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Narcissists are individuals that are self-obsessed, relationally dysfunctional, and in many cases, outright abusive. And whether you realize it or not, it’s very likely that you know one or have met once in your lifetime.

To gain a deeper understanding of narcissism and its impact on relationships, Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed by Wendy T. Behary is a helpful resource. This book provides insights into dealing with narcissistic individuals and strategies for managing these challenging interactions.

If you are trying to discern whether or not someone is a narcissist, there are several ways to find out. You could extensively pay attention to their every word, their every action, and take inventory of all of the times their behavior aligned with narcissism. However, not only would that be highly inaccurate, but it would also take you the rest of your life because every one of us has narcissistic tendencies.

You can shake your head and laugh it off, and say ‘No, not me,’ but you are lying to yourself. But, just having tendencies does not mean that you are a narcissist. The difference is that narcissists have a pervasive pattern of dysfunctional characteristics that repeat themselves and continue throughout their life.

For those seeking to identify and protect themselves from narcissistic abuse, “Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other Toxic People” by Jackson MacKenzie offers practical advice and personal insights.

One of the most common indicators of a narcissist, according to Richard Grannon, is the victim mentality. If you pay close attention to someone, if they are always the victim, in every situation they have ever been in, they are likely a narcissist.

Narcissists like to put on a show. They want your attention and your validation, and they know they can easily obtain this if they play the martyr. Grannon says you can recognize the ‘appearance of being a victim, the appearance of being frail’ (the mask of the narcissist) by remembering that they are performers. They want a response. Pay attention to the person and think of examples and times in which they went out of their way to do something that would get you to give them your attention. If they are constantly working to manipulate you by acting like a victim or otherwise getting your sympathy, they are likely a narcissist.