These types of narcissists are the worst because they genuinely believe they will never be caught, never be found out, and can get away with anything.
Different types of narcissism exist, and there are varying levels of just how toxic they can be. Some types, like covert narcissists, will lie under the radar and avoid detection while manipulating puppet strings in the background. Other types, like Machiavellian narcissists, believe they are akin to a god-like power and whatever they do is faultless.
Then there are these types we’re discussing today. The ones who are likely to walk among us at our workplace, go to our gym, attend our schools, and even reside in our homes. They are the ones who seem to blend right into a crowd, never alarming anyone of their toxic presence, and seemingly friendly as can be.
How do you spot a narcissist who genuinely believes they will never be found out?
1- They have NO patience for other people’s issues and lack empathy
The defining feature of narcissism is an excessive interest in oneself, which means they generally care very little about other people’s experiences. “Narcissists tend to have a diminished sense of empathy, meaning that it is difficult for them to attend and relate to the thoughts, feelings, and suffering of others,” explains Sander van der Linden, PhD, a social psychologist at the University of Cambridge who has done extensive research on narcissistic personality.
2- They attract people to them like a moth to a flame
Narcissists make an incredible first impression, appearing to others to be confident, sexy, attractive, competent, warm, and funny. This means they’re often the most popular or most interesting person in the room as people feel drawn to their overwhelming charisma even without really knowing them, says research published in Frontiers in Psychology. However, the sparkly social veneer quickly wears thin as the more time you spend with them, the more the negative aspects of narcissism begin to take over.
3- They manipulate every situation and relationship
Manipulation and exploitation are the narcissist’s modus operandi in relationships, Dr. Van der Linden says. Friends, family, and lovers are only good for what they can provide to the narcissist.
4- They change friends like they change socks
They constantly denigrate and disparage others, yet they desperately need their admiration. This means they are constantly finding new friends who will praise and adore them, only to ditch them the second they start to get too real. “Seeking admiration is like a drug for narcissists,” explains Mitja Back, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Munster and author of a paper on narcissism. “In the long run, it becomes difficult because others won’t applaud them, so they always have to search for new acquaintances from whom they get the next fix.”
5- They will hate you and seek revenge if you criticize anything they do
“Although some narcissists are more introverted, many narcissists react defensively and even aggressively, to personal criticism or failures,” Dr. Van der Linden explains. When confronted with a weakness, even in a neutral way, they can react with sudden and surprising outbursts of yelling, crying, anger, or other aggressive behaviors.
6- They are incapable of accepting “no” as an answer
Because of their feeling of entitlement and lack of empathy, narcissists are more likely to push for what they want and refuse to accept a negative or alternate response. And this tendency can even cross over into the criminal.
7- They are extremely insecure about themselves and various aspects of their lives
Insecure narcissism may seem like an oxymoron but the two go together more than you’d think, says Zlatan Krizan, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University. “These individuals still think they’re special, entitled, and they want to be great, but they just can’t do it,” he says. “As a result they’re vulnerable, their self-esteem fluctuates a lot, they tend to be self-conscious and not very proactive, but passive, shy, and introverted.”
8- They lie about their achievements
This is probably the easiest way to spot a narcissist who doesn’t want to be discovered as one. If they brag about how they were a volunteer firefighter and saved people’s lives, but have no understanding of basic smoke inhalation dangers, they were probably lying. Or, if they claim to have been a chef and worked in numerous 5-star restaurants but can only make lasagne and stir fry, and don’t know how to make salad dressing, they’re probably not a chef. These people will claim to be whatever they are interested in at the moment, or whoever they think will earn them respect. Reiki master, firefighter, chef- you name it, they are it or have been it at one point.
These are the easiest ways to spot a narcissist. Any you would add to the list?