narcissist though

  24. I married a narcissistic woman with a borderline personality. Here’s the twist: She became a counsellor!She could see everybody’s faults but her own. She would always look for reassurance which I gave. She used to embroider stories to make them sound more interesting and always wanted to be the centre of attention and *hated* it if anybody else was. she insisted she undergo further education so her qualifications would be higher than mine. (She failed).She would admonish me for making embarrasing noises – burping inadvertently for example – but it was always ‘a laugh’ when she did it – basic hypocricy. When she was ill she needed extreme attention, but when I was ill, I had to ‘pull myself together’.I was beginning to think it was me. She would re-write the past in arguments so it was always me in the wrong. It was only talking to others to corroborate how it ‘really’ was that kept my sanity.Things came to a head when she started to get violent. After water was thrown over me in bed several times, on one occasion I put my arm up to defend myself and she framed that as ‘You hit ME!’Then she spent a day considering whether she should continue living with me!As you can imagine, the fall out during the divorce was horrendous and I walked away with nothing but my basic possessions, books and music. I finally did something in revenge to hurt her emotionally and it’s something of which I was not proud.I am a survivor. I am alive and flourishing, but I carry the scars.PS Many women’s reactions can be summed up as ‘You must have “done” something to upset her’ when they don’t realise that’s not the point. Violence is violence whether it is towards a woman or a man. There have been several cases where the woman has played foul and called the police and arrested the man! I wasn’t going to fall into that trap. There is only one thing you can do and that is to leave the aggressor.Regrettably I know she has married another poor sap like me. Sad. For him.

  25. You have judge me harshly; you don’t know anything from my childhood, my family life, my internal struggle as a person. You have cross that line when you decided to insults my parents. They are great people who loves me without asking for anything in return. I want you to leave me alone. Just because you have higher degree, it does not makes you expert on things. My family would never even call me names like that and yet you who only interacts with me on the internet knows me to say the things that you said. I hate you and I don’t care about you. So stop caring about me, I have my family to do that for me. I do not need any fixings. For my own sanity, Id rather not listen to your bogus claims. I don’t need your respect and I don’t respect you, I used to, I don’t anymore. I might be stupid but I know what love is. My 7 year old nephew is smarter than you. So shove your intelligence up your ass, You might think you must be the smartest person(your opinion). I still think you are stupid(my opinion).You are the BIGGEST BULLY that I have encountered in my life.

    • Your response is similar to someone who trolls. You are entitled to your opinion. I simply am trying to pass the meager crumbs of my limited learning on to others who might be able to benefit. Sorry that you feel so strongly about my article and me. I hope you can bless others in your journey since you are knowledgeable on these matters.

      Best regards.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.

  26. Please help. We are a team of about 20 staff members living daily with a narcisstic boss and it has been a road to hell, how do we get her to see what she is, do we tell her or do we post an article anonymously to her about “narcissism” do you even think it will help? WE are so desperate for help, our lives have been a living hell…please help us

    • Tough call, Annie!

      It could be risky and you lose your job. Not sure. It would be nice to approach a higher up but even that can backfire… or you could request a transfer. If you cannot do anything, you may have to either quit or try to keep your interactions to a minimum with this person. No clean way to approaching it.

      Best regards.

      Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D.

  27. if you are causing scenes when with your boyfriend in public he will drop you asap unless hes a complete fool…got nothing to do with narcism

  28. Although this article was informative in some ways, it did not do what I hoped. I have a pattern of getting tangled up with narcissists and want more help identifying them and avoiding them early on. I was hoping to learn more about early signs and about behavior patterns and internal patterns I can adopt to avoid them. I was gaslit by a narcissist who may be poisoning my career in a small world. The awful thing is that initially I thought she was my friend, and she came into my life when I was experiencing multiple losses. What I think I really want is to go to a week long camp with role plays that help me to learn to identify and respond to narcissists, borderlines, and other difficult people.

  29. I forgot to add—- I’ve been in therapy for ten year, and I read a lot on these issues. When I moved here, my therapist did not spot the narcissism in my new friend or warn me either. He was excited that I had a new friend and thought that I had achieved what we had been working for. He says that she was far worse than we imagined. In fact, the more I learn–the more I discover that a lot of things were far worse. The scary thing about narcissists is that in a way you feel like they turn you into them. When they betray you, then you are afraid to trust others in the future and let them close. Also, my narcissist did share a lot of her stuff–she just did so selectively. She is a clever law professor and former criminal attorney. She knows how to charm people and win them to her side. But she doesn’t really bond or care about them. It’s all about her end goal.

  30. Dear Dr. Sam,

    I enjoyed reading your article as it is very informative.

    Can you answer my question, please? Is it ok or is it healthy to enter in a relationship with a person who has the symptoms of a narcissist? As sometimes, when we argue, he has the tendency to stop calling me or avoid me for days until I start the first move. He would apologise and tells me that he loves me and wants to marry me someday.

    I have been just in a relationship for over two months. The problem is he is always busy with his company that we only get to see once a week. Yesterday, our chance to spend time together was cut short because his ex-wife (and business partner) phoned telling him of a problem at work and he had to leave early. He dropped me at my flat and after 2 hours sent me a text message apologising and telling me that he does really love me. I didn’t reply because I was feeling sad. This morning he text me again and after 2 hours of not replying, he text me saying “I pressume your lack of response mean you don’t want to continue with our relationship. You need a 9-5 kind of guy or better yet unemployed. You should be more understanding towards me and stop being selfish and self-centred woman.”
    What shall I do? I love him but is this a healthy relationship? Please give me some advice.

    Thank you.

  31. seems to me the whole westen world is narcissistic or vast majority of it,it just more psycholy babble trying to pigeon hole anyone and everyone

  32. This appears to be an old article and it looks like you’ve already had a lot of comments. I have some trouble with a lot of these Cluster B articles because… well Cluster B’s cause you to react like them. The way to defend against BPD’s and NPD’s is to shut down. They will shame you into thinking there’s something wrong with you, yet cannot leave you alone. No contact is the only solution.

    What I’m reading here is a lot of people trying VERY hard to pry this inner faulty self out. Yet isn’t that the very self BPD’s and NPD’s use against you causing irreparable damage if you finally do open up? No healthy person puts that much effort into opening up a Cluster B without also being screwed up and desperate.

    It’s quite a heap of hot coals to dump on someone’s head when after needling, prying, “more, more, more, emotions, must feed” and otherwise confuse and drain the life out of a person until they break to claim they need to get in touch with their emotions. The problem’s “you” and “you need to mature, but don’t worry, I forgive you you selfish bastard, I’ll always be there for you… Wait how DARE you cut me off! You must really be sick. Well at least I can console myself with the idea that you’ll die old miserable and alone. I did so much to help YOU in your time of need (okay so maybe it was just to build my idea of a more presentable boyfriend, but you could AT LEAST BE GRATEFUL!) But like a true martyr I’ll send out love to my persecutor… HEY you there, random passerby, I think I LOVE YOU TOO!”

    Anyway. Ranted a good deal there, but the idea is nothing new. The more you read the harder it seems to determine just what if anything needs to be fixed and do you have guilt that needs to be amended or left alone. “Oh, you want to stay in contact with me now? Just speaks to your lack of boundaries! I’m with someone new! Oh, you don’t see me as just a friend? How selfish of you to reject my LJBF rejection. I’m STILL the Puritan (glad to know I can laugh at the fact you’re not over me though).”

    Anyway… the point… is. You’re damned no matter what you do in a relationship. There’s always a way to steal the other person’s power and get away with moral high ground while laying the weight of the guilt on the other party.

    Seems I’m seeing a lot of the same phrases in the comments that are rehashing old news for me. Many are precisely the BPD Waif phrases I would expect to hear from the “victims”. Projection is a pretty tough nut to crack.

    Can’t a guy just have learned it’s just not always wise culturally speaking to be a constantly emotive man? That whatever you say can and will be called “abuse!” or at best the words Mangina, Emotional Tampon, and Cuckolded by a Real Man come to mind.

    Thanks for allowing me to express a few thoughts. Not sure if I even asked you a question.

    Take care, Sam

  33. After a childhood of abuse, rejection, divorce, etc… followed by decades of creating various false identities to cope with a world we no longer trust, we get old and find ourselves alone. We trust no one and we cannot believe that anyone cares. Our final end: old and alone.

    • Is there a way to reach out to someone like you, to God knows what end, as an old friend and ex flame… narcissistic supply. As someone who secretly quickly suspected a Cluster B disorder, but dodged everything by the book to make room for the new attachment to form with a better provider. I had to avoid her hooks, but got burned a bit anyway. Not as much as the ex husband or the perhaps the one who followed me…

      But what would it accomplish? An ego triumph for me? Can I save her or should it be triage? This IS her. How could I be sure I was even correct in my assumptions?

      Anyhow. Your comment struck some sort of chord with me. It sounded very familiar to me. I’ve carried a weight for a couple years now wanting to give this girl… my friend years ago, one of the few girls who actually ended up seeming to make sense to me.

      Do you have any thoughts? Bpd’s or NPD’s. Any more on what it’s like for them?

  34. I have my own personality issues which I think fall heavily towards borderline rather than narcissistic but I have realized what a selfish SOB I am and have played the victim role for far too long. The realization of late has really started to make a difference – FACT – the world doesn’t revolve around me and my feelings FACT – everyone is carrying their own crap as well. Be part of the solution for someone else or part of the problem.

    I have a ‘friend’ who is about as much of a narcissist as I have met. She is bulimic but can’t make the connection between her behavior and this condition…she keeps plowing through the idea that she is the most amazing person but never works anything, thinks that she is a selfless giver but is the most selfish taker. I feel like telling her, or more cruelly posting it on one of her grandiose ‘me, me, me’ Facebook posts.

  35. I ran across this website today and have skimmed through all the blogs dating back to 2008, I am in the process of a divorce from my husband of 21 yrs. I have been researching Narssissism for a few years now and cant believe all of them out walking amoung us destroying innocent victims. My husband is one, his parents are also,my husband has been out of the house on and off for the past four years he has never apoligized for his behavior, either to me or my two children i had from a previous marriage whom he mentally and physically abused, and still blames my son for all of our marital issues even him not being able to have sex with me for 10 yrs. He hides all of our things in a warehouse that is owned by his parents and we are not allowed to have a key. He makes up lies about me and my two kids from a previous marriage, but all of his friends and co workers love him they say what a wonderful guy he is and how far out of his way he will go to help people. We had tried marriage counseling and he felt very threatend and said they were only after his money, as soon as realized the therapist figured him out. As I said am filing for divorce because I learned I dont know this person and there is nothing I can do to change him. I feel I have wasted my life and am 50 yrs old without a degree in anything and no money, because he has hidden our money and assests from me for years. I have a good Lawyer but he isn’t cheap. People keep telling me to hang in there and things will get better, its kind of hard to see any light at the end of this tunnel. I wish i would have been able to see thse signs years ago and avoided alot of mistakes. These people need to be more exposed for who they really are they walk amoung us looking for their next victims and believe me they can hide very well for many years. I want to see more awarness, so lets get out there people and educate.

  36. so this is something i m really really interested in…to me this topic is damnnnnn fascinating…nd i loved getin some more info about narcisissm….i loved it ….i m a 12th std psychology student nd i lovvvvvedd it..hope for ur good luck…

    • Not sure if you were replying to my post or the site in general? I didn’t realize what was wrong with my marriage or my husband until I started seeking out what was wrong with my daughter in-law about four years ago. The more I explored the more I learned what I was also dealing with in my personal life. I always knew something was wrong but couldn’t put my finger on it. I thought his mother was just neurotic and his father was an alcohlic and he had issuses from growing up with them as his parents. I then started to see that both his parents were narcissistic and they had raised there golden boy to be one also. My husband also has a sister that moved far away and comes home once in a blue moon she is seen as ungrateful and my mother in-law says she thinks of her as being dead. My two children from my first marriage are not recognized even though when we got married they were only four and five. My mother in-law has made stories up about them and myself that arent true and my husband knowing they werent true never confronted her or stood up for us. My father in-law died 2 years ago and they still talk about him in present tense, he still controls from the grave. My husband told me that his mother will always come first no matter what because “she loves him and he loves her”. I put my education on hold so he could start a business that his father dreamed up for him and that did not succeed. My husband was always helping them instead of building a life for us because he is going to inherit a conciderable amount of money after his mother dies. I could go on and on. I now have to pick up the pieces of what little I have and move on. I finally realized he doesnt nor did he ever love me or the kids. We also have 2 children together but he reaaly only pays attention to our son we have together. Our daughter who is a magnificient young lady “reminds them too much of me” so she is ignored. Like I said in my past post he had no sexual relations with me for ten years and did not care how that made me feel because it was all mine and my sons fault, me being over weight (not really) and my son because he was too much to handle. I am trying to wrap my head around every thing that has happened and these sites help me to realise that its not me its him. I could write a book about all of this and maybe I will one day when I have had a chance to get myself together.

  37. Hi I am currently in a couples therapy and i’m convinced that it shouldn’t be. I feel as though I don’t have a problem and that by being present my partner will not be honest and by being that, help himself with the therapy. I feel my partner has extensive damage that manifested into an extreme narcissist but both him and the therapist are concluding I am paranoid. The reason I came to this point is that after three years I had to call his ex (we’re a gay couple) after he cheated on me. Primarily I called to get suspicions confirmed and that is my HIV. I got HIV from my partner and he knew he had it before I got it. I asked him and recorded that text out of natural instinct and he said he is clean. I soon “swallowed” so I felt in unneccessary to use condoms after a few months of doing so and his response to being “clean” helped me put my guard down in making that decision. Upon facing this in therapy he refuses to claim all responsibility for me getting HIV saying I made the decision knowing the risks and he is not getting that he was supposed to disclose his HIV to me and that he shouldnt have lied and say he was clean. He also said by agreeing to have unprotected sex it is an “unwritten agreement” among the lifestyle that you have HIV. All of his defenses I countered and said it doesn’t matter, I asked you and you knew you had it and now I have it. He still refuses that he is not all to blame. So I had to question his sanity because I know if I go to a judge its immediate arrest for him orrr psych ward because I know it is not my fault at all, I understand what he is saying but it is relevant. By the way I am 23 and he is 35 and when we starting I was 20. So I had to rationalize his trivial mindset with me and hiv and allowing me to have it before getting tested recently and finding out…what if I died, or my bro and sis got it because they touched my blood ? Then when i got diagnosed he blamed it on the man he was having an affair on (who i called like i said after he cheated). My partner plays the top and i am the bottom and he cheated being a bottom so his top position or mancard is challenged. When we moved in you find out more…he watches porn like its nothing every minute, he said he would stop the gay apps and he still did it..he promised he wouldnt cheat, he still did, etc. He was a good liar but his actions never matched his words. His ex is hiv neg and they were in 10 yr relationship…last year and half they hadnt sex but when they did it was protected because they found out together. So he resorted to porn and of course he was my first and it was supposed to be a one time thing but he insisted that he would leave the guy after i went in knowing its just one time thing so i went along for 3 years until i got diagnosed and everyone even a psychic cried in front of me saying he is the devil and that he knew. So after defying me by cheating and recording it i went to his ex because i had enough. So he watches porn (sex aversion) which led to sexual anorexia, which all is porn addiction which caused his narcissism to get extreme. The therapist found he was taught to hide as a child because he drew and his mom would whoop his ass because his passion wasnt more lawyer or doctor…i could go on but i feel i’m wasting time when i’m being called paranoid. I’m sure i missed a lot of details cause him recording himself in the cheating video as if he’s a porn star without a face to post online shows something more. I need confirmation and help!!!

  38. Oh and he cheated unprotected…he’s reckless too and he likes fisting…he mentioned he feels a void sometimes…isnt that a “disconnect” from porn? So many questions

  39. His mom used to call him names growing up too “ugly, etc” and he says “i’m sure she doesn’t remember”..so he is doing what she did to him…not considering other people’s feelings before acting. But ultimately if i dont get told i am not paranoid i cant push that he gets help for his personality disorders.

    • You seem really concerned about someone who doesnt feel too concerned about you. You are much too young to be with this guy who sounds like he has other interests than you. It dosent matter if you are “paranoid” or not this situation is not good. Do yourself a favor get help.

  40. I read this article with great interest being someone who suffers with a mental health problem myself!

    The characteristics you list in this article will be found in many poor people suffering with schizophrenia and psychosis who have maybe been abused as a child, or witnessed violence or a painful divorce. I seriously hope you don’t treat these poor patients with the contempt this article seems to display!

    Reading between the lines, a few things seem obvious in your article:

    1 The use of “HE” instead of “THEY” would indicate that you are referring to a personal experience in your own life that has left you bitter.

    2 Since you seem so keen to direct most of the attention on relationships, you have been hurt and betrayed by someone who you were in an intimate relationship with.

    3 You seem very quick to recommend that people should leave their partners without any recommendation of marriage counselling or openly discussing their problems to see if their may well be underlying problems they can address, showing yet more resentment for relationships

    4 Many ask how you have met so many “narcissists” in your time? The answer seems simple to me, the people you have met over the years have become a “subject” to you, rather than a friend! You have tried to analayze them and look for their flaws, and probably opened up to them with superficial feelings, wanting to hear dark secrets in return. People will see through it and thats why they turn away, not because they have something to “hide”

    I doubt this message will be cleared, but if it is, it would be really nice if you could address my concerns as diligently as you do for those with relationship problems wanting to leave their partners. If I have any of this wrong, I will apologize immediately.


    a caring mental health patient not wanting to be labelled a “narcissit” by their therapist.

  41. It seems at least part of the doctor’s diagnostic criteria for narcissistic personality disorder is one’s failure to like him.

  42. I love love this article. Its so fascinating to know the psychology of people.

  43. Narcissists can’t be “cured”. This is misinformation. Their very condition prevents them from being able to see that they have a problem. Also, many narcissists have never had any childhood trauma – it’s just who they are. The danger of your article is that you give excuses to abusive people who are narcissists. You give the people who love them a reason to falsely feel sorry for them and/or a reason to falsely hope these “users” can be “cured”. This helps propogate abuse.

  44. Okay people narcissists can get better. It’s a very hard process but please try and support a narcissist that is owning up to their bad deeds and trying to get help. We DO have MAJOR trust issues. Even if we don’t admit it, we do. Also, for me anyways, I would feel bad about hurting other people if I thought about it. Using drugs was a way for me do cover up the little bit of empathy I have. Now their are certain N’s who will never change, like my father. But then their are one’s that are not THAT BADLY GONE and they CAN CHANGE. It’s not all BLACK AND WHITE!! Owning up to one’s mistakes is the start of it. No one is perfect…

  45. I am married to a narcissist. He is a missionary. He is very good at what he does, very smart. He can tackle any topic and pull it off. He was very emotionally undeveloped when we married. His lack of empathy drove me over the edge. When we would experience extreme traumatic events, he was almost angry and defensive about showing me empathy. How could someone be so effective a serving God and be so uncaring? When counseling was demanded by our church authorities, he got angry and declared, ” I’m not going to some touchy feely person and talk about our problems!” He got angry at ME! As if I betrayed him somehow.

    I told him that he could get angry and refuse to cooperate, or he could see it as an opportunity to grow as a leader and learn from it. He was very reluctant. He wanted me to be the fall guy, things were MY fault. Since then, he has grown and learned much and become a better person. He uses his intellect to learn principles which he tries to put into action. I think his wound happened at age 15, which is why he has been able to change. I can’t/wont go back to the field with him. His ego becomes all inflated and he becomes intolerable, dangerous even. I can’t put myself and the kids thru that, so we stay in the states.

    I have had a long time of putting a life together for myself. I have my own deep issues and work on that is a full time job for me. We are a damaged couple!

  46. I read in one of your replies that a narcissistic parent creates severe damage in his children…could you explain this to me in more detail? I have had my own personal issues in my life that I truly do not understand and I think a lot of it comes back to my father, whom I consider to be rather narcissistic–extreme? I am not sure. But I am wondering if some of my issues stem from being a child of a narcissistic parent. I’m afraid of being one myself. I’ve often wondered if I had these tendencies myself, but then I really can’t say I had any trauma as you say should have occurred in childhood that would have caused me to create this false persona if I do have one. I’ve felt that maybe I have low self-esteem but I shouldn’t. I often feel I’m hiding myself from the world. I am rather introverted–get very nervous in groups of people moreso because I think I am afraid of how they will perceive me. I did not fit in at school and this really bothers me. I’m very concerned about my personal appearance. I was very smart and successful because it was the only thing that made me feel good. I felt like most people didn’t like me and that I am not a very likeable person even though I do try. I tend to push most people away because of my insecurities that manifest through jealousy and criticism of others to make myself not feel so vulnerable. I care way too much what others think of me and people take advantage of it because I often should stand up for myself and don’t. It matters more that they like me, not that they actually deserve to be in my life. I’ve had some seriously toxic people in my life that have gotten the better of me and don’t deserve it. I cannot be aggressive no matter how hard I try and want to be and need to be ( I am a teacher–and sometimes it is necessary and I struggle with it–I cannot be very authoritative so often kids take advantage of it When I attempt to be authoritative, I get really nervous and shaky and although I had intentions of being aggressive, I end up backing down). ESPECIALLY with my father. some days are worse than others—I don’t always feel this way but when people do criticize me I take it to heart way more than I should. In my marriage I find it difficult to believe that my husband approves of me and finds me attractive. He has contributed to this a lot however, I know he does deep down but it isn’t enough. I often desire approval from other men to make myself feel desirable and it has caused me to be flirtatious behind his back. This has been a problem in my marriage that I want to stop. I know I am rambling but I am writing what is coming to mind.
    But when confronting myself about trauma? Can’t think of anything. I had a very secure, Christian, wholesome upbringing that I wouldn’t trade or change for anything and for sure a wonderful mother. My father was and still is more concerned about his job, is a very successful computer programmer, and has difficulty connecting with people. I do feel that he loves me but cannot express it well. I find it extremely difficult to talk to him—I get nervous and fidgety if I do need to confront him about anything. I often have my mother do it instead. I can’t even hug him without feeling funny when I do. This really bothers me, and I think it does him. He has asked me on one occasion what is wrong with our relationship and I really just don’t know. He knows he can be a real jerk but cannot seem to help himself. He has a very explosive temper/short fuse and over reacts to everything. If anything messes up his little world those who are responsible will have hell to pay. I get very angry at him sometimes and if I’m around him too much I have to distance myself because I can’t stand how he treats people. I know he won’t change. He doesn’t want it bad enough. This isn’t what this is about. I want to know how him being a narcissist affects me. I should have no reason to feel the things I told you above. I have a very strong support system in my family–not at all dysfunctional. I have a good job, two wonderful children, a husband that adores me even though he himself has trouble showing it, I have a master’s degree—I know I have made my parents proud. I do have three good friendships that I have been able to maintain well. I don’t want to be this person and I feel that if I can figure out why I behave this way maybe I could get a grasp on it and get past it. I feel my father is the key. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the random incoherent rambling. That is what human thought is all about I guess…

  47. Excellent article! Explains everything nice and clearly without complicating things.

  48. Wow I fell like this is like me!
    I’m a 20 year old gay guy living in the middle of texas, my father abandoned me in young age, i’ve had all the christian crap being fed to me my whole life, and i’ve been miserable, lonely, isolated, and emotionally shut down for almost my entire life. Many different people have different views of me. I have a lot of rage, but most people are only threatened by me when I have absolutely no intention of doing so. I constantly tear myself down, and I really don’t spare anyone else in the process. I think about killing myself a lot of times but i’ve never actually attempted it and I don’t know if I could either, but I seriously haven’t simply even had a good day in years. I’m always worried or preoccupied, always in my own world. I dont even know what to do anymore.

  49. I have exhaustively read the web and the traits and nuances of a narcissist as I work with one and needed to find how to function without the tense zones of behavior, as I am either being treated like a non person, or being ignored at every level, and the worse is, having the lies told with no consequence or follow up. There’s no site yet that avails the magic spell to make this person turn back into a beetle and go away. Each day I feel the life sucked out of me, and finding another job is not available. I am sure beyound a doubt that this person is the queen bee of all narcissists, and I am just food for the queen. Yes we have management, and we have two hole punches, both are infrequently utilized for they intended roles. All I have is confirmation and the skill set of setting a boundary that includes complete non communication. Wish I could find the magic wand… this person needs to go back to the planet that banished them in the first place.

  50. After 2 years of kids and I being in counseling to recover from the chaos (including SWAT team, false police reporting, mental committments, 7 guns, parent alienation, arrest, no contact order for 2 years, refusal for court mandated individual counseling before can counsel with kids)there are many boundaries being enforced by professionals currently. However, after 18 months of no contact with the kids, I have filed for relocation to be in an environment that will set the kids up for more success and give them more support. (their request). I petitioned for sole legal custody. He has had contact with the kids counselor and she has deemed him narcissistic sociopath through her own experiences with him. She has a good handle on it. Unfortunately, the move would mean leaving her. She assures me there are many capable therapists for the kids…the difficulty comes that in order to control the move, the father has now decided to go to counseling to try to work towards counseling with the kids. While I feel this is imperative so that the kids , as well as father, learn skills and boundaries before the kids turn 18 (16 and 17)…it poses a logistics issue. This is likely on purpose…as he has been petitioning to get the kids to change counselors because she “has it out for him”. She has been holding him accountable for domestic battery against myself ..and battery against my daughter who stood up to him when he said he could do anything he wanted to her until she was 18.
    I am looking for a highly qualified and experienced individual in this area of practice in the Lexington Ky area. You don’t by chance have a collegue you would recommend, do you? This is imperative for my kids’ success. He is extremely manipulative, no conscious, success oriented, materialistic person. I would almost be tempted to remain here for that sole reason as professionals here have lived it. However, in every other way, the kids would suffer and they want a fresh start. We are transplants and have moved around alot and need to be around family and friends to provide “normal” references and help enforce boundaries. He is splitting and turned against my daughter, who was his side kick..and then sought to turn my son against her and I (who he had little relationship with til then). He tells the GAL that there is nothing wrong with his relationship with his son. He has been unable to see my son’s struggles. I am sad to say the professionals in all areas say after 30 year of practice, this is a once in a lifetime experience for them and they have never seen anything like it.
    Thus, we need experienced practitioner.

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