A narcissist is a person who cares about themselves than they do about anyone else. Self-care and self-love are things that every person not only deserves, but needs to live their best and healthiest lives, but a narcissist takes these elements to a whole new level. They are self-obsessed, and typically show it by living with selfishness and disregard for the feelings of others. They often use deceit and manipulation of others to get what they want and boost their already massive egos.
Often times, though, it can be difficult to spot narcissistic behaviors. While a narcissist doesn’t harbor high opinions of those around them, their actions against them may not be as overt as you would expect. They’ll want to keep a close audience or posse of sorts to validate and feed their own sense of self-importance. Luckily, there are a number of habits that a person like this uses to manipulate others, especially those that care about and trust them. Being aware of these habits can allow you to know when you are dealing with a narcissist and protect yourself from their attempts to manipulate you.
#1. They Focus Solely on Themselves
Have you ever spoken to a person and felt like you were talking to a brick wall? You either can’t seem to keep their attention on what you say, and they consistently interrupt or change the topic of conversation to themselves. Well, you are probably talking to a narcissist. They really aren’t interested in anything you have to say and have a hard time pretending that they do. They would much rather focus on the one thing that really matters to them: themselves.
#2. They Put Down Your Accomplishments
Narcissists need to be the center of attention and the most important person in any situation. If anyone else around them expresses excitement or pride in something they personally have done, a narcissist will feel their position as number one is threatened. They’ll do whatever they can devalue you and your accomplishment. They might insult you for being proud, or even act as though it was something that they could have easily done themselves. If there’s one thing a narcissist hates, it’s sharing the limelight.
#3. They Love the Victim Game
When people we care for are in any kind of pain, it’s natural for friends to rush to their aid and offer help. Narcissists love that kind of attention and will look for ways to get it as often as possible. They’ll play sick, bemoan their misfortunes, and all around blow things out of proportion in any way that will get people feeling sorry for them. In fact, when they seem to be the object of so much misfortune it becomes easy to forget any negative behavior we might otherwise think to hold against them.
#4. Their Greatest Weapon is Guilt
If anything ever goes wrong in a relationship or situation, you can be certain you’ll never find a narcissist responsible. At least that is how they will make it seem. No matter what the facts are or what actually happened they will always find a way to place the blame on you. They will use this tactic repeatedly until you find yourself in a cycle of guilt, blaming yourself before they even have to whenever things don’t go as planned. It’s just another way that they secure power over you, so refuse to take the blame for mistakes that aren’t yours and you’ll take back your power in the situation.
#5. They Never Change
The last thing you can ever expect a narcissist to do is to apologize. The best you can hope for is a seeming heartfelt display of remorse, but be careful that they aren’t just falling into their place as a victim, only to repeat their offense as soon as it suits them. More often than not with a narcissist, that is exactly the case. They might appear apologetic when cornered, but they don’t learn from their mistakes because they don’t believe they have to. If you give them a second chance, be mindful that you are probably just setting yourself to give a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth chance as well.
A narcissist will think that they are the most important person in your life, but that role will only ever belong to you. If you notice any of these behaviors in anyone else close to you, remember that you have the right to walk away and leave them without the power to manipulate you. Always know the life you are worthy of living, and use that to protect yourselves who would want it for their own.