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We have all encountered a narcissist at one time or another, that co-worker who believes they are stronger, smarter, and better at everything than you, or that family member who manages to turn every conversation back around to feature them.

A US study completed in 2009, concluded that 6% of Americans suffer from full-blown narcissistic personality disorder. This doesn’t include the number of people who fall somewhere along the spectrum, but not quite to the degree of the full diagnosis. With such a staggering number of narcissists walking among us, how can you tell when you are face to face, dealing with one?

Narcissists Furthermore, in an age dominated by social media and the constant urge to present the ‘perfect’ image online, narcissistic tendencies can be further amplified. Many people have developed a tendency to seek validation from the number of likes or followers they acquire, further blurring the lines between healthy self-esteem and outright narcissism. If you’re interested in a comprehensive look at this phenomenon, Digital Narcissism: The Role of Social Media in Modern Society delves deep into the subject. Click here.

Gaslighting & Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: Recover from Emotional Abuse, Recognize Narcissists & Manipulators and Break Free Once and for All – click here.

Watch for these 8 signs:

1. Narcissists don’t take responsibility.

Any type of responsibility in one’s life opens them up to criticism and judgement, and a narcissist can’t handle shame or blame! They will schedule their entire lives to avoid any situation in which they must step up to the plate. The fear of appearing imperfect becomes their driving force, leading them to blame others or even lie to protect their fragile ego.

2. Narcissists avoid any ‘true’ emotion.

While a narcissist may say nearly anything to keep the attention on themselves, they will go out of their way to avoid any sense of true emotion. They hide their feelings to avoid vulnerability, but are not above playing the victim to get their way. This can be especially confusing for those close to them, as their emotional responses can seem inconsistent or fake.

3. Narcissists are guilty of name-dropping.

Anything that can make a narcissist look better or more important is a win in their book, and name-dropping gives them the illusion of exactly that. They may frequently mention celebrities, influential people, or high-status acquaintances, even if their actual relationship is superficial.

4. Narcissists never apologize.

It’s hard to admit when we’re wrong, and even harder when someone has themselves convinced that they are ALWAYS right. Their sense of superiority leads them to believe they are better than those around them, and they would never stoop to admitting fault and apologizing for their actions.

5.Narcissists never act selflessly in any way.

Narcissists lack empathy. That, combined with their inflated sense of entitlement, means that they would never even consider a selfless act. If they are not going to benefit from it in some way, they are not going to spend their valuable time and energy carrying it out.

6. They can manipulate any conversation into being about them.

A narcissist needs to feel like the attention is on them, so when a conversation veers away from this all too important topic they are extremely skilled at bringing it right back to a story centered around them once again.

7. Narcissists avoid self reflection.

Narcissism is often a trait found in individuals who were irreparably damaged at some stage in their life. The act of self-reflection would require them to show a level of vulnerability that they are not willing to invite into their lives. They often shun introspection, opting instead for external validation.

8. Their social media accounts include a ton of friends, and not a single bad picture!

Social media for a narcissist is all about status – they want to look as good as they can for as many people as possible. It’s a way to brag up their ‘perfect’ life and appear extremely popular in the process. They curate their online presence meticulously, ensuring that every post, picture, or comment aligns with the persona they wish to project.

For individuals seeking ways to handle or counter such behaviors in their personal life, Empathy and the Healthy Self: How to Recognize and Manage Narcissistic Tendencies in Ourselves and Others offers insightful strategies. Click here.

In conclusion, while some level of self-assurance and confidence is healthy and even necessary, it’s essential to recognize when someone’s self-focus tips into narcissism. Recognizing these traits can save one from much emotional distress and confusion in personal and professional relationships.

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