Identifying Narcissistic Behaviour: 10 Traits of a Narcissist

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on identifying narcissistic behaviour. In this article, we will delve into the ten key traits associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). By understanding these traits, you will gain valuable insights to help you recognize if someone in your life exhibits narcissistic tendencies. 




Narcissism, derived from the figure in ancient Greek mythology, has become a term commonly used to describe individuals who display specific personality traits associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Recognized as a psychological issue by the scientific community, NPD can have profound negative effects on the mental health and well-being of friends, family members, and coworkers. In this article, we will explore the ten most common signs of a narcissistic person, shedding light on their behaviour patterns and the impact they may have on those around them.


Monopoly on Conversation


One of the most obvious signs of a narcissist is their tendency to monopolise conversations. They frequently talk over or interrupt others, disregarding their views and experiences. This behaviour stems from their excessive need for praise, sense of entitlement, and lack of empathy. Narcissists prioritise their own narratives, often dismissing or giving superficial responses to what others contribute to the conversation. Their desire to be the centre of attention undermines the importance of ensuring others feel seen and heard.


Flaunting Rules or Social Conventions


A prominent characteristic of narcissistic behaviour is the inclination to flout rules and social conventions. Narcissists may seek special treatment or feel wronged when they cannot bypass established systems. Examples of this trait include violating traffic laws, stealing supplies at work, or cutting in line. Narcissists believe that rules apply to others, not to them, as they perceive themselves as special and entitled.


Fixation on Appearance


Many narcissists exhibit an obsessive preoccupation with their physical appearance. They may spend hours in front of the mirror, constantly adjusting and enhancing their looks. Additionally, narcissists tend to judge and belittle others based on their appearance, criticising clothing, body types, and facial features. Beyond physical looks, narcissists strive to create grand impressions, often inflating or fabricating stories to boost their self-esteem and self-importance.


Emphasis on Envy


Jealousy plays a significant role in narcissistic behaviour. While occasional envy is a common human emotion, narcissists can become consumed by feelings of jealousy. They may frequently discuss other people’s success or possessions in a negative light and strongly believe that others are envious of them. In the workplace, narcissists may downplay or steal credit for their colleagues’ work, driven by a sense of entitlement and a desire to undermine others’ accomplishments.


Disregard for Other People


Manipulation is a prevalent trait among narcissists. They exploit their relationships with friends or family members to further their own goals and boost their self-importance. These manipulative tendencies manifest in pronounced mood swings, fierce arguments, and a consistent need to assign blame to others. Due to their lack of empathy, narcissists struggle to acknowledge and understand the suffering of those around them.


Praise, Praise, and More Praise


Narcissists crave constant adoration and praise. They exhibit an exaggerated sense of self-importance and expect special treatment from others, even when unwarranted. By monopolising conversations and positioning themselves in a way that ensures they receive constant attention, narcissists ensure a steady stream of narcissistic supply. This relentless pursuit of praise is rooted in their deep-seated insecurity and fear of being unimportant. In the absence of regular compliments, they may resort to harmful tactics to obtain the validation 

Indeed, narcissists often seek constant validation and admiration from others, and they may go to great lengths to ensure they receive it. They have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and believe they deserve special treatment and adoration. Narcissists tend to position themselves as the centre of attention in conversations and social situations, monopolising the discussion to ensure they receive the attention they crave.

One of the primary motivations for narcissistic behaviour is the acquisition of narcissistic supply, which refers to the attention, praise, and admiration that fuel their fragile self-esteem. Narcissists thrive on the validation and adulation they receive from others, even if it is unwarranted or exaggerated. They rely on this external validation to maintain their grandiose self-perception and to counteract their deep-seated feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.

In their pursuit of narcissistic supply, narcissists may disregard the feelings or needs of others. They are often willing to manipulate or exploit others to obtain the attention and admiration they desire, regardless of the impact it may have on those around them. This self-centred approach can result in others feeling slighted, dismissed, or used by the narcissist.

Furthermore, narcissists have a tendency to demand praise and recognition, even when it is not warranted. They may exaggerate their achievements or fabricate stories to bolster their image and elicit admiration from others. The need for constant praise and special treatment is driven by their deep-seated insecurities and their desperate attempts to maintain their inflated self-image.

It is important to note that while narcissists may appear to be the “movie star” in social settings, their behaviour is often a mask for their underlying emotional vulnerabilities. Behind their grandiose facade, they may suffer from low self-esteem, fear of abandonment, and a lack of genuine connections with others. Understanding the dynamics of narcissistic behaviour can help individuals navigate relationships with narcissists more effectively while


Nothing is ever their fault


Another characteristic of narcissists is their tendency to blame others for any problems or difficulties they encounter. They have a strong aversion to taking responsibility for their actions or acknowledging their own shortcomings. Instead, narcissists often shift the blame onto others, refusing to accept any accountability for their behaviour.

Narcissists have a fragile ego that cannot tolerate criticism or negative feedback. Rather than reflecting on their actions and considering their own contribution to a situation, they instinctively deflect blame onto others as a defence mechanism. They may distort the facts, manipulate the narrative, or engage in gaslighting to manipulate others into believing that they are the ones at fault.


This pattern of blaming others serves multiple purposes for narcissists. Firstly, it helps them protect their fragile self-image by avoiding any acknowledgment of their own flaws or mistakes. Secondly, by placing the blame on others, they can maintain a sense of superiority and control over the situation. They may use tactics such as deflection, projection, or even scapegoating to ensure that they emerge unscathed and maintain their inflated self-perception.


Furthermore, narcissists often perceive themselves as victims, even in situations where they may be the ones causing harm or distress. They may twist the narrative to portray themselves as the ones who have been wronged or mistreated, seeking sympathy and support from others. By playing the victim, they can manipulate others into providing them with the attention, validation, and special treatment they desire.


It’s important to recognise this pattern of blaming others when dealing with a narcissist. Their tendency to shift responsibility onto others can be frustrating and emotionally draining. It’s crucial to establish healthy boundaries, maintain self-awareness, and not internalise their attempts to place blame. By understanding that it’s a characteristic of their personality disorder, you can navigate interactions with a narcissist more effectively and protect your own well-being.


They Fear Abandonment


Narcissists have deep-rooted fears of abandonment and rejection, stemming from their fragile self-esteem and the belief that they are not worthy of love and attention. This fear drives them to seek constant validation and attention from others. They may go to great lengths to ensure that people stay in their lives, often resorting to manipulative tactics or emotional blackmail. Their fear of abandonment can lead to controlling behaviours and an inability to handle criticism or rejection.


The Narcissist Lives in a Fantasy


One of the hallmark traits of a narcissist is their tendency to create a grandiose fantasy world where they are the centre of attention and admiration. They have an inflated sense of self-importance and believe they are superior to others. This fantasy often includes fantasies of unlimited success, power, and beauty. They may embellish their accomplishments, fabricate stories, or present a false image to maintain their grandiose self-perception. The narcissist’s fantasy world serves as a defence mechanism to shield them from their deep-seated insecurities and vulnerabilities.


There Are Always Strings Attached


Narcissists rarely do anything without expecting something in return. They have a transactional approach to relationships, where they view interactions as opportunities to fulfil their own needs and desires. They may use manipulation, charm, or coercion to get what they want from others. Everything they do is driven by self-interest, and they struggle to genuinely empathise with others or consider their needs. They view relationships as a means to an end and will discard or devalue people once they have served their purpose.




Identifying narcissistic behaviour can be challenging, as individuals with narcissistic traits can be skilled at hiding their true nature. However, understanding the common signs of narcissism can help you recognize and navigate relationships with narcissistic individuals. It is important to remember that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a psychological issue that requires professional help for diagnosis and treatment.


If you suspect someone in your life may exhibit narcissistic traits, it is crucial to prioritise your own mental well-being. Setting healthy boundaries, seeking support from trusted friends or therapists, and educating yourself about narcissism can empower you to navigate these complex relationships more effectively.  Our ebook The Ultimate Guide To Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse can help you start your journey to recovery.


Remember, while it is essential to be informed about narcissistic traits, it is not productive or ethical to use this knowledge to label or stigmatise individuals. Instead, focus on understanding and protecting yourself from harmful dynamics.

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