Jade Small
Jade Small
February 5, 2024 ·  7 min read

How to Identify an Extreme Narcissist

A narcissist can be described as someone with a grandiose inflated sense of self-worth.  A narcissist has no equals, people merely exist to serve their purpose of reaching the top.  Chances are, you’ve encountered a narcissist somewhere along the way, if not, you may be a narcissist.  (Joking aside, this may be the case, as narcissists don’t usually identify themselves as being one).

Read: How To Deal With A Narcissist – 6 Ways Strong People Outsmart Them

Not sure of the signs of narcissism? 

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Narcissists tend to possess identifiable personality traits, making them easy to peg.  The narcissistic personality has varying scales, meaning they don’t necessarily have to meet all of the identifiable criteria.  These famous suspected narcissists should help clarify things: Madonna, Elvis Presley, Simon Cowell, and Kim Kardashian to name a few. But, what exactly is the reason for such egotistical behavior? There needs to be some explanation for why these people are the way they are… or why they can never be happy about other people being, well, happy.

7 Psychological Reasons Why Narcissists Hate Your Happiness

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While the following list is by no means exhaustive, here are some of the major reasons why narcissists behave how they do.

Narcissists are never truly happy

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Anyone who has experienced true and pure happiness knows that it comes from within. For narcissists, however, their skewed sense of happiness comes from external sources. So, when they do witness true happiness that they don’t have, they resent it.

Read: Anxiety Disorders May Be Caused By Exposure To Narcissistic Abuse

Narcissists lack empathy

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Living a good life doesn’t come easy most of the time. More often than not, people will work hard and struggle to ensure that they can enjoy what life has to offer. Narcissists wrongly believe that they are entitled to whatever they want, so when they see the challenges of making an honest living, they simply cannot relate.

Narcissists think they are superior to everyone

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When there’s something that a narcissist wants, whether it is tangible or intangible, their desire gets even stronger. Since narcissists want to be the only one who has that thing, if they can’t have it, they believe that no one can.

Narcissists find comfort in others’ misery

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In a sick and strange way, they take pleasure in seeing other people struggle or experience hardship. While the narcissist will personally gain nothing from this, so long as others are also gaining nothing, they are content.

Narcissists are holier than thou

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Believing that you are better and more deserving of success than everyone is one thing. But thinking that no one else has the right success and happiness is a whole other problem. So, when a narcissist feels either of those things being threatened, they will likely become aggressive towards you.

Narcissists crave other people’s approval

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Although they keep this personality trait hidden, narcissists have a psychological need to be accepted. It’s one of the main reasons why they can act with such hostility when they aren’t liked or “approved” by someone.

Read: The Narcissistic Mother: One of the Most Frightening of All Personalities

Narcissists are unstable

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Whether it’s emotionally or mentally, a narcissist’s instability can lead to many types of abuse (e.g., verbal, emotional, physical). If it ever gets to that point in a friendship or relationship, part ways as fast as you can.

12 Clear Signs of Narcissism

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Now that you know the main reasons why narcissists are the way they are, here are the signs of narcissism you need to be aware of. If a person demonstrates just 5 of the following behavioral signs of narcissism, there is a good chance they are a narcissist.

1) They Need Praise and Admiration

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Admiration from others is a narcissists lifeblood.  A steady stream of praise is needed to feed the healthy appetite of their ego.  A narcissist is not above reaching for praise, being plenty willing to speak of their achievements.  “Hey, did I tell you I went for a jog this morning?” Of course, it is required that you acknowledge their greatness.  If not, you are of little use and they will attain affirmation elsewhere.

2) We Are All Just Pawns In Their Game Of Life

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Narcissists see others as a means to an end.  Establishing a two-way relationship is not the goal, the goal is to help them advance.  Perhaps you can help elevate their social status or you’re good at providing compliments.  If the perks dry up, however, you will be cast aside in lieu of the next useful pawn.

3) Lack Of Empathy

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A narcissist has no regard for the feelings of others.  How you’re feeling is inconsequential as long as you are lifting the spirits of the narcissist.  In fact, narcissists will often blatantly insult or critique others to uplift their own self-worth.  A narcissist will not feel guilty about hurting your feelings, nor will they apologize.

Read: 5 Dead Giveaways There’s a Toxic Person in Your Life

4) Easily Threatened

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A narcissist aims to have everyone believe they are the superior being in the room.  Any word or action that potentially puts a chink in their image is not taken lightly.

5) They Can’t Take A Joke

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Sure, a narcissist can dish it out, but taking is not their forte. When a narcissist decides you’re the object of a joke, there is no attempt to spare your feelings.  Nothing is off limits, tastefulness does not exist, it’s all about making them look good and you bad.  Should you counter with a witty jab or clever reply, be prepared for combat.  The narcissist may retaliate angrily with a low blow and things can get uncomfortable.

6) All Encompassing Experts.

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Narcissists like to believe they are the authoritative voice on all matters under the sun.  As such, they don’t mind making their opinions known.  The facts and truth are irrelevant, the important thing is appearing knowledgeable and superior.

7) It’s Not Me It’s You, Every Time.

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It is not uncommon for a narcissist to find themselves in a toxic situation, yet it is never their fault.  Failed relationships, work drama, family disputes, road rage,  you name the conflict and it’s the other person’s fault. Regardless of how often the situation repeats itself, you can bet the narcissist is as clean as a whistle, of course they are.

Read: Toxic People Never Admit When They Are Wrong

8) So, About Me

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A narcissist has an uncanny ability to make themselves the conversation centerpiece. You come into work wearing a T-shirt with the image of the sun, next thing you know they’re detailing a family trip they took to Florida as a child and obviously they have plans of re-visiting soon.

9) I’ve Heard This One Before

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Narcissists will often tell re-occurring stories or experiences. Maybe they were a cheerleader in high-school, are the best cook on the block or they went to the best university.  Narcissists tend to repeat these stories because it paints them in a positive light and they want to burn this perception into your mind.

10) They Don’t Know They’re A Narcissist

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Perhaps the worst part of all is a narcissist’s inability to identify themselves as one.  As the saying goes, the first step to recovery is admittance.  Without admittance, a narcissist cannot reach step one and has virtually no chance for recovery.  Sadly, those around the narcissist are left dealing with the thankless job buoying the narcissist’s ego.

11) You Humor Them

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Truly the best way to deal with a narcissist is avoidance or to run for the hills.  However, in some cases, contact is unavoidable such as a work colleague, neighbor or even a family member.  You’re at your wits end with their constant attention seeking behavior.  Your attempts to joke with them have proved futile, all that’s left to do is smile and agree with everything they say.  Anything that allows you to make a clean getaway.

12)  They Take Themselves Soooo Seriously

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They’re image, reputation, appearance, all impeccable.  Scour their personal record if you wish, not a single blemish you will find, trust them.  The rest of us commoners can only wish to emulate them.

Keep Reading: Subtle Signs That Your Partner Is Emotionally Abusing You