Could you identify a Narcissist? 21 Characteristics.

There are some people in this world who seem wonderful and sympathetic at first glance, but in reality they are far from it. We’re talking about narcissists. And about how nice it would be if you could recognize them more quickly…  It would spare you a lot of time, energy and a big headache… Maybe even money…

Read on now to find out if you too could identify a narcissist.

People with narcissistic personalities want to be the sparkling center of attention. Some think they’re the best, most beautiful and brightest. Others have hidden thoughts of greatness: for example, they think they are always there for others. Narcissism is therefore an extreme variant of ‘making yourself great’. 

One of the characteristics of someone with narcissism is that they do not tolerate criticism. As a result, friendships last as long as the friends confirm the narcissist’s sense of self. If that confirmation disappears, the narcissist breaks off contact. 

A love relationship with a narcissist remains in the ‘passionate’ phase and does not enter the bonding phase (only lust and desire, not love). Moreover, the partner of a narcissist always has to do his utmost to have a nice and pleasant time together. We distinguish 21 characteristics by which you may identify a narcissist. Go through the pages to find out!

21 characteristics of the narcissist 

How can you recognise a boss, (ex-)partner or family member with a narcissistic personality? 



1. Are charismatic at first acquaintance. They radiate self-confidence and competence, are warm, charming and interested (at least, that’s what you think). They make you feel special, are witty and have a smooth chat. The more charismatic they are, the longer it takes to unmask them. 

2. Score well with the opposite sex: they are at ease, uninhibited, extroverted and loose. They are attractive – partly because they pay more attention to their appearance than average. They are often seen as attractive for a relationship (because: sexy) and less for a friendship. 

3. Have had a relatively large number of sexual partners and easily start new relationships. Sex is often short-lived and harsh: it shows few forms of emotional attachment. During a relationship, they often look around them to discover a better person and because of this lack of involvement, they are more often unfaithful. The hunt is always on and narcissists commit adultery more easily. 

4. A striking characteristic of a narcissist is that he or she is relatively insensitive to the ‘cuddly hormone’ oxytocin, which makes him or her incapable of bonding and intimacy. As a result, a relationship usually achieves little depth – be it relational, sexual or emotional. Having a good conversation about the relationship or life? Almost impossible, because the narcissist prefers to avoid real intimacy. 

Superiority over others: 

5. Supposedly they also have few mirror neurons, so they are not very capable of empathy. A narcissist has little sense of responsibility. The awareness for his own happiness and that of others is lacking. This awareness comes from the conscience, integrity, feeling of solidarity, sympathy and therefore empathy. 

6. Are convinced of their own superiority. They have a great sense of self-esteem and radiate confidence. At least at first sight. The opposite is the case: precisely the lack of self-confidence compensates the narcissist with arrogance and a feeling of superiority. 

7. They give others little appreciation. They do not feel responsible and delegate their responsibilities to others, but do not appreciate them for that. And if the other person is good at something, they go into the fray. They always want to be better. 

8. They have image goals (what does the other person think of me?) instead of compassion goals (how do I make it fun for the other person?). The outside world is very important to the narcissist: they often see their partner more as an object of status than as a lover with whom they enter into an intimate, personal relationship. 

9. They quit when someone is going through an emotional event. They can’t cope with emotions, so they prefer to avoid emotional moments… 

10. Deploy others to their own plans without wondering what the other person actually wants. Their empathy is underdeveloped: narcissists are obsessed with their own needs and can act ruthlessly. 


11.  They are out for their own benefit and also think they are entitled to certain privileges because of their supposed special qualities. Meanwhile, they make others believe in their good intentions. They have a talent for twisting everything so that the other seems unreasonable or stupid. This is also called gaslighting. 

12. They accuse others and point out their faults while seeing themselves as a victim: it’s always the other person’s fault, the narcissist never does anything wrong. Instead of friends, people with narcissistic personalities have victims and accomplices, who eventually tend to end up as victims themselves. 

13. They see love as a game : they play with the other person’s feelings, for example by attracting and repelling them or by leaving them in limbo. They want to be the boss, keep their distance and do everything in their power not to become dependent on their partner. 

14. Require attention, admiration and recognition; they are often successful in their work through self-confidence, flair and social dominance. They have less need for sympathy, affection or attachment. 

15. Are in need of power and control and are quickly jealous. When they are in a relationship, they always have the fear of being abandoned, which only increases their craving for power and control. It also happens that the narcissist accuses the partner of jealousy. 

16. Sees their partner as an ‘adherent’ who underlines their own status and peculiarity (think of the so-called ‘trophy wife’). 

Narcissistic Rage: 

17. Lying, turning and not keeping their promises. If lying turns out to be effective, narcissists will continue to do it. Lying can even be compulsive or become a behavioral habit. One of the characteristics of a narcissist is that they not only lie to others, but also to themselves. 

18. Isolate their partner from friends and family, and they play people off against each other. They keep a close eye on their partner and want to constantly test if the partner loves them enough. 

19. Can get extremely angry if they are criticized or insufficiently acknowledged. This leads to a narcissistic rage: hostile and angry behaviour in which you are ignored, for example. 

20. Because of this narcissistic affront they are often in conflict with others. They want everything to go as they see it and can become angry when someone contradicts them or criticizes them. 

21. Have no remorse and do not engage in self-reflection. If you think that narcissists are remorseful, it is often for form’s sake. Sincere remorse or self-reflection? Not in their dictionary. Simply because they don’t care. 

Contact us here, alternatively you can try Online Therapy if you think you may need it.

For more info on psychology and psychiatry we recommend the American Psychiatric Association (APA), visit them here!