5 Habits That Reveal A Hidden Narcissist

5 Everyday Behaviors That Expose a Secret Narcissist in Your Life

5 Habits That Reveal A Hidden Narcissist
5 Habits That Reveal A Hidden Narcissist

We all know someone who seems a little too into themselves. But when does healthy confidence cross the line into narcissism? Many narcissists fly under the radar because their self-absorption is more subtle. However, certain habits reveal their true colors. Keep reading to learn the top 5 everyday behaviors that expose a hidden narcissist.

1. Constant Bragging

Narcissists have an insatiable need for validation. One way they fill this bottomless pit is by bragging about themselves at every chance they get. You may notice them frequently steering conversations back to themselves. For example, if you mention your recent vacation, they'll casually one-up you by detailing their own lavish trips and elite experiences. Or if you talk about a goal you achieved, they'll immediately share how they accomplished so much more.

Narcissists don't just want to seem impressive, they want to be the most impressive person in the room. So they constantly crow about their own talents, wealth, appearances, possessions or other traits they consider top-tier. Their self-centered boasting seems like confidence at first. But it goes beyond healthy self-assurance into a neurotic need to proclaim their own grandiosity.

2. Lack of Empathy

One of the hallmark signs of narcissism is lacking empathy. Narcissists simply don't have the emotional capacity to consider other people's perspectives or feelings. Their grandiose view of themselves crowds out interest in what's going on internally with others.

You may notice their eyes glaze over when you express vulnerabilities, worries or emotions. Or they might casually dismiss your feelings as silly or irrational. They have immense difficulty relating to emotions that don't directly impact them. It's not that they intend to be cold. They sincerely can't access the compassionate feelings necessary to sympathize. Their inner world revolves exclusively around themselves.

5 Habits That Reveal A Hidden Narcissist
5 Habits That Reveal A Hidden Narcissist

3. Feeling Threatened by Others' Success

Despite their bragging, narcissists feel insecure deep down. Their self-esteem totally depends on being superior to others. So when someone else receives praise or shows talent, the narcissist perceives it as a threat to their position.

Rather than feeling happy for people's accomplishments, narcissists get upset or jealous. They might try to passively tear down the other person. For example, if a co-worker did well on a project, they might minimize the achievement by attributing it to luck or outside factors. Or they may try to regain the upper hand by pointing out their own superior skills or talents unrelated to what the person succeeded at.

4. Exploiting Others

Lack of empathy allows narcissists to exploit people for personal gain with no remorse. They strategically charm and manipulate to get their needs met, then dismiss people when they're no longer useful.

For example, a narcissistic friend may frequently cancel plans with you, but expect you to drop everything for them when they're in crisis. At work, a narcissistic boss may take credit for their team's achievements, blame subordinates for their own mistakes or force people to compromise their needs to serve the narcissist's priorities. They can accept love and support from others without reciprocating because they feel entitled to whatever benefits them.

5. Extremely Sensitive to Criticism

Narcissists require endless praise and affirmation to keep their false self-image intact. So any criticism, even constructive feedback, threatens their fragile egos. They lash out defensively at the slightest critique. For example, if you gently point out how a narcissistic partner hurt your feelings, they may flip the scenario and blame you for being too sensitive. Or if you question a narcissistic friend's dubious decisions, they may accuse you of being unsupportive and disloyal.

Narcissists also hold grudges against anyone who criticizes them. Their extreme sensitivity causes them to perceive feedback as a personal attack, no matter how diplomatically delivered. They will go to great lengths to discredit or retaliate against the source. Essentially, their fragile sense of superiority can't tolerate any flaws being pointed out.

In Conclusion

Habitual bragging, lack of empathy, jealousy of others' success, exploiting people and reacting badly to criticism seem like negative personality traits. But together, they illustrate the core narcissistic desires to dominate, exploit others and maintain an inflated sense of self. If you recognize these behaviors in someone close to you, it's possible this person struggles with undiagnosed narcissism. Understanding the motivations behind these habits can help you set healthy boundaries against their manipulations. Look for other signs of covert narcissism to determine if they have a true personality disorder. Addressing the problem compassionately yet firmly is the first step to establishing a balanced relationship.

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