We all believe we know what narcissism looks like. After all, aren’t a majority of politicians and Hollywood A-listers narcissists, projecting their massive egos onto the world?
While that may be true, narcissists come in all shapes and sizes. They walk among us, some of them obvious, and some of them covert.
So how can you tell if you’re dealing with an actual narcissist or just someone who is a bit full of themself? Here are a handful of traits the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) lists as characteristics that someone is a narcissist:
A Grandiose Sense of Self-Importance
Narcissists see themselves as incredibly essential to the success and happiness of other people. In their eyes, they believe they are capable of exceptionally high levels of achievement, whether they are or aren’t in reality.
They are Special or Unique
Narcissists believe they are so special and unique that few people can really understand them. Many will only want to spend time around high-status people.
A Need for Admiration
We all can admit it feels good to be appreciated and admired. But narcissists have an absolute need for admiration and a lot of it.
A Sense of Entitlement
Narcissists truly believe they are the exception to the rule. If there is a line of people waiting to be seated, a narcissist will cut that line because why should they of all people be forced to wait? If you’ve spent any amount of time around an actual narcissist, their entitlement can be shocking as it seems to know no bounds.
A Lack of Empathy
Narcissist simply cannot imagine how others feel. They are wired differently from non-narcissistic people. When you can’t empathize or feel what someone else is, it makes it incredibly easy to abuse those around you.
These are just some of the main traits of a narcissist. Needless to say, spending any amount of time in their presence can be a very toxic and taxing experience.