1. Brittle self-esteem
One thing everyone notices about the narcissist is that they appear very full of themselves and self-centred.
But, some people are full of themselves because they simply have high self-esteem, and possibly for good reason.
The narcissist, though, feels they are superior to others, but at the same time not very satisfied with themselves.
Their self-esteem is brittle, ready to crack and reveal the uncertainties underneath.
At their core, they can feel a certain lack, which is why they are…
2. Susceptible to flattery
The narcissist loves nothing better than when others gather round to tell them how great they are.
And narcissists believe every single word of even the most exaggerated flattery.
While others take it with a pinch of salt, the narcissist laps it all up, believing they are only getting their due.
The reason they are so susceptible to flattery is that their ambition knows no bounds.
They really believe they are royalty.
If you don’t offer flattery to the narcissist, they will start to solicit it from you: “What do you think of my hair today, doesn’t it look nice?”
3. A big production
Narcissists love to make a big production out of everything.
They can turn on the charm in an instant.
It’s why they appear so often on reality TV shows, and TV and entertainment in general.
They adore attention and will do anything to get it from others.
This makes them very attractive, at least initially.
Their antics provide a welcome break from the workaday world.
Watching a narcissist is very entertaining…
…until, of course, they turn…
Most people experience the odd burst of envy from time-to-time, but for the narcissist envy burns brightly.
Narcissists are deeply involved with how they are doing in comparison to others.
This means they get pleasure from devaluing others and from showing how much better they are themselves.
Naturally, then, they are competitive and likely to be poor losers.
5. Lack of empathy
The narcissist cares little for how others feel, they are only interested in getting their own needs met.
And their own needs are simple enough: to be worshipped as a living God.
Some narcissists can be very manipulative in order to get what they want.
They take advantage and think little of others’ feelings.
Then, when they have satisfied their egos, it is all over as if nothing happened.
Some narcissists fit in reasonably well with society.
‘Successful’ narcissists manage to maintain their jobs and relationships by keeping their tendencies in check.
For the more volatile narcissist, though, their narcissism escapes in most situations.
They immediately blow up at even the slightest criticism.
Their envy, insecurity and vanity boils over at every available opportunity.
The effect is to push people away, tired of being used and abused.
So the narcissist ends up continually seeking new friends and a new audience, after the old ones have got fed up with their antics.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do