Most of us are blessed with some narcissistic traits and this is perfectly normal, but for some, their narcissism is a full blown disorder and they exhibit many (or all) of the traits of a true narcissist. Sadly people with this degree of narcissism are unlikely to be sitting here wondering if they are a narcissist—they will be far too busy making someone’s life a misery. But if you are the child of a narcissistic parent, it is probable that you are concerned about how far the apple has fallen from the tree, so how do you know if you are a narcissist and is there a test you can take?
A narcissist is typically very self involved—they honestly believe that the world and everything in it revolves around them, so if you love being the centre of attention and are happiest when the spotlight is firmly on you, you may have narcissistic traits in your personality (along with a large number of celebrities in the public eye).
Take a good, hard look at your Facebook profile as recent research has found a strong correlation between Facebook profiles and narcissistic tendencies. Because a narcissist loves being the centre of attention, they often cultivate large numbers of shallow friendships, which is mirrored in their Facebook profiles. Narcissists are more likely to have hundreds of “friends” and a high level of interaction on their Facebook pages. They are the type that posts overtly glamorous photos and self promoting posts because they crave the constant feedback from others. So if you have 700+ online friends and your main profile picture could have been taken from a magazine photo shoot, ask yourself: am I a narcissist?
Do you continually seek the approval of others and expect others to recognise your amazing qualities? If this sounds like you, you probably have a high degree of narcissistic traits in your personality. A reasonable level of self confidence is healthy, but being convinced that you are better than everybody else is definitely not healthy and points to narcissistic tendencies.
Do you find it difficult to empathise with others? Narcissists are usually unable to empathise with the feelings of others, which is why they are capable of causing terrible pain in their loved ones. A narcissist can be an immensely cruel individual, although not always intentionally, and this is especially the case of narcissistic parents. So if you cannot empathise with your nearest and dearest and have no wish to comfort them when they are hurting or distressed, you probably have narcissistic tendencies.
Do you find it hard to form close personal relationships and prefer to keep people at arm’s length? Narcissists are more likely to be in love with themselves than anyone else, so although many narcissists do form relationships, the chances are good that the relationship will end up a highly dysfunctional one. Narcissists often treat their partners very badly—they withdraw affection at the slightest provocation and are apt to fly off into a tantrum when things do not go their way.