The Mayo Clinic defines narcissism as a mental condition that leads to an inflated sense of self-importance, an excessive need for attention and admiration, as well as deeply troubled relationships. However, even though they may display this attitude, the narcissist is quite fragile and lacking in true self-esteem when it comes down to it.
Oftentimes, they may have poor work habits, difficulty maintaining financial stability, and turbulent relationships with their partners and peers. And while it is defined as a mental illness, the person who is diagnosed is not the only one who suffers from their condition. Sadly, those of us lucky to end up in a relationship with one can attest to their emotionally abusive tendencies and harmful attitudes towards others.
And most of us would be less than willing to purposely date or marry a narcissist, they can be tricky to spot. If you believe you are with one, you may need to give them one or more of the following test. But, if you are with someone toxic, manipulative, hateful and full of self-importance, then you most likely have already assumed correctly regarding their mental state.
1. See how they react to your suffering.
When you are going through something that causes emotional distress, the narcissist is unable to comprehend or empathize, because they don’t truly understand the emotions of others. Due to this, if they abandon you, or ignore your pain when you are suffering immensely, they are most likely a narcissist.
2. Try to make them part of a team.
Narcissists are not typically team players, and they don’t often have the motivation nor understanding of the emotions of others enough to participate with a group project. Instead, they may try to take the lead, or completely disregard the project altogether.
3. Ignore them when they expect special treatment, validation, or constant attention.
Narcissists often expect special attention so much that when they don’t receive it, they will completely fall apart. If you suspect someone is a narcissist, try to nonchalantly ignore their needs for attention or special treatment. If they respond negatively, then you have your answer.
4. Set clear boundaries.
Healthy people respect boundaries in relationships, and will not intentionally cross them. The narcissist, however, will completely ignore your wishes and continue to step over the line, regardless of how firmly they are pronounced. Of course, they may excuse their behavior, but you will know when they are ignoring your boundaries, and if they do, they are most likely a narcissist.
5. Give them a small personal detail about yourself.
Narcissists will use personal details that they know would harm you as ammunition. To see for sure, tell them something untrue and act as though it is important to you. If they use it later to demean you, whether jokingly or even seriously, they are probably a narcissist.
6. Gently assert yourself.
The narcissist cannot stand to be in a position in which they feel criticized. If they say something you completely disagree with or do something that you disagree with, tell them. If they lash out in anger, or later covertly punish you in some way (ghosting, withholding sex, or using it as ammunition) they have failed the test and are narcissistic at best.
7. Invite them to support your success.
Narcissists are filled with envy, and cannot stand for others to shine, as it takes the attention away from their accomplishments. Because of this, they may downplay your achievements, or treat it with indifference. People who have healthy personalities do not do this.