How To Spot A Narcissist (& Avoid Becoming One)

by Stephanie Conroy
10th Jan 2019

My year, this year, is focused on healing and personal growth. I do not know if that is so much a resolution, or a personal need that I can no longer resist. I read somewhere before that one way to spot a narcissist is to ask them what they would change about themselves if they could. A red flag answer is definitely ‘nothing’, but I wonder if something along the lines of ‘my nose’ qualifies as well.

As a co-dependent who went through therapy for narcissistic abuse, I really want to share some of what I learned along the way so that I can help other men and women to avoid the same pitfalls. This week, I want to just focus on the signs of a narcissist. I am not talking about a person who posts a lot of selfies; I am talking about a person who will wreck your entire life, all the while making you believe you are the driver and the cause.

1. A need for constant attention. I dated a man who would get furious to the point of screaming if when I was on the phone texting him, I also tweeted between texts. He would say I was selfish and other things that were clearly definitions of his behaviour, but he twisted it to make me look like I was a monster if I was not waiting on my toes for five or ten minutes for his next text to come in.

2. A boundary breaker. Narcissists do not like boundaries. You are not an individual to them, and you are not allowed to have lines they cannot cross, essentially you are not allowed to say no. If you do, there is always some sort of punishment they will inflict upon you, known as ‘narcissistic injury.’ We will get more into that later on.

3. A narcissist is never responsible. Nothing is their fault. They are always the victim, or someone always made them do it.

4. They are charming. At first a narcissist may be very charming, almost a little too charming. Everything they like is what you like and every bit of attention goes to you. This phase will end.

5. They do not see individuals. They think of people only as an extension of themselves. They do not empathize. They only want to take and have no intention of reciprocity after they get you where they want you and as long as you let them, they will discard you and return.

The harsh truth:
Narcissists do not usually change, if they ever do. The only cure is to get out and have no contact. This is for your own safety, and your own happiness. There is no reasoning with one, there is no helping one. Leaving a narcissist behind is a great way to grow and heal in 2019. And, trust me, it feels really good when you do it.

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