Are you an undercover narcissist?

Have you ever listened to someone telling you about how bad of a day they’ve been having, only to realize that you’ve been thinking about what a bad day you’ve been having? We’ve all been there — tuning people out to think of things that are going on in our lives. Or maybe you’re talking to someone, and you end up making the conversation about you. It’s not an unusual thing to do — it’s quite common, in fact. But if all of the conversations that you have ended with you being the main focus, you may have a problem. No one wants to be labeled a narcissist; it’s not as appealing as being described as caring or kindhearted, but it is a personality trait held by a large number of people, whether they know it or not. You could even be one of those individuals and have no idea that you are. If that’s the case, the questions of- how you know if you’re narcissistic and how can you stop invariably pop up. I’m not going to lie, and tell you that there is some magical solution to end narcissism because-there isn’t. But what I can do is help you see the warning signs within yourself and those around you. 

If you were to straight up to call someone a narcissist, they could always counter with, “I’m not a narcissist, I’m just self-confident”- If that were to happen, do you know what your response would be? What if the person is telling the truth, and they really do just have an abundance of self-confidence that they like putting on display? Self-confidence is defined as a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities-and judgment, whereas-narcissism is defined as the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s idealized self-image and attributes. Can you spot the difference? If you still need help distinguishing the difference between the two, Business Insider — lists warning signs that someone (maybe even you) might be a narcissist. I’m not going to list all of the signs, but I will pick out a few that could be the biggest red flags. 

  1. You constantly feel underappreciated
  2. You put other people down
  3. You are self-righteous
  4. You think everyone else is stupid
  5. You thrive on being the center of attention

Trying to recognize narcissistic behavior in someone by seeing if they display any of these attributes is all well and good, but narcissism goes beyond that. Best Life Online refers to narcissism as a genuine psychological disorder that includes exhibiting a pattern of grandiosity. It is a mental illness that affects about 1% of the total population and is more commonly found in men. Unlike other psychological disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, narcissism can’t be medically treated. Instead, psychotherapy is the recommended treatment. Speaking to either a psychiatrist or a psychologist can help people destress and stabilize their mood. Narcissists or not, we all have the ability to treat others the way we would want to be treated, and it starts within us.