7 signs you are dealing with a narcissist

by Elinor Greenberg, PhD

Most overt narcissists want you to be their admiring audience. This makes them quite easy to please, as long as you are willing to listen to them go on at length about themselves.

Narcissists generally like to give advice because this enhances their sense of self importance. Ask for their advice in an area that they know about—preferably one you are actually interested in—and they will feel very pleased with you.

They like to lecture at length about their favorite topics. If you ask a few questions and show an interest in their answers, they can often talk for hours without stopping.

If you want to make a narcissist like you (instead of picking on you), the easiest way I know is to say true, positive things about them to them.

Everyone has talents, and most narcissists would rather listen to you say positive things, than attack you.

I think it is important to state here that not all narcissists are cruel bullies. Some actually want to rescue people or do other good deeds.

The major things that most people with NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) share are:

1. They lack a realistic and stable sense of self-worth.

2. They attempt to stabilize their self-esteem through association with people, organizations, and things that they believe are high in status.

3. They believe that all people fall into one of two groups — Winners or Losers.

‘Winners’ are special, unique, perfect, always right, and entitled to special treatment while ‘Losers’ are worthless, defective or garbage.

4. They use defensive grandiosity and/or devaluing others when they feel the need to shore up their shaky self-esteem.

5. They rank everyone in terms of status based on whichever attributes they consider important.

6. They are highly competitive and tend to want to prove that others who are their equals are really below them in status.

7. Depending on their mood and personality, they are likely to treat those they consider below them in status in one of two general ways:

a. As servants who they are free to order around, belittle, or ignore,

b. Or as students who they choose to mentor and share their wisdom with, or be generous with in other ways (as long as they know their place and acknowledge the narcissist as “above” them).


Elinor Greenberg, PhD, CGP, is a practicing psychologist in NYC and the author of the book: “Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid Adaptations: The Pursuit of Love, Admiration, and Safety.”

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