How to spot a narcissist?
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, an urge to be recognized as superior and have a tendency to exaggerate their talents. (Mayo Clinic)
How to spot a narcissist?
1- The easiest way is to look at someone’s speech pattern. If a person is in the habit of starting his/her sentences with “let ME tell you” (“main aap ko batata/batati hoon”), it shows that this person thinks of himself/herself as the possessor of the ultimate knowledge. Such a person can easily resort to giving false historic facts to make an argument in the hope that people listening to him or her would not actually know the real history. For example, such a person can say, “Nazis also used to sweep elections by the power of gun in Germany” when the fact is that Nazis actually never won even a simple majority in any elections in Germany.
2- Self-love is another big tell-tale sign. If a person keeps boasting his/her achievements, things that others have also achieved without much boasting for example winning a sports event or building a charity hospital, that person probably is deeply in love with his or her own self. Especially if the sports event in question involves a team sport and upon winning it, the narcissist says in his victory speech, “I have won it at the twilight of my career.”
3- According to the psychologists, narcissists are very good at deceiving themselves. Coupled with self-love, this enables the narcissist to completely forget his or her past deeds that were completely opposite to his or her current views. For example, a narcissist can vote for someone to become the Prime Minister of the country and a few years’ later starts calling the same person something derogatory—maybe something like “Mulla Diesel”.
4- Dr. Susan Heitler writes in her article about male narcissists, “Take a look at their marriages and they were disasters.”
5- The same author has written about the “Tall-Man syndrome” i.e. for a narcissist, success will have an altogether different meaning than any other successful person. It would confirm his thinking that he is really better than everyone else. In other words, a normal person can win multiple sporting events and would feel that he or she is good at that sport. However, a narcissist can take the same success to as an indication of his being actually better than everyone else and thinking that, he might end up in politics.
6- “Narcissism involves unusually high levels of self-esteem, grandiosity, self-focus, and self-importance.” (Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman). A narcissist can often be seen telling others that he or she is better than everyone else and only he or she can do things that no one else can.
7- In his study on narcissism, Dr. Majita Back concluded that due to their charm and grandiosity, narcissists can be very popular but due to their self-focus and self-importance, they are really lonely in their personal lives.
8- Dr. Kaufman writes that narcissists think that people are just “too dim to recognize their brilliance.” So a narcissist can indulge into “educating people” or “making people aware” in an effort to let them know how brilliant the narcissist is.
9- Experts agree that narcissists maintain their self-image by misconstruing certain traits they possess. For example, if you accuse a narcissist that he or she is being a little crazy, they will put a positive spin on “crazy” by saying that a little bit of craze is necessary to attain greatness. Although, historically, there is no direct correlation between craze and greatness.
10- Finally, since narcissist believe that they are above the fray and should not be judged on the same scale with the others, they would adopt any means to their ends and at the same time criticize others for adopting the same means. They do that because they think their goals are much more admirable than the others. For example, a narcissist politician can criticize his opponents to be indulging in money-politics but at the same time can back billionaires who tend to subscribe to his claim on greatness.
Note: All the references cited above are real and can be found in various editions of Psychology Today.