There is a narcissist epidemic in our culture. We can define narcissism in people who have too much confidence, a love of material possessions, and general lack of empathy for others. And while there is nothing wrong with being a confident person who works hard and likes to buy nice things, there is something wrong with a person acting like an egomaniac.
According to psychologists Jean Twenge and W. Keith Campbell in their book The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, narcissism is on the rise. They point to a growing number of plastic surgeries and the lyrics in songs that brag about wealth as just a couple examples. There are, of course, different levels of narcissism. We probably all have some of the traits of a narcissist, but some people are just so in love with themselves there is no way they can ever see their own short-comings and faults.
Are you in a conversation with someone who can’t stop talking about themselves? Know someone that doesn’t have many real friends? Shared a bed with a partner who has never said, “I’m sorry”? Those are just a few tell-tale signs that you may be dealing with a narcissist.
A Narcissist Can Behave Very Rudely
If a person genuinely thinks that they are the best (even if they're not), chances are they look down on other people. A narcissist will often speak candidly and say rude things. This is especially true if the narcissist is not getting enough praise. A person with an inflated sense of ego does not understand that they are being offensive and is essentially pushing people away.
They Don't Have Any Real Friends
There is an inability for narcissistic people to form solid, long-lasting friendships. At the beginning of a friendship, a narcissist can be giving and complimentary. They may foot the bill for dinner or buy you nice little gift. However, this apparently kind and generous friend can quickly turn into anything but. A narcissist is generally not capable of empathy, and they can't be trusted. In time, a person with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) will make it all about themselves, the people who were their friends will feel used and just walk away.
They Confide In You Immediately
You meet a person and strike up a conversation. After a short while, that person begins to tell you personal, private information about their life. Perhaps they are going through a bad break up and share intimate details about their personal romantic problems. What the narcissist is doing here is trying to get your sympathy and form a bond. Once they have that, they can begin to use and manipulate you in whatever way they want.
A Narcissist Will Often Not Ask You Any Personal Questions About Yourself
Let's say you're on a first date. You get home and think that it well really well. Your date was open and honest about their life, and you felt an immediate connection. Then, you sit back and really think. It occurs to you that your date did not really ask you anything about your life. In fact, while you may know that they have three sisters, had an absentee father, and went to Harvard Law, they know absolutely nothing about you and didn't even bother to ask.