Recognising narcissism

Monkey looking in a mirror at its reflection

Recognising narcissism

Bragging. Charming. Dominating conversations. Self-absorbed. We’ve all met people who can be like this this from time to time. When these tendencies are present in someone as a pattern over time, they might be a sign that the person has narcissistic tendencies. (I prefer to describe someone as having narcissistic tendencies, rather than simply labelling them as a narcissist as it helps keep the focus on their behaviour, which is important when it comes to responding to them – I’ll write about that in another post). If you have someone in your life who frequently makes you feel anxious, depleted and doubting yourself because of how they treat you, this could be a sign that they have narcissistic tendencies. So what’s a way of recognising narcissism? Here are some signs to look out for in the person’s behaviour.

They show a long-term pattern of:

  • dismissing your reasonable requests or preferences
  • talking about their achievements or plans a lot of the time
  • often talking over you and dominating conversations
  • finding it hard to accept or admit fault
  • becoming mean and personal when others wouldn’t
  • changing quickly from being charming and complimentary to harsh and critical
  • showing little interest in your thoughts and feelings
  • being disdainful and critical of other people


I’ll write a separate post with tips on how to manage narcissistic behaviours in other people.


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