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Narcissistic people: these are the 9 traits that define them

Narcissistic people: these are the 9 traits that define them

March 1, 2021

Narcissism is one of the most researched personality traits in the field of psychology. If it occurs at an extremely high intensity, it can lead to mental disorders, such as the Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but even at low levels it presents striking and, at times, conflict-causing characteristics.

In this article we will see what are the traits that define narcissistic people and in what way it is possible to identify them.

  • Related article: "Types of people: 13 basic characteristics of personality"

1. Feeling of grandiosity

Narcissistic people speak and act as if they were part of the most important elite on planet Earth. This is evident, for example, in the way of addressing other people: it is not necessarily hostile (it is not usually), but it is based on the assumption that one has the power and the other must adapt to one.


But not all narcissists express in a transparent way their feeling of grandiosity. Some adopt a rather low and discreet profile . In these cases, the feeling of grandiosity is based on fantasizing about a future in which a power that will subdue the rest will be displayed, and on cultivating resentment against those who are perceived as better valued by their social environments.

2. They get frustrated quickly

When something does not go well, narcissistic people react with anger and in a quick, almost automatic way. This is because the grandiose self-image that they try to maintain through their actions and their interaction with the environment and with others can be damaged deeply with any setback .


3. They aspire to leadership roles

Another feature of narcissistic people is that, in order for reality to fit as much as possible with their self-image, they try to gain power and reach leadership roles. It's not that they are better leaders in their own right, but that they try to avoid cognitive dissonance to have a low hierarchical role and, at the same time, to believe that one is more than the rest.

  • Related article: "Cognitive dissonance: the theory that explains self-deception"

4. They have low self-esteem

It may seem counterintuitive, but narcissistic people have, behind the shell that is their public image, more insecurities than the rest. That is why it frustrates them deeply if the rest does not show them due respect (which, to meet your expectations, is very high).

Thus, the self-concept of these people is an issue of all or nothing: by default, an idealized self-image is taken for granted, but the slightest touch with reality generates much discomfort and puts in check all beliefs about oneself.


  • Related article: "Low self-esteem? When you become your worst enemy"

5. They invent stories so they do not assume their mistakes

Narcissistic people have serious problems accepting that they have made a mistake, and avoid showing weakness by asking for forgiveness .

That is why they project blame on others, reaching extremes in which the failure of an action that they have made is seen as the fault of another person who is not present, for example, for having bought an object or material of poor quality with that you can not work well.

Sometimes, the frustration of not being able to make up a minimally credible story about why someone else is to blame for what you have done can lead to an increase in frustration and anger.

6. They value aesthetics and appearances a lot

Narcissistic people are constantly judging the rest , and therefore they need an easy and simple way to do it. In practice, that means that they pay attention to the appearances of people: the clothes they wear, their style, etc. They do not have to value better those who fit best with the canons of fashion, but attribute more or less "character" and "personality" to those who meet certain requirements.

7. They control their image in social networks

They are very scrupulous people when it comes to filtering the image they give on social networks like Facebook. In addition to tend to have added to many "friends" (since having many gives an image of popularity, whether they are known or not), show only those personal photographs that have gone through a selection process. Sometimes, they use image editing programs to retouch these photos, trying not to be noticed.

8. They take everything as something personal

Narcissistic people believe that everything that happens is part of a popularity contest. Unfortunately, that means that many times they are overcome by someone, even if that someone does not even intend to please the rest. In these cases, the narcissist feels attacked and can adopt strategies of attack against the other, not always confronting him directly.

9.They do not conceive the concept of "constructive criticism"

For narcissistic people it is unacceptable for someone to focus attention on their mistakes and weaknesses. Therefore, the idea that these criticisms can serve to improve in the future does not make sense.


Narcissism Symptoms Checklist. See if your partner has these traits (March 2021).


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