Narcissists are known for lying, manipulating, gaslighting, lacking in empathy, and often playing the victim. Have you ever looked back on some of your actions or behaviors and found yourself feeling guilty, wondering if you could be a narcissist? Many of us have participated in narcissistic behaviors. Maybe you have gaslighted somebody, telling them they are overreacting over something that was a bigger deal than you made them believe. Perhaps you have manipulated others by telling them a one-sided story in which you exaggerated the truth to make yourself appear as the better person. Maybe you have played the victim in an argument knowing fully well that you contributed more to the fight than you have let on.
Suppose you have heard about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). In that case, you may have found yourself wondering if you are experiencing the personality disorder after taking the time to reflect on your behaviors. So, how does one tell if they have a Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental health condition in which one feels an intense need for constant attention and appreciation. One who is suffering from NPD will likely have an inflated ego and sense of importance, which will lead to many relationship issues and a lack of empathy toward others. Despite seeming as though they think rather highly of themselves, those who suffer from NPD actually tend to suffer from fragile self-esteem, which is why they struggle to accept even the slightest of criticism.
Those who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder will experience many issues in their relationships, career, and finances. They will likely constantly feel as though what they receive from others is not good enough, which will lead to others not wishing to be around them. They will likely never feel satisfied with what they have, constantly wishing for more and more.
Many of us have probably participated in narcissistic behaviors at one point in our lives or another. After participating in these behaviors, we may reflect back on them at a later time and realize that we acted in a narcissistic manner. Realizing this could lead to you worrying that you may have a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. These worries are probably just what led you to searching for this article.
While many of us tend to act in narcissistic ways every once in a while, those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder will likely find themselves participating in these behaviors quite often. NPD can look different for different people. There are, however, a few common signs and symptoms you can watch out for if you are worried that you may be struggling with NPD. These include:
An overinflated sense of self-importance. Do you feel as though you are constantly looking down on others? Do you often get angry when others do not make you their top priority? Are you in need of constant attention and admiration? Do you often find yourself looking down on others?
Exaggerate stories. From stories of your achievements to stories of your victimhood, if you have NPD, you will likely exaggerate your stories to make you appear in a better light.
Expect to be recognized as though you are superior to others, whether or not you deserve it. Do you feel as though you should constantly be treated as though you are above others, even if you may not possess the achievements that would grant you superiority?
Obsessing over the perfect life. Are you constantly fantasizing about achieving power, money, success, or the ideal partner?
Taking over conversations. Do you find yourself continually making every conversation about yourself in some way or another?
Using others to get what you want. Do you often find yourself lying or manipulating others in order to get what you want? Do you believe that you deserve special treatment and expect others to do what you ask without hesitation or push-back? Do people often tell you that you are acting conceited or are always bragging?
Lack of empathy toward others. Do you struggle to care about how others are feeling or what they may need?
Insist on having the best of everything. Are you constantly in need of the most luxurious car, expensive home, and trendy items? Do you feel constant envy over what others have? Are you always thinking that others are jealous of you?
Constant Relationship Issues. Are you frequently in tumultuous relationships? Do you find that the people around you are more upset with you than not?
Difficulty regulating emotions. Are you struggling with impatience, anger issues, or constantly being offended? Does even a hint at criticism upset more than it probably should? Do you struggle intensely with change? Does stress seem to have a more significant impact on you than others?
Low self-esteem. Are you constantly feeling ashamed, humiliated, and insecure? Do you feel inadequate when you fall short of perfection? Do you frequently worry that you are not good enough?
If you believe that you are struggling with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, know that there is help out there. You may not wish to think that you need help, but NPD can take a massive toll on your life. Until you are able to find the right treatment for yourself, your relationships, finances, self-esteem, mental health, and overall quality of life will continue to suffer. NPD can be linked to other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse.
If you have read through this article and recognize some of the common signs and symptoms listed, you will likely benefit significantly from seeking the help of a mental health professional. There are reasons other than NPD that may have you acting in narcissistic ways. You could be suffering from trauma, communication issues, or emotional regulation problems. Either way, seeking therapy can help you get to the bottom of your struggles. Getting the treatment you need can help you find new enjoyment in your life that you may have been missing this whole time.