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You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Article is About You

how do you know if someone is a narcissist

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by Ellen Blake

originally posted 9/18/2019
updated 8/24/2020

UPDATE AUGUST 24, 2020- Finally free

I finally extricated myself from this toxic relationship. It’s been more than two years since our friendship ended; for the last year I did my best to ignore her, keep my head down and just live my life. My disinterest, combined with my refusal to let her control me, clearly enraged her. Determined to punish me, she moved heaven and earth to take me down. Initially, she easily manipulated other people to see things her way, but after awhile they realized the truth of the situation. I didn’t have to say a word. And now I’m done. 

I encourage you to read through the list of narcissistic traits listed below. If you have a charming, fun and attentive friend who you believe in your gut might be a narcissist…do yourself a favor and don’t get to close. 

How do you know if someone is a narcissist?

I am still struggling with the “friend” I described in a previous 50Plus-today article. She is unfortunately still in my life and a major thorn in my side. The good news is I no longer buy into her nonsense and at this point simply feel sorry for her. She sees herself as a victim and the world is out to get her. How sad that she is so busy blaming others for her failures that she does not understand she, like everyone, has the ability to take control and implement change. However, change is impossible without first taking responsibility for our own behavior.

Narcissism is a sickness; one for which there is help, but no cure. And unfortunately, the obsessive need to believe to believe in their own perfection will likely prevent narcissists from seeing themselves in this article. In the off chance someone with a narcissistic personality does sit down to read this information, perhaps the list of characteristics described below will provide some helpful insight.

24 Characteristics of a Narcissist

  1. Lacks Empathy
  2. Looks for Outside Validation
  3. Feels Superior to Others
  4. Bad Listener
  5. Doesn’t Accept or Take Responsibility for Failures
  6. Doesn’t Respect Boundaries
  7. Takes Perfectionism to a Whole New Level
  8. Feels Entitled
  9. Treats People as a Means to an End
  10. Gives Unsolicited Advice
  11. Relies Heavily on Status Symbols to Show People Self Worth
  12. Consumed with Fantasies About Success
  13. Feels Rage Bubbling Just Beneath the Surface
  14. Has Unrealistic Expectations of Others
  15. Devastated by Even Minor Criticism
  16. Holds Grudges
  17. Overly Defensive
  18. Makes Decisions Without Considering Consequences
  19. Has Angry Outbursts Often
  20. Lies About Accomplishments
  21. Does Not Work Well With Others
  22. Hides True Feelings and Insecurities Even from Close Friends/Spouse
  23. Tends to Form Friendships With People Who Do Not Challenge Them
  24. Interprets Advice or Instructions From Others as an Indication They Think They Are Stupid


Not all narcissistic personalities look the same.

Some are grandiose and extroverted, others are covert, and may seem introverted and calm. Either way, narcissists make it their mission in life to convince people of their perfection, fearing exposure and humiliation. Also, both strongly believe they are victims and do not take responsibility for their role in any problem. It’s exhausting, and you need to set boundaries.

Unfortunately if you think to yourself, “My friend is a narcissist”, it could very well be true. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and may be hard to recognize at first.

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