What Makes Someone a Narcissist

That Psych Nerd

Breaking down the clear truths of a narcissist.

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A narcissist may have been diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder or someone who displays consistent narcissistic behavior signs. A narcissist has a repeated pattern of manipulative and destructive behavior.

Understanding the prevalence of narcissism can help us grasp how typical a narcissist truly is or how uncommon it may be to spot them. But there are definitely people out there who fit the bill of a narcissist without much thought.

Although narcissism and narcissists, in general, are all different, there are some simple truths that we can breakdown.

Diagnosed with NPD

A narcissist is someone who has been diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder. This disorder requires a diagnosis from a licensed mental health professional. A quiz online cannot diagnose you or anyone else as a narcissist.

But, sometimes, behaviors can be clearly seen that resemble someone with a narcissistic personality disorder. Not every narcissist is diagnosed with NPD. Frankly, is a narcissist genuinely going to go to a doctor for their narcissism?

Now that does not mean that every narcissist will refuse treatment or help. Every narcissist is different, just like every other regular person is different. That's a critical point to keep in mind when we look at narcissists diagnosed with NPD.

There are definitely narcissists out there who want to change or do better, for various reasons. It's hard to know the true number of narcissists that are willfully seeking treatment; they are out there.

Pattern of Narcissistic Behavior

There has to be a consistent pattern of behavior throughout your relationship with the narcissist. It cannot be a one-time occurrence or a few isolated instances.

A consistent pattern of behavior has to be established over years or months. The narcissist in my life was clear that they were only out for their own self-interest. Their self-interest drove them to the verge of destroying their own life (but that's a story for a different time).

There has to be a repeated pattern of behavior, something that consistently comes back up. There are almost themes and rituals to a narcissist's behavior. A slip up from a good person is not enough to label them a narcissist. But someone who is repeatedly shown their true colors or maybe have been caught in a lie or two is crucial to even begin to label someone as a narcissist.

A reasonable person isn't set out a smear campaign against you to get others to favor them. The fact is, narcissists are genuinely unaware of their own behavior and how it impacts others, nor do they really seem to care.

Regular Looking People

They are regular-looking ordinary people. Well, maybe not ordinary, but it wouldn't be surprising if the well-known person around town who is liked by many people is secretly a narcissist.

A narcissist is not a giant scary beast looking to ruin your life when they meet you. It is a seemingly well-intentioned person that you value to some degree. Not every narcissist starts off mean; in fact, they are friendlier and more helpful than you might imagine.

A narcissist is out to claim what they want and feel they deserve from life. So, maybe a narcissist is very friendly to everyone but cruel and critical of their spouse and children.

The number of people I have had to tell me that my narcissist was a "nice person." But other people's perception of the narcissist in my life did not sway me from what I have seen; they simply don't see the whole picture.

Why this matters

Narcissistic personality disorder is a real disorder where people could genuinely be seeking treatment. But then again, not every narcissist will seek treatment or help. At the end of the day, we can't give someone a diagnosis of NPD without them going to a licensed mental health professional.

But understanding the pattern of behavior and how narcissists present to the world is essential. Learning about narcissism isn't just so you can learn to spot a narcissist. Rather, learning about narcissists helps you to stay safe from manipulation tactics.

Being able to prevent someone from continuing to be abused by a narcissist is my ultimate goal. Knowledge is power!

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Stay Connected with This Author: https://linktr.ee/JenniferMarch13 (check out my ‘Story Spotlight’ to read more of my work! Happy reading! 🌞)

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MS in Psychology | Mom of three cats and some house plants | #MentalHealthAdvocate #BeKind

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