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Narcissism is a personality trait that manifests differently in each individual. Gender roles and societal expectations often influence the ways in which narcissism is expressed. While both male and female narcissists share a need for admiration and a lack of empathy, the ways in which they exhibit these traits can differ significantly.

narcissist Here are eight things that set female narcissists apart from their male counterparts:

1. Relationship Manipulation

Female narcissists often manipulate relationships to gain control and attention. They can be overly possessive and may use emotional blackmail or play the victim to maintain dominance.

For more on this, Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You is a useful resource.

2. Appearance Obsession

While both genders can be image-conscious, female narcissists often place excessive emphasis on their physical appearance, using it as a tool for gaining admiration and power.

3. Subtle Put-Downs

Instead of outright insults, female narcissists might employ passive-aggressive comments or backhanded compliments to undermine and devalue others subtly.

4. Maternal Dominance

A female narcissist who is a mother may use her children as a means of control and manipulation, often instilling in them a need to always seek her approval.

Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life delves deeper into this topic.

5. Vicarious Achievement

They might live vicariously through others, especially their children, pushing them into the limelight to feed their own need for admiration.

6. Emotional Weaponry

Female narcissists are adept at using emotions as weapons, often feigning vulnerability or using guilt to manipulate those around them.

7. Social Status Pursuit

They may be more driven to climb social ladders, seeking high-status partners or friends to elevate their own perceived worth.

Consider reading Status Anxiety for insights into society’s obsession with status.

8. Covert Operations

While overt narcissism is blatant and visible, covert narcissism, often exhibited by females, is subtler. They may play the role of a martyr or the misunderstood, always seeking sympathy and validation.

It’s essential to remember that narcissism, regardless of gender, is a spectrum. Not all female or male narcissists will exhibit all these traits. However, understanding these patterns can help in recognizing and dealing with narcissistic behavior.